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Punta Cana is a beautiful place to visit, and if you’re lucky enough to be travelling with kids, there are plenty of fun things to do! We’ve put together the ultimate visitor’s guide with the top picks for things to do in Punta Cana with kids.
Punta Cana is one of the most stunning places to visit in the Dominican Republic and it is a great destination for a family trip! Think white sandy beaches, palm trees and glorious tropical weather!
Of course, teamed with plenty of lush fancy resorts and beachside accommodation. Punta Cana with kids is an experience the whole family will love!
If you are a little hesitant about travelling to Punta Cana or the Dominican Republic with kids, don’t worry… we were too. You see, it was never on our list of places to visit. Especially not travelling to Punta Cana with a toddler!
Our trip to Punta Cana was during April, which coincided with the time of US Spring Break, so it was a fairly popular time to be anywhere in the Americas.
Plenty of families were enjoying the perfect weather and beautiful Punta Cana beaches, but there is so much more than just beaches to enjoy!
Here are our best tips, recommendations and attractions for visiting Punta Cana with children!
Best Time To Go To Punta Cana
If you’re looking for the best time to visit Punta Cana, we recommend the months of December through April. These months offer the most ideal weather conditions with little chance of rain and warm temperatures.
The Dominican Republic is a tropical destination with warm temperatures all year round. Visiting between July and August will be the hottest time of year.
In saying that, there is no bad time of year to visit Punta Cana. Even their rainy season is mild between May and November.
How Safe Is Punta Cana?
Punta Cana is very safe. In fact, it’s one of the safest places to visit in the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic has a relatively low crime rate and very minimal violent crime rate since there is such a high focus on tourism.
Of course, you should always use common sense when travelling to any new place and be aware of your surroundings. Petty theft still occurs. But overall, you can feel confident that Punta Cana is a safe place to visit with kids.
We travelled to the Dominican Republic all the way from Australia, which meant no direct flight options.
Our flight from Brisbane was with Virgin Australia, which flew us to Los Angeles where we enjoyed a few days exploring California to break up our long trip.
We then did our second leg of the trip around 5 days later with Delta Airlines, stopping briefly in Panama City along the way.
When you are travelling such long distances with young children, having a couple of days to stop over along the way there and back can make the world of difference. We did the same thing on the way home and are so glad we did!
There are many international airline carriers that travel to and from Punta Cana each week, so you will have plenty of options for your trip. We had no issue with Delta and found them to be a great airline during our experience.
Once you arrive at Punta Cana International Airport, be prepared for a bit of chaos. There are taxi drivers and private transport companies everywhere once you make your way into the main foyer area towards the exit and they all want your business!
We recommend organising your transfer prior to arrival and making a beeline to the person holding up your name quick smart. Stay focused on your endpoint and don’t get caught up in the madness.
Getting Around Punta Cana
If you are staying fairly central to the tourist hub of Punta Cana or in one of the resorts, most of what you need will either be there or nearby so you can walk to most of the places yourself.
However, if you are going a little further or to the airport, you will need to use public transport.
The resorts will be able to assist with taxis, private cars and bus services which are reliable and safe. Always make sure you get assistance with booking these services where possible to ensure you are choosing a quality option.
Tip: They do not have car seat laws like we do here in Australia or in the USA. It can be tricky to organise a transport that will provide them and you don’t know what the quality will be like. Consider bringing your own booster seats and capsules from home, especially if you are travelling to Punta Cana with a baby!
Where to Stay in Punta Cana
There are so many places to stay in Punta Cana. If you are looking for a fancy resort, the options are endless and the price point differs significantly.
There are also small hotels and private housing available too. It really depends on what you’re looking for.
We stayed in a budget-friendly place for the first 2 nights to keep our costs down, and did a pretty thorough check of the reviews online… but they were not very accurate compared to our experience.
Our room was not very clean. There was no hot water. Our sink kept falling apart. And our airport transport never came.
We stayed at Guesthouse Caribe Punta Cana for those first 2 nights. What it did have going for it was it was an easy walk to shops, restaurants and the beach.
But as they say, you get what you pay for and I very nearly cancelled and found a different place to stay.
What made this even worse was the fact we were visiting Punta Cana with a toddler who was sick the first few days too.
However, it was short term and we knew we had an amazing stay ahead of us at Dreams Royal Beach Punta Cana! The resort was formerly known as Now Larimar Punta Cana Resort and has since rebranded.
Dreams Royal Beach Punta Cana is an all-inclusive resort which means all meals and drinks are included in your package. You pay more but when travelling with kids, this sure does make for a convenient holiday. We love all-inclusive family travel!
You are able to eat at any of the restaurants at the resort and can get snacks or room service during the day too.
