Located in the easternmost tip of the Dominican
Republic and in the province of La Altagracia, Punta Cana is an extremely
popular Caribbean destination. Home to
1,100 acres of white-sand beaches, Punta Cana's history is similar to that of
the entire island. Long before the
arrival of Christopher Columbus, Punta Cana and much of the island was
inhabited by the indigenous Taino Indians.
Recent evidence shows early settlers even came from South America,
dating back to 230 BC. Taino's were
initially friendly towards the Spanish, and later reacted violently toward the
intolerance and abuse of their invaders.
The region was governed by the Cayacoa cacique, which fought the Spanish
and died in one of the first battles between the Tainos and the Spanish. Discovered accidentally in 1969 when an
American man, living in Puerto Rico, flew over the breathtaking sight of white
sand beaches on this coastal town. After
the discovery, foreign investors arrived to turn Punta Cana into a tourist
development. Surrounded by hundreds of
coconut palms and overlooking a beautiful coral reef, its investors took on the
concept of "ecoresort", so as not to deteriorate the natural
ecosystem. The Melia chain of hotels won
the prize of the Ibero-American University of Santo Domingo as the first
ecological hotel of the Caribe in 1999.
One of the fastest-growing areas for tourism, Punta Cana is a favorite
destination for children and adults alike.
Punta Cana is home to various luxury resorts, nestled on pale beaches, amongst beautiful flora and fauna and blue sapphire waters. Considered a paradise for many golf lovers, Punta Cana offers many world-class golf courses famed for their natural beauty. The Bavaro Golf Course is host to many important international and national matches, along with Punta Cana Golf Club and White Sand Golf. For an unforgettable golfing experience, visit the Cocotal Golf Club, a 72 par golf course designed by famous Spanish architect Jose "Pepe" Gancedo-- who designed the course around the natural characteristics of the grounds. Punta Cana is also a very popular destination for ecotourists, who take advantage of the magnificent mainland. A great adventure for both casual and experienced riders, horseback riding is very popular, with lush, exotic forests to investigate. Visit the National Park of the East, and see the protected flora and fauna of the region, and catch a glimpse of manatees, dolphins and other animals within the park (which stretches to the neighboring island of Saona). Saona Island is a picturesque vision of untouched beauty, with secluded beaches on which to enjoy the tropical sun. With diving sites for all levels of expertise, diving has become a very active aquatic sport in Punta Cana. There is also the opportunity to go sailing, windsurfing, and deep-sea fishing. From swimming with dolphins, to exploring the rainbow-hued fish of Punta Cana's coral reefs, this tropical destination is a multi-faceted tourism destination and won't fail to amaze you.