Dominicans love to dance and party, so fittingly, tourists choose to vacation here for its vibrant nightlife, where other places in the Caribbean shut down. As a popular destination for romance, Dominican Republic offers great nightlife options not just for groups but for couples, too.
From bachata to Barcelo, merengue to mamajuana, find out the unique features of a Dominican night out!
1. Catch a Show
Your resort will most likely offer live performances and shows in the evenings, the scope and frequency will depend on the size and branding of the resort. For example, Hard Rock Punta Cana, with its emphasis on music and nightlife, will have more options than somewhere like Zoetry, a boutique, adults-only resort.
While we recommend enjoying your resort for all it’s worth, for an elevated entertainment experience, why not check out: Coco Bongo Punta Cana
The Dominican outpost of the mega-popular Playa del Carmen, Mexico hot spot, Coco Bongo is synonymous with Punta Cana nightlife. Nightly shows feature more than 40 talented performers, ranging from Cirque du Soleil-esque acrobatics to irreverent celebrity impersonators to fun re-creations of your favourite movie scenes, Coco Bongo Punta Cana promises non-stop entertainment.
2. Drink local favourites
Rum is the most popular spirit in the Dominican, and the leading local labels are Barceló and Brugal and Bermudez, all distilled in the Dominican Republic and nicknamed the “3 B’s”. Kickstart your night with one of these in your mix of choice.
If you wish to imbibe just like a local, order a Mamajuana, an alcoholic drink of red wine and rum infused with honey, tree bark and herbs. (While this name may sound like something else recently legalized in Canada, just a reminder that recreational drugs of any kind are illegal in the Dominican and could result in imprisonment.)
3. Learn Bachata
Across the island, you’ll find people moving, whether it's participating in beloved beisbol or performing bachata. It’s no secret that baseball and dancing are a national obsession, and the latter is enjoyed both day and night.
As a tourist to the island, there are plenty of opportunities to either learn the two main dances – bachata and merengue, or watch them performed by the experts. Check your hotel activities, as there is a strong possibility lessons may be offered. When night falls, hit the resort disco and show off your new moves.
Both bachata and merengue originated in the Dominican Republic and are now danced around the globe. Bachata emerged in the 1960s and follows a rhythmic eight-step square pattern, while the faster Merengue has roots going back to Africa and the French Minuet from the 18th and 19th centuries.
4. Check out a Cigar Lounge
The Dominican produces some of the world’s best cigars, and its lounges are a part of Punta Cana nightlife, especially for discerning visitors looking for a quiet evening out. If you’re not one to partake, you may still enjoy the jazz music and elegant setting of a cigar lounge to “light up” your night.
Certain bars in your resort will allow the smoking of stogies, but don’t worry if this isn’t your idea of Punta Cana nightlife, there is still pleasure to be had in other bars. In other words, ‘close, but no cigar!’
5. Hit up a Nightclub
Punta Cana nightlife is synonymous with clubbing. This holiday-maker area has a wide selection, with the best nightclubs usually connected to hotels and resorts. Check out our top picks of clubs in Punta Cana, but here are a few more to add to your hit list:
Pacha - Riu Club Hotel, Punta Cana
This brand name originated in the European party capital, Ibiza, and like the original, Pacha in Punta Cana is a late-night party that welcomes top international DJs playing house, electro and techno. Look for the iconic cherries when you arrive at the Riu, which is also a fun yet sophisticated hotel to stay at when in Punta Cana, perfect for couples and groups.
Kviar Show Disco & Casino
If you’re looking for a club that’s a little less thumping than Pacha, the disco of Hotel Be Live Collection Punta Cana fits the bill. With good sound and light effects, knowledgeable servers and mixed crowd of young and old, it’s an all-around fun night out, and you can always try your hand at the tables or slots if you’re feeling lucky.
Punta Cana nightlife promises a balance of laid-back sophistication and upbeat energy. Talk to one of our Expert Travellers, and we’ll create a Better Beach itinerary that includes sun and fun.