Where to stay in Punta Cana 2023?
Although you might think that it does not matter where to stay when you are in such a tropical paradise as Punta Cana. However, even here we recommend considering places for stay in advance and choosing the option most convenient for you. Our short review of the best places to stay in Punta Cana will help you make the right choice.
Let us first clarify the definitions. When speaking about vacations in Punta Cana, we actually mean the areas of Bavaro, Punta Cana and Cap Cana. Here is the difference between them:
- Bavaro is the centric place of the touristic area of Punta Cana. It features most all-inclusive hotels for any budget, many apartments from cheap to expensive, hostels, villas in closed residential complexes and many more. It is also where the main touristic infrastructure is found. Cafes, clubs, restaurants, bars, beauty salons are also centered here – a great selection to choose from.
- Punta Cana is actually a closed residential complex more suitable for long-term rentals. The apartments and villas here are significantly more expensive than in Bavaro. However, those who need privacy and tranquility will feel like at home here.
- Cap Cana is an exclusive, luxurious residential complex located far from the centric touristic infrastructure, however featuring all that the most demanding tourists look for. It boasts a picturesque coast, one of the best beaches in the world – Juanillo beach, upper-class apartments and villas. Absolute privacy and security are guaranteed.
Punta Cana prices for apartments, villas, all-inclusive hotels. Comparative price analysis 2023
|Lodging type||Bavaro||Punta Cana||Cap Cana|
|Apartment||A large choice from the cheapest studios (from USD35/night) to exclusive penthouses (USD 250-600/night). A wide selection of long- and short-term apartments. Check Los Corales area for the best short-term apartments and penthouses right on the beach!||Not so many apartments. No cheap and almost no short-term options. Most apartments are rented for a long term and the prices start from USD600/month if rented for a year.||Most apartments are rented for a long term, but short-term options are also available, although much more expensive than in Bavaro (prices start from approximately USD 300-400/night).|
|Villa||Most villas are located in secure gated communities, where privacy and tranquility are guaranteed by 24/7 security service. Check Cocotal residential complex for the best options: Cocotal 435, Cocotal 354, Villa Cueva||Villas are found in Punta Cana Village, a gated secure residential complex, however, the price is much higher than in Bavaro. They are also far from touristic infrastructure, such as stores, pharmacies, shops. You will definitely need a car to be able to move around.||It is your destination point if you are looking for luxurious unique villas, no matter the price. Enormous, spacious, private, charming… Here they are! Ready to pay from USD 800-1200/night? Check Cap Cana rental options.|
|All-inclusive hotel||The area of Bavaro features many all-inclusive resorts: from modest to luxurious ones. There are also thematic hotels, for example, adults-only (Barceló Adults Only, for example) or resorts for kids (such as Nickelodeon).||Punta Cana boasts a quiet private atmosphere and, therefore, does not offer a variety of noisy all-inclusive facilities. But Westin is a good option for those looking for an impeccable white-sand beach.||Cap Cana is a residential community of people who prefer quietness and tranquility and do not want to be bothered by crowds of curious tourists. That is why it is not a place of all-inclusive resorts. However, you still can get such a service at adults-only Sanctuary Cap Cana resort.|
So, where to stay in Punta Cana? If you are looking for much fun, location in the center of touristic infrastructure, and ability to access all the facilities without a car, opt for Bavaro area, especially Los Corales. Here you can find lodging for any budget. If you need more privacy and plan to rent a car, consider Punta Cana Village. If you are searching a private and luxurious getaway, have a car and can allow spending quite a sum on vacation rentals, opt for Cap Cana area.
How to find best places to stay in Punta Cana?
Once you have chosen the area where to stay, here comes the most difficult question – where to look for vacation rentals? Real estate agents? Websites? Friends’ advice? Let us see what is the most effective means of finding the lodging in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic.
Starting with traditional real-estate agencies’ services, here we should have in mind their usually high commission rates. Moreover, there may be challenges in communication when you are looking for vacation rentals from far away. Not all agents are ready to tell you all pros and cons being sincere and honest about the properties you are asking about. There is actually no way to verify the information provided by them via email. If you rely on real-estate agencies in your search, look for well-known and recommended agents with impeccable rating.
If you already have friends living in the destination area, you are the lucky one! You may ask them to walk around the touristic area in search for available vacation rentals and show you pictures or videos of apartments or villas as they are.
Finally, if you do not have reliable people in the destination area who could help you find the lodging in advance, welcome to vacation rentals platforms and websites. Here you face a new challenge: there are many of them, indeed. Which one to choose? Here is our comparative chart of some popular vacation rental websites:
Popular vacation rental websites. Comparative chart 2023
|Website||User experience||Choice of properties||Price formation policy||Cancellation policy|
|Airbnb||Easy and intuitive||Large: from cheap to expensive apartments and villas. No all-inclusive resorts||Property owners set the prices, Airbnb charges their commission fee clearly established on the platform||Set by the property owners and may be strict, moderate or flexible.|
|Booking||Easy and intuitive||Large: from cheap to expensive apartments and villas. Also offers all-inclusive resorts||Property owners set the prices, Booking service fee is included in the price as appears on the website||Set by the property owners but usually no fees are applied for no show.|
|Homeaway||May cause some confusion among new users||Large: from cheap to expensive apartments and villas. No all-inclusive resorts||Property owners set the prices, HomeAway charges their commission fee established on the platform||Set by the property owners and may be strict, moderate or flexible.|
|Everything PuntaCana||Easy and intuitive||Large, but limited only to the area of Punta Cana, Cap Cana and Bavaro||Final vacation rental price without any hidden fees is stated on the website. Any extra charges (such as electricity, cleaning fee or security deposit) are clearly specified in the description of the property||Set by Everything Punta Cana and may be strict, moderate or flexible.|
What is important when book apartments online?
