Punta Cana is such a popular tourist destination that it has its own (privately owned) airport, which is located about 10 to 40 minutes away from most of the area resorts. The modern open-air design with portions covered in thatched roofing is a perfect combination of practical and tropical. A perfect start and finish to a tropical holiday.
Upon arrival, every tourist must buy a tourist card ($10 USD) before entering customs. Many tour operators have included this in your package or airfare and will have received the Tourist Card on the flight. It is said that the immigration officials only care about the entry fee and not whether you fill out the card, but the card is very simple and takes just a couple minutes to fill out. The forms are available as you enter the customs area, but there were no pens provided.
Once you have passed the final immigration checkpoint, the world opens up. There are as many stores as any large American destination including an Armani Exchange, Victoria’s Secret as well as a large souvenir shop with nice quality T-shirts and souvenirs. I had already picked up my white vanilla and dark vanilla that is prominent on the Island, but it was available along with local honey, spices, cinnamon, and cocoa.
The airport is well stocked with several restaurants to choose from. Asian Cuisine, Cinnabon, Sbarro’s Pizza, Wendy’s and a sandwich kiosk to name a few. Sky is their sit down restaurant if you want to be served. Criolltos, a candy bar, has a plethora of Dominican sweets as well as American candy to choose from making it fun for the children.
There is a toy store selling good quality toys from Mattel, Lego, and Crayola. There is a news kiosk. The big-screen TV was tuned to the latest soccer game, keeping sports lovers entertained while they waited for their flights.
There is an open-air park with a thatched roof. It shows a sign of a well-planned airport when there is a place designed for children to play included in the design. The flooring of the park is child-friendly, and there are several pieces of equipment to climb on. Kids that can run around are happy kids.
All in all, this is an impressive airport. Well done!