Catamaran cruises are one of the top picks for a day out on the water in Punta Cana! There's no better way of experiencing this Caribbean idyll than from a comfortable boat on the turquoise seas. It's your jumping-off point for visiting some of the most breathtaking islands, discovering the best spots for snorkeling, or simply having a special experience with friends and family.
With numerous catamaran cruises on offer, you can choose whether you want a more adventurous or relaxed outing. Combine your excursion with a buggy tour on land for a thrilling journey, or soak up the sun from the nets of the catamaran, cocktail in hand.
Many cruises provide snacks and alcoholic beverages on board, ensuring every craving is satisfied. You may even be able to borrow a stand-up paddleboard for a jaunt on the water. If you’re making a stop at one of the islands, you’ll relish tucking into a traditional Dominican buffet.
As you glide along the azure waters, make sure you capture some photos of the picturesque coastline and white sand beaches. This is the Caribbean at its finest.
One of the best Punta Cana boat tours is to Saona Island. Famed for its turquoise ocean and white sand, Saona makes for the perfect beach getaway. You can laze on the shore with a good book or jump in the sea for swimming and snorkeling in the sun.
On these Punta Cana tours to Saona, catamarans are the preferred method of travel. You'll cruise along to Canto de la Playa for some beach time, before continuing to Mano Juna for a glimpse of local village life. Visits to a turtle nursery and the local shops are also on the cards.
Coconut palms add to the idyllic scene while barbeque feasts offer up local island cuisine for you to try. After your exertions, sip cocktails from one of the beach bars and soak up that dreamy island vibe.
Back on the mainland, you can add a trip to Altos de Chavón. This quaint village is a replica of a traditional 16th-century Mediterranean settlement, with a cultural center and stone amphitheater to explore.
Another offshore paradise worth visiting is Catalina Island. You'll climb on board a luxury catamaran and sail across to the small island that lies just off the south coast. Snorkeling features heavily on these Punta Cana tours so don't forget your swimming costume!
On arrival at Catalina Island, the boat will anchor offshore for your first snorkeling session of the day. The visibility here is incredible and you'll have a privileged glimpse into the vibrant marine kingdom. Watch out for tropical fish darting about the reef.
You'll cruise around the island, admiring the beautiful coastal scenery along the way. Swap the catamaran for a small speed boat and head to land for an afternoon at the beach. The boat chefs will rustle up a lunch of fresh fish, salads, pasta and exotic local fruit.
After your feast, relax on the sand or enjoy some free time snorkeling and swimming in the cove. Dry out on deck as the boat returns to the mainland after an idyllic day out.
If you're looking for exhilarating Punta Cana tours, then you can't go wrong with a jeep safari. You'll bounce along through the tropical wilderness, breathing in the fresh air in an open top 4X4. This is an action-packed adventure, suitable for thrill seekers who want to explore off the beaten track.
On some experiences, you can get in the driving seat and be in control of your own journey. You will soon be tackling the back roads like a pro and discovering a different side of the Dominican Republic.
Zoom through the countryside and drive to a secret beach in Macao for a refreshing swim. You'll be taking in some of the island's most pristine scenery, so don't forget your camera.
If you like jeep safaris, then you'll love taking a Punta Cana ATV tour. Get behind the wheel and drive through rural villages, savoring snippets of local life that flash by. You'll head into the jungle too, letting the mud fly up as you power along the trails.
You don't have to love primates to enjoy a visit to Monkeyland, but it helps! Fun for all the family, a day out at this wildlife and adventure park is a must for budding naturalists and explorers.
A guided tour around the site will get you up close to the friendly squirrel monkeys, who aren't shy in front of the camera. You can interact with your new furry friends and even feed them if you like.
During your visit, you'll take in "Casa del Coco" to see how coconut oil is produced. Fruit tasting is also on the agenda for a refreshing afternoon snack. With your energy renewed, it's time to tackle some more activities.
Buggy tours and zip lining in Punta Cana can also be added to your itinerary, for a rounded day out. Take on 12 zip lines for an aerial jungle experience, watching out for wildlife as you fly through the canopy. Then drive a buggy to the Anamuya River for a swim surrounded by nature.
Macao Beach is a must for anyone vacationing in Punta Cana. It's a popular spot for both tourists and locals – some say it's the prettiest beach on the island. The white sands are perfect for barefoot adventures while the turquoise waters make for enviable photos.
You'll find the beach to the northwest of Punta Cana, overlooked by a little village. There's an authentic atmosphere here, with charming restaurants that serve fresh fish caught by local fishermen.
If you have bags of energy to spare, some of the best Punta Cana surf lessons can be enjoyed here. It's one of the top surfing spots in the Dominican Republic. Your instructor will teach you some basic techniques on the beach before you take to the waves and put your new skills to the test.
You can also take buggy rides through the dunes or explore the Macao Beach cave on a guided tour. Finish the day with a cocktail at a beach bar while watching the sun set over the ocean.
Another big hitter on the long list of Punta Cana tours is a visit to Samaná. This is the real Dominican Republic and it's easily accessible from town on a day trip.
One of the top ways to explore is by sailing around the beautiful Samaná Bay by catamaran, stopping at picture-postcard islands along the way. You'll set foot on virgin beaches at Cayo Levantado, which has all the powder-white sand and palm trees you could wish for.
Tuck into a hearty lunch on the beach, with lots of local dishes to tantalize your taste buds. Then head back to dry land to explore the Limon Waterfall and enjoy a horse ride through the jungle.
