Punta Cana Experience


Cap Cana

Cap Cana is a resort and villa complex spread out over 30,000 acres along 3.4 miles of precious beach on bluffs 270 feet above sea level, and about 10 minutes south of the Punta Cana airport. In time it will have at least four luxury hotels with 3,000 rooms, 5,000 residential units, 5 golf courses, a 5,000-seat amphitheater, casinos, a marina with yacht clubs and deep-sea fishing fleet, beach clubs, polo grounds, spas, and tennis and squash courts.

The flagship hotel, the Sanctuary Cap Cana Golf & Spa, opened in 2008 but has since become Secrets, an adults-only, all-inclusive resort. The pioneer of the golf courses, Punta Espada—one of three Jack Nicklaus signature courses planned for the complex—opened in 2006 and is the site of an annual PGA Champions Tour event. The second course, Las Iguanas, was preparing to open in 2010, with meticulous links snaking alongside the Golden Bear Lodge Golf & Spa, which opened in December 2009. (Golden Bear Lodge is made up of luxury villas, many of which are managed together under the AMResorts umbrella, with the rest independently operated.) Also up and running is the exclusive Caletón Beach Club, with its palapa roof and spectacular pool carved into a coral base, and the Juanillo Beach Club. Marina Cap Cana is being built in three phases, over the next 10–15 years; it's destined to be the Caribbean's largest marina. So far, as part of phase one, there are nearly 90 wet slips. Just off the treasured fishing grounds of the Mona Passage between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, the marina will have a port authority and customs, restaurants (four are up and running), shops, and nightclubs.

Other projects in various stages of development are an NH resort and residences on Juanillo Beach, and the Ritz-Carlton, a billion-dollar mixed-use complex with a 220-room hotel, residences, a spa, private beach club, five restaurants, and lounges. Also underway is Donald Trump's $2-billion real-estate project, Trump at Cap Cana, which when complete will have a luxury resort, golf course, golf villas, estate lots, a beach club, condo hotel, and residences. The Trump Farallon Estates at Cap Cana generated record sales of its lot sites in 2007, though little construction has been accomplished so far.

Among the real treasures of Cap Cana is the biodiversity represented in its flora and fauna, some of which can be observed along the so-called Great Ecological Trail. A 15-km hike begins where an endangered Cotoperí fruit tree, endemic to the area, marks the trailhead, which leads to grottos, wet forests, and a pond of shimmering blue water.

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