Panorama of Punta Cana's Bavaro Beach; click to enlarge

Punta Cana is usually synonymous with the word “paradise.” And you really will find paradise once you see its beaches…but Punta Cana can also become synonymous with the word “commercialized.” That’s because the *entire* beachfront is owned by mega-resorts; nowhere will you ever find the kind of privacy and total “end of the world” solitude that we had at Playa Blanca in Cartagena, Colombia. So no matter where you go in Punta Cana, you’ll never really be alone.

Since we didn’t want to go for the all-inclusive resort on this trip, we hunkered down at Bavaro Beach, checking into Bavaro Hostel for $20 USD a night. It’s an extremely well run hostel (probably the only one in Punta Cana) and you’ll meet like-minded young travelers who eschewed the resort-life but still wanted a tan at one of the best beaches in the Caribbean.

We all went out to Alibabar last night to dance away at a great open-air nightclub and hookah lounge:



So if you want to come to Punta Cana and don’t want to spend exorbitant prices for an all-inclusive, you can still go on the cheap and get a great tan: by law the entire beachfront is public and is open to everyone, whether you’re an all-inclusive resort patron or independent couch-surfer. Being part of an all-inclusive simply gets you a free chair and towel to sit on whereas everyone else can get their beachside chair by eating at any of the beachside restaurants and then vegging out afterwards.


My fresh red snapper at a restaurant in El Cortecito


Nothing much else to say about Punta Cana. Just enjoy it.




- At time of posting in Punta Cana, it was 26 °C - Humidity: 78% | Wind Speed: 8km/hr | Cloud Cover: scattered clouds


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January 2013