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Whoever coined the phrase “Life’s a Beach” most definitely came up with it while relaxing on the glistening white sands of the Dominican Republic. This paradise in the Caribbean is the quintessential post card beach shot that we all yearn to escape to.

The Dominican Republic not only shares its tropical island oasis of Hispaniola with Haiti, but also invites any and all who wish to come and experience its treasures. Your escape from reality begins in Punta Cana which lies at the island’s eastern tip. Here you will find your home away from home, albeit a much more luxurious version with a slightly better view.

Whether your aim is to simply relax away the days in pure bliss or experience adventures from sunrise to sunset, you just can’t go wrong with Punta Cana. All inclusive resorts in Punta Cana offer literally everything under the sun, and the sun itself! It’s no wonder why Punta Cana International is consistently one of the busiest Caribbean airports.

Your Guide to Punta Cana in an All Inclusive Resort

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Relax, Refresh, and Recharge….and We Don’t Mean Your Phone!

Put that phone on silent or better yet toss it into the sparkling turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Punta Cana and Bávaro serves up some pretty incredible beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see.

This includes Playa Bávaro, or Bávaro Beach, which is the most famous beach in the Caribbean and ranks in the top beaches of the world. Punta Cana’s outstanding climate makes it a great year-round destination.

Sun filled skies and warm sea temperatures are seen throughout the year and even during the wet summer season, showers are brief and only act as a refresher to the afternoon.

Welcome to the Land of the All Inclusive

An all inclusive vacation in Punta Cana means you can quite literally put your feet up and take that much deserved break from your job or the harsh winter weather.

Punta Cana All Inclusive means just that, offering VIP room service 24 hours a day, countless restaurants that will feed you like a royal, luxury world class spas, and even babysitting services should you wish to bring along the kids but want some one-on-one time with your partner.

Hospitality may very well have been invented in Punta Cana, or so it seems since it caters to almost every need of any traveler. Romantic couples looking for a bit of peace and quiet have the option of Adults Only All Inclusive Resorts such as the Barceló Bávaro Beach while others are designed for the whole family to enjoy.

Timeshare rentals offer amenities with which a hotel room doesn’t even compare

People at the beach RF

Adventure Abounds

If you can think of a water sport or recreation, you can rest assured in your tropical hammock that Punta Cana offers it.

Punta Cana adventures include catamaran trips, snorkelling, kayaking, sailing, surfing, banana boats, deep sea fishing, windsurfing, kiteboarding, water skiing, parasailing, and, best of all, these are all usually offered from within your all inclusive resort.

In addition to water recreation, Punta Can offers some adventurous excursions that will encourage you to get out of your comfortable sun lounger. These include:

Saona Island

Christopher Columbus may have started the tourist trend to this island when he docked on Saona Island back in 1494. Excursions can easily be made from Punta Cana and offer the chance to see iguanas, dolphins, sea turtles, and massive indigenous starfish.

Take a village tour, visit the sea turtle conservation facility, walk remote beaches, and snorkel to come up close and personal with sea horses, stingrays, and blowfish.


Golf may not seem like the most adventurous sport, but the Dominican Republic’s more than two dozen incredibly scenic courses, including ones designed by Pete Dye, are sure to make you think you are on an epic adventure.

Courses like La Cana or Corales in Punta Cana offer dramatic cliffs and ocean views that will leave lasting memories no matter if you shoot well over par.

Horseback Tours

Both Columbus and Ponce de Leon brought horses to the Dominican Republic which means you too can explore its wonders by horseback.

Ride into the countryside along the Anamuya River as you learn about the culture and history of the Dominican Republic. Get the chance to roll your own cigar along with learning how chocolate is made.

You can even help with cattle driving, wade into the river while saddled up on your horse, and enjoy a break from riding as you take a zip line across the river. Whether you are an experienced rider or this will be your first time, trips are customized to each rider’s experience level.

Horse riding RF

Hoyo Azul

This subterranean cenote lies at the bottom of a 75 ft cliff and offers visitors the chance to swim in a natural pool of other worldly blue waters.

The surrounding tropical forest offers unique plant and animal life and you can even zip line from the cliff.

Punta Cana Must Try’s

Coco Bongo Show & Disco

Experiencing a Coco Bongo show is unlike anything else. It’s a rave meets Cirque Du Soleil dance party with an added light show, top notch musical acts, and popular pop culture characters. It is an assault on the senses in a very good way.

