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While Punta Cana is often known for its lovely, luxurious resorts and hotels, it has plenty to offer for those who have a smaller budget. Take advantage of it: it gives you the chance to get to mingle with locals and get to know the real Dominican Republic. Read along for some great tips that are kind to your wallet! Discover Punta Cana on a budget.

Where to sleep

Chances are you’ll find a great spot by checking out our blogs on backpacking in Punta Cana, or the cosiest hotels on a budget. Homestays, hostels and small hotels are the best way to go if you want to go on a budget holiday in Punta Cana (or everywhere, for that matter!). Other great options are the MT hotel, a comfortable and clean hotel with an included breakfast, restaurant and pool. And within walking distance of tasty, local Dominican food you have everything you need! Another good option is Hotel Villa Iguana, which offers a laidback, clean and friendly environment. Located in Bayahibe, a bit further away from the Punta Cana city centre (38 km), this hotel is still perfectly situated close to beaches, restaurants shops and tour boats to Saona Island. Breakfast is included, and there is a rooftop on which you can relax after a long day of snorkeling.

Where to eat

You’re not going to the Dominican Republic without trying some local food, are you? So in case you didn’t know this about the DR, food trucks are a great option to leave your belly full, your heart content and your wallet (almost) untouched. Don Camaron’s food truck is your pick for good Mexican soul food and great cocktails and beers. For another good local option, we highly recommend El Pollo Borracho in Down Town Punta Cana Brought to you from the Dominican and Spanish countryside, you can eat the best daily menus for a reasonable price. The place is named after the dish borracho which literally means ‘drunk chicken’. This is chicken prepared in, yes, beer! Try it if you can. Or, if you’re staying in a hostel and want to prepare your own food, we’ve wrote about this great, Dominican Pescado con Coco recipe you can make yourself. A real local gem that you can enjoy with your new hostel friends! Ps: they will love you. You can also check out this website for more local recipes. Want to find good quality, organic and cheap veggies and fruit for your home cooked meals? We wrote about the Bavaro organic food trucks earlier in this article.

Where to go and what to do

The best thing about visiting an exotic, sunny place like Punta Cana, is that being outside alone is an adventure. One without a big price tag! So logically, we would direct you to our earlier articles about the beautiful (secret) beaches in the surrounding area, or swimming in a cave or lagoon. But there are plenty of other things that are (almost) free in the area! The Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve is a private, protected area consistent of a 15000 acres lowland subtropical forest, dedicated to conservation, scientific research and recreation. Operated by the Punta Cana Ecological Foundation, the park has twelve freshwater lagoons (5 of which are open for swimming) and various cultural and historical artifacts. The name derives from the way the Taino people (that once inhabited the island) described the lagoons: they referred to them as ‘eyes’ because of their distinctive shape. other than the lagoons, there is a sugarcane exhibit and an Iguana habitat. The park is free for guests of the Punta Cana resort and members of the Punta Cana community. Other visitors can book the Segway eco tour, which is not very cheap (67 dollars). However, you can opt for a position as volunteer, which not only gives to the opportunity to visit the park, but also to give something back to Punta Cana and meet locals. We understand that you’re on a holiday, but it’s fun and you will leave a great footprint on your holiday! For more information, check out this website.

Have you ever travelled to DR on a budget? What did you see, what did you do? Tag us, tell us, show us! @bestofpuntacanaofficial

 Photo: Downtown Punta Cana