Punta Cana is a tropical resort destination famous for its 32km of beaches and clear waters. However, this easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic also offers other things to see and do.
You can visit landmarks and attractions like the Diamante Casino or Altos de Chavon, or you can try one of the premium real-life escape games.
1. Visit a local supermarket
Visiting a local supermarket can be a fun and interesting activity. It lets you experience what the Dominican people have to offer and gives you a great insight into their daily life.
It is a great way to learn about the Dominican culture and to get a deeper understanding of the country’s traditions, customs, and history. It is also one of the best ways to buy souvenirs such as rum, chocolate, coffee or cigars for a fraction of the price you would pay for them at tourist shops.
A local supermarket is a perfect place to get fresh and organic produce, as well as meats and dairy products. It is also a good place to pick up household essentials, such as cleaning supplies and toiletries. You can also find a variety of imported foods and gourmet products at this location.
2. Explore Los Haitises National Park
One of the Dominican Republic's most popular national parks, Los Haitises nurtures a vast array of rainforests and coastal wetlands. Its karst plateau and sinkholes are home to many Caribbean endemic species.
The park is a paradise for nature lovers and it's easy to explore on a day trip from Punta Cana, Samana or Las Terrenas. Boat tours are the most common way to get a glimpse of Los Haitises's flora and wildlife, but hiking is also possible in its lush rain forest or kayaking along its mangrove system.
The park is a great place to spot the endangered Ridgway's hawk, La Espanola sparrowhawk and other bird species. You can also find different types of marine mammals, including manatees and bottle-nosed dolphins.
3. Hike to Montana Redonda
Hiking in the Dominican Republic is a great way to explore untouched nature, secluded waterfalls and authentic impressions of the country's countryside. The most important thing to keep in mind when hiking is to be aware of your surroundings and not to be harmed by wild animals or dangerous paths.
Fortunately, Punta Cana offers a variety of hikes and excursions that are easy to do on your own or with a guide. Moreover, many of these tours are combined with other activities like visiting natural caves or swimming in an underground lagoon.
Montana Redonda is a unique mountain with spectacular 360-degree panoramic views. It is a favorite destination for Instagrammers and adventure seekers.
4. Visit Altos de Chavon
Located atop the Chavon River, Altos de Chavon is a re-creation of a 16th century Mediterranean village. Designed by Dominican architect Jose Antonio Caro and Italian set designer Roberto Coppa, the quaint artisanal town is a unique cultural center.
The village is a living museum for artists, artisans and tourists alike. It houses active studios for pottery, weaving, silk screening and many other crafts as well as an art gallery that features works from local and international artists.
Altos de Chavon also hosts a cultural center, an archeological museum and a 5,000-seat Roman-style amphitheater. It was inaugurated in 1982 by Frank Sinatra, and has played host to many concerts and events since then.
The quaint village has its own unique charm and is the perfect photo opportunity, especially during sunset. Aside from the amphitheater and a number of buildings, it is also home to the San Estanislao Church, which is one of the most popular wedding destinations in the area. Its Neoclassical facade features a small rose window and a bell gable with two bells that can be accessed by an exterior staircase.