Punta Cana

Punta Cana

Overview

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Destination Basics

The weather in Punta Cana is pleasantly warm year-round. While there are only a few degrees difference in temperature from season to season, the humidity can play a key role. However, travellers here can count on extended periods of sunshine and blue skies just about anytime of the year.

During the slightly cooler season from November to April, temperatures in Punta Cana along the coast are constant around 29 C during the day and dropping to a comfortable 20 C at night. During this season, humidity is relatively low and so is precipitation.

In the hot season, which runs roughly from May to October, the average temperature rises to 31 C during the day and drops to about 22 C at night. However, due to the high level of humidity during this season, it often feels hotter. Quick rain showers and minor tropical storms bring some breaks from the heat.

Despite the small difference between the temperatures in summer and winter, the climate tends to vary from year to year due to the influence of the weather phenomena known as El Niño and La Niña.

Average monthly temperature and average monthly rainfall diagrams for Punta Cana

Punta Cana is known for its stunning, endless beaches, upscale hotels and amazing golf courses. Sure, every sun destination has beaches, but not quite like the ones here in Punta Cana.

There are nine separate beach areas where the resorts are located, each with a charm all its own. While resorts line the coastal strip, beach access is available from outside roads and restaurants. The beaches are public, so there are no restrictions on walking from one hotel beach to another.

The Bávaro area is the most developed section of the east coast’s resort strip. It’s dotted with gift shops, hotels and restaurants right on the beach. Dine at Jellyfish, Huracán Café or El Pulpo Cojo and you’ll feel like you’re in heaven.

Bávaro includes Los Corales, the main departure point for many of the water excursions and beach activities. You can easily book a speedboat ride here, go parasailing, windsurfing or experience the unique thrill of a “flying boat” ride. This can best be described as a two-person raft mounted with a large hang gliding sail on top, and propelled by a motorized fan at the rear. As the boat gains speed, the sail lifts the boat into the air for minutes at a time – you have to see it to believe it!

Playa Uvero Alto is the furthest beach area and has fewer crowds. With its golden sands and high waves, you’ll feel like Robinson Crusoe on your own private beach here. Playa Macao is also in the more-remote northern side and is a favourite among locals for its picture-perfect setting. If you’ve always had a desire to surf, the Macao Surf Camp offers lessons for all ages on weekends, weather permitting.

The Punta Cana shore is regarded as one of the world’s top five billfish fishing areas, with more than seven months of open season every year. Famous marlin fishing tournaments have been held in Punta Cana and Cap Cana for decades. For a chance to reel in a big one, check the Cap Cana Marina for tournament schedules.

Abundant marine life in Punta Cana also offers snorkellers and divers a kaleidoscope of colourful sea creatures to observe. Water temperatures of 27 C and visibility of 18 to 20 metres near shore keep the experience relaxed and comfortable. There are 12 different dive sites in total and a shallow, but rewarding, reef site known as the Aquarium that is great for beginners.

Punta Cana is a golfer’s delight as well – home to some of the top golf courses in the Caribbean. With swaying palm trees, lush tropical foliage, ocean- and bluff-side holes, you may find it hard to keep your eye on the ball.

Some of the great courses here include the Faldo Legacy by Nick Faldo, signature Nick Price course Punta Blanca and Cana Bay by Jack Nicklaus.

Travel throughout the Dominican Republic and you’ll see many mountain ranges and the region’s lush rainforests and valleys. The mountain range to the east is named the Cordillera Oriental and it’s one of the less rugged mountains in the Dominican Republic. By the time you get to Punta Cana, the ground is pretty much flat, which is great for ranching and perfect for sunning on the city’s many beaches.

The beaches are Punta Cana’s most renowned feature, with over 60 km of beach stretching along the eastern coast. Here, the Atlantic meets the Caribbean in a spectacular display of blue hues – including azure, robin’s egg blue and navy.

