Forbes Around The World

Punta Cana with Christine

Punta Cana with Christine

I recently had the opportunity to visit Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

I had traveled here often in the past, specifically 8-9 years ago, and while I noticed a significant change with the additions of new highways, shopping plazas, independent restaurants and cinema’s, the beauty of the Island and the kind hospitality of the locals was just as I had fondly remembered it to be. It still resembled the simple, un-hurried lifestyle that I appreciate so much.

The Dominican Republic occupies two thirds of the Island of Hispaniola and borders the Atlantic Ocean to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the south, the Mona Passage to the east and the Republic of Haiti to the west. A four hour flight from Toronto, The Dominican Republic is the most traveled to destination in the Caribbean offering the resort areas of Punta Cana, La Romana Puerto Plata, Cabarete, Samana and the capital city of Santo Domingo.

From the moment you arrive at the Punta Cana Airport with its open air terminal and palm thatched roofs, you can’t help but feel like you have arrived in Paradise. Despite the airports small size, you will notice aircraft that have brought visitors from all over the world as it is a popular destination for travelers from the UK, Russia, Europe, Asia as well as South, Central and North America. Punta Cana is widely known for their all-inclusive resorts located along both Punta Cana Beach, Bavaro Beach, and most recently, Cap Cana, a high end, exclusive resort area for those who are looking for the ultimate luxury experience. Known for their soft, powdery sand and clear blue waters, Punta Cana is a great destination for those who love to snorkel or simply enjoy spending time on or in the water. Whether you like to simply rest under a palapa or venture out and experience the area, there are diverse and limitless options available for adventure.

Snorkeling excursions offer the opportunity to explore an actual shipwreck off the shores of Punta Cana Beach. Saona Island, one of the country’s largest Islands, is a popular day trip from Punta Cana. Known for its lush vegetation and beautiful beaches it is also the most important site in the Dominican for the nest egg-laying seawater turtles. Sport Fishing, Spa retreats, Golfing, zip lining, dune buggy, boat rentals, pirate ship sailings and visits to local homes and schools are just a few more of the limitless options available to vacationers who wish to experience the sights and meet the locals of this beautiful area.

For those who enjoy shopping, the Dominican Republic is known for their arts and crafts that are highly inspired by Spanish and African Influences. Dominican Rum, Cigars and Amber and Larimar Jewellery remain the top purchases when wanting to bring home a piece of the Dominican Republic however watch out for the hotel gift shops if needing any necessities. If you forget your sunscreen you will likely pay upwards of 25.00 USD for a bottle.

Punta Cana is a great destination for everyone. From Destination Weddings to families, couples, golfing or a girl’s get-a-way, there are limitless options for everyone. While the Dominican Republic may not be the closest beach vacation destination from Vancouver, it is easily accessible with daily flights from Toronto and to accommodate the busy winter months, direct charter flights from Western Canada will begin operating from mid-December through to April.

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