Are you looking for some real adventures but are not sure which activities get your adrenaline flowing? We have you covered! The following article is explaining in detail the best Punta Cana adventures on the water, in the air and on land. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a full-service adventure excursion where you don’t have to take care of anything (including pick-up and drop-off from your resort) or some unique DIY adventures in Punta Cana where you explore the hidden secrets of the Dominican Republic. This guide with the best Punta Cana adventures gets you covered.
This article is particular about adventures in Punta Cana. If you are interested in other activities in Punta Cana, check out
– the best things to do in Punta Cana
– the most exciting excursions and tours in Punta Cana
Top Rated Punta Cana Adventures
Each person defines adventures as something different. While for some people it is already an adventure traveling to the Dominican Republic, others are craving pure wilderness, local experiences, adrenalin-rushing activities or athletic performances. This is why this Punta Cana adventure guide covers both:
– Guided excursions and activities, which are true adventures (and not just “adventures of your lifetime” in terms of the marketing speech)
– DIY adventures for seasoned travelers and experienced outdoor freaks
– Furthermore, we also include some hybrid adventures, which are the best of both worlds
If you don’t want to read until the end, here is our recommendation for the best adventure in Punta Cana in each category:
Best Punta Cana adventure excursion: Xtreme Buggy Adventure Punta Cana*
Best Punta Cana DIY adventure: Salto de la Jalda
Best other adventure in Punta Cana: Power adventures Punta Cana*
The 5 best Punta Cana adventure excursions
Let’s start with the best Punta Cana adventure tours and excursions. Those can be seen as all-inclusive adventures, as you get picked up at your resort, get dropped off again and enjoy full services such as guides, transport and equipment (if necessary). Those adventure excursions are perfect for those who’re looking for some adrenaline-rushing activities without foregoing the safety and security of an organized excursion in Punta Cana. Let’s have a look at the 5 best Punta Cana adventures when heading on an organized tour.
Zipline Adventure in Punta Cana
One of the most popular Punta Cana adventure tours is ziplining. As you can read here, there are various Zipline adventures in Punta Cana, among them the one at Bavaro Adventure Park Punta Cana* or the canopy adventure Punta Cana with Bavaro Runners*. However, in my opinion, the most adventurous zipline in Punta Cana is the one at Scape Park Punta Cana.
The reason for the Scape Park zipline being the most adventurous one is that it not only includes 8 cables, but it also has a short Via Ferrata included. Furthermore, you can enjoy a hammock zipline as well as a water zipline (in addition to the 8 cables) which are great fun and will guarantee long-lasting memories.
What’s unique about ziplining is that you feel like you’re flying, which is already an adventure in itself. Add the perfect Punta Cana scenery, some beautiful ocean views and a pretty quick speed when ziplining (at least at some of the cables) and you have the perfect ingredients for your zipline adventure in Punta Cana.
Why it is one of the best Punta Cana adventures: ziplining in general is a great organized and safe adventure + this particular zipline offers water fun and hammock ziplines.
Pricing: find the best prices for ziplining here*
Further information: the best ziplines in Punta Cana – your canopy adventure in paradise
Let’s continue with another Punta Cana adventure you can have up in the air: parasailing. This is particularly perfect when you don’t want to leave your resort in Punta Cana for too long as this is a rather quick adventure. In case you don’t know what’s parasailing, that’s the activity where you start on the boat, get spanned under a kind of parachute and later fly up into the air once the boat is moving. However, you are secured with a robust cable, hence you can enjoy your time up there safe and sound.
When considering a parasailing adventure in Punta Cana, there are two great things about it: first of all, you can enjoy a similar feeling flying as it is with ziplining, even though it is not as quick. Second, the views of the coastline, the white beaches in Punta Cana and the several all-inclusive resorts are simply stunning, hence you will have a great time in the air.