During winter, whale watching tours in Punta Cana often focus on Samaná Bay. This area is a UNESCO-protected whale sanctuary so it's a great place to see these marine giants. Humpback whales are often spotted frolicking in these waters as they return from their long ocean journeys across the world.
Practice your yee-haws and settle back in the saddle for a horse riding adventure to remember. If you've ever wanted to ride along the sand with a backdrop of crashing waves, then this is your chance.
You'll be matched with a horse according to your experience, so don't worry if it's your first time. After a short briefing, it's onward to the beach. You'll ride along the soft sands, getting used to the rhythm of your trusty steed.
This is a relaxing way to spend a few hours, and the ocean breeze will keep you cool. You'll pass palm trees and see a river flowing into the ocean, not a sight you encounter every day. Experienced riders can let their hair down for a gallop along the sand, just like in the movies.
Some riding tours take you deep into the countryside instead of the beach. You'll amble along the forest trails, soaking up the views beside the Anamuya River. Enjoy a trot or a canter if you're up for it!
There are several urban Punta Cana tours available too. Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic and is best explored with a guide to get the most out of your experience. It's a full day out but worth every moment.
This is an ancient city with bags of history to unravel. Did you know that it's the oldest permanent settlement in the new world? Here, you'll find the first church and university set up in the Americas.
Santo Domingo is a place where old meets new around every corner you turn. It's a charming mix, with a strong Caribbean culture to pull it all together. Enjoy a traditional "Bandera" lunch in one of the local restaurants – rice, meat and beans are the way forward!
Head to the Zona Colonial to discover the famous attractions in this UNESCO World Heritage site. Las Damas Street and Plaza Colon are must-sees, for their old-world charm and photo opportunities. Don't miss the Fortaleza Ozama stronghold or the fortified palace of the Alcázar de Colón.
You'll find Los Haitises National Park on the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic. This remote region is characterized by limestone karst plateaus, with hills and caves punctuating the landscape. It's a popular day trip from Punta Cana for nature and geology enthusiasts.
There are ancient forests to explore, as well as cave paintings and wildlife in abundance. The park is lapped by the waters of beautiful Samaná Bay, and the two places are often combined on Punta Cana tours.
On arrival at the park, you'll cruise along the Caño Hondo River to San Lorenzo Bay through the red mangrove forest. Keep an eye out for pelicans sunning themselves on the rocks and fork-tailed flycatchers darting overhead.
Take a dip in the Jivales River and cool off in the afternoon sun. Then it's time to top up your energy levels with a delicious Dominican lunch at a local hotel. Your final adventure is a jeep ride to the top of Montaña Redonda for the beautiful lagoon and jungle views.
The resort town of Punta Cana sits on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic. It's one of the island's main vacation destinations and is visited by 5 million tourists each year. People come here for the Caribbean weather, the wide range of activities and reasonable prices.
Punta Cana is famed for its powdery beaches and clear waters which are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Affectionately known as the "Coconut Coast", the Punta Cana region boasts nearly 50 kilometers of golden sands. It's one of the best places in the Caribbean for water sports too.
There are lots of all-inclusive resorts to choose from, many of which are right on the beach. You'll find several restaurants serving up both local and international cuisine to cater for all tastes. The town is also known for its world-class golf courses, casinos and adventure parks, so there's something here for everyone.
You can reach Punta Cana from several places around the world, including the United States and Europe. Direct flights are often available. If you have flown into the capital, Santo Domingo, it's just a 2-hour transfer by land to get to Punta Cana.
You can get around Punta Cana on foot if you're not traveling too far, but for longer local journeys, buses and taxis are available. To explore the attractions dotted around the Dominican Republic, booking a guided tour is your best option. Car rental is also a possibility but be mindful that driving can be stressful in towns and cities.
When it comes to accommodation, the Bavaro district is one of the most popular places to stay. This is the main tourist center with all the resorts and facilities you could wish for. The area sits on the coast with clean beaches and water activities at your fingertips.
For an upscale experience with easy airport connections and 5-star hotels, head to Cap Cana. The luxurious marina and Caleton Beach are the major draws here. Meanwhile, for a more secluded stay, Uvero Alto offers tranquility up on the northern end of the "Coconut Coast".
Most people visit Punta Cana in winter, between the months of December and March. This is when the weather is at its most settled. Come in November or April to avoid the crowds and still enjoy the great climate. It doesn't rain much on the island, with October being the wettest month.
There are so many Punta Cana tours on offer that it can be hard deciding what to do with your time. Trips to Saona Island, Macao Beach and Samaná should be at the top of your list, followed closely by a visit to Santo Domingo. After that, you can fill in your schedule as you please.
For something a bit different, take a cultural tour to Higuey in the Altagracia Province. You can stroll through the historic center, visit the basilica and browse the market. Fancy an adrenaline rush? Punta Cana parasailing adventures and jet boat tours are all the rage.
Chocolate tasting excursions are also heaps of fun, and you'll learn about the bean-to-bar process during a farm visit. Or head to Scape Park for an active day of zip lining, cenote swimming and cave exploration. Finish your trip with a lively night out at Coco Bongo, which is part nightclub, part circus.
Punta Cana is an affordable resort compared to many other Caribbean destinations. There are also plenty of free things to do here, including visiting the beautiful beaches and coconut groves along the coast. You can also snorkel from the beach for free in places like Cabeza de Toro.