Regardless of whether you go with a travel agency or on your own, to travel to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, there are important decisions you have to make and information you need to know, all of which will mark the final result of your trip.
Hotels, visa, what to do in Punta Cana, what to see, what to carry in your suitcase, excursions and many other questions are those that come to mind before each new trip, and in this article, you will find relevant help to these topics.
The first thing that should be said about Punta Cana is that it is one of those destinations that do not have too many organizational complications, mainly, because most travelers visiting Punta Cana just move from the big resorts where you have the famous all-inclusive hotels that gives you access to unlimited food and drink.
Therefore, whether this is your type of trip, as if you have planned to do some activities to not spend the whole week at the hotel, here you’ll find 10 tips that summarize the main concerns or doubts more frequent about it.
Despite how extremely easy it is to organize a trip to Punta Cana; it should be said that most travelers came with the same one hired through travel agencies. In fact, for this type of trip, there are also many who choose to hire their trips through Internet comparators such as Booking, which offer the most hotel flight offers to Punta Cana.
Traveling to Punta Cana only requires hiring the plane, the hotel, travel insurance and transportation from the airport to the hotel, in many cases the hotel provides transportation from the airport.
Excursions are not usually included in travel agencies, so you have to hire them there, either at hotels or online before traveling.
This preference for agencies has two explanations:
Obviously, the most comfortable thing is that you organize the trip because you don’t always have time for it. And on the other hand, in certain cases travel agencies may offer cheaper special prices due to their volume of contracting.
Regardless of whether you prefer an agency, comparator or organize it yourself, there are certain aspects that you need to notice before making your reservation.
How to choose a trip and hotel in Punta Cana
First look for the flight on your own without hiring it, as well as a selection of two or three hotels, with the type of room that would interest you, and write down the prices.
It is important that you look for it by opening a new incognito window so that the search engines do not locate your computer and do not raise the price after making a new search.
This search is just a first survey to find out what it would cost us to hire it on our own depending on the hotel.
Already with that information, ask price in travel agencies, having clear in advance which hotels you are interested in, because not all hotels are in the travel offers to Punta Cana offered by the agencies, and by default, they will offer you the ones that most They interest them.
Many agencies to advertise the lowest possible price on advertising signs neglect the quality of the accommodations and then there are surprises that you did not expect.
And I think that few things could spoil this type of trip more than the hotel, where you will have lunch, dinner and spend a large part of the day.
There is a great offer of hotels but with a lot of difference in the qualities, and in this respect, you have to take into account that the Dominican Republic is a very cheap country, in which going from standard quality to an absolutely VIP means very little price difference.
That is why we recommend you first search on your own, then look in the search engines for flight and hotel offers, and finally, ask in the agency about the hotels you have previously selected. In this way, you can compare the different options and choose the most economically appropriate.
2.What hotel to choose in Punta Cana
The choice of hotel and room is probably the most important decision that can make your trip to Punta Cana a true trip to paradise.
In Punta Cana, there are all kinds of all-inclusive hotels or without, adults-only hotels, hotels to go with children, with better beaches, with a greater or lesser amount of swimming pools, with water parks, with discos, even hotels with casino and theaters
Just as you choose the resort, there is so much hotel offer that it is also important to choose the type of room and the area of beaches in which it is located.
Let’s not forget that hotels have their private beaches, which is where you will spend most of the time.
The resorts in Punta Cana have a huge variety of rooms, it’s not like other destinations where hotels have all their rooms the same.
That is why even when traveling with an agency, they will give you hotel options to choose from with the corresponding prices for each type of room, and if they do not offer it to you, ask for it.
Is it worthwhile to hire an all-inclusive hotel in Punta Cana?
The first decision is to decide if you want to stay in an all-inclusive hotel or one without an all-inclusive hotel.
As surprising as it may seem, not all hotels are all-inclusive, being honest, the price offered by all-inclusive hotels is incomparable considering what they offer.
We Dominicans are the first who on vacation chose this option to go to a resort where everything is included in the payment.
