When you think tropical vacation, chances are your mind goes to Jamaica, Mexico, or possibly Belize. Most people don’t land on the good old DR – Dominican Republic – but they really should.
This beautiful country, which shares an island with Haiti, is a popular destination for Americans, who don’t have to fly very far or pay very much for the privilege of a Caribbean getaway.
And while much of the DR is ripe for cheap and fun tourism, few places are as easy to enjoy as Punta Cana. Sitting at the Dominican Republic’s eastern tip, Punta Cana bathes in the waters of both the Caribbean and the Atlantic.
It enjoys turquoise waves, sandy beaches, and beautiful resorts – many of which offer tourists good prices during the off-season.
My favorite thing about the Dominican Republic, though, is how friendly people are. Everywhere we went, we saw smiles. So if you’re looking for a tropical destination where the locals really care about providing an amazing experience, this is it.
Have a gander at the following sections to learn more about what you should expect to pay in Punta Cana, where you should go, what you should do, and the best tips for saving money.
Average Trip to Punta Cana Cost in 2023
An average one-week trip to Punta Cana for two people will cost around $2,700:
- Average Accommodation Cost: $75 per night
- Average Flight Cost: $450 per person
- Food, Drink & Activities: $75 per person, per day
- Transportation: $200 total
- Total Cost: $2,700
I will tell you upfront that Punta Cana is not the cheapest destination in the Dominican Republic. Due to its beauty and the amount of effort it puts into catering to tourists, it will cost more for a week there than for smaller beach and highland towns.
That’s not to say it isn’t affordable, though, and it’s certainly not to say Punta Cana isn’t worth it. Given the wealth disparity between the DR and the US, in fact, you’ll find prices quite reasonable across the entire country.
Still, it’s good to know how to save. The rest of this guide will tackle just that, as well as some FAQs and tips for making the most of your Dominican getaway.
Punta Cana Trip Cost: Average by Item
Averaging out the costs of a trip is always tricky. So much depends on when you go, where you stay, and what you do while you’re there.
For obvious reasons, you’ll pay more for a vacay that features lots of boat tours and beachfront eateries than for one that focuses on self-guided walking tours and street-stall dining.
Below, we’ll discuss the most common prices for Punta Cana, as well as the best ways to save along the way. With this guide in hand, you’ll have everything you need to create a good budget that reflects your dream vacation goals!
One of the best things about Punta Cana, and the Dominican Republic in general, is how affordable their lodgings are. You can stay at a nice resort along the beach for about $150.
If you want to save money, stay slightly back from the beach for between $50 and $75. During the “shoulder season,” which abuts the high season but sits just outside it, you can see even better prices.
Some hotels will give you pool and beach access, plus a pretty room, for only $25 a night! (I know, I’m making the Scream-face emoji with you.)
If you’re into hostel stays, you can get a dorm bed for only about $20 at any time of year, which is much more affordable than many places in the world right now. A budget hotel room for two will cost about $30, and again, you can find deals like that at any time of year.
One of my favorite ways to travel is to splurge for a night or two at a fancy resort where I can really soak in those Caribbean vibes, then find a cute but laid-back place farther from the beach for the rest of the time.
Do that, and you can experience a range of accommodations, from casual to swank, for only about $75 a night when you average the costs out for a week.
You should note, however, that the majority of accommodations in Punta Cana are all-inclusive resorts. If you want to find the deals, you need to book your lodging well ahead of time – even hostels.
Didn’t give yourself enough time? Try Bavaro and Macao, but beautiful and nearby.
Flying to Punta Cana from Los Angeles is, on average, around $450. You’ll pay about $350 from New York City, which is a much quicker trip because it’s pretty much a straight shot south.
For this reason, you can also get nonstop flights from the East Coast and usually won’t be able to from the West Coast. As we often advise our readers, make sure when budgeting your plane ticket prices to include the cost of getting to a hub that services the DR.
If you live near a small regional airport, you’ll pay between $100 and $200 for the hop to an international hub.
All told, tickets will likely average about $450 from the US to Punta Cana. During the low season – summer, when it’s hot and humid – you may see lower prices.
Food, Drink & Activity Costs
Food is affordable in Punta Cana. A beachfront meal will cost about $15, while a cheap lunch the locals might buy is more like $5. You can easily get by on about $40 a day, less if your accommodations include complimentary breakfast.
As for drinking, cocktails and beers will cost about the same as they would in the United States at any of the resorts. Unlike the US, you do need to plan for water, though.
The tap is not safe to drink or even brush your teeth with, so you will need filtered water. Bottled water costs about $.75 per bottle. The better bet for both your wallet and Mother Earth is to bring a filtration bottle with you.
