Organizing our vacations should always be a matter of happiness, and we are very excited when finally we can enjoy the much desired holidays.
We already have the money and the date, but still sometimes we are faced with many questions that do not get answers cause us stress.
We do not want our dreamed vacations to become a nightmare simply because we were not fully informed of the destination we wish to visit.
In this article we want to provide you with a valuable guide so that you can organize your vacation in Punta Cana in a safe and fast way.
First of all, we are going to share a little information and history about Punta Cana, it is the most important tourist pole of the Dominican Republic and it belongs to La Altagracia province.
Punta Cana has the busiest airport in the country where around 60% of tourists visit the Dominican Republic.
It is a district of the municipality Higuey, with an extension of 475 kilometers and 50 km of coasts for the enjoyment of its visitors and a population of 43,000 inhabitants (figure of the National Census).
Punta Cana started in 1969 according to history, it was a rich jungle area surrounded by coconut trees and mangroves with miles of virgin beach.
The proponent of this project Mr. Frank Rainieri saw in this area the potential to become what is nowadays one of the most famous and visited tourist sites in the Caribbean.
At that time everything started with the construction of a couple of cabins and a rustic road to start the first tourist complex.
Soon the interest of world-famous hotel chains such as the Barceló chain and others began to be felt.
It is from here that begins the era of expansion of this important tourist pole that has not stopped growing since then to date.
How to get to Punta Cana?
With the great advances that the Dominican Republic has made in terms of roads and highways, you have several options to get to Punta Cana.
Until about 5 or 6 years ago the fastest and most convenient way to get to Punta Cana was through the international airport of Punta Cana; because from other locations such as from Santo Domingo the road time was about 5 hours and 30 minutes.
Currently, this travel time has been shortened to about 2 and a half hours depending on your destination hotel.
All this thanks to a network of roads and highways that give us a non-stop and pleasant journey without having to deal with the heavy traffic of towns and cities that are on the road.
By air you will find multiple options to get to Punta Cana, the main option is flying directly to the international airport of Punta Cana (PUJ).
This airport has become more important in the country because of the number of passengers that visit it and the busiest in the Caribbean (it is one of the main airports in the Caribbean and Latin America).
Other options are the La Romana International Airport (LRM) just 1 hour from Punta Cana or the José Francisco Peña Gómez International Airport or the Las Americas International Airport (AILA) in Santo Domingo about 2 hours from Punta Cana.
Many travelers compare prices and choose to arrive via one of these alternative airports because they can get more supportive rates that can reward the time on the road.
The Punta Cana airport is only 10 minutes from Cana, it is the most exclusive area of all of Punta Cana.
It is also about 15 minutes from Cabeza de Toro, 20 minutes from Arena Gorda and Arena Blanca and 35 minutes from Uvero Alto; all these are the different hotel areas of this important tourist pole.
Transportation in Punta Cana …
In the area of Punta Cana there is no public transport system nor will you find public transport from any airport to the hotels in the area so your transportation options to the interior of Punta Cana are the following:
Hire the services of transfers: there is a large number of agencies and tour operators that, like us, can offer the transfer services you may need during your stay in Punta Cana
You have several options, shared transfers, private transfers, group transfers, luxury transfers and of course taxis (not Uber) or car rental.
If you have already booked your transfer service with a company, you should not be surprised when you leave. You can be approached by the taxi drivers offering their services and even using the old trick of saying that your transport company has left for them to be able to sell you its services.
So when you arrive at the airport after picking up your bags, go to the counter area where a representative or driver assigned with a banner indicating your name will be waiting for you.
There are also the famous Moto Conchos are a transport option widely used by Dominicans who can also serve you to do some short errands when leaving the hotel; There are also inter-urban transport options to get from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo.
Where to Stay?
Among many things you need to know about this beautiful tourist destination, accommodation is the easiest and easiest to solve.
Historically large hotel chains have opted for Punta Cana and in recent years others have been supporting and investing in the growth of the area by opening new hotels every year. Punta Cana is known as the paradise of “All Inclusive” (All Inclusive), currently has more than 80,000 hotel rooms.
This 2018 will be incorporating more than 15,000 more rooms with the construction and inauguration of new hotels; so it is expected to end the year with around 100,000 rooms available for all its visitors.
In Punta Cana you will find a wide range of spaces and accommodations that range from practical and inexpensive hostels to boutique hotels and large luxury hotels that embellish the area.
You will find different options and offers of accommodation being the undisputed king all inclusive, chains such as Be Live Hotels, Barceló, Melia, Blue Diamond, Karisma, Blau, Majestic, Riu, Hard Rock, Am resorts, Iberostar, Alsol, among others.
