Punta Cana is located on the east coast of the Dominican Republic. Occupied territory – 475.3 square meters, a population of 325,244 people. The area is considered one of the most popular resorts in the country, statistics indicate an annual increase in this indicator by an average of 6%. In translation, Punta Cana means “the meeting place of all palms.” The resort is known for its legendary sandy beaches along the Caribbean and Atlantic coastlines. This tourist destination gained popularity in the seventies of the last century. Most of the hotel chains in the resort are owned by Europeans. Most often, local hotels are owned by Spanish businessmen.
The resort stands out for its eclectic blend of Spanish and Dominican culture in architecture, design and art. The Punta Cana region is distinguished by the absence of strong winds and a favorable climate in general. Most of the resort’s water basin is ocean waters, in which tourists can swim without any danger.
The resort is home to many well-known hotel complexes. Families or couples usually stay in hotels. Vacationers adhere to the rule of rest & relaxation (rest and relaxation), therefore, preference is given mainly to the beach holiday. Most of the hotels are all inclusive. Despite the general concept of the resort, some hotels offer options for active and club recreation. Every spring, representatives of the advanced American and Canadian youth flock to the hangouts in Punta Cana.
Climate and weather in Punta Cana
Weather in Punta Cana without sharp changes throughout the year. The average annual temperature is 30 ° C, very hot weather in Punta Cana is rare. In warm weather, from May to October, the thermometer can rise to 35 ° C, but usually tourists are pleased with a comfortable temperature for rest.
From May to July, the resort is the rainy season. At this time, there are often strong, but short-term showers. In autumn, the hurricane season begins in the region, but they usually attack the island of Haiti from the west (from the side of the state of the same name), and by the time they reach the east coast, their danger is not so great. During the colder months of the year, from November to March, the usual temperature is around 20 ° C.
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The city of Punta Cana has its own international airport (Aeropuerto Internacional de Punta Cana). Interestingly, the exterior of the building is in a traditional Caribbean style. The airport’s annual passenger turnover has grown to nearly two million passengers. According to this indicator, Aeropuerto Internacional de Punta Cana ranks first in the country and third among the Caribbean countries. Punta Cana is the only Dominican airport that maintains air links with Russia. You can fly to the resort without connecting from Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Buses in Punta Canne are the cheapest and most unassuming form of transport. In the Dominican Republic, they are called guaguas. Traveling by bus can save you a significant amount of money, but it can be pretty nerve-racking at the same time. The locals are very annoying and constantly pester with requests and questions. But the trip from Punta Cana to Higuei will cost only $ 1, and to Santa Domingo – $ 6. A taxi ride will cost about 10 times more. To clarify the cost and schedule of intercity flights, contact Caribe Tours, which is one of the leaders in passenger transportation in the region. Phone 809-221-4422.
There are two types of taxis in the resort: tourist and city taxis. The first was created under the tourism development program in the Dominican Republic. Tourist taxis are equipped with newer and more reliable vehicles. This type of transportation has become the most comfortable and safe for visiting tourists. True, “new drivers” ask for a very high price, which is often several times higher than the standard “tax”. In addition, travelers are unpleasantly surprised that local taxi drivers can stop along the way and put a stranger in your car. If you are not satisfied with this situation, negotiate the price and conditions of the trip in advance. The usual fare from the airport to your hotel in Punta Cana should not exceed $ 20.
It makes sense to rent a car if you are going to make long trips – in this case, ordering a taxi every time is naturally unprofitable. It is worth noting that local drivers do not adhere to the rules too much, but for Russian motorists this situation is quite familiar. The Punta Cana traffic police also have a lot in common with their Russian counterparts. Tourists often complain about the meticulousness of the Dominican traffic inspectors. You don’t need to argue with them, the best solution would be to just pay.
The most convenient way to rent a car is directly at the Punta Cana airport, where several companies provide such services work at once. In general, in Punta Cana there are a sufficient number of such agencies scattered, so there should be no problems with the availability of cars.
Phone: 809 688 5069
Address: 5 Caretera Bavaro Km, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Cars (price per day):
$ 114 Chevy Spark 0.8
$ 142.5 Chevrolet Aveo 1.5
$ 370.50 Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.5 4WD
Address: Punta Cana – Off Airport
Cars (price per day):
$ 58 Hyundai Accent
$ 64 Hyundai Matrix
$ 84 Hyundai Elantra
Also in the city are the world’s famous car rental companies.
