When you hear the words “Dominican Republic,” the first things that come to mind may be the stunning beaches or relaxing at a resort. While these are a crucial part of any vacation in the Dominican Republic, visitors like you may want to spice up their trip by going off the beaten path. There are many things to do near Punta Cana for those who like to explore – ranging from watching whales in Samana Bay to zip-lining through tree canopies in the oriental mountain range!
All of these tours will pick you up from your hotel, so get out of the resort and try new things. If you like to test your limits, see beautiful sights, and have an amazing time, put on your hiking shoes and sign up for a real adventure.
If you are vacationing in Punta Cana, spend a day or two on one of these great tours that will create lasting memories. Let the tour guides do the work, and let yourself have fun! No matter what kind of traveler you are, there is something for you. Here is a hand-picked list of things to do near Punta Cana off the beaten path.
1) For Adventure Seekers: Zipline Canopy Adventure
If you like to get your blood pumping, head to northern Punta Cana for an adventure in the trees – a Zipline Canopy Adventure. Zip through the trees with 15 platforms and 8 cable lines. The longest cable line on this tour is more than 2,500 feet long – or over seven city blocks! This tour is led by experienced guides to ensure safety. Even if you are afraid of heights, you can enjoy the spectacular views of the treetops. This tour runs in the mornings and afternoons every day except Sunday.
2) For those who want to see the real DR: Super Truck Safari
Take your camera and board an off-road truck to see an insider’s look at the real Dominican Republic. This interactive tour, which operates daily, will bring you to see different parts of daily life in the Dominican Republic – all in one day! The tour goes from Punta Cana to Higuey, the capital city of the easternmost province of La Altagracia. The Safari truck will travel through sugar cane fields, a staple of the Dominican Republic countryside.
After a stop at the Basilica de Higuey, an iconic church, the truck will head towards the Cordillera Oriental Mountain Range, and on to two rural ranches. Visitors will learn about real Dominican products and can try some samples. Take a ride on horseback, a siesta (a nap) in a hammock, and feast on a delicious Dominican lunch buffet. Afterwards, the truck will bring the group to the Macao beach, so bring your bathing suit! For those who really want to experience the true Dominican Republic, this is the tour for you.
3) For Want-to-Be Equestrians: River Horseback Riding
If you love farms, being outside and trying new things, saddle up for one of these two Horseback tours. Both operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and will pick you up from your Punta Cana hotel. You do not need to know how to ride a horse – the guides will show you how! Both tours include a horseback ride through scenic rivers and fields, a ride on a two-line zip line course, and see the sights you rode through from up high! A Dominican meal is included, with fresh fruit and coffee grown and brewed at the ranch.
4) For future ranch hands: Horseback Cattle Drive
The River Horseback Riding tour can also include an extra special adventure. If you want to try your hand at cattle driving, choose the Horseback Cattle Drive tour. You will experience everything from the River Horseback Riding tour, but will have the chance to herd cattle the old fashioned way, by horseback! If you think you have what it takes, book this tour!
5) For Nature Enthusiasts: Whale Watching in Samana
If you want to experience the beautiful nature of the Dominican Republic, choose the Whale Watching tour. The tour operates daily and will take you in a private plane from Punta Cana to Samana’s Arroyo Barril Airport, then to the Samana Bay for a whale watching tour. Every year between January and March, hundreds of whales migrate to Samana Bay enjoy the clear, warm waters. See the whales roll, breach and flipper onboard a boat right in the middle of the action!
This unique sight is not one to miss. After seeing the whales, you will be whisked away to the Cayo Levantado island where you will be served a delicious lunch and can enjoy the beautiful beach paradise. Afterwards, the tour continues with a trek by foot or on horseback to the Salto del Limon Waterfall.
6) For Expeditioners: Samana Explorer by Plane
When it’s not whale watching season, opt for a tour of Samana by plane. This incredible tour starts in Punta Cana and has four excursions packed into one: Safari Truck exploration, Horseback Riding, Salto del Limon Waterfall, and Cayo Levantado.
The tour will bring you in a charter plane from Punta Cana to Samana’s Arroyo Barril Airport, on the eastern peninsula of the island. Hop in a safari truck to head into the mountains. Then, saddle up and ride on horseback to the majestic Salto del Limon waterfall, with cascades of 170 feet, and swim in the lagoon. Afterwards, the truck goes on towards Samana Bay for lunch on the beach or at the ranch. Then, the tour heads to Cayo Levantado, also known as Bacardi Island, for tropical drinks among palm trees and crystal blue waters.
What are your favorite things to do near Punta Cana? Tell us in the comments below.