About Me

The author Chris in the Dominican Republic

Hey, I am Chris, welcome to (my) Punta Cana Travel Blog. Based in Punta Cana, I am here to give you all the information you need to know about this wonderful paradise before heading off to your Punta Cana vacation. Off-the-beaten track adventures, insider tips, important rules, the most beautiful beaches, local attractions and the best excursions – that is what I would like to share with you on my Punta Cana Travel Blog. 

Why I am doing that? Well, there are a couple of reasons:

 First of all, I am absolutely passionate about traveling and exploring the world. I have traveled to over 70 countries and I am still an adventurous soul but I am calling Punta Cana my home-base now. For 5 years I am living in the Dominican Republic, an incredibly awe-inspiring, beautiful and underrated country with so many gorgeous hidden gems. I have blogged about a lot of these amazing spots in my German travel blog My Travelworld*, but as Punta Cana gets more and more popular and considering the lack of authentic, non-entrepreneurial information (you know all these “company blogs” out there) about Punta Cana (which are not just treating about the best resort to stay at), I have decided to dedicate some time into this project. I am hoping to create a small community of independent and slightly adventurous traveling souls who’d like to see the genuine Punta Cana.

 As mentioned, I have another travel blog in German for more than 9 years now, so you can assume that I love writing. Venturing out into our beautiful world and sharing my impressions with my fellow readership is one of my biggest pleasures I can have. Please bear with me for any verbal inaccuracies as I am not a native speaker, I hope this makes my Punta Cana Travel Blog even more personal and authentic. 🙂

 Furthermore, I am also a travel professional. After studying tourism in Germany and my first job at a German tour-operator, I packed my stuff and hit the road (or the sea) to the Caribbean. Grenada was my first foreign place to live (for 3 years) with the Dominican Republic to follow. In both countries, I was working for local tour operators organizing marvelous, off-the-beaten-track and highly customized holidays for people around the world. This also means that I know the other side of the industry, which is why you can book me as a travel coach. If you are in need for the cheapest flights, a resort recommendation from someone who has stayed at dozens of resorts, an off-the-beaten-track adventure during your stay in Punta Cana or a full travel itinerary for your vacation in the Dominican Republic (road-trip style, self-drive tour or with a private driver), I can help you out and give you independent advice and recommendation for your holiday in Punta Cana and beyond. 

 Last but not least, I simply love traveling and the Dominican Republic, so if you can’t find me here, probably I am out there in the bushes to explore new hikes, waterfalls or just beautiful beaches in Punta Cana and the surrounding regions. If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment or send me an email and please do not forget to sign-up for my newsletter and follow me on Facebook* and/or Instagram*. 


The face behind Punta Cana Travel Blog: Chris


Author, Travel Coach & Punta Cana based digital nomad

Hey, I am Chris, a born and raised German, travel-addictive and Caribbean Soul. Since 2011 I have been living in the Caribbean, among them 5 years in the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana is my home-base here in the country and I’d love to tell you more about how to experience Punta Cana off-the-beaten-track and give you all the advice you want to know for your vacation in Punta Cana.

99 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. Thanks Chris for an awesome blog about Punta Cana. We will be there for one week, December 14-21, but looks like we have to come back again, so much to see and to do.
    Have a great day,


    1. Hey Alex,
      no problem, you are welcome. Make sure to check back here when looking for the best excursion recommendations and most recent insider tips about Punta Cana. And yeah, after your first trip you will definitely want to come back.
      Enjoy your vacation and let me know if you have any questions.

    2. Hi Chris, planning to go to Punta Cana, DR in February 2022 I went online for e ticket and paid 15 dollars online and later found out it suppose to be free how can I get my money back

      1. Hi Scorpio,
        there are multiple sites out there which charge for the service of filling out the e-ticket for you. You can try it with the site owners of where you paid, but I guess there is no chance to get your money back.
        Just enjoy your vacation in Punta Cana and write off the few bucks.
        Cheers from Punta Cana

    3. Hi Chris! Sorry to comment on Alex’s post. I couldn’t see how to start my own- lol.
      I sent you a message on IG. Can you respond to me on there, or should I email you?
      Thanks in advance,

  2. Alland Enrique Rodriguez

    Hello Chris… Thanks to the information you shared in your blog, it helped me to complete the travel documents required…. I was on a dead end but you showed me how to do it right… Thanks for taking the time to do all you do!!!

  3. domenico capurso

    Hello there my name is domenico capurso back in the 204 we were in punta cana at the iberostar resort 3 times in 5 years and now we have decided to come back
    and stay on the better place Iberostar grand Bavaro all inclusive.
    i am pretty good on getting things organized regarding the immigration for the entry in Punta Cana.
    and i tried to fill out the entry form when you get to the airport so that i can expedite the waiting at the airport
    but to no vail the web site and the form information are very poor and if you cannot get the right answer it will n to let you finish
    there is got to be a better form to fill out. perhaps maybe there is another way to download the form.
    please let me know if you can help me.
    thank you so much

  4. Timothy J Faust

    There are 12 of us coming in about 3 weeks we’d like to talk and meet with you or use your service

  5. Hi Chris –

    We are traveling to Punta Cana in July and think booking private transportation would be best. I am unsure when to schedule the pick up due to getting through customs. If our flight arrives at 2:30 what would you recommend for a pick up time? Thank you so much for any help with this.
    Cheers! Joe

    1. Hi Joe,

      great that you are going to visit Punta Cana.
      Usually, you don’t have to worry about this as you just give your flight number and arrival time to the transportation company and they will do the rest for you. They know when your flight is arriving and how much time you need to pass immigration and customs.
      You can find my airport transfer recommendations here: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/general-information-faq/airport-transfers-in-punta-cana/

      However, if you really need a certain pick-up time, 3:15 seems reasonable with a 2:30pm arrival, considering that your flight is on time. Immigration is usually pretty quick since the new e-ticket form with the QR code was implemented.