And all the drinks you can hope for. Our kids thought they were royalty getting served glasses of fresh-squeezed juice and bottled water to the side of the pool!
It is also along a beautiful stretch of beach where most of the more popular resorts are located.
You may have to dodge the seaweed that washes up each day but the staff do a great job of cleaning it up as best they can. Still a great beach for building sand castles!
The rooms are excellent, the staff are friendly and the kids will LOVE the kids club!
Our eldest was old enough to go for sessions and you pretty much drop them off and pick them up when you feel like it. And they are very reluctant to leave!
Our youngest wasn’t old enough yet but they did let her stay for a half-hour play. Oh, and parents aren’t allowed in. Kids only zone!
They can contact you using a pager they give you, if you need to come earlier to pick up your child but otherwise they take them for meals across the path at the buffet restaurant if they are there over meal time.
It is a great family-friendly resort in Punta Cana.
You can see our Now Larimar (Dreams Royal Beach) Punta Cana review for more details!
Here are some other popular accommodation options for families in Punta Cana:
One thing to note is that when you are booking budget places in Punta Cana like the one we did, hot running water is not always expected so if you don’t fancy yourself a cold shower, choose something mid range.
I don’t even know how we picked so badly with the number of amazing properties in the area! #travelfail
Read next: Punta Cana Now Larimar resort review
Punta Cana Weather and Packing Tips
The Dominican Republic is a tropical country so any Punta Cana travel guide is going to give you a good warning to expect warm, humid weather no matter the season.
But the best thing is that it is fairly consistent throughout the year, so your packing is made easier no matter when you are visiting!
Summer falls between June to August with average temperatures of 28C to 32C. And they get their highest rainfall in September during Autumn, with an average of 128mm.
This is also around the time when Punta Cana has its highest hurricane season, during September and October.
With tropical climates, make sure you pack your summer protection gear. Especially for the kids!
Hats, sunnies, sunscreen, shoulder coverage with sleeved shirts and protective swimming vests are a must!
Depending on where you are staying, you may also need to pack beach towels although most resorts will provide these for you making it very easy to pack light!
Best Things to Do in Punta Cana With Kids
There are so many family friendly activities to do in Punta Cana! Depending on the ages of your children and the things they love to do, you will find lots of outdoor activities to fill your time.
And if you are a family of thrill-seekers, that’s covered too! Punta Cana for kids is going to give them plenty of reason to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air and saltwater.
Punta Cana Monkey Land Tour
A Monkey Day safari tour has to be top of our list since it was our favourite experience during our family holiday to Punta Cana!
If you love animals… and coffee, then you will love this day trip! Monkey Land is a half-day trip into the jungle to learn about coffee production and meet the cutest monkeys you will ever see.
Have them jump all over you and hear the kids’ excitement as they get to learn all about squirrel monkeys during this fantastic educational experience.
You will also have a coffee and cocoa bean demonstration and a chance to sample the coffee and hot chocolate.
Isla Saona is located just off the Punta Cana coast and is famous due to being largely untouched by modern tourism along its beautiful beaches, plus it is without the huge crowds of Bavaro Beach too.
The island is a government-protected nature reserve so you can enjoy the white sand, palm trees and crystal waters and there are lots of ferry and day tours to Saona Island so you can enjoy a family day out away from the mainland.
This one is a pretty obvious choice, and one of the best things to do in Punta Cana with family!
Most places you will stay in the area will be relatively close to Bavaro Beach which is a long stretch of white sand beaches along the resort front.
It is worth it just to see the beautiful turquoise water, however, the kids will love spending time along the beach with plenty of fun to be had – building sand castles, swimming, and exploring the local area.
There are lots of places to eat and drink nearby and you will more than likely find locals trying to sell you their wares too.
If you have water babies in the family, being in a place surrounded by perfect beaches makes it a pretty great place to enjoy some water sports.
Many of the resorts offer the free use or hire of water sports equipment and some even have lessons available for guests so check out what your accommodation has on offer first.
They can point you in the right direction for hire otherwise! Imagine how cool the kids will feel telling their friends back home they learnt how to kayak, stand up paddleboard or surf on their holiday!
For teenagers and adults, there are also motorised water sports such as jet skis and boat hire.
Hoyo Azul Cave
There are so many natural wonders to enjoy around Punta Cana and the Hoyo Azul cave is definitely one worth seeing.
Tucked away in the lush Cap Cana area inside Scape Park, this “blue hole” cenote offers visitors a unique experience of hiking through the rainforest before jumping into the tool of turquoise waters. Or take the stairs to enter the pool minus the leap.
