All the best bits of Punta Cana

2014 has been one heck of a year. I’ve been lucky enough to have some incredible adventures in Canada and Scotland, and an incredibly relaxing break in the Dominican Republic. To my shame, life has definitely got in the way of me sharing a lot of my experiences with you, my AWESOME readers, so I feel that some filling-in is required.

In February I visited Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, which firstly I was a little nervous about. Would I get bored on a 10 day all-inclusive holiday, or would it be just what my aching little body needed? Well, luckily, the Dom Rep turned out to be just the medicine needed to revitalise, refresh, and regain some perspective. Plus I needn’t have worried… there is absolutely LOADS to do, should the mood take you. So I thought I’d do a quick summary of all the best bits of Punta Cana, to hopefully inspire your next trip.

1. Isla Saona

OK, apart from the horrific poo-smell, this is honestly one of the most idyllic desert islands on the planet, and as it’s a national park, the area is completely protected from development. It’s a couple of hours’ boat ride from Punta Cana, but go with any of the reputable companies in the area and you’ll be able to stop off en route at some of the natural oddities such as a ‘natural swimming pool’, and maybe even see a starfish.

A lot of tours also include lunch and drinks, so you can carry on that ‘all-inclusive’ experience on your very own boat. I loved the option with the pirate boat catamaran, as it really allowed us to stretch out and make the most of that gorgeous sun!

On our gorgeous catamaran to Isla Saona

On our gorgeous catamaran to Isla Saona

2. Zip lining

The Dominican Republic is fast gaining a reputation for being an emerging destination for the adventure traveller, and seeing as though this blog is all about ‘Adventure for the Unadventurous’, it wouldn’t be right without mentioning zip lining!

If you’ve never tried it, don’t worry, it’s completely safe and really not as scary as it looks, plus seeing the jungle from above will be worth all the effort! Simply strap yourself in and allow the adrenaline to take hold!!

zip lining dominican republic

3. Hoyo Azul

Literally translated as ‘Blue Hole’, ‘Hoyo Azul’ is pretty much just that! It sometimes baffles me what Mother Nature can do, but a bright blue natural pool in amongst a system of caves is just about as close to perfect as you can get.

I recommend hiring your own cab to get here if you can, as the tour groups can be large and the prices inflated. Top tip: if you arrive in the morning before the tour buses arrive, you’ll have the place all to yourself.

Hoyo Azul

These are my top picks from this little slice of paradise, but if you just want to sit in your own juices for a week and never leave the resort, that’s just fine, too! Do you have any other must-do things in Punta Cana?

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All the Best Bits of Punta Cana

This article has been put together with the help of Hipmunk who offer hotels in Punta Cana. I’m working with them on the #HipmunkCityLove project.

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Hayley is the author behind A Life of More, a travel and lifestyle blog with the goal of helping you to live a happier and more fulfilled life, whether you're currently travelling or happily settled.

Comments 3

  1. Frank

    Nice post Hayley! I’m a big fan of the DR, have been there 6 times including a couple of backpacking trips around the country. Punta Cana isn’t my favorite spot; the country in that area dry and non-descript shrubbery…but definitely the best beaches in the country!
    You should go check out the Samana peninsula one day. Just gorgeous.

    Frank (bbqboy)

  2. Kay

    It looks like you had a great time in Dominican Republic. I visited Punta Cana in the Summer of 2014 and I am now booking a trip to return. I did the Saona Island trip that you did. I truly is breathtakingly beautiful out there. I wish I could share some of my photos in this comment. It looks like something out of a magazine. I also did the zip line and Hoyo Azul excursion. I booked through a company called Punta Cana Private Services. They have a website where you can book most of the excursions in the region (www.puntacanaprivateservices.com). Very good guys with great service. I was like you in that I was apprehensive about going there alone. I rented a condo on the beach and was initially worried about going around town on my own, but I am so glad I got out to explore. I had a personal driver/guide who took me out to several of the Dominincan bars/clubs. It was a great time. I danced my heart out at this place called El Khan. There were very few tourists there, but the locals treated me like a queen. My guide translated for me and it was a refreshing change from tourist traps that over-charge for everything. At this place, you pay the cheap prices that the locals pay. I danced until my feet hurt. 5-star experience all around.

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    Author
    LovePuffin Travel Blog

    Thanks Kay for taking the time to comment. Sounds like you had a real adventure on your trip! I love it when you get off of the standard tourist trail, you really get to see more of how the locals live. Salud!

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