See and help animals in Punta Cana
Even though Punta Cana is full of beautiful resorts and luxurious restaurants, it’s still a town in the middle of stunning nature. This means there’s plenty of opportunities for animal lovers to go running with horses or spotting whales in the wild! Want to know all the ways to interact with animals in Punta Cana? Here we go.
What not to do to animals in Punta Cana
A quick note before we list all the beautiful ways to see wildlife (and less wild life) in Punta Cana. We assume that you, as a lover of animals, want to support living creatures and not harm them. At BOP, we’re huge fans of ecotourism and keeping nature as wild as possible. Firstly, try to stay away from eating endangered fish. And lastly, keep all your litter with you when you enter natural environments! That’s all for now.
Visit some fine looking horses
In Cap Cana, you can find some beautifully kept stables where the owners house some gorgeous horses. These creatures are well cared for and you can go see and pet ‘em! Los Establos can tell you about all the sports they ‘use’ the horses for and you could get some advise on fun events or places to go horse riding. Moreover, the stables host an organic market on Sundays. Two in one!
The sea turtle conservation project
On the magnificent Isla Saona, in front of the coast of Punta Cana, you can help along the conservation of sea turtles. On the southwestern shore of Saona, a small village of some 400 people have become involved in the project, partially funded by a local eco-tour operator. Going here, you get to see how these people help sea turtles, meet some of the people and children involved AND if you’re lucky – see some of the baby turtles! These are only between 1 to 3 days old and the absolute cutest creatures squirming around on earth. The sea turtle conservation project collects some turtle eggs, places them in coolers until they hatch and keeps the turtles til around 3 days so they can get a bit stronger. Then, the babies are taken back to the beach and released into the wild. This increases their chances of survival from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 3,000! Sad to see these numbers, but still a big improvement. To go visit the sea turtle conservation, book with Seavis and see some iguanas, starfish and mangroves on the way there!
Interested in experiencing bigger wildlife? These animals in Punta Cana come by every January to March and take care of some stunning sights just by splashing around. It’s humpback whales, and every winter, Punta Cana experiences whale season. Not only can you book an animal-friendly whale watching tour and undergo the humbling experience of seeing these large creatures breathe out huge tufts of air. Their fins might be small, but underwater, these animals can grow up to 16 meters long. Often, that’s larger than your boat.
If you want to get even closer and go completely out of your comfort zone, you can even snorkel with whales! When we say with, we mean, from a safe distance, not hindering them at all. Book a snorkel tour with Caribbean tours.
Help out dogs with Sylvia
In Punta Cana, just like in the rest of the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean, there are a lot of stray dogs. These dogs are probably friendly, but still often covered in fleas or diseases, which is why our BOP Face Sylvia Mendez helps getting them a bit stronger and sturdier so they can get a nice home. With Rescatame, Sylvia and her 2 colleagues bring sick dogs to the vet and place them up for adoption in their Facebook group. Moreover, they sterilize dogs so they can’t get more puppies! Rescatame is always looking for loving volunteers, so if you’re staying in Punta Cana a bit longer, why not help out these cute doggos? We’re sure Sylvia would even be glad if you can lend a hand for an afternoon.
Easy flamingo spotting
Sometimes you don’t have a lot of time, but still want to spot some stunning local animals in Punta Cana. For you, we recommend going for a stroll (and a drink) around one of the nicest eco resorts – Natura Eco Beach Park. This resort is right on the beach in Bavaro and has huge, tropical gardens filled with local tropical birds, such as the pretty flamingo. Elegant birds like peacocks and herons and cute plump geese walk the grounds freely, and you might spot some turtles too. Picture time!
Search for turtle tracks
Going to Isla Saona is wonderful, but if you want to help turtles right here in Punta Cana it is possible too! At the moment the turtles in Punta Cana are nesting. To keep those nests safe from being run over by vehicles or people stepping on them, Punta Cana resort organizes turtle walks with volunteers. How does it work? From 5:45 am to 6:45 am, you will be walking a 5 km trail starting at the Ojos Indigenous. A beautiful walk. You will be searching for turtle tracks. As soon as you spot tracks or a nest, these will be marked. In the afternoon these nests will get a protective barrier, so everyone knows not to bother it. It is all about keeping those baby turtles safe, so they can be released into the sea. You can participate by sending an email to Samantha Mercado at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is the coordinator of the project and will be able to give you more information. The more volunteers the better!
Would you recommend other places to spot animals in Punta Cana? Tell us about it! @bestofpuntacanaoffical
Photo: Natura Beach Eco Park