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Our Guide To Punta Cana

03 May 2023
Punta Cana Local Guide - Lumina Stays

Hello! Welcome to a better way to stay

Punta Cana is the most known destination in the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana is famous for its beaches, golf courses, great food and all-inclusive resorts. The city consists of areas such as Punta Cana Resort and Club, Punta Cana Village, Cap Cana, Cabeza de Toro, Bavaro, El Cortecito, Arena Gorda, Macao, and Uvero Alto.

We have rounded up our recommendations to ensure you have a memorable time in the island.
Important to note: we don’t get any money from recommending these places/apps, it’s honest feedback so you can make the most out of your stay.

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Breakfast…
we like it close to home

All within Punta Cana Village/Punta Cana area, walking or a short ride away. Click on any of the links for location and additional information from Google.

La Casita de Yeya - Lumina Stays

Lunch + Dinner = Linner

  • La Cava: La Cava is the perfect place for those in search of a more exclusive experience. La Cava is the right spot for great food and wine. It offers its guests the rare opportunity to enjoy a dinner accompanied by one of the best wine collections in the Caribbean region. All at a very reasonable price. Located in the Punta Cana Village.
  • Jellyfish: Jellyfish is one of the most popular restaurants in Punta Cana. As its name suggests, the restaurant offers fresh fish and shellfish dishes, and does so in a scenic location and at reasonable prices. Located in the Bávaro Area.
  • SBG: SBG is the most high-end option in this list. Amazing culinary experience, great for lunch and dinner. Live music on Thursday and overall great atmosphere. Located in Blue Mall Punta Cana.
  • La Taberna de Pepe: La Taberna de Pepe has vast menu with many options, all very tasty. Amazing fusion cuisine bringing together Dominican touches to an overall very international set of options. Located in the Punta Cana Village.
  • Noah: Noah is perfect for all occasions; their menu has many options from great breakfast all the way to steaks sushi and pasta for a great evening outing. Live music in the evenings. Located in the Bavaro Area.
  • Mamma Luisa: Mamma Luisa is a Punta Cana classic and a must-go. A true Italian place, owned by Italians, serving fresh homemade pasta. Located in the Punta Cana Village.

Golfing in Punta Cana…
deserves its own chapter

With its breathtaking natural beauty and perfect climate, Punta Cana has emerged as a golfer’s paradise, attracting enthusiasts from around the globe. Here are our top picks:

Punta Espada Golf Course - Punta Cana
  • Punta Espada: Jack Nicklaus’ first of two signature courses in the Dominican Republic, the 18-hole Punta Espada Golf Club continues to top best golf course lists. Nicklaus’ work of art boasts eight holes playing either alongside or over the Caribbean Sea, and another five with ocean views.
  • Corales (PGA Tour Event): This 18-hole Tom Fazio creation, featuring six oceanfront holes set on rocky cliffs next to the Caribbean Sea, quickly established Corales Golf Club as one of DR’s must-play courses.
  • La Cana: The Pete Dye-designed La Cana Golf Club is a 27-hole course consisting of three nines, with 14 ocean-view holes, and six memorable ones that play right on the beach.
  • Cocotal: José “Pepe” Gancedo designed memorable routings for Cocotal Golf & Country Club’s three nine-hole courses. The six-time Spanish champion used the natural terrain of an old coconut plantation for all 27 holes, including serene lakes and swaying palm trees, with Mother Nature providing constant winds.
  • Iberostar Bavaro Golf Club: Golfers of all levels will delight at P.B. Dye’s inland 18-hole Iberostar Bávaro Golf Club including Dye’s signature sand bunkers, lakes, and rock features, all tucked amid lush landscape and elevated terrain.
  • Hard Rock Golf Club: A Jack Nicklaus-designed course, Hard Rock Golf Club at Cana Bay presents golfers of all levels with an 18-hole challenge as winds blow through native tropical vegetation, extending right up to the edge of the fairways.
  • Punta Blanca Golf Club: The first Caribbean course designed by three-time major championship winner Nick Price, this 18-hole saltwater-tolerant paspalum grass course hugs natural wetlands, and features wide fairways with large bunkers, and several lakes.

