PUNTA CANA is the name of a town and tourist region at the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic, The region, covering about 420,000 sq.m (approximately 1,100acres), is home to a coastline of sandy white beaches.
In the Province of LA ALTAGRACIA, with a population estimated at 100,000, the region borders the Atlantic Ocean to the east. To the north, it borders BAVARO & EL CORTECITO Beaches. It also borders CABEZA de TORO, CABO ENGANO and further west, JUANILLO.
Punta Cano has a tropical climate. Although it is mildly windy, the ocean I the area is mainly shallow with several natural marine pools in which visitors can bathe. The weather is fairly constant, with an average temperature of 26degrees C. The hottest season lasts from April to November, and during the day the temperatures might reach 32degrees C. From December to March, temperatures during the evening are around 20degrees C. Very little rain falls around the area, mostly because of the flat landscape. The summer months tend to be very warm and very humid.
Punta Cana was founded as a tourist resort and tourism still is 100% of the local economy. Lots of resorts employ the tactics of scaring their visitors from venturing outside by propagating stories of robberies and murder. These have to be taken with a pinch (or a pound) of salt. People tend to be very friendly and helpful. Still flashing jewellery, expensive gadgets or lots of money is not recommended.
There are quite a few interesting places to visit :
(1) ALTOS de CHAVON : A modern – day artist’s village, resembling a 16th century Mediterranean town. It is set upon a spectacular hillside cliff overlooking the winding CHAVON RIVER. It is home to a 5,000-seat amphitheatre, an archaeological museum, craft workshops, artists’ studios and an assortment of galleries and restaurants.
(2) JUANILLO : It is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic. Until a few years ago, it was a very small village of fishermen. The entire village was purchased as a part of a very large project called CAP CANA. In return, for giving up their rights to occupancy, the residents were offered alternative housing, money and jobs While Juanillo was at one time inaccessible to the public, it is now accessible to people staying at one of the Cap Cana Hotels and to property owners within the Cap Cana Project and their guests.
(3) SANTA DOMINGO : This is the Europe of the Western Hemisphere. It has preserved its Colonial Heritage for more than five centuries, and is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
(4) SAONA ISLAND : It is set in the natural reserve of the PARQUE NACIONAL del ESTE. You can relax on powder-white sans, where palm-studded beaches meet the soft surf of the Caribbean waters and sometimes even dolphins swim alongside your catamarans.
(5) DOLPHIN ISLAND : A short boat ride takes you to a floating platform where visitors can swim with trained dolphins in the sea. The package includes 15mins of free time with these unique creatures.
(6) DOMINICAN ALPS : (near the town of JARABACOA), where 18 waterfalls cascade between chasms of rock to water the rich, fertile earth below. If you are a white-water fan, the RIO YASQUE is the longest river in the Caribbean and offers challenging kayak or rafting courses like the MIKE TYSON, which features a 12ft vertical drop.
(7) MARINARIUM : In this water park, you can experience some of the best snorkelling in the area, complete with nurse sharks and sting rays. Enjoy a COCOLOCO ( 100% pure coconut water) as you cruise along the coast to your final stop ——– a waist-deep natural pool in the sea.
(8) SEAQUARIUM : You are provided with a diving helmet and allowed to walk the bottom of the clear waters with an unforgettable view of reef and coral life (no certification required)