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One of the Dominican Republic’s most beloved destinations, Punta Cana has long been a beach break favourite for Canadians. Dreaming of discovering it for yourself? See our suggestions for what to see and do in and around Punta Cana’s best all-inclusive resorts.

1. Make a splash

Playa Juanillo

Punta Cana’s main draw is no mystery—its silky shoreline stretches for miles and includes 18 Blue Flag beaches (certified for cleanliness and sustainability!). Swim off favourites like resort-lined Playa Bávaro, surfer mecca Playa Macao, Playa Blanca, Juanillo, and many more!

If you want more than a quick dip, seek out popular sea-set activities; the waters around here are renown for sport fishing. Species you might catch? Billfish, marlin, swordfish, barracuda, to name a few! You could also delve deeper below turquoise waters and try snorkelling or scuba diving among hidden shipwrecks or around the Punta Cana Underwater Museum, home to submerged sculptures honouring the indigenous Taino culture.

2. Play & be pampered

Teeth of the Dog

It’s not all about seaside blues over here. Dominican Republic just happens to be one of the best golf destinations in the Caribbean! Imagine hitting a hole-in-one while looking out at an infinite, tropical seascape. Choose from the countless golf packages offered at Punta Cana’s top all-inclusive resorts, including Catalonia Bavaro Beach Golf & Casino Resort, Meliá Caribe Beach Resort, and many more. You could even try your hand at the Caribbean’s #1 golf course in nearby La Romana: the Teeth of the Dog at Casa de Campo Resort & Villas.

Forget teeing off and opt for treating yourself, as Punta Cana is also a world-class spa destination. Most beach resorts and hotels offer guests one-of-a-kind spa services and facilities. The perfect place to take unwinding to whole new levels!

3. Explore nearby towns

Basilica Our Lady of Altagracia

Day trip anyone? Excursions from Punta Cana lead to charming and historic towns imbued with Dominican spirit. Less than an hour away, Boca de Yuma is a tranquil, coastal fishing village bursting with character and serving up local cuisine at numerous waterfront restaurants. It’s also right next to the gorgeous Cotubanamá National Park, where you can visit Cuerva de Berna, an ancient Taino cave known for its petroglyphs.

For a more urban break from the beach, head to Higüey, a sprawling city famous for its origins as one of the original indigenous Taino kingdoms. However, the city is most known for the Cathedral Basilica Our Lady of Altagracia, one of the country’s most iconic places of worship and a top pilgrimage site.

4. Trek through tropics

Ojos Indigenas

We’re not one to judge if all you’re looking for from your vacation is a little R&R by the beach (or pool!). But if one day you feel like really working for those hours spent soaking in sun, head to Parque Ecológico Ojos Indígenas, a nature reserve where hiking trails twist through a tropical forest inhabited by native flora and fauna. Don’t worry, there are also lagoons and cenotes if you need to cool down!

Does it still count as a trek if you’re just exploring different beaches? We vote yes! A boat trip to gorgeous Isla Saona, off the south-eastern coast near Punta Cana, is one of the most popular excursions in the area. With towering coconut trees lining unreal, white-sand beaches, the island is a Dominican dream you just can’t miss.

5. Seek adventures for all ages

Hoyo Azul

Kids in tow? Punta Cana is ready for the whole clan! This sunny hotspot offers tons of activities for all ages. At the Bávaro Adventure Park, expect a rush of adrenaline while zip-lining, horseback riding, taking on its Climbing Garden, or zipping around its Segway circuit.

More thrills await at nearby Cap Cana’s Scape Park where little ones will delight in meeting the critters inhabiting Iguanaland, Parrots Island and Monkey Island. You can also dive into the clear cerulean waters of the Hoyo Azul cenote, explore an impressive underground network of caves or learn about indigenous culture around replicas of authentic Taíno homes.

What’s next

Start planning your vacation by looking into our selection of vacation packages in Punta Cana! Plus, the earlier you book, the more you’ll save—check out our early-bird deals on Punta Cana resorts here.