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Punta Cana Guide | Travel Tips

Punta Cana International Airport, Complete Guide

The Punta Cana International Airport opened on December 17, 1983, is one of the most important in the Caribbean in terms of international traffic and the busiest in the Dominican Republic. It operates with destinations throughout the Americas and Europe. Due to the accelerated traffic growth, it is in continuous expansion. It has the particularity of having a roof of palm leaves.

Punta Cana Airport is the world’s first private international airport; It is managed by the Eastern Airport Corporation (CAE), a company of the Punta Cana Group. In May 2015, it got prequalification to work with flights from the United States as if it were a terminal in that country. 

He was recently chosen as one of the three best airports in the Latin America and Caribbean region in the Airport Service Quality benchmarking program, according to the passenger satisfaction survey of the International Airport Council (ACI).

Photo by: Fernando Calzada, Arquitexto Magazine

Before leaving the plane, do not forget to collect all your belongings.

If you dispatched luggage, the first thing you should do is go to the baggage claim sector of Punta Cana Airport (PUJ).

Then (if necessary) make migrations placing yourself in the corresponding row according to your nationality, and show your passport, and Visa (if applicable). In some countries, they might ask you where you will stay, to show you the return ticket, etc. Check this information with the corresponding embassy before traveling.

 Once you arrive in the public area, check the available means of transport or look at the signs with names that some people support (if you hired a private service and they are waiting for you.

If instead, you plan to rent a car, review the information on Car Rental at Punta Cana Airport (PUJ) and eventually make a reservation in advance.

If you forgot your hand luggage on the plane or your checked bag (dispatched) has never appeared or suffered damage, follow the Luggage instructions.

Check the VIP lounges and Services offered by the airport in case you have to wait for a connecting flight.

If you wish to search for a hotel near or inside the airport, check our Information item of Overnight at Punta Cana Airport (PUJ)

If you are a passenger with reduced mobility or with a disability, coordinate your trip at least 48 hours before with your airline and check the facilities for Special Passengers provided by the airport.

Upon arrival, you will do as follows:
Disembark plane and be bussed to the terminal A or B,  depending on which one you arrive.

In the terminal, you do not have to acquire your tourist visa, is already include it in the package of your airline ticket.

Then you have to clear Dominican immigration, presenting your passport and tourist visa. At times they may ask you to provide your place of stay in the country, If you come from the United States or Canada you can go through the auto gate system by presenting your passport

Clearing immigration, you will wait for your luggage. They will likely require that you show your passport or bag tags as you take the bag, to secure that you are the owner of the bag. Your bags may or may not be pulled aside for further screening by customs agents.
Once through this checkpoint, you will be in a hall with different tour providers.

Do you have to go through customs in Punta Cana?

Upon arrival in Punta Cana, you must submit a customs form, your flight attendant will have given you the forms to fill out for the immigration and customs process in the Punta Cana airport.

A blue customs entry form and a white customs declaration form. The white form will be received by Customs at the customs desk, and the blue form is the immigration form taken at passport control, your forms will be taken and your passport stamped by a customs officer and then you’re off to collect your luggage.

Depending upon your departure day and departure time, it may be quite congested. During peak times, where congestion rises, begins at 9:00 a.m. and runs until 5:00 p.m. Being an airport with a complete tourist audience, you should plan on being there at least 3 hours ahead, so if you are taking a taxi, plan to add travel time to that. Early in the morning is the best time because it is more fluid.

Is there a departure tax in Punta Cana?

According to Dominican law, there is an exit tax of USD 20, whose cost is regularly covered in your air ticket. is recommended you must consult this with your airline directly.

Do I need a tourist card to enter Punta Cana?

Previously, upon arrival in the Dominican Republic, an entrance fee to the country was paid at a cost of US $10, this was called a “tourist card”, but that changed since April 25, 2018, according to the general tax address Dominican Republic interns, and air tickets include this rate, so you do not have to pay anything on arrival at the airport.


In this video, they are talking about the Puerto Plata airport, but the recommendations generally apply to all Dominican Republic airports including Punta Cana, some of the tips could be very helpful.

How many terminals does Punta Cana airport have?

Although Punta Cana Airport has a modest size, it has 5 separate terminals: International Terminals A and B, and three more terminals: National Terminal, FBO and a VIP Terminal.

Facilities and services Punta Cana Airport (PUJ)

Photo by: Fernando Calzada Arquitexto Magazine

 The airport has ATMs, currency exchange bureaus (7:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.), VIP lounges, electrical outlets, and free Wi-Fi access.

