Punta Cana in 10 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

If you want to live a dream vacation in Punta Cana, this itinerary will guide you through the best beaches and landscapes of this corner of the Dominican Republic to get the most out of your trip.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

18 min read

Punta Cana in 10 Days: a guidebook for getting the most out of your visit

Punta Cana | ©Aglez the city guy

Ten days in paradisiacal Punta Cana are enough time for many activities, in addition to getting a good tan. This Dominican jewel offers something for everyone, whether you're looking for a few days of relaxation in a luxurious resort or you can't wait to live an adventure in the jungle.

That's why, in this guide, I'll help you get organized and reveal the secrets so you can learn everything there is to see and do in Punta Cana without missing a thing.

1. Day one: get to know the two main beaches of Punta Cana and finish with a dance

Bavaro Beach| ©Cat Stam
Bavaro Beach| ©Cat Stam

After many hours of flying, cabs, lugging suitcases and the whole chaotic process of getting to your destination, you finally find before you the large expanse of white sand surrounded by coconut trees that you've been dreaming of for a long time. And that is why for your first day I have prepared a tour of the most emblematic beach in Punta Cana.

Bávaro Beach: relax in this stunning tropical paradise

If there is an ideal place to start your trip, it is Bávaro Beach. Countless kilometers of white sand next to a turquoise sea where you will find numerous all-inclusive luxury resorts, this being one of the most recommended areas to stay. Such is the beauty of this place that it has been named by UNESCO as one of the best beaches in the world.

Bávaro beach is very well connected both with the airport, if you decide to stay in one of its hotels, and with the rest of Punta Cana, as there are plenty of buses and it will not be difficult to find cabs. Another equally good and very comfortable option would be to rent a minibus or a van shared with other tourists.

Once you are there you can rent a sun lounger, have a cocktail at one of the beach bars or practice some activity such as surfing or renting a kayak.

El Cortecito Beach: treat yourself to the best seafood

When it is getting close to lunchtime, take a walk to El Cortecito Beach. In this area you will find a great variety of restaurants, bars and handicraft markets, since it is the fishing village area.

There you can eat at the most famous seafood restaurant in Punta cana: El Capitán Cook, whose star dish is lobster. In addition, you can enjoy a wonderful view, since this place is located on the beachfront. Of course, it won't be cheap, but it's a luxury worth spending money on.

After lunch, you can take a stroll through the craft markets and buy some souvenirs of your trip. To end the afternoon, enjoy this beach sunbathing, taking a dip in the sea or having a refreshing drink in one of the many establishments in the area.

Imagine Cave Nightclub: End your day in a very special discotheque

The Imagine Cave Nightclub is not just any nightclub, because it is located inside a cave! After a shower in your room and dinner in one of the restaurants of the hotel complex, I invite you to go dancing at this original disco, composed of different caves in which a DJ plays music of various styles.

Due to its popularity, I recommend that you buy your ticket in advance, as it tends to fill up pretty quickly. In addition, the experience includes transportation to and from your hotel and up to four hours of open bar.

This event takes place every Saturday, so if it doesn't coincide with the start of your trip, you can swap the plan for one of the other nightlife activities offered in this itinerary.

2. Day two: spend the day enveloped in nature

Jungle in a flintstone buggy| ©Wernner
Jungle in a flintstone buggy| ©Wernner

Your second day in Punta Cana will start with a bit of adventure tourism. The first activity I have prepared for you is a zip-line ride through the jungle.

In the afternoon, you will visit another natural landscape but this time very different, as your second point in the itinerary of this day will be to discover the virgin beach of Macao, an oasis of tranquility where you can relax on a lounger listening to the sound of the sea.

Visit the jungle from above

Not everything was going to be beach on this trip, especially considering the impressive natural landscap es that this area of the Dominican Republic possesses. One of the most fun ways to get into the jungle is to do it from the heights.

So, to start your second day I recommend you to book a zip line experience through the jungle. This way, you will be able to cross the lush forest without missing anything, enjoy its cinematic scenery and live an unforgettable adventure.

Book your zip line experience

Sunbathe on Macao Beach

After all the busy activity of the morning, it's time for a more relaxing afternoon. That's why the next highlight of the day will be a trip to Macao Beach, which is only a 20-minute drive from Baváro Beach.

