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Along the pristine shoreline of the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana gives way to the endless, sparkling blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. From historic sites to nature retreats to sailing the seas, there are plenty of exciting excursions to take you beyond the beach—and your all-inclusive resort. Ready to explore? Let your Punta Cana adventure begin here.

RELATED: Here’s how to spend 3 perfect days in Punta Cana

Tour the New World’s oldest city

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of IHeartDR.com

Discover, as Christopher Columbus did, Santo Domingo, the country’s capital. Book a local-led tour with I Heart DR.com, and you’ll hear insights from guidesexcitedto share their passion for their native land. At your first stop, you’ll stand in awe of the underground caves at Three Eyes National Park. Then head into the city for a tour of Alcázar de Colón, the palatial home of Diego Columbus, son of Chris. Diego served as governor of the island and his fortress displays authentic furniture and interesting exhibits of period dress. The 16-square block Colonial Zone showcases the historical significance of the Spanish conquest. Take a break for lunch at a traditional Domingo restaurant and enjoy the lively dancing. Walk through Plaza de España, then admire the first cathedral built in the Americas, the gorgeous Catedral Primada de América.

Go on a thrilling jungle adventure

Photo courtesy of IHeartDR.com

Photo courtesy of IHeartDR.com

Adventure awaits at Scape Park in Cap Cana, a natural theme park guaranteed to get your heart pumping. Choose from half or full day excursions. Go ziplining, horseback riding or swimming in the cenotes. Experience the caves, fascinating eco tours or the refreshing H2O of a waterfall. Relax on a Sunshine Cruise or interact with macaws, parrots and other tropical birds at the complimentary Animal Encounter. Visit a traditional Dominican home, see the tools they use and learn how they live. Get truly immersed in the natural beauty of the island.

ALSO: You’ll also trip over how quickly you’ll earn toward hotels when you join Orbitz Rewards.

Take a wild ride on a dune buggy

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of IHeartDR.com

Ready for a ride? Jaunt through the Dominican countryside or along the beach in a 4 x 4 dune buggy for the time of your life! Zip over paved roads, farmland and beaches. Speaking of bumps and grinds, you’ll get to visit a plantation and see how coffee and cocoa are harvested. Get a taste of these amazing drinks in their natural state, as well as the island’s most popular beverage—Mama Juana,a local elixir made of rum, wine and honey. Feed your need for speed in this adrenaline-rush and experience the real splendor of Punta Cana.

Swim with the stingrays

Swim with stingrays

Swim with stingrays

Gear up for a great day with the Marinarium Snorkeling Cruise and watch as brilliant, colorful marine life float by in their natural habitat. Snorkel, swim with the stingrays and get up close and personal with nurse sharks. Then take a dip in the natural swimming pool as you wander in waist-high waters, sipping a Caribbean cocktail. Now, this is paradise!

Party hearty on a catamaran

Dream Sail | Photo courtesy of elgringoexcursions.com

Dream Sail | Photo courtesy of elgringoexcursions.com

Welcome aboard the Dream Sail, an exhilarating cruise along Bavaro Beach in crystal clear waters. Snorkel in the natural coral reef and snap pictures of the tropical fish and colorful flora beforeyou. With tropical drink inhand and lively Caribbean music, you’ll cruise around Dolphin Island as well as the sharks and stingray tanks. For your next adventure, swim in the refreshing waters at the natural swimming pool, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea and then you’ve done it—you’ve met your day in the sun!

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Tagged: Caribbean

Mira Temkin

Mira Temkin

Lover of lore with a thirst for adventure, Mira has her bags packed -- ready to go in a flash. She writes with spirited soul about destinations, hotels and spas.
Mira Temkin

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