At the very tip of La Altagracia, in the Eastern most part of the Dominican Republic, one will find the newly created district known as Punta Cana. The world-famous beaches of the incredible Punta Cana face both the Caribbean and Atlantic oceans. The province of La Altagracia boasts over 100 kilometers (62 miles) of coastline. Punta Cana was recently placed, by U.C.L.A. as number 79 on a list of 100 places you must see before you die.
The weather around Punta Cana is mostly mild, although there are slight winds at times. The waters in the region are mainly shallow and dotted with marine pools that are ideal to bathe in. The beaches are composed of white pristine sand, bathed in 365 days of sunshine. The main beaches in the area are: Uvero Alto, Macao, Arena Gorda, Bavaro, El Cortecito, Cabeza de Toro, Cabo Engano, Punta Cana and Juanillo.
While in Punta Cana you will want to explore the surrounding area, as it is rich in history. To the south, in one of the more remote areas in the La Altagracia province, is the town San Rafael del Yuma, home to the original fortress of Juan Ponce de Leon. Ponce de Leon is best known for his quest for the fountain of youth in the Americas. At one time, Ponce de Leon was the governor of the new province of Higuey, on La Hispanola (the island host of both Haiti and the Dominican Republic). He first arrived in the Caribbean after enlisting with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the new world
Also to the south, just seven minutes from the airport, is the exclusive tourism and real estate community of, Cap Cana. The number one rated golf course (as listed by golfweek) in the Caribbean and Mexico, can also be found in Cap Cana. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, it is the home of the PGA Tours, Champion’s Tour since 2008. A second golf course, Los Iguanas, will be opening soon. Cap Cana also features a fully operational marina capable of handling ships up to 150 feet in length. The area surrounding the marina is replete with shops and gourmet restaurants. One will also find world-class spas and exclusive, exquisite clubs. There is also an educational district, which includes the prestigious Cap Cana bilingual Heritage School.
The Punta Cana Airport, which is one of the best connected and busiest airports in the Caribbean, serves the Punta Cana region. The Punta Cana airport has surpassed the Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo, as the busiest airport in the Dominican Republic. The airport opened in 1984, to service Punta Cana and it also has the unique distinction of being the world’s first privately owned airport. American travelers should note that the airport is now equipped with a US Customs pre-clearance station, which will greatly enhance you trip home by allowing you to to clear customs before entering the plane.
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