9 important things you should know before visiting Punta Cana

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1. Most resorts are all inclusive.

According to some estimates, 90 percent of the resorts in Punta Cana have everything included. That means that travelers pay in advance packages that include room rates, food, alcohol and some entertainment. You can find excellent offers and there is nothing more relaxing than leaving your wallet in the safe in the room before an evening of food and drinks. Keep in mind that some resorts have extravagant extra charges for a la carte restaurants or imported alcohol.

2. Bring cash to the airport and tips.

Even if you have booked an all-inclusive resort (and probably have), you still need some cash. Do not worry about exchanging US dollars for Dominican pesos, since dollars are accepted almost everywhere in Punta Cana and the exchange rate is close enough if you plan to make small purchases as souvenirs. At the airport, Americans must purchase a $ 10 visitor card, valid for 30 days. Payment is required in cash, and if you pay with a larger bill, you will get your change in the US currency. At the resort, expect to tip as you would in the US. UU Some dollars should be given to anyone handling their bags and cleaning staff. You are not expected to lean for each bottle of beer at the bar, but at the end of the night, especially if you are ordering complicated cocktails.

3. The rains are short.

During most of the year, the climate in Punta Cana is sunny and in the 80s. Temperatures increase slightly in the summer months and the hurricane season usually arrives in September and October. That said, you can generally expect a pleasant climate with some heavy and unexpected rains. The rain seems to go as fast as it comes and adds a little excitement to the pool scene.

4. Nightclubs are everything.

The Dominican culture takes music and dance seriously, so it is not surprising that the resorts usually include a nightclub that stays open until the wee hours of the morning. The resorts may have little more than a DJ booth and a dance floor, but the high-level counterparts do their best with light and smoke shows and living room configurations. Keep in mind that music requests can and should be made.

5. Taxis are expensive.

Hiring a taxi is almost prohibitively expensive unless you have a large group to split the costs. The airport is about 30 minutes by car from most of the resorts, so organizing a transfer to the airport with the hotel is usually the smartest and most economical option. Many visitors do not leave their resort once in Punta Cana, as there is no main avenue or tourist area like the one you will find in Montego Bay or Cancun. It is more than two hours by car to the capital city of Santo Domingo. Uber is not yet available in the Dominican Republic.

6. Do not overlook the spa.

Excellence Punta Cana / Oyster   Excellence Punta Cana / Oyster Spa treatments usually cost more (even with an all-inclusive plan), but many resorts offer free access or day passes to their hydrotherapy circuits, which may include outdoor pools, hot tubs, steam baths, saunas and relaxation areas with fresh fruit and tea.

7. Drink a little mamajuana.

That’s mamajuana, not marijuana. The mamajuana (sometimes written as mama juana) is an alcoholic drink traditionally made at home with rum, red wine, honey and local leaves and bark. It is believed that the tasty mixture is an aphrodisiac and jokingly known as liquid Viagra, although it was originally invented in the 1950s as a tonic to cleanse the kidneys and aid in digestion. Today, you can buy bottled mamajuana or make it yourself. Excellence Punta Cana has a small weekly workshop with all the materials for guests who want to make their own souvenir bottle.

8. Look for Dominican food.

One of the main complaints about staying at an all-inclusive resort is the lack of local culture, and that may seem like a problem in Punta Cana. The resort’s restaurants tend to cater to a wide variety of palates and offer international food such as Japanese, French and Italian While we do not complain about the variety, we think it would be a mistake to skip Dominican food, made with a combination of Spanish, indigenous and African influences. Many resorts offer Dominican dishes as part of their buffet. Look for fried green plantains, rice and beans, and cupcakes (like mini pies). Chivo is a rich goat stew. Desserts that use tropical fruits and cream are especially popular and Presidente is the local beer brand.

9. The beaches are legitimate.

Paradisus Punta Cana Resort.

The beaches of Punta Cana are what made the area famous, and everything that is said about soft white sand, clear blue water and coral reefs is absolutely true. There are 10 different beaches in the immediate area and several ways to explore them: on foot, on horseback, by jeep, or going on the water with a diving or snorkeling tour. Watch for flags that mark dangerous surf conditions. The lifeguard towers are scattered on some of the beaches, but not all.