Are you planning a trip to the Caribbean? Would you like to know the best places to visit in the Dominican Republic? There are many tours and excursions in Punta Cana that you should experience for yourself. You’ll visit dream landscapes, take part in adventure activities, and learn and enjoy the country’s history and heritage.
One of the most sought-after excursions departing from Punta Cana is also one of the best. You will see the most important historical sites in the Dominican Republic. It’s about 10 hours long but the exact duration is usually up to the amount of traffic. The road to Santo Domingo takes approximately 2 hours by car.
Tours depart from Bávaro Beach in Punta Cana, right by our Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort, Spa & Casino. Transportation consists of sightseeing tour buses with panoramic windows so you don’t miss anything.
Once in Santo Domingo, you will visit emblematic places at the historic centre. The old town has been considered a World Heritage Site since 1990 and conserves several colonial era buildings.
Among them, the Presidential Palace, the Los Tres Ojos Cave, the Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Menor, the Faro de Colón (Columbus Lighthouse), and other places like the Panteón de la Patria (National Pantheon) or the Plaza de España. All of them are included in the visit.
The first Cathedral ever built in America is part of the tour. It’s called the Santo Domingo Cathedral or the Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Menor. Erected in 1504, it remains one of the best examples of early colonial architecture in America.
Before returning to the hotel, the tour provides spare time to grab lunch and have a walk by the malecón, the seaside avenue.
Saona Island is home to some of the most stunningly beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic. That’s the case of La Caleta beach, Los Flamencos beach and Mano Juan beach. Visitors can explore the shallows and find the giant starfish indigenous to the region.
In order to get there, once you are picked up from your hotel you will take a 1 hour bus ride to Bayahibe. And from there, the island will be reached by motorboat.
You will be disembarking at the fishing village of Mano Juan, a great place to order some local food.
One of the highlights in Punta Cana we couldn’t forget mentioning. A 4 hour buggy ride filled with fun. You will be picked at your hotel and transported to the coffee and cocoa plantation where tour guides will teach you how to drive the vehicles.
Once you are familiar with it you will drive through a lovely route through pathways and off-road trails. Typically the last stage of the route is Macao Beach, a recommended place for a swim. You will also visit the local springs and a spectacular natural pool formed underground by a sinkhole.
The only requisite in order to drive a buggy in Punta Cana is that you have to be over 18 and drive stick shift (driving licence is not always required so check beforehand). After all that, it will be time to return to the hotel.
Keep this one on the list of excursions to book in Punta Cana. Particularly if diving is a passion of yours. First things first, you’ll need to get to the island by boat, you can do that from anywhere along Costa del Coco.
Catalina Island is considered as beautiful as Saona, or even more! But if the latter is a relaxing destination, the former is perfect for adventure activities and sports.
Diving is one of the activities visitors come to Punta Cana for. The local beaches are brimming with wildlife not visible from the surface. From sharks or manta rays to sea turtles. Taking part in this excursion allows you to observe them in their own environment.
There are two diving options available. If you are PADI certified you can dive in the Caribbean during the day and enjoy its spectacular seabed, stuffed with tropical fish and sea-stars.
If you are not a PADI diver don’t worry, it’s alright. When you book a diving tour the professional guides are there from the start to help you and teach you basic diving lessons and every safety tip you need to be aware of.
The other alternative is snorkelling, it won’t allow you to reach the depths of the sea but you will still discover many secrets under the waters.
There’s no doubt Los Haitises contain some of the most spectacular landscapes in all of the Dominican Republic. The excursion here takes up a whole day. Getting up early is usually necessary in order to reach the location.
There are many reasons why this is one of the best excursions in Punta Cana. You will take pleasure in canoeing the river Caño Hondo. Along the way you will explore the La Línea and Arena Caves and its petroglyphs. You can bathe in the natural pools of Río Jivales and catch sight of pelicans.
The excursion typically ends with a 4×4 climb to Montaña Redonda. The vistas are gorgeous from there. You will be back at your hotel in time for a shower and dinner.
Samaná is one of the largest and most beautiful natural reserves of the country. This tour is fundamentally aimed at providing you with the most gorgeous locations and vistas available. Getting up early is also required, because the trip to Santa Bárbara takes about 5 hours and the transportation method consists of panoramic sightseeing buses.
Perhaps the most memorable part of the excursion takes place at the El Limón waterfall; bathing there is a must. And after lunch, you will board a catamaran to Cayo Levantado, on Bacardí Island.
The final excursion we suggest will take you to Manatí Theme Park. It’s solely focused on the flora and fauna native to the Dominican Republic, and as you may have guessed, manatees are the real stars here.
They are not the only species of animals you can meet there, though. There’s a dolphin show, and you can even get a picture with them. And with several different species of apes and birds too.
In conclusion, these are the top 8 tours and excursions in Punta Cana that you can take part in, and right from the doorstep of your hotel! The Dominican Republic is home to so many fabulous places and things to do and see, and thanks to these tours you will discover them and take them with you.
If the complete experience is what you want, the best and most exclusive resorts are located in Playa Bávaro. And among them: Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort, Spa & Casino. Your stay in Costa Bávaro Resort rewards you with an extensive list of services that enrich your enjoyment in this tropical paradise.