The 10 most fun day trips from Punta Cana

Written by Sam Van den Haute aka CheckOutSam

Punta Cana is located in the east of the Domincan Republic. Among sun lovers, it's a very popular travel destination because of the many snow white beaches, fun beach bars and azure blue waters. But although most vacationers limit themselves to sunbathing on one of these gorgeous beaches, there are many other activities an day trips from Punta Cana that you should check out. I've listed the best trip trips from Punta Cana that will make your holiday on this paradise island truly unforgettable.

Sam Van den Haute CheckoutSam

Hi, I'm Sam, the blogger behind CheckOutSam!

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!

instagram checkoutsam facebook checkoutsam

5/5 - (1 vote)

Book day trips and tours from Punta Cana

There are a lot more tours or day trips that you can organize from Punta Cana! I suggest to check out even more options on GetYourGuide. You can always cancel for free up to 24 hours in advance if you book with them.


1. Bavaro beach

Bavaro was in fact a village designed for the staff of the many resorts, but has since grown into a hotspot for tourists who would like to see the ten kilometer (6,2 miles) long unspoilt beach. Although it can be very busy in the high season on these beaches, it remains one of the best things to do in Punta Cana due to the proximity of many bars on or just next to the beach. Bavaro beach is very close to the central part of Punta Cana. If you’re not already staying in Bavaro, you’ll not be far from it. Bavaro beach is the perfect place to have fun in the cooling waves of the ocean, sunbathe on the beach or just enjoy a delicious cocktail in one of the many beach bars.

bavaro beach punta cana

Ten kilometers of beach means that you’ll have plenty of space to look for a secluded space!

2. Isla Saona

The island of Isla Saona is located just off the coast of Punta Cana and is an excellent alternative if you find Bavaro too busy. You can only get there with day tours, but luckily there’s plenty that you can organize. From Punta Cana, a full day tour (with transportation and lunch) costs about $70 per person. There are also a few more luxurious tours which cost about $130 per person.

Isla Saona is known for its beautiful white sandy beaches and is fully protected as a nature reserve. That means that you won’t find any souvenir shops here: you’ll only find white beaches and palm trees. It sounds like paradise, doesn’t it? Well, believe me: it is!
For those who really want to enjoy a pristine beach, this is one of the best day trips from Punta Cana. Getting on the island isn’t very difficult. There are plenty of excursions which arrange the transport, a relaxing boat ride and a meal on the island. Most of these tours also stop in a natural pool, which attracts many beautiful fish and starfish. Definitely worth a pic!

saona island day trip from punta cana

Saona island or is really heavenly! Lovely sandy beaches and the shallow and transparent water provide a paradisiacal setting.

3. Hoyo Azul

Punta Cana is more than just beaches. There are many natural landscape trips such as the Hoyo Azul, also called ‘the Blue Hole’, which is definitely one of the most beautiful sights of Punta Cana. This natural gap is filled with crystal clear water which will make you dream away instantly. It’s best to visit this natural attraction with an experienced guide, because they can show you way more than what you would see on your own. For example: there are tours which will take you to the waterfalls of Homano Azul, but also day trips from Punta Cana that offer a series of exciting zipline flights over the Cap Cana forest, ending with a dive in the Hoyo Azul. Doesn’t that sound exciting?!

hoyo azul day trip punta cana

It doesn’t always have to be a beach! There are much more beautiful things to see on this island.

4. Higuey

One of the most relaxing day trips from Punta Cana is an excursion to the nearby Higuey. This is the closest major city near Punta Cana, but it still takes a while to get there. From Punta Cana you can arrange a day trip for about $40 per person. You’ll get to see many of the beautiful sights of Higuey and also have lunch there.
When booking a tour, you will definitely see the Basilica de la Altagracia. It’s probably the biggest attraction of the city, and with right and reason! It is quite a spectacular sight. Every year, tens of thousands of pilgrims travel to the cathedral. In addition, the local market is certainly worth a visit, while travelers who are interested in making rum should visit the rum factory.

higuey things to do punta cana

Let’s be honest: this church looks quite unique, doesn’t it?

