Things to Do in Punta Cana
Macao Beach (Playa Macao) is one of the Punta Cana region’s least-crowded public beaches, set away from most resort hotels. A favorite among locals, this stretch of white sand is considered one of the Dominican Republic’s most beautiful coastal escapes, with clear blue waters and a beach break known for its surf-friendly waves.
In Punta Cana, an idyllic resort town on the Dominican Republic’s east coast, all roads lead to Bavaro Beach (Playa Bavaro). Visitors flock to this beach not just for its aquamarine waters, white-sand strip, and coconut palm forest, but also for its abundance of fun—from water activities to watering holes.
Don’t let the name fool you: Hoyo Azul Lagoonhas more to offer than its simple moniker belies. This famous turquoise-water cenote (natural pool) in Punta Cana, whose unexpected existence at the base of a 200-foot (61-meter) cliff surprises and delights visitors, is one of the Dominican Republic’s top destinations for the swimming, ziplining, nature tours, and other activities based around it.
Set in the Dominican Republic’s Cap Cana Resort, the Scape Park ecoadventure site draws thrill-seekers and families who come to enjoy the property’s varied outdoor activities. You’ll find more than 247 acres (100 hectares) of limestone topography and jungle, including an active marina and the popular Juanillo Beach.
Travelers looking to dance the night away while sipping strong tropical cocktails under flashing lights with thumping beats will love the classic island party experience at Coco Bongo Punta Cana.
This lively disco combines the best of a Las Vegas stage show with the music and dance floor of a contemporary club. Every night feels like Saturday night at Coco Bongo, and guests can opt for VIP packages that include prime seating and skip-the-line options. Whether it’s the first stop of the night, or the last stop in Dominican Republic, Coco Bongo guarantees a fun, memorable and entertaining night out!
A former fishing village on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, Juanillo Beach is today one of the region's most desirable stretches of white-sand beach. Wide open, powdery soft, and lined with palm trees, this stretch of sand runs from Cap Cana Marina to the Sanctuary Cap Cana Golf & Spa Resort. While open to the public, the beach is only accessible through Cap Cana Resort, making it a calm and quiet place to soak up some rays.
The marine life of the Dominican Republic’s prized offshore reefs is preserved and exhibited at the Marinarium marine park in Cabeza de Toro, equidistant from Punta Cana and Bavaro. The ecotourism attraction is dedicated to creating a model of sustainable ecological conservation for local marine life.
The National Park of the East (Parque Nacional del Este) is one of Dominican Republic’s most biologically diverse land reserves. From the sandy beaches of Saona Island to the tropical forest and limestone landscape of the mainland, the park is home to more than 500 species of plant and hundreds of species of bird, insect, and fish.
The Indigenous Eyes (Ojos Indígenas) Ecological Park and Reserve is designed to protect the natural habitats of the Dominican Republic’s plants and animals. Formerly called the Punta Cana Ecological Reserve, it was renamed for the 12 freshwater lagoons found here, which the native Taino people called eyes because of their distinctive shape.
La Cana Golf Course in Punta Cana has been called a difficult course — though it's understandably tough to focus when 14 holes out of 27 have views of the Caribbean Sea. Regarded as one of the Dominican Republic's most exclusive and scenic courses, La Cana has sand dunes, fairways, and tees that are close enough to the turquoise water that you would think you were golfing at the beach.
When you first step up to the manicured tee box and take a look down the fairway, it's nearly impossible to tee off your ball without stopping to snap a photo.
More Things to Do in Punta Cana
The former home of explorer and governor of Puerto Rico Juan Ponce de Léon, Casa Ponce de Léon is a simple stone building with an important place in history. Visitors come to travel over 500 years back in time to the days of great oceanic exploration and see an important landmark in the history of the Americas.
One of the premier nightlife destinations in the Dominican Republic, the Imagine Punta Cana Disco is a cave-turned-club that boasts several dance floors and bar areas as well as unique acoustics. The nightclub draws huge crowds on its themed nights, which focus on musical genres including pop hits, reggaeton, salsa, and Latin music.
Set within the dramatic landscape of the Dominican Republic’s Los Haitises National Park, Fun Fun Cave (Cueva Fun Fun) lives up to its name by offering horseback riding, cave exploring, and rappelling. Fun Fun Cave shakes up your beach routine and provides the perfect adventure-packed day trip from Punta Cana fit for an active family.
Manatí Park is the Dominican Republic’s first-ever theme park. In the Bavaro resort area, the animal adventure park has dolphin and sea lion shows, and offers close encounters with parrots, flamingos, iguanas, and even monkeys. The park’s 150 species of animal along with many programs on its landscaped grounds and rides promise a full day of family fun.
This popular Bavaro and Punta Cana attraction is perfect for the entire family and blends plenty of tropical wonder with outdoor excitement and Dominican culture and tradition.
Travelers who venture out on this wilderness adventure will have the chance to horseback ride on rugged trails that wind through tropical forests, past scenic rivers and towering mountains. A high-speed buggy ride offers up the ideal adventure for thrill seeking adventurers and an island safari showcases the best of this Caribbean destination’s biodiversity. Travelers will learn about the history of farming in the region from their expert guide, as well as the importance of coffee and cocoa plantations that produce some of Dominican Republic’s most-famous exports. The safari even includes a stop at La Hacienda’s own village for a look at local life.
After working up an appetite in the great outdoors, visitors can tuck into a hearty buffet filled with traditional Dominican favorites, including rice, beans, chicken and plantains—served with a jungle view!
By day Punta Cana is a place to relax, go golfing, snorkeling, or sailing, but by night Punta Cana is a place to party—especially at Imagine Disco. After all, when was the last time you partied underground, inside of a natural cave? Or visited a bar where the drinks were conveniently included in entry to the club? At this sprawling, multi-cave, Punta Cana hot spot, multiple DJs spin different genres of thumping musical rhythms, and you can choose the room that fits your mood and the music you want to hear. With VIP entry you not only receive transport both to and from your resort, but also dedicated bottle service of premium labels at comfortable tables before heading back to the dance floor.
With six holes running right along the ocean and tee shots that shoot over cliffs, Corales Golf Course in Punta Cana is often considered amongst the Caribbean’s most exclusive and scenic courses. Designed by Tom Fazio, Corales Golf Course is famously known for its final trio of holes, which collectively are known as “the Devil’s Elbow” and require shooting up over the bluffs past waves that crash on the coast. Compared to the surrounding courses in the area, Corales is arguably the most scenic but also the most user friendly, which makes it accessible to a wider range of visiting golfers and travelers. Need to warm up before teeing off? A putting green and driving range are both available for use.
Even though it’s just minutes away from pulsing Bávaro Beach, Cocotal Golf and Country Club has a relaxed, casual, and laidback feel away from the coastal crowds. Part of the Melia resort complex, Cocotal is an inland course with wide, approachable fairways, and is comprised of three different nine-hole courses designed by Jose “Pepe” Gancedo—a 6-time Spanish champion. Built in 2000, the course is lined by colorful bougainvillea, coconut palms and homes, which are part of the surrounding country club community where many local business staff have homes away from the beach scene.
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