Gastronomy- The terminal has a food court with restaurants, fast food outlets, coffee shops and bars, some open 24 hours a day. Shopping- Inside the premises, there are duty-free shops, clothing, souvenirs, handicrafts.

 Opposite the airport is a shopping center with a wide variety of products and a complimentary transportation service. Baggage- For information about lost items, contact the security management (Tel +809 959 2376 ext. 1712; mail: Seguridadcae@puntacana.com; form). Other Services- Nursing room, children’s entertainment area, pharmacy.

Punta Cana airport auto gate service

Punta Cana airport self service kiosk
Punta Cana airport self service kiosk

Both at the exit and the entrance of the airport passengers of North American and Canadian nationality can register quickly in the Auto Gate system by presenting their travel document with a minimum validity of six months, prior registration in the Automated Migration Control System will not be necessary.

I had the privilege to design a sign that will be on the self-service modules indicating its position, according to the requirements, space was left for more modules, the airport of Punta Cana expands and modernizes frequently.

 

How far is Cap Cana from airport?

The Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ), is located just 15 minutes from the Punta Cana and Cap Cana area, and 30 minutes from the hotel areas of Bávaro, Arena Gorda, El Cortecito, and a 45-minute drive from Macao and Uvero Alto.

How early should I arrive at Punta Cana airport?

It is suggested to arrive 3 hours before the departure time of your flight This permits you the check-in time for your flight, complete immigration, and security.

Is Punta Cana aiport Air conditioned?

Among the characteristics of the Punta Cana airport are environmental sustainability in its operations, being a pioneer in the country in using a sustainable design with cane and coral stone ceilings; It has selected new technologies such as the use of large ceiling fans to circulate the air and create interior breezes avoiding the use of central air conditioning, and the introduction of new materials.

In others spaces like restaurants, fast food outlets, coffee shops, bars, and duty free shops, they have air conditioning.

The VIP lounges of Punta Cana Airport

VIP Lounge – Open from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm and located in front of doors 5 and 6 of Terminal B. Maximum stay 2 hours. Air conditioning, newspapers, and magazines, Wi-Fi, TV, snacks, drinks, fax, showers. Access: with Priority Pass, Lounge Club or DragonPass membership, by booking online or by paying at the door (USD50.00).

VIP Lounge Punta Cana – It is located in front of doors 5 and 6 of Terminal A and opens from 8:00 am until the last flight of the day. The maximum stay is 2 hours. Computers, snacks, drinks, TV, air conditioning, newspapers, magazines, showers, Wi-Fi. Access: with Priority Pass, Lounge Club or DragonPass membership, by booking online or by paying at the door (USD50.00).

How can I request the VIP service at the Punta Cana airport?

To use the VIP services at Punta Cana airport, you can send an email to get more information to the following emails: viplounge@puntacana.com or sprivado@puntacana.com

Spending the night at the Punta Cana airport

Spend the night at the airport The Punta Cana airport is small, but it is open 24 hours a day, so you have the option to spend the night inside the enclosure if you have an early morning flight or if your flight is canceled.

 There are some benches inside the terminals, in addition to grassy areas between the buildings where you can lie down if you have a sleeping bag. You can also find VIP lounges inside the enclosure, where you can enjoy greater comfort and privacy, although they close at night.

Some hotels in the surrounding area, on the other hand, offer transfer services to and from the airport.

• Baggage: The terminals do not have luggage storage offices, so you must stay with your luggage until check-in time.

• To eat and drink: Along with the premises, there are several places that remain open during the night.

• Wi-Fi: Free access. Other services open 24 hours: Nursing room, children’s entertainment area.

Punta Cana airport terminal A

Photo by: Fernando Calzada, Arquitexto Magazine

Terminal A of Punta Cana Airport has boarding gates 1 to 4. This terminal is international, which manages international incoming and outgoing flights.

Terminal A of Punta Cana Airport has the following services:

Low level: Arrivals. Available services: immigration, first aid, baggage claim, Car rental counters, luggage collection, luggage carts, customs, tour operators, banking services, transportation (taxi, bus, car rental), information point and service of restoration.

First floor: Departures and check-in. On this floor are the boarding gates 1-4. Available services: Ticket sales, airport and airline offices, security control, immigration counters, children’s play area, VIP room, catering services, telephones, lounges, ATMs and a duty-free shop.

