This past November 2022, we decided to take a tropical adventure to Punta Cana, DR. It was a destination that none of us have been to and the absolutely stunning landscape pulled us in. We weren’t exactly pulling snow bird behavior because we live in Florida where the climate was pretty similar, however we did want to venture to pristine beaches and a luxury all-inclusive resort to rest and relax before the hectic holiday season. If you want more travel content, read my Florida Staycation blog.
Our Hotel | Paradisus Grand Cana, Punta Cana
When we started looking for resorts to stay at for our trip, we had a few necessities in mind but the biggest one was luxury accommodations. That is exactly what we received at the Paradisus Grand Cana! We all opted in for an upgraded swim up suite which allowed us our own private pool access, outdoor jacuzzi tub and cabana lounge for us to laze in under the beautiful winter rays (with SPF of course). Our hotel also needed to have delicious restaurants, bottomless bar options and a spa to really fuel our rest and rejuvenation that we were so desperately seeking after a busy year.
Kid Friendly Amenities | Paradisus Grand Cana
Let me just say that Logan will never be able to stay at anything less than, because he was absolutely vibing and in his element. This resort had an amazing kids water park as well as a clubhouse that catered to all age ranges, including teenagers. They even had fun outdoor activities at night for the kids to play with blow up basketball hoops, and of course, BOTTOMLESS CHICKEN NUGGETS! If you ask him, his favorite part was the fact breakfast was ready for him every morning when he woke up (thanks room service).
The Spa | Paradisus Grand Cana
We spent 2 days in the spa getting massages, facials, enjoying the steam room and sipping on their wonderful spiced orange tea. I always like to take a step away from the hustle and bustle of family trips and take a minute for myself. Whether it is reading a book on our trip in the cabana or getting a 90 minute rub down by one of the resorts best massage therapists.
I opted for a collagen facial and I received 2-50 minute massages that were so relaxing. Exactly what I needed to really round out my trip.
Our Punta Cana Off-Site Experiences
We chose to do 3 experiences outside of the resort during our 5 day stay. We went on a catamaran, experienced some of the beautiful landscape of the Dominican via dune buggy and we ventured privately with a taxi driver to a secluded beach where we were the only ones there! I will note, we booked all of our excursions through our personal concierge at our resort who booked and coordinated all of the details that we needed to have a fun and stress-free day.
The Catamaran | Dominican Republic
There was a bit of an expectation gap here. We were expecting an actual catamaran and what we got was a party boat. Again, expectation gap, especially considering the cost per person. This was less of a relaxing experience and more of a boozin’ and dancin’ one, or if you’re me it was a vomin’ one (iykyk). I have probably the weakest stomach of the group and it was the rocking and rolling of the waves was definitely less enjoyable for me. However, we did get to go snorkeling which is something that I hadn’t experienced before and I saw some beautiful tropical fish. The experience of that was more than enough to compensate for my nausea. Additionally, we saw some of the most crystal blue waters I have ever seen in my life, it was like Key West on steroids. Just perfect and pristine aquamarine hue that was what tropical dreams are made of. We made some stops where we were offered rum infused coconuts (10/10 do not recommend) and the opportunity to take pictures with monkeys.
The Dune Buggies | Dominican Republic
Now this was my absolute favorite off-site experience that we had. But, make sure you’re mentally, emotionally and physically prepared to get muddier than you’ve ever gotten before. I am talking torrents of muddy waters entering your buggy at fast rates and the mud is thick! We ventured about an hour away from our hotel for a 5 hour experience in the hills outside of Punta Cana. Once situated in the buggies, we went to our first destination which was a water cave tourist trap. I say trap because I was interested in bracelets that were SHEIN quality at best and they were $40 each! Pro-tip: be prepared for the costs to not be as low as you thought it would be.
Our second stop was a serene beach with restaurants and warm water to rinse off some of the grime and dirt you picked up on the journey there. I wish this stop was longer than 30 minutes because it was 100% where I would have loved to spend the majority of my day. Maybe it is the Pisces in me talking but give me some water and waves and I am the happiest of clams.
The Secret Beach | Dominican Republic
Now, don’t ask me exactly where this beach was because the locals made us privy to it and I don’t want to expose their hidden gem, HOWEVER, it is near Club Med *wink*.
When we arrived at this beach we were the only ones there for over 2 hours. It was such a quality piece of heaven. The waves were absolutely perfect for jumping and diving, the sand was plush and soft for catching some rays and the fact we were the only ones to touch the sand for the day was *chefs kiss*. + we saw some wild horses and stray dogs that were the absolute cutest!
Some Tips for Traveling to Punta Cana, DR
Here are some things that helped us succeed in the Dominican that I hope help you!
- Take a direct flight from your departing destination to your arrival destination, especially if you have children
- Make sure you have all of your passports and documentation organized and easily accessible for when you arrive/depart
- Learn some basic Spanish in order to communicate with the staff and locals. It would be best if you traveled with someone fluent in Spanish however if you’re looking to leave the resort.
- Find a resort with the amenities you love!
- Bug spray. Bug spray. & SPF!
- Have FUN!
Additional Photos from the Trip!