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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.

 

FACTS

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: 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

 

LOCAL TRANSPORTATION

As the second largest country in the Caribbean, Dominican Republic offers a wide range of activities which can be a short or long distance away from one another. Many options exist for traveling on well-maintained highways to nearby attractions and also to more distantly located excursions. GROUND TRANSPORTATION: Taxis are available at most hotels and tour operators are more than willing to provide additional options for getting around. Visitors should also check with their hotel for any recommendations.

BUSES: Air conditioned motor coaches and vans arranged by local tour operators are available from most hotels. Also, daily service is available between Punta Cana/Bávaro and Santo Domingo with the company Expreso Bávaro.

CAR RENTALS:  Car rental offices and facilities can be found at the airports. Renters must be 25 with a valid driver’s license. AIRPORT: Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ), the country’s largest and most popular airport, serves the Punta Cana and Bávaro regions. Many hotels are only a 10 – 35 minute taxi ride from the airport.

 

The main draw to the luxurious and exotic area of Punta Cana are the pristine beaches that stretch more than 40 miles (64 kilometers) and border the meeting point between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The multi-shaded blue waters are complemented

by pristine white sands and create lasting impressions for all

beach goers. PLAYA PUNTA CANA: Punta Cana is any beach lover’s dream

with its glorious white sand lined with palms and lapped by turquoise waters. Punta Cana’s sands stretch for 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) of the best beaches of the region.

PLAYA BLANCA: This beach is part of Puntacana Resort & Club’s gated community, but admission is free. You can visit the popular Playa Blanca Restaurant or book kitesurfing lessons at The Kite Club. For those looking to brush up on their skills, professional kitesurfing and SUP surfing instruction is offered at this extensive white sand beach by certified Puntacana Resort & Club staff. PLAYA JUANILLO: Juanillo at Cap Cana offers miles of pristine, white sand beaches with turquoise waters so clear that it is often referred to one of the best beaches in Dominican Republic. A wide selection of tropical food and drinks and formal events and concerts are available at Juanillo as well as beach activities such as volleyball, snorkeling, kite surfing, and kayaking.

PLAYA CABEZA DE TORO: Cabeza de Toro Beach’s "Blue Flag" European

The main draw to the luxurious and exotic area of Punta Cana are the pristine beaches that stretch more than 40 miles (64 kilometers) and border the meeting point between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The multi-shaded blue waters are complemented

by pristine white sands and create lasting impressions for all

beach goers. PLAYA PUNTA CANA: Punta Cana is any beach lover’s dream

with its glorious white sand lined with palms and lapped by turquoise waters. Punta Cana’s sands stretch for 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) of the best beaches of the region.

PLAYA BLANCA: This beach is part of Puntacana Resort & Club’s gated community, but admission is free. You can visit the popular Playa Blanca Restaurant or book kitesurfing lessons at The Kite Club. For those looking to brush up on their skills, professional kitesurfing and SUP surfing instruction is offered at this extensive white sand beach by certified Puntacana Resort & Club staff. PLAYA JUANILLO: Juanillo at Cap Cana offers miles of pristine, white sand beaches with turquoise waters so clear that it is often referred to one of the best beaches in Dominican Republic. A wide selection of tropical food and drinks and formal events and concerts are available at Juanillo as well as beach activities such as volleyball, snorkeling, kite surfing, and kayaking.

PLAYA CABEZA DE TORO: Cabeza de Toro Beach’s "Blue Flag" European certification guarantees that the beach is always in fantastic shape and therefore is a popular beach for tourists. Cabeza de Toro Yacht Club is a departure point for fishing trips and fishing tournament sites. PLAYA BÁVARO: The most developed section of the East Coast resort strip, Bávaro, is dotted with hotels, restaurants and gift shops right on the beach. The area is one strip of sparkling white sand that extends 30 miles (48 kilometers) surrounded by coral reefs. Most of this stretch of beach is walkable and is the perfect place to book beach activities, ranging from parasailing to speed-boat riding. PLAYA UVERO ALTO: Located at the northern-most end of Punta Cana, this fine bronze-colored sand beach allows you to either enjoy open areas with large waves or calm waters protected by reefs, depending on the part of the beach you visit. PLAYA MACAO: Declared by UNESCO as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, Macao is a public beach located 20 to 30 minutes away from most hotels. Surfing classes are available if the conditions are appropriate and various shacks serving refreshments and food can be found along the beach. PLAYA EL CORTECITO-LOS CORALES: With no access restrictions, El Cortecito Beach and Los Corales, in the heart of Bávaro, is like a small fisherman’s village where you will find beautiful beaches, restaurants, bars, supermarkets, shopping centers and many gift and craft shops nearby. Many sea excursions depart from this beach.