Rum and Cigars

The Dominican Republic is renowned for both its rum and cigars. Tour a rum factory where you can learn ancient and modern processes used to create the DR’s famous rums which are nice and smooth.

The Dominican Republic also produces some of the most popular cigars in the world. See how tobacco leaves make it from the field into a finely rolled masterpiece that is far from your cheap average stogy.

Dominican settlers from Cuba brought with them the knowledge of quality cigar making from generations of renowned cigar makers.

Rum and cigars RF

Try Mangú

Try Mangú if you want a truly unique native Dominican dish. This mainly breakfast item is made up of mashed plantains topped with sautéed red onions, cheese, salami, and an egg. It will have you wanting all day breakfast even more.


Be sure to save some energy to try your hand, and feet, at Merengue dancing while taking in the sounds of this sexy upbeat energy filled music. The contagious rhythms of Merengue originated in the Dominican Republic.


Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

If you enjoy getting social, you can follow their journey on FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest and Instagram.


  1. Punta Cana does sounds like a piece of heaven at the moment! The beach looks relaxing, I could lie around and do nothing all day… Love how there is a blend of relaxation and adventure in Punta Cana.. Saona Island for one sounds amazing.. Snorkeling and seeing stingrays will certainly make my day.. :) And of course the Hoyo Azul.. Would love to see the blueness of those waters.. :)

    • Absolutely Marvi! My favorite thing about Punta Cana is just that – the combination of relaxation and adventure means you can make it your perfect trip!

      Hope you have the chance to travel soon! Saona Island is definitely one not to miss :)

  2. Now, this is the definition of paradise. I would love to visit Saona Island and swim with the sea turtles. It’s definitely a life-long dream! The Mangu also sounds delicious. The Dominican Republic is definitely on my list now!

    • Isn’t it! Glad we could inspire some wanderlust for the Dominican Republic – Punta Cana would be an amazing 2018 trip!

  3. Hoping to go there next year!

    • Have an amazing time! I can recommend hotels and resorts by Barcelo :)

  4. Oh my – I can definitely see how it feels like every need is absolutely catered to when in Punta Cana! I would love to visit Saona Island and that sea turtle conservation – how awesome! And that photo you have of the sea turtle’s face underwater is perfection.

    • So glad you enjoyed the post Alli – it sounds like you would love Punta Cana! Yes the wildlife experiences are second to none :)

      Hope you have the chance to travel soon!

  5. Punta Cana looks like a paradise; it is so picturesque. You are right turn off your phones or either drown them into the beach. I would love to visit Saona Island and see some turtles there. Your picture of swimming turtle is so beautiful. Your post has definitely inspired me to add Dominican Republic and Punta Cana to our list

    • So glad we could inspire you to consider Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic for 2018 :) One of the most stunning places in the Caribbean!

      Saona Island is a gem, can highly recommend a trip here, and some snorkelling as this was my favorite activity!

  6. Love this very comprehensive yet concise list of things to do in Punta Cana. It’s amazing the variety of things you can do there– from rum & cigars to merengue to my favorite, the excurisons to Saona Island! So exciting to hear that you can see that much wildlife–from dolphins to blowfish to sea turtles and iguanas! Sounds like paradise indeed! Hope I get the chance to visit soon.

    • Thanks Jolina :) Yes, there’s a nice variety of things to do to keep every type of traveler happy – Saona Island seems to be a favorite among everyone though!!

      If you’re a fan of wildlife this makes for an incredible trip – hope you can make it over there soon!

  7. I haven’t been to Punta Cana before! I’ve visited Dominican Republic only by cruise ship, and it would be lovely to have the resort experience there. I love the idea of visiting the sea turtles, and the thought of relaxing on a beach right now is super appealing…especially considering it’s freezing in Toronto right now!

    • Punta Cana is a great place to escape if you’re looking for somewhere a bit warmer than Toronto this winter :D No need to freeze when you could be in the Caribbean, on a beach right!! (though the sand is as white as snow, so you wouldn’t be too homesick lol!)

      Peer pressure votes yes for a Dominican Republic trip :D!

  8. Punta cana sounds like the perfect place for a relaxing vacation! I agree, such places deserve for you to keep your phones aside and just relax, and it’s sad many people aren’t able to do that anymore! I’d love to have an all inclusive holiday, with 24- hours service af your doorstep, how luxurious. Some water sports, trying the local dishes like Mangu and doing the merengue, absolutely epic!

