Soak up the Sun in Punta Cana!

Although this is the land of the all-inclusive resort and vacationers rarely have to leave the confines of their cushy hotel grounds, the area does have lots to offer adventurous travelers who venture out. We’ve compiled some of our favorite places to stay, chow down, visit and the companies that will help you decipher it all.

Places to stay

Sanctuary Cap Cana Golf & Spa

Brand spankin’ new, humongous, and not all-inclusive, this hotel is luxury to the max.

The Iberostar Bávaro
The quintessential all-inclusive resort, it has an impressive list of amenities, round-the-clock restaurants and activities galore.

The Meliá Caribe and Tropical
Two sprawling resorts in one, this property boasts beautiful grounds and more than a dozen restaurants for the older visitors, and a Flintstone-themed area for the little ones: the Yabba-Dabba-Doo area, with a kid-friendly bazaar, gardens and swimming pools!

Places to chow down

Captain Cook Restaurant
Super fresh seafood—and we mean fresh: the local fishermen bring their catch here daily and you can pick the fish you want to eat right out of a barrel!
On Playa El Cortecito

The Jellyfish

You can’t get any closer to the water—this beautiful two-story restaurant has a bit for everyone. Fresh fish? Check. Amazing pasta dishes? Check. Romantic candle-lit indoor area? Oooh. Check.
(on the beach next to the Meliá Caribe resort)

The Blue Marlin
This restaurant serves simple fare elevated to upscale heights—and their mahi-mahi is to die for.
(in The Sanctuary Cap Cana hotel)

Places to visit

1. Juanillo Beach: Perfect and untouched, this beach is just steps away from the Sanctuary Cap Cana hotel. Enjoy it as soon as possible—major constructions (including a huge Ritz Carlton) are in the works for later this year.

2. Saona Island: This island is a nature reserve and ecological marvel. Most hotels in the Punta Cana area offer tours to and from the practically uninhabited haven.

3. Manati Park: An amusement park where you can swim with dolphins, pet iguanas and even play with snakes! Or you can head to the souvenir shops or the Taíno museum for less one-on-one with island critters and more cultural stimulation. Check out for in-depth info.

Tour companies—here and there!
Liberty Travel

Scuba Caribe Tours

El Caballo Tours

Click here for the slideshow!

--Yuliana Gómez