The most comfortable and popular way to get around Punta Cana is by cab, as the buses, known there as guaguas, tend to be rather unpunctual and very crowded. However, they are much cheaper than cabs, so it will be up to you to decide according to your budget. In case you decide to move around the area by bus, it is best to ask for directions once you are there, as the companies do not share official information about transportation.

Macao Beach is known for being a virgin beach and being surrounded by a stunning natural landscape. In this area you will not find luxurious resorts, so it is a perfect area to relax in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of thousands of tourists. However, this beach is not totally deserted and you can find some bars and restaurants in front of the sea.

Do some activities in Macao beach

Macao beach is also especially appreciated by surfers, as the wind and the big waves that form there make it a perfect place for this sport. Of course, you will find surf schools where you can book a lesson whether you are a beginner or an experienced surfer.

Although if on the other hand, you did not have enough adventure with the morning zip lines, I encourage you to book another of the most popular activities with which you can get to this beach: a buggy tour. Finally, after this hectic day, all you have left is a quiet dinner in the hotel zone, and if you are not too tired, a drink in one of its pubs.

Book a buggy excursion

3. Day three: from a nature reserve to the most exclusive beach

Ojos Indígenas Ecological Park| ©Andres C
Ojos Indígenas Ecological Park| ©Andres C

For your third day in Punta Cana, I have prepared a full day for you. In the morning, you will visit the most famous nature reserve in the area. Afterwards, you will discover a very exclusive beach, and finally, you will head to one of the most atmospheric clubs to end the day with some dancing.

Lose yourself in nature at the Ojos Indígenas Reserve

This wonderful nature reserve is located near Punta Cana, just over 20 km from Baváro beach. To get there, you can take a cab or rent a shared van.

This reserve hides a tropical forest that is home to more than 500 types of plants and up to 12 lagoons of crystal clear water. The name of the natural space comes from these lagoons, since the Taino Indians called them "eyes" due to their shape.

This is the perfect place for hiking trails, swimming in the lagoons where it is allowed and observing the large number of animals that live there. You can also take a horseback ride or attend the sugar cane exhibition, which shows how sugar cane is grown and processed.

  • Where: inside the Puntacana Resort & Club.

  • Hours: Monday to Saturday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

  • Price: general admission is approximately €50.

Enjoy a cocktail in front of the sea at Juanillo beach

Once you have finished your nature walk, head to Juanillo Beach. This beach is considered one of the most beautiful in the Dominican Republic due to its fine white sand and the tall coconut trees that surround it.

It is located in Cap Cana, one of the most exclusive areas with the most luxurious resorts. In addition, its waters are crystal clear, calm and shallow, which makes it an ideal plan to do in Punta Cana with children.

For lunch, one of the best rated places is La Mona, a beach bar with the most beautiful views you could imagine. As for the food, it is international and has a great variety. There are also numerous cocktail and drink options.

During the afternoon you can relax on a sun lounger, swim, windsurf, play volleyball and many other activities. A curiosity about this beach is that weddings are often held there, so if you are lucky you might be able to find one.

End the day with dinner and if you have any energy left, a little dancing

In the late afternoon, you can head back to the hotel zone, where you'll find plenty of dining options. And if you're still in the mood to party, one of Punta Cana's must-do's is the The Bel Live Collection Punta Cana, a gigantic nightclub inside the Bel Live Collection Punta Cana resort with national and international music and live shows.

  • Where: inside the Be Live Collection Punta Cana Hotel (Carretera Cabeza de Toro, Punta Cana).

  • Hours: daily from 7:00 PM to 3:00 AM.

4. Day four: leave Punta Cana to visit the beautiful Saona Island

Saona Island| ©Wernner
Saona Island| ©Wernner

On your fourth day of travel, I suggest you explore another incredible corner of the Dominican Republic, Saona Island. Finally, to end your day, I have prepared an unforgettable night at the most famous nightclub in Punta Cana.

Take a stroll through the most popular island of the Dominican Republic

For your third day of travel, I have planned a fantastic day trip to Saona Island. This is the largest island in the Dominican Republic and is part of the natural reserve of Cotubanamá National Park, so, being a protected area, its beaches remain unspoiled and have a lush and exotic vegetation.

