Originally developed as a town for resort workers from Punta Cana, Bavaro quickly became a holiday resort in its own right when hotels started springing up along its tropical eastern coast.
Ideally situated on the famous Costa del Coco (Coconut Coast) and known for its six miles (10km) of pristine, sandy white beaches and shimmering crystal waters, Bavaro's vast stretches of beach rarely experience overcrowding so everyone can have their very own piece of holiday paradise! For more adventurous travelers, a trip off the not-so-beaten track to the nearby town of Cortecito, the only fishing village left on this stretch, is an absolute must. This little village, known as the downtown area of Punta-Cana-Bavaro, where friendly local vendors can be found selling their wares along the edges of palm-fringed beaches, is frequented mostly by backpackers and independent European travelers on holiday and intent on having a truly authentic Dominican experience.
Shopping: There are three main shopping centers where shopaholics on holiday in Bavaro can spend, among other things, their time. Bavaro Shopping Centre is the main place to look for clothing, while the Plaza Bavaro offers almost everything from boutiques, gift shops, souvenir shops, jewellery stores, pharmacies and beach clothing stores and is open from 9am to 7pm. Palma Real Shopping Centre is a great place to buy cigars, and outside many of the hotels are flea markets where Bavaro locals can be found peddling their wares.
Restaurants: Most of the hotels and holiday resorts in Bavaro offer an array of eateries; some even have up to six or seven a la carte restaurants. A few restaurants can be found on Plaza Bavaro serving some wonderfully exotic Dominican fare. Bavaro Cortecito has plenty of other options for those looking to escape their hotels for the evening; Captain Cook's being the most frequented. The fresh fish dishes at the Tropical Bavaro Restaurant are excellent value for money and when the moon is full, head on over to the Jelly Fish Restaurant on Bavaro Beach where live entertainment can be found on full moon nights.
Nightlife: Like most things in Bavaro, the nightlife is mostly concentrated in the hotels and holiday resorts, although the nearby town of Cortecito sees some of the most dedicated party-goers in its clubs. Disco Mangu, located near the Flamenco Bavaro Hotel is one of the most popular clubs and a favorite for people to let loose and dance the night away while on holiday. Plaza Bavaro also offers some wonderful bars ideal for relaxing and enjoying a pint.
What to do:
Manati Park: Manati Park is an amusing theme park located in Bavaro-Punta Cana, an incredible landscape of wonderful gardens overflowing with orchids and tropical plants. Here you will be able to experience nature, coming into contact with the fauna and flora of the Dominican Republic. During your stay in Manati Park, you will be able to enjoy varied shows, restaurants, local crafts and souvenir shops... Furthermore, you will have the opportunity of swimming alongside dolphins, an unforgettable experience.
Zip line: Imagine flying, like a bird, across the lush green mountain side - with a birds-eye view of the tropical paradise below you. Your naturalist guides will show you the way, helping you make the most of the adventure and unlocking the secrets of the Taino Mountains. The tour consists of 13 platforms and 8 Zip Lines, with the longest one being 800 meters long, stretched across the length of the mountain range throughout 1 mile.
Fishing charters: If you are avid fishermen then this is one for you. Take a charter off the coast of Bavaro and enter the world of deep sea fishing where you stand a chance of catching the revered Blue Marlin, or even a White Marlin or a Swordfish. Most fishing charters try to protect the fish population by using their catch and release program.
Los Haitises National Park: a sanctuary for nature lovers and those interested in natural history. The underground rivers flow through caves replete with pre-Columbian drawings and petroglyphs, silent testimony to the Indian population who dwelled there peacefully for centuries before the arrival of the Europeans. Be sure to visit the Cueva de la Linea (Ferrocarril) and the Cueva de las Arenas. The boat trip to get to these caves that are off San Lorenzo Bay will take you through the largest system of mangroves in the Caribbean. Another option to visit, and a place to have lunch in the area, is the Paraiso Cano Hondo river center, a short drive from the National Park Los Haitises departure point.
Scubadoo excursion: submarine-motorbikes, jump on your very own mini-submarine to get amongst the spectacular underwater world that the Dominican Republic has to offer! Travel through the reef at your own pace and take in the beautiful coral reefs and tropical fish. No diving experience necessary.
Golf: The DR is known for golf, and these clubs will not disappoint you. You are sure to get in some of the best golf of your life when you visit the DR. You will find the area has one premier course after the next, so you will be able to fill your trip with great golf. There are over 20 golf courses in this area ranging from 9 to 27 holes. Many of these courses were designed by famous golfers such as Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus.
Whatever your reason for visiting Bavaro, you will find yourself doing much more than you originally planned as there is so much to offer. From endless beaches to endless golf, Bavaro is the place to visit on the south coast.