4 people swimming in a waterfall

Going on vacation is all about discovering and participating in new activities, immersing oneself in the destination, and discovering exciting new things.

Punta Cana is a diverse and popular tourist setting, where visitors may not only bask in its secluded beaches but submerge themselves in its lush natural expanse to unearth a wealth of cultural treasures.

You will find a wealth of entertainment possibilities in Punta Cana. There is something for every level of adventure and interest.

The votes are in, and after sorting through tons of reviews, we have come up with the top 10 things to do in Punta Cana.

We considered the average rating as well as the number of votes to choose the 10 best things to do in Punta Cana.

You’ll find that there’s something to do for every member of the family, so everyone feels included and all can go back home having enjoyed the vacation of a lifetime.

Without further adieu, we give you the ten best things to do in Punta Cana Dominican Republic:

1-Samana Visit by Land and Sea

Overview

This excursion has it all; it is a combination of three different tours: horseback riding, truck safari, and Island tour and if that wasn’t enough you also get to visit a magnificent natural waterfall.

Samana is a peninsula in the northeastern part of the country just 30 minutes away by plane from Punta Cana and one of my all-time favorite parts of the Dominican Republic.

Your transport from the Samana airport will be safari trucks which will take you through the mountainous terrain of the Peninsula for you to experience the Dominican culture outside your hotel.

Later, once off the truck you will mount a horse for a 30-minute ride to “El Salto del Limon”.

One of the most lovely and acclaimed cascades in the whole nation and will have time to chill in its pristine waters.

Afterward, you will board a sailboat that will take you to a delightful and calm shoreline for a tasty regular Dominican lunch in the absolute best of settings.

After lunch, you will load up the Catamaran again to “Cayo Levantado,” also called Bacardi island for its bar open in the midst of palm trees in the sand where it’s an ideal opportunity to relax.

Excellent way to see the beautiful Samana countryside!!! I booked this excursion as a surprise for my husband for our honeymoon, It was so informative and fun! Our tour guide, Carlos was fun and interactive with our group. He spoke excellent English, French and German.

There are many breathtaking views of the Caribbean sea. The lunch was delicious but this time seemed to go by too fast. It was awesome, and relaxing!! very very nice.

tripadvisor review

2-Scape Park

Woman doing zip line
Source: Viator

Overview

Are you ready to let nature embrace your senses, catapult you back in time, all the while becoming entrapped in emotionally jarring escapades?

Located in the heart of the Cap Cana Resort, this park is an incredible natural theme park offering a lot of attractions, ranging from adventurous and adrenaline-laden activities to experiences that are cultural and highly entertaining.

Whatever your pleasure, you’re in for a real treat!

Its 1 million square meter expanse, riddled in limestone topography, uncovers a plethora of unusual landforms.

The most spectacular, the Farallon, is a cliff over 100-meter-high, extending 800 meters along the coast, serving as the picturesque backdrop to many of the park’s activities.

Let your senses Scape while ziplining on a precipice, exploring antiquated caves, swimming in underground caves, bouncing from water zip lines and riding in their splash hammocks!

If you desire tranquility following this spirited experience, you have the option of cruising along stunning beaches, snorkel in tropical waters or chill out in their exclusive beach club.

This activity includes transportation from all major hotels located in Punta Cana, Bavaro, and Bayahibe.

3- Punta Cana Jeep Safari Tour

Yellow jeep

Overview

Off the beaten path, traverse every nook and cranny of scenic Punta Cana aboard a jugged and durable Jeep Wrangler.

Enjoy the thrill of the ride, getting up close to the destination’s unmatched natural splendor.

This exceptional adventure starts every morning with a visit to Macao Beach.

Expect a bumpy ride as you make your way across rice and sugar cane fields.

The tour also offers you a rare opportunity to come into contact with a variety of exotic plants and flowers.

You will see a variety of colorful butterflies that frequent the garden.

As you make your way to a larger garden, you’ll experience how cocoa and coffee beans were harvested and prepared in the old days.

Take the opportunity to enjoy a cup! The fun doesn’t end here.

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This action-packed tour continues at the Horseplay Ranch, where you’ll enjoy the silence and breathtaking views while ziplining high above the ground through treetops and across open mountain valleys in the Dominican Oriental mountain range.

You have the option to go horseback riding.

The excursion stops at Rancho Real for a look inside the fantastic process of cigars production.

Here you will get an opportunity to roll your very own and take it home as a souvenir!

Dominican cigars are globally perceived as good as Cuban cigars.

