Thanks to its 50 kilometres of white-sand coastline, Punta Cana holidays are up there with the Caribbean's beachy best.

Crowning glory coastline

Punta Cana’s plonked on the Dominican Republic’s east coast, and there’s no denying its beaches are the stars of the show. Its sizeable squad of white-sand, pillow-soft numbers are all fringed by lofty, coconut-shaking palms. Not only are they sun-worshipper and swimmer-friendly, but they’re prime snorkelling territory, too – snap on some goggles to see the rainbow-coloured reefs. You’ve got plenty of spots to choose from, but chilled-out Uvero Alto and energetic Bavaro Beach are our faves. Just a heads up – the beaches here are sometimes affected by sargassum, a type of seaweed. It’s influenced by things like weather patterns and the currents in the sea. If your hotel’s affected, the staff will do everything they can to clear it.

Inland adventures

The fun doesn’t stop once you’re past the beaches’ borders. Take the hour’s drive to Anamuya Rainforest, and you’ll find a zipline course zig-zagging through the treetops. This two-kilometre extravaganza features 12 lines, including the Dominican Republic’s longest, as well as a duo of lines for side-by-side zooming. Punta Cana’s Ojos Indigenas ecological park is a magnet for nature nerds. We’re talking trails through tropical forests and a dozen clear-water lagoons.

Dozens of daytrips

You’ve got couple of culture-crammed daytrip destinations to pick from. Dating back to the 1400s, Santo Domingo’s got some serious historical credentials. It boasts sights like the UNESCO-stamped Ozama Fortress, which was built over 500 years ago. Plus, the Zona Colonial, the oldest European settlement in the Americas, is full to the brim with ancient attractions to see. Altos de Chavon’s another culture vulture-friendly place. This mock Mediterranean-style village is super popular, and has a cultural centre, an amphitheatre and a museum.

At a Glance

  • Explore Uvero Alto’s colourful reef
  • Take a trip to a sand-smothered desert island
  • Spot celebs on Punta Cana’s beaches

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