Girls Getaway Guide to Punta Cana

My Punta Cana trip was one of the most memorable and funniest trips I’ve ever had. It was a prime example of how to turn a bad experience into a good, fun one. I should choose my words carefully. Bad is a strong word. It wasn’t totally bad, we just had a few hits and misses. Nonetheless, a girls getaway to the Caribbean in the middle of November still made one heck of a vacation.

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Getting There

All visitors to the Dominican  Republic need a ‘tourist card” before entering the country. A tourist card is pretty much paying $10 cash before entering the country. You can either pay the fee once you get there or pay it ahead online to skip the lines at the airport. Once this is done, you are now free to leave the airport and into the array of transportation waiting for you.  I must say, the airport employees were very nice and accommodating. Since I used up my last cash money, I asked the airport’s taxi concierge if I could get one that accepts credit cards. This was not a popular option since most drivers would rather take cash. The fare was not cheap, it cost me $30 to get to Natura Park Resort.

All Inclusive Resorts

My friend and I first stayed at Natura Park Beach Resort and then moved to IFA VIllas Bavaro Beach Resort.  They were both your typical all-inclusive resorts with unlimited drinks and  heaps of food. Nothing amazing really, in fact my friend Jackie and I  were pretty disappointed with the beaches, drinks and food. The beaches weren’t as breathtaking as the typical Caribbean beach I was used to. Instead, they were filled with seaweeds. We learned from our horseback riding  excursion guide that the beaches in Punta Cana have changed. Climate may have been a contributing factor but one cannot ignore the reality that this could have also been tourism’s side effect.

Overall, the food was ok. It filled us up nicely but our foodie soul was not satisfied. Except for IFA’s spectacular pizzas, everything else was just mediocre. We actually feasted on the pizza more than the buffet and specialty restaurants. Don’t even get me started on the drinks. To be fair, Natura Park Resort had the better drinks and the bartenders were fun and entertaining. IFA Bavaro had the worst. I honestly couldn’t tell what we were drinking nor did we get drunk on any of the alcohol. And I mean, we drank ALL day. My friend even kept urging the bartending to pour more alcohol “Mucho alcohol por favor”, ok I didn’t say she speaks Spanish either.

But at the end of the day, we still managed to have fun. Ordering a drink had become an adventure of the unknown. Will our margarita taste like a margarita? Surprise us, bartender. Surprise us. Just stop giving us one of those Mama Juana aphrodisiac shots already.

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Jen is a Chicago-based traveler and a full-time Director of Development for an arts & culture organization. Originally from Connecticut, she created Angel of Wanderlust as a place to share her travel stories and photos with friends and family. Now, it is a place for adventurers, explorers and dreamers. Its purpose is to inspire and encourage people to see the world and achieve a better work-life balance.