In addition to touring the beaches, another activity you can do there will be to visit Mano Juan, the only point with inhabitants of the island. This small village is inhabited by fishermen who live in the colorful and picturesque wooden houses found in the area.

Another must-see on Saona Island is the Saona Island Sea Turtle Sanctuary. To get to this island, you will have to book a boat excursion. This excursion includes the transfer to and from the hotel, a buffet lunch and an open bar.

But without a doubt, the best part of the excursion is that it makes a stop so you can enjoy another of the main attractions of the place: the largest natural pool in the world. Another of the characteristics that make this pool so interesting is that it is located in the middle of the sea, no less than 400 meters from the coast.

Book a day trip to Saona Island

You cannot leave Punta Cana without visiting the most famous discotheque in the Caribbean

After spending the whole day on the wonderful Saona Island and having had a relaxing shower, it's time to dress up for the night and go out for some dancing. And what better place than the most successful discotheque in Punta Cana?.

In addition to attending an incredible party, at Coco Bongo you will be able to see different shows made up of acrobats, shows inspired by movies and even shows with technology that will make the night an unforgettable experience.

The entrance to Coco Bongo also includes transportation to the hotel as long as you are on the official list of hotels found on their website. If, on the other hand, your hotel is not on the list, don't worry, you can take a cab without any problem.

  • Where: Downtown Shopping Center.
  • Hours: Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 8:00 pm to 2:00 am and Fridays and Saturdays from 8:00 pm to 3:00 am.
  • Price: from 70€.

Day five: start the day having fun at Monkeyland and end it with the sweetest plan

At Monkeyland| ©flickrized
At Monkeyland| ©flickrized

For your fifth day, I propose a plan as fun as it is original. To start the morning, you will visit the Monkeyland theme park, where you will have the privilege of seeing one of the most mythical animals in the area up close. In the afternoon, you will visit a very different museum. And finally, you will close the evening with dinner at a romantic beach bar.

Play with the cute monkeys of Monkeyland

Already mentioned in this itinerary are the incredible natural landscapes that Punta Cana possesses, as well as the abundance of exotic vegetation. However, there is still something you have yet to see, and that is the numerous species of animals.

Specifically, the plan for this day is to meet the adorable squirrel monkeys that populate the Dominican jungle on an excursion to Monkeyland.

In this activity you will be driven through the jungle aboard a safari truck, visit the botanical gardens, discover the local cocoa and coffee plantations, and most fun of all, interact with the monkeys that inhabit the jungle.

Book your visit to Monkeyland

Visit the sweetest museum

After the excursion to Monkeyland, you can have lunch and rest at the hotel complex, but not for long! Because for the afternoon I have prepared the sweetest plan for you, a visit to the Chocomuseo.

At the Chocolate Museum, or Chocomuseo, you can discover the whole process of making one of the most delicious foods enjoyed by everyone: chocolate.

Also, if you wish, you can take a workshop where experts will teach you how to make your own chocolate, which you can then take for yourself or share with someone special. In the workshop they will also tell you the history of the origin of chocolate, which as you may know, is closely related to the Mayas and Aztecs.

Finally, to end your visit, you can enter the store, which contains a wide variety of chocolate products, such as chocolates, ice creams and even soaps and creams. To get to the Chocomuseo you can take a cab, however, most hotels offer tours with the trip included.

  • Where: Avenida Barceló, km 4.5.
  • Hours: daily from 9:00 to 19:00.
  • Price: admission is free, the price of the workshop is from 15 €.

Close the day with a dinner at The Jellyfish Restaurant

The Jellyfish Restaurant is a restaurant in a nicely decorated beach bar with wonderful sea views. Their specialty is seafood, which they acquire daily from local fishermen in the area.

This place is considered one of the best rated restaurants in Punta Cana, as well as one of the most beautiful. Once you finish dinner, you can enjoy their many cocktails or have a glass of wine while listening to the sound of the sea.

  • Where: Calle Chicago, Playa Bávaro.
  • Hours: daily from 10:00 to 23:00.
  • Price: 30€ - 70€ per person.

