Visiting the Dominican Republic: An Alternative to Punta Cana
In recent times, the Caribbean has been characterised as one of the most frequently chosen destinations by tourists from around the world, thanks to the combination of different cultures and paradisiacal beaches on which you can enjoy endless days of sunshine. Punta Cana is characterised by its wonderful warm waters and white sandy beaches, spanning more than 50 kilometres across the entire eastern side of the Dominican Republic, where you can participate in numerous water activities and enjoy the waves of the Caribbean Sea or the incredible coral reefs that surround the Dominican coast.
In Punta Cana, you can find three seasons. The high season runs from October to March, the low season lasts from April to September and, finally, the shoulder season spans the months from October to February. The climate in Punta Cana Warm, mild temperatures throughout the year Climate is one of the most relevant factors when travelling to tropical destinations. The weather in Punta Cana is warm and very mild during any month.
From October to February, the sensation of humidity is reduced and the nights are warmer, an important aspect to take into account when deciding which clothes to take to Punta Cana. On average, the sun is shining between 6 to 8 hours a day throughout the year, however, the months with the most sunlight are February, March and April, where, in parallel, 6 to 7 days of rain per month are expected.
Thus, the average water temperatures range from 26 to 28 degrees Celcius, so you can enjoy a beach vacation along the 32 kilometres of beaches in any of the 12 months. When is the rainy season in Punta Cana? Between May and August is the season with the highest probability of rainfall in Punta Cana, while in November and December it decreases.
However, the possibility of small tropical storms will always be there, regardless of the date of your trip. These storms are usually short and intense, immediately giving way to sunshine.
Little chance of hurricanes in Punta Cana While there is a very low probability of hurricanes in Punta Cana, they can form throughout the year. It is very rare for hurricanes or tropical storms that form in other parts of the Caribbean to reach the island.
Storms are much more frequent than hurricanes, although they tend to unleash their fury for only 5 or 10 minutes, after which they give way to the characteristic calm weather and sunshine of the tropical paradise that is the Dominican Republic. When is low season in Punta Cana? In Punta Cana, we can distinguish between three seasons, according to tourist demand.
The season with the most travellers is from January to March. From April to September, the number of tourists decreases slightly, and October to December is the period with the least influx of travellers. Any time of year is ideal for travelling to Punta Cana.
Gastronomy according to the time of year Having a tropical climate means that Punta Cana enjoys warm temperatures and endless hours of sunshine throughout the year. When is the best time to travel to Punta Cana for honeymoon? Along with the details of your wedding , choosing your honeymoon destination is essential and requires absolute perfection at all times. In each of the 12 months, there are optimal conditions for enjoying all kinds of activities in Punta Cana: swimming in the Caribbean Sea, snorkelling, diving, hiking … and numerous other activities.
During this period, the probability of rainfall is lower, and the temperatures are warm enough to enjoy a perfect holiday on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. For all of the above reasons, you could say that travelling to Punta Cana at any time of year is synonymous with a perfectly enjoyable holiday, although travelling between the months of December and April will allow you to have even more hours of sunshine and less chance of tropical rains.
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Bayahibe Travel Guide – the best beaches, excursions, tours and resorts in Bayahibe
When it washes ashore, the plant — known as sargassum — turns black and emits a sewage-like stench so powerful it has been known to make travelers ill. And it just keeps coming. Entrepreneurs across the region, meanwhile, are searching for ways to monetize the muck.
Popuri is working on extracting substances from seaweed that could have applications for the pharmaceutical, medical and food industries. Whether such efforts prove viable remains to be seen. Commercializing seaweed can be challenging given the expense of collecting it.
Still, creativity is blossoming along with the seaweed. Omar Vazquez, meanwhile, is building houses. Vazquez, a nursery owner in the seaside town of Puerto Morelos near Cancun, for several years had used sargassum as a fertilizer. In , he came up with the idea of turning it into a construction material. The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Cancun found a tastier use for sargassum. For a time, it served up a cocktail made with tequila, vinegar, sugar, rosemary and a syrup derived from sanitized seaweed.
Others are concerned that large-scale harvests for business initiatives might lead to sea turtles and other endangered creatures being scooped up indiscriminately. Still other efforts are waiting on scientific testing for safety. In Jamaica, entrepreneur Daveian Morrison is building a processing plant to scale up his experiments, including turning seaweed into charcoal for people to burn in lieu of firewood.
In Barbados, a University of the West Indies research team is distilling sargassum along with waste from a rum distillery to make methane, which can be turned into compressed natural gas to power transportation across the island. How it traveled south to the tropical Atlantic is unclear. Some scientists have theorized that the intense hurricane season may have carried a bit of it to the central western Atlantic, planting the seeds for a new sargassum belt that now stretches nearly 9, kilometers.
