Punta Cana is by far the number one tourist destination in the Dominican Republic, and for good reason! It’s a place straight out of most people’s dreams, full of towering world-class resorts, never-ending white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and more.
While the stunning resorts and attractive beaches are usually what first catches people’s attention, there is so much more to Punta Cana. There are a number of activities and tours you can partake in here, from catamaran and snorkeling tours, adrenaline-fueled adventure parks, and underground lagoons, which means you’ll never run out of things to do.
In addition, flights from all over the world fly in and out of the Punta Cana International Airport, making it one of the most accessible places to visit in the Caribbean. If you’ve never visited the Dominican Republic before, Punta Cana is a great first stop before heading off to explore other parts of the island.
There are countless options when deciding where to stay in Punta Cana and I know that it can be overwhelming and confusing at times.
But don’t worry, that’s why I’m here with this ultimate Punta Cana area guide. To help you find the best place to stay in Punta Cana no matter who you are and what type of accommodation you are looking for.
Where to Stay in Punta Cana – Our Top Picks
Looking for a place to stay in Punta Cana but don’t have much time? Here are my top overall recommendations of the coolest places.
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Best Apartment in Punta Cana: 5 Star Beach-Front Condo
If it’s your first time, this is my top overall recommendation for where to stay in Punta Cana. It’s a marvelous two-bedroom condo located inside an upscale development, which creates a sensational mix of privacy and community. The beach is right next door, there’s a swimming pool on the premises, and the apartment has charming Caribbean-style decorations. The cherry on top is a private balcony with a jacuzzi that overlooks the ocean!
Best Hostel in Punta Cana: Gava Hostel
Gava Hostel is the ultimate budget accommodation option in Punta Cana. The rates of a bed in their four-bed dormitories are unbeatable and their location is prime. Bars and restaurants surround the hostel, and additionally, the beach is only a five-minute walk away. Lastly, they offer tons of different tours that will take you to places like Saona Island and Santo Domingo, which makes it one of the best places to stay in the Dominican Republic.
Best Hotel in Punta Cana: Princess Family Club Bavaro – All Inclusive
This all-inclusive five-star resort is heaven on earth and a phenomenal home away from home for those traveling as a family. It features a small water park full of waterslides, a playground, tennis courts, and a bar/restaurant. Being an all-inclusive resort, all the food and drinks you could ever desire are included in the price.
Punta Cana Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Punta Cana
Punta Cana is not a huge city, but there are some areas that are more suitable for tourists than others. Furthermore, some parts of the Dominican Republic are not safe, so it’s a good idea to know which neighborhood is safe and touristy.
Let’s start with Cap Cana, which is super close to the airport and full of amazing places to stay. If you have ever seen photos of the Dominican Republic, chances are they were of Cap Cana. It boasts incredible beaches and is where to stay in Punta Cana if it’s your first time.
If you love the beach, but also want to explore the jungle, Punta el Cortecito is where to stay in Punta Cana for the best of both worlds. It has a bit of everything and is an ideal base camp for exploring everything this part of the Dominican Republic has to offer. Additionally, it has some of the lowest prices in Punta Cana and is a tremendous place to stay if you are on a budget.
Playa Bibijagua is a fantastic place to stay if you are traveling with kids. It has fun all-inclusive resorts, brilliant beaches, exhilarating water parks, and action-packed adventure parks. Moreover, it’s an area where you can cross off bucket list items like swimming with dolphins or walking along the ocean floor.
Cap Cana is home to the majority of the largest and most popular resorts in Punta Cana. While many of the hotels have private beaches, there are also some exquisite public beaches in this area as well.
Punta el Cortecito
With a handful of wonderful hostels, along with plenty of cheap apartments and hotels, Punta el Cortecito is certainly where to stay in Punta Cana if you are on a budget.
Playa Bibijagua is a small beach community just down the coast from Punta el Cortecito. It’s where you will find Playa Bavaro, one of the most popular beaches in Punta Cana.
The 3 Best Areas to Stay in Punta Cana
Now you have a little idea of the best neighborhoods in Punta Cana to stay in, it’s time to look at each neighborhood in more detail, including recommendations for where to stay and what to do in each area.
