The Complete Guide to a Punta Cana Honeymoon
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After you bid farewell to the final guest and enjoy your Sunday brunch, you may want to retreat somewhere sunny. If that sounds like you and your new spouse, a Punta Cana honeymoon may be the perfect answer for post-planning fatigue. The year-round tropical climate, glistening waters, and sunsets draw people to the soft-sandy shores of Punta Cana each year. The same goes for the resorts in Punta Cana, many of which offer all-inclusive packages. Getting off a plane and embarking on a honeymoon to this tropical destination is like stepping into paradise.
How long will that plane ride take, though? It depends on where you're from. Punta Cana is on the Dominican Republic's easternmost tip, and it's a shorter trip for people traveling from the Northeast and South. Plan for about five hours from Dallas and New York, whereas San Fransisco couples can expect a nearly 10-hour flight. The good news is once you've arrived, you can let the sea breeze take you away.
In This Article:
Is Punta Cana Good for a Honeymoon?
Pros of a Honeymoon in Punta Cana
A Punta Cana honeymoon allows couples to park their beach chair in the stand and stay a week (perhaps with an umbrella-adorned beverage in hand). Punta Cana's all-inclusive resort options offer tons to do without leaving the grounds, from cozy and five-star dining spots to day beds, spas, and watersports. Should you need to get away during your getaway, some of the best places to visit in Punta Cana include Altos de Chavon for a history lesson, deep sea fishing cruises, and adventure parks with ziplining. After dark, the Punta Cana nightlife is lively but not as raucous as Cancun.
Cons of a Honeymoon in Punta Cana
As gorgeous, relaxing, and fun as a Punta Cana vacation may be, it isn't the best honeymoon for every couple. Though couples can engage in water sports like scuba, snorkeling, and parasailing, a Punta Cana isn't going to be one with packed itineraries. Much of the fun is at the resort. There's history, but you're not going to have itineraries filled with visits to historical monuments as you would in, say, Rome. Punta Cana honeymoon packages at resorts make planning easy but can feel cookie-cutter.
The Best Times to Visit Punta Cana
The best time to visit Punta Cana is in the spring. The region's tropical climate makes it a hot spot for travelers looking to escape snow, ice, and sub-zero temperature predictions from December to February. March to May still has mild weather (and offers a chance to escape cooler temperatures back home). However, it's a little less crowded than during peak tourist season. Punta Cana is in the Caribbean and prone to hurricane season from June through the end of November.
Punta Cana Tourism Tips for Couples
Though Punta Cana is a laidback spot where any time is island time, knowing some particulars can ensure you maximize your relaxation time. Let's start with one of the biggest questions tourists ask: Is it safe to travel to Punta Cana? The U.S. Department of State recommends exercising increased caution when traveling to the Dominican Republic because of crime. Resorts are generally safe, but it's always a good idea to be mindful of your surroundings and travel with another person or group (if you're honeymooning, this shouldn't be hard).
Punta Cana is a relatively short flight for travelers from the South and Northeast (about five hours) but can take twice that for people traveling from the West Coast. Quips about island time aside, Costa Rica is in the Atlantic Time Zone and doesn't observe daylight savings time. The native language in the Dominican Republic is Spanish, and the peso is the official currency. But most resort staff speak English and accept the American dollar.
Many resorts offer all-inclusive accommodations, and you'll want to reserve any off-site tours. A concierge may be able to assist you. Punta Cana restaurants, including ones at resorts, have different rules on reservations. Some will be first-come, first-serve, while others may take them. A resort concierge can help you navigate the dining scene.
Best Day Trips from Punta Cana
A Punta Cana honeymoon itinerary may include tons of activities at your all-inclusive resort. But couples can venture beyond those gorgeous grounds for worthwhile adventures. From history lessons to ecological wonders, these are the top day trips to take during your Punta Cana stay.
Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park
This dreamy nature preserve is set on 1,500 sprawling acres of subtropical forest, making it a serene retreat. Guests can take a dip in the peaceful turquoise waters of five of the 12 lagoons, stroll through abundant vegetation, and spot 500 species of plants. Trails are perfect for a leisurely arm-in-arm walk for hikers of all experience levels.
Altos de Chavon
You don't have to jet off to Europe to learn about history. Set an hour outside Punta Cana and atop the Chavón, Altos de Chavon transports visitors back to the 16th century. Designed in the 1970s, Altos de Chavon's medieval architecture and handcrafted cobblestone walkways are made to resemble a historic Mediterranean village. Charming shops, restaurants, and river vistas make it a worthy reason to leave the comforts of a resort.
Hacienda Tuko Adventure Park
After a few days of relaxing poolside or on the beach, you may be craving a little jolt of adrenaline the resort coffeeshop cannot provide. Hacienda Tuko Adventure Park offers options aplenty for honeymooners who fit this pill. On a ziplining excursion, get a bird's eye view of a flourishing Dominican jungle. Horseback and dune buggy rides are also available through tours, many of which will handle transportation from the park to and from your hotel.
