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Punta Cana, DR

Punta Cana, which is literally translated as “Tip of the White Cane Palms” is located in La Altagracia, the Eastern-most province in the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, so you’ll notice a bit of Haitian influence when you’re there. Best known for its beaches along both the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, Punta Cana has been a popular vacation destination for over 40 years. Most of the activities in the Dominican Republic are centered on the beautiful water and beaches. 5 Must-See Attractions
  1. Snorkeling and scuba diving: Punta Cana is an amazing destination in which to snorkel and see all the exotic fish of the sea. If you love snorkeling, consider trying scuba diving and maybe even get your certification.
  2. Discovery Cruise: This is a full day sailing tour packed with fun water activities, full meals, and a bar.
  3. Zipline: Craving that sense of adventure? This adrenaline packed activity is fun for all ages, as you sail through trees and open valleys.
  4. Bi2JH2O (‘bibijagua’) Artisanal Shopping Plaza: Best for Haitian hand-crafted items, art and other souvenirs, this interesting market makes for a great day activity.
  5. Santo Domingo: Plan a day to Santo Domingo, the oldest city in the Americas. Enjoy your day here by visiting the First Cathedral and the El Conde pedestrian mall for shopping.
5 Kid Friendly Sites
  1. Macao Surf Camp: Return home from vacation with a new skill after taking lessons at this fun surf camp.
  2. Manati Park Bavaro: This popular zoo makes for a great family activity.
  3. Zipline: Craving that sense of adventure? This adrenaline packed activity is fun for all ages, as you sail through trees and open valleys.
  4. Dolphin Island: Take a boat ride over to this open ocean dolphin habitat where you can watch dolphins, sea lions and other sea creatures as well.
  5. Dreams Punta Cana Resort and Spa: Traveling with the whole family? Stay at this resort for some guaranteed adult AND kid-friendly fun.
  5 Great Restaurants
  1. La Yola at the Punta Cana Resort and Club: Designed to resemble a fisherman’s boat, this Mediterranean and seafood restaurant is located directly on the water at the Punta Cana marina.
  2. Jellyfish Beach Restaurant: You’ll find a great atmosphere and delicious seafood at this beachfront location. Both the restaurant and lounge have stunning views of the entire beach.
  3. Noah Restaurant Bavaro: Great for families, Noah’s serves both local and international cuisine. Dine inside or outdoors and be taken care of by the attentive staff.
  4. Nam Nam: This small restaurant is popular with residents and visitors alike; Nam Nam serves only the freshest foods, made to order with something for everyone. It’s a family-friendly restaurant.
  5. Balicana: Just a short walk from the beach, this charming restaurant features Asian specialties in a cozy setting.
5 Nightlife Recommendations
  1. Soles Chill Out Bar: For food, evening drinks, or late-night, this beach bar is always a great option.
  2. Oro at the Hard Rock: This luxury nightclub is frequented mainly by tourists and is sure to provide an entertaining night out.
  3. Mangu Disco Barvaro: One of the most popular nightclubs in Punta Cana, you’re guaranteed to have a wild night here.
  4. Akon’s Jewel Club: Music superstar Akon opened this multi-level club in the Dominican Republic, and the club offers live music as well as top DJ entertainment, and a rooftop terrace.
  5. Jellyfish: Enjoy a relaxing lounge atmosphere with music and beverages.
5 Romantic Getaways
  1. Take a cruise: There are a whole variety of options here. From dining on an evening cruise, to taking a day trip to a nearby island, embarking on a cruise out of Punta Cana is sure to create some romantic memories.
  2. La Yola at the Punta Cana Resort and Club: Designed to resemble a fisherman’s boat, this Mediterranean and seafood restaurant is located directly on the water at the Punta Cana marina.
  3. Majestic Elegance Punta Cana: This very romantic resort can arrange for a romantic evening right on the resort grounds.
  4. Jellyfish Enjoy a relaxing lounge atmosphere with music and beverages.
  5. Stay at your resort: As Punta Cana’s tourist industry is almost completely made up of resorts, each resort has their own romantic spots and activities for you to enjoy.

