Is there anything better than seeing Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic from the air? Hardly, so get prepared for some of the most spectacular excursions you can get: Punta Cana helicopter tours and air tours. As exploring the area from the air is not already amazing enough, there are 2 interesting facts about airplane and helicopter rides in Punta Cana you should know from the beginning: first, you are not only randomly flying over some beautiful parts of the country, you are actually visiting some of the most exciting attractions in Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic, among them the most beautiful island in the country (in case you decide for a Saona Island helicopter tour), the oldest city in the Americas (if you decide for a helicopter and air tour to Santo Domingo) or one of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic, Bahía de las Águilas. And second, a Punta Cana helicopter tour can be as cheap as 100 USD, so don’t be fooled by thinking that air and helicopter excursions are only something for the rich and famous. Having said that, get ready and pick your favorite among the best Punta Cana helicopter and airplane tours.
- Quick overview of the best airplane and helicopter tours in Punta Cana
- Map of Punta Cana air tours and helicopter excursions
- The best Punta Cana helicopter and airplane tours
- 1) Punta Cana helicopter ride along the coastline of Bavaro
- 2) Punta Cana helicopter tour to famous Isla Saona
- 3) Punta Cana helicopter excursion: sightseeing to Salto de la Jalda and Playa Esmeralda
- 4) Punta Cana air tour to the beautiful Samaná peninsula
- 5) Whale watching excursion by plane from Punta Cana
- 6) Punta Cana airplane excursion to colonial Santo Domingo
- 7) Punta Cana air tour to pristine Bahía de la Aguilas
- Special: Helicopter proposal Punta Cana for couples
- Prices for Punta Cana Helicopter Transfers and Tours
Are you interested in further Punta Cana tours? If so, check out our comprehensive Punta Cana Excursion Guide with the most exciting 35+ activities for your vacation.
Completely UPDATED: June 2023
Quick overview of the best airplane and helicopter tours in Punta Cana
If you just want to get a first glimpse of the best helicopter tours in Punta Cana and the best airplane excursions from your all-inclusive resort, you can check out the following table to see where you can go and which highlights in the Dominican Republic you can reach from Punta Cana by helicopter and plane.
(mobile users: please turn your device to landscape mode to enjoy the best view of this table)
|Punta Cana Helicopter Tour||Saona Island Helicopter Tour||Samaná Explorer by plane||Santo Domingo airplane tour||Bahía de las Águilas|
|Character of this air excursion||panoramic flight of Punta Cana’s coastline||beautiful Isla Saona by helicopter + beach club visit||exploring the lush peninsula with more time on Samaná||enjoying the heritage of Santo Domingo without being 6 hours on the road||the most unique air excursion from Punta Cana: pristine Bahía de las Águilas|
|Type of transport||helicopter||helicopter||small airplane||small airplane||small airplane|
|Price per person||cheapest Punta Cana helicopter tour, check prices here*||prices vary depending on the operator, check prices here*||usually around 300 USD, check current promotions here*||usually the cheapest airplane tour from Punta Cana, check prices here*||with more than 200 miles of covered distance the furthest and most expensive airplane tour, check best prices here*|
|Tour duration||10-40 minutes||3.5 hours||10-11 hours||11 hours||12 hours|
|Lunch + drinks included||no||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Transfers from Punta Cana included||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|All details in this table are for informational purposes only and can change without further notice. Please check the description of the tour offer for binding information. Punta Cana Travel Blog can’t be held responsible for any errors or changes.|
Map of Punta Cana air tours and helicopter excursions
The best Punta Cana helicopter and airplane tours
There are many amazing activities and excursions in Punta Cana. Dune buggy tours, ziplining, catamaran tours or countryside excursions are some of the most popular things to do in Punta Cana. But nothing can compare to seeing Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic from above. Along with the unparalleled panoramic views you are getting a VIP experience and can reach your destination much quicker. That’s why we have put together the best air and helicopter tours in Punta Cana to give an overview of the best options.
