Credit

Courtesy of AtanasBozhikovNasko/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Punta Cana Area Map

Neighborhoods

Sitting on the easternmost tip of the island of Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana refers to a region that encompasses the beaches of Bávaro, Higüey, Macao and Uvero Alto, among others. Most spend their vacation in the Bávaro region, which is closest to the airport.

Cap Cana sits on the Dominican Republic's eastern shores and is an exclusive real estate and hotel development – home to luxury properties, such as Eden Roc at Cap Cana, Sanctuary Cap Cana and AlSol Tiara Cap Cana, among others. Sprawled across more than 6,000 acres, this area also shelters the ritzy Punta Espada golf course, along with its own marina, equestrian center and eco-park. With a stay here, you'll find little reason to leave Cap Cana's borders. You don't have to be a guest at one of its top-notch homes or hotels to access the community's attractions.

North of the Punta Cana Airport, Bávaro features the staggering all-inclusives and commercialism associated with the region. The town is also home to El Cortecito, a small fishing village, which contains gift shops, restaurants and plenty of watersports. Several amusement parks are located near the area to lure in vacationing families: Dolphin Discovery offers the chance to swim with dolphins and sea lions, while Manati Park showcases local species, such as iguanas and parrots. The wide shoreline of Arena Gorda is popular among tourists.

Sitting inland, west of Punta Cana's beaches, Higüey is only accessible via rental car or taxicab. Those who live nearby consider Higüey holy land, as the site of a vision of the Virgin Mary. The city's cathedral, the Basilica de Higüey Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia, is Higüey's main attraction, along with its two main open-air markets, the Mercado Publico de Higüey (Higüey Public Market) and Plaza Higüeyana, where you can peruse souvenirs, cigars, rum, larimar jewelry and more.

Just north of Bávaro along the coast is Macao, the region's newest resort hot spot. Travelers describe Macao as charming and provincial complete with pastures and ranches. Stunning beaches have inspired the gradual development and construction of new resort hotels. Macao is also a popular daytrip from some of the resorts farther south, since the beach is a little less crowded.

Farther north is Playa Uvero Alto, a small, secluded beach village complete with coconut groves and unique boutique hotels. A newer road leading from the Punta Cana Airport has made Playa Uvero Alto's beach strip and various accommodations more accessible to tourists. It's in this part of Punta Cana that you'll find some of the swankiest and best hotels, including Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana and Excellence Punta Cana.

Explore More of Punta Cana

Recommended

The 21 Most Beautiful Waterfalls to See Around the World

Discover which stunning falls offer once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences.

Kyle McCarthyApril 25, 2019

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019