Punta Cana to the south and Bávaro to the north used to be two distinctly different towns and regions. Today, the entire area is commonly referred to as Punta Cana and flows together in a sprawling patchwork of resorts, beaches, shopping centres and restaurants. The all-inclusive resorts are like mini-cities with their multiple restaurants, pools, bars, youth centres, discos, casinos and a host of on-site sports activities.

Farther north are the windswept beaches of Uvero Alto and Macao, the wetlands and Taíno caves with their pre-Columbian drawings. Around these areas, you still see cattle and horses grazing on scrubland. At the far south is Cap Cana, the latest area to be developed. The 30,000-acre master-planned residential and resort community has a spectacular world-class marina, long stretches of white sand beaches, golf courses and nature reserves teeming with birds and diverse plants.

Before the 1980s, Punta Cana was mostly beach and scrub. Cattle and horse ranchers from Higüey, the capital of La Altagracia province, owned much of the land, including the beach areas. The tourism industry began in 1969, when a group of investors from the United States and the Dominican Republic acquired some land with a vision to develop the area as a travel destination.

Today, Punta Cana is a cosmopolitan blend of many nations, with a distinct Dominican flavour. Europeans, Canadians and Americans have invested millions in hotel and residential development and have brought pieces of their own cultures with them. Haitians who migrated to the area to build the resorts have also left their mark. Many of the colourful, expressive paintings sold in the artisanal markets are Haitian, or at least Haitian-influenced.

Look to your hotel lobby for works of Dominican art by top local artists and architects such as the impressive metal sculptures of Jose Ignacio Morales. Known as El Artistico, Morales has more than 30 years of experience in sculpture fabrication and decoration in the Dominican Republic.

You can view the artwork of leading Dominican artist Thimo Pimental, including his Huellas mural in honour of the original Igneri settlers of Cap Cana, at the Punta Cana Village Mall.

Cuisine here is a blend of Spanish, Taíno and African traditions. Rice, beans and plantains are staples in Dominican cooking. You’ll often find familiar ingredients prepared in new ways, including boiled green bananas commonly served as a side vegetable.

Try mangu – a savory puree of mashed plantains made with butter and milk or mofongo - mashed fried green plantains made with meat and a bit of crushed garlic. Local herbs are often used when cooking but spicy dishes are not very common. Papaya, passion fruit, pineapple and the sweetest bananas you will ever taste are always in season and an absolute must to try when dining in the Dominican.

Private taxis can be hired at the airport and at most major hotels. Roundtrip transfers to and from the airport can also be purchased in advance by contacting WestJet Vacations at least three days prior to your departure. Sightseeing buses also run frequently. Check with your Hola Tours representative or your hotel concierge for further details.

If you’re looking to visit a resort other than your own during your stay, you’ll need to purchase a day pass in advance. Taxis are the best method of transportation to get you between resorts. Need help finding a cab? Just ask your concierge or bellman. Just be sure to confirm the rate with your driver prior to departing since taxi fares are calculated on a flat rate in Punta Cana.

Tours are another great way to get around and experience some of Punta Cana’s top attractions. Transportation from your hotel (or a nearby meeting point) is usually included. Ask a WestJet Vacations representative or consult our website for more details.

The official currency of the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Peso. Most hotels, restaurants and businesses accept major credit cards. If you would prefer to have cash on hand, both Canadian and U.S. money can be exchanged for the peso during your stay at both banks and exchange booths (called casas de cambio). Most hotels and resorts also offer currency exchange services.

If you need to withdraw funds, you’ll find bank machines at many resorts and popular shopping areas. Please note that local ATMs only dispense funds in pesos and fees vary.

To avoid carrying a large amount of cash, a mix of payment options is recommended.

Arrival

During your flight to Punta Cana, you will be provided with a Tourist Card and a Customs Card. Please keep these documents in a safe place, as it will cost US$10 to obtain another.

