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An Insider's Guide to Punta Cana - Travel Tips for the Perfect Holiday

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Punta Cana is home to white-sand beaches, world-class golf courses, and year-round sun. The region boasts many all-inclusive beachfront resorts that cater to families, adults, and honeymooners. Regular flights connect the U.S. and Europe with Punta Cana International Airport, and you can get around via taxis, buses, and organized tours.

Best time to travel

 

The best time to visit Punta Cana is between December and April, when daytime temperatures average 80 degrees. The high season peaks in March, as do the hotel rates - it’s a popular time for spring break students. Hurricane season is June to November, when the weather is hot and humid. Fortunately, prolonged rainfall is unusual in Punta Cana, and while there might be occasional showers, the region enjoys sunshine and warm temperatures throughout the year.

Not to miss

 

Punta Cana has 100 km of coastline, much of which features stretches of white sand lapped by turquoise waters. Bávaro is a hub of activity with all-inclusive resorts, bars, restaurants, and an award-winning beach. On the eastern tip, Cap Cana is a tranquil oasis. Oceanfront golf courses, colorful coral reefs, and the annual Punta Cana Carnival are among the other reasons to visit.

 

Getting around

 

Punta Cana International Airport receives year-round charter and scheduled flights from the United States and Europe. You can book local taxis in advance or catch one from the airport, but it’s best to agree a price before the journey. It's easy to rent a car, though driving in Punta Cana can be stressful due to the lack of road rules. For a cheaper, local experience, hop on a bus - but don’t expect a regular service.

 

Cuisine

 

In the all-inclusive resorts, you’ll find international dining options with a wide choice of American, European, and Asian dishes. Red beans, rice, and plantains are common items on local menus, and national favorites include mofongo (fried plantain) and chicharrón de pollo (fried chicken). Foodies will love the annual Punta Cana Wine and Food Festival, which showcases the region’s gastronomy, including samples of locally made rum.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

Trying out your Spanish will help you connect with locals - even if it’s only “please” ("por favor") and “thank you” ("gracias".) You’ll find many beach vendors in Punta Cana, but the locals are friendly, so rather than ignore them, politely say no if you’re not interested. Haggling is expected and if you are firm, but fair, you should be able reach an agreement that suits both of you. Wages are low in the Dominican Republic and tipping of at least 10% is appreciated. You should tip room attendants, taxi drivers, bartenders, and wait staff.

 

Fast facts

 

  • Population: 100000
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  • Spoken languages: Spanish and English
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  • Electrical: 120 volts, 60 Hz, plug type A, B
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  • Phone calling code: +1 809, 829, 849
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  • Emergency number: 006