Wondering which Punta Cana excursions are worth going to?
Search no more – I’ve handpicked for you the 25 best tours in Punta Cana!
You can enjoy a ton of Punta Cana excursions, either by joining a group or organizing them yourself. For some tours, it’s best to fly solo, while for others you’ll have much more fun in a group.
Either way, this article will give you plenty of ideas for activities in Punta Cana. At the end, you’ll also find the best tips for organizing your Punta Cana excursions.
Ready to explore?
Let’s dive in!
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Jump directly to:
- Adventure and Action Punta Cana Excursions
- Multiday Trips from Punta Cana
- Beach and Sea Tours in Punta Cana
- Breathtaking Nature Excursions near Punta Cana
- Exploring Dominican Everyday Life in Punta Cana
- Travel Tips for the Best Punta Cana Excursions
Some of my favorite Punta Cana excursions are in this section. They’re a great way to break the lazy beach days by adding some adrenaline-infused activities to your vacation.
You don’t need to be a fitness maniac to join these tours. However, your physical level should allow you to trek for half an hour in the sweaty tropical jungle and climb a flight of stairs for most of these Punta Cana activities.
Are you ready to get a little dusty? Then, let’s explore the best adventure and action Punta Cana tours!
1. Zip Lining over the Jungle
Wanna see the jungle like Tarzan?
The zip-lining Punta Cana excursions allow you to fly over the treetops of the Dominican jungle. The best place to soar above Punta Cana’s lush tropical forests is the island’s first zip-lining course.
The expert canopy guides will not only ensure your safety. They’ll also provide fascinating insights into the surrounding jungle as you navigate from one platform to the next.
The longest cable extends 800 m / 2,600 ft. above a river, giving you 50 seconds of pure thrill.
The whole course features 16 platforms and 12 zip lines, including the two longest lines in the Caribbean.
Raise your adrenaline levels and enjoy the incredible views of the Cordillera Septentrional mountain range from platforms built within centenary trees. All while securely clipped to the lines.
🎒 What to Bring: Mosquito repellent to keep those nasty bugs away.
📍 How to Book: Join the tour of the awesome 12 zip-line cables course via this link. Pick-up service from your hotel is included.
2. Riding a Buggy
Feel the speed of the open buggies or quads, go off the main street and onto the dirt roads through Dominican villages, plantations, and farms.
Reach your destination on a secluded beach, take a dip into the water, and then head back to your hotel to wash off the dust and relax your bones.
✔️ Tip: After a break, don’t try to sit on your seat before cooling it with a splash of water. The dark seats attract the sun and heat up quickly.
🎒 What to Bring: A bandana or a scarf to protect your face from the sand and dust, a pair of (sun)glasses to protect your eyes, and plenty of water.
📍 How to Book: Use this link to book the best buggy tour in Punta Cana.
3. Parasailing over Punta Cana
Elevate your vacation with a heart-pumping parasailing experience.
You’ll reach almost 60 m / 200 ft. and enjoy a staggering view of Punta Cana’s coastline. Feel the breeze as you look out to the crystal waters and pristine beaches of the Dominican Republic.
✔️ Tip: Try to relax your body into the harness to fully enjoy the flight. Secure your sunglasses and anything that might fall out of your pockets.
🎒 What to Bring: Wear comfortable clothes.
📍 How to Book: Use this link to book your parasailing flight.
4. Learning to Kite-Surf
Opposed to other surf types, you don’t need strong winds or big waves to ride a kite surf.
According to instructors, most people need about 20 hours of training to learn to kite surf.
You’ll start with a smaller kite at the beach and move to a larger one once you’ve learned how to control it. Then, go into the water and feel the waves under your board and the power of the wind in your kite.
When you’re ready, make a few jumps in the air, and don’t forget to ask someone to record it for you.
🎒 What to Bring: Plenty of sun protection to avoid a nasty sunburn.
📍 How to Book: You can book lessons or rent kitesurfing gear at the KBS School.
5. Learning to Scuba Dive
A lot of resorts offer courses for scuba diving certificates. You’ll start your practice at the resort’s swimming pool and then go out into the open waters.
Don’t neglect the rules and instructions, as diving can be detrimental to your health when done wrong.
And if you already have a certificate, go directly for a fun scuba dive in Punta Cana!
🎒 What to Bring: You’ll be provided with the gear, so you’ll only need your beach essentials.
📍 How to Book: Check if your hotel offers scuba diving lessons. And if you already have your certificate, join this ocean adventure.
