It's once in a blue moon that I publish an article about destinations in the Caribbean. Still, after recommending some local beers from the region a couple of months ago, it's time for us to find out whether you can travel around on the budget there.
This week, we're going to Chris of Punta Cana Travel Blog to talk about how far you could get with $10 in Punta Cana, a resort town in the eastern part of the Dominican Republic.
So, is it possible to travel inexpensively around the Caribbean?!
Things to Do Under $10 around Punta Cana
Punta Cana is well-known as an all-inclusive destination with lots of resorts and big hotels, which increases the price level and makes it one of the most expensive regions in the Dominican Republic.
However, if you know how to do it, you can travel to Punta Cana without spending too much money and save a considerable amount compared to a typical all-inclusive holiday.
In this article, I am going to show you how many amazing experiences you can have with $10 USD in Punta Cana in one-day and have compiled two full-day itineraries which cost you no more than 10 USD, which is around 580 Dominican Peso (DOP) as of today.
Did you know?
The late Oscar de la Renta, the famous designer known for his designs of beautiful wedding dresses and dresses for first ladies, was partners with the Grupo Punta Cana. He also designed the Tortuga Bay Boutique Hotel in Punta Cana.
Day Itinerary 1: Explore the Area on Your Own with a Rental Car
If you have a rental car, you can have an amazing time exploring Punta Cana on a budget. In the morning, head off northwestward until you reach Montaña Redonda, a small mountain featuring marvelous views of the entire coastline.
Montaña Redonda also offers unique swings and hammocks on the edge of the mountain which allows for some amazing photos as if you were flying.
If you take the short but steep hike up (approx. 30 minutes), the entrance fee for Montaña Redonda is just $2 USD.
Going down is much quicker than the way up. Back at the car, I'd recommend continuing the journey to Miches, a little sleepy fishing town.
Lunch at Coco Loco Beach Club
For lunch, you can stop at Coco Loco Beach Club, where you can have delicious fresh fish right at the beach for 350 DOP, that is around $6 USD – an amazing bargain compared to the touristic area of Punta Cana, where you would have to pay at least double the price.
In the afternoon, you can visit two different beaches, which can't be more different.
Playa Esmeralda and Playa Macao
The first one is Playa Esmeralda, reachable after approx. 30 minutes driving from Miches. If you have ever dreamt of having a beach all for yourself, this is your place to go as Playa Esmeralda is an absolutely pristine beach without any people.
You can walk for miles without meeting any other tourist – a perfect Robinson Crusoe feeling. Visiting Playa Esmeralda is free.
The last stop on the way back to Punta Cana is Playa Macao, which is a local’s favorite.
To finish off the day, it's a perfect spot to relax with a cold beer (get it from a Colmado in the little village for around $2 USD), hear the waves crashing, have a dip into the ocean if you are a decent swimmer and watch the local Dominican life.
From Playa Macao, it’s just a 15-20-minute ride back to Punta Cana, where you are going to arrive with just $10 USD spent for the whole day.
Day Itinerary 2: When Staying in an All-Inclusive Resort
If you are more the all-inclusive type of person and your accommodation and the surrounding area is enough for you, I have another proposal on how you can explore many different aspects in Punta Cana for under 10 USD.
In the morning, leave your Punta Cana all-inclusive resort beachside and stroll along the gorgeous beaches of the area.
Depending on where your all-inclusive resort is located, you might be able to walk more than 10 miles with your toes in the sand without any interruption.
I’d recommend paying special attention to the instagrammable spots along the beach, such as crazy vertical palm trees or picturesque beach settings.
For lunch, head back to your resort and get ready to leave the resort as soon as you have finished eating.
It is most likely that there is one of the several fruit vendors close to your resort where you can order freshly prepared fruit juice, made out of Mango, Pineapple, Passionfruit or all three of them for example. A juice usually costs between 50 and 100 DOP, so between $1 and $2 USD.
From here, take a local minibus (again, this depends on where your resort is located, but most accommodations are served by public transport) for $1 USD in direction to Coco Loco / Downtown.
Tell the driver or his assistant that you want to get out at Choco Museo, a chocolate museum where you can get a free tour and learn everything about Dominican chocolate. I'd recommend buying a local chocolate bar (around $3-4 USD) as an authentic (and delicious!) souvenir.
Immerse the Local Culture Around Colmado
Once done, head back towards your resort, again with the local minibus ($1 USD), and stop at the closest Colmado.
Those are mom-and-pop stores, which turn into a bar in the late afternoon or early evening. Buy yourself a “Jumbo” beer (a 1-liter bottle) and share it with your friends or the local Dominicans.
You can’t immerse yourself better in the local culture than in these omnipresent Colmados. A “Jumbo” costs around $3 USD, so you have again spent less than 10 USD for an amazing day in Punta Cana.
From the Colmado, just walk back home to your all-inclusive resort (which should be close) before dark.
Contributor: Chris from Punta Cana Travel Blog
Chris has traveled to over 70 countries and is living in the Dominican Republic since 2015. Follow him exploring this amazing and underrated country on his blog, focusing on insider tips for the popular destination of Punta Cana. He loves to plan trips for others, travel on his own, and write about the coolest adventures and best experiences.