Where to Stay in Punta Cana – 3 BEST AREAS + Hotels

Serene tropical beach scene in Punta Cana with a yellow boat moored in crystal-clear turquoise water, surrounded by palm trees and a clear blue sky.

Howdy traveler! I’m so happy to see you here, as I’ve prepared this ultra-easy read for you today about where to stay in Punta Cana to make the most out of your trip!

I’ve compared ALL the best areas and hotels and have neatly organized them according to travel interest and budget, so you can just book your favorite place and start packing!

Bavaro in Punta Cana is the best area to stay for first-timers, as it’s the most touristy area where most of the resorts are situated!

But I’ve also got you covered with 3 tourist friendly areas in total and plenty of hotels across the region, so stay tuned!
Just please make sure to book your hotel ASAP so you can get the best deal!

Quick Picks for Your Stay

These Punta Cana hotels are up for grabs:


Watch my video, it will give you a visual explanation of all the areas:


Here’s a map showing Punta Cana’s best neighborhoods and towns. This should help you visualize your future stay there!

A colorful map highlighting the best areas to stay in Punta Cana, with numbered locations and labels for easy navigation
  1. Bavaro : for first-timers
  2. Cap Cana : for solitude
  3. El Cortecito : for budget travelers

1. Bavaro – where to stay in Punta Cana for the first time

Aerial view of Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana, featuring crystal clear turquoise waters, colorful sailboats, a wooden pier, and a line of palm trees against a sunny sky.

If it’s your first time ever visiting Punta Cana, then Bavaro (in the Playa Bibijagua resort area) is the perfect place to stay. With over 80% of Punta Cana’s hotel options in it, Bavaro is an area that suits all types of travelers and their budgets. 

Just a 15-minute drive from Punta Cana International Airport, Bavaro is where the Caribbean Sea converges with the Atlantic Ocean, creating breathtaking sea views and jaw-dropping sunsets.

In Bávaro, you will be able to enjoy a plethora of beach resorts that offer their own set of activities to do and sights to see. You’ll also be overwhelmed with the abundance of restaurants and bars, and of course, resorts that even have a kids club – it literally has something for everyone! 

Since it is so diverse, I will be breaking down the area of Bavaro into the best places to stay for different types of visitors below.

For those looking for all-inclusive accommodations, you won’t have to worry since there are a lot of them here! For those with kids, Bavaro is also a fantastic place to stay in because of its notable water parks (like the Pirates Island) and beaches. 

Adults seeking some private time will also find Bavaro an excellent place to stay due to its large selection of adult-only accommodation options. 

1.1 All Inclusive Resorts In Bavaro

Overhead view of the Majestic Colonial resort in Punta Cana, highlighting its sprawling swimming pools, red-tiled roofs, and lush palm tree landscaping, with the ocean in the backdrop.

Looking for a totally stress-free holiday paradise? Look no further than these incredible all-inclusive resorts. 

Punta Cana has a huge range of accommodations, and with each of these choices, you can expect everything to be taken care of for you, leaving you with only the responsibility to relax. With countless on-site bars, restaurants, a pool, and other activities, there’s really no reason to leave the gates of some of these nicest resorts in Punta Cana! 

Do note that the prices for all-inclusive deals in Bavaro are pretty high compared to regular budget stays, so there’s really no such thing as a “budget” all-inclusive. Below, I just sorted the available options from the highest to lowest price.

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Punta Cana: An elegant bedroom with a decorative headboard and plush bedding, an aerial view of a sprawling resort with lush palm trees and swimming pools, and a relaxing poolside lounge with wooden sunbeds on neatly trimmed grass.

5-star all-inclusive beach resort with suites overlooking Bavaro’s wonderful beaches and ocean. It has outdoor pools, hot tubs, sports courts, a spa, 7 exquisite restaurants, 11 bars (still wondering where to stay in Punta Cana for nightlife?), 24-hour room service, and many more exclusive facilities.

Other all-inclusive accommodation options in Bavaro

mid-range
Idyllic resort swimming pool surrounded by palm trees under a sunny sky, reflecting the essence of a tropical getaway.

Contemporary villas with 2 km of private beach and access to a spa, golf course, water park, and casino

budget
Elegantly decorated bedroom with a large bed and teal accent wall featuring a decorative shell pattern at Caribe Deluxe Princess.

