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Things to do in Punta Cana

  • Whale Watching & Cayo Levantado Tour from Punta Cana
  • Children 3-11

This whale-watching excursion from Punta Cana takes you off the coast of the Dominican Republic to observe humpback whales in the wild, making it a fantastic choice for nature lovers and stops at Cayo Levantado (Bacardi Island).

Multilingual

Included/Excluded

  • Roundtrip transportation
  • Souvenir photos (available to purchase)

Schedule Punta Cana excursions & tours before you arrive

Tour Itinerary

Information.

This whale-watching excursion takes you off the coast of the Dominican Republic to observe humpback whales in the wild, making it a fantastic choice for nature lovers and first-time tourists. You'll sail around Samana Bay continuously looking for whales mating and breeding their calves, getting as close as possible without disturbing them. Lunch is included in your tour, as well as hotel pickup and drop-off in Punta Cana. The Bay of Samaná attracts humpback whales on a regular basis. From mid-January to mid-April each year, these massive mammals leave the arctic to mate and give birth in a protected cove off the Dominican Republic's east coast. Combine two of the Dominican Republic's top attractions—migrating humpback whales and the idyllic Cayo Levantado (also known as Bacardi Island) on a single tour. Take a boat cruise through the Samana Bay to see the whales jumping and slapping their fins, then retire to Cayo Levantado for a buffet lunch and open bar.

Tour Highlights

  • Witness some of the most majestic creatures on earth
  • Watch whales mate, feed, and frolic
  • Have insights into the whale behavior
  • Explore a cultural experience unlike any other
  • Learning how they behave in their natural habitat
  • Enjoy some amazing Dominican food

Questions, or Group Options? Contact us below!

Don't just take our word for it, our clients love working with us, just read what they have to say.

Theresa Bodley

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Go on a whale watching tour

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Price & Hours

  • Facilities 1.0
  • Atmosphere 5.0

The Dominican Republic, particularly Samaná Bay, is considered one of the best places to observe whales in the Caribbean. Part of the Marine Mammal Sanctuary of the Dominican Republic, the bay welcomes thousands of humpback whales every winter. The sanctuary is only open to whale watching boats, ensuring a peaceful environment for the animals to birth their calves. What's more, there are strict protocols in place to protect the animals, and tour operators that do not respect them lose their licenses pretty quickly.

Whale watching tours are usually available from mid-January to the end of March, when humpback whales come to Samaná Bay for the breeding season. Most tours that originate in Punta Cana begin with a 1.5-hour bus ride to the area of Miches, where tourgoers board a boat bound for Samaná Bay. Chances of sightings are extremely high; it is very uncommon to have a tour without any whales, according to operators.

Though some reviewers mention seasickness, most describe a whale watching tour as the highlight of their visit to Punta Cana thanks to the educated guides and sheer number of whale sightings. Many also appreciated the hydrophones on board, which allow participants to hear the whales underwater.

The duration and cost of the tour varies by operator. Most tours combine a whale watching cruise with a stop at Cayo Levantado (also known as "Bacardi Island"), a small island in Samaná Bay that features a white sand beach and water sports activities. Tours often stop here for lunch and free time to relax on the white sand beach. Combo tours start at around $150 per person and include transportation from Punta Cana, the whale watching tour, lunch and nonalcoholic drinks. Snacks may also be included, depending on the operator. If you don't want to devote a whole day to this excursion, half-day whale watching tours are also available. Whale Samana earns praise from reviewers for its knowledgeable crew, which includes an onboard marine biologist. Trips, which last about three to four hours, start at $65 per adult and $35 per kid ages 12 and younger.

If you have time before your tour, consider a visit to the Whale Museum and Nature Center (Museo de la Ballena) in Samaná, which offers more information about the whales that migrate to the bay every year.

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#1 Punta Cana Beaches

No trip to Punta Cana would be complete without some time spent on its gorgeous beaches. Playa Bávaro (Bavaro Beach) is one of the most popular shorelines in Punta Cana, with its powdery sands, swaying palm trees, blue waters and bevy of amenities, including water sports rentals, dining options and nearby accommodations. Visitors will find this beautiful (but busy) beach stretching for 12 miles between Macao and Cabeza de Toro, but keep in mind that there are just four public access points (at Corales, El Cortecito, Jellyfish and Bibijagua).

Bavaro Beach has several subsections that all have their own name. However, they are all connected and you can explore them walking consecutively. El Cortecito and Corales are two of these stretches and are very convenient as they abut the Bávaro-Punta Cana downtown district of restaurants, grocery stores, gift shops and more. Arena Gorda is the next beach, northwest of El Cortecito, and its wide sands and shallow waters make it a favored spot among families with young kids in tow. Others say it's a wonderful place for a long walk. Keep in mind that much of the beach is backed by large resorts, hence the only public access point to Arena Gorda is through El Cortecito.

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Punta Cana Whale Watching

  • Whale Trips
  • Whale Watching by Plane
  • Whale Watching by Bus

whale watching tour punta cana

Punta Cana Whale Watching

PUNTA CANA WHALE WATCHING

whale watching

The male humpback whales are driven to mate with the females and pro-create. It is common during the height of the Dominican whale watching season to find large competitive groups (pods) of male humpback whales jousting for the opportunity to mate with a single female. Watching them is an exciting experience, as they wrestle with each other for the position to mate.

The female humpback whales, with new born calves, are particularly vulnerable to the advances of the males during the Punta Cana whale watching season. Sometimes during our whale watch we are mugged (an affectionate term), by the female and her calf as she uses our large yacht to hide under in an attempt to ditch the hopeful males. Other times curiosity causes them to come closer to us. Being mugged on a whale watch in Samana, by humpback whales, is the ultimate whale watching experience where photo opportunities create cherished memories.