Multiday Trips from Punta Cana
A couple of destinations in the Dominican Republic, such as the amazing Samaná, call for a multiday trip from Punta Cana.
You can either join an organized tour or take care of the logistics yourself. I’ve done both, and I’ve enjoyed the self-paced option way more.
Let’s see what multiday Punta Cana excursions are available.
6. Exploring the Treasures of Samaná
Sure, you could do a day excursion from Punta Cana to Samaná. But you’ll spend 2/3 of the day on the road and only a fraction of the time enjoying the beautiful sites of the peninsula.
Or you could decide to splurge a bit and travel in style and comfort. You can fly to Samaná Airport and have enough time to visit its highlights. Plus, you can admire breathtaking aerial views of the Dominican Republic!
But if your time allows it, do a multi-day road trip to Samaná for the cost of the flight and explore more in a relaxed manner.
Book a night in Las Terrenas or Las Galeras, so you can visit the famous Cascada El Limón early in the morning before the crowds.
You’ll also be able to enjoy the beautiful views of the peninsula as you drive through the hills. Don’t miss visiting a couple of secluded Dominican beaches instead of spending time on the overcrowded Cayo Levantado, aka Bacardi Island.
🎒 What to Bring: For a day trip, you’ll only need the beach essentials and your camera. For an overnight trip, pack a small bag with a change of clothes and basic toiletries.
📍 How to Book: To optimize your time, I recommend booking this tour to Samana. You’ll fly to the peninsula and enjoy staggering views before exploring Samana.
7. Taking a Road Trip
If you’ve read this post carefully now, you might already have a plan for what you want to visit and explore.
So should you rent a car and just do it?
There are no Punta Cana excursions that will fit everything you want to see and do on your visit to the tropical paradise.
Don’t limit yourself to just the things to do in Punta Cana. Venture away from the crowds and create your own adventure. My best suggestion is to visit Samana Peninsula at your own pace.
🎒 What to Bring: Navigation, cash, and a tank full of gas. Some Dominican roads are in poor condition, so my advice is to rent an SUV with full coverage.
📍 How to Book: The best way to explore any destination on a road trip is by renting your own wheels. Compare the best deals from Discover Cars.
Beach and Sea Tours in Punta Cana
The Punta Cana beaches are the top reason you came to the Dominican Republic, right?
So, leave your resort and visit more than just the sand stretch in front of your hotel! These beach and sea Punta Cana excursions are worth leaving your comfy sunbed.
Let me prove that to you in this section.
8. Visiting Saona Island
Embark on a catamaran adventure to Saona Island. This is the Dominican Republic’s best-selling tour. When you arrive at the idyllic Saona Island with its palm-lined, white-sand beaches and mesmerizing turquoise waters, you’ll quickly understand why.
Spend the day chilling on the lounge chairs, splashing in the natural swimming pool, or sunbathing on the pristine beach. Enjoy the delicious local cuisine and unlimited drinks from the bar before heading back.
🎒 What to Bring: Pack your beach essentials and don’t forget to apply sunscreen.
📍 How to Book: Catamaran tour to Saona Island.
9. Sailing to Isla Catalina
Embark on a full-day snorkeling adventure to Catalina Island. Explore the vibrant underwater world with a Padi-certified dive team. Snorkel at The Wall, a mesmerizing site suitable for both beginners and seasoned snorkelers.
Encounter vibrant sea creatures like corals, octopuses, and lionfish. After snorkeling, head to Catalina Island’s private beach for a feast. Try the catch of the day and lounge on the beach with a drink from the open bar.
On the way back, enjoy the stunning sunset.
✔️ Tip: Apply sunscreen before diving into the turquoise waters to avoid sunburns.
🎒 What to Bring: Don’t forget essentials like sun protection and a towel. Bring a waterproof camera to capture the spectacular underwater world.
📍 How to Book: Book your Catalina snorkeling tour here.
10. Beach Hopping near Punta Cana
Punta Cana and Bavaro offer two of the most amazing, long-stretched Dominican Republic beaches. However, they are quite touristy and crowded in the peak season.
So, my best tip for your beach vacation is to rent a car and explore the coastline north of Punta Cana. You’ll discover several breathtaking, secluded Dominican beaches that feel surreal to explore.
Arm yourself with enough adventure spirit, pack plenty of water and snacks, and don’t forget your beach essentials! Keep in mind that not all beaches you’ll encounter will have a lifeguard or any facilities.