Scientists say climate change, water pollution, Amazon deforestation and dust blowing in from the Sahara Desert are all likely factors. New research published in May in the journal Nature Communications points to another suspect: Major rivers — including notably the Amazon — are pumping more human sewage and agricultural runoff into the ocean, where the nutrients are likely fertilizing the sargassum.
The University of South Florida has been tracking sargassum since and it recorded a significant uptick in In May, a record 18 million metric tons were detected by satellite in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean.
Is There Too Much Seaweed in Punta Cana?
Hotels along the affected beaches are using a range of methods in cleaning up their beachfront properties, but some activities in destinations affected may be limited due to the lack of clear waterfront property. The washing up of seaweed in the Caribbean does not affect all islands, or all beaches on the affected islands, at the same time.
Should I cancel my trip or delay booking because of beach seaweed? Seaweed in the Caribbean is a natural phenomenon that occurs annually, but in recent years it has happened at a faster pace and larger quantity.
Since there is no advisory for any of the affected destinations in place, regular terms and conditions regarding cancelling tripswith any applicable fees at the hand of the traveller, are in place. For travellers looking to book a vacation, we recommend proceeding with your plans, with the understanding that your vacation will still be safe and can include pool-side sunshine, should the beach at your resort be affected.
With ocean currents and changes in the wind, the seaweed in the Caribbean is regularly changing course; meaning one resort could be affected one day, and not the next as the issue moves further down the beach. No clear answer! Sargassum reproduction is asexual, which means that every bit of the same species could probably be traced back to its original ancestor; therefore, some consider it the largest organism in the world!
Nonetheless, Sargassum eventually becomes too heavy, less buoyant, and sinks into the deep sea… or goes coastal! Nonetheless, temperature alone is not enough to make it thrive. What is the Sargasso Sea? The only sea without fixed land boundaries, its limits are formed by dynamic ocean currents.
A sea belongs to the ocean; seas are normally found where land and ocean meet. Benefits Sargassum provides a food source, home, and shelter to an amazing variety of marine species plant, shrimp, crab, bird, fish, turtle and whale.
Turtles use sargassum mats as nurseries.
Cancun vs. Punta Cana: Which Vacation Destination Should You Choose?
Five species of sea turtles that pass through the Atlantic have been recorded there, and for at least three of these species, the loggerhead Caretta carettagreen turtle Chelonia mydasand hawksbill Eretmochelys imbricatathe Sargasso Sea is vitally important. Invites pretty much every species of big-game fish that fishermen dream about catching. Important for collecting wind-blown sand anchoring it to create dunes and encouraging plant growth due to the nutrients it contributes ; long-term, restoring eroded beaches and, short-term, helping reduce wave and wind erosion on the beach!
Do all the beaches in the Dominican Republic have seaweed? Although seaweed accumulation is a phenomenon that has no predictable pattern, there are parts of the country where seaweed accumulation on beaches is infrequent. This is my perception, as I frequently visit the beaches in the northern part of the country, and I have never actually seen seaweed accumulating on the shores. An example of this, the beaches of Bayahibe, which are located less than an hour from Punta Cana, are always free of seaweed.
Bayahibe is also located in the east of the country, just like Punta Cana, but with the difference that Bayahibe is located further south. The beaches of Puerto Plata, which are located much further north than Punta Cana, are also always free of seaweed. Public beaches in the northern part of the Dominican Republic, are kept quite clean of seaweed. This reinforces the concept of seaweed coming from the southeast.
Can you have direct contact with seaweed, is it dangerous?
Why is there so much sargasso seaweed everywhere?
Although seaweed is generally harmless the seaweed itself is non-toxicseaweed collects epiphytes small plants and animals that attach to and grow on the leaves of seaweed as it floats in the ocean and many of these can cause a slight stinging sensation to people with very sensitive skin. Seaweed does not irritate the skin, it is an alga that does not have something urticant, it is a biological fact.
But this seaweed may have some tiny animals called hydrozoans that can cause an itching sensation. For people with very sensitive skin, medical experts and biologists advise against direct contact, as it can cause various skin problems such as dermatitis.
Facing the problem of Seaweed in Punta Cana Faced with the challenge of facing its massive arrival, barriers in the region have been installed and tests have been carried out to recycle the sargassum with multiple purposes such as fertilizers, chemical compounds, biofuels or biogas, including clothing and footwear.
The tourists return… so does the seaweed
However, more studies and public-private initiatives are needed to overcome the uncertain availability of sargassum and the properties of this seaweed whose impact in the country has motivated meetings between hotel entrepreneurs and President Danilo Medina in the National Palace.
A hotel in the tourist area of Punta Cana, temporarily lost its Blue Flag category and Red Flag was placed due to the amount of seaweed on the beach. They always clean the beach, but they had a disproportionate avalanche of their ability to respond and the seaweed accumulated. The Blue Flag is an international recognition granted by the Foundation for Environmental Education to facilities that have demanding environmental quality standards.
The Red category is placed when these criteria are not met and the visitor makes use of the beach at his own risk.