      Enjoy your trip to Punta Cana and make sure to check back here if you need any advice on what to do in Punta Cana
      Cheers, Chris

  6. Hi Chris, your blog has so much information, thank you for sharing. I am curious about traveling off resort, in regards to crime. I have read that the Dominican Republic has the highest crime rate in the Caribbean. How safe is one to take a road trip? We are interested in seeing the national park and doing some hiking, as well as staying at an all inclusive resort.
    Thanks again! Beth

    1. Hi Beth,

      thanks for your comment.

      Yes, crime is existing in the Dominican Republic as in any other (Latin American) country in the world. However, it is also safe to travel, considering you are traveling respectfully and using common sense.
      Most crime in the Dominican Republic happens in the cities and usually in areas where people are not traveling to (barrios etc.). The countryside, the fishing villages, the spectacular nature and everything else are usually perfectly safe. Of course, still something can happen, but nowhere in the world you are 100% safe.
      And compared to the other small Caribbean islands, which are super safe, yes, the Dominican Republic might be the most dangerous country. It is always a question of perspective …

      In general, you can without a problem venture off the resort, go hiking, explore off-the-beaten-track, etc.
      I have done this all on my own as you can see here in the blog and I wouldn’t have done so if it were dangerous …

      For further information on the topics you are interested in, you can read the following articles:
      Road trips – https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/adventures-road-trips/dominican-republic-1-week-itinerary-punta-cana/
      Hiking – https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/adventures-road-trips/hiking-in-punta-cana/
      National Park – https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/excursions-tours/los-haitises-national-park/

      Let me know if you have any further questions.

      Cheers from Punta Cana

  7. Thanks so much for the detailed information. Before reading your reviews on everything, I was leaning towards The Hideaway Royalton, but now I’m thinking the Iberostar Grand. As far as food, wine, entertainment, beach and pools go, do you think I am making a good choice with the Iberostar Grande? Also, would you suggest a swim-up or an ocean view room? They have Lake view listed as an option, is that a pool view? We are in our mid 40’s and would like some entertainment, do you know of any of the shows that are available?

    Is the seaweed bad right now? (we’ll be there in 2 weeks)

    Are there any really fun or cool things we must do? We don’t like super structured activities so excursions are hit or miss with us. We love to explore the culture, but just don’t want to feel like herded animals and it to eat up a huge amount of our beach time.

    Any suggestions on Resorts, Restaurants, Entertainment, etc… would be helpful. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Paige,

      thanks for your comment, great that Punta Cana Travel Blog is helpful for you.

      Regarding the all-inclusive resort, Hideaway at Royalton and Iberostar Grand are completely different levels, Iberostar Grand is at least one or two steps up from Royalton and one of the best luxury resorts in Punta Cana.
      If you can afford it, I would definitely go with Iberostar Grand.

      Iberostar is more on the quiet side, so don’t expect too much entertainment. But you can always change over to the neighboring Iberostars for more activities and entertainment.

      However, if the beach is important, you might consider another all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana for the moment. On my beach walk 2 weeks ago (6 miles along Bavaro), Iberostar Grand had the worst beach (concerning seaweed) of all the hotels. It is probably because Iberostar takes a more sustainable approach to the seaweed (which means they leave it there, which is theoretically good for nature), but the beach was horrible. At the neighboring Iberostars, where you have access to from Iberostar Grand, it was a bit better.
      Just note that the seaweed situation can change every day.

      Most high-end resorts in Punta Cana currently have some seaweed problems. Good resorts with a good beach with not too much seaweed I know about are Secrets Royal Beach (book the Preferred Club) and Barcelo Bavaro Palace, both not super high-end, but quality-wise somewhere between Hideaway and Iberostar Grand.
      Secrets Royal Beach: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/accommodation-resorts/secrets-royal-beach-punta-cana-all-inclusive-resort/
      Barcelo Bavaro Palace: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/recommendation/accommodation-barcelo-bavaro-palace/
      Again, the seaweed situation can change from day to day.

      A high-end resort with hardly any seaweed + top-notch services + an absolutely stunning and unique location in nature and on a pristine beach is Club Med Miches: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/recommendation/accommodation-club-med-miches/

      With regard to the things to do in Punta Cana, you can check out the following post: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/general-information-faq/things-to-do-in-punta-cana/
      If you are looking for some kind of VIP experience that doesn’t take too much time, I would propose the following excursions:
      Isla Saona by helicopter (half-day): https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/recommendation/isla-saona-by-helicopter/
      Samana by plane: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/recommendation/samana-by-plane-from-punta-cana/ (it is still a full-day excursion though, but you see a lot)
      Private culture tour (half-day): https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/recommendation/private-countryside-and-culture-tour/

      Hope this helps, let me know if you have any further questions.

