Punta Cana is a popular spring break destination — Photo courtesy of tedmurphy
During spring break, Punta Cana pulls out all the stops, rolling out the red carpet for groups of university students from the US and Canada. Spring breakers have started to flock to Punta Cana in recent years, drawn by the all-inclusive packages offered by the luxury hotels and resorts lining its coast. The perks of these package deals are many, most boast tantalizing swim-up bars, multiple pools, casinos, decadent spa treatments, excellent restaurants, and a happening night life - plus, Spring Break revelry of all sorts raging from dawn ‘til dusk.
Punta Cana spans nearly 50 kilometers of powder white sand next to crystalline turquoise water, and much attention is rightfully lavished on the exceptional beauty of its beaches, but people really come to Punta Cana to party in paradise. As a world-class balneario, Punta Cana is a Latin American sea side destination with resorts facing both the Caribbean and the Atlantic. Though many excursions to ecological preserves and water sports such as snorkeling and playing with dolphins abound to keep visitors of all ages and interests entertained, it’s Punta Cana’s all-inclusive resort packages that hold the most attractions; especially for students looking for a quintessential Spring Break experience, where kicking back and partying against a stunning tropical backdrop are the prime activities. In 2011, Ivy Leaguers including a group of more than 100 Harvard students descended upon Punta Cana for Spring Break, turning the spotlight on this hot escape in the Dominican Republic and drawing attention to the results of a study conducted by U.C.L.A. which named Punta Cana 79 out of 100 places to see before you die.
With more than 28,000 hotel rooms and countless bars and restaurants, Punta Cana has plenty of room for the large crowds it draws, especially during peak holiday times, but for Spring Breakers looking to break free from the scene and rowdy parties, there is more to Punta Cana worth exploring. Original Spanish and Dominican architecture dating back to the 16th century can be seen in the nearby tiny fishing-village of Cabo San Rafael, and pugilists will have a field day at one of Punta Cana’s 12 professional golf courses, one of which, named The Teeth of the Dog, is ranked among the first 50 best golf courses in the world. A trip to Higuey, the 500-year-old capital of the Province to see the Basilica Catholic Monument, designed by two French architects in 1962, is a popular excursion that provides a bit of balance for the debauchery of Spring Break sins.