The sophisticated East Coast of Dominican Republic attracts vacationers from around the world who come to explore and savor the luxuries of Punta Cana. Nestled across 100 miles (160 kilometers) of the world’s top beaches lapped by turquoise waters and dotted with swaying palm trees, Punta Cana is Dominican Republic’s most lavish and popular destination. Your inspiration begins at touchdown, where the picture-perfect coastline beckons with a seemingly endless strip of frost-white sand shelving into reef-protected lagoons of irresistible peacock blues and greens. These silvery sands stretch virtually unbroken for 40 miles (64 kilometers) and are the reason for Dominican Republic’s astonishing assemblage of all-inclusive hotels and convention centers. Punta Cana’s beaches and resorts may be its biggest draw, but its world-renowned golf courses and entertainment, like swimming with dolphins and zip lining through the exotic vegetation, promise to capture your imagination and refresh your soul. To the north of Punta Cana is the equally luxe resort area of Bávaro. Together, Bávaro and Punta Cana feature Dominican Republic’s largest hotel and resort infrastructure. Year after year, this region, where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean Sea, has been the venue for international fishing competitions and has also become the number one golf destination in the Caribbean, among the top in the world. The following guide to Punta Cana includes descriptions of the amazing attractions, golf courses, beaches and more that await you.
Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of the large island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Republic of Haiti, and is the second largest country in the Caribbean, comprising an area of 18, 704 square miles (48,442 square kilometers). The country has a population of 10 million and enjoys sunny tropical weather all year. The average year-round temperatures are 78°F to 88°F (25°C to 31°C). The cooler season is November through April, while it is warmest from May through October. TIME: The local time zone is Eastern Caribbean Time (GMT-0400). Dominican Republic does not observe daylight savings time. CAPITAL CITY: Dominican Republic’s historic and sophisticated capital city, Santo Domingo, is the oldest city of the New World. Santo Domingo’s Colonial City was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990. LANGUAGE: Spanish is the official language; however, the majority of employees in hotels and tourist destinations speak relatively good English, French, German and Italian, among other languages. CURRENCY: The Dominican peso (RD$) is the official currency. GETTING HERE: Dominican Republic currently has eight international airports throughout the country, including: Las Américas International Airport (SDQ) in Santo Domingo, La Romana International Airport (LRM), Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ), Gregorio Luperón International Airport (POP) in Puerto Plata, El Cibao International Airport (STI) in Santiago, and El Catey International Airport (AZS) in Samaná. The destinations that regularly receive cruises are Santo Domingo (terminals of Sansoucí and Don Diego), La Romana (Casa de Campo and Isla Catalina), Punta Cana (Cap Cana Marina), Puerto Plata (Amber Cove) and Samaná (Cayo Levantado and Samaná Bay).
DOCUMENTATION: For most visitors, a valid passport along with a US$10 Tourist Card (available online or at the airport) is required to enter the country. Any person, no matter their nationality, can enter with a Tourist Card if they are a legal resident or if they have one of the following valid visas in their passport: United States, Canada, United Kingdom or Schengen. Starting April 1, 2018, the cost of the Tourist Card will be included in the airline and sea tickets. More information is available here: www.dgii.gov.do/tarjetaTuristica/en ELECTRICITY: Operates at 110 Volts/60 Hertz, the same as North America. If needed, adapter plugs are available at most hotels. TAXES: Dominican hotels and restaurants collect an additional 28 percent of their published prices (18 percent sales tax + 10 percent service charge). MEDICAL PRECAUTIONS: Due to the strength of the Caribbean sun and the climatic conditions of the area, it is recommended that vacationers always wear sunscreen and mosquito repellent when outdoors and drink filtered water throughout the day to avoid dehydration. For emergencies, contact 9-1-1, our National Care System for Emergency and Safety. 911.gob.do DRINKING AGE: The legal drinking age in the country is 18 years old