Hoyo Azul, approximately 14 metres (45 feet) in depth, sits at the foot of a 75-metre (246-foot) tall limestone cliff covered in vegetation. You’ll have to cross a suspension bridge and hike through various flora and fauna, including an orchid garden, to reach this incredible hidden oasis
A visit to the cave may not be possible if you are travelling with really young children, simply because it can be a little tricky trekking through the jungle and swimming in the sinkhole, however, the bigger kids will love it.
There are also adventure activities like zip line of course too. So many zip lines in Punta Cana! A super fun experience!
Here are some of the best places to eat in Punta Cana:
If you are looking for a casual dining option that is reasonably priced and has some great simple meals for breakfast, lunch, drinks and snacks, Kat’s is great.
They make some pretty incredible fruit juices too! Very refreshing after a big walk along the beach.
Want to get your Mexican food fix, Wacamole delivers. Plus you will get great friendly service and a tequila shot too if you so please. Simple meals the kids will enjoy too and well priced.
Cuts and Grill
Sometimes you just really feel like a juicy big steak and this is a great place to come!
This Punta Cana restaurant is a really funky little place with modern decor and not a lot of seats, but the food was good and we enjoyed the atmosphere too.
The kids seemed to enjoy it as well and they brought their meals out quickly, which is always a win!
Montserrat Manor Restaurant
Currently, in the top spot on TripAdvisor for places to eat in Punta Cana, Montserrat specialising in seafood and steak.
The reviews speak for themselves really, noting it as one of the best restaurants in Punta Cana.
It is located at the Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana so you will need a reservation to dine here, but do not need to be a guest of the resort.
Bar Trattoria Mamma Luisa
That big bowl of spaghetti we mentioned, well this is the place. What we loved most about this place is how accommodating they were to us as a family.
When we arrived in Punta Cana, our youngest was really unwell so she was a snotty-nosed miserable mess, but they went to every effort to give us an enjoyable dinner and make the kids happy.
We were so incredibly grateful! Their English was not exceptional but their service could not be faulted!
Toc Beach Bar & Restaurant
When you are in a coastal town, you need to visit a good beach bar, even when you’re travelling with kids!
This one is perfect for lunch with the family or to enjoy a refreshing drink by the beach. They have fruit juices and soft drink for the kids.
Visiting Punta Cana With Babies & Toddlers
Most of the major resorts and popular dining areas will have amenities to suit families travelling with young children and babies, such as a baby changing area and high chair.
We found it relatively easy to get a high chair for our toddler during our stay when we dined out, although there were some exceptions.
Luckily she was at that age where it wasn’t a complete necessity.
You can get around easily with a stroller as the streets and paths are paved. We always travel with our favourite compact travel stroller which at least doubled as a high chair if we needed it and of course, a place to nap when out and about.
If you are planning on doing any excursions into the jungle or with lots of walking, you may consider bringing a baby carrier as well.
We found ours was very useful during our Monkey land visit as our little miss got a bit bored during the safari tour and coffee demonstration at the start since she was under the weather.
The local shops have essentials such as nappies and baby food. We took enough of our own for our stay so we did not need to worry about trying to track things down if we ran short.
They also stock a range of medications too, including well known US brands.
Most of the resorts have a full or part-time doctor on staff if you need urgent medical care in Punta Cana.
We did take our daughter for a check-up when we arrived due to her running a mild temperature.
However, we’re able to bring it down with baby paracetamol and did not need a full consultation, which would have been $100US just for the consultation. It is reassuring to know the option is there though.
We are so glad we took our family to the Dominican Republic and had the chance to experience what Punta Cana has to offer.
It sure helped that we visited Disneyland a couple of days later to make it a stand out holiday for our kids, however, it was fantastic as a stand-alone destination!
The locals are really friendly. Of course, you need to take the usual safety precautions you do when travelling anywhere, whether in your own country or overseas, however, we did not feel at risk at any time walking around the city.
Although Simon did have a local offer to sell him something a little herbal while pushing the pram with our toddler! Oh, dear! HA
It was stressful how unwell our daughter was when we arrived however we had medical support and compassionate staff to help us navigate through.
The all-inclusive resort facilities we had were exceptional and made our holiday really easy too, not having to worry about meals or entertaining the kids too much during our stay at Now Larimar Resort as it was all pretty much there.
Yet we did have the chance to experience some real Punta Cana outside of the resort too, and it’s those authentic experiences that make trips so memorable!
What do our girls remember most? The monkeys, the poolside drink service and playing on the beach!
And I honestly think I’m right there with them, even if my drink had a little something stronger than theirs ;)
Punta Cana is a fun family vacation destination with something for all ages to enjoy! We hope our Punta Cana guide helps you to plan an incredible family vacation too!
Book your flights – We use WayAway or Skyscanner to research and book flights. You can set up a price alert for your travel dates, plus it compares most major airlines in one place.