Punta Cana or Cabarete

vahauger

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Oct 8, 2010
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I am flying into Santo Domingo on Nov.2, 2010. I am planning on taking a bus to either Punta Cana or Cabarete. I am having a little trouble deciding on which one to go to. I spent a month in Cabarete about two years ago, it was nice. I thought that I might try Punta Cana this time for a few months during the winter. I like Punta Canas beaches better than Cabarete beach. Are there plenty of places to eat in Punta Cana or bars outside of the AI resorts? Maybe some of you veterans out there can help me make up my mind. I would appreciate All opinions.
 

ben jammin

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Aug 3, 2007
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i suggest you look into samana as well, especially since you are searching for non-AI places. las terrenas is a good sized town where you can find any type of accomodations and restaurants, is as close or closer than the other two and the local beaches are less crowded, some even seem desolate. don't mean to confuse you with another option but you have it anyway :) good luck and happy travels, ben
 

tjmurray

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Aug 11, 2006
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Punta Cana/Bavaro has many more options than Cabarete when it comes to dining and nightlife. Some of the water sports that Cabarete is famous for can also be done here in Bavaro with surfing at Macao beach and kite surfing at Playa Blanca in Punta Cana. Cabarete is a small town you can walk through, Punta Cana/Bavaro is the entire eastern shore of the Dominican Republic. The downside to this is you will most likely need your own transportation to get around Bavaro. In Cabarete, this is not so much the case.

Also, Cabarete is a better spot for day trips since it is closer the central mountain range and various destination points on the north coast. In any case, Bavaro has its day trips like Isla Saona, Isla Catalina, and even Playa Esmeralda in Miches which is a bit more of a hike because of the poor quality of the road.

In the end, if you've seen Cabarete, come to Bavaro. There's a great mix of locals and foreigners and plenty of places to eat and party.
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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I agree with ben that Saman? using Las Terrenas or Las Galeras as a base combine the small holiday town vibe of Cabarete with superior beaches - better than Punta Cana IMO but depends what you're looking for.
 

bachata

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Aug 18, 2007
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If you are a single guy/girl looking for fun go to Cabarete, if coming with partner and kids Punta Cana is a great place to visit.

JJ
 

tjmurray

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Aug 11, 2006
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If you are a single guy/girl looking for fun go to Cabarete, if coming with partner and kids Punta Cana is a great place to visit.

JJ

I disagree with this statement. If you're a single guy or girl there is much more to do in Bavaro than in Cabarete. There are three large discos in Bavaro: Mangu, Imagine and Areito. There are a few more but these are the main ones. What discos are in Cabarete? The Casino? There are several beach bars in Cabarete but there are just as many in Bavaro. Also, Cabarete seems to adhere to the liquor law and closes at 2 or 3am on the weekends. From there you can go to the Casino or get something to eat.

In Bavaro, it's easy to party till 6am at numerous spots.

From a nightlife standpoint and young people standpoint, Bavaro is tops in the country, in my opinion, outside of the capital.
 

vahauger

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Oct 8, 2010
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Ben, you threw me a curve ball with the Samana idea. I am a 57 year old single guy looking for relaxation on the beach or around a swimming pool during the day and a nice place to eat and have a few beers at night. Now that you know specifics about me will that pinpoint where I should go? Where is the best place to get info on condo rentals in Samana?
 

tjmurray

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Aug 11, 2006
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Ben, you threw me a curve ball with the Samana idea. I am a 57 year old single guy looking for relaxation on the beach or around a swimming pool during the day and a nice place to eat and have a few beers at night. Now that you know specifics about me will that pinpoint where I should go? Where is the best place to get info on condo rentals in Samana?

In that case, I would recommend Las Terrenas. Great beaches, lots of restaurants and you can relax or get into trouble. Great destination.
 

bachata

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Aug 18, 2007
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I disagree with this statement. If you're a single guy or girl there is much more to do in Bavaro than in Cabarete. There are three large discos in Bavaro: Mangu, Imagine and Areito. There are a few more but these are the main ones. What discos are in Cabarete? The Casino? There are several beach bars in Cabarete but there are just as many in Bavaro. Also, Cabarete seems to adhere to the liquor law and closes at 2 or 3am on the weekends. From there you can go to the Casino or get something to eat.