For all your delivery needs try PedidosYa

PedidosYa offers predominantly food delivery for now.

There are plenty of other delivery apps in the Dominican Republic (Uber Eats, etc.), however, we find that PedidosYa is just the most exhaustive in Punta Cana.

Download the app

PedidosYa

We highly recommend you rent a car to move around

Mobility for foreigners in Punta Cana is not seamless. Taxis are not easily available, very expensive, and unreliable. Mobility apps such as Uber, Didi, and Lyft are still not common in the area.

Car Rentals

The best place to pick up and leave your car is directly at the Punta Cana Airport. You can choose to do this upon arrival or later in your trip. We recommend booking through CarRentals.com. All companies at the Punta Cana Airport (PUJ) are trusted companies. Avoid booking from unknown rent-a-car providers.

Go to CarRentals.com.

For groceries and general supplies,
here are our top picks in the area:

Supermarket / Groceries:

  • Supermercado Nacional: quality local and imported products. Large size supermarkets that covers most your needs.
  • Jumbo: Larger than El Nacional, full size super store offering beyond food. Includes clothes, electronics, hardware, and more.

Pharmacies:

  • Farmacia Carol: Drive-thru service available, 24/7. Fairly large and very well equipped. Also has an alternative location in Bavaro.
  • PharmaCana: Smaller in size than Carol, also open 24/7.

General Shopping:

  • Blue Mall Punta Cana: Fully equipped shopping mall, with multiple stores on all categories as well as restaurants.
  • Downtown Mall Punta Cana: Located in the Bavaro Area, Downtown Mall is also a fully equipped shopping mall, with multiple stores on all categories as well as restaurants.

Last but not least…
the beaches/lagoons + some of our favorite picks

Punta Cana and all of the Dominican Republic have so much to offer. Here are top picks of some ideas and places to visit. Punta Cana is a magical place, rent a car and dare to explore, it’s worth it.

Beaches & Lagoons - Punta Cana
  • Ecological Reserve Ojos Indígenas: Located inside the exclusive Puntacana Resort & Club complex, this 1,500 acre nature reserve and ecological park is open to the public, for a small entrance fee, to enjoy its enchanting, shaded hiking trails that wind through a lush tropical forest, and lead towards a series of 12 freshwater lagoons. Most of them are swimmable, and the surrounding scenery is spectacular at each turn.
  • Macao: Easily one of the Dominican Republic’s top-five most stunning beaches, the mega-wide, brilliant blonde, palm-tree studded Playa Macao is a surfer’s favorite. Macao’s local restaurants are also known for serving some of the best Dominican-style fishplates on this side of Punta Cana.
  • Enriquillo RM- 22: For advanced divers only, the Enriquillo RM-22 sits 18 meters (60 feet) below sea level, off the coast of Playa Blanca. It houses numerous species, including horse mackerel, sea breams, yellowtail snappers, and hawksbill sea turtles.
  • Cap Cana Marina: Relax at Cap Cana Marina with a cocktail and a panoramic sea view from one of its chic waterfront bars.
  • Playa Uvero Alto: This sparkling white to golden beach is long, wide, and boasts wild waves that are perfect for body boarding fun, and surfing in some parts. A number of resorts line Playa Uvero Alto, as well as restaurants and bars.
  • Diving: Punta Cana is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea. The shoreline is lined with soft white sand beaches and the corals offshore form an underwater barrier reef configuration running parallel to the coast. A well-tended coral garden, offshore wrecks and cave diving are the highlights.
  • Playa Bávaro: World-famous Bávaro Beach, ranks among the longest, most continuous white sand beaches in the Caribbean. Extending 48 kilometers (30 miles) and surrounded with coral reefs, it’s also the most developed section of this Punta Cana resort area.
  • Playa Blanca: hub of water sports, good food, and beachside relaxation. Try out kitesurfing or stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) lessons, or join in on a diving and snorkeling excursion nearby.

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