In the 1960s and ‘70s rapid development brought Punta Cana a legendary reputation as a resort destination. Situated on the far eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, bordered by both the Atlantic and Caribbean Seas, it is a small manufactured paradise, an oasis of palm-studded white sand and sparkling ocean. Today, it offers accommodation to suit every taste, from secluded hideaways to nightclub-neighboring mega resorts. Here we draw together a small selection of the best and most interesting attractions in this beautiful little corner of the world.
Dolphin Island, a marine platform erected in the ocean a little off the beach, is the place to go if you want to swim with dolphins. And not only dolphins, as the center also has well-trained sea lions, and opportunities to swish through the water alongside stingrays and sharks. There are a variety of programs on offer, and transport to and from your hotel is included in the price.
Designed by Jack Nicklaus, this beautiful golf course is right beside the Caribbean Sea at the Cap Cana Resort. It combines a sublimely picturesque setting with challenging play, and is frequently ranked as the best golf course in the Caribbean. When done with the par-72 golf course, golfers can retire to the Punta Espada Bar and Restaurant to cool off and enjoys its views of the 18th green.
A distinctive two-story structure with palm-thatched roofs, Jellyfish Restaurant is Punta Cana’s most colorful place to eat out. The panoramic ocean views are accompanied by great food, predominantly from the sea, which makes excellent use of a vast BBQ. The flavors and colors are intense, but the atmosphere is relaxed, welcoming and great for kids.
It isn’t often that stepping into the sweat and alcohol-laced air of a trendy nightclub will take your breath away, but Imagine just might. Converted from an old castle built into a rock face, Imagine is a strobe-lit, pumping nightclub located inside a cave. There are two main dance floors, one playing local and Latin music and one moving to international electronic beats. Ticket prices appear high at first but, with transportation and some drinks included, are actually a bargain.
Zoetry is a resort offering much more than just its 51 exclusive suites. It aims to create a whole zen-like experience, secluded and luxurious, with a host of special touches. The resort consists of several cane-thatched buildings, connected by wooden walkways and bridges, surrounded by green palm trees, white sand and the blue ocean. It really is the perfect tropical escape to get away from it all.