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There's a good reason the lion's share of visitors to the Dominican Republic vacation at picture-perfect Punta Cana. Let's start with the astonishing sugar-white beaches dissolving into larimar-blue, bathtub-warm waters. The sands run virtually unbroken along more than 10 miles of shore protected by an offshore coral reef. Vacationers thrill to no end of water-based activities: snorkeling, scuba diving, paragliding, and speedboat safaris, to name a few. Inland, horseback rides, mountain biking, and "safaris" add to the thrills. And dolphin shows plus swims with nurse sharks and stingrays are among the options that bring the natural world ...

There's a good reason the lion's share of visitors to the Dominican Republic vacation at picture-perfect Punta Cana. Let's start with the astonishing sugar-white beaches dissolving into larimar-blue, bathtub-warm waters. The sands run virtually unbroken along more than 10 miles of shore protected by an offshore coral reef. Vacationers thrill to no end of water-based activities: snorkeling, scuba diving, paragliding, and speedboat safaris, to name a few. Inland, horseback rides, mountain biking, and "safaris" add to the thrills. And dolphin shows plus swims with nurse sharks and stingrays are among the options that bring the natural world to life.

Punta Cana is also golf central, with some of the best courses in the Caribbean to choose from. Sizzling salsa-based nightlife is hot enough to cook the pork. And Punta Cana excels in two types of hotels: quality, large-scale all-inclusive resorts for every budget; and more intimate and exclusive resorts (some of them superchic) such as the Puntacana Hotel, which kick-started tourism in the region in 1971. Warning: So popular is Punta Cana that beach regions as far as a one-hour drive away (and many hotels there) use the "Punta Cana" term.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Christopher Baker for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in the easternmost province of the Dominican Republic bordered by both the Atlantic and Carribean.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Dominican Peso
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time of year, but winter months (dry season) are best. Hotels offer discounts during the June-November hurricane season.