Why it is one of the best Punta Cana adventures: a rather quick adventure, but seeing Punta Cana from above is breathtaking
Pricing: find the best prices for parasailing here*
Hiking adventure in Punta Cana
If you’re looking for a nature adventure in Punta Cana but don’t want to head on some of the DIY adventures mentioned further below, a hiking trip in Punta Cana might be the right thing for you. Considering that you might stay in your resort for most of the time, such a trip into nature will be a great adventure to explore the local wildlife, see the lush vegetation and get to know some of the secrets the Dominican Republic has to offer. Particularly as this excursion is mostly done in very small groups, you can also fully immerse into the local nature.
If you book this recommended hiking excursion* as your personal Punta Cana adventure, you will head to the Anamuya Mountains and have an approximate 2-3 hour hike at a relaxed pace, hence it is suitable for nearly all kinds of travelers. Following some farmers’ trails and unmarked hiking paths, your local guide will explain everything about the plants, fruits and smaller wildlife you’ll see along your way.
Why it is one of the best Punta Cana adventures: having a little workout and getting immersed in nature is a great and unique combination
Pricing: find the best prices for hiking tours here*
Further information: Hiking in Punta Cana – the best excursions and trails
Xtreme Buggy Adventure Punta Cana
There are many Punta Cana buggy tours out there, but only a few of them offer a true adventure in Punta Cana. Particularly the cheap so-called dune buggy adventures are more a combination of some decent off-road driving fun and shopping stuff, hence it is not necessarily recommended to book those tours if looking for a proper adventure.
Much better are some of the REAL buggy adventures, which are also described in our Punta Cana Buggy Guide. One of them is the so-called Punta Cana Xtreme Buggy Adventure*, which takes you in very small groups out through the untouched countryside of Punta Cana. Particularly during the full-day tour, you see authentic local villages far away from Punta Cana, unspoiled countryside and pristine beaches where usually not a single tourist is going – this is a true Dominican Republic adventure.
When booking the Xtreme Buggy Adventure Punta Cana it is important to know how to drive with a manual stick shift.
Why it is one of the best Punta Cana adventures: pretty adventurous full-day buggy excursion with areas where no other tour is heading to
Pricing: find the best prices for Xtreme buggy adventure*
Further information: The best dune buggy adventure tours in Punta Cana (Tested and hand-picked)
ATV Adventure Punta Cana
If you don’t know how to drive a manual stick shift, you can also opt for an ATV Adventure in Punta Cana. The general idea is similar to the dune buggy adventure, but you are driving a sturdy ATV along the off-roads of Punta Cana. It pays off as well to check which of the Punta Cana ATV/Polaris adventure tours you’re booking, as some are just following the paths along the tourist trails.
One of the great ATV adventures in Punta Cana is the Flintstone Buggy Adventure. This tour leads you into the unpopulated backcountry of Punta Cana, where you’re speeding through unpaved roads, along uncleared scrubland, admiring how drastically Punta Cana is changing within a few miles after leaving the resort area. You’ll also visit a typical local Colmado in the countryside (which is not that adventurous though) and a pretty cool cave system.
Particularly the many trails off the beaten track makes this tour a great Punta Cana adventure and it is combined with some great learnings too.
Why it is one of the best Punta Cana adventures: reasonably priced ATV adventure tour in Punta Cana off-the-beaten-track and with interesting local insights
Pricing: find the best prices for the ATV adventure here*
Further information: The best dune buggy adventure tours in Punta Cana (Tested and hand-picked)
The 5 best Punta Cana DIY adventures
Are you a true adventure lover and can’t sit still for just a few minutes? Are you always looking for the most extreme experiences when on holiday? Do you want to know the hidden gems in the east of the Dominican Republic? Then the following DIY adventures in Punta Cana are for you. All involve a certain kind of organization before your trip, but I’ll try to explain them in detail as much as possible. Furthermore, most of these Punta Cana adventures require a rental car. If you haven’t booked one so far, check out this article about the best rental car companies in Punta Cana.
Saona Overnight Adventure
If I would have to pick one, the Saona Overnight Tour might be my favorite adventure in Punta Cana. You might know Isla Saona as one of the most popular excursions in Punta Cana, but this 2-day adventure is definitely different as you hardly will see any other tourists during these days.
