Punta Cana: Your Next Spring Break Adventure

By Julia Dunn on February 27, 2018

Looking for a new destination to explore this spring break? Do you crave tropical weather and all the exciting sporting activities that come with it? Want to lounge on the beach, in a boat, or in the water?

If so, consider an adventure in Punta Cana!

This resort town is part of the easternmost province of the Dominican Republic. As a popular destination for tourists, the town offers plenty of opportunities to rejuvenate and hang out in the sun. Fun fact: Punta Cana is where the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean sea connect!

Image via Pixabay.com

According to U.S. News and World Report’s Travel website, “Punta Cana beckons to jet-setters because it provides so many options (more than 24,000 hotel rooms) for such affordable rates. Many travelers are able to book a weeklong trip that includes airfare, lodging, meals and some resort activities, for much less than $1,000 per person in the shoulder seasons.” For college students looking to go international for break, this is good news!

Punta Cana is advertised as the ideal destination for “sun-seeking vacationers who like all-inclusive resorts but care little about venturing away from their hotel,” but who goes on vacation just to linger at the hotel? Here are 3 great activities to try in Punta Cana that will cater to all your needs for both relaxation and nature exploration:

1. Dive into the wreck

If you enjoy diving, you’re in for some fun! Punta Cana’s shores feature underwater barrier reefs, coral gardens, and offshore wrecks, including the Punta Cana Pewter Wreck, the most notable local shipwreck.

According to godominicanrepublic.com, “The underwater cave, Cueva Taina Macao, a short drive from the Bávaro resort area is easily accessible. With a depth of no more than 26 feet (8 meters) this cave is around 54 yards (50 meters) long with an impressive variety of stalagmites and stalactites in crystal clear waters.” This should give you plenty to explore during your stay, as underwater caves abound in and near Punta Cana.

If you care to swim north, you’ll find shipwrecks that have since become covered in marine plants, a go-to destination if you want to find tropical fish.

Image via Pixabay.com

2.  Visit an adventure park

If you’re up for traveling a bit north of Punta Cana, you can visit Manatí Park for some fantastic animal-related activities! Swim with dolphins, see a show at the Rhinoceros Iguana reproduction center, laugh alongside parrots and cockatoos, watch sea lions perform acrobatics, and even check out the equestrian show featuring Spanish purebred horses, Quarter Horses and Shetland Ponies.

Need some more adrenaline? You might find excitement at Scape Park, a natural adventure park offering one of the safest zip line courses in Punta Cana–what better way to enjoy the beautiful island’s tree canopies and view the Caribbean coastline? According to the park’s website, the tour also includes “a number of interesting ecological trails, a hanging bridge and via ferrata between the platforms.” This is a can’t-miss trip for a great spring break.

Bonus: your admission to the zip-line course even comes with free air-conditioned bus transportation to and from any Punta Cana hotel, so don’t worry if you have no vehicle!

If zip-lining isn’t your thing, you can also access boating activities, cruises, horseback riding and cave expeditions through Scape Park.

3. Enjoy the simplicity of beach-lounging

You don’t have to spend all your money just because you’re on spring break! Sometimes all you need is a chance to spread out on the warm beaches and watch the sunny coastline. Punta Cana is known for its amazing beaches, including Playa Punta Cana, Playa Macao, Playa Blanca, and Playa Cabeza del Toro, among many others. Each beach differs in terms of which water sports offered nearby, and some beaches are more developed than others, so it’s good to do a bit of Googling beforehand (unless you’d prefer to just wander at your leisure)!

Logistics and Travel Tips:

  • If you decide Punta Cana is for you, make sure to get all the prescriptions and vaccines you need to stay healthy. U.S. News notes that “Malaria, cholera and other diseases are slightly more prevalent in Punta Cana than in the United States,” so you’ll want to contact the Center for Disease Control to make sure you’re squared away. You don’t want to show up back on campus with a disease as your spring break souvenir!

  • While you’re there, do not drink the tap water–Punta Cana lacks the rigorous filtration and purification standards that the United States enforces.

  • Of the vacation spots in the Caribbean, Punta Cana is one of the safest, but remember nonetheless to remain aware of your surroundings. It can be easy to get lost in a new environment, so stick with your buddies if you’re traveling in a group, and keep your situational awareness high if you’re alone.

Contrary to what the movies say, a tropical spring break destination doesn’t have to mean constant partying! Take a chance on Punta Cana, and you’ll be thrilled by stunning natural wonders, an array of recreational activities, and all the treasures that lie below the waters offshore.

By Julia Dunn

Uloop Writer
A writer, editor and educator based in Northern California.

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