Beaches are the best!

Most of us have a beach baby hidden deep inside of us, and the mere thought of a beach vacation can brighten up a dull day instantly. Beach vacations are ideal to relax, unwind and get a heady dose of Vitamin D that all of us can do with loads of. When it comes to choosing a beachside destination, choices are varied and multiple. From incredible luxury resorts to shoe string budgeted hotels, motels and Air BNBs, beach locations cater to every kind of budget and holiday pocket, and choosing what suits you isn’t difficult at all!

When it comes to a choice of holiday destination between the mountains and the sea, I generally tend to lean towards the seaside owing to a wide range of relaxation opportunities I can choose from. But it’s always a tough call when it comes to choosing which seaside vacation spot to choose! I’ve always been enamored by the Caribbean Sea, and this time I decided on a trip to the Dominican Republic to Punta Cana.

Why Punta Cana?

Figure 2 Punta Cana: A beach lover’s paradise

Located at the eastern most tip of the Dominican Republic, it enjoys the best of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Boasting over 30 kms of white sandy beaches and crystal clear blue waters, choosing Punta Cana as a holiday destination was an easy enough choice. The resort town of Punta Cana is well known amongst beach enthusiasts from North America, South America, Britain and Europe, thanks to its ideal location, excellent weather conditions and easy-going way of life. This is a rather small town with a location population of about 50,000 people. Close to Punta Cana are the other resort towns of Bavaro, Uvero Alto and Macao, among others. Driven primarily by tourism, you can expect the best of the best in Punta Cana and its surrounding resort towns. While the clear blue waters and sandy beaches are the main draw for visitors to this idyllic seas-de resort town, Punta Cana does have plenty more on offer.

Home to the All-Inclusive Resort Culture

Figure 3 Ease of mind at an ‘All Inclusive’ resort

Punta Cana boasts of over 50 massive resorts that are primarily ‘All-Inclusive’ in nature. By all-inclusive, it means you pay upfront for everything, and once at the resort you can sit back, relax and enjoy all the amenities without having to worry about paying bills. Dining, beverages, activities and most resort amenities are covered in your package. So all you need to do is check-in, and then just make the most of your vacation. From unlimited dining options, bars, swimming pools, resort activities like beach parties, pool parties, dancing lessons, aerobics and yoga classes, tennis and archery, golf, gyms, play areas, kiddy clubs, live performances, there is an endless amount of entertainment to keep you busy through your vacation. And if nothing of this sort fancies you, then just lounge on your beach recliner all day long, sipping on chilled beers and margaritas, and soak in the gorgeous Dominican sun!

Beyond the resort

Figure 4 Coffee beans for sale at a coffee plantation

Most visitors traveling to Punta Cana spend between 8-14 days typically. And while the resort is packed with activities each and every day, it’s a good idea to get to know the city a bit, and head outside the resort to soak in some of the other activities available around. The Dominican Republic is a treasure-trove of fun adventure and there’s a whole world out there that you can explore. A number of companies offer excursions to different areas that specialize in local interests. From plantations that grow coffee and cocoa beans to zip lining over thick green foliage to feeding monkeys and interacting with animals at a local farm, there’s lots to do.

Island excursions

There are a few exciting island excursions available around Punta Cana, and the two most popular ones are Saona Island and Samana Islands. Tours to both islands are popular, and visitors get to enjoy a natural swimming pool where you get to spot marine life in all hues, shapes and sizes. Speedboats ferry visitors to the island, and you can also opt to stop for snorkeling on the way. There are quite a few stretches that offer some of the best snorkeling experiences in the area.

Figure 5 Make friends with a monkey at Samana Island

Samana Island or the Samana Peninsula is a secluded island of coconut plantations, wild beaches and rainforests. There is a marine mammal sanctuary as well, and people flock to the area for whale watching. There are a number of beaches around Samana and each offers a unique experience. From exploring a Creole Reef to exploring caves, mangroves and rainforests, you’ll have plenty to soak in at this picturesque island.

Scuba Diving

Figure 6 Get your scuba diving gear on in Punta Cana

The clear waters of the Caribbean Sea offer excellent scuba diving opportunities. As an avid scuba diver, I thoroughly enjoyed each dive into the rich waters off Punta Cana. The coastline of Punta Cana has the longest reef in all of Dominican Republic, so you can only imagine the excellent scuba diving opportunities here. There’s an underwater museum where you get to explore remnants of the ancient Taino culture, or explore the many wrecks around the coast off Punta Cana. Don’t forget the primary attraction though; all kind of fish, sea creatures and corals that make diving here such an unforgettable experience. If you’re an avid diver, choose to travel between the months of March to July, when the sea is usually at its clearest, offering great viewing of marine life.

In conclusion

Punta Cana can be what you want it to be. If you’re looking to sit back and relax, and spend your days staring out at the endless expanse of gorgeous blue waters, you can do just that. If you’re the more active kind, sign up for lots of activities happening at the resort or excursions that take you beyond the resort where you get to experience a real slice of what the Dominican Republic is all about. The local people are very friendly, though it will help tremendously if you brush up on your Spanish!! If you’re in the resort you wont have a problem, but if you choose to venture out, a few local words go a long way.


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