Source: Caribbean Journal
Cap Cana, the Dominican Republic’s luxury destination zone in Punta Cana, may be home to some of the most high-end resorts in the country, but a trip there is not complete without doing these outside-of-the-hotel activities.
During a visit to the Palladium Group’s TRS Cap Cana Hotel, Caribbean Journal recently toured the destination and came away with a handful of Cap Cana offerings that could easily be the highlights of a Dominican Republic vacation.
Here they are.
Scape Park – Scape Park is easily the most popular activity at Cap Cana, especially amongst families with teenagers, said Napoleón Luzardo Gonzalez, food and beverage director at TRS Cap Cana Hotel who showed us the best of the area.
The park includes zip-lining on a cliff, exploring ancient caverns, swimming in underground caves, and jumping from water zip lines.
Also, guests here have the option at an additional cost to cruise and snorkel in tropical waters.
Guests can grab the wheel of Can-Am 4×4 off-road buggies and ride through Scape Park’s dirt trails, puddles, and muddy terrain. Obviously, guests here should bring a change of clothes if they plan on dining before they go back to the hotel since they are bound to get absolutely filthy from this adventure.
Other activities at Scape Park include the Cultural Route and the Cave Swim. The Cultural Route features a journey where guests will be able to see replicas of the homes of the ancient Taino Indians and other cultural structures.
The Cave Swim offers guests an opportunity to dive into an underground spring and swim in the same waters previously used by the ancient natives for sacred rituals.
With a TRS Cap Cana bracelet, guests receive a 20 percent discount at the Scape Park, said Gonzalez.
Punta Espada Golf Club
Golf enthusiasts staying at any Cap Cana hotel will be treated to one of the best Jack Nicklaus-designed courses in the Caribbean.
In fact, Punta Espada, a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, which opened in 2006, has been ranked by Golfweek Magazine as the number one golf course in the Caribbean and Mexico for eight consecutive years.
It is a par-72 course that features eight holes that play along and over the sea. In fact, from all of Punta Espada, golfers are treated to views of the Caribbean Sea.
Los Establos (stables) Cap Cana
For those looking for something a bit unorthodox for the Dominican Republic, check out the horse stables at Los Establos Cap Cana.
The first project of its type in the Dominican Republic, Los Establos invites Cap Cana visitors to either observe the beautiful horses, watch others ride them in obstacles courses, or hop on and go for either a beginning or challenging trail. Gonzalez said the most popular months to visit Los Establish are March and July when the stables host polo tournaments.
“A lot of people are pleasantly surprised at this place,” said Gonzalez, “because they don’t usually expect to see something like this, like horses and horseback riding, in the Dominican. It’s usually beaches and pools, not horses.”
Juanillo Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Punta Cana, is practically a private beach for Cap Cana guests.
It is technically public, but visitors need to pass through the main gates of Cap Cana to enter, usually deterring non-guests of Cap Cana hotels from entering.
However, anyone can enjoy the beach, but non-guests of Cap Cana will have to tell the guard at the main gate that they are visiting Juanillo Beach and will be required to leave their I.D. with the guard.
So, what’s the appeal? Why not just stay at your hotel’s beach?
Unlike many beaches in Punta Cana, Juanillo Beach is never crowded, making it perfect for couples looking for privacy as they take walks along the beach.
Also, the water is calm and shallow, perfect for beginning swimmers, making it a draw amongst families as well.
The beach is wide with plenty of shaded spots and lounging areas. We were told the beach can be “night and day.” It is relaxing and mellow during the week and lively during weekends with live music and events, making it a great fit for both couples and families.
A Visit to Saona Island
For a great family day trip, visitors to Cap Cana should spend an afternoon at Saona Island. This private island is a haven for water games, natural pools, and scuba diving. It also includes a private restaurant.
Saona Island lies off the southeastern tip of the Dominican Republic. Part of the East National Park, it’s known for mangroves and coral reefs and palm-fringed beaches like Palmilla Beach.
Visitors here should also check out Mano Juan, a laid-back fishing village near Flamingo Lagoon. It is adorned with colorful shacks and a turtle sanctuary. For culture lovers, to the west is the Cave of Cotubanama, which has pre-Columbian rock art that can make for a perfect Instagram photo.
Marina Cap Cana
Boat lovers will be pleased with the views and experience of the Marina Cap Cana. This is where the area’s largest yachts can be seen.
Marina Cap Cana offers more than 130 slips, accommodating up to 150-foot yachts, with complete services for captains and crew.
It is surrounded by a village with gourmet restaurants and boutiques. Its coastlines and proximity make it the ideal spot for fishing and deep-water diving.