Sometimes when you travel, it’s just as much fun to do it on the cheap and you don’t feel as though you’re missing out on anything. Sure, you might be staying in a hostel dorm room instead of a five-star hotel, and your late-night snacks might come from a vending machine instead of hotel room service, but who cares?
You still get to see the sights of the city in exactly the same way as those who have opted to stay in the lap of luxury. With some destinations, however, travelling on the cheap simply doesn’t cut it, particularly if the destination is associated with the level of wonderful and much-deserved indulgence. While there are many things to see and do all over the Dominican Republic, visitors to Punta Cana have just one thing on their mind: 100 per cent pure relaxation.
From Russia with Love
Most popular with US tourists, due to its proximity to the American mainland, Punta Cana has begun to attract tourists from other nations in recent years and it’s actually possible to get flights directly to this part of the Dominican Republic from Moscow, as well as many cities in Western Europe.
Where the Oceans Meet
Punta Cana is on the most easterly point of the Dominican Republic and depending on which beach you’re standing on, you’ll be looking at either the Caribbean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean, as this is where the two meet. The area only has a population of around 100,000 and is relatively deserted when compared with the rest of the country; the vast majority of people in the area can be found at the numerous resorts, which operate much like small, independent villages.
The Joy of All-Inclusive
While it’s possible to get out and about and explore the local villages if you’re coming to Punta Cana, you’re coming to relax and sit on the beach, or by the pool, only tearing yourself away for meals (or to enjoy the activities of the resort, if you’re feeling energetic). For this type of getaway, there’s something perfect about an all-inclusive package. You don’t need to worry about paying for meals or drinks, and you can even have some alone time by the pool, as certified childminders will be happy take your kids off your hands for a few hours (which is also included).
Making Yourself Understood
As with any foreign country, there’s a bit of culture shock, but that’s part of the fun. While Spanish is the official language of the Dominican Republic, throughout the south of the US border, English is widely spoken at the resorts and in larger towns on the island. Of course, it’s always polite to learn the basics, so remember “Hola” (Hello), “por favor” (please), “gracias” (thank you) and “adios” (goodbye). Knowing the absolute basics when visiting a new country will encourage the locals to like you; they will be happy that you’re at least trying and there’s always smiling, pointing and a bit of mime when your Spanish vocabulary fails you!
This is a guest contribution by Lilly Sheperd, a travel enthusiast and blogger on exotic holidays.