Book Your Whale Watch Adventure Today

whale watching tour punta cana

+1 829-548-2386

whale watching tour punta cana

Whale Watching and Bacardi Island

$ 199.00 $ 159.00

Available January 2024! Is the Dominican Republic the best place to Whale Watch in the world? It is! And we’re going to show you why. Whale Watching by Bus from Punta Cana to Samana is several excursions rolled into one: Bus ride, Boat Ride, visit to an offshore key and, of course, Whale Watching. Only have time for ONE tour? Then this is it.

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whale watching tour punta cana

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  • Description
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  • Reviews (3)

Here’s What You Get

Did you know the World Wildlife Fund considers the Dominican Republic one of the best places in the world to Whale Watch?

It is! Keep on reading so we can tell you why.

For the past millennia, Humpback Whales have been visiting the Dominican Republic for just TWO months out of each year. So, if you’re here from January 20 – March 20 you lucked out!

Will you ever have another chance to Whale Watch in your lifetime?

Not like this you won’t. Whale Watching is unequaled in the Dominican Republic because…

  • We’re not talking about dozens, scores, or even hundreds of Humpback Whales. We’re talking thousands of them! Yes, thousands of whales travel from the frigid North Atlantic ocean to the warm waters of Samana Bay. Humpback Whales are the Dominican Republic’s original snow bird tourists!
  • Humpback Whales don’t come South to chill out. This journey is to give birth and to mate in Samana’s protected cove. Not only will you see full-grown adult Humpback Whales (some can be 50 feet long and weigh 8,000 pounds) but also new born calves following their mothers. Is that cool or what?
  • Did we mention it’s mating season? Male Humpbacks want to make babies! It’s typical to see large competitive groups (pods) of male Humpbacks jostling for the chance to mate with a single female. That means plenty of pectoral fin slaps, tail slaps and even breaches!

What can we say, it’s the call of nature…welcome to the “Motel” of the Caribbean.

So we’ve explained why Whale Watching is unique but that’s not all! Our Whale Watching excursion from Punta Cana to Samana By Bus is a lot MORE.

Did we mention you also…

  • Hop on a comfy bus from Punta Cana to the sleepy fishing village of Miches. You’ll transverse the scenic Oriental Mountain range to reach the southern shores of Samana Bay.
  • Board a spacious boat to cross Samana Bay. Admire the open water and unforgettable scenery with mountain ranges to the North and South.
  • Sit down for a traditional Dominican lunch of rice, beans, meat, salad, fruit and sweets. It’s all served at a tranquil country ranch in Samana’s pristine, tropical wilderness. No one goes home famished!
  • Set foot on Cayo Levantado – more famously known as Bacardi Island. Some 300 years ago it was the hiding place of British Pirate Jack Bannister but now this sandy sanctuary is one of the country’s most coveted offshore keys with powdery sands and lapping turquoise waters.

RECAP: Bus Ride, Boat Ride, Whale Watching and your toes in the sand of the renowned Cayo Levantado Island.

If you can do only ONE excursion while on vacation from January to March, Whale Watching By Bus from Punta Cana to Samana should be it!

You have only TWO months a year to admire these majestic mammals of the ocean. Obviously, space is incredibly limited so book ASAP to reserve your spot.

It’s Whale Watching people! Time to check a BIG one off your bucket list.

Don’t miss the BUS to Samana!

What’s Included

  • Ground transport
  • Professional Guide
  • Refreshments
  • Lunch at country ranch

What to Bring

  • Bathing suit
  • Bug Repellent

This tour is ONLY available January 20 – March 20. We recommend you bring along something to munch on as the tour is a long day.

3 reviews for Whale Watching and Bacardi Island

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Edward (verified purchase) – April 7, 2023

The whale-watching trip was seamlessly organised. The plane saved a lot of travel time and allowed to enjoy longer the whales and the El Limon waterfall. Strongly recommend.

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Braylen (verified purchase) – February 26, 2023

I’ve read the reviews before we purchased our tickets. I’ve found that everyone has pretty much the same advice, which I agree with now. Follow the advice before you go on board in terms of things to bring and possible sea sickness. Keep in mind, everyone will have different experiences! Ours was amazing! We went with our son on January 28th. It happened to be a calm, beautiful day. Our son is obsessed with whales, so we were worried if we did not see any whales. They advertise that they guarantee whales. We saw so many humpback whales that day, as well as a huge pod of dolphins following the boat. Then we got the real treat…a humpback calf appeared alongside the boat. That was the most amazing site I’ve seen. Enjoy, this trip was worth it!

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Tyler (verified purchase) – February 6, 2023

Well worth the money!

Today was absolutely incredible. Whale watching excursion took us up close to some of the largest animals on the planet!

We drove an open bus through the local cities of Samana D.R. and walked through a forrest to a local waterfall. We then took another boat to a small island with the most gorgeous beach I’ve ever seen.

We were able to eat some of the local fare, saw just about everyone riding motorcycles, and got to see a glimpse of life in another country. I’m blown away and this place has exceeded all expectations

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.

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whale watching tour punta cana

PC#4A Whale Tour With Legendary Kim Beddall

whale watching tour punta cana

Enjoy a whale tour with legendary Kim Beddall of Whale Samana!

Pickup and drop-off at all resorts, hotels, and other accommodations in Punta Cana+Bavaro area.

Child prices starting at $145.99

whale watching tour punta cana

View of Kim's boat in Action!

whale watching tour punta cana

We cross the Samana Bay in a boat similar to this.

whale watching tour punta cana

Lunch here!

whale watching tour punta cana

Baby Whales!

whale watching tour punta cana

View from Kim's boat.