The basis of this Punta Cana adventure tour is the small village of Mano Juan at beautiful and paradisical Saona Island. While most day trips only head to the easily accessible beach on Saona, Mano Juan is a bit further away and therefore only receives a small trickle of tourists who are heading every day to the island. It is also the only village on the island and is home to only three guesthouses. The most recommendable of them is Saona Beach House*.
The unique thing about this adventure is that hardly anyone is overnighting in Mano Juan. You’ll have the whole village for yourself once the day trippers are gone, time seems to have forgotten this place. You might not always have electricity here, but you will have fantastic beaches, great views and a Robinson Crusoe island vibe all for yourself. Furthermore, it is recommended to hike (or take a boat) to Canto de la Playa (approx. 1.5 hours flat walking per way), one of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic. And again, you most likely have the whole beach on your own.
To organize this trip, you have to drive to Bayahibe and park your car at the harbor. There is a boat leaving every morning around 9 am (can be 9 am, can be 10 am – remember, we’re on island time) from Bayahibe towards Mano Juan. The boat back leaves Mano Juan/Saona Island around 2.30 pm. This can be done as a day trip as well, but the adventure is much more worth it if you organize it as a 2 day-trip.
For further information, make sure to read the full Saona Island guide.
It is recommended to pre-book Saona Beach House*.
Why it is one of the best Punta Cana adventures: a paradise just for you alone, without any tourists – isn’t this enough of an adventure?
Pricing: Approx. 25 USD for the ferry per way per person + 70-80 USD for a double room per couple + food + transport from Punta Cana to Bayahibe
Further information: Excursion to Isla Saona 2023 – everything you need to know for your hassle-free Saona Island Tour
Salto de la Jalda
Salto de la Jalda is my favorite Punta Cana adventure when it comes to outdoor activities in Punta Cana. It is the highest waterfall in the Dominican Republic but hardly explored as the hike is pretty long – which makes it a perfect adventure as you usually have the entire place for yourself.
Salto de la Jalda is also one of the best options when it comes to hikes in Punta Cana. You should count around 10-14 miles for the return trip, depending on your type of rental car in Punta Cana. The hike starts in the community of Magua, around 2 hours drive away from most of the all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana. If you have an Economy car, you have to park close to the main road and walk the full 14 miles (return). If you rent an SUV with higher clearance, you can head closer to the trailhead and can start for a 10-mile hike (round trip) approximately.
While 10 (or even 14 miles) sounds pretty long, the hike is not too strenuous as it mostly covers flat terrain. You’ll pass cocoa plantations and cross the river a couple of times, just the last mile or so has a few steeper inclinations. Your reward will be the views of an amazing waterfall dropping around 400 feet – the highest in the Dominican Republic – where you even can have a dip into.
If you want to tackle this hike, it is recommended that you have experience following GPS trails and hiking in tropical terrain. You have to take all your snacks and drinks (at least 4 liters of water) as there is no opportunity to buy something during the hike. If you’re not used to hiking on your own on non-marked hiking trails, it is recommendable to go with a guide, which you can book here*. You also need a vehicle to get to Magua, it is best to rent a car in Punta Cana.
Why it is one of the best Punta Cana adventures: having the highest waterfall in a country completely on your own and combining it with a 10-mile hike through untouched nature sounds like a pretty cool DIY adventure
Pricing: completely for free if you have your own means of transport (otherwise, check rental car prices here* or get a taxi) + guide fee if you need one (you can book it here* but a local guide would be cheaper)
Further information: Salto de la Jalda – the highest waterfall in the Caribbean
Hike to Salto de los Mosquitos
If 10-14 miles sounds like a hike that is too long for you, you could check out Salto de los Mosquitos, which involves a much shorter distance. As this Punta Cana waterfall is hardly known by anyone, it is another perfect Punta Cana adventure off-the-beaten-track.
Salto de los Mosquitos is actually a name I was awarding to the waterfall. Guess why? Because there are (usually) a lot of mosquitos around. Still, it is a rewarding jungle adventure, especially as you can combine it with a trip to Loma Linda, an (abandoned) mountain similar to Montaña Redonda, featuring incredible views.
