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Plan Your Punta Cana Holiday: Best of Punta Cana

Explore Punta Cana

Trust the postcards—Punta Cana really is as amazing as it looks. For top-tier R&R, go all-inclusive: You’ll spend your days lounging by the pool, dining at five-star restaurants, and getting pampered at the spa. When you’ve had your fill of piña coladas and beachside cabanas, venture beyond the resort to some of the island’s best natural gems. Go ziplining, explore underground caves, and take a dip in the cenotes at Scape Park in Capa Cana. You can also cool off in the freshwater lagoons at Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park or hop over to Saona Island for an untouched (and less crowded) piece of paradise. If you can squeeze in a game of golf, head to Punta Espada for a quick 18 with sweeping views of the ocean. There’s so much more to do, and we’ve got all the best recs below.
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Travel Advice

Essential Punta Cana

An outdoor adventure guide to Punta Cana

Sitting still is not an option for me, so I’m always on the lookout for adrenaline-filled experiences when I travel, and Punta Cana seriously delivers. There are so many activities to try—from sailing to surfing, caving to horseback riding—that you’ll never do the same thing twice (unless you want to).
  • Punta Cana Dune Buggy Adventure and Amazing Water Cave
    I brought the children along for this adventure and it was a blast. Exploring on a dune buggy let us see the countryside in a fun and interactive way (versus from the inside of a tour bus). Plus, we were able to sample coffee (me) and chocolate (the children) at a farm stop and meet plenty of locals. Another highlight: After muddy off-roading, we got to clean off with a swim in a river cave.
  • Punta Cana Scape Park and Hoyo Azul Full Day Admission Ticket
    When I’m exploring somewhere new, it’s nice to have multiple activities in one place for one-stop-adventure-shopping. Scape Park is ideal for a day out since it has a zipline, caves to check out, and cool cenotes for swimming—meaning I can explore both on land and in the water all in one location. Bliss.
  • Bavaro Adventure Park
    I’ve done so many ropes courses on my trips over the years I can’t keep track anymore. But Bavaro Adventure Park really stands out for its challenging climbing workout that rewards determination with amazing tropical scenery. (Note: You’re probably going to skip this one if you don’t like heights.)
  • Macao Surf Camp
    Surfing is not something I’m especially good at, but I like to give it a go when I’m in Punta Cana. At Macao Surf Camp, the warm water, light currents, and attentive instructors all made it seem perfectly okay when I fell off the board (which happened a lot). If you manage to stand up (even for a few seconds), you’ll be rewarded with action shots taken by staff photographers.
  • Punta Cana Beach Horseback Riding
    Sure, horseback riding in general is a super fun vacay activity, and riding on the sand is always memorable. But lean in and I’ll tell you a secret: A ride along the stunning Punta Cana coastline, on horseback, at sunset, with your partner, is the epitome of a romantic holiday. Trust me on this one.
  • Small-Group Cruising and Snorkeling Catamaran Tour
    I love being in the water, so anytime I can do a snorkel cruise, I’m in. This catamaran tour to Cabeza de Toro Natural Reserve is a favourite. After getting your fill of the technicolor marine life and coral below, you get unlimited drinks and net hammocks for relaxing back on the boat.

Punta Cana Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips for experiencing Punta Cana


Wear plenty of sunscreen — it gets particularly hot between noon and 4 p.m., and some beaches don't have much shade.


Don't drink the tap water, and stick to bottled water to brush your teeth with.


I typically take a lot of $1 for tipping.


Beach-hopping is a bona fide activity on this coast, but there's also plenty of nature, from cenotes to ancient Taino caves, to explore, along with shopping spots and restaurants outside of the resorts.


Bask in the sun for days, beach hop from Bavaro to Macao, and don't miss escaping into the lush interior, including at Parque Nacional del Este and Laguna Bavaro.

Angela A

Punta Cana is a perfect beach destination for families.

What is the best way to get there?


Most travelers fly into Punta Cana International Airport, where shuttle buses and taxis will take you into the city. It’s also possible to arrive at La Romana airport, about 45 minutes away.

Do I need a visa?

If you’re visiting Punta Cana from overseas, use the government’s Visa Wizard to see if you need a visa.

When is the best time to visit?

Summertime is peak season in the Dominican Republic, when the warm waters are ideal for swimming and daily temperatures often hit 86°F (30°C). To avoid the crowds, plan your trip for the shoulder months of April or May. Temperatures are pretty consistent year-round, but be aware that June to November is hurricane season.

Get around


Punta Cana is easy to get around on foot and most hotels are within walking distance of the beach.


Taxis and motoconchos (motorcycle taxis) are easy to find, but be sure to agree on a fare before you set off. Flagging down a taxi on the street or walking to a local taxi stand away from your resort will probably get you the best price.


Although Uber and Cabify are available in some Dominican Republic cities, they are not currently available in Punta Cana.

On the ground

What is the timezone?

Atlantic Standard Time.

What are the voltage/plug types?

The standard voltage in the Dominican Republic is 120 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz. The plug has two flat parallel pins.

What is the currency?

Dominican peso (DOP). US dollars are often also accepted, especially at larger hotels and restaurants.

Are ATMs readily accessible?


Are credit cards widely accepted?

Yes, but it’s still worth carrying some cash.

How much do I tip?

Tipping is common practice in the Dominican Republic, although opinions differ on how much.

How much do I tip?


A service charge is often added to the bill.


It is customary to leave a $1-2 US each day for the housekeeper.

Tour guide

10-20% will be appreciated.

Are there local customs I should know?


The federal legal age for buying and drinking alcohol is 18 years old.

Keep your clothes on!

Topless sunbathing is actually against the law in the Dominican Republic and while you may find it’s tolerated at some private resorts, it’s best to do as the locals do and keep covered.

Try to speak the language

English is widely spoken in establishments frequented by travelers, but learning a few Spanish phrases will be appreciated. If you plan on venturing further afield, a basic knowledge of Spanish will go a long way.

Expect relaxed timekeeping

Locals tend to be laid-back about timekeeping, so don’t get too worried if your taxi shows up five minutes late or your tour itinerary is more of a “guideline.” Leave yourself a little extra time for airport transfers to account for this.