What to expect:.

We pick you up for you tour with KIM! Pickup and drop-off at all resorts, hotels, and other accommodations in Punta Cana+Bavaro+Cap Cana areas.

This tour is in cooperation with the famous Whale Biologist Kim Beddall of Whale Samana. The pioneer of Whale Tours in the Dominican Republic for over 25 years. Truly an experience of a lifetime!

This Whales Tour option includes more time seeing whales than our other options (depending on the whales that day of course).

Why book with Tour Samana With Terry: Kim doesn’t provide transportation for any of her world famous tours. She must concentrate on the whales! We make it possible to enjoy Kim’s LEGENDARY WHALES TOUR from the Punta Cana – Bavaro – Cap Cana area. We provide pickup and drop off from all hotels and accommodations in Punta Cana area in our vehicles and cross you over the Samana Bay in small panga style boats. (To make this drive on your own would take 4+ hours each way.)

A unique opportunity to observe humpback whales in their natural calving and mating grounds here in Samana Bay, Dominican Republic. Listen to the male humpback’s solitary courting song and witness incredible displays of flippering, tail lobbing and breaching by the most active species of whale in the Atlantic. On board, a Marine Mammal Specialist narrating and answering questions.

We have a 4 person daily minimum from Punta Cana area.  You may book with less people but we must have a total of 4 or more on any particular day to ensure we can do the tour.

What’s Included:

Each winter the humpback whales make the journey from the North Atlantic to the Samana Bay to give birth to their calves.

Enjoy the spectacular views of the mountains that surround the Samana Bay.

Enjoy the crystal blue waters of Cayo Levantado island (sometimes called Bacardi Island) and a buffet lunch.

-Pickup by Kim on Cayo Levantado public dock -Sound system with underwater hydrophone – dead calm sea conditions required -Two modern bathrooms with running water -Souvenirs / Snack bar / Educational material. -Marine Mammal specialist and Scientific data collection on every trip. -Narration in at least two languages and interpreters available on board. -Booklet “Whales of Samana” (Spanish, English, German or French). -Dramamine tablets and other Sickness prevention methods. -Pickup and Drop off from your hotel or villa. -Soft drinks, water, crackers and mints are provided by Kim -Soft drinks, water and lunch are provided by us.

You will need $6us or equivalent to pay the government’s Marine Mammal Sanctuary wristband tax at the dock before you board Kim’s boat.

Cancellation Policy: If we have to cancel and you cannot re-book to another day or tour we will refund 100%

If you need to cancel: 48 hours or more in advance 100% refund 48-24 Hours in advance 50% refund 24 hours or less No Refund

Note: -This tour will use a 24′ Panga style speedboat to cross the Samana Bay to Cayo Levantado. Similar to photo below. It’s a 30 min ride and waters may be rough or waves large sometimes. We are not responsible for sea conditions that can change at any moment.

You may get wet, so dress appropriately and bring a towel. Ride may be rough at times and we recommend you take sea sickness medication if you are susceptible.

Rules for Whale Watching: There are some rules for Whale Watching that must be obeyed by each boat. Only 3 boats can be on a pod of whales at a time so we’ll have to wait our turn upon arrival. Once you see whales you will have about 30-45 min before the law requires us to move along. Kim usually moves along to other whales and you end up possibly spending more than the normal time seeing whales within the time schedule for her later tours.

After the Whales: You will return to Cayo Levantado Island where the 24′ Panga Speed Boat will be waiting to take you back to our vehicle on the other side of the bay. 10-30 min ride.

Please print out the PDF when you purchase. Kim uses the Main Public Dock on Cayo Levantado Island but our guide will help you find Kim’s boat.

Itinerary from Punta Cana-Bavaro Areas:

6:00 – 7:30 am Picked up in Punta Cana areas (We will email the customized pick up schedule 1 day before your tour.)

9:00 – 10:00 am Depart Sabana de la Mar dock in our 24′ Panga

9:00 or 10:00 am Arrive at Samana City Dock (depending on the start time of Kim’s Tour for that day. In a rare instance it may be necessary to take Kim’s afternoon departure, we will advise)

9:00 or 10:00 am Picked up by Kim Beddall’s boat on Public Dock of Cayo Levantado

1:00 to 2:00 pm Buffet lunch on Cayo Levantado Island

1:00 pm to 2:00 beach time on Cayo Levantado Island Beach

Whales Tour with Kim lasts 2.5 to 3 hours

2:00 to 3:30 pm Leave Cayo Levantado in our Panga (30 min ride) to return to dock on south side of bay to our waiting vehicle

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm Returned to your hotel

whale watching tour punta cana

Important Note Regarding Kim's Guarantee:

Kim offers a guarantee that you will see the whales. If you don't see them you are welcome to come back on a day when she has room for you. We are happy to work with you if you do not see whales but in order for us to do so we must be able to coordinate your make up trip to see the whales so that it falls on a day when we have other people, from the same area as you, already going on Kim's tour. Unfortunately we cannot come to pick you up only. We are sorry about this policy but it's the best we can do. Kim makes many trips with empty seats available for you and we do the same with our open seats on transportation that we have already going for her tours.

Shore Excursions – Cruise Ship Tours

Shore Excursions - Cruise Ship Tours

Choose your cruise ship excursion and we will pick you up at the dock!

Kim Beddall Whales Tour from Samana Peninsula Hotel #4A

Kim Beddall Whales Tour from Samana Peninsula Hotel #4A

Pickup at all Samana Accommodations. Observe humpback whales in their natural calving & mating grounds in Samana Bay D.R.