1) Punta Cana helicopter ride along the coastline of Bavaro
If you have never been in a helicopter and want to get a first glimpse of how it is flying in one, this helicopter tour in Punta Cana is the best option for you. With usually around 100-150 USD per person, it only requires a minimal travel budget compared to other Caribbean helicopter tours. You can soak up all the beautiful views Punta Cana’s coastline has to offer. Turquoise waters, endless beaches, millions of palm trees, large resorts and plenty of boats – that’s what you can spot when seeing Punta Cana from the air. Furthermore, depending on which all-inclusive resort you are staying at (especially when staying in Bavaro, Arena Gorda and Cabeza de Toro), you might be able to see your hotel from above.
The flight doesn’t take too long but is a great introduction to flying with a helicopter in Punta Cana. It is also possible to book this tour as a 20-, 30- or 40-minute flight, so you can adjust it according to your preferences – check the button below for individual pricing. And if you have liked this tour, why not book one of the other Punta Cana helicopter excursions mentioned in this article here to see even more attractions of the Dominican Republic from above?
Helicopter tour dates: check availability*
Why it is the best Punta Cana helicopter tour: perfect for beginners and super affordable
What you will see: Punta Canas’ beaches and all-inclusive resorts
Flight time: 10-40 minutes, depending on your booking (and your budget)
2) Punta Cana helicopter tour to famous Isla Saona
Isla Saona – do I have to say more? Just look at the photo below or the beautiful impressions in the extensive Isla Saona guide and you know what paradise is awaiting you. It might even be the most picturesque and gorgeous spot in the Dominican Republic. To trigger you a bit more, here is an additional Saona Island photo gallery (even though you can’t see all of them during a Saona Island helicopter tour; but you have additional views from above).
The only downturn when booking a regular excursion to Isla Saona* (by bus and boat) is that the tour takes at least 10 hours. And this is where the Punta Cana helicopter ride to Saona Island jumps in. This exciting excursion from Punta Cana combines the best of both worlds: seeing the spectacular Isla Saona but limiting the time you need to a half-day so you have more opportunities to enjoy your all-inclusive resort.
Furthermore, you can enjoy a good lunch on the island, which outperforms the lunches served during your typical Saona excursion. After lunch, you can either have a few drinks while relaxing at the beach or explore the island a bit and walk to the neighboring beaches. As you can see on my detailed Isla Saona guide, Saonas’ beaches are simply awe-inspiring. Seeing them from above during a helicopter tour from Punta Cana to Isla Saona puts the icing on the cake. You can also see the ultra-turquoise waters from the air as well as the untouched areas of national park Cotubanama.
The total excursion time starting from the heliport in Punta Cana is 2.5 hours (25-30 minutes flying each way plus approx. 75 to 90 minutes on Saona Island), so adding the transfer from and to your resort shall bring you back to your hotel in 3.5 hours. This is the perfect option if you don’t want to spend all day outside of your resort.
Helicopter tour dates: check availability*
Why it is the best Punta Cana helicopter tour: combine the most famous attraction in the Dominican Republic with a helicopter ride and you get one of the most amazing helicopter tours in Punta Cana
What you will see: Isla Saona, Parque Nacional Cotubanama, Punta Cana’s coastline and a lot of turquoise waters
Flight time: approx. 2x 25 minutes
Further information: Excursion to Isla Saona – everything you need to know for your hassle-free Saona Island Tour 2023
3) Punta Cana helicopter excursion: sightseeing to Salto de la Jalda and Playa Esmeralda
Important UPDATE 2023: Unfortunately, this Punta Cana helicopter excursion isn’t available for 2023 and probably also not for 2024. The ministries of the Dominican Republic have changed the rules (probably to protect the environment), which is why helicopter tours to Salta de la Jalda are currently forbidden. Also the flights to Playa Esmeralda are currently not available.
Do you prefer to have a helicopter ride in Punta Cana to some lesser-known attractions? In this case, you should consider the Punta Cana helicopter tour to Salto de la Jalda and Playa Esmeralda. It is by far not as prestigious as the Isla Saona helicopter flight, but on this excursion, you can explore 2 genuine hidden gems of Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic.
First, you fly to Salto de la Jalda, the highest waterfall in the Dominican Republic. This waterfall usually is only accessible by a 6-hour-hike, as you can read in my detailed Salto de la Jalda guide. The helicopter excursion gives you the chance to still see this impressive waterfall, even though you won’t land right at the falls. But the views from the helicopter, flying into the narrow gorge and admiring the lush vegetation, is an adventure on its own. You’ll also approach Salto de la Jalda super close, so you definitely can take photos of the waterfall.
