Travel Mondays: Punta Cana - Beautiful, Affordable Caribbean Vacation

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Need to get away? Or how about this, raise your hand if you could use some much needed rest as well as relaxation. We thought so! Punta Cana, is one of the most stunningly gorgeous travel destinations in the entire world and is known for making travelers go, “Oh and Ah.”

The best part of all? The weather is phenomenal and an entire trip won’t even hurt your bank account either! Therefore, scroll on to read more about our awesome Punta Cana adventure; as well as our top tips and facts sure to help make your own trip even more amazing.

Did You Know? This travel destination is home to Seaquarium. This fun hot spot allows brave patrons to explore the sea while walking around and breathing like normal. If you have a half day to spare this is a must-see and do attraction.

Punta Cana

Travel Mondays: Punta Cana – Beautiful, Affordable Caribbean Vacation

After 7 hours of driving through heavy rain from Samana, navigating through 100’s of pot holes, the road slowly turned into a beautiful four lane highway; passing through sugar cane plantations as we got closer to Punta Cana. Based on the more developed highway infrastructure, we can feel that we were approaching an area of mass tourism.

After spending the past week navigating through the remote northern part of the Dominican Republic. We were ready for a bit of civilization and luxury. Moreover, the thrill and fun adventures of busting two tires, digging our car out of a sand pit, and using our broken Spanish to get locals to help jump start a dead battery; started to wear us down and we were ready for a break.

After about 45mins on this highway, we arrived into Bavaro. Upon arrival, were greeted with swaying coco palms, aqua-blue water, and beautiful white sand beach that rivals many of the top beaches in the Caribbean.

Why go to Punta Cana?

Bavaro/Punta Cana area is a top Caribbean beach paradise, but more affordable than most other Caribbean destinations. Ask anyone who’s been to Punta Cana, and they will tell you that the beaches are among the most picturesque that they’ve ever seen. Here, tall coconut palms dot much of the seashore, and the soft, white sand is inviting.

What is there to do? Well, lots and lots of beautiful beaches; totaling 35km of continuous pristine white sand. So then, if you are looking for views that will nab up thousands of Instagram likes you have found the right spot!

Check out the video on Punta Cana

Overview of the Area (Punta Cana and Bavaro)

At first impression, Punta Cana/Bavaro is very similar to Playa Del Carmen in the Maya Riviera area of Mexico. It is basically a midsized tourist town that is surrounded by beautiful white sand beach and many mega all-inclusive resorts that are more like cities themselves than a resorts.

The main tourist areas comprise of the Bavaro (accessible to the public) to the north side of the airport. Also, Punta Cana (gated and tourists who are not staying at one of the Punta Cana’s resort can only access with a day pass) to the south side. Whether they know it or not, most tourist that have said they have been to Punta Cana really spend their time in Bavaro, which is the main tourist hub.


Furthermore, because of the gated area, Punta Cana is more exclusive/private (often higher end) than Bavaro. However, it is far away from any town or night life. Punta Cana area is pretty much a beautiful master planned community of high-end resorts and golf courses.

As one can see, this is why many tourists love this beautiful exclusive feel. However, complain that it lacks culture. One most simply decide which is more important.

Overview of the Area (Cont.)

Bavaro has some of the most beautiful beaches in the area, closer to town, but lacks the privacy and exclusive feel of Punta Cana. The leaning palm trees, the soft white sand, and the gentle waves make this area the picture perfect beach. All water sports activities such as parasailing, windsurfing, and jet skis are readily available.

In our opinion, we prefer the more beautiful beaches of Bavaro. Plus, the ability to easily escape from the resort to try out local food and night life in town. Perhaps a better way to put it is that Punta Cana is more for couples/adults only. While Bavaro is more for the family.

But honestly, there is so much white sand and aqua-blue water here that you will likely have your own choice of your favorite beaches. You really can’t go wrong!

Punta Cana- Things to do

Punta Cana and Bavaro has something to offer for everyone of all ages.

Relax – The typical day is usually filled with activities at the resort such as yoga, parasailing, windsurfing, kayaking, sailing lessons, or swimming.

Party – Punta Cana/Bavaro has some night life, but it is much more toned down than that of Cancun or Cabo. Party boats during the day or at sunset are available and can be booked through your hotel concierge or at any restaurant.

Golf – There are so many golf courses around, especially in the gated Punta Cana resort area, where the courses are right on the edge of the ocean.

Punta Cana Golf

Beaches – Many tourists just stick to the beach in front of their resort. However, if you have a rental car (highly recommended), then you should venture out to the numerous other beaches. They span along the 35km of continuous white sand.

Driving during the day is fine. Nevertheless, at night is not recommended. The reason? This is due to many cars/motorcycles with no lights being on the road. Also, you should know that gas in DR is very expensive. Budget wisely.

Punta Cana- Things to do (Cont.)

Excursions – Highly recommended is the Saona Island excursion. It is a must visit and is 1 hour from Punta Cana. Typical cost is about $60-70USD and $25 for transportation per person from Punta Cana. If you drive there, then ignore the $25 transportation cost.

Eat – Escape from the resort by cab or car to sample some local food. Most of the local restaurants and night life are located in the El Cortecito waterfront area, intersection of Avenida Francia/Avenida Espana (Plaza Punta Cana/Plaza Bavaro), and the intersection of Avenida Estados Unidos/Avenida Espana (around the Texaco gas station). Our favorite which we ate four times during our visit is Delicias de Bavaro (at intersection of Avenida Francia/Avenida Espana), a place filled with locals.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for that picture perfect white sand beach, yet affordable Caribbean vacation, look no further than Punta Cana/Bavaro. As the beaches rival some of the best in the Caribbean at half the cost. Happy travel booking and wishing you much fun and relaxation!

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