An all-inclusive with 8 restaurants, a gym, 3 swimming pools, and a beautiful interior

airbnb
Modern living room with patterned blue cushions on a gray sofa, overlooking a pool area through large windows

A lovely apartment inside the Bavaro White Sands Resort with access to Arena Gorda Beach

1.2 Family-friendly accommodation in Bavaro

Aerial view of a resort beach with thatched umbrellas and a clear demarcation between the calm turquoise sea and the sandy shore.

For those who will travel with their kids, there are some fantastic family-friendly places to stay in Bávaro. 

Alongside the kids club, activities, and playgrounds that you will find in these hotels, Bavaro also has beaches, water parks, and a lot of other kid-friendly places for your whole family to enjoy. 

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Punta Cana: An expansive, colorful water park with slides and playful structures for children, a chic restaurant with ocean views and stylish blue and white decor, and a modern, serene hotel room with a large bed and tasteful wall art, offering a view of the balcony and beyond.

5-star resort hotel with family-friendly facilities such as a kids’ club, a kids’ playground, billiards, table tennis, and darts! The resort provides its guests with a fitness center, free parking, and dining options with a multilingual staff. The rooms come with a terrace overlooking the sea or the beautiful resort garden.

Other family accommodation options in Bavaro

mid-range
Water park area with colorful slides and a pirate-themed play structure at Princess Family Club Bavaro, under a clear blue sky.

An all-inclusive with 2 swimming pools, 10 on-site restaurants, a spa, and spacious Family Suites

budget
Cozy and well-lit hotel room with a queen-sized bed, green curtains, and a wicker chair, offering a homely tropical atmosphere.

Wallet-friendly hotel with children’s playgrounds, babysitting services, and a swimming pool; technically not all-inclusive, but they have a nice garden restaurant

airbnb
Modern and bright living space with a grey sofa, white dining set, and pops of color from cushions and decor, reflecting a clean, contemporary vacation home.

Private Airbnb with 24-hour security, spacious rooms, and located 10 m from a private beach

1.3 Adults-only accommodation in Bavaro

White sandy beach lined with tall palm trees and thatched umbrellas, with a clear blue sky overhead, capturing the quintessential tropical paradise.

For those of you looking for a romantic getaway or heading to Punta Cana for your honeymoon, these are the top adults-only accommodation choices in Bavaro. 

Enjoy some peace and privacy by knowing that kids aren’t allowed into these resorts and hotels, and get ready to party whilst enjoying the bars and casinos of Bavaro. 

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Punta Cana: A picturesque wedding gazebo by the beach, a luxurious beachfront lounge area with modern furnishings, and a spacious bedroom with minimalist decor and a tropical view.

All-inclusive, adults-only hotel with 6 swimming pools, 2 outdoor hot tubs, and spa treatments. Not only does this resort have incredible suites with private balconies, hot tubs, air conditioning, and flat-screen cable TV. It also has an indoor theatre, an on-site casino, and water sports! Every aspect of this beautiful adults-only hotel screams luxury. One of the best places to stay in Punta Cana for adults for sure!

Other adult-only accommodation options in Bavaro

mid-range
Spacious hotel room with a large bed, blue accents, and a balcony overlooking lush palm trees, epitomizing a luxurious tropical resort experience.

Beachfront, adults-only resort with 24-hour casino, palm tree-lined pool, spa, theatre, and a great view

budget
Aerial view of Catalonia Royal Bavaro resort with swimming pools surrounded by palm trees and beachside cabanas.

The lowest price you can get for 3 people, with 6 on-site restaurants, a spa, an outdoor pool, and more

airbnb
Cozy apartment living area with minimalist decor, a gray sofa, and pastel blue armchairs.

Private suite with peaceful vibes, spacious modern rooms, and access to a community pool

Things to do in Bavaro

  • Relax on the beaches of Bavaro 
  • Explore the vast underwater wildlife of Bavaro with a scuba diving or snorkeling tour
  • Meet adorable monkeys and experience a zipline adventure
  • Test out your putt at Cocotal Golf Course
  • Go on a buggy ride and cave adventure to discover Bavaro’s secrets
  • Slide around with your kids at the nearby Splash Water Park 
  • Go diving with Dolphins (you might even get a hug!), this is a good tour

2. Cap Cana – where to stay in Punta Cana for solitude

Overwater bungalow with a thatched roof extending over the serene turquoise sea, connected by a wooden jetty.