Tours from Hotels & All Samana Peninsula Accomodations

Tours from Hotels & All Samana Peninsula Accomodations

Pickup At Every Samana Location

Full-day Whale watching Tour in Samana Bay from Punta Cana

whale watching tour punta cana

  • professional guide
  • This schedule is an approximation. Please, let us know your hotel or accommodation name We will be contacting you to give you the right pick-up time, depending on your hotel or your accommodation.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 60 travelers
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

More to explore in Dominican Republic

whale watching tour punta cana

Full-day Whale watching Tour in Samana Bay from Punta Cana - with unbiased reviews

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Private Whale-Watching Tour

  • 10 / 10 1 review | 28 travellers Fabulous, guide was especially knowledgeable and gave us some memorable views of Humpack whales breaching, couldn’t have asked for more. 10 Nicholas Pane
  • Free cancellation up to 5 days before

On this private whale-watching tour , you'll get the chance to see the whales of Samana .   You'll be accompanied by an exclusive guide just for you and your group.

Look out for these majestic creatures

At the established time, we'll pick you up at the meeting point of your choice and head over to the port of Samana , located on the wild  Atlantic coast of the Dominican Republic .

Once at the dock, we'll embark on a catamaran ride through the bay of Samana . During the trip, we'll try to spot the humpback whales that inhabit these waters . This is a particularly favorable area for whales since between January and March, up to 3,000 at a time gather here .

Finally, after three hours of sailing, and half an hour later, we will arrive at the port of Samaná, from where we will take you to your hotel.

Pickup Points

When you make your reservation, you can choose which of the following places you prefer to start the tour at:

  • From the Samana pier
  • From your hotel in Sabana de la Mar
  • From your hotel in Punta Cana
  • From your hotel in La Romana or Bayahibe
  • From your hotel in Santo Domingo, Boca Chica or Juan Dolio

Whale Watching

The coast of Samana is one of the best places in the Dominican Republic to see whales, dolphins, and other cetaceans. However, animals are unpredictable. The sighting of a greater or lesser number of these animals will depend on various factors such as the weather at the time or the reproduction and breeding seasons of the different species.

Advantages of Booking a Private Tour

By booking a private tour, you'll have a much more personalized experience since you'll have a guide exclusively for you and your group.

More Information

3 hours - 6 hours.

The activity takes place with a guide that speaks in English.

Pickup and drop off from your hotel or the Samana pier

Bus or minibus transportation (depending on selection)

English–speaking guide

Catamaran ride and whale–watching tour

Private and exclusive tour, there won't be anyone else in your group

Not included

When to book.

You can book up until 48 hours before the activity as long as there are still places. Book now to guarantee your spot.

Type of voucher

Electronic. Show the voucher on your phone.

Accessibility

Not wheelchair accessible.

Sustainability

All services published on Civitatis are carried out in accordance with our Sustainability Code .

Our providers commit to:

  • Provide a safe and satisfying experience.
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle.
  • Incorporate eco-conscious technologies.
  • Uphold fair employment standards.
  • Foster the growth of local communities.
  • Preserve the integrity of local culture.
  • Safeguard both cultural and environmental heritage.
  • Ensure ethical treatment of animals.
  • Operate with honesty and transparency.
  • Encourage sustainable behaviors among customers and staff.

This particular activity contributes as follows:

  • No printing of documentation required.

Corporate name: Misael Calcaño Silven

Not permitted.

Frequently asked questions

Q - Why do this activity with Civitatis?

A - Your safety is our priority. Civitatis works with certified providers for reliable and safe adventures. More information

Q - How to book?

A - To reserve the activity, choose the date and complete the form on this page. You will receive your confirmation immediately.

If you have any other questions please contact us.

Free cancellation

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Punta Cana Travel Blog

Authentic experiences & recommendations

Whale-Watching Videos

Friends of us recently had a tour for whale-watching shortly after the opening of the season 2024 and had some spectacular sightings. We’d love to share their videos with you – a short version first (for all those who don’t have time) and a long uncut version with 4 minutes whale-watching amazement.

Read more about the full whale-watching experience in the Dominican Republic and the best whale tours from Punta Cana here .

Short Video

Long Video:

SHARING IS CARING! IF YOU ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS – I WOULD APPRECIATE IT A LOT.

The face behind Punta Cana Travel Blog: Chris

Hey, I am Chris, a born and raised German, travel-addictive and Caribbean Soul. Since 2011 I have been living in the Caribbean, among them 5 years in the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana is my home-base here in the country and I’d love to tell you more about how to experience Punta Cana off-the-beaten-track and give you all the advice you want to know for your vacation in Punta Cana.

ALSO WORTH READING:

Punta Cana theme parks – the BIG comparison of the best amusement parks in Punta Cana

The longest zipline in Punta Cana at La Hacienda Park

Bayahibe Travel Guide – the best beaches, excursions, tours and resorts in Bayahibe

The welcome sign of Bayahibe in the Dominican Republic

Dreams Dominicus La Romana – a comprehensive review about this Bayahibe all-inclusive resort

Amazing Playa Dominicus in Bayahibe, the beach at Dreams Dominicus La Romana Resort

Temptation Miches Resort – a comprehensive review of this adults-only all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana

The Temptation Miches Resort panoramic View

[email protected]

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Birding: 4 Days of Bird Watching Dominican Republic

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Samaná Whale Watching & Cayo Levantado (Bacardi Island) From Boca Chica

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Transfer - Taxi - Transportation-shuttle- Punta cana- bayahibe- la romana- samana- santo domingo- puerto plata- sabana de la mar - miches- boca chica - juan dolio- aereopuerto (9)

Punta Cana to Bayahibe Taxi / shuttle - Transfer Private

  • 1:30 hours TRiP
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$ 190.00 $ 170.00 Per Person

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Punta Cana Helicopter Tour to Salto de la Jalda Waterfall 60-Minutes Experience

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Los Haitises National Park and Cayo Levantado From Sabana de la Mar

  • 6 Hours to 7 Hours

$ 95.00 $ 85.00 Per Person

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We are #1 Low Prices of Tours & Excursions in The Dominican Republic. No extra fees charges and when you Book with us you are supporting locals tour Guides from small communities in the Development of Ecotourism and Nature resources protection. The payment goes directly to the Locals. Non-Tour Operators.