It is important to look at the prices offered in the packs or internet offers to travel to Punta Cana, because they are closely linked to the room you choose and the area of the hotel where you are staying.
You have to value well the types of rooms that offer you, for a small price difference you can have rooms that go directly to the pool or with hot tubs inside the room or on your terrace.
How is an all-inclusive 5-star hotel in Punta Cana?
An example of many is the Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts resort in Punta Cana, right on the Bavaro beach, which is made up of four different hotels, which offered different levels of quality in their services.
This hotel perfectly serves as a sample, within the resort is the Hotel TRS Turquesa, which is the VIP area of the resort
Only those who are staying there can access it, while those who are staying in that area can move around the rest of the hotels and facilities of the resort.
Having an exclusive area, there are no crowds at any time, since that hotel has its restaurants and independent pools, in addition to the quality of the restaurants and the treatment in this VIP area is superior.
Some rooms are impressive at incredible prices, and you can enjoy them just looking for a bit and not choosing the first thing you see or offer.
3. Is it safe to travel to Punta Cana?
As for security, although Punta Cana is one of the safest areas of the Dominican Republic by far, we cannot ignore that, in general, it is an insecure country, although luckily less and less. Ten years ago, in some hotels, the security personnel were armed, something that today is not necessary for Punta Cana.
This does not mean that anything will happen, but for this reason, the large resorts have a great point in favor, since they guarantee you peace and security. Especially when you do not have to leave the hotel to wander through areas that you do not know, looking for where to eat or especially where to have dinner, since when the sun goes down is when it is something more dangerous.
They usually recommend that if you move around the country at your leisure, do not carry valuables in sight, especially mobile phones. Keep in mind that the average salary in the Dominican Republic is approximately US $ 250 per month and the minimum salary US $ 130, so a next-generation mobile phone whose price is around US $ 1,000 is very succulent for burglars.
The key is to keep in mind where you are since it is not the same to be in Punta Cana in the area of Bavaro beach or the Marina of Cap Cana, which are safe areas, that move around some neighborhoods of the capital, Santo Domingo.
4. How to choose insurance to travel to Punta Cana
Travel insurance is one of those things that you just have to have before traveling when we leave our country, and especially considering that for between US $ 30 and 60, which is what insurance costs for a week, you are covered of expenses that can be very high if something happens to you.
I tell you some important aspects when choosing a policy to travel to Punta Cana. This destination requires insurance with the following coverage: health care and health transport with a large spending limit, since quality health care in this country is the private; repatriation, in case you must return home hurriedly; Cancellation, in case you must cancel your trip due to a major problem since reservations for this trip have a significant cost.
It is key that the insurance covers 100% of all expenses related to any accident.
5. What to see and do in Punta Cana?
Most travelers who visit Punta Cana do so looking for the sun and the beach, and there are many who do not leave the hotel in a week.
The hotels have their own private beach and several swimming pools to relax and drink and eat while sunbathing, which for many is the perfect plan.
The large resorts, such as the Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana, also have soccer fields, tennis courts, paddle and basketball courts, casinos, spa or theaters, as well as bars, clubs, and restaurants.
Even the hotels organize activities within the resorts, such as foam parties or spinning in the pools, as well as activities for the little ones.
But for those who cannot spend so many days without leaving the hotel, there are several activities and excursions that can be done leaving from Punta Cana.
Excursions from Punta Cana
If what you are looking for is culture and history, perhaps the most important visit you can take to tour the city of Santo Domingo with its characteristic colonial buildings.
The capital of the country was the first European city in America, since that was where Christopher Columbus arrived on his first trip through the Americas in 1492.
Hispaniola, as it was known in its day, had great importance in the naval development of Spain since they founded the first church, the first university and many other buildings in which they considered a new continent.
Other of the most requested excursions are the visit of Saona Island, an authentic Caribbean paradise or the catamaran excursion to Samaná.