1. Cap Cana – Where to Stay in Punta Cana for your First Visit
Cap Cana is home to the majority of the largest and most popular resorts, fancy hotels and villas in Punta Cana. While many of the hotels have private beaches, there are also some exquisite public beaches in this area as well. Playa Juanillo is the most famous and it’s a terrific place to spend a fun-filled sunny day. A great way to explore the different beaches is by renting a golf cart. They are extremely popular in Punta Cana and are an excellent way to get around.
The nearby Cap Cana Marina is also a definite must-visit. It’s a dazzling marina where you will find some of the top-rated restaurants in Punta Cana, a famous casino, and lots of snazzy apartments. Furthermore, it’s where most of the boat tours depart from. One last must-do activity in this area is visiting the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Reserve. It’s home to picturesque turquoise-colored lagoons perfect for swimming and taking photos.
Best Condo in Cap Cana: 5 Star Romantic Beach-Front Condo
Located inside a five-star resort, this stunning two-bedroom condo has it all. For starters, it has a Caribbean-style interior design that is both modern and relaxed at the same time. With four beds, along with a sofa in the living room, it can comfortably sleep up to six people. Additionally, it has a large terrace overlooking a golf course and the beach.
Best Luxury Apartment in Cap Cana: 2 BR Luxury Beachfront Apmt W/ Private Pool
If you want a taste of luxury, this amazing two-bedroom condo is where to stay in Punta Cana for a super luxe experience. The master bedroom features a super comfy king-sized bed and a private bathroom, while the second bedroom has both a queen bed and a single bed. The apartment complex has a giant communal swimming pool, but this apartment actually has a private pool as well. Moreover, the hosts have golf carts to rent and private chefs available for hire.
Best Hotel in Cap Cana: Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana
The Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana is a massive beachfront resort only steps from Juanillo Beach. It offers a huge variety of rooms, ranging from cozy rooms for two to extravagant king suites that can sleep four people. Furthermore, every room includes a private balcony, room service, and a TV. If that wasn’t enough, the property also has a small water park, a sauna, a garden, a fitness center, and more!
Things to See and Do in Cap Cana:
- Head to the Cap Cana Marina and embark on a snorkeling and catamaran tour.
- Spend a day relaxing at one of the many luxury spas in the area.
- Take a day trip to Saona Island and explore the “Parque Nacional de Este.”
- Test your luck and see if you can win big at one of Punta Cana’s popular casinos.
- Hit the links and play a round of 18 at the Cocotal Golf and Country Club.
- Go caving, discover hidden underground swimming pools, and zip-line at the Scape Park.
- Relax in hammocks and drink coconuts at Playa Juanillo.
- Hire a boat for a day and try and catch yourself some dinner fishing.
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2. Punta el Cortecito – Where to Stay in Punta Cana on a Budget
With a handful of wonderful hostels, along with plenty of cheap apartments and hotels, Punta el Cortecito is certainly where to stay in the Dominican Republic if you are on a budget. Don’t let the prices trick you though, it’s a great area full of fun things to do. The most popular activities, like everywhere in Punta Cana, are water and beach-related. They include snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, and parasailing.
Another great thing about Punta el Cortecito is its proximity to the jungle. A short drive away are places like Monkeyland and Los Haitises National Park. Monkeyland is a squirrel monkey sanctuary where you can safely and responsibly interact with wild monkeys while simultaneously learning and helping raise awareness for them.
Los Haitises National Park on the other hand is one of the most famous National Parks in the Dominican Republic. It’s home to a multitude of rare animals and is a must-visit if you are a nature lover or photographer.
Best Apartment in Punta el Cortecito: Suite With Pool and Beach
This charming guesthouse is only 30 meters from the beach and is perfect for solo travelers and couples. It’s located in a quiet neighborhood with a bunch of restaurants and bars within walking distance. Outside it has a small garden ideal for eating breakfast and sipping on your morning coffee. In addition, there’s a private pool which is only available to guests.
Best Hostel in Punta el Cortecito: Gava Hostel
Gava Hostel is the highest-rated hostel in Punta Cana, and without a doubt the best place to stay if you are traveling on a backpacker’s budget. It has a great location, only five minutes from the beach, and offers dirt cheap beds in four-bed dorm rooms. Additionally, they have a fantastic common room which is a lovely place to mingle and meet new people if you are traveling alone.