All offer an exquisite proposal from cheap 4-star all-inclusive accommodations to exclusive 5-star and 5-diamonds for big stars who visit this area to enjoy their vacations.
So in the matter of accommodations Punta Cana has it all, choose the option that best suits your needs and budget.
What to do in Punta Cana?
Punta Cana has registered a great growth in the last years, so it has increased in an extraordinary way the leisure and enjoyment options.
Before, beyond the fun and entertainment offered by hotels, tourists had very few options for enjoyment. Only a few excursions and very few nightclubs; however with the expansion and great investment that the area has been receiving, the uncomfortable roads, neighborhood roads and among other things have remained only in the memory of a few people.
Nowadays the island has huge and modern shopping centers, which have arrived offering incredible gastronomic proposals; with new restaurants, and fun with innumerable bars and night clubs. Besides the new tours and excursions and the traditional ones.
Punta Cana and its nightlife
In Punta Cana the fun never ends, after a day in visits, surf lessons, swimming dolphins or just enjoy a full day at the beach; It is time to see how life is reborn and everything changes in the Punta Cana area.
The nightlife is very rich and varied and takes a totally different atmosphere, among the options to leave your hotel you have world-class gastronomic proposals and thematic restaurants among which stand out Bachata Rosa, Guaguancó, Mama Club, Lorensillos, Jelly Fish, Little John among others.
There are also incredible options of clubs and bars such as Coco Bongo, Imagine, Four Jacks, Gold Night Club, Jewel, Kviar and many more.
If you want to take a dip in villages there are also other underground options where the local people go and the atmosphere is totally Dominican.
Other places you should not miss during your next visit to Punta Cana are Playa Blanca, Juanillo, Scape Park and Bavaro Adventure Park.
Where to buy?
Punta Cana is not really known as a super attractive place to buy, but if you need to buy a souvenir or a need item there are also many malls where you can do your shopping.
The souvenirs are mostly in the gift shop that you can find in any hotel and corner of Punta Cana; but also there are also department stores such as Iberia, some malls such as Palma Real Shopping Village, Plaza San Juan and other more exclusive as Blue Mall.
What excursions should you not miss?
As for the tours or excursions offered by us the tour operators there are a myriad of options that will depend exactly on your taste and how adventurous you are.
For this reason we want to make a list of some tours or excursions, destinations or attractions of the best valued by each client, half day and full day tours.
This ranking is not valued in importance level, and only applies to tours that may be available from the Punta Cana area.
Unquestionably this destination is one that no tourist should miss, it is the tour most demanded by all local and foreign tourists.
Isla Saona offers us a number of options to enjoy, from basic excursions through Premium excursions to VIPs, which are differentiated mainly by the quality of the services and above all by the beauty of the place where the clients are taken.
The Isla Saona tour is a tour loaded with lots of fun, full days of pure sun, beautiful beaches and non-stop dancing.
City Tour Santo Domingo
Thanks to the new highways and roads that link the area of Punta Cana and Santo Domingo, the time on the road has been reduced to only 2 and a half hours which makes it an affordable option.
You can´t visit the Dominican Republic and not go to the first city of America, the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO; its walls, cobbles and colonial streets and historical buildings will transport you to the times of the colonization of America.
On this tour you will have the opportunity to get to know the first church of the new world, the first hospital, the first university, the first street … in short, a bath of history and culture.
This tour is highly recommended for those who want a full day of beach, away from the hustle and highly visited areas.
Catalina Island has several beautiful beaches of pure white sand and crystal clear waters, ideal to completely relax and enjoy the beach as you can rarely do.
In addition Catalina Island also have a great attraction of high value for many tourists, its great coral reef that surrounds it makes it an ideal destination for diving and snorkeling.
It has a bit of history, because here we can also find the wreck of the famous Captain Kid and his sunken ship off the coast of La Romana.
This is a tour of only half a day in which you will have the opportunity to know the rural part of Punta Cana visiting picturesque communities, as well as visiting the beautiful Macao beach and enjoy a dip in the famous Taina Cave … are you ready? for a whole adventure of a lot of mud and fun?
This is a destination requested by many hikers who have been captivated by the incredible blue color of its waters.
It is a tour that takes you through beautiful nature trails, where you can also enjoy the flora and fauna of the area until you reach this incredible cenote.
Zip Line Adventures
If you are in need of some action and adrenaline this is undoubtedly the ideal tour for you; in its different versions, one more extreme than the other, you can enjoy the Canopy Adventure or the Extreme Swing.
Both options take place in the mountains of Anamuya, a beautiful wooded area of La Altagracia province only 30 minutes from Punta Cana.
