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Paradisus Punta Cana
The main draw of this area is the beaches that border the caribbean sea and the Paradisus Punta Cana beach resorts. The white sand and the multi-shaded blue waters of the ocean create a lasting impression, impression that make you want to return or even plan your retirement in the majesty of the island.
The resorts line the beach coast but you still have access to the beach from outside roads and restaurants. With some exceptions, there are no restrictions on tourists walking along one hotel beach to another, although there are frequent patches of undeveloped land tracts between them. These beaches can be reached by taxi or commuter "guagua".
Dominican Republic Beach
Scuba Diving, sportsfishing, surfing, snorkeling are some of the many activities you can perform here.
|If you are spending a week at a Paradisus Punta Cana beach resort, consider getting your PADI license, which allows you to dive all around the world. |
The area boasts excellent sites for learning or developing your diving expertise.
Dive operations located at resort hotels take divers out to the shallow sites, and shipwrecks become distinct attractions.
Located on the Atlantic Coast, sea conditions are rougher, and for this reason, Bavaro is not your typical Caribbean diving site. Bavaro has large tall volcanic rock formations, on which a few hardy species of coral exist. Brain coral, stag-horn and elk-horn coral are more common. Sponges, on the other hand, can't thrive in the constant rush of water, and there is a smaller variety of fish.
There are a number of interesting wrecks to dive. The Astron is a 300-foot ship wrecked opposite the Riu hotel chain, on the north side of the East Coast hotel & beach strip. The site is very shallow, around 14 meters at its deepest. It is so close to the shore that tourists can canoe out to the site, and most of the hotels offer boat trips to the wreck. The ship was wrecked about 20 years ago, apparently in an attempted insurance fraud. The wreck was only semi-successful because half still protrudes out of the water. In order to really see all the Astron has to offer in a dive, conditions have to be very good, because the ship is right in the breaker zone. However,
the ship is well preserved and is home to some barracudas and other small fish.
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Scuba Diving Punta cana beach has many ship wrecks that house a great variety of sea species and make scuba diving a very pleasant activity. All of the Punta Cana Hotels offer Scuba Diving.
Another wreck, the Monica, offers an interesting look at the past. Wrecked around the turn of the century, the Monica was a wooden-hulled ship carrying equipment for a sugar plantation. It was caught in a storm, and subsequently sunk. The wooden hull has rotted away, and what remains are some interesting steel artefacts from the plantations; railway ties, the propeller and other machines.
Smaller reef fish live on the wreck, and barracudas can also be spotted. The Monica can be swum through, and provides an interesting experience for both beginners and advanced divers.
Because of its volcanic rock formations, Bavaro presents interesting opportunities for more technical diving. Swim-throughs and caves provide more challenging diving for the experienced and appropriately certified diver. There are a variety of caves, featuring stalagmites and stalactites, as well as cathedral ceilings and wide passages. Because these locations are protected from the rough Atlantic, the water is warm and clear, and in somer, there are opportunities to surface regularly.
Many of the dive operations offer cave-diving training in this area because of the varying degrees of complexity.
Batato is another interesting dive site with a maximum depth of around 12 meters, where large blocks of rock provide swim-throughs. A family of three manatees has been seen at the site, and can be observed by divers.
These large, underwater mammals have long bodies that taper to a paddleshaped tail. The average male is about three meters long, and weighs over 350 kilograms.
The closest land relative is the elephant, and these herbivores are slow-moving and spend much of their day feeding, resting and travelling. Manatees surface every three to five minutes for air. Their lifespan is comparable to that of humans, and their reproductive cycle is slow. Manatees should never be approached to avoid distressing them, but can be watched from a distance. They are social animals, and in the Batato site, can be observed 'wearing'
tens of nurse sharks, seemingly attached to their bodies, travelling with them wherever the manatees go.
SportsFishing With over seven months of billfish season every year, fishing off the Punta Cana shore on the East Coast of the Dominican Republic is regarded as one of the top five of the world's best billfish areas.
Likewise, Punta Cana is hardly matched by any other destination for its white marlin season when the dashing creatures of the ocean come close to the coast, just 2-10 nautical miles offshore and in big numbers. White marlin season is from March to July, blue marlin season is from July to September. The East Coast waters switch from somewhat rouge in summer to calm at the end of October, when smaller vessels are used to fish light tackle on dorados, wahoo, maybe sailfish or anything on the fly too.
The area's main tournament is the Blue Marlin Cabeza de Toro International, when around 30 yachts travel over from Puerto Rico for a weekend competition with Dominican sports fishermen. May, June, July, August and September are the best months for catching the marlins.
If you decide to keep the catch, several beach restaurants will serve it to you for dinner, for a fee.
To read more about the Punta Cana activities, go to the next page.
Punta Cana Golf
The odds are packed in the golfer's favor in Punta Cana, where it hardly rains, and when it does it is usually in the early evening. Being able to play all year round is one of the pluses that make the East Coast of the Dominican Republic one of the most popular golf destinations in the Caribbean. Seven 18-hole courses already invite golfers of varying abilities to playing a few rounds of golf at a “resort golf course,” or a championship golf course, pride and joy of its international designer.
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