Punta Cana is on the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic. A busy town with around 100,000 residents, it is a 45 km drive from the provincial capital, Higüey, worth a visit for its architecture. Punta Cana and it’s neighbouring coastal developments have been a popular tourist destination for over 40 years, so it is well supplied with all the facilities you would expect.
The whole area is famous for its 100km stretch of coastline, with sandy and shallow bays facing into either the Atlantic to the north or the Caribbean to the south. The coastline can be windy, but the many bays offer shelter.
Punta Cana International airport is one of the busiest and best connected in the Caribbean. Around 4 million passengers a year pass through the airport, and it is served by both charter and scheduled flights from many destinations.
The majority of the accommodation along this coastline is hotel based, with several of the hotels run by either European, particularly Spanish, hotel chains and the Spanish influence is reflected in much of the local architecture. The coastline is rocky but the numerous beaches are white and sandy, and the water is just the colour you would expect from a Caribbean destination.
Much of the hotel development began to the north of Punta Cana, and stretches to Bávaro, south of the cape. Bávaro itself is now a sophisticated resort with fine restaurants and shopping malls, as well as all the usual services you would expect in a well established and relatively wealthy town. The old road inland, running west, is now bordered by a much more impoverished town - Veron – and is where the majority of the hotel workers live.
Just south of the cape you can still find the original old fishing village, Cabo San Rafael, and further south still is Boca de Yuma, a 16th century fishing village worth a visit. This part of the coast is rocky with high cliffs.
Besides water sports, the Bávaro area is also home to numerous championship golf courses, many designed by famous names in the sport. Some of these are recognized to be amongst the world’s finest courses.
Numerous tourist facilities and attractions are to be found in the area. A popular excursion is a sea trip to Saona Island, 100 kms to the west, which is a great destination for scuba diving.
(By Angela Webster)