 

 

ATTRACTIONS

CAP CANA HARBOR & MARINA: The largest world-class marina in the Caribbean, Cap Cana Harbor & Marina is designed to be the most advanced and modern marina in the area where just beyond the docks you can experience some of the best angling in the Caribbean. The facility features 1,200 slips handling yachts up to 250 feet long (75 meters) and as of recent has been named a destination for cruise ship arrivals. In addition to its luxury transportation amenities, the marina is equipped with meteorological buoyancy services unique to the Caribbean. When operating, the buoy measures wind and sea conditions, which are transmitted to the crews. Other facilities include government authorities such as harbor officials and customs departments, wireless internet and courtesy shuttle services.

PUNTACANA RESORT & CLUB MARINA:  The full-service marina is located at the Puntacana Resort & Club. With two docks and mooring for 43 yachts up to 70 feet (21 meters) LOA, the marina is well-liked by big game fishermen and is one of the most popular areas to hold billfish tournaments in Dominican Republic. The established marina includes a swimming pool, restaurant, cable television, telephone, laundry facilities, ice bags and drinking water. INDIGENOUS EYES ECOLOGICAL PARK: The southern end of Punta Cana harbors more than 500 species of exotic plants and trails that snake along 12 natural lagoons, each with a unique name from the native Taino language. The park has 1,500 acres

(600 hectares) set aside as conservation land and is owned and managed by the Puntacana Ecological Foundation. The reserve is also categorized as a "transition zone sub-tropical forest" due to the flora and fauna exhibiting characteristics of both the dry and humid sub-tropical forests.  DOLPHIN ISLAND PARK: Located between the beach and coral barrier of Bávaro, Dolphin Island Park takes visitors swimming with the delicate and graceful sea animals in the midst of their natural habitat. Trained professionals boat visitors out to a platform where they can snorkel, swim and take pictures with dolphins, stingrays and sea lions.

MANATI PARK: Tropical birds, reptiles and animal entertainment shows are dispersed throughout this 80-square-mile (210-squarekilometer) attraction, centered in magnificent gardens abundant with orchids and tropical plants. The park and its exhibits feature an insight into Dominican culture, folklore and artistry of the Taino Indians, the island’s inhabitants at the time of the Spanish conquest.  MARINARIUM: The Marinarium is the perfect tour for lovers of the wonders hidden in the marine world. It is an experience that allows you to enjoy and rediscover the beauty of coral reefs, as well as swimming with nurse sharks and stingrays. Excursions set off from the company’s Cabeza de Toro base.

SEAQUARIUM: This underwater walking adventure tour lets visitors get up close and personal with sea creatures. Discover colorful tropical fish, friendly sting rays, amazing corals, sunken objects and more with the help of a guide, special breathing helmet and your own two feet.  SCUBA DIVING: Conditions for diving in Punta Cana are often difficult due to strong currents, the open sea and the unprotected coastline; as a result, there are few coral reef habitats. For experienced divers, it is still an area of interest with impressive walls, white sandy sea bottoms, rays and schools of fish. Also it is home to the remains of several ships, some sunk by hurricane winds, others intentionally to create new marine habitats, and an underwater museum featuring over 20 sculptures representing Dominican Republic’s indigenous legacy, created by the award-winning artist Thimo Pimentel.

BÁVARO ADVENTURE PARK: Ideal for those seeking an adrenaline rush, Bávaro Adventure Park offers nature-friendly and sustainable activities such as ziplining, a climbing garden, a Segway circuit, paintball, a bungee trampoline, flight simulators, a mountain bike track and more. It also includes a Jurassic Park, featuring more than 20 animatronic dinosaurs within a natural setting. The park operates to meet world-class standards and provides guests with knowledgeable international and multilingual staff, each with the proper certification.

