The best antidotes to cold weather blues are warm waves and fine-sand beaches. And some of the best beaches in the world ring the Dominican Republic’s easternmost tip, Punta Cana. The sugar-sand beaches of the Bavaro area are why so many global visitors (from Americans and Canadians to Germans and Russians) flock year-round to Punta Cana resorts to frolic where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean.
Indulging at a resort—whether you’re beachside, pool-hopping, or at a spa treatment—is a must-do in Punta Cana. But equally important is getting off the resort to experience the D.R.’s natural and cultural wonders. And you might be surprised to find that the hotel wants to help you see them: Many Bavaro and Punta Cana resorts offer excursions to some of the most incredible places to go and best things to do in Punta Cana and beyond.
Here’s how one hotel showed me the way off the resort and made returning after each adventure worthwhile.
The Resort: Occidental Punta Cana
Located in Bavaro, the Occidental Punta Cana resort is a sprawling all-inclusive property that has something for every type of traveler. Families can enjoy the several huge pools and on-site child care; honeymooning couples can upgrade to the Royal Club level for a balcony whirlpool and a more exclusive beach area complete with beachside hot tubs; fitness gurus can do free water activities like kayaking, windsurfing, and snorkeling, or book parasailing or a yoga class. And all guests break for the resort’s vast and idyllic beach, which has a volleyball net, beachside bar, and lounge chairs.
The Occidental Punta Cana has 11 restaurants to choose from, plus affordable romantic add-ons like a private dinner for two on the beach for about $180 (total). Entertainment like traditional dancing and live music are hosted nightly on the property’s main stage. All Occidental Punta Cana resort activities, services, and all-inclusive levels can be found here.
Punta Cana Things to Do
Hotel excursions are some of the best things to do in Punta Cana because they continue the all-inclusive theme; early-morning pick up plus admission, a local guide, lunch, and drinks are typically included, so you don’t need to worry about driving or finding places to eat. The Occidental Punta Cana offers excursions to all of the below activities—but they’re not the only resort that does: Ask the resort you book with about any specific excursions you’d like to do to make sure they’re available. (…)