Finally, there will be a lot of time to unwind in majestic Macao Beach, where you will be able to frolic about in its immaculate and unspoiled shoreline, followed by a typical beachfront Dominican lunch.

We loved the workers, the people we met also on vacation, and all the exciting events of the day! We learned about coconut oil, chocolate, coffee, our favorite, MamaJuana! We drove jeeps, rode horses, zip-lined, rolled cigars, and enjoyed lunch on the beach. They also took a ton of pictures throughout the day and shared them for FREE on Facebook! This was an experience we will always remember when we think of our vacation <3

tripadvisor review

4- Super Truck Safari

Overview

This excursion is the perfect way to see the REAL Dominican Republic beyond your hotel compound.

You will ride a safari truck through the Higuey region cane fields making a stop at a local school where you’ll get to meet the local children (depending on the time of the year), and the group sponsors a local project that will benefit the surrounding communities.

You will also visit one of the most famous churches in the country, home to the patron saint Our Lady of La Altagracia.

The truck will pass through two rural ranches where you will have the chance to see how local made Dominican products such as cocoa, tobacco, coffee are made.

Or course, you can’t miss the tasting of an alcoholic beverage named “mamajuana” which the locals consider an aphrodisiac.

A quick horseback ride to work up your appetite you’ll be treated to an authentic and delicious Dominican style lunch, and later on you will head down to the beach for a refreshing dip.

This was an excellent excursion. Our tour guide  was very informative and knowledgeable. The excursion takes you to a school where you can go in and see the children. It also takes you to a home to get a glimpse of how the people live and make meals, etc. I would recommend this excursion – lots of fun as well (going to the beach, buying local products at very reasonable prices, etc) Great time and very entertaining !!

tripadvisor review

5- Zipline Canopy Adventure

Overview

We’re half way our top 10 things to do in Punta Cana countdown but we could honestly have put either one of the excursions so far at the number one spot! especially this Zip line canopy tour which is a lot of fun.

This adrenaline packed adventure is one of customers favorites because it isn’t something you get the chance to do each day.

You will slide down 15 platforms and 8 cable lines at treetops height crosswise over lovely open valleys putting your resistance of heights under a magnifying glass.

You will be with experienced guides from start to finish especially when you’ll have to travel across a 2,500 feet long cable, that’s a 7-block distance! Not one to miss.

We booked the tour online and overall the experience was very enjoyable. Our guide was enthusiastic, funny, and informative. I recommend the trip to anyone new to the island who wants to see some sights, get some nice pictures, and enjoy an adventure filled day in paradise. Because you can’t spend every single day on the beach =)

– Sergio M –

6- Marinarium Snorkeling Cruise

Overview

Marinarium is a fascinating half day tour, an incredible experience on board of a glass bottom boat where you will get to see the diverse and colorful sea life along the Punta Cana coastline.

You will head to the “Marinarium” a marine life oasis in the middle of the ocean where you’ll get the chance to swim with stingrays and nurse sharks!

From there you will cruise the clear blue waters of the “Toro” section of Punta Cana with an open bar and snacks served on board while dancing to the rhythm of local music.

You’ll make your way to a beautiful natural swimming pool where you can relax while sipping your favorite Caribbean cocktail.

This was by far the best excursion we have taken in a long time. The staff was extremely helpful and fun and swimming in the ocean with the sting rays and nurse sharks and other fish was very cool and memorable. Everything from the transportation to the cataraman were excellent.

– James V –

7- Fun Fun Cave Exploration

Overview

Our #7 spot goes out to Rancho Capote’s Fun Fun Cave. An excursion for the hardcore adventurers who don’t mind getting dirty and putting their physical abilities to the test.

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You will drive down to Rancho Capote where you will mount a horse to get to the entrance of the cave for you to rappel down with the assistance of your guide and the provided equipment.

This cave is located at the Haitises National Park, a virgin extension of mangrove forests, ancient pirate hideouts and of course the home to the long extinct Taino Indians who used to inhabit the island when Columbus discovered America.

You will explore the depths of the cave for more than an hour, sometimes on your hands and knees or swimming through underground rivers which will make for an unforgettable journey.

Traveling the dark corridors of the cave, you will get a chance to see Taino petroglyphs carved on the walls and marvel at the sight of the large corridors and marvelous stalactites and stalagmites.

This was the most amazing adventure ever. Be prepared though it is not for the weak. It was a three hour drive to the ranch. We rode horses up and down hills, hiked up and down hills and the crawled around on our stomachs in the caves. If you are adventurous this tour is for you.