      Cheers from Punta Cana

  8. Hi Chris
    I am traveling Punta Cana in December and already filled out my eticket and received a code, but from what I am reading 72 hours prior is being recommended for filling out the form, will I have to do it again?
    Thank you

  9. Hi Chris:

    thank you for the beautiful blog. when is this eticket form required – i think i read 72 hours before or is it up to 72 hours before.

    I could not clearly see that info


  10. Hello Chris

    Here is Joachim from germany.
    I have a little problem and I will ask you about it.
    I will arrive in Punta Cana (14;35/4. November 2021) and I need a transfer to Las Galeras.
    But all what I find are very expansive. (250 Euro) and more.
    For 150 Euro I will do it (one way of course).
    Or with public tansport.(But I think it´s to slow.)
    Do you konw a safe driver. Or do you have a idea.
    Thank you for an answer

    1. Hi Joachim,
      thanks for your comment.
      Well, it is a 5-hour trip from Punta Cana to Las Galeras, so it makes sense that it is not too cheap especially as the gas prices are rising and rising in the Dominican Republic … (same as in Germany).

      Here you have a very cheap offer which might be suitable for you and which is close to your budget: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/recommendation/airport-transfer-punta-cana-to-samana/
      However, I don’t have experience with this certain provider, I just know the booking platform (which is very good).

      Alternatively, if you want to go by bus from Punta Cana to Samaná, that’s also possible.
      In this case, I would recommend you booking an accommodation for the night in Punta Cana (ideally close to Friusa or Verón and take an express bus to Santo Domingo). Tell the driver’s assistant that you want to get out at the Samaná bus station. From here, take another bus to Samaná or Las Galeras.
      Information on the busses from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/general-information-faq/transportation-between-santo-domingo-and-punta-cana/
      Affordable accommodation in Punta Cana: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/recommendation/cheap-recommendable-hotels-punta-cana/ (just filter according to your desired price level)

      Cheers from Punta Cana

  11. Just found out about your blog. Very interesting! Did you ever write an article about best Airbnbs or best non-all-inclusive hotels in Bayahibe area by any chance?
    Thank you!

  12. Hi Chris,

    My partner and want to visit Santo Domingo. We are currently staying at Ocean El Faro and have been told we can ride a guagua which we can take outside the resort and ask the driver to drop us off at “parada de Santo Domingo” in Higuey and from there we can take the Apra bus to Santo Domingo. So, I just wanted to reach out to you to ask for your advise. I see you have posted a different option on how to get there. Which one do you think is better considering the fact that we would have to be back on the same day. Also, Do you know what time does the last bus leaves Santo Domingo to Punta Cana?

    I hope to hear from you soon Chris.



    1. Hi Priscilla,

      from Ocean El Faro there are two ways of visiting Santo Domingo:
      1) take the local bus from Uvero Alto to Higuey and change into the APTPRA Express bus to Santo Domingo there (as you said)
      2) take a taxi to Bavaro/Friusa and take the express bus Bavaro Express to Santo Domingo from there

      For coming back, the last Bavaro Express leaves around 4pm from Santo Domingo
      The last APTPRA bus leaves late, around 8pm, but you should leave at latest 4.30pm to catch the last bus Hiuey-Uvero Altos.

      The APTPRA connection via Higuey is cheaper, but the Bavaro Express option is usually smoother.
      I think both options are viable, you can pick the one which suits you most.


  13. hi chris OUTSTANDING blog question what is the best way to get from the punta cana airport to ART villa dominicana hotel without getting scammed. i read im looking at about 35 us dollar…… its only 15 mins from airport WHAT A RIPOFF!!!!!!!!! please let me know i will be way too tired to take a bus

    thank you


    1. Hi Philip,

      thanks for your comment. Great that Punta Cana Travel Blog is helpful for you.

      You can find all the ways of getting from the Punta Cana Airport to the hotels, including Art Villa Bavaro, in this article: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/general-information-faq/airport-transfers-in-punta-cana/

      If you want to get a cheap transfer from the airport to your hotel in Bavaro, I would recommend the following two options:
      Shared transfer – https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/recommendation/shared-shuttle-punta-cana-airport/
      Private transfer – https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/recommendation/punta-cana-private-airport-transfer-recommendation/

      If you need any information on the best things to do from Art Villa Dominicana, you can check out this post: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/general-information-faq/things-to-do-in-punta-cana/

      Enjoy your trip to the Dominican Republic!

    1. Hi Julie,
      thanks for your comment, great that Punta Cana Travel Blog is helpful for you.
      First of all, it depends how old are your kids, as different Punta Cana resorts have different policies.
      Second, only because they can stay for free doesn’t mean that it is a bargain (because the adult rate might be higher than in other comparable resorts where the children have to pay).
      However, you can check the following options for some recommendable family hotels:
      – Hard Rock Hotel (depending on the season, kids stay free until the age of 17): https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/accommodation-resorts/hard-rock-hotel-casino-punta-cana-all-inclusive-resort/
      – Dreams Macao (depending on the season, kids stay free until the age of 12): https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/accommodation-resorts/dreams-macao-beach-punta-cana-all-inclusive-resort/
      – Grand Sirenis (perfect price-value ratio and a great family resort with a water park): https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/accommodation-resorts/grand-sirenis-punta-cana-all-inclusive-resort/
      – Princess Family Club (another family resort with great family suites and tons of amenities): https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/accommodation-resorts/princess-family-club-bavaro-all-inclusive-resort/
      Hope this helps.
      Let me know if you have any further questions.
      Cheers from Punta Cana

  14. Hi Chris,
    A group of us are staying at the Impressive Resort Dec 25 to Jan 1st. We are required to get a pcr test to return to Canada.
    If we test positive and can’t leave the Domincan Republic do you know where we would have to quarantine ? Can we stay at the resort or do they have quarantine facilities in Punta Cana ?

