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The Canabay Diaries

Things to know before traveling to the Dominican Republic

Things to know before traveling to the Dominican Republic

There are a few things to keep in mind before traveling to Punta Cana so that you can make the most of your trip.

Read on for our most important things to know about the Dominican Republic and our top 10 things to do in Punta Cana so you can find that perfect tour to make your time in Punta Cana memorable.

Punta Cana Travel Information

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Dominican Republic occupies the eastern part of the island Hispaniola and is situated between Puerto Rico and Cuba. Hispaniola, the second largest island in the West Indies, was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492.

Punta Cana is on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean. With miles of pristine water and white sand beaches, Punta Cana is the land of rest and relaxation by the sea. Punta Cana and Bavaro are nicknamed la Costa del Coco, likely due to the fact that the beaches are lined with an alley of dense palm trees.


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Time Zone

The local time zone is Atlantic Standard Time (AST) or Atlantic Time Zone, also known as Eastern Caribbean Time (UTC/GMT -4 hours). Dominican Republic does not observe daylight savings time.

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Punta Cana has a tropical savanna climate, year-round with great average temperatures from 78° to 88° F (25° to 31 C°), a lot of sunshine and very little rainfall, so bring your sunscreen, flip flops and don’t forget your umbrella or you may end up getting drenched at some point.

The warmer season is May through October, while it is coolest from November through March, especially at night. September sees a fair amount of rainfall when compared to April and May. At this time of the year, the average rainfall for Punta Cana is 128mm – that's five inches.


The official language is Spanish. But don't worry if you do not speak Spanish, English and French is spoken in most tourist areas. It is the perfect occasion to learn some basic phrases in Spanish!


The Dominican peso (RD$) is the official currency. However, because Punta Cana is a hot spot for international tourism most shops, restaurants and excursion companies accept US dollars and Euros. Visa and Mastercard are accepted almost everywhere.

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Dominican cuisine is predominantly made up of a combination of Spanish and African influences over the last few centuries. The typical cuisine is quite similar to what can be found in other Latin American countries, but many of the names of dishes are different.

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The Dominican Republic flag

The flag of the Dominican Republic is the flag that represents the Dominican Republic and, together with the coat of arms and the national anthem, has the status of national symbol. The Dominican flag is the only flag in the world that uses the image of a Bible.

The flag features a centered white cross that extends to the edges and divides the flag into four rectangles; the top ones are blue (hoist side) and red, and the bottom ones are red (hoist side) and blue. The national coat of arms is at the center of the cross.

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Capital City

Dominican Republic’s historic and sophisticated capital city, Santo Domingo with a population close to 4 million people, is the oldest city of the New World and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990.



The Dominican Republic is full of treasures, and one of our most beloved is Larimar. The hills of Bahoruco produce the larimar stone—a blue-colored, semi-precious stone found only in the southwest of the Dominican Republic and nowhere else in the world.



Top 10 things to do in Punta Cana 

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1. Have one of the best Coco Loco in town at Canabay Beach Club and enjoy it on the deck overlooking the sea.

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2. Eat fresh tuna at Lio Beach Restaurant.

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3. Visit Isla Saona, famous for its incredibly untouched beaches. The entire island is a government-protected nature reserve, so there isn’t an imposing high-rise or kitschy gift shop in site, only pure white-sand beaches and swaying palm trees. Getting to Isla Saona for the day is not difficult, ask us for a tour package!

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4. Go on a relaxing horseback ride along Macao Beach.


5. Want to learn some beginners wakeboarding tricks? Visit Aqua Park in Downtown.

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6. See incredible shows and get a taste of the amazing nightlife of Coco Bongo. Enjoy acrobatics, music, dance and more in a series of performances.



7. Get some bachata and merengue lessons.



8. Get a kiss, a hug and a ride from dolphins.

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9. Walk along the charming streets of Santo Domingo, the Colonial Zone is a fascinating place to explore the past of the Americas.

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10. Learn to enjoy the simple pleasure of riding a wave in Macao Surf Camp.

Don't forget the most important thing, to visit our exclusive and private beach club. If you stay in one of our hotels, you won't only enjoy Canabay Beach Club, but also all its benefits. We offer the perfect combination of services and amenities of a hotel and the comfort of feeling at home.

What else can you ask for?



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Boulevard Turístico del Este Km.28,
Arena Gorda, Punta Cana
La Altagracia, Domincan Republic

  Dominican Republic: +1 (809) 399-1957
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