TVH Team Research Trip - Punta Cana!
This July 4th, The Vacation Hunt team visited the Dominican Republic to learn more about the all-inclusive resort paradise of Punta Cana. It's a tough life, but someone's got to do it! Find out what we learned!
1) Getting around Punta Cana
We rented a car, since we had multiple hotels to visit over our 4 days of travel, but we decided by the end that we wouldn't recommend it on vacation. The roads around the main resort area of Bavaro are often blocked by guard booths, making navigation difficult, and Dominican drivers are aggressive compared to what we're used to back home. A transfer or taxi to your resort would definitely be preferable, especially if you're staying in one of the all-inclusive resorts.
2) Areas of Punta Cana
Punta Cana, it turns out, is a bit of a catch-all name invented to advertise the region. While there, we visited 2 distinct areas: Bavaro and Cabeza de Toro.
Bavaro is the bustling heart of Punta Cana, with the white sand beach lined with resorts. We visited 3 all-inclusive resorts to get a feel for the area: Punta Cana Princess, Secrets Royal Beach, and the Iberostar Grand Hotel. All three had great quality rooms, friendly staff and plenty of lounge chairs to go around at both the pools and beach. Dining options at each were varied and enhanced by restaurants at sister resorts. The beachfront is continuous and busy along the town, however, with lots of boat traffic, beach walkers and peddlers up and down the strip.
Cabeza de Toro, to the east of Bavaro, was definitely a quieter scene by comparison. We visited the Dreams Punta Cana resort there, finding that it felt smaller and more intimate than the larger resorts in Bavaro, but also a bit more relaxing.
3) Casa de Campo
After exploring Bavaro, we headed about an hour and half by highway to the town of La Romana and the world famous (and enormous) golf and beach resort, Casa de Campo. Once through the gates, the resort is properly understood as a large neighborhood, interwoven through its golf courses. They even give you a golf cart at check-in to get around! We found this a fun amenity to scoot around the resort in, and quite liked the quiet private beach on the resort, with its definite lack of boat and foot traffic. Another interesting feature of the resort is a replica Italian village on the bluff overlooking the Rio Chavon. It had some great restaurants to choose from, and gave a unique setting to enjoy the evenings!
We enjoyed our time in Punta Cana, and would definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a luxury resort experience on a comparatively affordable budget. The beaches and pools at the all-inclusive resorts will provide a great place to relax and enjoy the sun, cool off whenever the mood strikes you, and eat and drink to heart's content!
To get started on your next trip, fill out our trip survey!