The Best Day Trips from Cap Cana

Cap Cana, with its luxurious resorts and pristine beaches, is a destination in itself. However, its strategic location in the Dominican Republic makes it a perfect base for exploring the surrounding wonders. If you’re looking to venture beyond the confines of this tropical paradise, here are some of the best day trips to consider.

Saona Island: A Slice of Heaven

Just off the southeastern coast of the Dominican Republic lies Saona Island, a part of the East National Park. This island is renowned for its untouched beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life. A boat trip to Saona is often accompanied by a chance to spot dolphins or even the endangered manatee. Once on the island, you can relax on the beach, snorkel in the shallow waters, or enjoy a traditional Dominican lunch.

Santo Domingo: Dive into History

The capital city of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, is a stark contrast to the laid-back vibes of Cap Cana. As the oldest European settlement in the Americas, the city is steeped in history. The Colonial Zone, a UNESCO World Heritage site, boasts cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and museums. Highlights include the Alcázar de Colón, the Cathedral of Santa María la Menor, and the Fortaleza Ozama.

Hoyo Azul: Nature’s Hidden Gem

A short drive from Cap Cana, Hoyo Azul is a natural sinkhole filled with clear blue water. Surrounded by lush forests, this cenote is a refreshing escape from the beach. Guided tours often include a nature walk, where you can learn about the local flora and fauna. Once at the cenote, you can take a dip in the cool waters and enjoy the serene ambiance.

Altos de Chavón: A Mediterranean Village

Perched above the Chavón River, Altos de Chavón is a replica of a 16th-century Mediterranean village. Designed by Dominican architect José Antonio Caro and Italian designer Roberto Coppa, this cultural center is home to cobbled pathways, artisan workshops, and an amphitheater. The village also offers panoramic views of the river and the Caribbean Sea.

Macao Beach: Surf’s Up!

For those looking to ride the waves, Macao Beach is the place to be. Located north of Cap Cana, this public beach is a favorite among surfers. With consistent waves and sandy shores, it’s ideal for both beginners and seasoned surfers. Surf schools dot the beach, offering lessons and board rentals. After a session in the water, you can savor some fresh seafood at the local beach shacks.

Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park: Nature’s Playground

This private reserve, managed by the Punta Cana Ecological Foundation, is a haven for nature lovers. The park is named after the series of freshwater lagoons, referred to as ‘eyes’ by the indigenous Taino people. Guided tours offer insights into the diverse ecosystems, from tropical forests to coastal mangroves. The park is also home to various bird species, making it a hotspot for birdwatching.

Tips for Day Trippers

  • Plan Ahead: While some destinations are close by, others might require a few hours of travel. It’s best to plan your day trip in advance.
  • Stay Hydrated: The Dominican sun can be intense. Carry water and wear sunscreen.
  • Local Guides: Consider hiring a local guide, especially for nature excursions. Their knowledge can enhance your experience.
  • Respect Local Norms: Whether it’s a historical site or a nature reserve, always respect local guidelines and norms.


While Cap Cana is a destination that offers plenty in terms of relaxation and luxury, the surrounding regions of the Dominican Republic promise adventure, history, and natural beauty. These day trips from Cap Cana ensure that you get a holistic experience of what this Caribbean nation has to offer. So, put on your explorer’s hat and set out to discover the treasures that await beyond Cap Cana.

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