Punta Cana is the undisputed destination for sportfishing in the Dominican Republic. It was the #1 billfishery in the world for 2020 and is consistently in the top 3. Despite most of the season being canceled and less than half the boats all due to covid-19, there were still over 4000 catches recorded. With luck, this number will rise once again this year, with more and more boats and anglers going out for the fight.
Punta Cana does have many things to do, but many of the visitors here are here for just one thing, FISHING!! There are many options to choose from here in Punta Cana, and the local guides and charter services are the best way to experience it all.
There is remarkable fishing in the flats inshore. Bonefish, Snook, Permit and Tarpon all call these shallows home. Hooking any one of these fish is an adrenaline rush watching the line scream and then the fish leaping two feet out of the water. There are plenty of charters that can take you into these shallows for the fun of your life.
Reef fishing is also great in Punta Cana. The reef system hosts a diverse group of fish. Experienced charters know where to go to get you put on the fish. You might pull up grouper, snapper, amberjacks, big barracuda, triggerfish, and loads more on any given trip. Reef fishing is relaxing but still loads of fun with tons of action all day. The water is calm in these shallower waters inshore, which means you won’t get seasick like you will offshore. These trips are an excellent time for families because you do not need experience to have a great time. For novices, the captain and crew will show you the ropes.
Strength and endurance is the name of the game when deep-sea fishing. It takes patience, strength and endurance to land a monster Blue Marlin, but if that has always been your dream, for five months there are so many of them in the water that multiple hookups are not unheard of. The great thing is you do not have to go very far from town to get to the fishing grounds, they are just offshore. One of the many charter services with an experienced captain will know these waters and will be able to get you hooked up. Marlin is the fish most come to catch, but they are not the only fish in the sea. The undercurrents of the Puerto Rico Trench bring plankton and baitfish up towards the surface. This attracts fish like the Golden Dorado, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, and all of the billfish; Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish and in deeper waters further out swordfish. There are real monsters in these waters just waiting for your hook. There is nothing like the thrill of fighting and reeling in a marlin, and Punta Cana is one of the best places in the world to experience it. One note: All of the fishing charters follow the catch and release mandate of the Island. All marlin and sailfish are tagged and released to be caught again but swordfish can be brought back to shore.
You can’t talk about the fishing in Punta Cana without mentioning Cap Cana Marina. This multimillion-dollar harbor is where many of the charter boats are located. Cap Cana is also the host of many of the most prominent and biggest paying billfish tournaments on the island, like the Cap Cana Classic.
While fishing is king in Punta Cana, there are many other things to do in your free time or for your family while you are on the water. The biggest attractions are the beaches and for good reasons They are beautiful with white sugar sand, turquoise waters and palm trees swaying in the breeze. There are many to choose from, each with its own charms. The #1 choice has got to be Bavaro Beach. On this beach, you will find many all-inclusive resorts and plenty of sunbathers. It is a great place to lay your blanket down and relax or cool down and have fun in the crystal clear water. There are also plenty of beach clubs and restaurants where you can relax and sip a local cocktail while eating the freshest seafood. The beach is over 12 miles long, so if it is too crowded at one spot, you can always walk down the beach and find a more quiet area. For a taste of the island, Macao Beach is where the locals go. Here you can get a fresh, just caught, Dominican-style grilled fish plate served right on the beach. This beach is known for its action too. Playa Macao is one of the only beaches with big swells and waves from the tradewinds offshore. There are big waves there for the experienced, but it is also a great beach to learn to surf from the local surf school. This beach may not be as fancy as some of the other beaches, but it is still a picture book setting and definitely Instagram-worthy.
Punta Cana, however, is not only known for beautiful beaches and crazy fishing. Cigars, chocolate, coffee and rum are all major exports in the Dominican Republic and the Don Lucas Cigar Factory, The Choco Museo, The Coffee Museum, and many rum bars are located in town. You can learn how these artisan crafts are made at these locations and get to sample some of these fantastic local products. You can go it alone or sign up for one of the many tours of all four.
There are all kinds of recreational activities for all ages here in Punta Cana. For kids or the kids in all of us, there are so many fun activities to choose from. If getting up close and personal swimming with dolphins is something you or your kids want to check off your bucket list, then you have come to the right place. There are three different marine parks to choose from. Suppose you want to play in the water without going to the beach. In that case, there are a few waterparks with huge wave pools and fun waterslides, and for more adventure, you can try the bungee trampoline, ziplining, playing paintball with your friends or family and more at the Bavaro Adventure Park. An excellent excursion for the whole family is a catamaran ride to Isla Saona and Isla Catalina. These are two beautiful islands with unspoiled palm tree-lined beaches and some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving. Speaking of scuba diving, you do not have to go to Saona, there is top-notch diving at the reefs offshore here in town. Many also come to golf, and Punta Cana has many championship courses designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Nick Price and others that will stun you with beauty and haunt your dreams with difficulty. And for the adults, you do not want to miss the hedonism that is Coco Bongo.
Punta Cana is a fun town full of lots to do and see. But for many of its visitors it is a fisherman’s dream!!