The hike to Salto de los Mosquitos takes around 1.5 hours one-way, mostly uphill, but with a decent inclination. If you want to add Loma Linda to your hiking adventure, add another 30 minutes. The trailhead is at Rancho Terranova in Las Lisas. As long as you don’t have experience using GPS apps and trail trackers, you should go with a guide from this pretty cool restaurant and ranch, where you can also have a typical Dominican lunch afterwards. Particularly on Sundays, there is a large local audience present here enjoying the pool and loud Latin music. But don’t worry, they all only come to party, the hiking trails you will have completely on your own.
To get here, take your rental car from Punta Cana and head to Las Lisas, approximately one hour away from most all-inclusive resorts. Here you can easily park and start your hiking adventure. As mentioned, if you don’t have a GPS, ask for a guide at Rancho Terranova.
Why it is one of the best Punta Cana adventures: perfect for those who want to explore Punta Cana on a hike with decent length and difficulty
Pricing: 200-300 DOP entrance fee to Rancho Terranova + guide fee if you need one (I don’t have the prices but I would calculate with around 1500-2500 DOP per group)
Further information: All waterfalls reachable from Punta Cana in under 3 hours
Road-Trip to Los Haitises National Park
If hiking in Punta Cana is not yours, but you’re still looking for a proper Punta Cana adventure, how about a mini road trip through this part of the Dominican Republic? A perfect destination if you’d like to combine beautiful nature with impressions from the countryside and some unique things to do in Punta Cana and around.
The great thing about a road trip to Los Haitises National Park is that you can opt for this DIY adventure from Punta Cana as a 1-day, 2-day or 3-day tour. While a 1-day trip is perfect if you have a booking at one of Punta Canas’ all-inclusive resorts for the entire duration of your vacation, a road trip for 2 days is certainly better as this allows you not only to enjoy the national park much more, it also allows you to sleep in one of the most amazing eco-lodges in Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic, Paraiso Caño Hondo*. It is a beautiful hotel amidst the national park, surrounded by several waterfalls directly on the property, which are forming various natural pools to swim in. The views particularly from the upper rooms are also amazing and the surrounding is as natural as you can imagine. From Paraiso Caño Hondo, you can head on several tours through the national park, among them by boat, by kayak or by hiking.
To get here, it is best to rent a car in Punta Cana and drive on a newly-paved road to Sabana de la Mar. From here, it is just around 25 minutes on a dirt road until you reach Los Haitises National Park. The tours in the park can either be prebooked here or reserved directly with your accommodation. To complete this Punta Cana road-trip adventure, some stops on the way are recommended such as at Montaña Redonda, in Miches or at Playa Esmeralda.
Why it is one of the best Punta Cana adventures: enjoy a personalized road trip from Punta Cana and visit one of the most beautiful national parks in the Dominican Republic
Pricing: there is no entrance fee for the national park. You just need a vehicle (rental cars starting from around 40 USD per day incl. full insurance) + accommodation (approx. 60 USD per person incl. half-board)
Further information: Los Haitises National Park – a wonderful excursion or road-trip from Punta Cana
Beach Adventure at Playa Esmeralda and Playa La Vacama
Last but not least I have another road-trip adventure for you – but this time it is just a day trip from Punta Cana, hence no overnight accommodation is necessary. This Punta Cana road trip features two of the most pristine beaches in Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic – hence it is perfect if you’re a beach lover and are looking for an adventure in Punta Cana.
Playa Esmeralda is one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic and is particularly remarkable for its slightly half-moon-shaped bay. Besides one resort that opened shortly after Covid-19, this more than 2-miles long beach is completely pristine and features perfect turquoise and usually serene water.
Playa La Vacama is a particularly wild beach north of Punta Cana and can mark a great stop on your way as well. If you head to Costa Arrecife*, you can have a delicious beachfront lunch here in a rustic setting. They even have tents here if you’re looking for an extra adventure in Punta Cana and would like to camp directly at the beach.
Both beaches can be combined perfectly as they are both in the same direction from Punta Cana, not more than 75 minutes away from most all-inclusive resorts.
Why it is one of the best Punta Cana adventures: two very different but beautiful beaches combined into a unique road-trip adventure
Pricing: the beaches are free in the Dominican Republic. You only need your vehicle (rental cars starting from 50 USD per day).
