Dominican Republic - The Coconut Coast & Punta Cana Best known around the world as Punta Cana, the Coconut Coast is nothing less than central casting's vision of a Caribbean beach resort. All the superlatives are here along this 30-mile stretch of powdery white-sand beaches, swaying palm trees, and crystal-clear blue waters. What's more, the climate is as near-perfect as you can find: year-round sunshine, cloudless skies, and warm temperatures cooled by soft ocean breezes. The beaches are lined by dozens of mega-resorts positioned like dominoes along the sands, which help make Punta Cana one of the most internationally celebrated corners of the Dominican Republic. Located on the eastern tip of the island about 125 miles from Santa Domingo, Punta Cana is virtually a world unto itself. While many visitors make the resort life here the focus of their entire stay in the country, there's no law that says you can't use it for re-charging your batteries after a climb up Pico Duarte or a challenging cross-country bike ride. The atmosphere at these huge palaces is downright indulgent. Besides the all-you-can-eat buffets and free-flowing drinks, you can expect to find non-stop activities - ranging from beach sports to discos, casinos to Vegas-style entertainment. This is drawn from our larger guide to the entire Dominican Republic. An extensive introduction to the Dominican Republic as a whole gives you all the practical information you will need about getting here, getting around, the climate, flora & fauna, culture, history and much more. A language phrasebook and dictionary is included at the end of the guide. The authors -- one of whom is a Dominican Republic native -- share their intimate knowledge of this island nation. Virgin beaches, 16th-century Spanish ruins, the Caribbean's highest mountain, exotic wildlife and vast forest reserves will lure you here. And this book will show you around. Diving, hiking, wildlife, parks, tours, getting around, carnivals and celebrations, services, shopping -- all are covered in detail. Accommodations run the gamut from luxury resorts to bare-bones camping facilities. The authors recommend places to eat, too -- including roadside shacks selling local delicacies. Packed with all the practical travel information you could ever need, from places to stay and eat, tourist information resources, destination-specific travel advice, to emergency information. The authors' passion for the destination comes across in the lively, revealing and detailed text, which is always packed with the very best and most up-to-date information. Adventures covered range from from town walking tours and beach-combing to whitewater rafting and organized horseback riding excursions. Cultural activities might be dance lessons, art classes, attending a language school or visiting traditional communities in the area. The guide still contains all the practical travel information you need - places to stay and eat, tourist information resources, travel advice and more. Town and regional maps make planning day-trips or city tours easy.