Punta Cana tops the list of best vacation destinations despite having some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. Perico Ripiao Tours gathered all the insider information you need to know about this Caribbean paradise to help you plan your trip and choose whether Punta Cana is the right vacation destination for you.
The Dominican Republic’s eastern coast, where Punta Cana is located (next to Samana, another popular beach destination), is home to many miles of white-sand beaches and crystal-clear sea. It is understandable why thousands of tourists choose to stay in the all-inclusive resorts and skyscraper hotels here; nevertheless, this is not often the type of vacation our ILP volunteers who are on a tight budget seek. Even yet, our groups still go to Punta Cana for vacations. Many of the volunteers have cited their trip to Punta Cana as one of their favorite destinations in the Dominican Republic.
Time Spent on the Best Beaches
Plan to spend a lot of time in the sun and waves while on vacation in Punta Cana because beach time is the top thing to do there. You can choose from a wide variety of beaches because Punta Cana’s coastline totals roughly 22 miles. Here are some of our picks:
This beach has waters that are an impossible shade of blue and snow-white sands! A resort, stores, and other amenities are behind you, and you may hire chairs and cabanas for the day. It’s a well-liked spot. It’s one of Punta Cana’s busiest beaches, so it’s simple to reserve activities right there on the sand, but it may get crowded with all the visitors.
With its broad lengths of white sand and clear, quiet waves, this beach is ideal for swimming. Many families with young children can be seen playing in the peaceful waters. The beach appears to be owned by a resort at first, but if you use the Ocean Blue & Sand Service Entrance, you can enjoy it for free.
Beach Princess Punta Cana
Right in front of the Punta Cana Princess all-inclusive resort, there is a stunning stretch of beach. This is a fantastic option if you’re seeking for accommodations with a secluded stretch of beach. In this post’s «Places To Stay» section, you may read more about it.
Macao Beach is another favorite location for our ILP volunteers. It takes around 30 minutes to get there from Bavaro, but it’s worth it. Although the tiny village of El Macio is close by, it is still underdeveloped when compared to the resort-dotted stretches of adjacent beaches. If you’d want to hire a board, Macao beach would be a wonderful place to go. A 1-hour board rental costs between $10 and $15.
This is what a volunteer had to say about the beach: «The beach in Macao was my favorite. The water is gorgeous, and surfboards may be rented by the hour. There is plenty of room to sprawl out because the beach is long. My favorite beach on the entire island is definitely this one.»
Shark and stingray snorkeling
This tour company that specialized in snorkeling excursions to get you up and personal with nurse sharks and stingrays has been discovered by a few ILP groups. You will visit a number of places on the tour, including Stingray Bay Marine Park and Viva Shallow, where you may witness calm nurse sharks and rays as well as schools of vibrant fish near the coral.
How Does Other Snorkeling Compare?
The Caribbean side of the island is where you should go if you want to experience the best snorkeling in the world, not Punta Cana. You can find snorkeling excursions like the one above in Punta Cana, of course, but we’d also recommend checking out some of our top snorkeling locations in the Dominican Republic to make sure you’re getting the experience you desire.
If you’re interested in taking a tour where you can snorkel with sharks and stingrays, Punta Cana definitely offers that kind of activity (and may not be in other locations). Volunteers advise extending the trip for a day to Isla Saona or Isla Catalina, where the water is clearer, although other visitors to Punta Cana have raved about their snorkeling excursions (along with the suggestions on our post all about the best snorkeling).
Engagements with Your Hotel
For that authentic «Punta Cana» experience, many groups decide to splash out and book a stay at an all-inclusive hotel in Punta Cana. We have additional information on hotels and all-inclusive below. If you choose this option, you’ll have access to a variety of free activities to keep you occupied, including free painting lessons, yoga sessions, beachside Zumba, poolside classes, and other events. The best place to research nearby activities is at your hotel, which makes it simple to make reservations for them.
Travel for a day.
It’s a pretty common choice to leave Punta Cana for the day and travel to one of the nearby islands or vacation spots. Even our short-term groups were able to fit in a trip to an island like Isla Soana! Below is some information on the well-liked day excursion possibilities:
It’s time for a quick day trip if you’ve had your fill of Punta Cana’s beaches and activities. If you’re not going to Bayahibe while you’re in the Dominican Republic, we advise traveling to Hoyo Azul, followed by Isla Saona and Isla Catalina.
Travel to Isla Saona for a day.
Don’t miss out on one of the most well-known day trips from Punta Cana—one it’s we adore! The day trip to Soana island has been cited by groups who are just visiting Punta Cana (as well as Santo Domingo or Samana) as a highlight of their vacation – «It boasts some of the most beautiful beaches and sea I’ve ever seen. It is a true postcard location!»
The Bayahibe launching area is the most effective way to access Saona Island. There are many tour packages willing to make all the arrangements for you to travel from Punta Cana to Bayahibe in roughly 1.5 hours.
Take a trip to Dreamy Isla Catalina
Catalina Island, another island excursion, is a fantastic day trip from Punta Cana. You’ll land in Bayahibe and jump off, just like Isla Soana. Since the islands are so close together, the majority of visitors choose to visit Catalina or Saona. You can explore adventures like a snorkeling or dive trip there, or you can simply relax on the magnificent island itself.