Afterwards, you head to Playa Esmeralda, one of the most pristine beaches in the Dominican Republic. It is impressive to see that just an hour away from the billion-dollar tourism industry of Punta Cana you can find a beach which is absolutely virgin. Here, you’ll have a break from your helicopter ride and enjoy a picnic which is getting served. During this hour, you also have the chance of walking along this absolutely pristine beach and take some stunning photos.
After visiting Playa Esmeralda, you will fly back with the helicopter to Punta Cana.
Helicopter tour dates: currently not available
Why it is the best Punta Cana helicopter tour: combining two off-the-beaten-track attractions with a stunning helicopter excursion
What you will see: Salto de la Jalda, Playa Esmeralda, Cordillera Oriental and Punta Cana’s coastline
Flight time: approx. 50-60 minutes in total
– Salto de la Jalda – the highest waterfall in the Caribbean
– The 10 best beaches in Punta Cana [2021; incl. map]
4) Punta Cana air tour to the beautiful Samaná peninsula
You can not only go on helicopter tours in Punta Cana, but you can also explore some of the most amazing highlights in the Dominican Republic on an airplane excursion from Punta Cana. The views are nearly as impressive as from a helicopter
The most popular air tour in Punta Cana is the one to Samaná, where you’ll see a lot of the beautiful attractions the peninsula has to offer, among them the lush countryside, the picturesque waterfall El Limón and the famous island Cayo Levantado, also called Bacardi Island.
The Punta Cana to Samana flight takes place in a small Cessna (or a similarly sized airplane), allowing beautiful views from above on the east coast of the Dominican Republic and the Samaná Bay. After landing in Samaná you see a couple of countryside villages and get a few explanations about the traditions and the culture of Samaná. Your next destination is Salto El Limón, the gorgeous waterfall on the Samaná peninsula. Even though you most likely won’t be alone (read my article about Salto El Limón to know how you can enjoy the waterfall without other tourists), it still is a majestic beauty. Hop into the El Limón waterfall to cool down from the Caribbean heat. Horses are also available for this last part of the journey to waterfall El Limón and are mostly included in your excursion, but as they’re in pretty bad shape we recommend not using them and walking instead.
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After a home-cooked Dominican lunch, Cayo Levantado is awaiting you on this airplane excursion from Punta Cana. It is a quick ride to Bacardi Island from Salto El Limón by bus or safari truck and by boat. On Cayo Levantado, you have time to enjoy this beautiful Samaná beach and swim in the ocean. It completes a perfect Samaná adventure from Punta Cana. In the afternoon, your plane to fly back from Samaná to Punta Cana is awaiting you, which gets you back to your Punta Cana resort much quicker than the typical Punta Cana Samaná tours*. With this Punta Cana airplane excursion, you see Samaná in a much more relaxed and comfortable way.
Unfortunately, there is no connection with a helicopter from Punta Cana to Samaná. Therefore this tour is your best chance for a trip to Samaná. Alternatively, you can book semi-regular flights from Punta Cana to Samaná without any tour, but this will leave you without any ground transport or guide for Punta Cana and Samaná. They are also more expensive than the full-day package from Punta Cana presented here.
Airplane excursion dates: check availability*
Why it is the best Punta Cana air tour: Samaná is one of the most beautiful regions in the Dominican Republic. With this excursion by plane, you can explore Samaná on a relaxed itinerary and enjoy some spectacular views from above.
What you will see: Samaná, Samaná Bay, Salto El Limón, Cayo Levantado
Flight time: approx. 2x 30 minutes
– Salto El Limón from Punta Cana and for Samaná travelers – insider tips, excursions, hiking trails, etc.
– The 22 most beautiful beaches in Samaná
5) Whale watching excursion by plane from Punta Cana
A very special flight from Punta Cana to Samaná (not with a helicopter ride, but with a Cessna) can be booked from January to March: a whale watching excursion by plane.
Whale watching is super popular in the Dominican Republic and this air excursion combines the best of both worlds: a flight from Punta Cana to Samaná in a small propeller-driven airplane and seeing the gigantic humpback whales during the time they give birth to their babies. This is one of the most impressive experiences when it comes to excursions in Punta Cana.
