10 kilometres of sandy gorgeousness
Bavaro lays claim to a mind-blowing 10 kilometres of beach along the Dominican Republic's eastern shores. It's widely regarded as one of the most beautiful stretches of coast around, not least because of the tranquil water and lines of palm trees. We have a feeling the colourful beach shacks and thatched umbrellas toting sunbathers have something to do with it.
And relaxing though it may be, Bavaro's beach is home to a dizzying – and adrenaline-inducing – array of watersports. You'll have the chance to hop aboard a jet ski, slip below the surface with scuba gear, swim with dolphins or fly high on a parasailing adventure over the water. And if you're just content to stretch out on the spacious sands for an afternoon, that's fine too.
Walk with the dinos
Activities in Bavaro are all about getting you knee-deep in the local culture. Whether you're exploring a cave, horseback riding through the waves or off-roading through the sand dunes, you'll leave the Dominican Republic feeling much more in tune with the Caribbean vibes than you could have imagined.
For culture buffs with a wild side, there are pirating adventures and sightseeing tours, as well as helicopter rides for the romantics. The Bavaro Adventure Park shoots zip-liners high above the treetops, and hopping through a rope course. You can also marvel over pretty lifelike and terrifying dinosaur statues, including one very intimidating T-rex.
Nature lovers can even join a day trip to the Del Este National Park, which lies just about an hour away. It's home to more than 100 species of birds, plus 2,000-year-old cave paintings created by the ancient Taino tribe.
Around the world
Bavaro might be in the Dominican Republic, but when it comes to dining, the cuisine at its restaurants is so diverse you'll find it easy to forget.
Of course, there are restaurants dishing up Dominican food – think Spanish flavours with other Latin and African influences, but there are just as many if not more international bites. Bavaro restaurants specialise in everything from Japanese fusion to American steakhouses and Italian trattorias.
The town's bar scene is a little spread out, so you might need to snag a cab if bar-hopping is on the menu, or be prepared to settle in for the night.
Beach bars clustered along the waterfront offer laid-back nights with rum cocktails, but for real amped-up fun, Bavaro's hottest nightclub is Imagine, a neon-lit dance spot held in a cave. Ticket prices can be kind of steep, but choose the right package and you've got hotel transportation and access to an open bar all night.
Bavaro is treated to all the shopping retail-enthusiasts might need. There are shops selling classic Caribbean cigars, others devoted strictly to art and some selling local jewellery. Many are gathered within big scale shopping malls, including the Palma Real Shopping Village and the smaller Punta Blanca Mall, both of which are equipped to satiate any souvenir cravings.
All the fun of Punta Cana next door
Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic's resounding top holiday destination, is Bavaro's next-door neighbour, making travel between the two about as effortless as it gets. They practically flow into one another. Punta Cana is technically Bavaro's older sister – bigger and with more amenities than its little sibling – so whatever you can't find in Bavaro, you're sure to find there.
One of Punta Cana's biggest draws is its natural beauty. Whether you're exploring the rock pools at Hoyo Azul, spotting exotic birds at Manati Park or just strolling the shores, there's no limit to steeping yourself in this town's gorgeous surroundings. Whether you choose to book an All Inclusive holiday to the Dominican Republic in Bavaro or Punta Cana, take the opportunity to explore both.