5 Great Hotels
  1. The Reserve at Paradisus Punta Cana-Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana
  2. Majestic Elegance Punta Cana- Playa Bavaro - Punta Cana, Punta Cana
  3. Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel - Carretera Arena Gorda Bavaro, Higuey, Punta Cana
  4. Tortuga Bay Hotel Puntacana Resort and Club- The Puntacana Hotel, Punta Cana
  5. The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real- Playa de Bávaro, Av. Alemanio, Punta Cana
  5 Must Try Foods:
  1. Tostones: Twice fried plantains, or tostones, make for a delicious side dish with any traditional meal.
  2. Sancocho: Traditionally made with 7 different meats, this traditional stew can also feature just beef or chicken, along with root vegetables and plantains.
  3. Mangu: Often served at breakfast, mangu is mashed up plantains served with scrambled eggs, fried salami and ‘queso frito’ or fried cheese.
  4. Pollo Guisado: Braised chicken, fall-off-the-bone tender, with strong flavors and a wonderful sauce.
  5. Bizcocho Dominicano (Dominican Cake): This traditional cake, with a pineapple filling and a meringue frosting. Often served at special celebrations, this delicious cake is a must-try dessert.
Climate and What To Pack: With rainy seasons from May-August and November-December, along with the possibility for a hurricane, be sure to include light clothing and rain gear. The weather is warm for the majority of the year so stick to lightweight fabrics and don’t forget a bathing suit. Electrical Converter Information: Most electrical outlets in Punta Cana are equipped for standard U.S. plugs, best for 120 volt appliances and 60 Hz. Cultural Differences: The Dominican Republic is still a developing country and you’re bound to see poverty outside of your resort. You’ll also hear more Spanish than English being spoken, especially when you are off hotel property. The economy is extremely reliant on tourism so the locals tend to be very accommodating. While at your resort, shorts and tank tops are acceptable. Should you venture into a church, long pants and a more casual top are appropriate. In the evenings, people tend to be more dressed up. Transportation: Most of the roads in the tourist areas are of fair quality and rental cars are available. Many resorts provide complementary shuttle services and of course taxis are always readily available. Safety Precautions: It’s important to keep in mind that Punta Cana is a big and crowded city. Because of this there are always precautions to take that reduce the risk of loss and theft. Scan all major documents and email them to yourself before leaving, so even if your bag goes missing you still have copies. Be sure to keep a list of your emergency contacts with you at all times and always send your itinerary to a friend. Both men and women should avoid carrying valuables in their pockets, especially in their back pockets. Women should consider wearing an over-the-shoulder purse with a zipper; we carry a great brand of these bags called PacSafe, which greatly helps in reducing the risk of theft. Paperwork Required: To travel outside of the U.S., you will need a valid visa with sufficient blank pages! Before traveling we recommend that you consult your local consulate of the country you are visiting to ensure you obtain the proper paperwork and identification. Air Travel Information: Punta Cana is serviced by one major airport: Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ). It has ample public transportation and taxi services to carry you to and from your destination. Nearly all major airlines fly to this airport such as: JetBlue, United, Delta, Southwest, American Airlines, and more. Trip Highlights: The highlights of a trip to Punta Cana are always the relaxing days spent on the tropical beaches. Be sure to indulge in some fine dining and nightlife while you vacation. Best Luggage to Use: Wheeled luggage is the way to go because often in the city you are walking from block to block for a taxi or subway. Also, a small over the shoulder bag would be useful for daily travels. Must Have Travel Accessories: As with any city, it is best to carry your money and credit cards in your front pocket. To accommodate this, try using a small money clip to keep in your pants pocket. Also, these garment bags maybe useful if you plan to bring a suit or dress for a night on the town check out our garment bags.

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