Let’s talk travel.
I can’t wait to tell you about my recent trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic! I don’t know about you, but nothing gets me more excited than the word VACATION and this Caribbean paradise is a vacation spot that I highly recommend! Let’s explore my recent experience and all the beautiful sights and adventures Punta Cana has to offer!
A Little About Punta Cana, Dominican Republic…
Punta Cana, located at the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic offers one of the Caribbean’s longest white sand coastlines. Its white sand beaches stretch for 30 miles of the coast and are decorated with tall coconut palms, giving the beautiful area its name – La Costa Del Coco (The Coconut Coast). Its crystal clear waters and lavish, all-inclusive resorts are the perfect setting for a tropical vacation filled with sun, relaxation and adventure!
Where to Stay…
Punta Cana offers over 100 resorts to choose from – most of which are all-inclusive. The luxurious resorts line the coastline with beachside pools, restaurants, water sports and endless entertainment options. In addition, Punta Cana is the home to several secluded beaches and wedding locations perfect for a romantic getaway. The sky is the limit when visiting this beautiful, tropical paradise!
Barceló Bávaro Grand Resort has been my choice of stay for my past 5 visits to Punta Cana. The all-inclusive resort is made up of the Barceló Bávaro Palace – a resort suitable for all ages and the Barcelo Bavaro Beach – Adults Only. Depending on which section of the resort – there are superior and premium room options. The rooms range in sizes and offer views that are oceanfront, garden and golf course. If you are traveling with a group of people the resort offers a variety of suites and duplexes with various accommodations to meet your every need.
Things to do at Barceló Bávaro Grand Resort
The Grand Resort as a whole has 11 restaurants to choose from with cuisines of Dominican flavors or international favorites such as Mexican, Italian, Japanese and French. Two of my personal favorites are the Kyoto Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar and the La Comedie French Restaurant. The Kyoto Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar offers a modern Asian fusion cuisine with multiple teppanyaki tables. You are greeted on arrival by a unique Zen Garden with a surrounding atmosphere that provides the perfect backdrop for your dining experience. La Comedie French Restaurant is known for its classic French cuisine. The charming decor of the restaurant is inspired by the Guignol puppet sets from Lyon at the end of the 18th century. If you enjoy a variety of wines La Comedie offers an extensive wine list.
There is no better way to enjoy the Caribbean breeze and crystal-clear waters of the Dominican than taking advantage of the various water sports offered at the resort! You can easily enjoy scuba diving, windsurfing, Hobie Cat, kayaking and snorkeling only steps away from your room. If water sports are not really your thing but you want to enjoy the sunshine there are 4 swimming pools to choose from with each offering something unique.
The swimming pool areas have entertainment, hammocks, waterfalls, poolside bars, and much more! If you’re traveling with children the Barcy Water Park has castles, water slides, and waterfalls perfect for entertaining little ones. There is is also the Pirates Island Water Park with large water slides and a wave pool.
If you are looking to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise while you’re at it – you can spend your time at the 18-hole golf course, professional soccer field, semi-professional baseball field, tennis courts or 18-hole miniature golf course. Personally, I am not a big golfer but I have traveled with friends that are and they raved about the well-kept course and its 25 inland lakes. I on the other hand I can tell you that the 18-hole miniature golf course is a great time.
Let’s Enjoy the Nightlife…
Whether you are looking for something more low-key or ready to party the night away – trust me when I say there are great options for both!
Do you enjoy live shows & music? If so, I highly suggest catching one of the many performances at the amazing Theater! The Theater is located within the resort and is open to the outdoor air. It seats up to 1,400 guests and has 2 entertainment levels with a bar and waiters on each. Personally, my family and I have enjoyed multiple shows over the years that were entertaining for all age levels.
Casino Bávaro – a 24-hour casino located within Barceló Bávaro Palace Grand Resort is a great place to visit after dinner! The casino itself has 150 slot machines and various game tables including American Roulette, Blackjack, Caribbean Poker & Texas Hold’em. You can enjoy drinks with friends while trying your luck! If you are looking to keep the party going and enjoy music, drinks & dancing – Bávaro Nightclub next to the casino is open 11 p.m. – 3:00 a.m.
One thing I always look for in a resort is a spa. It doesn’t matter if I am traveling with friends or family – nothing says vacation like some quality alone time while getting pampered! The U-Spa situated conveniently in the the center of the resort is the perfect place to be pampered and relax. The spa is equipped with an outdoor pool that features various water therapies and private outdoor cabins. The private outdoor cabins make great getaways for couples with sun-loungers, chairs & Jacuzzis on a private terrace. The low-lighting and ambient music creates the perfect backdrop to enjoy a full spa menu including facials, massages, body wraps & much more! The spa also offers a complete range of services for nails, hair & makeup in the beauty salon. Attached to the U-Spa you will also find a complete gym with various cardio and weight resistance machines. Nothing beats running on a treadmill with a beautiful Caribbean view!
Although all-inclusive resorts are my favorite – It’s rare that I don’t spend several days away from the resort exploring other parts of the area. The Dominican Republic is no exception to that habit! Over the years I have done numerous excursions – below I will tell you about several of my favorites!
On my most recent trip to Punta Cana my family and I spent a full-day exploring the Dominican forest on zip lines followed by a visit to Monkeyland. Our zip lining adventure was not only a blast but gave us the opportunity enjoy the beautiful sites of the Dominican forest. The zip line course consists of 12 zip lines that spread across the tropical mountain range with various heights and lengths with the longest being a half mile long! Once your feet are able to find the ground again, you are able to visit the Coconut House and learn the process of making coconut oil and experience and taste fresh local products.
Monkeyland proved to be an absolute highlight for my daughters. Trust me when I say there are no words that can describe the fun and excitement that comes from having tons of adorable squirrel monkeys climb all over you! The cute little creatures love having you feed them and will follow you by jumping tree-to-tree in their spectacular environment! While feeding and petting your new furry friends you get to learn all about them and their beautiful environment.
If you’re not looking to venture far from the resort my next two suggestions are Horseback Riding on the beach & Dolphin Island. Both of these excursions are seen from the resort’s beach and are a quick trip by shuttle. The horseback riding allows you to venture up the coastline and in the water while enjoying the late afternoon sun. The views and the experience are not only amazing but a great way to wind down after a day on the beach.
Dolphin Island is located in the open water directly in front of the resort. You take a quick boat ride to Dolphin Island and spend the rest of your time swimming with Nurse Sharks, Stingrays & Dolphins. You get to ride on the fins of the dolphins, instruct them on tricks & feed them fishy treats. Your entire experience is captured on film for you to enjoy later. This is an absolute must if you enjoy spending time in Caribbean water with some of Dominican’s beautiful marine life.
My last suggestion is for adults only and entails a trip to Saona Island. This all day excursion takes you on a 45 minute speed boat ride to a natural swimming pool where you can swim among the starfish. After your time at the natural swimming pool you will arrive to Saona Island where you will enjoy an island lunch and open bar. The island itself offers a large white-sand beach with lounge chairs and hammocks perfect for kicking back and enjoying cocktails.
After your time spent at Soana Island you will board a large Catamaran and sail the waters for over an hour while listening to music and enjoying more adult beverages. Several years ago a large group of us spent the day on this excursion and had a blast! If you’re traveling with friends – definitely check this one out!
So, if you’re in the market for a vacation destination spot may I suggest the Dominican Republic. As a personal favorite – I promise there is plenty to do and see for everyone!