Adventures in Punta Cana

FOR CURIOUS TRAVELLERS THE CARIBBEAN NATION HAS FAR MORE TO OFFER THAN ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS. ¨NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

What comes first to your mind when you think of the Caribbean? For me, Punta Cana is the perfect tropical setting with crystal clear water, palm tree fringed beaches and a lot of adventures. If you are an ocean, beach lover like me, this is an absolute dream.

Many people think of the beach that is just a place where you lay down and take sun. Well, Punta Cana is that too, but if you love adventure you’ll seek for more. And I’ve been exploring all the wonderful places in the area and I had so many fun activities at the beach. From snorkelling above vibrant reefs, hiking in lush jungles, climbing palms, dancing by the beats of reggae music, we tried cool water sports and many other.

Another thing I really wanted to mention before getting into the detail, is that Punta Cana is for everyone. Although this destination is super famous for the all-inclusive hotels is so much more than that. This is an epicentre for awesome adventures, unforgettable moments with marine life, so good for water sport lovers. The place is spoiled by the sun, good weather everyday, warm waters, in other words this is perfect to live good times and make beautiful memories.

THE PERFECT MIX BETWEEN JUNGLE OASIS AND BEACH

We like to escape the crowds, so we are always trying to visit the most secluded beaches, because we love to listen to the sounds of the waves. And we found some hidden beaches in Punta Cana that are absolutely fabulous but few know about and still are picture perfect. We even found a beach with wild horses .. how amazing is that!! So in this blog post I will share some local beaches that are profoundly captivating yet untouched by many.

PLAYA BLANCA

Playa Blanca is a place where you can do many water activities and enjoy the waves of the stunning exotic coastline of the Caribbean Sea, to swim above incredible colourful coral reefs and have a picnic surrounded by the forests of a tropical jungle. Due to its geographical location, it is a beach that is exposed to the wind, which means that you can practice kitesurfing or windsurfing. So there is no time to get bored when you are in Playa Blanca.

how to get to Playa Blanca

Playa Blanca is located on the eastern part of the island, near Punta Cana International Airport and 20 kilometres from the Playa Bávaro. To visit Playa Blanca, you need to travel here by rental car.  The car park is completely free and plenty of space for everybody.

What a vibe

If you get more curious about the surroundings, close to this beach are quite a few stunning other beaches, accessible by foot. A nice walk among the palm laced jungle is quite an experience and this is a great opportunity to discover unique spots that are not popular among the tourists, but are absolutely amazing and this way you’ll experience something unique.

cute places to eat

  • La Yola :  insanely delicious Dominican dishes
  • Ji Punta Cana : super yummy food, perfect place for lunch and dinner, located in an amazing natural setting, where you’ll instantly feel the special Caribbean atmosphere
  • Nakamuran Cap Cana Restaurant : here the atmosphere is wonderful and friendly. I am vegetarian but I´ve heard that here they serve the most wonderful sushi.
Palms, palms and more palms

BAYAHIBE HARBOR

Bayahibe is a vibrant village located on the tropical coastline of the Caribbean Sea. The scenic village of Bayahíbe is an attraction in and of itself, presuming with some of the most pristine, diamond white beaches in the area and also the starting point for excursions to the famous Catalina and Saona islands. It’s not hard to be conquered by its amazing views to the ocean and the streets that hold so much history. The pastel coloured wooden homes, iconic churches and nearby Taino caves filled with mystery makes this place so special.

This little village it is nestled in natural richness, sugar cane fields, lush forests with freshwater caves, unspoiled coral reefs, shipwrecks and vibrant marine life. The village is so dreamy. We really enjoyed the local Caribbean life style, the fresh Dominican food, the chill vibe, we danced to reggae beats and meet the awesome locals. We are living our Caribbean dream! Can life get any better?

restaurants in Bayahibe

Bayahíbe is a totally vibe when it comes to local restaurants and bars, street side arts and crafts stalls and fishermen who bring catch daily. We had dinner at a restaurant that was such tropical vibe, with an amazing view at the ocean watching the boats bringing and taking tourists. The food was delicious and the company was better.

