The Best Day Trips from Punta Cana

Punta Cana, with its pristine beaches and luxurious resorts, is undoubtedly a paradise for sun-seekers. But beyond its sandy shores, the Dominican Republic offers a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be explored. If you’re stationed in Punta Cana and itching for a day of adventure, you’re in luck. Here’s a guide to the best day trips from Punta Cana that promise a mix of culture, nature, and thrill.

Saona Island: A Slice of Paradise

Just a short boat ride from Punta Cana, Saona Island is a part of the East National Park. Known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life, it’s a must-visit for beach lovers.

  • What to Do: Lounge on the beach, snorkel in the clear waters, or take a catamaran cruise.
  • Getting There: Several Punta Cana excursions offer day trips to Saona Island, including boat transfers and meals.

Santo Domingo: Dive into History

As the capital city and the oldest European city in the Americas, Santo Domingo is a melting pot of culture and history.

  • What to Do: Visit the Colonial Zone, a UNESCO World Heritage site, explore museums, and savor Dominican cuisine.
  • Getting There: It’s a two-hour drive from Punta Cana. You can rent a car or opt for a guided tour.

Higüey: A Cultural Experience

Higüey, the capital of La Altagracia Province, offers a deep dive into the Dominican culture.

  • What to Do: Visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Altagracia, explore local markets, and enjoy traditional Dominican food.
  • Getting There: Located just 45 minutes from Punta Cana, you can reach Higüey by car or local bus.

Montaña Redonda: For the Best Views

This rounded mountain offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, making it a favorite among nature enthusiasts.

  • What to Do: Hike or drive to the top, swing on the famous “swing at the end of the world,” and capture Instagram-worthy photos.
  • Getting There: It’s an hour’s drive from Punta Cana. Consider renting a car or booking a guided tour.

Cueva Fun Fun: An Underground Adventure

For those seeking thrill, Cueva Fun Fun promises an adrenaline-pumping experience as you rappel into a vast underground cave.

  • What to Do: Rappel, explore the cave’s unique formations, and learn about its history.
  • Getting There: Located in Los Haitises National Park, it’s best to book a Punta Cana excursion that includes transportation and a guide.

Altos de Chavón: A Mediterranean Village

Built as a replica of a 16th-century Mediterranean village, Altos de Chavón offers a unique blend of art, culture, and history.

  • What to Do: Visit the archaeological museum, attend a concert at the amphitheater, and stroll through cobbled streets.
  • Getting There: It’s about an hour’s drive from Punta Cana. You can drive or opt for a guided tour.

Tips for Day Trippers

  • Start Early: To make the most of your day, start your trip early in the morning.
  • Pack Essentials: Sunscreen, water, snacks, and a camera are must-haves.
  • Local Currency: While many places accept USD, it’s good to have some Dominican Pesos for small purchases.


Punta Cana, while a destination in itself, is also a gateway to many unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or an adventure seeker, the surrounding regions offer something for everyone. So, on your next trip to Punta Cana, venture out and explore the wonders that the Dominican Republic has to offer.

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