The Dominican Republic is known for its spectacular beaches, and the island paradise of Punta Cana is no exception. With three days, you can spend some time on the sand, enjoy Punta Cana’s legendary nightlife, and still have time to explore outside the resort. Here are some tips for how to plan the ultimate three days in Punta Cana.
Day 1: Beach Hopping
No trip to Punta Cana would be complete without a day at the beach, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one—Bavaro, El Cortecito, and Arena Gorda are all excellent options. While there’s nothing wrong with settling in on a beach lounger for the day, Punta Cana’s beaches offer loads of water sports and aquatic adventures for those looking for a more active vacation. Board a catamaran for a day of snorkeling and swimming in the warm Caribbean waters, soar over the beaches of Punta Cana on a parasailing adventure, or take a surfing lesson to polish your skills or catch your first wave. Break for lunch at one of the area’s many seaside restaurants, and in the evening, switch from beachwear to club wear to dance the night away at one of Punta Cana’s best nightclubs.
Day 2: Into the Wild
It can be hard to pull yourself away from the beaches of the Dominican Republic, but by doing so, you’ll be rewarded with a wide array of outdoor adventures to enjoy. Start your day with a sunrise hot-air-balloon flight high above the island, or if you’d rather keep your feet on the ground, opt for some horseback riding along a beach or the Punta Cana River. After lunch, hop behind the wheel of a 4WD vehicle or dune buggy to tour the Dominican countryside, or for a thrill, spend a few hours ziplining through the rain forest canopy. In the evening, watch the sunset over the Caribbean while sipping a tropical cocktail on a party boat ride. Stop for some dancing and drinks at a beach bar before heading back to your hotel.
Day 3: Island Exploration
For your last day, step out of the immediate confines of Punta Cana and embark on a tour of Santo Domingo, one of the oldest cities in the Americas. Steeped in history, Santo Domingo is a delectable blend of traditional and modern. Most itineraries include visits to Las Damas Street, the National Presidential Palace, and Diego Columbus Alcazar, the first cathedral built in the New World. Make the most of your day by booking a private tour with your own guide and driver; you’ll be able to see the sights you want and skip those you don’t. If you can’t get enough of the beach, hop aboard a boat for a day trip to a nearby island, such as Saona Island with its white-sand beaches or Catalina for diving and snorkeling. Back in Punta Cana, finish off your trip with some live entertainment at Coco Bongo, one of the area’s most popular stage shows.