🎒 What to Bring: Sun protection, water, and snacks are a must for a beach-hopping day.
📍 How to Book: The best way to explore as many awesome Dominican beaches as possible is by renting your own wheels. Compare the best deals from Discover Cars.
11. Offshore Snorkelling in the Caribbean Sea
The coral reefs around Hispaniola Island are spectacular. Hop on a boat that will take you to one of the amazing underwater spots.
Watch, but do not touch, the colorful corals and fishes.
✔️ Tip: Be careful when choosing your tour. Some of these Punta Cana excursions consist of more drinking and partying than snorkeling.
🎒 What to Bring: Pack plenty of sun protection and your beach essentials. The best way to prevent a nasty sunburn is to wear a swim T-shirt and a bandana.
📍 How to Book: I recommend this awesome private catamaran cruise if you’re traveling in a group.
12. Taking a Boat Tour
In Punta Cana, you’ll find boat tours for every taste.
You can party, drink, and meet other vacationers. You can watch the coral reef from the safety of your boat through a glass bottom. You can go fishing. Or even sailing.
Whatever your perfect day at sea looks like, I’m sure you’ll find a boat tour to make it happen :-)
🎒 What to Bring: Sun protection is a muse but also bring a long-sleeved shirt or a hoodie. The wind at sea may bring you chills even in the tropical heat.
📍 How to Book: My recommended boat tour includes swimming with sharks and stingrays! You can book it here.
13. Doing Some Sports
A lot of hotels and resorts offer a variety of sports at their beaches for free or for a small fee.
These might include bodyboarding, beach volleyball, kayaking, football, yoga, or exercising.
You can also do exercises on your own, take a long beach walk, or jog at the beach at sunrise.
And in the evenings, don’t miss the chance to learn some Bachata and Merengue moves, so you can impress your friends back home the next time you go dancing.
The Dominican Republic is also known for its perfect golf courses. If that’s your sport, you’ll surely find a perfect spot to practice your shots around Punta Cana.
🎒 What to Bring: Whatever sport you decide to do, make sure to put on enough sunscreen and drink plenty of water.
Breathtaking Nature Excursions near Punta Cana
Deep caves with incredible limestone formations, wildlife-rich lagoons, and mesmerizing views over the coast are just a stone-throw away from Punta Cana.
If exploring on your own, these Punta Cana excursions in nature might take a little bit of planning and research, but the effort is well worth it. You’ll have the advantage of admiring nature’s beauty without other tourists.
14. Watching the Wildlife at the Lagoons
Visit the mangroves at Laguna Limón or Laguna Redonda to watch the birds in their habitat. Both lagoons are protected reserves.
You can hire a boat or rent a kayak on the spot. Explore the mangroves slowly to avoid disturbing the wildlife.
Local guides will give you all the information you need about the rural fishing communities, the lagoons, and the surrounding flora and fauna. They’ll also help you spot tropical birds, like herons and egrets, to make this a unique experience.
🎒 What to Bring: Pack a mosquito repellent to keep the feisty bugs off your skin. Use sun protection and stay hydrated.
📍 How to Book: Arrange your transportation by hiring a taxi or renting a car. Book a tour of the lagoons when you get there.
15. Viewing the World from above at Montaña Redonda
Did you know that you can go hiking in Punta Cana? Well, not exactly in but just a few kilometres away.
If you’ve rented an SUV, you can drive right to the top of the 600 m / 1,969 ft. high Montaña Redonda. If not, you’ll have to climb all the way up. The ascend is not an easy one, as the road is very steep.
However, the 360° view from the top is extremely rewarding. On one side you’ll see Laguna Redonda and on the other – Laguna Limón and Playa Limón in the distance.
🎒 What to Bring: You’ll find a small picnic area at the top, so make sure to bring some provisions for a picnic.
📍 How to Book: You can enjoy the best panorama of the Punta Cana coastline by joining this tour.
16. Exploring Limestone Caves
The limestone caves Cueva de las Maravillas and Los Tres Ojos are both close to Punta Cana and Bavaro.
In Cueva de las Maravillas (Cave of Wonders), you’ll see around 500 Taino wall paintings and engravings in black and red. The highlight of the cave is the Water Mirror Gallery, where the waters of the artificial lake reflect the beautiful ceiling of the cave.
The other cave close to Punta Cana, Los Tres Ojos, is an open-air cave formation. As the name suggests, it consists of three lakes, called eyes.
