A place known for its resorts and white sand beaches, Punta Cana is the leisure lover's ultimate getaway. Located on the most eastern cape of the Dominican Republic, the region looks out over the azure seas of the Atlantic Ocean and dense mangrove forests where a multitude of birds and animals unique to the Caribbean live. But more than beach lounging and relaxing, Punta Cana is a playground for all levels of thrill seekers. From those who find nothing more exciting than a challenging game of golf to adrenaline junkies who′ll go from windsurfing to deepsea diving without blinking, opportunities abound. Many of the resorts on Punta Cana have all-inclusive packages offering adventure and relaxation all on the same bill. But travelers can just as easily enjoy the spoils of the soft sands and ocean views on their own. And when that become repetitive, travelers can head out of town where to find cigars, ancient petroglyphs, and culture that dates back to the arrival of Columbus.
The eastern half of the Dominican Republic and the National Park of the East are famous for an underground labyrinth of caves, which is home to one of the largest networks of caves in the world. Manantial de Padre Nuestro is one place that takes spelunking and diving to new depths, conjoining the two to allow exploration of the underground, underwater maze of caves where the remains of Taíno culture await, perfectly preserved. And right in the heart of the resort scene is the remarkable Punta Cana Ecological Reserve that is considered one of the best kept secrets of eco-tourism. A huge array of creatures in this biodiverse setting live around the stretch of lagoons within the park.
U.S. travelers: Valid passport needed for entry
Official language: Spanish
Official currency: Dominican peso (American currency is widely accepted)
Climate: Average annual temperature is 86° F