    1. Hi Lynda,

      this depends on your resort as each hotel has different regulations. Some are offering accommdations for free, some have a discounted rated and at some resorts you have to pay the regular rate when staying longer due to quarantine / positive test.

      Enjoy your time in Punta Cana

  15. hi chris!

    erstmal vielen dank für den tollen blog, hat mir schon eine menge geholfen.

    wir fliegen in einem monat nach punta cana und wollen mit dem auto nach unserer ankunft (leider landen wir erst gegen mitternacht) nach dominicus und ein paar tage später weiter nach samana.

    nach erster recherche sind wir ein wenig verunsichert bezüglich der autovermietungen da die reviews einem teilweise angst einjagen. selbst bei sixt etc. scheint einiges schiefzulaufen. kannst du einen bestimmten anbieter empfehlen mit dem du gute erfahrungen gemacht hast? deinem blog zufolge hast du ja schon über 20 mal autos gemietet.

    eine andere frage: ist das nachts fahren von punta cana nach tatsächlich so gefährlich? wäre es schlau sich über die nacht ein hotel am flughafen zu nehmen und am nächsten tag weiterzufahren?

    vielen dank!


    1. Hi Gabriela,

      I would not recommend renting a car in Punta Cana and driving to Bayahibe when you only arrive at midnight. It’s not because of security or the rental car agencies, but it’s simply hell of a stress to rent a car at 1am, drive to Bayahibe around 2am and arrive there somewhen in the middle of the night.

      Driving to Bayahibe is easy and most likely nothing will happen, but after such a long flight you might be tired and chances increase that something happens. Furthermore, you probably don’t know the Dominican Republic, hence it is much easier to have your first journey during daylight.

      My recommendations would be:
      Option 1) book a airport hotel (for example Four Points by Sheraton, the closest hotel to the airport, here: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/recommendation/accommodation-four-points-by-sheraton/ ) and rent your car the next morning to start your Dominican Republic road-trip to Bayahibe)

      Option 2) book a private transfer from Punta Cana Airport to Bayahibe (for example here: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/recommendation/punta-cana-airport-transfer-to-bayahibe-one-way/), relax the first days in Bayahibe and afterwards book a rental car starting from La Romana.

      With regard to rental car companies, I would recommend the following pages:
      Especially Sunny Cars only works together with the best rental car agencies and makes sure that the agents are not selling any unnecessary insurances.
      Besides this, renting a car in Punta Cana is fine, especially with the well-known companies such as Europcar or Alamo, as long as you know what is included and what not and what additional insurances you might need and not. And as long as you don’t arrive at midnight … 😉

      For further information about Bayahibe, you can also check out this post: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/general-information-faq/bayahibe-travel-guide/

      Cheers, Chris

  16. Hi chris. Thanks for the Info. We are currently in mayan riveria. We tested positive for covid so we are quarantening till the 6th of February then we head home to canada. We are scheduled to leave for dominican on the 12th of February will this be a problem.

  17. Hello Chris:

    I hope this message finds you well! Firs of all, great work! This is an awesome resource that you are providing!

    We are a group of 13 (six parents, four 18 y.o. boys/men, and three younger teenagers) who will be staying at the Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa (and adjacent GP resorts) at the end of June. I was wondering if you have any insider info for:

    1. Getting building and room requests granted.
    2. Tips about the resorts (Punta Cana, Palace, Bavaro) themselves.
    3. Excursion recommendations close to these resorts.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you,


    1. Hi Greg,
      great, if Punta Cana Travel Blog is helpful for you.
      Regarding 1) and 2), you can either contact the resort or check out the Palladium Facebook group, which might be helpful in these cases.
      For 3) I am recommending you the following articles as all of those activities can be done from Palladium Punta Cana:
      – best things to do in Punta Cana: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/general-information-faq/things-to-do-in-punta-cana/
      – best excursions and tours in Punta Cana: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/excursions-tours/best-punta-cana-excursions-and-tours/
      – best family activities in Punta Cana: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/excursions-tours/punta-cana-family-activities/
      I hope this helps.
      Cheers, Chris

  18. Hi Chris,
    My husband and I are planning a trip to Punta Cana in early May 2022. We’ve been hearing a lot about DR not being safe for American tourists. Would you please advise if that is credible?
    WE appreciate your advice,
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Ann,
      as you can see from the reviews and experiences on the blog as well as from millions (!) of other American tourists every year enjoying their vacation in the Dominican Republic, the country is safe to visit.
      Most reports stating that it is not safe in Punta Cana either don’t know the country or are based on the fake news campaign against the Dominican Republic from the year 2019.
      Cheers from Punta Cana, Chris

  19. We are leaving next week for Punta Cana. i filled the eticket to go into the country last week. Will I need to fill another one out or am I good to go since in your blog you said that it is recommended to fill out within 72 hours of the trip. I did it 16 days ahead of time.

    And we will be required to fill another one out to return home to the U.S.