SCAPE PARK: Located at world-class Cap Cana, Scape Park includes the top tourist, athletic, cultural and entertainment activities within the property. The area’s design and architecture create a versatile array of landscapes that provide attractions for travelers of all ages. Activities here include a zipline ecotour, adventure buggies, Hoyo Azul Natural Lagoon, Las Ondas cenote, water activities, horseback riding and more. The park’s latest attraction, the Cave Expedition, takes visitors on a hike up the El Farallon Cliff and into the vast underground network of chambers and tunnels below.

RAD PARK PUNTA CANA: This water sports park delivers "rad" fun, all around a large, beautiful natural lagoon in downtown Punta Cana. It’s an ideal spot for adults and families, with staff on hand for introductory lessons. Try wake boarding, fly boarding, paddle boarding, slalom skiing, or slack line water. For more relaxed fun with the kids, hop on tube rides or test your skills on the pool’s inflatable obstacle course.  DEEP SEA FISHING: The waters surrounding Punta Cana and Bávaro are some of the best spots in the world for deep sea fishing and are regarded as one of the world’s top five billfish areas. For this reason, annual tournaments attract international participants during the summer months. At the end of October, the waters are calm enough to fish for mahi-mahi, tuna, mackerel, swordfish, blue marlin, barracuda and dorado among others. SPAS: Whether it is for a girlfriend getaway, a romantic trip for two or a stress-relief holiday from the hustle and bustle, a visit to Punta Cana and Bávaro’s all-inclusive resorts and spa facilities is an ideal way to decompress. The world-class properties specialize in some of today’s hottest and most luxurious spa services. SHOPPING: Visitors can embrace the lifestyle of the rich and famous in Punta Cana or seek out Dominican Republic souvenirs at local shops. Upscale boutiques can be found at places like Puntacana Village, Blue Mall, Palma Real Shopping Village and San Juan Shopping Center, while local vendors and shops can be found scattered along beaches, such as Plaza Bibijagua at Bávaro Beach. Traditional Dominican products like amber, larimar, ceramic dolls, chocolate, coffee, rum, cigars, macadamia nuts, merengue music and more can be bought from these local stands.

NIGHTLIFE: Effervescent nightlife and world-class gambling can be found at most resorts throughout the region, and are a great way to unwind after a day filled with adventure. You can experience the nightlife of Punta Cana like a local at one of many discos and nightspots, such as Oro, Mangú, Pachá, Dux and Jewel. Enjoy an evening visiting the internationally famous Coco Bongo. Also at the Puntacana Village, and in Sanctuary Town in Cap Cana, you can find a large variety of bars and restaurants, which can be lively or laid back to suit your style. Partygoers can also enjoy a mystical night of dancing and animation in an unparalleled location at Imagine Nightclub, a club dispersed throughout a network of caves spanning 115,500 feet (35,000 meters). RESTAURANTS: Punta Cana offers a wide selection of restaurants ranging from family-friendly to romantic, many of them by the beach. Popular options include Poseidón, La Yola, Capitán Cook, Jellyfish, Huracán Café, and Noah among others, as well as a variety of places to enjoy at the Puntacana Village, Sanctuary Town and Blue Mall. HIGÜEY: Located less than an hour away from the resort area.

 

Often referred to as the Golf Mecca of the Caribbean, the glittering east coast boasts 189 holes of golf all easily accessible from a wide range of luxe ocean-front resorts spread across some of the world’s top beaches. This enchanting region continues to be the premier  destination for travelers who seek challenging upscale golf on the world’s most memorable courses desgined by Nick Price, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, P.B. Dye and José-Pepe-Gancedo. With Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) just minutes from the area’s courses, visiting golfers can tee off soon after landing and can even play golf on their departure day if on an afternoon flight.

THE LAKES BARCELÓ GOLF COURSE, Barceló Bávaro Beach Resort. HARD ROCK GOLF CLUB AT CANA BAY, Hard Rock Golf Club at Cana Bay. PUNTA ESPADA GOLF CLUB, Cap Cana. IBEROSTATE BÁVARO GOLF CLUB, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts  CABEZA DE TORO GOLF CLUB, Catalonia Hotels & Resorts. CARIBE GOLF CLUB, Catalonia Hotels & Resorts. COCOTAL GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB, Meliá Hotels & Resorts. PUNTA BLANCA GOLF CLUB, Macao CORALES GOLF CLUB, Puntacana Resort & Club. LA CANA GOLF CLUB, Puntacana Resort & Club.

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