Palm trees on the beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism)

Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism)

Palm trees on the beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Domincan Republic Ministry of Tourism)

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What to do in Punta Cana

If there’s one universal in the Dominican Republic, it’s that Dominicans love to party, in a get-dressed-up-to-dance-bachata, call-domino-at-the-car-wash sort of way. In every town there’s a local hot spot, whether it’s a grocery store pumping sizzling Latin beats through al fresco speakers, or a “car wash” rocking some variation of a bar, a stage, and an outdoor sound system. In the Punta Cana and Bavaro beach areas, visitors looking for genuine DR experiences will find them in short supply, but hitting a car wash like the one near Bavaro’s Gran Plaza Friusa is a fast way to make friends. It’s akin to people-watching in the piazzas of Italy, a place to see locals dressed to the nines, sip the local beer (Presidente grande, por favor ), and get a feel for the rhythms that penetrate deep into the heart of Dominican culture.

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