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Accessible Getaway: Exploring Punta Cana

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A resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Punta Cana, located on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, is a tropical paradise renowned for its beautiful beaches, turquoise waters, and luxurious resorts. It’s a Caribbean destination that is gradually becoming more accessible for people with disabilities and before you travel there, you should plan your itinerary with a knowledgeable travel agent, such as Travel for All, or do your homework on what’s accessible and what’s not.

It’s a beautiful place to visit and accessible and adapted options are limited. There is not much that is accessible when you leave your accessible resort.  I plan to return some day to check on the progress made with accessibility. 

Here are my recommendations for a trip to Punta Cana

Transportation

There are no accessible taxis in Punta Cana but you can arrange for accessible private transportation in advance through Dominican Limousine.  They have a van equipped with a lift and will work with you on airport transfers or other transportation needs.

Resorts

Punta Cana has many luxurious and even all-inclusive resorts to choose from but not all are accessible, and even with resorts that offer accessibility they may have rooms or areas of their resort which are not disability-friendly.  I cannot stress enough that you should plan your trip with a qualified travel agent and/or, do your homework.  That said, resorts that offer accessible rooms, widened doorways, some with roll-in showers and grab bars, and a mostly accessible pathway to resort amenities include the Barcelo Bavaro Beach, the Grand Palladium, and Iberostar Punta Cana.  

Beaches

Punta Cana is known for some of the best beaches in the world, especially Bavaro Beach.  Beaches in the Bavaro Beach area such as Playa Bavaro, Melia Caribe Beach & Punta Cana Beach, and Playa Bavaro Complejo Barcelo have the Blue Flag Award which indicates they have adapted beach wheelchairs and trained staff to assist people with disabilities. 

Entertainment and Cultural Experiences

In my experience, the only accessible entertainment and cultural experiences in Punta Cana take place at the resorts. Many resorts host shows and performances and resorts that are accessible will make accommodations for you to enjoy these experiences. Just about every resort will host local cultural centers and workshops which offer opportunities to learn about or purchase traditional arts and crafts.

Punta Cana is a tropical destination and the Dominican people are some of the friendliest and most helpful people in the world.  Accessibility is a work in progress and if you decide to go to Punta Cana for an accessible holiday, you may find yourself staying at your accessible resort the entire time.  My advice, select a great all-inclusive, accessible resort and enjoy a relaxing time in the sun, by the pool, or at the beach, and have a great time. 

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