From touch-down in Punta Cana it’s not hard to see that you’ve arrived in a tropical paradise. The Punta Cana International Airport features open-air arrival terminals with palm frond covered roofs, in true Dominican style. Not to mention, as you walk down the stairs of the aircraft, you’ll quickly feel the warm Caribbean air on your face.

Once off the aircraft, your photo will be taken with traditionally-dressed Dominican women as a souvenir that you can purchase upon departure. You’ll then proceed through immigration where you will present your Tourist Card and passport to an official. After immigration, you’ll pick up your bags from baggage claim and proceed through customs.

If you have pre-booked your airport transfers with WestJet Vacations, look for a Hola Tours representative outside. This representative will guide you to a vehicle that will take you to your resort.

Departure

Smiling WestJetters will be ready to assist you at the check-in counters located in the departures area of the Punta Cana International Airport. Airport facilities include a variety of shops and stores, snack bars, restaurants, bars, duty-free shopping and ATMs for your convenience.

Vaccinations

Be sure your routine vaccinations are up-to-date. Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, malaria, typhoid and tetanus are commonly recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Visit your local health clinic prior to departure if you have any questions.

Electricity in the Dominican Republic is 110 volts, and can fit most (two-pronged) North American plugs. However, some hotels may operate using Swiss outlets - which are round pins instead of flat pins. If you are bringing an electrical appliance, it is recommended that you verify prior to departure if a converter and/or adaptor is required.

Punta Cana
AM Resorts Family Friendly Wild Card Stay

The WestJet Vacations Wild Card Stay adds a splash of mysterious fun to your next vacation…

All inclusive
4.5
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Punta Cana
Azul Beach Resort Cap Cana
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5.0
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Punta Cana
Bahia Principe Fantasia Punta Cana
All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Bahia Principe Grand Aquamarine
This adults only resort is located near a beautiful…
All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Bahia Principe Grand Bavaro

Bahia Principe Grand Bavaro is a sprawling resort situated on a beautiful white sand beach.

All inclusive
4.5
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Punta Cana
Bahia Principe Grand La Romana

Experience a relaxing vacation on a beachfront resort nestled on a beautiful bay dotted with palm trees.

All inclusive
4.0
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Punta Cana
Bahia Principe Grand Punta Cana
Bahia Principe Grand Punta Cana is a sprawling resort situated on a beautiful white sand beach.
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4.0
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Punta Cana
Bahia Principe Grand Turquesa

This sprawling resort is nestled on a beautiful white sand beach and offers extensive facilities and lots to do for everyone.

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Exclusive Family
4.5
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Punta Cana
Bahia Principe Luxury Bouganville
All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Barceló Bávaro Beach

Barceló Bávaro  Beach - Adults only hotel is a beachfront hotel on Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana...

All inclusive
4.5
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Punta Cana
Barceló Bávaro Palace

This resort is nestled on an amazing 2km white sand beach at the edge of the crystal blue ocean.

Family of 5
5.0
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Punta Cana
Be Live Collection Punta Cana

Located on the Cabeza de Toro Beach...

Hotel
4.0
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Punta Cana
Be Live Collection Punta Cana Adults Only

The Be Live Collection Punta Cana Adults Only resort ...

All inclusive
4.0
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Punta Cana
Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa is a vibrant, chic and modern experience for sophisticated singles, couples and friends.
All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Caribe Deluxe Princess

Guests of all ages will enjoy all the latest and greatest conveniences and amenities this newly renovated hotel has to offer. 

All inclusive
4.5
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Punta Cana
Catalonia Bávaro Beach Golf and Casino Resort

A magnificent resort with exclusive white sandy beaches, crystalline Caribbean waters...

All inclusive
4.0
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Punta Cana
Catalonia Royal Bávaro

Enjoy the authentic Caribbean at an exclusive, adults-only resort.

