Punta Cana lies on the eastern side of the Dominican Republic, surrounded by the Caribbean Sea to the South, but mostly facing the Atlantic Ocean. I would highly recommend it as an ideal family getaway; It is a destination that provides fun for all, no matter your age or your ideal holiday, there is something for everyone!
Island Tour Adventure
Adventure Buggies provide a range of transport experiences to show you around some hidden gems of Punta Cana, ranging from jeep safaris, ATV 4-wheel drives, the Macao Adventure Buggies (our choice), and many more! Before heading off on tour, you’ll go through safety procedures to ensure that everyone knows how to navigate the beasts safely. The off-road journey steers through rough and muddy terrain amongst luscious green farmlands before coming to your first stop, Macao beach. On this stopover, you’ll have plenty of time to bask in the azure blue sea and dry off on the golden sands before the tour photographers position you for a mini photoshoot! Once everyone is ready, you’ll venture back onto the dirt track towards a country ranch-style plantation that produces cacao, coffee, tobacco, and Mamajuana (a Dominican Republic aphrodisiac tonic). Of course, you’ll have the option to try the products, as well as get the information on how they are made and what makes them special to the Dominican Republic in particular – but don’t worry, you won’t get drunk or high! You’ll be given ‘shot’ amounts and plenty of water to rehydrate under the scorching sun. By this time, you’re more than likely to be covered in mud yet again, but luckily there’s another chance to freshen up, this time in a dark yet picturesque cave with water flowing into it from a secret underground river and two options to get in – jump or climb down the rope! If jumping into a dark hole of water doesn’t quite appeal to you, I wouldn’t worry too much because – yep, you guessed it – you’re about to get muddy one more time as you head back to base, where you will be able to have a final clean down – or as much as you can get off with a hose anyway!
Dominican Republic’s first-ever theme park and zoo combined together within an action-packed space of fun for the entire family. Manati Park is home to more than 150 species, including birds, reptiles, and mammals. There are plenty of opportunities for you to get up close and interact with the animals such as during one of the five different shows they put on to provide more information about their inhouse guests. For example, feed a sea lion and be thanked with a kiss – be warned it’s slimy and fishy! As you walk around, you’ll notice the abundance of tropical plants, adding bursts of color amongst the earthy tones. Within the park, you can also take a look into the heritage of Dominican culture, folklore, and the artistry of the Taino Indians – the island’s first inhabitants, before the arrival of the Spanish. You’ll be able to see how they used to live and explore their culture through the rhythm of the dance.
Imagine, The Cave
Have you been clubbing inside a cave before?! I’m referring to the dancing version of clubbing here, not the caveman-style walloping! The minute you step out of your vehicle, you will feel as though you are about to be transported to a secret paradise. From what I remember, the inside is formed of 3 different sections – the main area, a small ‘outdoors’ space, and premium/VIP suites – however, this may have changed since 2015 so don’t expect the exact same layout! Inside, the acoustic experience is one like no other, you are in a cave after all! Expect to hear a range of music from mainstream hits to dancehall, reggaeton, and even a bit of electronic dance anthems! You may even spot a famous face and some amazing dance acts on your night out! Unsure about how you’ll find a ride home? Most of the hotels and resorts in the surrounding areas actually provide coaches to transport you to and from Imagine, Punta Cana. There are a number of packages available, so be sure to check with your hotel or book online in advance to avoid disappointment. Just remember to stick with someone you know and be safe as the crowds can get pretty big and it probably goes without saying that this is for over 18’s only!
If you’re looking for a different type of night out; at Coco Bongo, Punta Cana, you are promised a spectacular evening of acrobats, tribute acts, dance performances, and much more! The experience you have will somewhat depend on the type of ticket you purchase, which ranges from basic (standing) to front row (seated), so make sure you pick the right one according to your needs. Similarly, to Imagine, Coco Bongo tickets also provide transportation from and to your hotel, and whilst you cannot control the timeliness of your arrival at the venue, I can only suggest that you get in the queue as early as possible – it’s a loooong line to get in and if you have a basic or regular ticket, you will want to claim the best viewing spot as fast as you can! So get on your (comfy) dancing shoes and get ready to sing your heart out!
Samana Island, horse riding
They say to save the best for last, and here it is! A day trip or short stay at Samana Island is a must if you visit the Dominican Republic! There is so much to do on this Eastern tip of the island, from whale watching and exploring national parks to an airplane tour. Samana Province is an eco-paradise comprising wild beaches, coconut plantations, rainforests, and much more! If you’re looking to book a day trip, there are plenty of tours providing boats from Punta Cana to Samana, where you’ll disembark and make your way across the hilly land to a real gem in the heart of a jungle, which you can reach via horseback! Be prepared to trot through steep inclines and rocky tracks under the safety of the trusty guides who make the journey more enjoyable. Finally, you’ll reach the breathtaking site of El Limon waterfall, cascading from a height of 52m into a swimming hole at the bottom – the perfect way to round off a day under the Hispanic heat!
Whatever you take away from this, remember – “The Dominican Republic has it all”