– Kim P –

8- Bavaro Splash Speed Boats

Overview

Whoever put the words “speed” and “boat” together was a genius!

Imagine yourself as 007 racing through the Caribbean waters in your very own, yeah you guessed it, speed boat.

There’s a minimum of 18 years of age to drive the ship, but you can take the passenger seat for the same exhilarating experience of speeding through the clear waters of Punta Cana if you are younger.

After driving the speed boat, you’ll take a break to go SNUBA diving.

SNUBA is a cool combination of snorkeling and diving where you explore the ocean floor attached to a 20 feet long oxygen hose which is cool because you can choose at what depth you want to swim.

Many customers have said that the SNUBA part of the excursion is actually their favorite!

This was the best part of our trip…snuba diving was amazing, boats were fun but could’ve lasted longer, altogether worth doing again.

– Kevin A –

9- Isla Saona Day Tour

Overview

The famous island tour is the most popular excursion right now, and it has earned the right to be so.

Saona is an island of the Dominican Republic with beautiful beaches all around and perfect weather the entire year.

You will be transported to Saona island on a speed boat, making a stop first at a waist-deep natural swimming pool with starfish studded sand.

Once at the island you’ll have your pick of swimming at the beach, playing volleyball, visiting the open bar or treating yourself to an authentic Dominican lunch.

The time at Saona Island can be very relaxing or packed with fun, depending on your preference.

You’ll spend a total of 4 hours on the island before going back to the mainland onboard a slow moving Catamaran with Latin music and an open bar.

The tour to Saona was OUTSTANDING! The guide was explaining all the way about the city and the culture. Isla Saona is a paradise, great food and good animation team.

Im already making plans to book more tours.

– Veronica D –

10- Catalina Fieston Snorkeling Party

Overview

Catalina is a beautiful uninhabited island known as one of the greatest sites for snorkeling in the Dominican Republic.

To get there, you will board a boat known as “El Fieston” and cruise past the multimillion-dollar mansions on the Casa de Campo coastline.

Enjoy a great lunch at the beach before putting on your snorkeling gear to explore the beautiful water surroundings.

Looking for more of a rush? Take a ride on the banana boat!

On the return trip, you’ll visit the art village of Chavon home to the most prestigious art school in the country.

I had a wonderful time on the Catalina Island tour. Ben, our guide, was wonderful. He was very informative and attentive to all our needs. The excursion was all that I expected and more. I will definitely recommend your company to anyone visiting the Dominican Republic.

– Inga C –

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Honorable Mentions

Punta Cana has so much to offer; we couldn’t end the Top 10 list without giving these attractions due credit for their popularity and grandiosity.

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Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve

Lagoon

Overview

A private, protected area, Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve, consisting of 1,500 acres of lowland subtropical forest, this enclave has been dedicated towards conservation, scientific, research and recreational endeavors.

The Ecological Reserve is a woodland hold that has twelve freshwater lagoons, five of which guests can swim in.

Historians found that the Taíno Indians, the pre-Columbian occupants of the island, referred to the lagoons as “eyes” on account of their particular shape.

Thus, the Ecological Park and Reserve was named “Ojos Indígenas” or “Indigenous Eyes.”

Visitors of the Punta Cana Resort and Club and individuals from the Punta Cana hotels and resorts can go to the reserve from sunup to sundown.

Macao Buggies

Overview

A half-day excursion is sure to forge unforgettable memories of your trip to Punta Cana.

Enjoy a thrilling “low to the ground” buggy adventure across Macao Beach.

Feel the fresh wind brush against your face as you throttle full speed ahead.

Hop off the vehicle just long enough to go for a swim in the gorgeous crystal-clear blue waters.

Ride towards a quaint Dominican house and witness the preparation of cocoa and coffee beans before they are sent to market.

Speed your way across the terrain and arrive at an ancient cave. Do you know how you always wanted to be Indiana Jones?

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore its interiors from end to end, but why not go for a swim in the cave’s natural pool? It’s a refreshing experience and just what you need to replenish yourself!

Coco Bongo Show & Disco

Source: Coco Bongo

Overview

While you won’t find the same type of adventures as the other attractions we’ve listed, Coco Bongo brings entertainment to a completely different level!

We don’t recommend leaving Punta Cana without experiencing Punta Cana’s premier nightspot.

Coco Bongo offers a unique show production, extraordinary musical selection, and the very latest in audio and video entertainment.