The next services are available in Terminal A of Punta Cana Airport:
ATMs
Children’s play area
Airport offices and airlines
Information point
Currency exchange
Duty-free stores
Free Wi-Fi
Battery recharge points
First aid – Tour operators
VIP room
Service of restauration
Phones
Restrooms

Punta Cana airport Terminal B

Photo By: Fernando Calzada, Arquitexto Magazine

Terminal B of Punta Cana Airport has the next services:

Low level:
Arrivals. Available services: Car rental counters, immigration, first aid, baggage claim, luggage collection, luggage carts, customs, tour operators, banking services, transportation (taxi, bus, car rental), information point and service of Restauration.

First floor:
Departures and check-in. On this floor are the boarding gates 5-10. Available services: Ticket sales, immigration counters, airport and airline offices, , security control, VIP room, children’s play area, catering services, telephones, lounges, ATMs and duty-free shop.

Car rental companies that are at the Punta Cana airport

In the Arrivals Halls there are counters of:

Ameri Rent (Tel +809 959 0707 – 8:00 am a 7:00 pm)

Avis (Tel +809 959 0534 – 8:00 am a 9:00 pm)

Budget (Tel +809 959 1005 – 8:00 am a 10:00 pm)

Europcar/InterRent (Tel +809 959 0177 – 8:00 am a 6:00 pm)

Fox (Tel +809 599 0884 – 8:00 am a 9:00 pm)

Hertz (Tel +809 959 0365 – 8:00 am a 10:00 pm)

National (Tel +809 959 0434 – 8:00 am a 9:00 pm)

Payless (Tel +809 959 6287 – 8:00 am a 10:00 pm)

Sixt (Tel +809 541 7498 – 7:00 am a 11:00 pm)

Thrifty (Tel +809 466 2046 – 8:00 am a 10:00 pm)

Punta Cana airport hotel transportation

In case you do not want to rent a vehicle there are taxi services that are at the exit at the airport, a taxi from the airport to a hotel in Punta Cana costs approximately between US $ 10 and 15. Most hotels offer free transportation to and from Punta Cana airport. You have to call ahead to provide your details and flight number.

At the airport of Punta Cana, you have several options for transport or taxis, at the exit of all passengers to the outside the first thing you will find on your left are those in rent cars, these are available from 9 a.m. Until 10 o’clock p.m. 

Approximately the cost of renting vehicles can be US$ 40, 50, 60 and 70 up to 80 per day with all insurance included.

Is there Wi-Fi service at the Punta Cana airport?

Yes, Punta Cana airport offers free internet service in both terminals. The username is PUNTACAN-WIFI and no password is needed.

In the airport of Punta Cana there is free Wi-Fi connection, You will need internet and be connected when you arrive in Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic the most popular telephone companies are Claro and Altice (formerly called Orange) you can buy a chip for your cell phone in one of these companies, the chip must be pre-payment.

Altice has a promotion called “package” with RD$ 300 (US$ 6) approximately you can have internet with full data for 15 days, you just have to go to an Altice store, buy the pre-paid chip, dial on your phone cell # 100 # and follow the instructions, but if you dont know Spanish you can ask for help from someone you trust or use a translator.

 You should keep in mind that if you want to change your dollars inside the airport, the exchange rate is much lower and they will give you less Dominican pesos in comparison if you change it in a commercial bank, it is recommended to change the dollars outside the airport, You can pay the taxi with dollars without problems.

Punta cana aiport map

Photo by: Airportguide.com

Punta Cana airport negative reviews

This airport is characterized by receiving a huge amount of tourists, the prices of duty-free shops may seem very expensive, but this is something that is seen in many airports.

Punta Cana has two tracks for takeoff and landing, the only one in the country. And he can receive an aircraft for every 50 seconds. Their peak hours, where congestion increases and forces them to redouble their efforts to air traffic controllers, begins at 9:00 a.m. and runs until 5:00 p.m. 

Being an airport with a pure tourist audience, this busiest schedule coincides with the hotel check-in and check-out times. More or less at that time that airport is completely congested, you must have a lot of patience.

I have read many negative comments on the Facebook page of the airport of Punta Cana, about the stealing of personal belongings and jewelry, maybe they are isolated events, but it is recommended that you carry your jewelry in some hand luggage that you can carry with you.

Some workers are not very well trained and perhaps their level of education is not the best, in the Dominican Republic there is a culture to look for tips, and airports are not the exception, that sometimes is a very uncomfortable situation.

If you are interested to know more tips about, you can read this topic that I wrote from first trip to Dominican Republic.