Avis offices in Punta Cana
Budjet offices in Punta Cana (select country and city)
Europcar offices in Punta Cana
Hertz offices in Punta Cana (select the ‘Browse all locations’ tab, then country and city)
Sixt Offices in Punta Cana
Punta Cana is part of the newly created metropolitan area of Punta Cana – Bavaro – Macao in the province of La Altagracia. The coastline of the resort stretches for 100 kilometers along the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic. The territory is bounded by the areas of Cabeza de Toro, Cabo Engaño and Juanillo. Hotel complexes, entertainment centers, clubs, cafes and restaurants are located along the coast, a few dozen meters from the ocean.
The resort is conditionally divided from north to south by beaches – Arena Gorda, Bavaro, Ubero Alto, Macao, El Cortequito, Cabeza de Toro, Cabo Engano, Punta Cana and Juanillo, also known as Cap Cana. The most popular in the “non-bathing” time is the area of the Bavaro beach. This facility has become a service center with its own shopping centers, pharmacies, banks, clinics, workshops, supermarkets and schools.
What to see in Punta Cana
Punta Cana is one of the most popular resorts not only in the Dominican Republic, but throughout the Greater Antilles. Modern hotel complexes with excellent service, as well as many attractions of the region attract tourists from all over the world. A wide range of entertainment makes the resort attractive for people of different incomes, ages and lifestyle.
Eyes Ecological Park
Eyes Ecological Park is located in the southern part of the region. More than 500 species of exotic animals are located on its vast territory. You can use the services of a guide or take a walk through the fascinating reserve on your own.
In this nature park, you can meet tropical birds, reptiles and animals. There is a museum dedicated to Aboriginal culture on site. For visitors, entertainment programs with exotic parrots and dancing horses are regularly arranged. Active visitors can swim with the dolphins.
House Museum of Ponce de Leon
This structure was built more than five centuries ago by the famous explorer Juan Ponce de Leon. The house-museum is located in the area of San Rafael de Yuma. The scientist lived here with his wife Leonor and four children. Ponce de Leon later moved to Puerto Rico, where he became governor.
In the so-called marinarium, you can get to know the life of the inhabitants of the coastal waters of the Dominican Republic. The excursion program includes a trip along the beaches of Punta Cana, during which you can see many representatives of the marine fauna, including predatory sharks and electric rays. Also, visitors are invited to dive and see the mysterious underwater world from the inside.
Where to go in Punta Cana – Things to do
Punta Cana is considered the main golf center in the Caribbean. 12 professional fields for this sport have been built in the region. They are all within an hour’s drive of each other. The first course was built in 1991 for the Barcelo complex. Most of the sports facilities were created with the participation of the world’s best designers of such facilities. Among them are Jack Nicklos, Tom Fazio and Nick Price. Punta Estada is ranked among the 50 best golf courses in the world.
Several companies offer tourists popular excursions – jeep safari. This entertainment is analogous to jeeping, which is widespread in the southern resorts of Russia. Vacationers are offered a choice of several means of transportation: four-wheel drive SUVs, bigfoots (huge jeeps on giant wheels), all-terrain vehicles or even horses. You go on a journey through the tropical jungle, visit abandoned places and deserted wild beaches. Often, the jeep safari program includes a tasting of Dominican food, and if you choose a horseback ride, then you will be offered a horseback excursion along the coast.
This entertainment will appeal to fans of extreme sports. Near the town of Jarabokoa, there is a cascade of 18 waterfalls of various heights and levels of danger. Daredevils can go rafting down the longest mountain river that flows into the Caribbean. It is worth noting that the town of Jarabokoa is located far from the hotels of Punta Cana, so you cannot count on a one-day trip.
One of the most expensive and at the same time memorable excursions that you can take while resting at the resort. The cost of such a walk starts at $ 90 per person. You can see Punta Cana from a few hundred meters and capture this picture in photographs. At the height of a bird’s eye view, modern golf courses, untouched corners of nature and a long strip of luxurious beaches of the resort will sweep before your eyes.
Agritourism is gaining popularity among modern tourists. These excursions usually take place in small groups. Vacationers are taken to remote villages of Punta Cana and show the real life of the villagers without embellishment. Tourists get acquainted with the way of life and way of life of the Dominicans. If you wish, you can even help with the housework and try traditional Dominican crafts. No other excursion can convey the local flavor so well.