Office Dom. Rep Phone/ Whatsapp Number: (+1) 829 318 9463

Office USA (California) Phone: + 1 (323) 283 8938

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SAMANA WHALE WATCHING

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Bahía de las Aguilas: Beach Day Trip by Boat - Day Pass - Pedernales

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Private Whale Watching & Cayo Levantado (Bacardi Island) From Sabana de la Mar

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Samaná Whale Watching & Cayo Levantado (Bacardi Island) From Bayahibe

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Excursion Whale Watching Samaná bay + Cayo Levantado from Puerto Plata (Private Transportation)

$ 160.00 $ 137.99 per person.

El Rincon booking adventures

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Office Dom. Rep Phone/ Whatsapp Number: (+1) 829 318 9463

Office USA (California) Phone: + 1 (323) 283 8938

Office Europe Phone/ Whatsapp Number: +420 702026106

  • Private Excursions
  • Group Tours
  • Transportation
  • Sabana de la mar
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  • Saona Island
  • Limon Waterfalls
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12 Unique Things to Do in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 2024

A re you planning a Punta Cana vacation and searching for the most unique things to do in Punta Cana? You’ve come to the right place! In this post, we highlight some of the best and most unique Punta Cana tours, beautiful beaches , and attractions that Punta Cana has to offer.

Where to Stay in Punta Cana?

  • Personal Recommendation: Secrets Royal Beach Adult Only – All-Inclusive Resort

My husband and I stayed at Secrets Royal Beach All-Inclusive Punta Cana Resort , with an upgrade to the preferred club. I would 100% recommend staying here!

The rooms were impeccable, the dining was exquisite, and the beach was beautifully maintained. My favorite part of staying at this resort was the staff! The people at Secrets made you feel like family and treated you like royalty!

Other great options In Bavaro Beach:

Luxury: Majestic Colonial in Bavaro

Mid Range: Barcelo Bavaro Palace

Budget: Manaya Bed and Breakfast

Options at El Cortecito (which is a village more budget-friendly than Bavaro):

Luxury: Costa Atlantica Beach Condos

Mid Range: Impressive Punta Cana

Budget: Bella Vida Hotel formerly Tomasol

1. Fun Boat tour with Snorkeling at a Natural Pool

My review of the experience.

Our all-inclusive excursion with Coastline Catamarans was absolutely one of the most unique things to do in Punta Cana!

This half-day excursion begins with pick-up at your hotel. From there you will be transported to Jellyfish Beach where the crew and boat are eagerly awaiting your arrival.

The trip begins with a toast using the best Mama Juana on the island! Mama Juana is a famous island drink that comes in many forms (most of which I did not like!).

  • Snorkeling Experience

After the crew is introduced, the double-decker catamaran sets sail along the Atlantic Ocean coastline towards a large reef for snorkeling. This was the best snorkeling we did on our trip as we were able to view the animals in their natural habitat.

One of the crew members dives in with you to direct you to the best places to see the marine life. My husband and I got to see a Spotted Eagle Ray, which was very exciting! I am so thankful I brought an underwater camera with me and got pictures of it!

  • The boat and crew

After the snorkeling portion of the trip, the boat cruises by Dolphin Islands, the beverage bar opens, and the dance party begins! Not only do Coastline Catamarans have the best Mama Juana on the island, but they also have the best Mojitos!

Drinks coupled with fresh island fruit and other snacks make for a great journey to the Natural Pool. We were lucky enough to make an unplanned stop at a private beach where their photographer took the most amazing pictures!

The staff on this boat were undeniably the most fun of the 3 boat excursions we participated in! If you’re looking for the best party boat on the island, make sure to connect with this team!

  • Visiting the Natural Pool

The Natural Pool is a large area where many catamarans come together to form the island’s biggest party! The crew will bring a floating bar into the waist-deep (for the average-height person which is not me!) water while you take in the sights and sounds. Concurrently, floating markets will come to you. One tip to mention is to never buy alcohol from a water (or street) vendor as it may be watered down with chemicals.

Finally, the day ends with goodbyes to your crew and transport back to your hotel. The staff greatly appreciates tips as you exit the boat!

Interested in booking your own experience? Click Below.

Other Cool Experiences in the area:

2. Scuba Diving Adventure

SeaPro Divers offers the Discover Scuba Diving introductory dive to familiarize people with what it takes to become a scuba diver. This is a unique thing to do in Punta Cana as no prior experience is necessary.

It is designed for beginners who want to give scuba a try. Through your underwater exploration, you get to experience the vibrant coral reefs and marine life in their natural habitat.

On this Punta Cana excursion, you will learn the basics of scuba diving and experience an open-water dive. The trip includes:

  • PADI Intro to Scuba
  • Pool Training Lesson
  • Professional Dive Instructor
  • Equipment Rental
  • Guided Ocean Dive
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off (selected hotels only)

3. Snorkeling Cruise with Sharks & Stingray Encounter

Visiting Marinarium Parks is a unique thing to do in Punta Cana! This one took a little convincing on my husband’s part due to my irrational fear of sharks, but he assured me that Nurse Sharks were harmless, and they wouldn’t let people swim with them if they were dangerous! So off we went on one of the most unique Punta Cana attractions!