    1. Hi Troy,
      the recommendation to fill out the Punta Cana e-ticket 72 hours before the trip doesn’t come from me, it is the official guideline of the Dominican Republic immigration department. Usually, there is no problem in filling it out earlier, but if we want to be 100% on the safe side, you can simply fill out a new e-ticket form for your holiday.
      Cheers, Chris

  20. Hi there!
    Thanks so much for creating such an inclusive and thorough blog! My partner and I are travelling to Bavaro in 2 weeks, and staying in a beach front condo airbnb- and I am 6 months pregnant. I am having a hard time finding any info on the current rates of zika virus in the country? Do you have any resources that would be helpful? I have done extensive research on my own, but everything basically just says “its a low risk, but pregnant women shouldn’t go there”. Yet I know Punta Cana is a large tourist place for babymoons and family vacations so its really confusing!
    Any thoughts and suggestions would be helpful! thanks!

    1. Hi Taylor,
      I think there is no 100% guarantee that Punta Cana is Zika free but it isn’t much of an issue here. It was much bigger back in 2017 afaik.
      The last information I found is a information from 2020 saying that there is no evidence of an Zika outbreak in the Dominican Republic.
      I hope this helps.
      Cheers, Chris

  21. Hi I have a question regarding traveling with friends who are staying at a different resort. Do they allow you to go to other hotels for the day? I.E. We would like to play mini golf/arcades at the Hard Rock but aren’t staying there. Also, our friends are staying somewhere that doesn’t have live entertainment. Would they be able to come to our resort for a night for a show? Would they pay out of pocket for that? Can they pay for a day pass at our pool? Are there any common areas to meet up with friends that are at a different hotel? Thank you!

    1. Hi Christina,
      thanks for your comment.
      It might be a bit complicated to meet your friends as all the resorts are for in-house guests only.
      There are a few resorts that are affiliated with each other (for example Secrets and Dreams) and a few resorts are offering day passes (which are usually at least 75 USD per person per day), but besides of that, you would have to meet in a public restaurant or bar outside of the all-inclusive resort.
      On another note, if both resorts are close to each other, you can also meet at the beach.
      Cheers from Punta Cana

  22. Hi Chris,

    Trying to plan a trip to Punta Cana from June 13 – June 20th. I am looking for the best resort that has nightly entertainment, a social focus on teens and several bars near the water (pool or ocean), a swim up bar would be nice. Which resort would you recommend.

    1. Hi Robin,

      in my opinion, there is not really any all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana which is particularly focused on teens. However, in my opinion, Hard Rock, Lopesan (lots of bars but no swim-up bar though) and Dreams Onyx are great options for you, as they offer a lot of entertainment and restaurants, are catering to a mixed crowd and are not adults-only.
      You can check out the details here:

      Hard Rock – https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/accommodation-resorts/hard-rock-hotel-casino-punta-cana-all-inclusive-resort/
      Lopesan – https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/accommodation-resorts/lopesan-costa-bavaro-all-inclusive-resort/
      Dreams Onyx – https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/recommendation/accommodation-now-onyx/

      Cheers from Punta Cana

  23. Thanks for your honest assessment of the (poor) snorkeling at Bavaro, and options for better places. Its very hard to get good snorkeling info from commercial sites.

  24. Hi Chris,

    I’m planning to travel there but not sure which month – i know the driest ones, but my first idea was to travel there around august or september. Is it bad? I wanna enjoy the weather and the sunny days but I’m scared the weather will be bad and it will rain all time – and then it is a waste of money. So which is the best months to visit Punta Cana and the weather is sunny and hot for beaching all day?

  25. Hi Chris,

    Coming to Punta Cana and staying at Secrets Royal Beach. Are there self-guided hiking trails easily accessible from the resort? Any you’d recommend? Looking for a moderate hike. Thanks!

    1. Hi Lynn,
      the only hike directly accessible would be a “hike” along the beach. You can walk forever here with different sceneries …

      Alternatively, you can head to the Anamuya Mountains with a Higuey bound bus and take taxi from there, but I would not call it easily accessible, as the trails are not marked.

      You find more information about possible hiking trails in Punta Cana here: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/adventures-road-trips/hiking-in-punta-cana/

      I hope this helps.
      Cheers, Chris

  26. Hello Chris,

    I have enjoyed reading your blog and it has greatly helped in better understanding what I need to narrow down. One quick question I have for you is : should sargassum have a role in deciding where I should book for a potential early July trip? I know it will be around then, but not sure if its a major issue with possible newer methods of removal.

    1. Hey Neil,
      this is indeed a good question and the answer depends a bit on your preferences. If you love to swim in the ocean, have picturesque beaches and have long beach walks, seaweed indeed might be an issue in July. In this case, you can check out Macao Beach, the entire Bayahibe area or also some hotels on Cabeza de Toro or Bavaro Beach (you can find information about all those places here in the blog) that have fences in the ocean to hold back most of the seaweed.
      If you are more a pool person and just visit the beach occasionally, the seaweed shouldn’t be that much of an issue.
      Cheers from Punta Cana

    1. Hi Kathleen,
      no, this is not the official site.
      You’ll find the official e-ticket site linked right in one of the first sections (“1. Access the e-ticket portal in English”) of my e-ticket post: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/general-information-faq/e-ticket-dominican-republic-immigration-form/
      The official e-ticket website is this one here: https://eticket.migracion.gob.do/
      You can switch the language in English right at the top.
      Cheers from Punta Cana

  27. Hi – interested to hear if it’s possible to book a guide from the Cap Cana area to do the Cascada Blanca hike? I’m the only one in my party interested in doing that, but haven’t found info on transport / guide. Hoping to do this around March 17th. Any info appreciated – I could not find your email, so asking here. Can also book a call with you if that’s better. Greetings from Finland!

