Punta Cana Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has emerged as a Caribbean hotspot. It’s affordable, and from many United States cities, a direct flight to paradise. This is a recent development. The country shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, and while not as poor as its troubled neighbor, it too is poverty-stricken, and despite the influx of tourist money remains so. Along with tourism, the Dominican Republic is gaining momentum as a place to retire or maintain a second home. This, and the industries required to support the tourist trade, is having an increasingly positive effect on the local economy.

Spanish is the official language, but natives working in the tourist areas speak at least some English. Banks readily exchange U. S. dollars, Canadian dollars, British pounds, and Euros. Remember to spend your remaining Dominican pesos before leaving the island, as it’s difficult to convert them back home.

Since the 1970s, Punta Cana, nestled in the easternmost province of La Altagracia, has offered the best of the best. About one-third of the country’s total population of just under 330,000 live in La Altagracia, where the tropical climate, Caribbean and Atlantic beaches and resorts for every budget make it a top choice for vacationers. With average temperatures in the mid-eighties, Punta Cana is a year-round destination. Summers are more humid, but even then, gentle breezes constantly temper the heat. Most Punta Canal visitors stay in resorts, often opting for popular all-inclusive packages.

Once you have checked into your hotel there are endless possibilities to fill your days. You’ll find some of the Caribbean’s best beaches where shallow water allows safe swimming. When lolling on the beach gets old, try snorkeling, scuba diving, or go on a half or full day safari. Visit the horses, parrots, and exotic fish at Manati Park where you swim with gentle dolphins. Play blackjack at a casino, or play a round of golf at any of the 18 courses. Or go on an excursion to Alcazar de Colon, the palace of Christopher Columbus’s son, Diego. Your dining options are varied as well. Most hotels have multiple restaurants where you can enjoy local seafood. Raise a glass of mamahuana, the local favorite rum drink, in toast of a perfect vacation.

Those into recreational shopping will find numerous venues in which to indulge. The area boasts malls, boutiques, and the ubiquitous souvenir shops that appear on the landscape in any Caribbean resort. Locals on the beach or the street will aggressively try to entice you to buy their wares. A polite “no, thank you” will suffice. Know too that some shopkeepers inflate their sticker prices to leave negotiating room.

Because the peak tourist season runs from December through April, you will find bargains in both accommodations and airfare during the remainder of the year. No matter which season you choose for your Punta Cana getaway, it will be an experience hard to beat. Your ticket to paradise is waiting, so call your travel agent today. You’ll be glad you did.


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