Best Things To Do in Punta Cana

You hear Punta Cana and the first thing you think of is beaches and sunny days, and yes, you're right. But I'm also going to show you many other attractions to see on the island.

Andressa García

Andressa García

14 min read

Best Things To Do in Punta Cana

Punta Cana | ©John Prefer

Punta Cana, located in the Dominican Republic, offers a great number of beaches and places to sunbathe in almost all the territory. It is close to Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican territory and to travel there you will have to make a transfer from the Punta Cana airport.

But it is not only a beach destination, you can also get to know part of the deep Dominican jungle, where you will find much more to do than riding a buggy. As for gastronomy, I recommend the island to know the most intense flavors of cocoa and coffee and especially to taste the different traditional liquors of Punta Cana.

1. Swim in the turquoise waters of Playa Bávaro

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

A dreamlike landscape is part of what awaits you at Playa Bávaro. It is one of the best and most charming beaches in the Dominican Republic. It has crystal clear but turquoise waters at the same time. One of the activities I like most about this beach is that from here you can experience some of the best boat and catamaran tours in Punta Cana.

But this is also a place that not only has to offer you beaches, sun and fine white sand, but also has different leisure centers around that you can also visit to shop or even enjoy the commercial life of Punta Cana.

One of the best ways to get to know this place is by taking an excursion to Bávaro beach, which you can mix with an excursion to Catalinas islands and snorkeling experience. A beach you can visit at any time of the year, regardless of the best time you choose to go to Punta Cana.

Interesting facts

  • How to get there: If you want to get from downtown Punta Cana to the beach, you can take a cab, private transportation such as a van or a bus. You can also take public transportation, although this means of transport can take a little longer.
  • Advantages of this destination: It is both family friendly and a great place to go with friends. You can snorkel, party, go on a catamaran and even visit some of the water parks near the beach. You can also take a helicopter if you want to fly over the beach.
  • Disadvantages of this destination: As it is one of the most famous beaches in Punta Cana, it tends to be quite popular with tourists in all seasons.
  • Price: Being on the beach is free. If you want to go there you have to pay for the transfer. You also have to pay for the activities you want to do on the beach.

Book your excursion to Playa Bávaro with snorkeling tour

2. Go with the whole family to Playa Juanillo

Juanillo Beach| ©Yuri Adrian
Juanillo Beach| ©Yuri Adrian

If you are looking for a family destination, activities and things to do in Punta Cana for kids and the whole family, then you have to visit Juanillo Beach. As it is within the area known as Cap Cana, around the beach you can find several of the best resorts in the Dominican Republic.

Besides that, one of the best things to do in Playa Juanillo is to settle in the chairs that are located around the different restaurants of the island. This is a beach for family relaxation and a must-see destination to include in your Punta Cana itinerary in 7 days.

Not only eating and sunbathing is what you can do at Juanillo beach, you also have the opportunity to practice water sports such as windsurfing or kitesurfing. You can even rent kayaks. Another fun experience you can do at this beach is to participate in sports activities such as volleyball games.

Interesting facts

  • How to get there: To get to the beach from downtown Punta Cana you can take a private bus or a cab. You can also take public transportation that takes you to the entrance of the beach.
  • Advantages of this destination: It is a completely family beach where you can go with children. You can be present in outdoor activities and sports. If you are lucky you may be able to witness a wedding from afar. You will find different places to eat.
  • Disadvantages of this destination: To make use of the facilities you will have to pay.
  • Price: Staying on the beach is free of charge, but if you want to make use of the facilities in the surroundings, you will have to make a minimum consumption of 20 euros, which will entitle you to use the extension chairs.

3. Swim with dolphins at Dolphin Iceland

Dolphin Iceland| ©William Warby
Dolphin Iceland| ©William Warby

Among the best things to do in Punta Cana this is one of my favorites and that's because you can not only swim with dolphins, but also understand what their natural life is like underwater and understand a little more of the intelligence they have as a species.

This is an experience that you will surely want to enjoy with children because these animals can be really friendly with the little ones. You can choose different tourism companies with which to live this adventure, which together with the excursions to Monkeyland from Punta Cana, are some of the most entertaining adventure experiences you will live in this destination.

Each of the companies that offer this service, have different packages so you can enjoy with your family, friends and with the children of the house. Depending on the company you choose, you will have access to one or other advantages in your tour.

Interesting facts

  • How to get there: You can live this experience through an excursion that takes you from the hotel where you are staying to the place where you are going to swim with dolphins. You can also get there by cab or even by public transportation.
  • Advantages of this destination: It is ideal for seniors. This is one of the best experiences for families.
  • Disadvantages of this destination: It is not suitable for pregnant women, nor for people with back problems. Children under 2 years old cannot participate in this experience.
  • Price: You can find plans to swim with dolphins from 75 euros and up. The price varies according to the plan you choose.

