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Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

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Punta Cana (literally “Gray Tip”) is located at the eastern extreme of the Dominican Republic. Famous for its fine white sand beaches dotted with coconut trees, Punta Cana Dominican Republic really is a postcard perfect vacation place. Together with the nearby town of Bavaro, Punta Cana is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, and perhaps the best known of all DR towns.

Millions of people each year take a Punta Cana vacation, visiting one of more than 35 resort hotels that stretch along about 25 miles of idyllic beachfront. (Thankfully, by law, Punta Cana hotels cannot surpass the height of a palm tree).  The area has been popular with European tourists for quite some time, and with American visitors for about a decade.  The majority of the visitors take an all-inclusive Punta Cana vacation, and this is certainly the most cost-effective way to visit the resort area. Most deals combine flights to Punta Cana airport with accommodation at nearby hotels and food and drink at these resorts.

Nevertheless, there are still many hotels that take overnight reservation and Punta Cana can be a pleasant place to visit even if you are on an independent vacation to the Dominican Republic. Many wealthy Dominicans from Santo Domingo take Punta Cana vacations around New Year, Santa Semana (Easter), and close to other national holidays. Recommended hotels for independent travelers include the large Iberostar Dominicana Hotel and the low-key Cortecito Inn. (This traveler was lucky enough to have a friend of a friend who worked in a resort hotel and gave a great rate for a few days in Punta Cana.)

Because most hotels in Punta Cana Dominican Republic are all-inclusive, the actual town of Punta Cana is not itself a tourist attraction and is home to local Dominicans and only a few smaller restaurants. The main reason tourists visit the area is for the Punta Cana beaches. For their white sand and tranquil crystalline waters, Punta Cana beaches have been recognized by the UNESCO as some of the best and most worthy of preservation in all the world. Independent travelers can head to the Cortecito beach, still a backpacker hangout, or go to the nearby town of Juanlillo.

A barrier of coral stretches down the coast near the Punta Cana beaches, making this a great area for diving and snorkeling. Most resorts also offer excursions inland, fishing trips, golf, trips to Santo Domingo, and other Punta Cana tour packages. But when your staying in a place out of a workplace daydream or a TV, sometimes it’s best just to sit back and relax on the sand, eat some fresh shell fish, or simply to stroll at sunset on the seemingly endless beaches.

OVERVIEW for your visit to the Dominican Republic:

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