Further information: the best beaches in the Dominican Republic
5 other adventures in Punta Cana
There are some other activities, excursions and tours in Punta Cana which are also called adventure. It is a great marketing word as you imply that someone will have unlimited fun and a lot of action. But can those kinds of excursions really be counted as a Punta Cana adventure tour? Let’s have a look!
Power adventures Punta Cana
Power adventures is a term used in Punta Cana to describe a combination of various water sports activities. Especially when you love to explore the ocean from above and from below, it is a great option. Considering you have so many different activities on one day, the Power adventures Punta Cana are indeed a pretty cool option to enjoy action and fun.
Usually, this kind of package consists of the following four adventures in Punta Cana:
– hookah diving
– a party boat cruise
To book this kind of combo excursion, you have the following options:
– the initial Power adventure Punta Cana package with 4 activities*
– a Power adventure package with 3 activities (snorkeling, hookah diving, party boat)*
– a Power adventure package with 3 activities (snuba snorkeling, parasailing, catamaran)*
Hispaniola Aquatic Adventures
Talking about Punta Cana adventures in the water, Hispaniola Aquatic Adventures might be another option you come across when looking for suitable tours. However, don’t expect big ocean adventures here which get your adrenaline pumping as they offer mostly regular catamaran tours and snorkeling trips along the coast of Punta Cana.
The tours with Hispaniola Aquatic Adventures Punta Cana are recommendable but it is nothing that gets your heart pumping. If you’re looking for a relaxed quality cruise along the coastline of Punta Cana with a catamaran, you might check them out.
Runners Adventures Punta Cana
You might have heard of Runners Adventures Punta Cana, a tour company in Punta Cana offering a wide variety of tours and excursions. Are they actually offering real Punta Cana adventures, maybe even runners’ adventures?
Yes and No! On the one hand, they don’t offer any Punta Cana adventure tours or excursions which makes them particularly adventurous. And they also don’t offer particular adventures for runners. Most of their tours are regular Punta Cana excursions such as a trip to Salto El Limón and the Samaná peninsula, whale-watching excursions or culture trips to Santo Domingo.
On the other hand, they also offer ziplining and ATV tours (which are called Jungle Buggies in their description), tour types of activities that already have been described as some cool Punta Cana adventures. Taking this into consideration, there are two cool things about this:
– Their zipline circuit is among the longest in Punta Cana, including 12 cables and the longest zipline in the Dominican Republic. Hence yes, this zipline tour is also pretty adventurous.
– You can book the ATV Jungle Buggy Tour and the Zipline of Runners Adventures as a combo excursion*, meaning you can have two cool adventures in Punta Cana in one day.
Bavaro Adventure Park
According to the name, Bavaro Adventure Park Punta Cana sounds like a pretty cool adventure in Punta Cana, doesn’t it?
And indeed it is – if you’re looking for a family adventure in Punta Cana. The different areas and activities of the park will make kids of all ages pretty happy and I am sure they will have an amazing day. Especially the zipline is a very family-friendly activity, but also the horseback rides or the waterfall pool is a great option for kids.
However, if you’re only traveling as a group of adults and are looking for adrenaline, some of the adventures above might be better suitable to satisfy your thirst for adrenaline and action.
Btw, there are other adventure parks in Punta Cana (besides Bavaro Adventure Park) which offer similar experiences incl. great adventures for families, for example, La Hacienda Park Adventure Punta Cana*.
Adventure Boogies Punta Cana
Last but not least, let’s talk about Adventure Boogies Punta Cana (sometimes also referred to as Adventure Buggies Punta Cana). They are one of the many dune buggy adventure tour operators in Punta Cana and one of the few ones which have their own route, even though they also head on the typical tracks to Macao Beach and a cave where you can swim.
Even though Adventure Boogies Punta Cana is one of the better dune buggy adventures, I would still recommend one of the adventures mentioned above in the first section – either the Xtreme dune buggy adventure or the ATV Tour with the Flintstones Buggy Adventure – they are simply more adventurous.
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Author, Travel Coach & Punta Cana based digital nomad
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.