I’ve seen many epic sunsets but this one just hit another level. I lived one of my favourite and I highly recommend you if you are in the area to stay untill the sun sets because believe me it’s totally worth it.The vibe was awesome, between the spectacular view of the sun setting over the ocean and where locals were dancing in the afterglow, the sound of the ocean… it’s unforgettable.

PLAYA ESMERALDA

WOW just wow! Welcome to a real life tropical paradise. This is one of the most of the most amazing beach I have ever seen. The most pristine blue water I have ever laid my eyes on, alongside the whitest, softest sand to exist, a huge beach lined up with a forest of palms and other tropical species of trees.

This was a jam packed with adventures and awesome activities. We just couldn’t get enough, we spent whole day here, swimming, taking photos, flying drone, playing with dogs.. just making memories. This beach beside the amazing setting out of the water, if you go snorkelling you’ll enjoy some of the most vibrant reef. There is a bunch of corals and hundreds of different species of fish. It was like being in a real life aquarium, but even better, we are part of the aquarium. And we had the huge pristine stretch of coastline all to ourselves. How cool!

And after a good session of snorkelling I’d recommend you to go and explore some hidden gems in the tropical forest that lays behind the beach. The surroundings are spectacular full of wild nature, the setting is picturesque with a few layers of mountains for as far as you can see, making the walk in the jungle a wonderful experience.

You MUST at least spend an evening here

w a t e r s p o r t s

Sports lovers will enjoy all types of sports like kitesurfing, paddle boarding and surf. Here it is nice to rent a kayak and wander on the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. If you don’t want to get into the water, this is a great place to play tennis or volleyball.

Very calm beach with sugary fine sand, this is quite a vibe
WHERE THERE ARE DOGGIES, THERE IS FUN AND GOOD MEMORIES

s o m e o t h e r t h i n g s t o k n o w

  • restaurants : the beach is so remote and pretty far away from the restaurants. If you want to spend more time here I recommend you to bring some food or to have lunch or breakfast before.
  • be respectful : I always like to remember people to be conscious of our environment. I love untouched natural beauty and want to keep enjoying this type of places, me and others to come. And never forget that on this planet live millions of other species that deserve to live life as much as we do.
  • wilderness : what makes this beach so amazing is the untouched beauty, the jungle and the stunning marine life.

I just realised it is hard to chose a favourite beach in Dominican Republic, as this island has so many awesome and unique ones and this beach makes no difference. It’s hard not to be amazed by this beach, with its lush jungle, sparkling turquoise waters, white powdery sand and wild horses, oh yes.. the horses made this beach so special and unique. This beach is a hidden gem and it’s right under your nose, you just have to take a walk from the main beach.

PLAYA BAVARO

Pretty sure that almost everyone´s heard about the super popular beach of Bavaro. This beach is so beautiful that even impressed the UNESCO, placing it in a top as one of the best beaches in the world. Pretty cool!

You’ll easily be captured by the spectacular natural beauty of this place. If you catch the sea in a calm moment (it is usually pretty wavy) you should try some snorkelling. The marine life is incredibly abundant here on Bavaro, with beautiful colourful coral reefs, a huge number of tropical fish and maybe you might be lucky to spot sharks and stingrays. And if you are curious and want to explore the area you’ll discover that this tropical oasis is more than just a beautiful beach,

r e s t a u r a n t s a n d c h a n g i n g a r e a s

The beach is lined with little restaurants, but all of them pretty much serve the same thing, but it is still worth to eat in one of the restaurants because they serve delicious fresh food, fresh juice and the best piña colada. To end the day beautifully, after watching a beautiful sunset is having a yummy diner at a cute restaurant. And after diner just have a nice walk at the beach. And this is how you end a lovely day.

To be honest, there are not really any bathrooms or formal changing areas on the beach. The place is quite wild and is what I loved about it. If you need to change you can use the bathroom of one of the restaurants as I did, or your own car.

