Most visitors to the Dominican Republic, not just Punta Cana, end up on the beaches of Cap Cana, Punta Cana, Cabeza de Toro, Bavaro, El Cortecito, Arena Gorda, Macao and Uvero Alto.

The beach is definitely the No. 1 attraction in the East Coast area, stretching an amazing 50 kilometers of white beautiful sands. But visitors to Punta Cana have also a plethora of excursions to choose from, with many tour companies offering similar packages: buggy rides, jeep safaris, monster trucks or helicopter rides for a privileged view, zip line adventure services, horseback riding, motocross/enduro/trail riding,mountain biking, diving, catamaran party boats, fishing yachts, snorkeling trips, speed boats and many more.

A dozen of companies offer these adventure tours that take the tourists to observe tropical wilderness, visit a countryside home where typical Dominican food lunch will be served, examine tropical crops, take a dip at a deserted beach or a swim in a cool river.

Clients traveling on a tour-company package tend to book excursions with the same company, or through the company affiliated with their resort. In Punta Cana most of the activities can be booked directly at the hotels tourdesk with the different tour-representatives. Tours like "Bavaro Splash/speedboats" for example are available at all tourdesks and by all sales-sites; rates should be the same, at least as long as the product is the same/original. Some activities like Punta Cana Mike's Dominican Adventure Tours or the Sports Fishing from the Cap Cana Marina otherwise can not be booked at the resorts, as they can only be booked with the Tour outfitters directly online and ahead of time.

It's important to make clear that a Tour Operator or a DMC (Destination Management Company) will in most cases (there are a few exceptions) not run the tour himself, he will just book you with the outfitter that runs the specific tour and that's why the many different Tour Operators have almost all the same tours in their program.

In my opinion for activities like the xtreme buggies, sports fishing, many safaris, many catamaran tours, there is no need to use a middlesman/tourcompany unless you want to go with big groups. Wherever a specific tour offers a website run by the owner/touroutfitter, then I would recommend to book online and ahead of time, as the owners themselves of course are the ones who offer the best services and rates on their direct bookings, with no middlesman/salesperson involved.

Example
Tour Name: Xtreme Buggies

Outfitter website: Xtreme-buggy.com
prices starting from 86$

Tour Company website: Caribbean Dreams
prices starting from 118$



Personally I prefere (and I recommend... ) booking the tour directly on the beach which is much cheaper then both hotel and online. Many activities and day trips from Punta Cana can be booked on the beach (at the nautical center or with the guys that come up to you on beach with there excursion pamphlets) and you can negotiate cheaper prices then what you would pay at the resort. For instance Saona Island online is around 105$, at the resort it is 85$ to 95$, I generally pay 55$ to 65$ on the beach. You have to admit is a big saving of money.

Once again keep in mind not all excursions can be booked on the beach like Mike Fishers fishing charters which needs to be booked well in advance, but the majority of the tours the resorts offer is also offered on the beach, like Saona, Manati Park, swimming with dolphins, dune buggies, etc. When you book on the beach usually you have to give a small deposit. They write up a receipt with your hotel info, date of trip, time to be at lobby for pickup, how many people, how much deposit, balanced owed. You then pay the rest to the driver when you get picked up.

For those interested in learning about the history and culture of the Dominican Republic there are different kinds of excursions, either half-day or full-day, offered by Bávaro Runners:

- Caribbean VIP Safari will take you to a school and learn about the Dominican educational program, a sugar cane field and factory, a typical rural house where you will taste delicious tropical fruits, roasted coffee and cacao and see how they live. You will visit the largest and most important cathedral in the country, Basílica de La Altagracia. You will go on a trip through Chavón River and taste typical Dominican food and visit the country's largest sugar cane plantation or the largest handmade cigar factory in the world.

- You can enjoy the Zip-Line Adventure, 16 platforms and 12 Zip Lines that will take you to explore the Taino´s secrets in the Anamuya Mountain. You will "fly" from one platform to another safely attached and swing through the air enjoying a perfect view of the mountain.

- Bávaro Runners offers you a full day all-inclusive guided mountain adventure where you will interact with the local people and see the way they live. You will visit a sugar cane field and factory, one of the sponsored schools and enjoy a 30 minute horseback riding through colourful villages. You can ride a wave in Macao Beach or simply relax enjoying a nice drink.

If you are interested in enjoying the flora and fauna of the country as well a beautiful countryside with spectacular views, Punta Cana Excursions have perfect options:

- Indigenous Eyes Ecological Reserve where you will find tropical plants and animals in their natural environment

- Manatí Park, an animal-themed park in a tropical jungle setting with many different animals, such as iguanas, toucans and monkeys, and shows for everyone to watch and enjoy. Here you will also have the opportunity to swim with dolphins.

In case you are looking for high-quality personalized services or special VIP offers, these are the most renowned DMC (destination management companies) that provide guided tours in Bavaro - Punta Cana

Caribbean Dreams
Amstar
Colonial Tours

Also have a look at the best activities to do in Punta Cana that travelers recommend on TripAdvisor

http://www.livingpuntacana.com
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