This tour starts with pick up at your hotel and transportation to the site. Driving in Punta Cana deserves a post all on its own! This boat features a glass bottom for viewing while you cruise along the natural reserve of Cabeza de Toro.

Once you reach the marine park, you are free to snorkel in the open waters. After giving myself a little pep talk, I was able to enter the netted area to swim with the stingrays and sharks.

This was a truly magical experience for me! Floating on the water’s surface as I watched the sharks swim under me was breathtaking.

The park is split into 2 separate areas, and once you’ve had your fill of sharks, you can swim over to the stingray side, where the staff takes pictures of you holding one of the rays.

Photos of your entire trip, or just the sting ray pictures are available for purchase when you return to the island. Of course, I bought them all!

4. Saona Island

Getting there.

The trip to Saona Island is a full day excursion! This is one of the unique things to do in Punta Cana for travelers looking for a relaxing day in the sun as it did not include any water activities.

Something to note is that there will be a multitude of street vendors waiting for you when your bus arrives. They tried to convince me to buy a hat, and let me tell you, I regretted not listening as the sun was particularly bold that day!

The trip typically starts with a speedboat ride to the island, but due to unforeseen circumstances, ours began with a catamaran ride, with the speedboat being our transportation at the end of the day.

The Full Saona Island Day Trip Experience

  • Natural Pool

Along the way, a stop at another natural pool takes place. I liked this one better than the previous one as it was slightly shallower, and I could actually stand up instead of walking around on my tippy-toes!

  • Arrival and lunch

Upon arrival, island hosts greet you and take you to an outdoor eating area. There were mountains of food at this buffet of traditional Dominican dishes. Island drinks in a full coconut were also available for purchase.

  • The afternoon

Afterward, the afternoon is yours for exploring. My husband and I decided to walk a short distance where we could see a point on the island. Along the old coral reef path, we saw crabs, sea urchins, and hundreds of tiny fish.

My favorite part was discovering the tiny cove in the coral as seen in my picture! After returning to the main area, we did some swimming and some relaxing by the trees.

In addition to the numerous beach chairs and tables, there are hammocks to use at your leisure.

5. Bavaro Beach

Bavaro Beach is famous for being one of the largest beaches in the Caribbean at 48 Kilometers long. Its white sand and turquoise waters make it a perfect area for swimming.

This Punta Cana beach is open to the public in many areas, but resorts have their own private beach areas if you choose to stay here.

Bavaro Beach has all of the water sports you can imagine! From here, you can go diving, snorkeling, parasailing, and windsurfing!

In addition, there are many restaurants where you can taste the national Dominican cuisine and clubs that stay open all night.

Plaza Bávaro is a great place to go shopping in Punta Cana. Here you can find clothing, jewelry and locally made crafts, cigars, and other souvenirs to remember your time in the Dominican.

This particular shopping center is where the locals do their daily shopping, consequently making it a great place to mix with your island family. A great non-touristy thing to do in Punta Cana. You can expect to haggle on prices with local vendors.

My favorite place to shop was at Jellyfish Beach. On our Coastline Catamaran excursion , we met the most amazing woman (Lily at #20!) who ran one of the shops in a tiny (unairconditioned) mall.

She greeted us when we arrived for our tour, and we promised to come to the store after we returned but were not given any time.

Luckily our resort was just down the beach, and we were able to walk back to her store another day. She and her co-worker treated us like celebrities!

They told us stories of growing up in Haiti, moving to the Dominican and running the store. Their zest for life was incomparable!

We chose NOT to haggle on our prices as we believe she gave us a fair deal while appreciating the time and effort they gave to our whole group!

6. Santo Domingo City

Santo Domingo City is home to the first cathedral, hospital, customs house, and university in the Americas. This colonial town, founded in 1498, was laid out on a grid pattern that became the model for almost all town planners in the modern world.

Explore Punta Cana through historical eyes on this amazing excursion we went on.

Excursion stops

During this day trip , you will visit each iconic place in the tourist center of Santo Domingo and learn the history behind the site. The staff will teach you about their history and values while providing excellent customer service.

If you are like me, and obsessed with architectural history, this tour is one of the most unique things to do in Punta Cana.

The tour starts with a pass by of Calle Las Damas/Street of the Ladies , the oldest street in the Americas. It is a beautiful street lined with historical buildings from the original settlement of Santo Domingo. Your tour will then pass by the Columbus Lighthouse (Faro A Colon) .

This is a cross-shaped monument (remembering the Christianization of the Americas) that measures approximately 800 meters long by 36.5 meters high. The headlamp casts a cross-shaped light into the night sky when it is on.

This light can be seen from approximately 64 kilometers away, but it causes problems with the electricity supply of the surrounding neighborhoods. It is the reason why it is only turned on during special occasions.

Next we have the Alcázar de Colón . This historic building was built between 1511 and 1514, following the influences of the existing one in Mancera de Abajo, in Salamanca (Spain), of which ruins are still preserved. 

Your tour continues with a pass by Palacio National . The National Palace is a building in Santo Domingo, that houses the offices of the Executive Branch.

Next up is The 3 Eyes National Park . In this national park, you will find one of the best-kept natural secrets of the city and its four lakes!

Basilica Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor is your next stop. This cathedral is recognized as America’s oldest Cathedral dating back to 1512.

A tour of Santo Domingo would not be complete without a stop at Zona Colonial ! Ciudad Colonial (Spanish for “Colonial City”) is the historic central neighborhood of Santo Domingo and the oldest permanent European settlement in the Americas.

