Punta Cana: An Amazing Getaway

We pulled together a few recommendations for how to relax, unplug and reap the benefits of a warm-weather vacation to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Photo By: Stan Badz

Photo By: microgen

Photo By: Ryan McVay

Photo By: DEA / V. GIANNELLA

Photo By: Lisa F. Young

The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real

You can’t leave Punta Cana without spending time here. A resort featured in Travel’s Best All-Inclusive Resorts 2015, the family-friendly Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real has a full-service spa, 3 pools, a family concierge, the Kids Zone and 2 a la carte restaurants.

Punta Espada Golf Club

Tee off with amazing picturesque views of the Caribbean Sea at a close distance when you play a round of golf at the Punta Espada Golf Club. This world-class course is the first of 3 Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses developed at Cap Cana, a gated luxury resort and real estate community next to the Punta Cana International Airport.

Dune Buggy Adventures

Feeling adventurous? Take a dune buggy excursion along the beach and through local banana plantations to appreciate the diverse landscape in Punta Cana. It’s a 4-wheel adventure you don’t want to miss.

Punta Cana Spa Treatment

Enjoy a relaxing spa treatment at one of Punta Cana’s best spas, such as those at the Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, the Excellence Punta Cana or the Hard Rock Hotel, whose Rock Spa is touted as the biggest on the island.

Los Haitises National Park

Head 2 hours northwest of Punta Cana and spend a day at Los Haitises National Park. The park is a popular eco-tourism destination, but a limited number of tourists are allowed to visit in an effort to preserve the area. Go on a guided horseback ride or hike, or rappel into the park’s caves to see pictographs and petroglyphs.

Dolphin Island Park

Swim with dolphins in their natural habitat at Dolphin Island Park. In addition to spending time with friends of Flipper, guests can go snorkeling with sharks and stingrays. Punta Cana’s Seaquarium is another popular park that allows guests to take a dive to explore the animals and marine life that call the Caribbean Sea home. Swimsuit and towel not included.

Manati Park Bavaro

Visit Manati Park Bavaro to explore Caribbean flora and fauna such as sea lions, crocodiles, parrots and orchids. Colorful iguana buses provide transportation from selected hotels to the park.

Uvero Alto Beach

Located the farthest north of Punta Cana’s beaches, Uvero Alto Beach is ideal for travelers who enjoy basking in the sun without the noise and crowd. Bavaro Beach is busier and has calmer waters, so head here instead if you’re looking for big waves without a lot of foot traffic.

Plaza Higueyana

Tourists don’t have to go too far to shop for souvenirs and local crafts when visiting Punta Cana. Higuey, a small town west of Punta Cana, is home to Plaza Higueyana. This artisan market sells souvenirs, cigars, rum, T-shirts, jewelry, crafts and ceramics.

Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve

Hop on a Segway and explore Punta Cana’s wildlife when you visit the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve. This 1,500-acre property has several trails, 12 freshwater lagoons and an array of birds, reptiles, insects, and flowers and plants indigenous to the Dominican Republic. Take your binoculars — nature lovers may spot the Ridgway’s hawk, a rare bird that the Puntacana Ecological Foundation has taken steps to breed and protect from extinction.

Imagine Club

Dance into the early morning hours at Imagine Club. This hip nightclub offers patrons a multi-cave experience while they listen to some of the hottest resident and international DJs playing everything from Top 40 music and techno to bachata and merengue. In addition to the Main Cave and Electro Cave, Imagine also hosts concerts and conventions in its Universe Cave, as well as exclusive VIP parties in the Private Cave.

La Posada de Gladys

Go where the locals go. Grab a bite to eat at La Posada de Gladys, located across the street from Hotel Merengue. This modest eatery serves traditional Dominican dishes, including sancocho. Guests don’t have to worry about spending too much here: It’s only 175 pesos, or about $4, for a crispy fried chicken dinner that comes with rice, beans and a salad. It’s good eating for cheap!