All inclusive
4.5
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Punta Cana
Coral Level at Iberostar Selection Bavaro
The Coral Level at Iberostar Selection Bavaro allows you to enjoy the exclusivity
All inclusive
4.5
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Punta Cana
Dreams Dominicus La Romana

Dreams Dominicus Las Romana offers a family-friendly vacation experience in a unique beachfront setting.

All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana

Located on the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic, Dreams Macao Beach...

All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Dreams Onyx Punta Cana

Located on the Dominican Republic's northeastern coast, wrapped between nature and ocean, lies Dreams Onyx Punta Cana.

All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana
This friendly relaxing world includes gorgeous beaches and a majestic turquoise sea.
All inclusive
Exclusive Family
5.0
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Punta Cana
Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa
Secluded in a lush tropical paradise, this resort has stunning ocean views.
All inclusive
4.5
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Punta Cana
Dreams Royal Beach Punta Cana

Perfectly situated on a palm-studded, sugar white beach in Playa Bavaro,

Hotel
5.0
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Punta Cana
Excellence El Carmen

At Excellence El Carmen you are secluded but not isolated.

All inclusive
Exclusive Adult
5.0
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Punta Cana
Excellence Punta Cana

At Excellence Punta Cana you are secluded but not isolated.

All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Finest Punta Cana

The Finest Punta Cana brings impeccable style...

All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Grand Bavaro Princess All Suites Resort, Spa & Casino

Grab a drink at the lobby bar and take a long stroll through the lush tropical paradise.

All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Grand Palladium Bavaro Suites Resort and Spa

This resort has hundreds of coconut trees, palms and tropical vegetation indigenous to the area.

Family of 5
4.5
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Punta Cana
Grand Palladium Palace Resort, Spa and Casino

The Grand Palladium Palace ...

All inclusive
4.5
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Punta Cana
Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort and Spa

This resort has hundreds of coconut trees, palms and tropical vegetation indigenous to the area.

All inclusive
4.0
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Punta Cana
Grand Sirenis Cocotal Beach Resort & Aquagames

Set within a picturesque coconut grove along the azure Caribbean Sea, this resort offers a relaxing, all-inclusive beach getaway.

All inclusive
4.5
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Punta Cana
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Punta Cana

The all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Punta Cana boasts the best casino around...

All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Hilton La Romana Adult Resort

Situated on the beautiful southeast coast of the Dominican Republic

All inclusive
4.5
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Punta Cana
Hilton La Romana Family Resort
Located on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic, close to golf courses, Saona Island and Altos de Chavon
All inclusive
4.5
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Punta Cana
Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana

The Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana is the newest all-inclusive resort exclusively for adults...

All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana
Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana is the newest all-inclusive resort for all ages...
All inclusive
Exclusive Family
5.0
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Punta Cana
Iberostar Dominicana

Children of all ages are welcomed with endless activities and entertainment in this beautiful beach front resort.

Family of 5
4.0
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Punta Cana
Iberostar Grand Bávaro

One of the most luxurious properties in the Iberostar portfolio and part of the Iberostar Grand Collection...

All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Iberostar Selection Bávaro Suites

This resort is composed of the Iberostar Selection Bávaro Suites, Iberostar Dominicana and Iberostar Punta Cana.

All inclusive
4.5
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Punta Cana
Iberostar Selection Hacienda Dominicus

For relaxation and a great time this is the place to be.

All inclusive
4.5
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Punta Cana
Impressive Premium Resorts & Spas Punta Cana

The Impressive Premium Resorts & Spas, Punta Cana is located...

All inclusive
4.5
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Punta Cana
Impressive Resorts & Spas Punta Cana
The Impressive Resorts & Spas is located beachfront near El Cortecito
All inclusive
4.0
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Punta Cana
Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort, Spa & Casino

Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort Spa & Casino is located...

All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Majestic Colonial Punta Cana

This magnificent resort which was renovated in the fall of 2017...