7. Horseback Riding Tour

This horseback riding excursion is perfect for all the animal lovers out there! Starting at a beautiful rural ranch you’ll head to Uvero Alto Beach, where you can gently stroll along the beach or gallop at top speed, depending on your comfort and experience level.

Your guide will determine your experience level to give you the proper advice. In essence, this is a fun way to experience the coast away from your resort.

This tour is suitable for riders of any experience and includes transportation from your hotel.

8. Monkeyland

Monkeyland is another one of the must-do Punta Cana excursions for the animal lover in you! This tour offers a chance to interact and observe monkeys in their natural environment while enjoying spectacular views of the countryside.

Monkeyland is one the most unique things to do in Punta Cana as it allows you to interact with friendly squirrel monkeys. The tour continues through the eastern mountain range until you reach a local village.

In the village, you get to visit a typical home to sample fresh organic coffee, cacao, and tropical fruits. This is certainly one of the most unforgettable Punta Cana activities for all ages.

9. Scape Park

There will be no shortage of unique things to do on your full-day excursion to Scape Park !

This combination package includes a zipline tour, a swim in the Blue Hole, traveling through a tunnel network of Iguabonita Cave, and exploration of the magnificent Las Ondas cenote.

Las Ondas Cenote is one of the multiple cenotes inside Scape Park. It sits in an ancient, underground cavern. A short hike through the forest leads towards a steep, wooden staircase that descends into the cave.

Upon entering the cave, you are surrounded by a freshwater pool, where ancient Tainos pictographs can be found on the walls. All things considered; Scape Park is a must-stop place on your trip!

Scape Park also has a dune buggy adventure, Iguanaland, and Saltos Azules which includes a jump from the Mabo rope, a Macuya Swing, a monkey bar, and water hammocks that take you speeding and splashing in cool waters surrounded by ancient caves and waterfalls.

10. Coco Bongo

Located downtown, Coco Bongo Punta Cana is a popular nightlife destination that combines cinema, theater, music, disco, videos, acrobatics, and more.

You will need to buy advanced tickets to avoid long lineups and possible sellouts.

Choose between an open bar option or a limited drinks package while you experience one of the best things to do in Punta Cana at night.

Personally I booked this Open Bar Option with Hotel pick up.

11. Golfing

For the golfer in your family, La Cana Golf Club is one of the best things to do in Punta Cana! This course includes three holes in the ocean and seven with ocean views.

Your package includes private transportation to the club, practice time, golf balls, a green fee, and the use of a golf cart for getting around.

Golf club rental comes at an extra fee. Golfing on the ocean’s edge is one of the most unique things to do in Punta Cana.

12. Whale Watching

This whale-watching tour begins by sailing out on a large catamaran into Samana Bay. A guide accompanies you in spotting the migrating humpback whales during your excursion.

After you spot some whales, the boat heads for Bacardi Island in the middle of Samana Bay, to relax and enjoy lunch and drinks, where lunch and 1 drink are provided.

This tour combines a nature-focused adventure with time to relax on the beach, equally giving you the best of both worlds.

In conclusion, Punta Cana is a dream destination you don’t want to miss out on! With some of the best things to do in the world, your vacation will be a memorable one.

In addition to the Dominican people, the history, and the climate, these top 12 excursions are bound to have you reminiscing for life! From beaches to water sports to animals, there is something to do for everyone.

Whether you are traveling solo, with your partner, or with your children, your dream vacation is waiting for you in the Dominican Republic, what will you do first?

This is a guest post by Guest Contributor Crystal Kirkpatrick of  Dreamscapedestinations.com

About the author: Born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan! That really, REALLY cold place on the prairies of Canada! In 2015, my husband and I decided to move ourselves and our 2 youngest children to the Okanagan in British Columbia, where we spent 7 years.

From mountains to forests to lakes, Canada’s west coast undeniably had it all! Presently, we find ourselves back in Regina where most of our family continues to reside. Regardless of where we’ve lived, we’ve always loved the outdoors and yearned to be in a warmer Canadian climate.

Our goal is to travel the world and eventually move to a warmer, southern climate. In the meantime, we will be traveling throughout Canada and blogging about our journey!

Are you planning a Punta Cana vacation and searching for the most unique things to do in Punta Cana? You’ve come to the right place! In this post, we highlight some of the best and most unique Punta Cana tours, beautiful beaches, and attractions that Punta Cana has to offer. Where to Stay in Punta Cana? My husband and I stayed at Secrets Royal Beach All-Inclusive Punta Cana Resort, with an upgrade to the preferred club. I would 100% recommend staying here! The rooms were impeccable, the dining was exquisite, and the beach was beautifully maintained. My favorite part of …  12 Unique Things to Do in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic {2024} Read More »

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  2. From Punta Cana: Full-Day Whale Watching

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  5. Whale Watching 2020 in Punta Cana to Samana Bay + Cayo Levantado

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  6. Whale Watching in Samana by Bus

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    Take a flight to explore the best of Samana during whale-watching season. Hop in a boat and marvel at Whales in the Bay and relax at the beach in Cayo Levantado. ... Dominican Republic. Monte Plata Province. Things to do in Punta Cana. Punta Cana International Airport. Water activity. Whale Watching: Full Day Tour from Punta Cana by Airplane. 3 ...

  9. Punta Cana Whale Watching

    Experience the largest concentration of humpback whales in the Caribbean in Samana Bay from January to March. Enjoy spacious and stable vessels, guaranteed sightings, and a variety of whale behaviors on our whale watching tours from Punta Cana.

  10. Whale Watching and Bacardi Island

    Available January 2024! Is the Dominican Republic the best place to Whale Watch in the world? It is! And we're going to show you why. Whale Watching by Bus from Punta Cana to Samana is several excursions rolled into one: Bus ride, Boat Ride, visit to an offshore key and, of course, Whale Watching. Only have time for ONE tour? Then this is it.