After a long trip to Punta Cana, you simply cannot return home without traditional gifts for your relatives, friends and neighbors. It is too commonplace to bring pens, keychains, mugs with the symbols of the Dominican Republic. It is better to show your imagination and please your loved ones with souvenirs that carry the local flavor.
The local currency is the Dominican peso. The approximate exchange rate is 30–35 pesos per US dollar and 48–53 pesos per Euro. You can exchange currencies at almost any bank. In many shops and entertainment venues, you can pay in US dollars, but in this case, the seller often offers a much less favorable exchange rate than the official one.
You can read more about shopping in the main resort town of the Dominican Republic in the article “Shopping in Punta Cana”.
Food and drink
Dominican cuisine has a lot in common with other Caribbean dishes, but at the same time it has its own unique characteristics. The savory flavors of garlic, onion, coriander and oregano are very popular in the Dominican Republic. For Europeans, it will be surprising that most meat dishes are prepared from goat meat. Beef is very expensive here, so it is mainly exported. In general, Dominicans tend to consume large amounts of meat and, along with goat meat, are very fond of chicken.
Seafood is not so popular with the local population due to its high cost, but tourists can treat themselves to exquisite delicacies. Most of the fish restaurants are located in the coastal area, close to the beaches. In addition to traditional dishes, shrimps, lobsters, as well as marlin, mahi-mahi (corifena) and golden fish are popular among vacationers.
The most popular national dish in the Dominican Republic is La Bandera. It is made with rice, red beans (beans), stews, vegetables, and fried green bananas. Another popular Dominican dish, Comida Criolla, is made up of more familiar ingredients – a chicken stew with rice and beans. Taino is similar to our pancakes, but filled with chicken, meat or fish.
Under the active influence of Spanish culture, recipes from the Iberian Peninsula began to penetrate into Dominican cuisine. Dominicans have long considered the traditional Valencian dish Paella as their own and even adjusted the original recipe. According to the classic recipe, saffron must be present in paella, but in the Dominican Republic there is simply nowhere to get it, so local chefs do without it.
Dominican desserts are much sweeter than sweets familiar to Russians. The most famous recipe is when cane sugar is mixed with milk. Among non-alcoholic drinks, cocktails made from various combinations of fresh and milk are popular. Children will love them, but adults can recommend the local rum and President beer.
Where to eat
Most of the resort’s hotels are all-inclusive, so you don’t have to bother finding the right place to eat. Typically, each hotel has a large restaurant with buffet meals. Breakfast includes toast, pancakes, bacon, eggs, fruit and other simple snacks. During lunch, vacationers are also provided with a large selection: soups, salads, hot dishes, desserts, pizza and much more. In addition to the common table, the hotels have themed restaurants of the A-la Carte system, places in which must be reserved in advance. You can choose from Italian, French, Japanese, Brazilian, Chinese, Mexican or Argentinean cuisine. Each hotel traditionally has from 3 to 5 such restaurants, so you should know about their specialization in advance, before the trip.
Of course, on the territory of Punta Cana there are also ordinary restaurants that are not tied to hotels, which, if you wish, you can visit to brighten up your leisure time. Let’s talk about the most original of them.
A restaurant specializing in seafood. It is located right on El Cortequito beach. The average bill is $ 25-25. The establishment does not differ in its original design, but excellent fresh seafood dishes and a gorgeous surrounding landscape more than make up for this shortcoming. The restaurant’s specialties are lobster and mahi-mahi fish.
Phone: (809) 552-0645
Located in the Bavaro Shopping Center, this café serves American cuisine. The relaxed atmosphere with incendiary music attracts a large number of visitors not only from the USA. The fad of the establishment is a lounge area with widescreen TVs for watching movies or sports.
Phone: (809) 309-0500
“Hard Rock Cafe Punta Cana”
Punta Cana is the second Hard Rock Cafe in the country and seventh in the Caribbean. Ideally located in the modern Palma Real Shopping, it captures the traditional atmosphere that has made the Hard Rock Cafe brand famous around the world.
Phone: (809) 552-0594
“Las Lenas II”
Spanish style coffee shop with wireless internet. A large number of visitors in this establishment is the best sign of quality. In addition to excellent coffee, you will be offered a variety of homemade pastries.
