Things to do in Punta Cana: Best excursions, attractions, golf courses and beaches
Located on the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean, Punta Cana is a tropical paradise that attracts visitors from the globe over. Here you’ll find 32kms of beach, all-inclusive resorts, attractions, excursions, world renown golf courses and much more. Because of all that is offered, alongside some stunning sites, Punta Cana is arguably the most popular town in the Dominican Republic, meaning that hoards of visitors are welcomed every year.
When visiting, you’ll find a wide mixture of things to do and see, making it so that everyone should be able to easily find at least a few days of adventure or relaxation that fit their vacation style. If you’re traveling for a long weekend, you’ll want to stick to some of the half day excursions and attractions so that you’ll have some beach time available before you leave. If you’re visiting for a week or more, you’ll have plenty of time to visit all of the main attractions as well as relax at a few of the more popular beaches.
Best excursions of Punta Cana and the surrounding area
Punta Cana is a great vacation spot for those seeking adventure throughout the duration of their visit. With so many to choose from however, you may find yourself a little lost. It should be noted that not all excursions are designed the same. Some are worth your money while others should be avoided. Below you’ll find a short list of great excursions that are highly rated by both visitors and locals.
Super Truck Safari
An all day excursion lasting about 10 hours, the Super Truck Safari offers you a look at Punta Cana’s surrounding area while journeying with a group of like minded visitors. First this tour will pick you up at your hotel before taking you to a local school where the company sponsors a community project. Then you’ll be taken to a beautiful church before stopping at a local ranch where you’ll learn about local produce and coffee. After that a horseback ride is in order followed by a delicious Dominican buffet lunch. You’ll end your adventure at the popular Macao beach.
- Adult: US$89.00
- Child: US$45.00
Cueva Fun Fun
A tour made for the super adventurous, the Cueva Fun Fun tour first starts out with a pickup at your hotel before a drive out to Racho Capote in your tour bus. Once there, you’ll then be given a light breakfast before heading over to the cave’s entrance via horseback. If the horseback ride wasn’t adventurous enough for you, you’ll then find yourself rappelling down into the cave itself. Once down, you’ll then begin exploring the cave with your guide and group. After your cave tour is complete you’ll then enjoy a buffet lunch back at the ranch. When booking this tour, you’ll want to note that the minimum age is 11.
- Adult: US$135.00
- Child: US$90.00
Bavaro Splash Speedboats
Lots of fun for everyone, the Bavaro Splash speedboat tour gives you the opportunity to race through the water like you’re in an action movie as the main star. Once you’re done cruising around in your speedboat, you’ll then start the next leg of your tour, SNUBA. This activity is a combination of diving and snorkeling where you’ll be attached to an air hose that’s roughly 20 feet long. This means that you can choose how deep you’d like to venture underwater. The entire tour lasts about 4 hours, making it a great adventure before a relaxing evening on the beach.
- Single: US$165.00
- Double: US$199.00
Best attractions of Punta Cana and the surrounding area
There are several great attraction options to choose from that can easily compliment your more relaxing beach days. If you’re looking for attractions that are kid friendly as well, you’re in luck. The key is to not book too many attractions during your trip as each one takes a good amount of energy. Though you may want to be moving and doing things for most of your trip, the last thing you want to do is completely exhaust yourself.
Great for those who are interested in both birds and reptiles, Manati park is an attraction well worth your time. There are various different exhibits to choose from, but you can easily see all of them if you’d like. There’s also a fun parrot show that will please both adults and children alike, making this park very family friendly. The park is open daily from 9am to 6pm, giving you ample time to visit. There’s also a free shuttle bus that will pick you up and drop you off from most hotels in the area, so make sure to ask about it.
- Adult: US$35.00
- Child: US$20.00
A beautiful cenote hidden at the foot of a 75 meter high cliff, Hoyo Azul is an attraction you won’t want to miss. In order to visit it however, you’ll have to travel with a group and a guide. During your trip however, you’ll have plenty of time to view different types of plants and flowers found throughout the area. You’ll just want to note that cell phones and cameras are not allowed. Though you may find this to be a bit annoying, it’s a rule that is enforced. During your time here, expect to spend about 2 hours on your tour.
- Adult: US$69.00
- Child: US$41.00
Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve
A private park owned and operated by the Punta Cana Ecological Foundation, the Indigenous Eyes consist of lowland subtropical forest and is 1,500 acres in size. Here you’ll find freshwater lagoons, some of which you can easily swim in. You’ll also find various exhibits demonstrating both the cultural and natural history of the area, meaning that this attraction is great for those looking to learn a little during their trip. If you plan on visiting the park but are not staying at the Punta Cana Resort and Club, then you’ll have to reserve your spot on a tour.
- Adult: US$25.00
- Child: US$25.00
Best golf courses in the Punta Cana region
If you love golf, you’ll fall in love with Punta Cana. That’s because Punta Cana is widely known for its golf game and attracts visitors from around the world for a game of seaside golf. Looking for the best golf courses? Read more, below.
Punta Espada Golf Course
This golf course is very popular due to a few reasons, one of which is the amazing view offered while you’re playing. Dripping with open fields and palm trees, you’ll find yourself gazing at the ocean as you play a round of golf. Due to its beauty, this course is often referred to as a ‘golf heaven’. Your day rate here includes a golf cart, driving range practice, two bottles of water and a caddy. There is also a restaurant on-site, meaning that you won’t have to leave the grounds once lunchtime comes around.
- Adult: varying
- Child: varying
La Cana Golf Course
Another great golf course with a killer view, the La Cana golf course is one for the record books with views of the ocean. It’s a bit less crowded than the Punta Espada golf course, which makes it more appealing to certain people. If you’re looking to play golf but don’t want to spend half a day on the course, you can opt for a game of nine holes, which is offered at a discounted rate, making it more affordable. With that said, because this course is so popular, you’ll want to try to reserve your tee time a few weeks in advance.
- Adult: varying
- Child: varying
Best beaches in Punta Cana
Punta Cana is surrounded by beautiful beaches and has thus become one of the top beach destinations in the Caribbean. But because there are so many great beaches in the area, you may have trouble trying to pick the best one to visit. To help you out, here are two great beaches that you’ll want to include in your trip.
Surrounded by resorts, Bavaro Beach is a great destination for those looking to hang out on a sandy beach most of their vacation. However, with that said, there are lots of great activities here to enjoy as well, especially during the spring break holiday. During this time of the year you’ll run into lots of collage kids coming down for a week of fun they may or may not remember. If you’re visiting with a family, you’ll want to plan your vacation far away from the spring break weeks.
- Adult: free
- Child: free
A very popular beach offering lots to do, Macao Beach is great for the adventurous type who don’t mind being heckled a bit by the locals to buy a trinket or two. If you’re looking to do a bunch of tours during your visit, you’ll find that there are several available on this beach, including a horseback riding tour. If you get hungry during your beach day, there are a few restaurants nearby, meaning that you’ll only have a short walk to some delicious food.
- Adult: free
- Child: free
Photos provided by Flickr users Konstantin Papushin, SAF AERIALS and Blobber.