Punta Cana, D.R.: Iguana Be in the Caribbean
With mellow beaches, lush golf courses, and exotic wildlife, Punta Cana is an eco-friendly gem in the heart of the Caribbean.
Good to know: With a continuous strand of sugar-sand beaches that spans for miles and miles, Punta Cana boasts the largest stretch of uninterrupted beaches in the Caribbean.
Local flavor: A dish of rice and beans is an island staple. But don’t miss the coco loco, made with dark rum, light rum, banana syrup, and coconut and pineapple juices. Cheers!
Get your groove on: Merengue is the national dance of the Dominican Republic. Whether you’re on the beach or in town, you’ll hear the beat of the tambor and most likely encounter an exuberant teacher ready to show you the steps.
Place we love, even if it’s touristy: If you’ve never eaten in a limestone cave, and even if you have, a dinner at El Meson de la Cava is unforgettable. Underneath stalactites and next to stalagmites, you’ll sample fresh seafood, sip wine, and listen to merengue.
You can take it with you: Intricate wood carvings of ancient idols, amber and larimar jewelry, and paintings are just a few crafts you can haggle for at impromptu open-air markets along the beach.
Hit the beach: Coconut palm trees, white sands, subtle surf, and perpetual sun beckon you to the Coconut Coast–or Costa del Coco to the natives. Sunbathe or swim at the postcard-perfect Bavaro Beach.
Take a swing: Singer Julio Iglesias and designer Oscar de la Renta are part-owners of a world-class beachfront golf course–La Cana Golf Course at the Punta Cana Resort & Club.
Get out of dodge: About two hours from Punta Cana lies the small fishing village of Bayahibe. From there, you can explore the Parque Nacional del Este and even cruise to Isla Saona, a secluded island that’s part of the park.
Chill-out spot: A 45-acre protected area with 11 clear-water lagoons and a protected coral reef, Punta Cana Ecological Foundation’s Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park is a jewel on an already enchanting island.
SINGLE OCCUPANCY IS AT AN ADDITIONAL COST