An underground river supplies water to the lakes. Stalactites and stalagmites surround them. Their depth remains unexplored.
✔️ Tip: Swimming in the lakes is not allowed.
🎒 What to Bring: Sturdy shoes with good grip will come in handy.
📍 How to Book: Some tours to Santo Domingo offer a stop at one of the caves. But if you want to visit them independently, I suggest you rent a car.
17. Getting Wet at the Waterfalls
There are no Punta Cana waterfalls directly located in the tourist area.
The nearest waterfalls from Punta Cana are around 2:30 h drive away. Still, if you decide to visit Salto De Socoa or Salto La Jalda, you’ll be rewarded with a magnificent view and a refreshing dip in the waters.
🎒 What to Bring: You’ll need water shoes and mosquito repellent for this tour.
📍 How to Book: The best way to explore these waterfalls is on your own. You can do so by renting a car.
Exploring Dominican Everyday Life in Punta Cana
One of my favorite activities when traveling is observing the everyday life of the locals. Unfortunately, not many Punta Cana excursions offer an authentic glimpse into Dominican life.
Organized tours from Punta Cana usually include a visit to Santo Domingo, La Romana, or a short stop at a plantation. But if you want to experience these places deeper, you better don’t join a group.
Instead, hire a taxi or rent a car, talk to locals on the street, sit at a cafe, and observe the routine of the Dominicans.
Below, you’ll find my recommended authentic experiences near Punta Cana.
18. Roaming the Vibrant Capital Santo Domingo
Walk the cobblestoned streets of Zona Colonial, the old town. Visit a museum or two, and enjoy medieval and Renaissance art.
Admire the 16th-century buildings and the city’s architectural gem – the cathedral Santa María la Menor. One of my favorite facts about the Dominican Republic is that it was the first built in the New World.
Discover the Alcázar de Colón, the former residence of Christopher Columbus’ son. Don’t miss the captivating exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art, showcasing contemporary Dominican art, and providing a glimpse into the city’s cultural heritage.
🎒 What to Bring: Wear sturdy, comfy shoes as you’ll be walking on cobbled streets a lot.
📍 How to Book: The best way to explore Santo Domingo is by joining this awesome tour from Punta Cana.
19. Visiting the Laid Back Higuey
Higuey was founded in the 16th century. The Cathedral Shrine of Our Lady of Altagracia dominates the city’s landscape and can be seen from afar.
Experience the vibrant local culture by exploring the bustling market. Colors, aromas, and lively exchanges will show you the everyday life of Higuey.
Don’t forget to visit the Museo de La Altagracia to dive into the city’s cultural heritage and artistic legacy. Wrap up your day in Higuey with a stroll through its charming streets, and observe colonial-era architecture and vibrant local life.
20. Exploring the Diverse Hato Mayor
Hato Mayor del Rey (King’s Great Herd) is a rural city, founded in 1520.
The road to the city will take you through small villages, plantations, and farmland. Watch everyday life as you pass by simple and colorful houses with the laundry hanging directly on the house fence.
Once you reach Hato Mayor, find the beautiful city center and mingle with the locals in the gorgeous park.
21. Visiting the Surprising La Romana
Immerse yourself in the unexpected charm of La Romana, the heart of the sugar industry.
Wander through the downtown area, where the striking Art Deco tower of the town hall stands tall. Just a short stroll away, encounter El Obelisco, a captivating miniature reproduction of the Washington Monument. Vibrant murals depicting the rich tapestry of Taino culture and contemporary Dominican themes adorn its sides.
Continue exploring, and you’ll uncover La Romana’s unique blend of history, art, and culture at every corner.
22. Driving Through Picturesque Dominican Villages
Start the day early in the morning in a rental or a taxi and try to visit as many Dominican villages as possible. Take the highway, and every now and then exit it to follow the bumpy roads through the countryside.
Most buildings you’ll see are colorful simple sheds with laundry hanging in front of the door. Small yards with several plants and trees, and the friendly faces of the Dominicans round the picture.
Try to order lunch in Spanish, as outside the resorts and tourist areas most people don’t speak English. Sit and enjoy the simple but delectable food while watching the everyday activities of the Dominicans.
Note that none of the organized tours I’ve seen include this kind of experience. However, you can easily build your own Punta Cana itinerary.
🎒 What to Bring: Take some cash and fill up your tank. Pack enough water and some snacks. Bring your beach essentials if you decide to visit a beach after seeing the countryside.
