Arrival in Punta Cana

Written by Sam Van den Haute aka CheckOutSam

From Puerto Plata to Punta Cana is a quite long day trip. At first, I had to go back to Santo Domingo (the capital) and from there out, I had to take another bus to Punta Cana. Punta Cana is located in the east of the Dominican Republic and is probably the most well-known place for tourists. After a trip of more than eight hours I was welcomed by heavy rain…

Sam Van den Haute CheckoutSam

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Sam Van den Haute has been a full-time world traveler for ten years and has therefore gained a lot of travel and lifestyle inspiration on all continents. Do you still have questions after reading this blog? Ask them in the comments section or send me a message at [email protected] and I'll be happy to help you wherever I can!

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A couple of shops close to the beach. A big contrast with the luxurious ressorts!

A couple of shops close to the beach. A big contrast with the luxurious ressorts!

When the Bavaro Express bus from Santo Domingo drove into this tourist hotspot, I immediately noticed a big difference with the rest of the Dominican Republic. The city is a lot cleaner, the roads are better and when I watch left and right I can see ressorts towering over the smaller buildings. A huge difference with the other cities I have seen so far.

Since it already was a little late, I didn’t do anything spectacular today. This hostel / hotel (Caribe Guest House) is located quite close to the beaches and is very cheap. Especially compared to the expensive ressorts located at the beach.

On top of that, there’s a big swimming pool, I have a delicious breakfast every morning and the staff is incredibly helpful and friendly. This definitely is the best hostel I had in the Dominican Republic!

The next morning, I wake up quite early and decide to walk to the beach. Since there are quite some private beaches (from the ressorts) I had to do a big detour to get to the beach. At least, that’s what I thought… Because later on the day I figured out that I could go to the beach a lot easier and closer. Google Maps has often helped me find how to get somewhere, but today… Not so much.

Everyone who stays in the Caribe Guest House or another accommodation closeby, Via Avenida Alemania and Calle Doña Matilde you’ll get to the beach fastest.

The passage to the beach at Avenida Francia / Avenida Alemania. Right next to the Capitan Cook restaurant.

The passage to the beach at Avenida Francia / Avenida Alemania. Right next to the Capitan Cook restaurant.

I walked more than five kilometers to get to the beach. From there, I walked another six kilometers to discover the rest of the beach.

It is absolutely unbelievable how touristy this area is. It is, of course, easter break. So there are lots of tourists. Fat, West-European and American tourists who are completely sunburnt or very drunk. You can see them in abundance here!

The crowded beaches are beautiful, but a little to touristy for me. At most places you can’t even sit down, since they are part of one of the ressorts. If you try, a guard will come to you right away. He will tell you in Spanish that you can’t sit here. They seem to like that they have this power over tourists, because I always noticed they would become very angry and upset quite easily if you argued with them.

In the turquoise waters you’ll see lots of people swimming, kitesurfing or parasailing. Now and then, you’ll see a weird looking boat make speed to then just take off into the air and float carelessly on the clouds. Funny!

Once I got back to the hostel, I eat something before returning to the beach once more.

This time I choose a more comfortable spot -away from the ressorts!- and look at two girls who are constantly taking selfies with a tree in the sea. I sit there for over an hour, and the girls are still there.

When a guy appears with a parrot, they quickly leave their favorite selfie spot to restart a new selfie marathon with the two feathered animals.

I walk a little further over the beach and then decide to call it a day.

Tomorrow I booked a day trip to Saona Island. An island in the south of the Dominican Republic with lush waters, palm tree filled beaches and pretty marine animals.

A swamp near my hostel, quite lovely!

A swamp near my hostel, quite lovely!

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