Best Hotel in Punta el Cortecito: Vista Sol Beach Resort & Spa – All Inclusive
This terrific resort is a hidden oasis only steps from Cortecito Beach. The rooms can sleep up to three people, and every room includes a flat-screen TV and a private balcony. On the hotel grounds, you will find three swimming pools, tropical gardens, a gym, tennis courts, six restaurants, and more! As an all-inclusive resort, all food and drinks are included in the price you pay upfront.
Things to See and Do in Punta el Cortecito:
- Go on a boat trip, or go snorkeling or scuba diving with Ocean Adventures.
- Help protect and raise awareness for endangered squirrel monkeys at “Monkeyland.”
- Look for exotic animals on a day trip to Los Haitises National Park.
- Try and spot the world’s largest creatures on a dolphin and whale watching tour.
- Spend a day drinking and dancing at the Zoho Beach Club.
- Get a birds eye view of the coast while parasailing.
- Enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many prestigious restaurants in this area.
- Relax and work on your tan at Playa del Cortecito or Playa de Arena Blanca.
3. Playa Bibijagua – Where to Stay in Punta Cana for Families
Playa Bibijagua is a small beach community just down the coast from Punta el Cortecito. It’s where you will find Playa Bavaro, one of the most popular beaches in Punta Cana. Playa Bavaro is a vast beach with calm, crystal clear turquoise water. Furthermore, all along the beach, there are tons of restaurants and shops. This makes it the perfect beach for spending the whole day!
Besides the beach, this area is packed with family fun activities such as waterparks, adventure parks, and escape rooms. Bavaro Adventure Park in particular is an awesome place to visit because it has so many different things to do. You can go zip-lining, paint-balling, rock climbing, ATVing, and more! If you are traveling as a family, this spectacular area is unquestionably where to stay in Punta Cana.
Best Apartment in Playa Bibijagua: Buddha Lounge Apmt, 700m to the Beach
This is a quiet and peaceful apartment ideal for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of crowded resorts. It has a gorgeous tropical garden home to banana trees and a private jacuzzi. Moreover, the hosts have snorkeling gear, beach games, and boards games they will lend you free of charge. Lastly, if you’d like they can also help you book a relaxing massage at the Palmarosa Spa.
Best Luxury Apartment in Playa Bibijagua: Best Luxury Beach Front Apmt
This giant luxury home is an unrivaled place to stay if you are traveling as a large group. It has four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, and can sleep seven. Additionally, its back door opens up literally right onto the beach. As a guest here you will also have access to a stunning infinity pool, a hot tub, a ping pong table, and a highly regarded restaurant.
Best Hotel in Playa Bibijagua: Princess Family Club Bavaro – All Inclusive
If you are traveling with children, this awesome all-inclusive hotel is where to stay in Punta Cana. It’s a five-star beachfront resort that has multiple swimming pools, a gym, a playground, and even a waterpark! They also have a family club where you can play darts, table tennis, and a wide range of other games. The rooms themselves are modern, spacious, and have large private terraces.
Things to See and Do in Playa Bibijagua:
- Swim with wild dolphins at Dolphin Island Park.
- Take a surfing lesson on Macao Beach.
- Spend a fun-filled beach day at Playa Bibijagua or Playa Bavaro.
- Zip down the thrilling waterslides at Pirates Island Water Park.
- Work together as a family and figure out how to escape from the Punta Cana Escape Room.
- Explore the ocean floor with “Scuba Doo” for a once-in-a-lifetime underwater adventure.
- Ride an ATV, paintball, rock climb, and more at Bavaro Adventure Park.
- Shop until you drop in downtown Punta Cana.
- Swim in incredible blue/green water in the lagoons at Indigenous Eyes Ecological Reserve.
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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Punta Cana
Punta Cana is an absolute island paradise that has a little bit of something for everyone. It’s a place people just can’t seem to get enough of and keep coming back to year after year.
No matter how long you stay, or how many times you visit, there will always be more to see and do. So what are you waiting for? Book your next trip to this magical place now!
As you have seen,Punta Cana has accommodation options for everyone, no matter what you are interested in or what your budget may be. We hope that this guide has helped you decide where to stay on your next trip to Punta Cana.
Did you find what you were looking for? Let us know in the comments!
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!