The name Punta Cana in Spanish means 'tips of white palms'. And Punta Cana, situated on the Caribbean island of Dominican Republic, lives up to that name.
It is the most one of the most popular vacation spots in the Caribbean, known for its pristine miles-long beaches, lined with an alley of dense palm trees. For this reason Punta Cana and Bavaro are nicknamed La Costa del Coco, or the Coconut Coast.
The name Punta Cana has popularly been used to describe what is actually several different areas. The towns of Cap Cana, Cabeza de Toro, Bavaro, El Cortecito, Arena Gorda, Macao, and Uvero Alto are often all bundled into the name Punta Cana. So Punta Cana is the name of just one part of this area, although it is widely used to describe everything.
Punta Cana is located in the province of La Altagracia, the easternmost province of the Dominican Republic’s 31 provinces. La Altagracia is also the home of the 500 year old city of Higuey, the capital of the province. It is here where the Catholic Basilica is located, dedicated to the island’s patron saint, Our Lady of Altagracia.
Punta Cana is also a top golf vacation destination, voted for two consecutive years as the “Best Golf Destination of the Caribbean and Latin America” by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators. Many of the golf courses in the area were designed by the world’s best golf course architects. Designers include Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye, PB Dye, Gary Player, and Tom Fazio. Punta Cana has more than a dozen pro-level golf courses, and it has played host to the PGA Champions Tour on three different occasions.
Punta Cana is home to many fabled beaches, several of which are ideal for specific activities: If you’re a surf enthusiast, head north to Macao Beach where there are big waves and a surf camp. Families with small kid with feel comfortable spending a day at Arena Gorda Beach, where the water is shallow and typically calm. Bávaro beach is arguably the most attractive; it’s sometimes crowded with visitors eager to lounge on the most beautiful piece of land. Scuba divers should visit Isla Catalina for its amazing coral reef. And, for an experience on an unspoiled beach, take a day trip to Isla Saona.