Phone: (809) 552–6776
The Dominican Republic uses the same dialing code system with the United States. The most commonly used code is 809, but there are also numbers with the prefix 829. The cities of the Dominican Republic do not have their own telephone codes, so you need to call Punta Cana using a common code for the whole country. If you are only given seven digits of a phone number, then most likely the number starting with 809 is meant. On the territory of Punta Cana, two Russian mobile operators are roaming: Beeline and Megafon.
In order to call from Russia from your home phone, you need to dial 8 (dial tone) -10-1809-subscriber’s number, from mobile phone 1809- the subscriber’s number.
There are almost no telephone booths in Punta Cana. You can call from hotel rooms, but this service is too expensive. People are used to using cellular communications. You can get a phone with a local number for only $ 42. Local cellular operators are Klato-Codetel, Orange, Trikom and Viva. The most economical is “Orange”.
Unfortunately, domestic providers do not support mobile roaming in the Dominican Republic, so Russian tourists will have to use other options. You can connect to a local operator and request a GPRS service. In addition, in the territory of Punta Cana there are enough Internet cafes, the cost of an hour in which fluctuates around $ 10. Hotel rooms are often equipped with plugs for self-accessing the Internet from their laptop or other device.
Useful phone numbers
|Police||809 455 1097|
|Punta Cana Medical Center||809 552 1506|
|Hospital||809 686 1414|
You shouldn’t worry too much about your safety in Punta Cana, but, nevertheless, certain precautions must be taken. When going on excursions or just walking around the city, take with you only the amount that you intend to spend, and keep the fixed assets in the safe of your hotel room. Another good solution would be to use plastic cards for payment.
Vacationers should be more vigilant at night. At this time, local lovers become more active “to warm their hands” on unlucky tourists. Still, do not forget that the standard of living in the Dominican Republic is quite low. Although crimes against foreigners are not common, they do happen sometimes. Try to avoid solo night walks in the streets and on the deserted beach of Punta Cana.
Residents of the area and throughout the country often invite you to show the sights and act as a guide. You should not respond to such suggestions. Aboriginal people usually expect that they will be rewarded financially and help tourists not only out of altruistic convictions. To avoid unpleasant situations in the future, you should immediately firmly but politely refuse such services of local residents.
Women should not tempt fate and appear alone in deserted places, regardless of the time of day. The safest means of getting around Punta Cana are tourist buses and taxis. Public buses can help you get to know the local way of life and the people of the Dominican Republic, but sometimes such acquaintance can be fraught with certain risks.
One of the major health concerns is the water quality in Punta Cana. Don’t drink tap water. We have heard this advice a thousand times at home, but in the Dominican Republic it should be taken more seriously. Buy in bottled water and use it for drinking or cooking. Otherwise, you risk getting an upset stomach or even serious poisoning. Avoid accidentally getting water into your mouth even when you shower, and when brushing your teeth, also use bottled water or a special liquid.
Annoying mosquitoes become a real misfortune for untrained tourists. A special liquid applied to the body and scaring off with its pungent odor will help to cope with these unpleasant insects. Purchase the product in advance and do not neglect this advice. If Russian mosquitoes are relatively harmless and can only cause trouble with nasty buzzing and itching after being bitten, then local mosquitoes can infect you with serious diseases such as fever or malaria.
In case of unforeseen situations, immediately contact the Russian consulate in the Dominican Republic. Phone: (809) 685-45-45. Address: 31 Libertador, San Carlos, Santo Domingo.
Where to stay in Punta Cana
Company Booking.com offers for bookings of more than 750 hotels in Punta Cana.
You can select a hotel using various filters: hotel star rating, hotel type (hotel, apartment, villa, hostel, etc.), cost, hotel location, ratings of people who visited the hotel, Wi-Fi availability and much more. Go to the service of selection and booking a hotel in Punta Cana.
Most vacationers in Punta Cana stay in hotels with an all-inclusive catering system: All inclusive saves you from unnecessary worries at the resort. There is no need to count the remaining money until the end of the holiday and worry about the huge bill at the restaurant – you have already paid for everything. Usually food, drinks, sports games and entertainment program are included in the price of the voucher. Various services (sauna, massage) are offered at an additional cost.
In addition to all-inclusive, the resort offers economy class hotels where you can relax on a limited budget. Such hotels are usually preferred by young companies, sometimes families. In such places there is no organized food system for vacationers, but often there are establishments on site or nearby where vacationers can have an inexpensive snack. The cost of this kind of budget hotels is varied, but the most economical options allow you to rent a room for less than $ 50 per person per night.