Coco Bongo Night Tour
Without a doubt, Coco Bongo came to stay. If you are visiting Punta Cana you can not miss this amazing nightclub that is a kind of disco and theater where a fine mix of performances, lights and sounds.
They manage to connect with each visitor to provide an extraordinary experience every night, with incredible shows where you can enjoy with their great dancers.
Night tour The Cave at Imagine
This is another attraction that is an icon of the area and has been a reference of this destination in recent years.
Imagine is a nightclub built in a limestone cave that provides a super fun and cool environment for those who want to go out and meet new people and enjoy a very good mix of music.
Bavaro Adventure Park
It is an ideal place to spend a full day with the whole family, a number of attractions waiting for each member of the family, from their Dinoworld to the buggies and Zip Line.
If you want to know much more about the idiosyncrasy of the Dominican, its culture, history and learn how sugar, coffee, cocoa are produced, among other things, you definitely have to take one of these tours.
On board of safari trucks, these tours leave us an incredible experience and shows us the other side of Punta Cana.
This is another very smart and fun option to enjoy with the youngest of the family. In this beautiful park you can enjoy different experiences and types of swimming with dolphins in the open sea; besides being able to interact with sharks, rays and sea lions.
Another tour that offers different experiences in the same tour, you will have the opportunity to travel the entire coast of Punta Cana aboard a beautiful catamaran until you reach the natural pool.
In addition you can enjoy Snuba, a kind of low depth diving, snorkeling, enjoy views of Eagle riding a parasailing and of course, have fun until you can not, with all the animation of the boat.
Multi destiny tours
With us you also have the opportunity to enjoy packaged tours, or prepared on request, in which you can visit beautiful places and destinations further away from Punta Cana.
Adventures such as sleeping in tents or in houses on a tree; it is an opportunity to know and enjoy beautiful places that are ecological treasures of our island, including the always beautiful province of Samana and all its attractions.
Security in Punta Cana
There is an old saying that says “Where there are tourists there are pickpockets” no matter the country, city or destination you visit; We must always take even basic security measures to avoid inconveniences during our vacations.
Punta Cana is very well guarded, however this has not managed to eliminate the inconveniences of some antisocial people who see certain people as easy prey.
Here we share a few tips that will help you avoid these problems and ensure your safety:
- As soon as you arrive at your hotel, take out a copy or photograph of your passport, this will be more than enough to take to the streets in case you need to present your identification.
- Never go out with valuable clothes, remember that you are on vacation. Shorts, sandals, sunglasses and flannels are more than enough to enjoy a village bath and be able to go out into the streets.
- Try to manage with your credit cards, and get out with minimum amounts of cash within your budget to spend on each exit.
- Avoid leaving your hotel at night walking. Always take a taxi from those who work at the hotel or go on a tour that you have pre-purchased.
- Never walk out into the street with your phone in your hand, this is one of the biggest complaints of theft in the destination.
- If you go out at night avoid going out with strangers, remember that everywhere there are good and bad people.
- Avoid doing business and buying excursions to street vendors who approach you on the beach. Not that they are criminals, but because they are informal sellers, they offer you few guarantees of your money and a good service, avoid having to apply the old saying that says “The cheap is expensive”.
What type of currency is used in the Dominican Republic?
Our national currency is the Dominican peso but you will not have any problem using your dollars; because all the prices that will be offered to you will be in dollars.And your euros will be also received without problems, but only small bills.
Avoid bringing bills of more than 100 euros, because in many places they do not receive them. In the same way we recommend you to change a few dollars to Dominican pesos, to pay in some places.
This is because if they offer you rates in pesos, and you want to pay in dollars, you could receive them a little cheaper. Also remember that the Money Exchange of airports and hotels are always more expensive than other places.
When to visit Punta Cana?
In the Dominican Republic we have only one season of the year, here it is always summer. The average temperature is about 25 degrees Celsius.
The climate is dry subtropical so the long periods of rain are not very normal.
Can you visit Punta Cana in hurricane season?
Totally yes, the hurricane season runs between June 1 and October 31, being the peak of the most dangerous season between mid-August and the end of September.
Despite the fact that every year we are on the hurricane route and are constantly threatened. Dominican Republic has been 20 years without being directly impacted by a hurricane that may cause major damage so traveling during this season is not a guarantee that you will be able to face one of these phenomena.
What should not be missing in your luggage!
When you come to Punta Cana, do not forget to bring a good sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, insect repellent and if you take medications, bring enough to cover your entire stay.
And finally, we want to remind you that there are many deceptions on the internet and that many ads or a good positioning are not synonymous with warranty, before making your purchase, research well about the company you intend to hire.
His career, history and that his clients comment on the services he offers, in this way your holidays will be what you always dreamed of.