Punta Cana is a balneario (seaside resort town) in La Altagracia - Dominican Republic's easternmost province. The area is best known for its luxury resorts and pristine beaches, making it one of the country's most popular vacation destinations for international tourists.
Nearby are the country's capital city Santo Domingo de Guzman, Samana, La Romana. The Basilica Catholic Monument is in Higuey (Province's 500-year-old capital). Major resort developments in Punta Cana include Puntacana Resort, Motel 6, Majestic Elegance, Cap Cana.
The road distance between Punta Cana and La Romana (Dominicana's main cruise port) is approx 80 km (50 mi) to the west. From Punta Cana (as cruise shore excursions) are offered activities like windsurfing, speedboating, snorkeling and scuba diving, catamaran and sailboat tours, deepsea sport fishing, banana boat rides, swimming with dolphins-sharks-stingrays, floating spas, party boats and private yacht charters, also land-based tours (safaris, dune buggying, horseback riding). Another opportunity is visiting small islands like Saona and Catalina.
Punta Cana Airport serves international flights and by annual traffic (2,4+ million passengers) is ranked the Caribbean's second-busiest (after San Juan Puerto Rico's Luis Munoz Marín Airport/aka Isla Verde).
The area has population around 50,000, with annual growth rate of 6%. The most popular beaches are Cabeza de Toro, Bavaro and El Cortecito - all located to the north. The nearest city (Higüey) is 45 km (28 mi) away (about 1-hour drive distance). European (mainly Spanish) hotel chains own all but 2 of the over 50 mega-resorts in Punta Cana.
The province's 100-km (62-mi) long coastline tends to be mildly windy. Atlantic Ocean waters are predominantly shallow, with a few natural marine pools which are safe for swimming.
By annual passenger traffic (statistical data 2019), the Caribbean's top-10 largest airports are:
- Luis Munoz Marin Airport/aka Isla Verde (San Juan Puerto Rico) with ~9,5 million pax
- Punta Cana Airport (Punta Cana Dominicana) with ~7,2 million pax
- Jose Marti Airport (Havana Cuba) with 5,7+ million pax
- Sangster Airport (Montego Bay Jamaica) with ~4,8 million pax
- Lynden Pindling Airport (Nassau Bahamas) with ~4,1 million pax
- Las Americas Airport (Santo Domingo Dominicana) with ~4 million pax
- Piarco Airport (Port-of-Spain Trinidad) with 2,8+ million pax
- Queen Beatrix Airport (Oranjestad Aruba) with 2,5+ million pax
- Pointe-a-Pitre Airport (Pointe-a-Pitre Guadeloupe) with ~2,5 million pax
- Grantley Adams Airport (Bridgetown Barbados) with ~2,3 million pax
This explains why these port cities are used as seasonal turnaround ports for homeporting (roundtrip itineraries) by many major cruise companies with ship deployments in the Caribbean.
Punta Cana cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Punta Cana anchor at sea - near Marina Cap Cana - to where their passengers are transported via the ship's tender boats.
The yacht marina has over 130 boat slips, with capacity to accommodate boats with max LOA length 46 m (150 ft).
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