    1. Hi Tiina,
      in this article I have published two WhatsApp numbers, you can try to organize a guide via this way: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/adventures-road-trips/day-trips-from-punta-cana/
      I will add them soon to my Punta Cana waterfall guide as well. Please note that the guides usually only speak Spanish, hence I’d recommend enquiring with the help of Google Translator.
      To get to Cascada Blanca, I would either recommend a taxi, a local driver or a rental car.
      I hope this helps!
      If you’re looking for a similar hiking experience but easier accessible by public transport, you can also check out Salto de los Mosquitos (described here: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/adventures-road-trips/waterfalls-punta-cana/ ) and contact Rancho Terranova for help with a guide.
      Cheers from Punta Cana

  28. Hi Chris
    Can you tell me whether there are any tourist or departure taxes. We will be staying in a hotel in Punta Cana in August. Thanks.

  29. Hello Chris,
    First, thank you for providing your wonderful Punta Cana blog. Your advice, tips and suggestions are very much appreciated for those of us new to Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic. This is a special family vacation (for six adults), so we want to make the most of this trip. We want to book a private catamaran sail to Saona Island (5 to 7 hours). Since we are all staying at the Bahia Principe Ambar Resort, we are hoping there is such a private charter close to this resort. Our ideal date for this cruise is Sunday, April 30, 2023. However, we are flexible if May 1 to May 3 is a better option. We also welcome you suggestions for any must see tours during our visit.

    1. Hi Allan,
      no boat can go directly from any of Punta Canas resorts to Isla Saona, you always have to take a land transfer first. However, booking a private tour brings the big advantage that you can go straight from your resort to Bayahibe (the departure port for Isla Saona) without any stops at other hotels for pick-up or souvenir stores. This being said, calculate with a bit more of an hour transfer time from Bahía Ambar to Bayahibe, where you can board the boat for Isla Saona.

      To find the best private boats and catamarans to Isla Saona, you can check out this article: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/excursions-tours/private-tours-isla-saona-isla-catalina/

      I would definitely recommend to check out the two following tours:
      – private speed boat, affordable: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/recommendation/best-saona-island-private-tour-option-1/
      – private catamaran, more expensive: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/recommendation/isla-saona-premium-tour-without-transfers/

      I hope this helps.
      Cheers from Punta Cana

  30. Hi Chris,
    Really happy to have discovered your blog. We are planning a family trip end of July first timers. Have an 18 year old and a 14 yeard old. We all love beautiful beaches with white sand and modern all inclusive hotels. Which one would you recommend for us:

    Dreams Macao
    Dreams Onyx
    Dreams Flora
    Riu Punta Cana

    Appreciate your honest input and feedback at your earliest convenience

    1. Hi Laura,
      thanks for your comment.
      Just 2 days ago I have posted a comparison between Dreams Macao, Dreams Onyx and Dreams Flora. I think it would be worth it for you to check it out: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/accommodation-resorts/dreams-macao-beach-punta-cana-all-inclusive-resort/
      From those 4 resorts and considering you’re looking for beautiful beaches and modern resorts, I would probably either pick Riu Palace Bavaro (the sister resort from Riu Palace Punta Cana, as it has newer rooms) or Dreams Macao Beach.
      Check the prices for Riu Palace Bavaro here: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/recommendation/accommodation-riu-palace-bavaro/
      I hope this helps.
      Cheers, Chris

  31. Hi,
    This is very informative! We are coming down on Thursday of this week (June 29, 2023) and the weather for the week looks bleak. I read your writing on the weather but it doesn’t look good for our trip. What should we plan to do if it rains for the entire trip?

  32. Hi Chris,
    My family and I will be traveling to Punta Cana this weekend for the first time, staying for two weeks, and I can’t thank you enough for all of the help your blog has provided! This has been our ‘go to’ site for planning our trip! We all really appreciate it!
    We are staying in a condo, not a resort, and will be buying food from the grocery stores. I’ve read about food safety in PC and to be careful with some things, mostly fruits and vegetables. My diet is 90% fruits and vegetables, and I would love to try the fresh produce offered in the Dominican Republic. If we buy fresh produce from the grocery stores and rinse with a water and vinegar solution, do you think we’ll be ok? What about lunch meats and cheeses from the deli counter – are they safe? Thank you for your thoughts!

    1. Hi Amy,
      thanks for your comment. Great if Punta Cana Travel Blog was helpful for you.
      Yes, all the things you mentioned are absolutely safe.
      Especially fresh products here in the country have a very good quality so you don’t have to worry.
      Enjoy your vacation

  33. Hello! We are interested in staying at the Grand Palladium Punta Cana, mainly because of the baby club (essential), children’s activities, beach and amenities. I noticed you do not have a review for that hotel, is it because you do not recommend it? What are your thoughts on it? Room cleanliness and food are also important to us. Thanks!

