For most people, choosing to vacation in the Caribbean sun is not the hard part. The difficulty lies in deciding which of the countless destinations to visit. The following are five reasons to make your next getaway to Punta Cana, a thirty mile stretch of paradise in the Dominican Republic:
Enjoy the surf, sun, and sand on Punta Cana’s many beaches. If you’re looking for a popular retreat for locals, check out Macao Beach. There, relax on the natural white sands or try the food stands for the catch of the day. For swimming, boating and parasailing, try Bavaro Beach for excellent waterfront activities. For great shopping to go with your new sun tan, venture to Playa El Cortecito and try your hand at haggling with beachside vendors.
From peacocks and flamingos to lizards and geckos, Punta Cana’s wildlife preserves and parks are worth a visit. Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park is a private reserve with twelve freshwater lagoons. The park features a cultural history of the island, along with a petting zoo, iguana habitat, fruit tree gardens and even a sugarcane exhibit for your curiosity and enjoyment.
For thrill seekers, Punta Cana offers a variety of exciting excursions to choose from. Try horseback riding at Uervo Alto or El Pat Ranch, snorkel with sharks and rays or swim with dolphins. Play a round at the picturesque Punta Espada Golf Course, enjoy a catamaran cruise or go on a monster truck safari. Dune buggies are available for a beachfront joyride, while soaring along a zipline will take you through the lush canopy overhead. Finally, learn a new skill at Macao Surf Camp or the Punta Cana Salsa Congress, where you can take classes from world-renowned dancers.
An action-packed day can build up an appetite. Luckily, there is a nearly infinite menu available throughout Punta Cana, with cuisine ranging from Caribbean and Spanish to Mediterranean and Asian Fusion.
Some notable items are the beef tenderloin at Garden Grille Steakhouse in the Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana Resort, the ahi tuna salad and papaya smoothies at the Outside In Bar and Restaurant, and the grilled seafood and fresh paellas at the Kukua Beach Club.
Even active travelers need a rest, and Punta Cana provides lots of pampering opportunities. Do some bio-pilates or get a massage on the Ocean Spa, a double-deck boat devoted to relaxation and rejuvenation. Chill out with a facial, professional makeup and hair cut at Palmarosa Spa. Most hotels have some sort of spa or beauty service on premises, and those that don’t are happy to recommend somewhere.
The list of things to do and places to see is nearly endless, and there are great memories made by taking a short walk from your hotel to discover the surroundings from a local’s point of view. However, the biggest draw is the hospitable and friendly people who make Punta Cana such a true Caribbean treasure.
photo by Inmouchar on wikimedia commons