📍 How to Book: Renting a car from Discover Cars is the best way to explore the vibrant Dominican villages.
23. Visiting Plantations in the Countryside
A visit to the countryside to see the plantations is one of the coolest Punta Cana excursions to make.
The tour will take you to coffee, cacao, and sugar cane plantations. Taste sugar cane, fresh fruits, mamajuana, and try handmade cigars. Learn about the importance of these plantations for Dominicans.
Afterward, you’ll meet a local farmer’s family, see their home, learn about their work, and try typical dishes. Finally, you’ll pass by a rural school, greet kids, and learn about the Dominican educational system.
📍 How to Book: You can book this immersive tour and explore plantations, farms, and country life.
24. Enjoying the Nightlife of Punta Cana
Punta Cana is packed with nightclubs and bars.
- Learn to dance Merengue and Bachata or simply watch the Dominicans do it.
- Go to a show or visit the one-of-a-kind nightclub in a cave – Imagine Punta Cana.
- Join a bonfire beach party with live music.
- Enjoy the Caribbean Pride. The hottest and most luxurious pride celebration in the Caribbean takes place in September. During the rest of the year, you can check what other colorful events you can join in this comprehensive gay Punta Cana travel guide.
25. Shopping for Local Goods
You can bring home several great souvenirs from Punta Cana. Here are some ideas.
- Cigars: even if you’re a non-smoker like me, puffing a flavored cigar is a great experience.
- Rum: the best brands, according to locals, are Ron Barceló and Brugal. Ask for the extra añejo (aged). You’ll thank me ;-)
- Coffee: quality and price ranges vary. I was happy with the supermarket coffee, but I’m sure the super-expensive gourmet brands are even better. Not sure if their price is worth it, though.
- Cosmetics: natural cocoa butter face creams for a couple of cents each are a great bargain and something both useful and good for your skin.
- Jewellery with amber or larimar stones: while you can find amber elsewhere, the Dominican Republic is the only producer of larimar stones. If the sky blue stones are your color, get a nice piece of jewelry to remember your trip.
As in other touristy destinations, avoid shopping at souvenir shops. You can find coffee, rum, and cosmetics at supermarkets. For cigars and jewelry, find a factory tour. This way, you’ll be certain to buy from the source and avoid scams.
Keep in mind that proper storage is extremely important, especially for cigars. Don’t ever buy from someone at the beach. Even if the quality of the cigars is good, they weren’t stored properly and are way too dry, making them a total waste of money.
📍 How to Book: Your accommodation will most probably have contacts with factories near you. The tour of that factory is usually complimentary. You’ll learn a lot about the production process and can purchase souvenirs at manufacturer prices.
Travel Tips to Best Enjoy Your Punta Cana Excursions
How to find the best excursions in Punta Cana and what is the most convenient way to book them?
Here are a few tips:
- Check what activities your hotel offers for free. Usually, these are factory and shopping tours.
- Check what tours you can book directly at the beach. You’ll save yourself the transfer time. These Punta Cana excursions are usually boat tours and water activities.
- Compare tour prices AND what’s included in the tour.
- Ask other vacationers what they paid and if they recommend a tour.
- Ask the hotel staff, e.g. your favorite bartender or waiter, for recommendations.
- For a fixed price, you can hire a taxi for the day or for several hours. You can find a price table in front of your hotel.
- Rent a car. A big, safe car. Pay for full-cover insurance. Drivers in Punta Cana and the rest of the Dominican Republic are relentless. Road accidents happen all the time.
- Search and book directly online. Read the reviews of other travelers.
Don’t forget to also check the list of Dominican Republic travel tips that I’ve compiled for your next trip to the tropical paradise!
Now You Know How to Find and Book the Best Punta Cana Excursions
So, I hope you’re no longer wondering what to do in Punta Cana.
The diversity of excursions in Punta Cana is huge. It makes you wonder why so many people simply do the same every day during their vacation – lay on the beach or by the pool, and stuff their faces with enormous amounts of food and beverages.
Sure you can do just that. But there’s so much more to experience in a tropical paradise destination like Punta Cana.
But you know what?
It’s probably better that way. Let the other tourists do nothing while you go on the greatest adventures and the best excursions in Punta Cana :-)
Difficult to pick from this huge list of Punta Cana excursions? Well, that’s great, then you’ll have to revisit this tropical paradise and continue where you left off!
Now tell me one thing:
Which is the first tour you would like to go on from Punta Cana?