Happy Thursday! In honor of it being Thursday, I’m throwing it back to the trip I took to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic over the summer. It was an awesome trip, and I’m so excited to share and give advice on what you should do if you’re planning on going!
I made the trip to Punta Cana for my good friend Althea’s bachelorette party. I was so excited to go, and I knew it would be super fun. My friend Archie, who was also one of Al’s bridesmaids, pretty much planned the whole trip, giving us choices on what activities we’d like to do, and asking for our input along the way. From the activities that we did on our trip, I’ve laid out four things that you should do if you’re planning a trip there.
1. Go ATV’ing
This was SO much fun!!! If you’re seeking a little adventure, as well as getting in a little culture, you must take an ATV tour! Our tour picked us up from our resort at around 7:30 am, and took us to the ATV excursion company, stopping to pick up people from other resorts along the way. The tour costs about $85 per person, and was worth every penny! We got a few basic instructions, and a brief overview of the stops that we would be making, and then we were on our way. They had professional photographers on the tour with us, taking pictures as we went, and then you could purchase pictures or a photo cd at the end of the tour. The first stop of the tour was at a local Dominican marketplace, where they produce goods like coffee, cocoa, green tea, and their signature wine, Mamajuana (I just loved the name, lol). We got to sample some of the coffee, cocoa, and Mamajuana, and I must say, it was all pretty delicious. They do a special little chant/dance when drinking the Mamajuana, which was really cute. You could purchase any of the products, and a percentage of the sales went to the local schools, which was awesome.
The next stop on the tour was at a local cave. I’m actually going to go into more in detail about that for number 2 on my list. The stop after the cave was the local Macao Beach. We only had about 15 minutes or so to stop and enjoy the waters (because we spent a little more time at the cave than they allotted), so we got in the water, took a few pictures, and kept it moving. As we were riding through, we randomly saw different local animals on the farmlands, and several local children would run along side of us, giving us high fives, and offering fruit or flowers for tips. They were really sweet, and we wished we could have given all of them something, because you could tell that they didn’t have much.
I had the most fun on the tour when we got the chance to go fast. Going up and down hills with mud splashing all along the way was definitely a nice little thrill!
Some advice if you are planning on taking this tour:
- You will be getting dirty, so dress accordingly. It may be wise to buy some cheap tennis shoes that can be thrown away afterwards.
- Wear a bandanna and sunglasses to protect your eyes and face from dirt and mud.
- Wear a swimsuit underneath your clothes, because you will have two different opportunities to get in the water during the tour.
- It may be helpful to carry a small backpack on your back to put your clothes, phone, etc, in when you’re getting in the water.
- You may want to bring a water bottle and small snack (like a granola bar) in case you get hungry or thirsty.
- Keep a safe distance between you and the person in front of you! I tapped the bachelorette a couple of times, or five (lol) from not braking hard enough when we made stops. Eventually, I made sure to keep a safe distance! I’m so glad she still loved me after that! 🙂
For the photo situation, I think it was like $50 for a photo cd with all of the pictures they were taking throughout the tour. Naturally, the cheapest thing to do was for one of us to buy the cd, and then split the price amongst ourselves. We did this “on the low”, because the men who were running the photos tried to say that we would all have to pay $50 each to share the cd. I know everyone has their hustle on tourists, but we weren’t the crew to be hustled! 😉
For more information and to book the tour, click here.
2. Take a dip in the water when you visit the local cave
When we pulled up at the local cave, it looked amazing! The water was this, deep, blue color that was beautiful. The tour guide told us that it was 25 feet deep, and that we could take a dip if we would like. I’m a beginner swimmer, so I knew that I would be sitting out of this one. Then my friends were like “Look! They have life jackets, you can jump too”! I got to thinking about how beautiful that water was, and I just had to do it! The life jackets were unattended, so I just grabbed one, and thought to myself “Ok, you can do this, yolo!”, I also said a brief prayer, because I had to make sure God was with me on that one! I was SO nervous, but I saw my friends jumping and enjoying it, so I took the plunge!
I’m actually laughing as I’m typing this, because really, what was I thinking?! As you can see, the life jacket actually got rather loose as I jumped! I’d like to say that I handled it like a G when I was in the water, but I really didn’t, lol. I freaked out a little and kind of grabbed onto my friends for support. They ended up kind of gently pushing me to the rope that you use to get out of the cave, and I got out, and that was that! But all of those minor details don’t really matter, the important part is that I faced my fears and did it! Thanks for capturing the moment, Arch! 😀
There was a little boy offering up his lizard for pictures as we were leaving the cave area. I accepted. 🙂
Color block bikini, similar here
3. Go on a party boat excursion
The party boat was fuuunnnn! It was about $55 per person, and again, worth every penny! It included music and dancing (of course), snorkling, and a beach party with drinks, fruit, and other small snacks. There was also a brief Latin dancing lesson on deck. People from other nearby resorts were on the boat as well. My friends and I, aka the “I Do Crew” took over that boat and had the time of our lives! The captain gave us the aux chord, and it was over! We made sure to play music that everyone could enjoy, as well as our personal favorites. When it was time for snorkling, I told the captain that I could barely swim, so he made sure to put my life jacket on for me, and guided me through most of the snorkling adventure. Snorkling and seeing the fish under the water was pretty cool. The last stop was the beach party that took place in a “natural swimming pool”, which was basically a part of the beach that was a little under 5ft deep. All different boats and party boats were docked there, so we got to meet a lot of people from all over. The party boat company name is Seapro Divers, and I highly recommend them. I tried to link to the site, but it seems they are having issues right now.
4. Relax on the beach
Okay, that was an obvious one, but the sea and sand of Punta Cana really are beautiful, so you definitely need to take the time to relax and enjoy the main attraction! The weather is ideal as well. It is hot, but not overwhelmingly hot (at least not in August).
We stayed at the Punta Cana Princess Resort. It was really cute, and the staff was very nice and accommodating. The food in the general dining hall at the resort was so-so, but the food at the different restaurants on the resort was all delicious. They also had a beach BBQ during lunch one day that more than hit the spot!
So if you’re ever planning on visiting Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, be sure to refer to my list, and you’ll have an amazing time! Our friend Farrin was our travel agent, she was fabulous, so check her out too!
Thanks for reading! Have you ever been to Punta Cana, or do you have plans to go in the future? Let me know below!
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