6. Day six: Dive into the waters of Cabeza de Toro and finish with a relaxing evening at the famous Pearl Beach Club

Cabeza de Toro| ©Raquel Peralta
Cabeza de Toro| ©Raquel Peralta

On your sixth day of travel you will continue to discover new beaches. In this case, the first stop on your tour will be the fantastic Cabeza de Toro beach. Then, you can relax for the rest of your day at one of the most legendary and well-known beach clubs in Punta Cana: the Pearl Beach Club.

Explore a new beach: Cabeza de Toro Beach

On your sixth day of your trip you will have already seen a few of the paradisiacal beaches that make up the coast of Punta Cana, but you will still be missing one of the most important: Cabeza de Toro Beach. From the sky, the coast of this area looks like the head of a bull, and for this reason both the beach and the fishing village to which it belongs have been so named.

If you take a walk along the shore of the beach, you can find areas of unspoiled beach that are especially beautiful. Around the coast, coral reefs protect the beach from strong waves.

This makes it a fantastic place to practice water activities. One of the most attractive are the Scuba Doo scooters, underwater scooters that dive up to 4 meters deep under the sea while wearing a glass helmet that allows you to breathe while you observe the exotic beauty of the seabed up close.

Indulge yourself with a meal at the luxurious Pearl Beach Club

After spending the morning on the beach, for lunch I recommend that you reserve a table at the exclusive Pearl Beach Club, located in the same area. located in the same area. In this famous club, you can enjoy a wide variety of food, as its menu offers tropical, Mediterranean and even Asian options making it an example of a fusion restaurant.

But best of all, is that after a great meal you can enjoy other facilities, where you can find a lounge area, pool and even Balinese beds. Be careful, though, as you will have to make your reservation by zones.

Once there, I recommend that you finish the rest of your afternoon having a cocktail and listening to their live DJ's while you wait for the sunset. And to end your day, all you have left is a quiet dinner in the hotel zone, have fun with Punta Cana's nightlife, and get ready for a new day where I bring you more plans to continue enjoying your trip.

7. Day seven: walk the streets of the capital and discover its history

Streets of Santo Domingo| ©pepoexpress
Streets of Santo Domingo| ©pepoexpress

It would be a real shame to leave the Dominican Republic without spending at least one day strolling through the historic streets of its capital. And that's why for your seventh day I suggest that your plan is a visit to Santo Domingo.

Visit the capital with a day trip to Santo Domingo

For your seventh day of travel, your plan will be to take a day trip to Santo Domingo. Founded by Bartholomew Columbus in 1496, the Dominican capital is considered the first European city in the Americas and is home to the first American cathedral, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Santo Domingo is both the most modern city in the Dominican Republic and the one with the richest historical heritage. Once there, you will be able to lose yourself in the narrow streets that form its historic district, discovering its colonial buildings and wonderful architecture.

In addition, the excursion will also include visits to other emblematic places and buildings such as the Alcazar de Colon, the National Palace and the Plaza de España, among many others. Since the drive from Punta Cana is quite long, this excursion will take up the whole day. Of course, the transfer to and from the hotel is included.

Book your excursion to Santo Domingo

8. Day eight: experience an exciting adventure at the Scape Park

Scape Park| ©christophe gutowski
Scape Park| ©christophe gutowski

I'm sure you've been to a theme park before, but I assure you this one will be very different. For this day, I invite you to take a trip to Punta Cana's Scape Park, an exotic natural park with such a variety of activities that you won't be able to discover them all in just one day.

Spend your eighth day at Scape Park: a natural theme park full of adventure

Visiting Scape Park is an experience you won't want to miss on your trip to Punta Cana. This is not just any natural park, since in addition to its impressive and paradisiacal surroundings, it offers an endless number of activities to do.

Feel the adrenaline of sliding down a zip line or doing a water jump, swim inside mysterious caves, ride on its water hammocks or take a cultural tour where you will learn about the history of the area.

One of the main attractions within Scape Park is that you can enjoy the best cenote in Punta Cana: the Hoyo Azul, a wonderful deep pool of fresh turquoise water formed at the base of a huge cliff. This natural pool recreates a truly magical setting where you can take a refreshing swim surrounded by the rich vegetation of the jungle.