4. Go into the jungle in a flintstone buggy

In Buggy| ©funbuggy
In Buggy| ©funbuggy

Taking a Flintstones buggy adventures excursion is one of the experiences you can't miss in the Dominican Republic. This is a set of vehicles very much in the style of The Flintstones, in which you will be able to tour most of the rural areas of the Dominican Republic.

This excursion takes place in the vicinity of Bavaro beach, so if you are near the beach, you can live this adventure. The tour goes along the beach, through the jungle areas of the island and you will go through mud and other interesting places, but you will never go on public roads, which makes it one of the most complete and best excursions in Punta Cana.

Another interesting thing about this type of tour is that you will have access to the different caves that are located very close to where the buggies are rented for this experience. The company that is in charge of this kind of tours is completely ecological because it extracts its electricity from wind power.

Interesting facts

  • How to get there: You can get there walking if you are staying in downtown Bávaro. You could also get there by cab or even by public transportation to Buggy Adventures.
  • Advantages of this destination: You will tour the most unexplored places in the Dominican Republic. The experience is completely eco-friendly, with no use of commercial electricity.
  • Disadvantages of this destination: Generally no food, snacks or beverages are offered during the tour. This tour is not recommended for pregnant women or people with back problems.
  • Price: You can live this experience for approximately 120 euros per person.

Book your flintstones buggy tour of the island

5. Live a 4x4 jeep experience around the island

By Jeep| ©PuntaCana JustSafari
By Jeep| ©PuntaCana JustSafari

A favorite experience for most tourists in Punta Cana is to visit and tour the entire island in a 4x4 vehicle. This is one of the rural tours that you will like the most because of the amount of places you will be able to visit during your tour.

You will be able to choose among many routes to tour the island, but in almost all of them you will have the chance to visit the jungle area, the beaches and the mangroves that are so popular in the Dominican geography. You will have a unique experience that mixes one of the best zip line tours and experiences in Punta Cana with one of the best extreme tours in the area of Punta Cana.

In some of these routes you will also have the opportunity to get on a horse to tour other parts of the island on the back of one of these specimens. Although you can also do just the horseback riding tour, it all depends on the type of excursion you choose.

Interesting facts

  • How to get there: These excursions generally start in downtown Punta Cana, so it will be very easy to get there. If you are staying nearby, you will be able to walk there. You can also take public transportation or a cab if you prefer.
  • Advantages of this destination: It is an experience for the whole family and that children love to do. It is also a good plan if you go with your partner. You will know the island from a completely different point of view. You will get to know much more than just beaches.
  • Disadvantages of this destination: It is not a tour suitable for pregnant women or people with back problems. The routes generally do not offer snacks or drinks included.
  • Price: Depending on the type of excursion you choose, you can find this type of adventure at prices ranging from 65 euros per person.

Book your 4x4 excursion in Macao Beach

6. Relax and take beautiful pictures at Macao beach

Macao Beach| ©Darleny Lopez
Macao Beach| ©Darleny Lopez

An excursion to Macao Beach from Punta Cana is one of the experiences you can't miss on the island. Its landscape is ideal for taking beautiful pictures. In addition, its golden and very fine sand will make you feel pleasant from the moment you arrive.

Playa Macao is a very commercial beach because it is located in the middle of different resorts. As it is located in this commercial area, you will also be able to find different places to eat and stay very close to the beach.

It is a place you can visit with friends and family. The landscape is accompanied by a large number of cliffs that make the place imposing and makes it the perfect place to appreciate the different contrasts of the island.

If we talk about things to do in this beach, you can do water sports such as surfing and kitesurfing, as some of the most popular. It is even a good place to live some snorkeling experiences in Punta Cana.

Interesting facts

  • How to get there: To get to the beach the best option is to do it by car, either by rental car or cab, which are the fastest and most comfortable options. You can also do it by bus, taking a route that will take you to the beach itself.
  • Advantages of this destination: One of the best advantages of this beach is that you do not have to pay for the stay in the place. It is a beach that is recommended more for young people and water sports adventurers.
  • Disadvantages of this destination: It is not a place completely suitable for children because it offers strong and big waves, as well as really strong winds.
  • Price: There is no cost to be on the beach. But the transfer to the beach can generate an expense of up to 25 euros, depending on the type of transport you choose. In case you want to practice any sport on the beach, you will also have to pay for the rental of the implements to practice these sports.

7. Visit the most beautiful places of the Scape Park

Scape Park| ©Aaron Hawkins
Scape Park| ©Aaron Hawkins

In Cap Cana, one of the most privileged areas of Punta Cana, you will find the Scape Park, a place that mixes all the best that the island has in one place. The attractions offered by this park are to please all tastes, from the most adventurous adults to children who want to discover all the fun that Punta Cana has to offer.

The zip line is one of the attractions that you will like the most in this park, as well as the cultural tour that is a route that is done within the park facilities to learn about the path followed by the indigenous people who inhabited this area during colonial times.

The excursions to Juanillo beach and the visit to the Iguabonita cave are part of the fun experiences that you will live inside the park. It is one of those activities that you can not fail to include in your itinerary of things to visit in Punta Cana in 10 days.