Get a feeling for its incredible live shows combining cinema, theatre, musicals, disco, video, acrobatics, technology and plenty of surprises!

This spectacular disco has three levels; its unique and colossal construction stands out, the whole place is 4016 square meters, and 535 are available to the public.

The impeccable show of lights and sound is a must see and hear experience.

Ocean Spa Experience with Doctor Fish

Overview

Move on board a luxurious yacht-turned-spa for a day of Pilates, relieving rubs, fascinating foot treatments, and reviving refreshments and snacks.

With comfortable seating, a variety of relaxing activities and spa experts at your services, prepare to sail to a renewing and relaxing experience.

Later, get ready to receive a relaxing massage in an individual ocean view room, and after that get your feet into a pool filled with doctor fish for an exfoliation you won’t forget for a long time.

Finally, relax and enjoy a floating raft experience in the pristine waters of Punta Cana.

Altos de Chavón

Ancient church
Source: VisitaRepúblicaDominicana

Overview

A place like no other, a replica of a 16th Century Mediterranean village in the heart of the Dominican Republic’s countryside in the town of La Romana.

Altos de Chavon was meticulously crafted by Italian master designer and cinematographer Roberto Coppa, local artisans have handcrafted every detail.

This village is a social community for residents, tourists, and working artists from all over the world.

There are many studios for artists from pottery to weaving — also, this town is well known across the Dominican Republic as the must-study place for photography.

You will find an Art Gallery that features works from famous Dominican artists, and of course many from artists from around the world.

Altos de Chavón School of Design is also located here. This school is affiliated with the Parsons School of Design in New York.

If you come here, you don’t want to miss the St. Stanislaus Church, 5,000-seat amphitheater, and sweeping views of the Chavón River and the Caribbean Sea, an archeological museum that will blow your mind,

Punta Cana offers best-in-class entertainment for all tastes.

We welcome you to step beyond the comfort of your hotel and explore its enchanting allure, one-of-a-kind landscape, and topography and the warmth of the Dominican people.

Discover new reasons to love this popular tourist destination.

Browse All Tours & Excursions

18 COMMENTS

  1. Wondering if you have anything comparable to swimming with the stingrays as was in a recent excursion from a cruise ship? Also, regarding beaches, is shelling permitted, and are your beaches known for shell excursions?
    Thanks

  2. Wow!!!! That’s just great. This sounds like we are going to have great fun at catalina islands. I am sure this is one of the damn beautiful places that you can go with your family. I am so excited to read all those fun things you have experienced. I wasn’t to check something more, that I got reference of some good catalina hotels to stay, http://www.hotel-metropole.com . You have any recommendations????

  3. Thank you for all great info 🙂 I will be there from July 19-24 I really need help to see all the activity.

  4. Hi there,

    I'll  be coming alone, to Punta Cana, from 15 to 30 March. I'll be staying at the Grand Bavara Principe.

    I only want to do half day tours & would much prefer that these be in the afternoon, if possible.

    These are decided as being –

    1. buggies to Macao beach

    2. an all inclusive party type boat
    trip. NOT too busy full of youngsters getting as drunk as they can. Dont care what sort or size of the boat is MUST be good fun, music, room to sunbathe & the all include alcohol!

    Last thing is that they must pick up & drop of at my hotel.

    Other companies have inundated me with lots of irrelevant info regarding other trips that im not interested in. So, only if you have anything matching the above, would love to hear about it!

    A second, & more pressing, matter is that I need to find a supplier of a constant & unlimited useage WiFi device.

    The hotel do offer a card for purchase, but this is rather pricey, so I'm looking for a more competitive option.

    Again, if you have anything suitable or any recommendations, would love to hear about it!

    I wait in hope that you may be able to help with this matters.
    Kindest regards
    Amanda

  5. Hi Jeff,The most of the sailboats/catamarans are for mass toriusm,so you gonna have some difficulty to find one for your small party (even on charter), the owner are very cautious with their boats due to the tricky waters down there.And if you find a charter you will pay much money : between1.500 and 5.000 us .

  6. Great list, lots of things I wasn’t aware. The only one I’ve done was #6 The Marinarium Snorkeling Cruise. That was fun, but I think the cave exploration would be something fun and different to try also. Love the beaches there, some of the best in the Caribbean!

  7. I traveled recently tu Punta Cana. However, I loved it so much I made a website about it. I took many pictures and videos, I wish I could have done a few of these excursuions. I was having to much fun at my resort. Take a look. I stayed at the hard rock.
    tripvisual.com

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