To finish the tour and as an option, you will have the opportunity to book a tour on the Sunshine Cruise, a catamaran ride that ends at Juanillo Bay. Of course, inside the theme park you will also find a restaurant where you can have lunch.

Book a day at the Scape Park

9. Day nine: explore the seabed at Catalina Island

Snorkel at tiny Catalina Island.| ©Andy Teach
Snorkel at tiny Catalina Island.| ©Andy Teach

For your ninth day, I can't think of a better plan than exploring a new island. You won't want to leave the Dominican Republic without seeing the wonderful underwater scenery that surrounds the coast of Catalina Island. In the evening, you will have the opportunity to try authentic Dominican food at the quaint restaurant La casita de Yeya.

Snorkel at tiny Catalina Island

For your penultimate day in paradise, I suggest an excursion to Catalina Island. This small island in the Caribbean Sea has no more than 10 square kilometers of surface and its area is recognized as a National Park whose objective is to preserve wildlife.

On this island you can only find two beaches: Playa del Este and Playa de Isla Catalina. However, these beaches are not far behind in beauty when compared to those of Punta Cana.

To get there, one of the options would be to travel to the port of La Romana by cab or, much more economically, by bus. However, my recommendation would be to hire one of the many guided tours that depart from Punta Cana itself.

In particular, I suggest you book in advance a day trip to Catalina Island with snorkeling tour, as this activity is the star attraction of the island you are going to.

Every day, hundreds of tourists travel to Catalina Island to experience snorkeling off the coast. Scuba diving is also common there, due to the nature of its crystalline waters. Once the excursion is over, you will be driven back to the hotel.

Book an excursion to Catalina Island

End the day with a dinner in a very special place

To end your penultimate day in the Caribbean, I invite you to go to dinner at The restaurant's structure is inspired by the picturesque little houses typical of this area of the Dominican Republic.

Its food, of course, was not going to be less, since the menu of this nice place is made up of traditional Dominican food dishes. In addition, the quality-price ratio of this place is fantastic and its reviews are always very positive.

  • Where to find it: There are locations in Punta Cana. One is located in Punta Cana Village, Galerias Comerciales and the other in Downtown Punta Cana.
  • Hours: every day, from 12:00 to 22:00.
  • Price: 15€ - 30€ per person.

10. Day ten: say goodbye to the Dominican Republic with a fantastic day at the beach

Arena Gorda Beach| ©Aline Andrea
Arena Gorda Beach| ©Aline Andrea

Unfortunately, your trip is coming to an end. And for your last day in Punta Cana, what better plan than to say goodbye to its beaches and take advantage of your fantastic hotel by the sea?

Say goodbye to Punta Cana by discovering one last beach

Of course, there is no better way to say goodbye to your trip to Punta Cana than just as you started it, sunbathing on an island paradise. So, to start your last day you will begin with a visit to the Arena Gorda Beach. Don't be scared! Its sand is as fine and white as that of all the previous beaches, its name is due to the large expanse of sand it possesses.

This beach is much less crowded with tourists, so you will be free to relax in one of its hammocks. Another feature of this beach is that it is more open to the sea than the previous ones, which makes its waters perfect for activities such as surfing or kite surfing.

Another attraction often practiced in this corner of Punta Cana is horseback riding, in fact, many tourists book a horseback ride along the seashore when they come to visit this place.

You can also find restaurants and bars within a short walk, so you can take advantage and have lunch in one of the locals surrounding the beach. One of the most highly rated restaurants in the area is the .

Take advantage of your all-inclusive package

Unfortunately, vacations cannot last forever, and at this point you will regretfully feel that the end of your trip is near. For this reason, the plan I propose you to finish your last day is to take advantage of your all-inclusive.

Of course, it is advisable that, since you have made the whole trip to Punta Cana, you make the most of your trip by doing different visits and activities that will allow you to get to know the place. But don't forget that vacations are also for relaxation, so why not spend some time enjoying the cocktails, hammocks and food at the hotel?

Once you return from the excursion to Arena Gorda Beach, I suggest you take a refreshing swim in the beach in front of the hotel. Finally, you can have a drink, a great dinner in one of the restaurants or go out to the locals in the area to say goodbye to a fantastic vacation.