All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Majestic Elegance Punta Cana

This spectacular all-inclusive resort is surrounded by ...

All inclusive
Exclusive Family
5.0
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Punta Cana
Majestic Mirage Punta Cana

Two words “sophisticated and luxurious”...

All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Margaritaville Island Reserve Cap Cana, by Karisma

Welcome to the first five-star, ultra-luxe resort with an unpretentious vibe in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic

All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Meliá Caribe Beach Resort

Discover the Meliá Caribe Beach Resort alongside...

All inclusive
4.5
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Punta Cana
Meliá Punta Cana Beach - A Wellness Inclusive Resort for Adults Only

Located in the heart of the Caribbean, this adults-only resort...

All inclusive
Exclusive Adult
4.5
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Punta Cana
Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana

At Nickelodeon™ Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana, a Karisma Gourmet Inclusive® Resort...

All inclusive
Exclusive Family
5.0
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Punta Cana
Occidental Caribe

This all-inclusive resort is perfect for both family vacations and romantic getaways...

All inclusive
4.0
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Punta Cana
Occidental Punta Cana

The Occidental Punta Cana All-Inclusive Resort is located on the spectacular Bavaro Beach.

All inclusive
4.0
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Punta Cana
Ocean Blue & Sand

Located beachfront on the water of Bavaro, the Ocean Blue & Sand is perfectly integrated to its setting.

Family of 5
4.5
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Punta Cana
Ocean El Faro

Located beach front in the Uvero Alto Area of Punta Cana, Ocean El Faro..

All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
Paradisus Grand Cana

A unique and elevated experience, designed around your family needs...

All inclusive
Exclusive Family
5.0
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Punta Cana
Paradisus Palma Real Resort

Welcome to the epitome of resort elegance.

All inclusive
Exclusive Luxury
5.0
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Punta Cana
Paradisus Punta Cana Resort
At Paradisus Punta Cana Resort, coexisting in harmony with nature results in an exquisite balance of natural and man-made wonders.
All inclusive
Exclusive Family
5.0
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Punta Cana
Sanctuary Cap Cana

Combining beautiful architectural design with impeccable service and lavish accommodations...

All inclusive
Exclusive Adult
5.0
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Punta Cana
Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa

Perfectly situated in the exclusive gated community of Cap Cana.

All inclusive
Exclusive Adult
5.0
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Punta Cana
Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana
Perfectly situated on a palm-studded, sugar white beach in Playa Bavaro.
All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
The Reserve at Paradisus Punta Cana
Welcome to The Reserve, the new all-inclusive boutique resort at the Paradisus Punta Cana, specially designed for families.
All inclusive
Exclusive Luxury
5.0
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Punta Cana
TRS Cap Cana Hotel

The TRS Cap Cana Hotel is a luxury hotel surrounded by 2,500 hectares

All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
TRS Turquesa Hotel

TRS Turquesa Hotel is an exclusive hotel located within the Grand Palladium Punta Cana Complex Resorts & Spa.

All inclusive
5.0
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Punta Cana
VIK Hotel Arena Blanca & Cayena Beach

VIK hotel Arena Blanca and VIK hotel Cayena Beach are two distinctive resorts in one, perfectly situated on white-sand Bavaro Beach.

All inclusive
4.0
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Punta Cana
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach

This resort has a great Caribbean vibe and a great mix of guests.

All inclusive
3.0
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Punta Cana
Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace

Set on a stunning white sand beach this resort offers extensive facilities.

All inclusive
4.0
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Punta Cana
whala!bavaro
Located in front of the beach, whala!bavaro is the ideal place to enjoy fun in the sun...
All inclusive
3.0
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Punta Cana
Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana

Here on the striking northeast coast of the Dominican Republic, you are welcomed to our all-suite oasis of cane-thatched sanctuaries.

All inclusive
Exclusive Luxury
5.0
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Punta Cana vacation offers