    1. Hey Alyson,
      thanks for your comment. I don’t have a review of Grand Palladium Punta Cana because we haven’t stayed extensively at this resort yet, hence I can’t report from my own experiences.
      Grand Palladium is a decent resort, nothing luxury, but usually you get decent value for money. It is a nice resort for all different people, the location is superb. However, if you expect top-notch food, you should pay significantly more for your resort. Still, you have lots of restaurants to choose from, so this won’t be an issue.
      I hope this helps.
      Best regards from Punta Cana

  34. Hello Alex! I want to make you aware of the situation at the RIU Palace in Punta Cana, as I am sure you will want to know, as someone who strives to provide updated and accurate information to potential visitors. Below is my review that was posted on Trip Advisor. We traveled from 7/14/23 to 7/20/23.

    If you are reading this after already having booked a trip and are preparing to leave:
    – Please, please take my advice and do everything you can to get another place to stay while in the DR. Get your travel agent to help you or take advantage of your trip cancellation insurance to take a small hit and book somewhere else. This is especially true if you or anyone in your party has compromised health, is very young or elderly.

    The climate control situation at this hotel is DANGEROUS. The Air Conditioning simply doesn’t work – food court, elevators, gym, restaurants are 85-95 degrees at all times. Your room will never be below 75 degrees and will be damp and smell of mold. There is literally nowhere in the hotel to get cool, despite typical soaring temperatures during the summer months. There is no ventilation at all in the bathrooms. The bedding reeks and is damp. It consists of a flat sheet and 3-4 old flat pillows with a dirty runner spread along the bottom of the bed. The walls, floors are wet from condensation and the odor in the rooms is unbearable. I was worried about the air quality and was right to be concerned. Everyone in our family has an upper respiratory infection upon arriving home. It appears from other reviews that this is not a temporary situation but a decision made by management over months to neglect this and the damage to the facility can now not be undone even when the system is eventually replaced.

    If you have not booked yet, DO NOT stay at this resort. I am not a picky person and am always able to go with the flow despite inconveniences. Our stay qualifies under nightmare vacation status. The landscaping and outside is lovely, which makes it feel like an intentional bait and switch. The actual experience (rooms, food, etc) are akin to a cheap motel.

    I have more to say but honestly, like others here, I am so disappointed and upset that I just want to focus on the fact that we had some time together as a family and with dear friends. I spent the entire vacation making every effort to try and make the best out of a truly terrible situation for my kids. Now that we are home, I am exhausted and sad. The highlight for us was when we left the resort on an excursion with ScubaCaribe. I also feel terrible for the staff, who I’m sure are suffering heat exhaustion and limited tips due to how unhappy most of the travelers are. Thank you, Raul, for your service to our families during mealtimes. Your positivity and kindness were a shining light in an overall awful experience.

    We will never again stay in any RIU resort.

    1. Hi Kate,
      thanks for your comment.
      I am not Alex, but Chris. I am sorry that you didn’t enjoy your vacation in Punta Cana. I am sure this will help some readers finding the right decision for their holiday even though we haven’t experienced any of those problems during our stay.
      I hope you will have more luck choosing a resort for your next trip. 🙂
      Best regards

  35. Hello Chris! Thanks very helpful yes 🙂 I could give you my appreciation for the resort once I go in February if you like!

    1. Hi Alyson,
      great if this was helpful. Sure, feedback and reviews are always appreciated!
      Have a great trip and feel free to check back on Punta Cana Travel Blog if you need any recommendations or information about transfers or excursions in Punta Cana.

  36. Hello Chris, I hope that you can help me, we were supposed to fly out of Indianapolis to Miami on American Airlines at 6:00 am for a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise leaving Miami at 4:00pm. We found out at 2:30am that the flight was delayed until 4:30pm. We had to arrange for a flight to Puerto Plata, DR to board the ship there on 8/1. We have made the airline reservations, but when we try to check-in, it requires us to apply for an E-ticket. I entered everything and got to the last step to get the e-ticket QR code. It asks for the Embarkation Port, Disembarkation Port, Flight #, Flight Date, Airline Name and Confirmation #/PNR. What do I put since I am not flying out, but leaving on a cruise ship.

    1. Hi Jim,
      usually, a step before you enter all those details you mentioned, there is the option if you depart by airplane, ship, etc.
      Maybe you have accidentally chosen airplane?
      Usually, you should be able to choose “ship” or “cruise”.
      I hope this helps.

  37. Hello again, Chris,
    We’ve just returned from a fabulous vacation in Punta Cana – thank you again for your blog and for answering my question about the food, above. We were fine, like you mentioned!
    I wanted to share our experience when trying to go to Ojos Indigenas, something we were really looking forward to doing. We knew about the $50 fee and were prepared to pay it. We took a taxi to the Punta Cana Resort to buy tickets but were told that they had “recently changed the rules.” They told us the only way to access the lagoons is that you first have to take a 90 minute tour of the resort, and then they will take you to ONE of the lagoons for 30 minutes only. We tried and tried to work with them on this to allow us to enter the park but they would not budge. Our taxi driver was even shocked by this and he also tried talking to them, but to no avail. We were not interested in a 90 minute sales pitch or only visiting one lagoon for 30 minutes. We were so disappointed. I wanted to share this to warn others, in case they try to go. I think it’s different if you are staying in that particular resort or a few others that are in their network, but if not, it seems you are not very welcome to visit Ojos Indigenas. I’m curious if others have had this same experience – this was just in the last 10 days.
    Other than this, we had a wonderful time – the Dominican people are some of the kindest, most welcoming people we have ever encountered. We look forward to going back!
    All best,

    1. Hi Amy,
      thank you very much for your feedback.
      Interesting about Ojos Indigenas in Punta Cana – I have never heard of this. But it seems possible if they say those are new rules. I will investigate further about this and will update my content accordingly (even though I think I have it hardly recommended due to the hefty entrance fee).
      But you’re definitely right with “it seems you are not very welcome to visit Ojos Indigenas if you don’t stay with them”.
      Thanks for your feedback and I am glad you enjoyed your vacation in Punta Cana.