Think a beach is just a beach? Think again. Macao Beach's white sands make it a popular draw for tourists and locals alike. Though your resort may also boast white-sand beaches, moving your chair there gives you an opportunity to mingle with the locals for an authentic Dominican Republic experience. Bonus for people looking to hang 10: The waves are known for being some of the best for surfing in the DR. Buggy adventures are also a popular pastime.
A touch under three hours outside of Punta Cana, Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic. Because of the distance, consider a full-day excursion here, preferably with a spa day slated to begin the following morning. The site is a way to dive into something other than the glistening waters of the Caribbean Sea. Home to a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Colonial Zone, it's full of monuments that pay homage to the nation's history. Many tours will provide transportation for you, alleviating stress.
A 90-minute ferry ride from Punta Cana, Saona Island, Saona Island's crystal-clear waters, sugary-soft sands, and palm trees provide a quintessential Caribbean experience. Full-day cruises include time to explore the island and snorkel. Though the place is popular among tourists, people say the vibe isn't too raucous — it's peaceful enough that the local birds provide the soundtrack to the day.
Best Things to Do in Punta Cana for Couples
Take a Dance Class...
The bachata originated in the Dominican Republic in the 20th century and is now the nation's signature dance move. Couples who shine on the dance floor will love having yet another opportunity to bust a move after their wedding reception. Private dance classes taught by locals offer an authentic Dominican flare. Couples can last an hour and allow couples to learn the basics in an intimate, no-pressure setting.
...Then, Dance the Night Away
Once you've got your new moves down, break them out on the Dominican dance floor. The Punta Cana nightlife is a welcome respite for those looking to exchange those flip-flops for dance shoes. Coco Bongo Punta Cana cranks out popular and time-honored dance hits and so much more. Think confetti bombs, balloons, performances by dancers and acrobats, and video entertainment that raises the bar on a night out.
Book a Spa Day
Somehow bored of your resort's daybed or need a change of scenery? Snag s daycation. Services like ResortPass offer day passes to other Punta Cana hotels and resorts. Some, like Iberostar Punta Cana, offer spa wellness packages. Adults can snag access to a hydrotherapy pool with a tranquil waterfall, sauna, steam room, and whirlpool bath. Consider it a vacation from your vacation that'll leave you feeling rejuvenated before or after a big night on the dance floor.
Learn to Cook
For some, cooking is a relaxing and bonding experience. And Carribean cuisine is flavor and spice and everything nice, making a cooking class an undercover choice for things to do in Punta Cana for couples. Learn to chef up Chillo al coco or red snapper like a pro from a pro. Many local private chefs will come to you and offer to dish on secret ingredients, techniques and recipes, such as charcoal grilling.
The Best Resorts and Hotels in Punta Cana
Couples looking for adult-only accommodations will want to look into this gated spot, one of the best honeymoon resorts in Punta Cana. Amenities and activities offered on the sprawling beachfront grounds include yoga on the beach, infinity, kayak rentals, and zip-lining adventures. Punta Espada Golf Course is close by, and nightly shows provide after-dark fun.
There's no such thing as wasting away at this 5-star resort. Guests simply enjoy rooms with sea views, villas with private pools, and six resort dining offerings, including an upscale steakhouse. Live entertainment after dark typically leans more into EDM than Jimmy Buffet's extensive library of "Gulf and Western" hits.
This all-inclusive hideaway set on the glistening waters of Bavaro Beach is a half hour from the airport. Onsite dining options include Asian, Italian, and American cuisines. A favorite among travelers looking for spa resorts, Royalton Punta Cana's menu of services includes a soothing, private couple's massage that can last up to 80 minutes.
Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa has recently updated suites, spaces reserved for adults only, five tennis courts, and a golf course. One of Punta Cana's favored all-inclusive resorts, the package includes meals and drinks at the spot's eight restaurants and bars.
This all-inclusive resort offers celebration and honeymoon packages that rock. The honeymoon package comes with sparkling vino, a special dinner at one of the restaurants, a cruise for two, a couple's massage, and a mini-cake (which you can have at breakfast or dinner). Five-star accommodations and amenities include a spa, a lively music-centric atmosphere, and nine restaurants on the grounds.
This massive five-star resort has a pair of lakeside pools and sun terraces made for fun in the sun. Situated on the palm tree-dotting Atlantic Ocean beach Bávaro, Bahia Principe Grand Punta Cana also has a spa, three restaurants, and five bars ready to make you something fruity.
What to Pack for a Punta Cana Honeymoon
Punta Cana is known for its laid-back energy, especially with it being a place where the beach or pool is easily accessible. With that in mind, you'll want to know exactly what to pack for Punta Cana (and every other vacation) so you can have a fuss-free stay. Bring at least two swimsuits to avoid the need to do laundry. Flowy, breezy cotton dresses, shorts, polos, and lightweight Tees will keep you cool even when the sun is shining bright. Speaking of which, sunscreen is a must.
Though it's usually sunny, you'll want to pack a raincoat just in case, especially if you're traveling during hurricane season. Something for upscale dinners and dancing, like an LBD and heels, a jumpsuit, or clean slacks and a collared shirt with dress shoes, are also appropriate. If you plan to venture off the resort for adventures, pack comfy walking shoes like sneakers and a backpack to store all of your essentials. Otherwise, flip-flops will do.