For those looking for adrenaline activities, there are many options for speedboats, buggies between coffee plantations, swimming with dolphins, whale watching or the most spectacular of all, the helicopter ride through Punta Cana.
If it is a question of nature or unique places, without a doubt the National Park of Los Haitises is that reserve of perfect nature with its mangroves.
In addition, there are some coral reserves for lovers of marine life where you can live the experience of snorkeling and diving. In the interior of the country, there are several places where traditional villages are visited and activities such as horse riding or visit beautiful caves inside the jungle.
When hiring excursions, you can do it right there in the hotels, or even on the beach you find locals offering you all kinds of excursions.
6. Do I need a visa to travel to Punta Cana?
For most countries, it is not necessary to apply for any type of visa to travel to Punta Cana. Of course, to enter the Dominican Republic it is necessary to fill in two forms that deliver you on the plane during the journey to the country.
They will ask you for information about your trip, with information such as how many days you will be and where you are going to stay.
There are two forms, because one is delivered upon arrival in the country and passed customs control, and the other is to be delivered before leaving the Dominican Republic.
If you do not know where you have saved the return form, you can always fill it out at the airport before going through customs, because they will ask you at the first security check that you find after checking your luggage.
I recommend you take a pen by hand to fill in the information during the flight, although if you don’t carry it, you can always find someone to lend you one during your flight.
As for the money that must be paid before entering the country, previously US $ 10 was paid to enter the country, but since 2018 this payment is no longer charged.
Simply deliver the passports and the form you fill out on the plane; they will stamp your passport and you will enter the country.
7.What currency is used in Punta Cana?
The currency used in Punta Cana is the Dominican peso, although if you do not move from the hotel, do not worry about it, because there are people who do not even need to change the currency throughout the trip.
In practice, as in many countries of the world, you can pay with both dollars and euros, since they accept these two currencies almost anywhere.
Besides you can always pay by card in most establishments, especially restaurants.
In case you want to change before your trip, you will have to request it from your bank a few days in advance because they probably do not have Dominican pesos in the branch.
Of course, you can also change when you arrive in the country, at the airport or even at the hotels themselves; This is the most expensive option although the most comfortable.
If you specifically want to change local currency while already in Punta Cana, it is advisable to get the money from a local cashier (ATM), who usually apply a better exchange, and depending on the bank, with minimum commissions.
For more tips on the exchange rate in Punta Cana you can read this more detailed topic that I wrote.
8.Best time to travel to Punta Cana
When considering what time of the year it is best to travel to Punta Cana, you should know it has a tropical climate, with a constant temperature, so any time of the year is good to visit it.
You could say that it is high season all year round, but some nuances and differences are depending on the month of the year that vary the price.
Another important issue and why you ask us a lot are the issue of hurricanes, with the classic question of what is the time of hurricanes in Punta Cana.
That is why I leave you here a specific article that I have prepared with important topics related to the best time to travel to Punta Cana, in which we talk about the weather, hurricanes, the months where more people travel and much more.
9. What to take for a trip to Punta Cana?
The issue of suitcases and what things to take is one of the questions you ask us most when you are going to travel. To go to Punta Cana three things cannot be missing in your suitcase and that are essential. Of course, a swimsuit, a lot of sunscreen that is biodegradable so as not to contaminate the sea, because the sun hits very hard in Punta Cana and mosquito repellent if you leave the resorts, especially if you are going to make an excursion to areas of natural reserves.
If it is advisable to take some warm clothes, even if only for the plane ride. If you go to a large resort it is necessary to take some more formal clothes, especially for dinner time.
In the resorts there are no electricity problems, but if you move around other areas, it is convenient to take portable batteries because power failures are quite common and it is very common to run out of electricity in the rest of the country.
10.Vaccines needed to travel to Punta Cana
In principle to make a trip to Punta Cana where you are going to move a little from the resort, you do not need any type of vaccine. In spite of that, the ideal thing is to consult with the organism of your country specialized in vaccines for trips, so that you make sure that when you are going to travel, you do not need anything special.