The Punta Cana region lies on the easternmost part of the Dominican Republic and is a popular tourist destination due to its 32 km of scenic coastline. Consequently, much of Punta Cana revolves around tourism with a variety of large seaside resorts and scores of guided tours to view its natural beauty and attractions.
With just a cursory look, the area can seem like just another hyped-up tourist trap full of ways to spend your hard-earned dollars, but there is a softer side that few visitors get the opportunity to experience.
Playa el Cortecito is one of those areas that has not succumbed completely to the allure of making a quick buck off of tourists. It still retains its old-time local feel and holds fast to its fishing village roots in the wake of growing development all around it. You won’t find a plethora of out-of-towners (or international visitors) here, although the locals are generally friendly and welcoming. Like the rest of Punta Cana’s coastline, there’s no shortage of fine sand and warm, clear water to delight the senses. There just isn’t the same type or size of crowds in Playa el Cortecito.
That doesn’t mean you can’t find a resort that offers the luxurious amenities you want while vacationing far from home. A few of those do exist in the area, but they don’t take up the entire coastline of Playa el Cortecito. That leaves plenty of public stretches of sand and surf to explore at will with far fewer people fanned out on beach towels to dodge. Without as much bustling activity, the coast here is largely pristine. Consequently, when you decide to spend the day lounging in the sand and watching the waves roll in, try to leave the beach in the same condition you found it, taking any trash you brought in out with you when you move on to other things.
If you hit the beach early in the morning, you can watch the local fisherman bring in their catch the way they have done for generations, and this is a scene you would likely miss in other parts of Punta Cana. Playa el Cortecito, however, isn’t just another stop to tick off on your itinerary; it’s a place you want to savor and remember for many days to come. It will also inspire the photographer within to snap shots of everything you see, but don’t forget to set the camera and your other electronic devices aside long enough to truly experience and appreciate what’s right in front of you.
While in Punta Cana’s Playa el Cortecito, there is one restaurant you won’t want to miss that draws both the locals and visitors to sample its local flavors. Capitan Cook’s is one of the village’s few restaurants that is situated right on the beach and has the reputation of being a bit crazy. What makes it unusual and such a treat is how you can peer into a barrel of the fishermen’s freshest catch and choose exactly what you want to eat. The staff of Capitan Cook’s will be happy to prepare your choice precisely how you wish, and you’ll know your fish or other seafood is top-rate.
You can find most of your essential items in the various stores within Cortecito village. After all, its residents usually live and work there, so there’s no shortage of markets, pharmacies, and banks to pick up what you need. There are even a fair amount of watering holes for quenching your thirst after a long day in the heat. If, however, you want to shop for souvenirs or be in a faster-paced scene for a spell, you’re not far from more populated spots in Punta Cana. When you’re done, just return to relax in Playa el Cortecito until it’s time to bring your holiday to an end, arranging airport transfer service to go home.