If staying amongst large amounts of resorts and hotels doesn’t sound like you, then a few nights at Cap Cana may satisfy your needs. Cap Cana is a small resort village just 15 minutes from the airport or a 25-minute drive south of Bavaro. 

The area is known for fewer crowds and beautiful beaches. It’s one of the safest places to stay in Punta Cana and one of the best places to stay in Punta Cana for young adults.

Cap Cana is still populated with unique bars, fine dining restaurants, lounges, and shops, but it is also home to some of Punta Cana’s best natural wonders, like caves, coral reefs, and natural sinkholes.

Here, you’ll find the tourist-favorite Indigenous Eyes Ecological Reserve (1,500-acre natural reserve) and Juanillo Beach, one of Punta Cana’s most popular beaches.

What sets Cap Cana apart from Bavaro is its unparalleled privacy; you can really have a quiet stay here away from the hustle and bustle of tourist crowds. You’ll also be delighted to know that there are options for every budget in Cap Cana, although other than a few resorts, most accommodation options are VRBO and Airbnb vacation rentals. 

Here is the list of perfect places for every budget:

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Punta Cana: A welcoming hotel lobby with ornate designs and comfortable seating, a cozy bedroom with floral bedding and ocean views, and an exclusive pool area flanked by palm trees and oceanfront.

5-star resort hotel that is populated with outdoor swimming pools and palm trees. Its suites embrace a minimalist theme paired with a spacious living room where you can lay back and watch a flat-screen TV. Further complemented with restaurants and bars, including rooms with private balconies that overlook the whole resort hotel, this is one of the best hotels and resorts in Punta Cana.

Other accommodation options in Cap Cana

mid-range
Inviting balcony seating with a view of tropical landscaping at Marina Beach Studio.

Private apartment that’s great value for money for its spacious rooms, a swimming pool lounge, and excellent location

budget
Hotel bedroom with a white bedspread, wooden headboard, and decorative pillows with a starfish and swan towel art.

Private Airbnb with a terrace that overlooks Cap Cana’s beaches and rooms that are tidy and modern

airbnb
Private villa with a shaded patio area and sun loungers on a lush lawn, showcasing a serene holiday retreat.

Chic Airbnb with white decor, dining table, tidy linens, free wifi, and small garden

Things to do in Cap Cana

  • Take a dip in the gorgeous Hoyo Azul sinkhole
  • Go on an adventure at Scape Park
  • Have a relaxing time experiencing deep-sea fishing in Cap Cana’s turquoise waters
  • Visit the nearby Indigenous Eyes Ecological Reserve
  • Relax on Juanillo beach
  • Play a game or two at Punta Espada Golf Club
  • Try out snorkeling or scuba diving with a guide

3. El Cortecito – finest Punta Cana area for budget travelers

Beachfront scene with visitors walking by colorful tropical storefronts under coconut palms on a sandy beach.

Now we know that there are a lot of luxury options in Punta Cana, it’s time to tackle the other end of the spectrum. 

Thankfully, if you wonder where to stay in the Dominican Republic on a budget, El Cortecito can deliver! This budget-oriented village doesn’t cheap out on the things to do and sights to see, though! 

El Cortecito is just a 6-minute drive from the center of Bavaro, so you are still close enough to access all its attractions; plus, it has its own beautiful beaches. You’ll also have the Los Corales area nearby, with plenty of nice restaurants and a beach.

The atmosphere here isn’t that much different from Bavaro, as it is also filled with colorful wooden buildings, turquoise waters, and people who just want to enjoy a relaxing summertime at the beach. 

It’s the best area to get better value for your money if you are looking for a little bit of glam and glimmer without planning on spending too much.

PRO TIP: Uvero Alto, Arena Gorda, and Cabezo de Toro are 3 more areas in Punta Cana that have affordable pricing. You can check them out to see if any resorts here are according to your taste!

Luxury hotel
Collage of Costa Atlantica Beach Condo: Top left shows a spacious lobby with modern decor and ocean views; top right features a cozy bedroom with floral bedding and a view to the balcony; bottom images display the exterior of the resort with a long, inviting pool lined with palm trees and loungers, and the beachfront setting with clear skies

Luxury apartment with a budget price tag. Has a spacious lounge room with a dining table where couples can relax and have a romantic time. It is also equipped with large sofas where you can take advantage of the flat-screen TV, has modern decor, and balconies with a majestic view of El Cortecito’s garden and beach.

