Every now and then it’s good to get out of Cabarete to visit the rest of the Dominican Republic.

The island has so much to offer, with various climates, altitudes and completely different worlds.  It’s easy to drive for 10 hours and still be inside the Dominican Republic’s borders – as proven by our most recent family road trip.

The road trip began with a visit to Punta Cana’s Ecological Foundation, which is 1500 acres and part of the Punta Cana Club and Resort.  After 9 hours through Nagua, Santo Domingo and Higuey, we finally made it there.  It truly is gorgeous.

Punta Cana is a retreat for wealthy Dominican from the capital, as well as for tourists looking for an more affordable version of the Bahamas.  Punta Cana is owned by a single individual, and the upside to that is that it is a completely planned community, offering things that are taken for granted in the first world like urban planning, perfect roads, buried power lines, organized parking, constant power and on time services.  The area it occupies is enormous, so even when the resort is at capacity, it remains quiet and comfortable.

The building were very well designed, but there is no escaping the lack of detail in the finishes which often occurs here.  Little things like paint drips on the floor, knobs on the dressers falling off, and exposed electrical wires are clearly unavoidable in the Dominican Republic.  However these are minute details that do not take away from the shear beauty of Punta Cana, and the design is so good that the little flaws are overlooked.

The food was also average – especially for an island that is capable of offering such fantastic food, but then we did not opt for the $100/plate Oscar De La Renta restaurant which is supplied by the Organic garden on site.

Activities are focused on golf and more golf, with a few activities to keep people semi occupied if they are not golfers, but it’s comparable to any all inclusive resort.  There is a kiteboarding school, but the prices are expensive and the conditions do not hold a candle to what Cabarete can offer.  There did not seem to be any surfing to mention, but we were only there for 4 days.

The jewel is the eco reserve.  They have a path carved through the bog that leads you to dozen or so lagoons, that are absolute gems to swim in.  Talapia and turtles swim around you, with the birds chirping in the background to offer a tranquil and relaxing experience.  It’s worth the 30 min walk every day to take advantage of this incredible spot.

The eco foundation also offers amazing tours of their organic garden, worm composting and honey farm, that are amazing experiences for kids and adults who are interested.  They are making a strong effort into eco tourism that is lacking in most other parts of the island, and hats off to the Punta Cana foundation for their efforts.

All in all a fantastic trip.  Next stop, Samana