    • It absolutely is! Yes it’s sad that it’s so difficult for us to disconnect from technology these days, but if there’s one place which makes it easy, Punta Cana is it! That said it is very tempting to want to constantly share your day on social media and make everyone jealous that you’re on an incredible beach lol!!

      All inclusive is really great if you’re looking for a relaxing holiday. You don’t have to worry about organizing anything, the service is great, and if you do want to seek out excursions and local culture during your days you can.

  9. Literally a tropical paradise!
    Great to see a new country. Although I am aware of it, I don’t think I’d seen a blog post on any part of Dominican Republic before. Among all the pictures, I love the one with the tortoise. It feels almost like it is taking a selfie with the diver!

    • Literally! Glad we could introduce you to Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic. And glad you enjoyed our photos! Haha yes, the sea turtle swam right up to my husband who snapped that photo!

  10. We’ve never been to the Dominican Republic, mainly because staying at all inclusive resorts is not quite our style of travel, and we’re not fans of water sports either. But its turquoise water does look amazing and reminds us a lot of Florida (well it’s not far from the Carribean…haha). Maybe when we’ll be over 40 or 50, we would consider spending a week in Punta Cana, especially in one of those Adults Only All Inclusive Resorts. And we would definitely love to try the local dish Mangú that sounds absolutely delicious!

    • Glad we could give you a bit of an overview of Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic Mei and Kerstin … Something to consider if your travel style changes over time, or you decide to give the all inclusive experience a try :)

      The thing I love about an all inclusive is that your options are there for food and activities if you want them, though you’re never locked in and can head on out to explore independently during the day / night if that’s more your style.

      If you have any questions at any stage feel free to shoot an email through :)

  11. I would love to take a day trip to Saona Island. I love any chance I get to see sea turtles.

    I love trying all the different islands local dishes like Mangú. It is amazing how different each island’s dishes are from each other.

    • Sanoa Island is one of the best day trips!! And if you’re a fan of trying new local cuisines you’re definitely in for a treat here. Hope you have the chance to travel in 2018!

  12. Punta Cana sounds amazing! It takes all the boxes for me when it come to luxury travel. Not only it has beaches, but I love the fact that you can relax and be adventurous at the same time. And to top it all off, there’s a promise of rum and cigar. I’m so there!

    • It absolutely is! Definitely the place to be if you’re after a luxury beach vacation, and plenty of adventure to add some excitement into your days :) Hope you have the chance to visit soon!

  13. I’m planning to go the first week of December. What’s the name of the places for the rum and cigar tasting and which all inclusive resorts (top 3) do you recommend… thanks!

    • Hi Rashena, for the tum tasting and cigar experience you can do a factory tour of Don Lucas Cigars. The tours generally also include parts of their coffee and chocolate factories too.

      For our fav three all inclusive resorts I would choose Barceló Bávaro Beach (this is adults only), Barceló Bávaro Palace, and Occidental Punta Cana (the beach here is fabulous).

      Hope that helps! Have an amazing time in Punta Cana :)

  14. I loved this trip to punta cana, I really look forward to going back!

    • So glad to hear it Lisa! Have an amazing trip back :)

  15. This travel guide is very inclusive to share. Thanks.

    • Glad it was helpful Eric :) Happy travels!

  16. We pick up a local direct booking Punta Cana catamaran tours company and snorkeling like crazy all day for the first time in our lives! They called “natural pool” the place where all this happened and was amazing.

    In the evening we were in “Coco Bongo”(sorry I cannot find their website) night club and the show was perfect with so many people on the scene.

    Punta Cana is a great place and full of great warm people and the prices are good.

    Our family plans to go there again next year. Thank you for your post, Meg!

    • So glad to hear you had a fabulous time in Punta Cana Henrietta! Thanks for sharing your experiences – a Catamaran tour with snorkeling included is definitely a fabulous way to spend a day!

      I’ll have to check out the Coco Bongo nighclub on our next trip back, thanks for the tip :)

      Totally agree that it’s a fabulous place where the people are 50% of the experience. They’re such a friendly, warm and hospitable culture :)

      Happy travels! Enjoy your next trip in 2020!

  17. Great Post!!! I truly believe that there is much more to explore new places. The world has incredible beauty which makes us visit new places for sure.

    • So glad we could inspire you to visit Punta Cana! :)

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