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Best Day Trips From Punta Cana

Palm trees on a sandy coastline with turquoise blue water lapping the shore

As one of the most diverse areas of land in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic has a bit of everything. From the beautiful sandy beaches dotted along the island’s 1000 mile coastline to the cool mountainous villages 500m above sea level and the Caribbean’s highest peak, Pico Duarte, climbing to 3,087m — the island is a haven for fun and adventurous day trips.

Read on for some of the Dominican Republic’s famous landmarks, highlights of Punta Cana culture, and most importantly of all, some of the best day travel Punta Cana ideas.


The diverse nature of the Dominican Republic plays a big role in the host of activities on offer. One of the island’s most popular activities is diving. From Punta Cana, visit La Cueva, a divers hotspot to interact with nurse sharks and stingrays. The Catalina and Saona Islands are easily accessible from Punta Cana and provide excellent diving and snorkeling opportunities. For the more experienced, El Deseo is perfect for night diving and Astron and Monica provide some of the island’s best wreck dives.

Aside from vast water-based options, the Dominican countryside is awaiting exploration. Enjoy the opportunity to visit hidden towns and villages away from the Punta Cana crowds as you head deep into the hills on ATV vehicles taking in the scenery and meeting the locals on the way.

Want to get away from modern life? Explore the island on horseback — an activity that dates back to the Spanish colonial period. The dense forests and rolling hills near Punta Cana provide an excellent location for a gentle ride on horseback. For the riders out here, La Romana’s Casa de Campo has one of the best equestrian centers in the Caribbean and is only a 50-minute drive from Punta Cana!

For sports lovers, there are a number of golf courses near Punta Cana. The Punta Cana golf scene is huge and we recommend playing a round on one of the many links courses on the island. Look for Iberostar Bavaro Golf Club, The Lakes Barcelo Golf Course, La Cana Golf Club, and Corales Golf Club (for those looking for a slightly easier course). And why not finish your day of adventure with an evening sampling your way through Punta Cana on our Culinary Tour tasting some of the best of Dominican Republic cuisine.


Want a postcard-perfect getaway? That’s exactly how we’d describe the beaches on the island. But to escape the crowds of Punta Cana’s Bavaro Beach and still stay within day-trip distance of the town, we recommend these escapes:

  • PLAYA BLANCA: This stretch of white sand and turquoise water is a water sports hub packed with tasty beachside restaurants ideal for an adventurous morning and a relaxing afternoon.
  • PLAYA EL CORTECITO: A colorful beachfront town perfect for a laid-back summer’s day wandering through the market before lazing in the sun and listening to the ocean lapping the coast.
  • PLAYA JUANILLO: Tipped as one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic, this picture-perfect area is palm tree-studded with crystal clear waters and white powdery sand.
  • BOCA DE YUMA: Arguably one of the most beautiful places in the Dominican Republic, Boca de Yuma is perched on a coral reef overlooking Yuma Bay. Here, you will see the rugged beauty of the cliffs and the splashing of ocean waves. Join us on a day tour from Punta Cana today!

History & Cultural

The Dominican Republic has an interesting history coupled with a rich culture. There are a number of iconic Dominican Republic landmarks and iconic sights throughout the island offering the opportunity to get your dose of culture as well as a beach break. Here are a few ideas to start with:

  • LA ROMANA: Visit La Romana, a short 50-minute drive from Punta Cana, packed with colorful murals, artists’ workshops, and the Altos de Chavón, a 16th-century Mediterranean-style village that transports you back in time. La Romona was founded in 1897 as an oil town but quickly shifted to sugar production. It now boasts one of the largest cigar factories in the world and has a number of interesting sights to visit. Join us on our La Romona Surf, Smoke, and History tour with an expert local guide to show you the highlights!
  • SANTO DOMINGO: Roughly 2.5 hours drive from Punta Cana lies the island’s capital, Santo Domingo. Listed as one of the Caribbean’s oldest cities, its cobblestoned historic core and the Zona Colonial area have buildings that date to the 1500s, including the cathedral, which was the first built in the New World.
  • HIGUEY: Immerse yourself in Dominican culture on our Dominican Day in the Life tour as we visit the gorgeous town of Higuey. This tour is designed to give you a feel of local life when we visit food markets, local monuments, and visit the Altagracia Cathedral, the Roman Catholic basílica.

We are only scratching the surface of what you can see and do in the Dominican Republic. We look forward to welcoming you on one of our DR Locals adventures today!

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