If you don’t yet have one, you and your companion should consider investing in a reusable purification system that you can bring with you to anywhere in the world and feel safe drinking the contents.
Just make sure, if you’re going on a hike, to bring extra bottles so you have plenty of liquids.
Tours are a bit pricier. A jungle tour is about $175 per person, a safari day trip about $90, and a city tour of Santo Domingo about $65. You can also ask nearby resorts if you’re allowed to come in.
Some will say yes, especially during the off season, when they don’t mind making a few extra bucks on food and drink. You may be able to use their pools and beach chairs or swim from their beaches.
Others will say no, so always call ahead and find out. (My husband and I did this all the time when we lived in Belize and traveled the Caribbean.)
On average, assuming you take a few tours and eat on the cheap, you can enjoy yourself in Punta Cana for about $75 a day, per person.
Taxis are not very affordable in Punta Cana. A 20-minute ride is about $33, which is fine when getting to your hotel or being ferried to a nearby city, but isn’t ideal for around-town service.
You can save money on taxis by flagging them down in the street or going to a taxi stand. If you grab one right out of your hotel doorway, you’ll pay more.
Make sure to agree on a price for the ride before setting off, though, or you might get gouged. Walking is definitely the most affordable way to get around town, and it’s a great way to see Punta Cana as well.
There are plenty of beach access points, restaurants, and shops within foot-powered distance of anywhere you’ll stay in the city proper.
Overall, you will want to budget several taxi rides to take you to nearby beaches or further away restaurants. Plan to spend about $200 for the week so you don’t feel constrained.
Things to Consider
Here are a few other things to consider when planning your trip to Punta Cana:
- Imagine Punta Cana Night Club is a must-see. A night club in a cave, it’s an absolutely jaw-dropping experience, with natural formations lit up with neon colors while the beat thrums through your bones. If you love to dance, this is a must-visit.
- Credit cards are widely accepted in Punta Cana. However, you always want some cash on you to pay drivers, tip, and grab food at a street stall. US dollars are accepted at many hotels and restaurants, but make sure to have a supply of Dominican pesos on hand as well.
- Always tip service professionals. Use your best judgment at restaurants, leave several dollars a day for housekeeping at your hotel, and tip tour guides 10-20%.
- There’s plenty of English in Punta Cana, as well as other major cities in the Dominican Republic. However, Spanish is more common in the countryside. The people of the DR will thank you for bringing a phrasebook or having a translator app handy so they don’t have to do all the work. Bonus point: you get all the advantages of rewiring your brain in adulthood!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about budgeting your trip to Punta Cana:
Is Punta Cana expensive?
While Punta Cana is more expensive than other places in the Dominican Republic, there are ways to make it affordable. Try not to stay in a resort, for one thing, which is one of the main reasons the area is known for costliness.
For another, avoid beachfront eateries and organized tours. These all take advantage of tourists’ wallets, and you can still have amazing Caribbean experiences on your own or with a private driver.
How long should I stay in Punta Cana?
This is a good question, as many couples find they might get a little bored spending an entire week in Punta Cana. While it is lovely and you can take day trips from the area, some people find they want to try another destination in the DR while they’re there – I certainly did.
My recommendations include Santo Domingo and Jarabacoa, both of which we loved.
Is it safe in Punta Cana?
Yes, Punta Cana is safe. It’s a good place to walk around town, and you can trust the resorts and guesthouses to stick to safety precautions.
The State Department does advise you to exercise increased caution due to crime – including robbery, homicide, and sexual assault – but these are more concerning in the big city than in tourist meccas.
When is the best time to visit Punta Cana?
The best time of year to visit this beachside destination depends on your priorities. If you’re the type who loves to revel in the absolute best weather, then you should travel between November and March.
The air is cool in the mornings and warm all day, there’s little to no rain, and the ocean is glassy and calm.
Prefer good prices? Try fall and spring. You’ll still get good weather, but tourism is down so you will see better deals. The only time I wouldn’t go is winter, when rain is common and the weather cools to the point that you might need a jacket. And in the Caribbean, that’s just a bummer.
Is it easy to get around?
Yes, it’s easy to get around Punta Cana. Walking is the best way to get by, especially if you’re just going to the beach or a restaurant. Taxis are widely available, but they’re expensive and you must make sure to agree on a price ahead of time.
Over to You — Book Your Trip Today!
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost||$75 per night|
|✈️ Average Flight Cost||$450 per person|
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities||$75 per person, per day|
|🚕 Transportation||$200 total|
|💲 Total Cost||$2,700|
The average cost of a one-week trip to Punta Cana is around $2,700 for two people. Given the beautiful weather, amazing food, and sandy surroundings, I can pretty much guarantee you won’t regret it.