The itinerary for this airplane tour from Punta Cana is similar to the one described above visiting Salto El Limón and Cayo Levantado on the Samaná excursion by air. For this whale watching excursion by plane, the only thing that changes is that you first go whale watching by boat in the Bay of Samaná and afterwards head to Salto El Limón OR Cayo Levantado (depending on the day you book – Monday and Friday it is whale watching in Samaná and Salto El Limón, on Wednesdays the whale watching excursion is combined with Cayo Levantado; check the supplier’s description if this is still the case for 2024 before you book).
– Most Popular Posts on Punta Cana Travel Blog –
As you can read in my detailed whale watching article, whale watching from Punta Cana in the Bay of Samaná allows you to spot the whales very close while respecting the regulations of the Dominican government to protect the animals and the privacy of the whales.
Furthermore, you can spot the giant humpback whales with a success rate of nearly 100% – and usually, you see not only just one, you see lots of them. Hence whale watching in the Dominican Republic is really worth it – and if you take the excursion by plane, you save yourself a good amount of time AND can enjoy marvelous views from above. My experiences with whale watching in the Dominican Republic have always been incredibly awesome.
Airplane excursion dates: check availability*
Why it is the best Punta Cana air tour: whale watching in the Dominican Republic is already one of the most exciting excursions, but if you combine this with an air tour in Punta Cana, there is hardly anything that can compete
What you will see: humpback whales! Furthermore, Bacardi Island OR Salto El Limón, and views of the Samaná Bay from above
Flight time: approx. 2x 30 minutes
Further information: Whale watching in the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana/Samaná)
6) Punta Cana airplane excursion to colonial Santo Domingo
Ok, we had a lot of nature attractions now to visit on a Punta Cana helicopter tour or an airplane excursion from Punta Cana, but how about history and culture? Punta Canas manifold excursions also get this covered!
If you love to explore the rich and centuries-old history of the Dominican Republic, you should hop on a plane from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo, which is already included in this airplane excursion. After the quick 35-minute flight, you get shuttled to the colonial center of Santo Domingo, which is one of the most important historic centers in the entire Caribbean and got awarded as a world heritage by UNESCO. But it is not only a simple bucket list item to tick off, the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo is a genuine hidden gem with a super authentic vibe, combined with colonial charm, colorful buildings and historic importance. If you love to stroll around, visit decorative art shops, take a break at family-owned coffee shops and see the life of the Dominicans, this air tour from Punta Cana is for you. If you need more reasons why to visit the Colonial Zone, check out this article.
After exploring the historic center of Santo Domingo, you continue your journey to Agora Mall, Santo Domingo’s largest shopping mall, 98% frequented by locals. Here you can shop like a king, but don’t buy too much, because you have a plane flight waiting to bring you back to your all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana or alternative accommodation like Airbnb.
The tour in total takes around 10-11 hours. The big advantage here is that you have a lot more time in Santo Domingo than when booking the regular Punta Cana to Santo Domingo excursion by bus*, where you spend around 6 hours on the bus.
Airplane excursion dates: check availability*
Why it is the best Punta Cana air tour: exploring the historically important and very interesting Santo Domingo without spending 3 hours each way on the road sounds like an amazing deal
What you will see: you see the south of the Dominican Republic from the air and will explore Santo Domingo, especially the UNESCO awarded Colonial Zone
Flight time: approx. 2x 35 minutes
– 10 reasons why you should visit the Zona Colonial of Santo Domingo
– 23 exciting things to do in Santo Domingo (and 5 NOT to do)
– How to get from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo
– How to get from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana
7) Punta Cana air tour to pristine Bahía de la Aguilas
If you are looking for the most unique airplane or helicopter tour in Punta Cana or if you want to surprise your loved one(s) with an absolutely extraordinary Punta Cana day-trip, this unique and spectacular tour with a twin-engine airplane is for you.
This Punta Cana air tour brings you to Bahía de las Águilas, one of the Dominican Republics’ most pristine, beautiful and remote beaches, far in the southwest of the country. While you can reach the other destinations presented within the airplane and helicopter tours above via alternative methods of transport (usually with a 1-3 hour boat and or bus ride), taking a plane from Punta Cana to Bahía de las Águilas is the only mean of transport to get there, as long as you don’t want to go on an exciting and adventurous road-trip in the Southwest of the Dominican Republic to tackle the 9-hour drive to Bahía de las Águilas.