Once you have chosen the property on one of vacation rental websites, pay attention to the following before completing your reservation:
- Precise location of the lodging: That seems quite clear, however, our experience shows that many tourists coming to the Dominican Republic do not know the difference between Punta Cana, Bavaro and Cap Cana. All these areas are often called just Punta Cana, given that all of them are in proximity to Punta Cana International Airport. However, one should understand that most all-inclusive resorts are located in Bavaro that is approximately 20-30 minutes from the airport, while Punta Cana village is right near the airport and features mainly apartments and villas rented for a long term. The exclusive area of Cap Cana is located 15 minutes from the airport and 30 minutes from Bavaro, and boasts exclusive vacation rentals at high price.
- Hidden fees: Read the description of the lodging carefully and make sure you are aware of all extra fees, such as charges for electricity, water, cleaning, and security deposit.
- Cancellation policy: Imagine you have to cancel your reservation right before the check-in date. Are you sure you will be compensated? If the cancellation policy is strict, you will hardly get any compensation. Pay attention to cancellation policy before completing any reservation.
- Touristic infrastructure: Read the description of the area where the property is located. Make sure grocery stores and cafes are in a short walking distance from the place you want to book. Take into account that in the Dominican Republic it is better to have your own vehicle to get to distant places. Taxi is quite expensive, moto-taxi is not safe, and walking is not always easy (unless there is an opportunity to walk along the beach). It is better to book lodging near the touristic infrastructure, for example, in Los Corales.
- Proximity to the beach: Just as in the case with touristic infrastructure, make sure your apartment or villa is close to the beach (otherwise, do not forget to rent a car). No doubt, you are travelling to Punta Cana to enjoy its top-class beaches. Investigate where you would like to bask in the sun. In Cap Cana, look for properties close to Juanillo Beach. If you are in Punta Cana, consider Tortuga Bay and Playa Blanca Beach. In Bavaro, opt for Los Corales Beach without any doubt.
- Security: Make sure the area you opted for is secure for your vacation stay. Despite recent doubts on Dominican security raised in the news, we can guarantee that Punta Cana is one of the most secure touristic destinations in the world. It deserves to be called one of the safest destinations in the Caribbean (source: usnews.com). However, rely on your common sense of security and try to choose accommodation in secure gated communities with 24/7 surveillance. You can feel completely secure in Cap Cana, Punta Cana Village or Cocotal and Los Corales communities of Bavaro.
What is better: all-inclusive resort or private apartment? Comparative analysis
Finally, why should I book some private apartment if there is a large choice of all-inclusive packages in world-famous resorts of Punta Cana? You are right: Punta Cana boasts high-quality all-inclusive resorts, nevertheless, private apartments are always in demand among travelers. While hotels are half-empty during the low season, private apartments are always booked. Here we explain why:
|Location||All of them are located right on the beach||Most apartments in demand are also located right on the beach|
|Price||Prices start from US$150/night for standard room in the low season and grow up to US$400-600/night in the high season. The price includes accommodation, meals and most hotel facilities. Excursions are not included in the price.||Prices start from US$69/night for studios on the beach in the low season. For US$200-300/night you can book a private penthouse or a large beach-view apartment for up to 10 guests. Food is not included.|
|Security||You can feel absolutely secure on the territory of most all-inclusive resorts.||You can feel absolutely secure on the territory of all gated communities, such as Punta Cana Village, Cap Cana, Cocotal or Los Corales.|
|Beach||The quality of the beach and the facilities installed vary from hotel to hotel, but all of them meet general standards of quality.||The apartments are located on private beaches with the same facilities as on the territory of all-inclusive resorts. No difference at all.|
|Local experience||Unfortunately, when staying at an all-inclusive resort, you have it all except for… local experience! Food, service, entertainment are superb, but have absolutely no local feeling.||If you want to try authentic Dominican food, dance to local music and go on the excursions that will let you discover the Dominican Republic, do not hesitate to book a private apartment from a reliable host who will introduce you to local culture.|
|Food||Resorts offer a large variety of international food, however, not so many original local exquisites.||For local exquisites, you can try different food in a new restaurant or café every new day of your stay. Book your apartment in the center of touristic infrastructure and do not worry about a wide choice of tasty food around you.|
Conclusion: You never know until you try it!
So, you still cannot answer the question: where to stay in Punta Cana? Punta Cana has it all: budget-friendly studios, spacious and economic apartments, modern and unique penthouses, all-inclusive resorts and hotels… How to choose the place ideal for your vacation? You never know until you try it!
Undoubtedly, tastes differ, and some people opt for all-inclusive resorts, while others prefer private apartments. Anyway, you can be sure that the area of Punta Cana offers both options of the same good quality and at a very competitive price. We hope that our review helps you make the right decision and book your best Caribbean vacation in the unique place designed especially for you, that will meet all your needs and will make you feel like in paradise.
Do not hesitate to book your unique vacation in Punta Cana! You will surely want to come back, and we will help you choose a new place to stay at so that each visit to this marvelous touristic area be unforgettable!
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