  11. Humpback whales Watching + Samana Eco-Tour

    Caribbean Dominican Republic La Altagracia Province Punta Cana Cap Cana Things to Do in Cap Cana Cap Cana Tours Tours and Tickets SPECIAL OFFER Humpback whales Watching + Samana Eco-Tour By Costa Romantica 6 reviews See all photos About from $155.00 $140.25 per adult Lowest price guarantee Reserve now & pay later Free cancellation

  12. THE TOP 10 Whale Watching in Punta Cana (w/Prices)

    A: The best Whale Watching in Punta Cana according to Viator travellers are: Full-Day Whale Watching Tour in Samana Bay from Cabeza de Toro. Samaná Whale Watching 2022 in Punta Cana to Samaná Bay & Cayo Levantado. Full-Day Whale Watching Tour in Samana Bay from Cabeza de Toro.

  13. Punta Cana Early Morning Whale Watching and Eco Tour 2023

    Punta Cana Early Morning Whale Watching and Eco Tour 2023 a Tripadvisor company en/USD$ Top Punta Cana activities Explore by category Art & Culture Audio Guides Classes & Workshops Food & Drink Kid-Friendly Likely To Sell Out Outdoor Activities Seasonal & Special Occasions Tickets & Passes Tours, Sightseeing & Cruises

  14. Whale watching 2024 in the Dominican Republic

    Whale watching from Punta Cana (and Samana, Bayahibe, Santo Domingo, etc.) can be booked now for tours starting from the 15th of January 2024 onwards. The cheapest price in 2024 for a whale-watching tour in the Dominican Republic is 130 USD - check out this tour here *.

  15. PC#4A Whale Tour With Legendary Kim Beddall

    Whales Punta Cana & Bavaro with Kim Beddall Tour PC#4A - Tour Samana With Terry View of Kim's boat in Action! View of Kim's boat in Action! We cross the Samana Bay in a boat similar to this. Lunch here! Baby Whales! View from Kim's boat.

  16. Full-day Whale watching Tour in Samana Bay from Punta Cana

    About. You will be able to enjoy the beautiful view of the bay of Samana, an amazing spectacle awaits you. The spectacle is impressive, when the 40-ton males jump up into the water and fall down a few meters ahead. If he does not win reactions from any female, the male tries to attract them with a long and monotonous song that the whales can ...

  17. THE 10 BEST Punta Cana Dolphin & Whale Watching Tours (2024)

    Dolphin & Whale Watching in Punta Cana Enter dates Outdoor Activities Filters • 1 Sort & up & up & up English French Spanish German El Salto del Limón Conexion Viajes Somos Viaje SRL Shelting Tours Punta Cana: Dolphin & Whale Watching Information

  18. Private Whale-Watching Tour in Punta Cana

    The Dominican Republic Punta Cana Private Whale-Watching Tour 10 / 10 1 review Free cancellation See availability Private Whale-Watching Tour Go whale watching in the Dominican Republic Sail the bay of Samana Look out for these majestic creatures Visit the spectacular island of Cayo Levantado Relax on the white sandy beaches See more photos (8)

  19. Whale-Watching Videos

    Whale-Watching Videos. Friends of us recently had a tour for whale-watching shortly after the opening of the season 2024 and had some spectacular sightings. We'd love to share their videos with you - a short version first (for all those who don't have time) and a long uncut version with 4 minutes whale-watching amazement.

  20. Punta Cana Small-Group Full-Day Whale-Watching Tour 2023

    2 Reviews Punta Cana, Caribbean Save to Wishlist From $125.00 Lowest Price Guarantee Select Date and Travelers Check Availability Reserve Now & Pay Later Secure your spot while staying flexible Free cancellation Up to 24 hours in advance.

  21. Dominican Republic Tour & Excursion

    1 Night / 4 Guests $ 153.00 Per Person Book Now Sale! Four Adventures: Parasailing, Snorkeling Cruise, Sharks & Rays in Natural Pools from Punta Cana Half Day Trip $ 155.00 $ 135.00 Per Person Book Now Sale! Samaná Cayo Levantado (Bacardi Island) and Whale Watching from Miches in Catamaran Day Pass

  22. Samana Whale Watching Tour & Excursion

    Book Now. « 1 2 3 … 28 ». Samana whale watching Tours & Excursions in the Dominican Republic. Starting from Samana, Punta cana, Puerto plata, Las terrenas, Las Galeras, Los Haitises, Whale watching best price.

  23. Samana Whale-Watching and Cayo Levantado Tour from Punta Cana 2024

    Fly to Samaná from Punta Cana to observe the migration of humpback whales off the coast during this 12-hour eco-adventure. After touching down at the airport in Samanà, meet your local guide and transfer to a boat bound for Cayo Levantado. Arrive at the island oasis, a perfect speck of white sand fringed by palm trees, to enjoy the sun and sand. Dig in to a buffet-style lunch beachside ...

  24. 12 Unique Things to Do in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 2024

    Golfing on the ocean's edge is one of the most unique things to do in Punta Cana. 12. Whale Watching. This whale-watching tour begins by sailing out on a large catamaran into Samana Bay. A guide ...

  25. Samana Bay Whale Watching Tour from Uvero Alto 2023

    Whale Watching Are you interested in? Outdoor Activities 1,133 Tours & Activities Cayo Levantado (Bacardi Island) Tours 100 Tours & Activities Tours, Sightseeing & Cruises 1,123 Tours & Activities Why you are seeing these recommendations Reserve Now & Pay Later Full-day Whale watching Tour in Samana Bay from Uvero Alto 1 Review