Bahía de las Águilas is a legendary beach due to its remote location and its 100% undeveloped area. There is not a single hotel or any bar or restaurant at this beach, which stretches for miles with turquoise water and its bright white sand. Ask any Dominican about Bahía de las Águilas and he or she will tell you that it is either the best beach they have ever seen or one of the journeys they definitely want to go on in their life.
But if you want to see this natural wonder of the Dominican Republic, be quick. Permission have been granted to build the first hotels and resorts here at one of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic, hence it is only a matter of time until this unspoiled paradise is gone forever. 2023 and 2024 might be your last chances.
This plane charter to Bahía de las Águilas is also the longest of all air and helicopter tours from Punta Cana, as you fly roughly 200 miles each way, resulting in a flight time of approx. 2 hours in total (1 hour each way). This brings you a lot of unique views of the Dominican Republic from above, especially considering that each seat has a window in this small aircraft.
Once arrived at Bahía de las Águilas, you can enjoy a picture-perfect beach, crystal-clear water, snorkeling, a typical Dominican lunch, a boat ride and an open bar. Especially when visiting Bahía de las Águilas during the week, it is also very likely that you have the whole beach for yourself which is not comparable with some of the busy beaches in Punta Cana. Everything is prepared for an unforgettable excursion by airplane in the Dominican Republic!
Airplane excursion dates: check availability*
Why it is the best Punta Cana air tour: Usually there is – due to the distance – no chance of seeing the Bahía de las Águilas, one of the Caribbeans’ best beaches, from Punta Cana, but this airplane excursion makes it possible.
What you will see: the fantastic Bahía de las Águilas + a lot of views of the Dominican Republic from above
Flight time: approx. 2x 60 minutes
More information: Bahía de las Águilas – hotels, glamping, beach info, things-to-do and a secret+quick way to get there
Special: Helicopter proposal Punta Cana for couples
Ok, this was a list of the best air and helicopter tours in Punta Cana, at least those which are easily bookable. Of course, you can charter any plane or helicopter and fly wherever you want in the Dominican Republic, but usually, those private charters easily cost 1000 USD and more.
But wait, there is another special thing you can do in Punta Cana by helicopter: propose to your loved one! With a helicopter ride proposal in Punta Cana, you will certainly impress your future spouse for the rest of her life. Just imagine her eyes when you are going to fly over the beach and she is reading “will you marry me” in the middle of the Caribbean.
With this Punta Cana helicopter proposal package, you are getting a short flight to the pristine part of Cabeza de Toro beach, the preparation of the setting just for the two of you, a meal right at the beach and drinks to cheer on your life you are going to spend together, hopefully for the rest of your life. Obviously, this helicopter tour in Punta Cana is a completely private excursion.
Helicopter tour dates: check availability*
Why it is the best Punta Cana helicopter tour: is there a better way to ask the love of your life if she wants to marry you than with a Punta Cana helicopter proposal at the beach? I don’t think so!
What you will see: a glimpse of Punta Canas’ beaches and the “will you marry me” question at the beach.
Flight time: approx. 5-10 minutes per way
Prices for Punta Cana Helicopter Transfers and Tours
When checking the options above, you will see that the prices for helicopter rides in Punta Cana are pretty affordable. After all, they are already starting at a bit more than 100 USD. Full-day airplane tours are around 300 USD, depending on the destination, which is quite reasonable considering you can enjoy a full-day excursion incl. guides, drinks, lunch, ground transport and two airplane or helicopter rides. As a general guideline, you can expect that Punta Cana helicopter tour prices are between 120 USD and 350 USD.
In case you don’t want to take part in a tour but prefer just a regular A-to-B helicopter transfer in Punta Cana, this is a completely different thing – those prices are pretty expensive. As a general guideline, a one-hour flight is usually more than 1000 USD.
As an example, for a helicopter transfer from Punta Cana to Casa de Campo, which isn’t more than 20 minutes flying, you have to pay close to 1000 USD. The same goes if you want to get an exclusive airport transfer from Punta Cana Airport to resorts in Miches by helicopter (such as Temptation Miches). For a helicopter from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo, something around 1400-1600 USD is an ongoing rate. You are cheaper with hiring a small private airplane if you really want to get from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana by plane.
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CHRISAuthor, 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.
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