5. Altos de Chavon

The reconstructed sixteenth-century southern European village of Altos de Chavon is one of the most interesting places near Punta Cana. The small amphitheater and the Regional Museum of Archeology are great eye-catchers, for example. You can still see a lot of artefacts from the indigenous Taino Indians.
The village is also often used as a film set. Altos de Chavon could be seen in the blockbuster Apocalypse Now. A visit to the reconstructed village is often combined with a trip to La Romana, one of the largest cities in the southeast of the Dominican Republic.
This beautiful city is often combined in a day tour together with Isla Saona. You can book such an excursion for $75 per person.

altos de chavon day excursion punta cana

Another wonderful place to visit near Punta Cana: Altos de Chavon!

6. Samana island

Samana Island is a mountainous peninsula in the east of the Dominican Republic that is known for its exceptional flora and fauna and white sand beaches. It is in fact part of the Los Haitises National Park. For nature lovers, this is perhaps the most impressive of all the day trips from Punta Cana. With its many mangroves, reefs, and caves, it’s a paradise for eco-tourists. You’ll also find the El Salto del Limon here, a thirty-meter-high (100 ft) waterfall and the Playa Rincon, once voted the second best beach in the world. The city of Samana has a pleasant boulevard with many shops and nightlife. In the winter months, humpbacks come into the bay to breed and whale tours are offered. And this is be one of the best things to do near Punta Cana during low season.
Since Samana Island is located pretty far away from Punta Cana, day trips are not cheap. You can book a full day tour (transportation, lunch and guide) for $170 per person.

samana island things to do punta cana

Are you looking for paradise beaches without too many tourists? Then go to Samana island!

7. Parque Ojos Indigenas

The Parque Ojos Indigenas is an ecological nature reserve with no less than twelve lagoons. It’s a very attractive day trip from Punta Cana for those who love some peace and quiet and beautiful natural environments. In no less than three of the lagoons you can swim and you can also book a tour of half a day for 65 dollars. The park is considered a hidden gem and is open from sunrise to sunset for people staying at the nearby Punta Cana Resort.

parque ojos indigenas

You’ll find more of these beautiful caves on the island, but these are really spectacular!

8. Boat trips and diving

Many attractions in Punta Cana consist of activities offered by the various hotels in the tourist area. One of the most popular is a boat trip along the most beautiful bays of the east of the Dominican Republic. This way you can, for example, visit and try out different beaches. Those who prefer to stay in the water can book a dive session. This is one of the best ways to discover the beautiful underwater world here. Diving sessions are offered in Bayahibe or Catalina Island, where life under water is at its best. Interested to see what is on offer? Check out the deals from GetYourGuide below. The good thing about them, is that you can cancel up to 24 hours in advance.


punta cana boat tour

There are plenty of places to sail to near Punta Cana!

9. Horseback riding

This is about the best way to get to know the real Dominican Republic. The hilly inland has beautiful nature locations such as Jarabacoa, La Vega and Constanza, and offers you the opportunity to explore traditional villages. The famous carnival of La Vega and the patronal festivals of Constanza are just some of the traditional events that are part of the rich Dominican culture. Who wants to make more of a holiday in the Dominican Republic than a beach holiday can easily get a cultural overdose while riding a horse.

horseback riding dominican republic

The landscape of the Dominican Republic is even more beautiful on a horse.

10. ChocoMuseo

The ChocoMuseo is one of those places of interest in Punta Cana that is hard to miss in a list like this one. Chocolate is a big part of the Caribbean culture and it is understandable that they want to let the many tourists know more about this delicacy. ChocoMuseo has different locations in South America and the Caribbean, including Punta Cana where you can learn more about the process of how chocolate is produced. A tour includes an exhibition of the history of chocolate production, a visit to the museum ‘from bean to bar’, tasting of various chocolate products and the possibility to make chocolate yourself.

chocomuseo dominican republic

Who doesn’t love chocolate?!

5/5 - (1 vote)
Did you like this article? Then please give it 5 stars. Thanks!
In this article you'll find a few affiliate links. When you book something with these travel organizations, I get a small commission. You don't pay anything extra for that. You can thus see it as a way to support this blog if you found the information helpful. I use all of these travel organizations myself, and I will only recommend the ones that I really like.

Are you following me on Social Media?

Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
Come join us and get the latest updates!

Like Checkoutsam on Facebook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Check Out Sam | Travel guide, blog and info.