Embrace your paradise
Breathe in the ocean and shake off all your worries

Surfing in paradise.. this should be the quote at this beach. This is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about this exquisite beautiful and natural beach.

surfing and other water sports

This beach is an absolute dream if you love waters sports. The beach is well known for its good quality waves in the region making surfing one of the main attractions in Bavaro. Surf lovers all over the world come here to catch the waves, knowing that here will have that great opportunity to practice their surfing skills. So if you want to give it a try this is your place.

But don’t think this is the only water sport you can practice here. Kayak, paddle boarding and wind surfing are some other cool sports you can try here. I mean you have it all at this beach, what could you want more?

Macao Beach is another beach that attracts surf lovers, both pro and beginners. The waves here are large enough to practice surfing. You can also rent a boogie board or paddle board to ride if you like other water sports. But this is the beach for all tastes, you can snorkel, just relax on the white soft sand under a palm, swim and basically live your best Caribbean life.

PLAYA MACAO

Macao Beach is a very popular beach and is visited by many tourists and locals. It’s about 30 minutes north of Punta Cana and it became famous for the perfect tropical setting. It’s picture-perfect and if you want to get into the water, it has great marine life. Here you’ll feel the good vibes and the perfect atmosphere will just take all your worries away. This beach is pretty crowded, but if you prefer to escape the crowds, just walk along the beach. The beach is huge and you can easily find some remote areas as we did.

But wait, let’s talk about the ocean! The water clarity is insane and we spent the whole day swimming in the pristine and warm waters, taking photos and drinking piña colada. If you catch a day with lower waves you can grab a kayak or paddle board to cruise over the reef and explore the tropical waters.

restaurants and other facilities

Here you can easily find plenty of restaurants, shops and gift shops. If you want to buy something from the gift shops, do it before 5PM because after, they close. The parking lot is pretty big with space for many cars and it’s free of charge.

Macao Beach is a dream come true, with its clear turquoise waters and white sands. It’s a great opportunity for a relaxing day in the most stunning natural landscapes and great opportunity for stunning photos.

fun stuff in Macao

  • enjoy exploring the world outside of all-inclusive resorts, it is totally worth it
  • opt for a more genuine experience, than the typical ones, sold by the resorts
  • indulge in soaking in a great diversity of scenery and adventures.
  • enjoy the soft, sandy beaches
  • dive in the turquoise waters and swim among plenty of tropical fish

PLAYA JUANILLO

At Juanillo Beach everything is so accessible and the only worry here is not to get a sun burn. All we did here was to enjoy the white sand, the pristine waters and beautiful fish and corals. There’s no time wasted and it’s a totally immersive experience. The place was quiet and peaceful, perfect for a sunset piña colada. The ocean here is calm and if you go into the water, very close to the shore you’ll discover a world of wonder, the snorkelling here is AWESOME. This is among the few beaches with no waves. We had such a great time here and made beautiful memories.

Our resort was right here and for us this beach was more just for relax. We kept coming back each night to watch sunset and early in the morning before breakfast to watch the sun rise. It was a special place to relax and refuel. The atmosphere is so relaxing at Juanillo Beach. The beach is a little bit of a hidden secret and it looks just like that perfect picture-perfect beach that you have a photo hanging on your living room wall. It is absolutely perfect!

r e s t a u r a n t s a n d o t h e r f a c i l i t i e s

With the hotel so close, here we had all we needed. A great place for a late dinner, or romantic dinner, facilities, car parking, pool bar and many crazy birds running around (yes they prefer to run around and steal food). We had so much fun with the birds.

Experiencing a real Caribbean feel

THOUGHTS ABOUT PUNTA CANA

I recommend with all my heart Punta Cana! It’s a great place to learn more about Dominican Republic wildlife and history, as well as tasting their delicious food. We wanted to spend our time out of the resort and we opted for an inside experience only when we booked a massage to relax after so much swimming and exploring. Such a hard life no?

If you don’t want to plan yourself your day, there are many organised tours you can book right at your resort and they will be more than happy to take you around.

I hope I helped you to plan your visit to Punta Cana. I am waiting for your thoughts about this amazing place or to tell me if this post has been helpfull to plan your upcoming trip to this dream place. Don’t be shy and leave a comment down bellow, because your opinion matters.

Kisses, Maddie

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