Other accommodation options in El Cortecito

mid-range
Rooftop infinity pool with sun loungers overlooking a coastal resort area at GRAND CARIBE BEACH CLUB and SPA.

Fantastic prices for 4 people, a resort with 5 stars, 9 restaurants, and free parking

budget
Rustic outdoor lounge area with wooden furniture and hammocks at Hostel Eco Punta Cana, set against a twilight sky.

A lovely hostel with mixed, male, and female dormitory rooms and plenty of common spaces to hang

airbnb
Minimalistic and neat bedroom with a large bed, air conditioning, and a view into the bathroom, reflecting a modern tropical stay.

Budget Airbnb offers air-conditioned rooms with clean beds, colorful decor, and a private terrace

Things to do in El Cortecito

  • Take a stroll down El Cortecito’s beachfront shops, restaurants, and bars
  • Splash around the sandy Playa Publica Beach 
  • Explore its neighboring town, Bavaro, to see more of Punta Cana’s wonders
  • Try the Punta Cana Escape Room
👑 Luxury price:$350
💵 Mid-range hotel:$180
🛏️ Budget:$80
📍 Best area:Bavaro
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:Majestic Colonial
🧳 Best mid-range hotel:Barcelo Bavaro Palace
👛 Best budget hotel:Riviera Punta Cana

FAQs about lodging in Punta Cana

Quaint yellow beachfront building with palm trees and a clear path leading to the vibrant blue sea.

🏡 What is the best area to stay in Punta Cana?

Bavaro is the best zone to stay in Punta Cana because of its variety of accommodations, resorts, bars, restaurants, and overall tropical vibe to it. It’s also Punta Cana’s most visited tourist spot and just a 15-minute drive away from the airport.

🏘️ What is the best area to stay in the Dominican Republic?

Punta Cana is the overall best area to stay in the Dominican Republic due to its huge range of offerings, including exclusive high-end resorts, all-inclusive hotels, awe-inspiring attractions, and paradisiacal beaches. 

✨ Is it safe to stay in Punta Cana?

Yes! Punta Cana is a safe area to stay in because it’s a popular spot amongst tourists like you and is populated with a modest amount of friendly locals who will warmly welcome you. Plus, its coral reef acts as a natural barrier to sharks, making its waters good for swimming too.

⛱️ Which all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana has the best beach?

The Majestic Colonial and Hard Rock Hotel have some of the best beaches in all of the all-inclusive east Punta Cana resorts. Another incredible option is the Paradisus Punta Cana Resort, but suites here are often fully booked, so I advise keeping tabs on it. 

📅 How long should you stay in Punta Cana?

The ideal duration for a Punta Cana trip is 5 to 7 days, allowing you to explore the beautiful beaches, enjoy excursions, and relax.

❓ What is the difference between Punta Cana and Bavaro?

Bavaro is the area inside Punta Cana. In Bavaro, you’ll find Punta Cana’s longest beach.

✅ What is the good side of Punta Cana?

Everything from beautiful white-sand beaches, warm waters, high-end resorts, and water activities is great about Punta Cana.

🏖️ What is the nicest beach in Punta Cana?

Bavaro is the clearest and nicest beach in Punta Cana! It’s a tourist favorite, has coco palms all along, and it’s 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) long!

Conclusion

Silhouetted figures on a beach at sunset, with waves lapping the shore and a darkening sky, creating a tranquil end-of-day scene.

Hooray! You’ve reached the end of my Where to Stay in Punta Cana guide! Thanks for reading all the way through! Now it’s time to take a nap in one of these gorgeous suites and relax on the beach! 

Here are two of my favorite hotels in Punta Cana if you haven’t chosen yours already: 

  • Majestic Colonial – 5-star all-inclusive resort hotel with all the luxuries you need and incredible suites
  • Barceló Bávaro Palace – another 5-star all-inclusive hotel that offers mid-range prices

If you want to taste more of the Caribbean and the tropical side of a vacation, then check out our articles on the best Airbnbs in Puerto Rico and Nassau!

Just don’t forget to book your hotel ASAP since all of the accommodations I mentioned earlier are being filled up quickly!

If you have any suggestions, thoughts, or feedback, please share them with me. I love reading your comments! 

Stay safe and have a fun vacation, 

Darija


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