In Bavaro, it's easy to party till 6am at numerous spots.

From a nightlife standpoint and young people standpoint, Bavaro is tops in the country, in my opinion, outside of the capital.
I'm not going to set an argument as I am not a Punta Cana / Bavaro DR expert, I have been to this area three or four time only and it's three years now since the last time I was there.But when you think about Cabarete like a tourist destination you have to take in consideration how close in distance Sosua,Cabarete and Puerto Plata are!!!

JJ
 

SKY

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Apr 11, 2004
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I'm not going to set an argument as I am not a Punta Cana / Bavaro DR expert, I have been to this area three or four time only and it's three years now since the last time I was there.But when you think about Cabarete like a tourist destination you have to take in consideration how close in distance Sosua,Cabarete and Puerto Plata are!!!

JJ

I have spent a considerable amount of time in both places. What Tim said is true, about there being a lot of nightlife in Bavaro, maybe more than Cabarete and Sosua. But there is one big difference between the two, that is the available accommodations for the OP to take advantage of this. If he stays at an AI, which is I would guess about 90% of the hotels in the area are then he is paying double. By that I mean if he stays in the hotel he does not pay for drinking and eating. If he goes out he pays.

So he is really left with not a lot of options to stay outside of the AI's that dot the ocean there. And he would need a car to get around, or he would get hammered with taxi fares there for sure.

Bottom line to me is Bavaro, Punta Cana is better if you can afford it. And that is a big if.
 

tjmurray

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Aug 11, 2006
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I have spent a considerable amount of time in both places. What Tim said is true, about there being a lot of nightlife in Bavaro, maybe more than Cabarete and Sosua. But there is one big difference between the two, that is the available accommodations for the OP to take advantage of this. If he stays at an AI, which is I would guess about 90% of the hotels in the area are then he is paying double. By that I mean if he stays in the hotel he does not pay for drinking and eating. If he goes out he pays.

So he is really left with not a lot of options to stay outside of the AI's that dot the ocean there. And he would need a car to get around, or he would get hammered with taxi fares there for sure.

Bottom line to me is Bavaro, Punta Cana is better if you can afford it. And that is a big if.

Agreed. I answered the question from a strict "things to do" for a young person perspective. Not having your own transportation is an issue here. Cabarete is a beach pueblo, it's tiny, this is the entire eastern seaboard of the country in Bavaro. Also, as mentioned, you're accommodation is limited to a few hotels or vacation rentals but this is not that difficult to find.

The issue is transport. If you have a car in Bavaro, you can party harder than any other destination in the DR. Only the capital has more options in my opinion.
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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personally i would go for samana area (las galleras, las terrenas). really beautiful there, peaceful. not that many tourist. and great distance to both SD and cabarete/POP if you fancy a short trip.
 

vahauger

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Oct 8, 2010
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Ok guys, you have really gotten my interest up about Samana. I have been trying to find some info on rentals for Las Terrenas. I am not having much luck. I would appreciate it if someone out there could please help me find a site with multiple listings.
 

Africaida

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Jun 19, 2009
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I don't know of any websites, but I know realtors that I have used for my stays there that could get you a good deal (one only speak French, but the other one speak English). Send me a PM if you are interested.

you can also use LT-7.com which has classifieds.

Las Terrenas is really nice, you will love it (i know I do) :)
 

tballerina

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Aug 20, 2009
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We love love love Punta Cana Bavaro. Punta Cana Village has a nice bar (Punta Cava) the beaches are incredible and no one bothers you trying to sell you stuff you don't want anyway. The area is safe, clean, nice restaurants and cafe's (Cafe Paris, Dennis bar and grill , Captain Hook in Bavaro) others in Punta Cana Village and Playa Juanillo. As has been said, you need your own transportation. Hope it's helpful, enjoy.
 

drstock

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Oct 29, 2010
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Cabarete
We love love love Punta Cana Bavaro. Punta Cana Village has a nice bar (Punta Cava) the beaches are incredible and no one bothers you trying to sell you stuff you don't want anyway. The area is safe, clean, nice restaurants and cafe's (Cafe Paris, Dennis bar and grill , Captain Hook in Bavaro) others in Punta Cana Village and Playa Juanillo. As has been said, you need your own transportation. Hope it's helpful, enjoy.

I'm sure your advice would be helpful, but it's a little late!