Interesting facts

  • How to get there: You can take the park's bus that has a return time of 5:00 pm. It usually takes you directly to the place where you are staying on the island.
  • Advantages of this destination: It is a good experience to do with children and families of all ages. You get to know the best of Punta Cana in one place. It has transportation included that will pick you up and take you to and from your accommodation.
  • Disadvantages of this destination: To fully enjoy this park with few people you have to schedule your visit in low or mid season.
  • Price: Admission prices to the park vary according to the tour package you choose. But prices can go from 130 euros for the most basic package and per person.

Book your tickets to Scape Park

8. Bet your luck in Punta Cana casinos

Punta Cana Casino| ©GoodDiamant
Punta Cana Casino| ©GoodDiamant

If there is something about Dominican nightlife that you can't miss, it's its enviable casinos. Places not only to gamble, but also to share with friends and to enjoy the best cocktails in Punta Cana with a good musical and unquestionably Caribbean atmosphere.

The night in the Caribbean and very particularly the Dominican night has a charm and a flavor as hot as its climate and among the best places to test the festive atmosphere of the place are the casinos. Among the most renowned are the Hard Rock Café in Punta Cana and the Avalon, in addition to many others.

But to enjoy a good casino night with your friends or your partner, you can either go on your own to one of them or hire a stay in a resort, since most of the resorts on the island offer guests and tourists very modern casinos suitable to offer the best entertainment for adults.

Interesting facts

  • How to get there: In almost all Punta Cana there are different casinos that you can reach preferably by cab or private car, given the hours in which the casino is operating. Although some casinos also offer free transportation to their visitors.
  • Advantages of this destination: It is a good experience to start with the Dominican night. It is a good plan for couples. It allows you the opportunity to try your luck at gambling.
  • Disadvantages of this destination: It is not a good option if you are traveling with children. It is a very risky activity for those who are experienced gamblers as well as for those who are just beginners in the matter.
  • Price: You will not be charged anything for entering the casino, however, if you decide to bet, you should know that you can bet from 10 euros and up.

9. Visit the Ojos Indígenas Ecological Park

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

This is a natural reserve that owes its name to the number of freshwater lagoons found within the park and to the discovery of certain elements that indicate that these lands were initially inhabited by the Taino Indians, the first inhabitants of the island during the time prior to European colonization.

Currently, this reserve is protected as a scientific study area and also for the recreation of the general public. It is a good place to make contact with nature, since it has in its interior a large number of species of fauna and flora, many of them endemic to Punta Cana.

Another outstanding feature of this ecological park is that in each of the 12 freshwater lagoons found within the reserve, you can see tilapia, shrimp and freshwater turtles.

Its waters are crystal clear and will entice you to take a dip. If you do not want to make an excursion from Punta Cana to Saona Island, you can live a fun and interesting experience in this ecological reserve.

Interesting facts

  • How to get there: To get to the reserve you can go by private car, cab or even an urban route that takes you near the Puntacana Group Foundation.
  • Advantages of this destination: It is a solitary place where you can relax and make contact with nature. It is a walk in which you can include the children. It is suitable for all types of people.
  • Disadvantages of this destination: The reserve should generally be visited during summer time and not in winter.
  • Price: To visit this complex you will have to pay from 50 euros per person for the entrance fee.

10. Taste the traditional Dominican gastronomy

Punta Cana Food| ©msafari2425
Punta Cana Food| ©msafari2425

Ah but of course if you visit Punta Cana you can't miss tasting one of the Dominican Republic's signature flavors, chocolate. You also can't leave without tasting artisanal Dominican coffee.

You can try the gastronomy in Punta Cana or take an excursion to Santo Domingo from Punta Cana to taste the flavors of Dominican cuisine.

And if you dare to try other types of stronger drinks, you have to know the Mamajuana, a traditional Dominican drink that can easily leave some effect on your body if you don't try it carefully.

To get to know the typical dishes of Punta Cana you can take a gastronomic tour that will take you all over the Punta Cana area and that besides showing you important historical aspects, will also take you to taste the different flavors of the Dominican national gastronomy.

But there are also specific places you can visit to learn about the traditional elaboration of chocolate and coffee, one of those places is known as ChocoMuseo. Here you will not only learn about the chocolate preparation process, but you will also have the opportunity to taste the final product.

Interesting facts

  • How to get there: Usually these types of excursions depart from downtown Punta Cana and offer transportation from the lodging site and back.
  • Advantages of this destination: It is a good experience if you go as a couple or with friends. It offers you the possibility of getting to know the cultural and gastronomic side of the Dominican Republic. It is suitable for all types of people, except those with dietary restrictions.
  • Disadvantages of this destination: It is not specialized for vegans, people with allergies to certain foods, among other things. If this is your case, then make sure you have your safety measures in place.
  • Price: A tour to know the Dominican gastronomy can cost from 30 euros per person.