  38. Hi Chris – loved your blog and your approach to life and travel – wish you a lot of success in your life journey.
    I was browsing around trying to put together a plan for my family during the period of Dec 28 through to Jan 5 – we will be departing from different points in europe ( flights are the first challenge ) the group will be 7 adults and 3 kids ( 5,3, and 1 year ) family 1 ( 2 rooms ) family 2 ( 2 rooms ) and family 3 a suite ( baby sleeps in the living room
    so far Dominican Republic seems to have the options – though i am looking at the other carribbean islands and also villas – your thoughts welcome – cheers

    1. Hi Suveer,
      thanks for your comment. This sounds indeed like a big challenge – finding affordable flights over New Years Eve for 10 people from different departing points. 😉
      I think a travel agent definitely could be helpful for this.
      I think the Dominican Republic is definitely one of the best options for such a plan. Not only are the flight connections abundant, also hotels and resorts offer plenty of different options for families in different room categories and price levels.
      If you need further help we can see what I can do for you with my travel coaching services, even though I think in this special case a professional travel agent could help better than me, particularly with booking the flights – because they can block seats for a couple of days, something I can’t do.
      Let me know if you need further help – I can also put you in contact with an agency in the Dominican Republic.
      Best regards

  39. Hi Christian

    We’re updating our guides on expatarrivals.com and I stumbled across your blog. Would you be interested in doing an interview with us? We include as many interviews as possible within our guides, as our readers love reading first-hand stories about people who’ve made a big more abroad. I’m sure you have some helpful advice for would-be expats or travellers planning their trip to the Dominican Republic

    If it’s any help, we’re happy to promote your blog on the interview page, which we’re likely to mention on our social media channels too.

    Please let me know if you can help out!

    Kind regards, Tom

  40. Hello Chris,
    your blog is very interesting. The only thing I didn’t find are tips on excursions to a cocoa farm or a coffee farm. We want to do the excursion on our home. Do you have infos which farms we can visit on our own? We are staying in Las Terrenas. Are there any farms around that we can visit on our own.

    1. Hi Christoph,
      thanks for your comment. There are not many coffee or cocoa plantations around Las Terrenas and most people visit for the beaches, hikes, waterfalls and beach bars. 😉
      However, I know there are some coffee plantations in the hills and mountains besides Las Terrenas, but I can’t tell you exactly where – somewhere to the east of Los Puentes I think. If you want to do an ATV/Quad tour in Las Terrenas anyway during your stay, you could do this cool and unique guided ATV tour to the coffee plantations around Las Terrenas: https://www.puntacanatravelblog.com/recommendation/coffee-trail-tour-atv-las-terrenas/
      I am not aware of any cocoa plantations on the Samaná peninsula, maybe there are a few around Las Galeras. The closest I have been are the cocoa plantations around San Francisco de Macoris, but IMHO that’s a bit too far from Las Terrenas.
      I hope this helps.
      Let me know if you have any further questions.
      Cheers, Chris

    1. Hi Marla,
      no reason to be nervous. 😉
      I simply don’t have enough experience with Barcelo Bavaro Beach to write an extensive review about it.
      It is a decent hotel with a (usually) great beach, but nothing spectacular. Seeing your other comment at Grand Bavaro Princess, I would most likely prefer a Grand Bavaro Princess Platinum Suite over Barcelo Bavaro Beach.

  41. Hello Chris,

    I am having problems getting my E-ticket the one on the official free migracion.gob.do it won’t let me go on to next on the 2nd page even after I double checked that it is correctly filled out. I ended up getting scammed by a third party twice and got a refund back for one and in the process of getting the 2nd for a 70.00 charge refunded back to me. Me and my husband are set to go to the Dominican Republic July 13th for 7 days at a hotel resort that we went to last year. I need to make sure I get this E-ticket filled out though. Can you assist and let me know what the reason could be for it not to go through to the other pages is it to early or what? I’m concerned I wont have it and that I will have to pay for the eticket? HELP. LOL

    Thank you,


  42. Hi Chris,

    Your review of Finest Punta Cana was informative. I have to say now that reports of the bad food is of MAJOR CONCERN. I am attending a wedding event here and have no confidence that that food will be good from the reviews I have read. Why so much reports of bad food? Do you think they can improve this by May?

    1. Hi Zina,
      hmm, I am not sure what you mean by bad food reviews. In general, public reviews always have to be taken with a grain of salt. A lot of people only write reviews if they have something to complain. Or they can’t communicate while they are there.
      The food was outstanding when we were there.
      Furthermore, Finest has a 9.2/10 score on Expedia, making it one of the best-rated all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana.
      Tripadvisor also has a 4.5/5.0 rating for Finest Punta Cana.
      Imho, there is nothing you have to be worried of.
      I hope this helps.

  43. Was nun? Zu viele Informationen. Jetzt habe ich keine Ahnung, wohin ich gehen soll. Obwohl ich aus Kanada komme. So ähnlich wie du. Bin vor über 50 Jahren von Deutschland nach Kanada gezogen.

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