Originally developed as a town for resort workers from Punta Cana, Bavaro quickly became a holiday resort in its own right when hotels started springing up along its tropical eastern coast. Ideally situated on the famous Costa del Coco (Coconut Coast) and known for its six miles (10km) of pristine, sandy white beaches and shimmering crystal waters, Bavaro's vast stretches of beach rarely experience overcrowding, and so everyone can have their very own piece of holiday paradise! For more adventurous travellers, a trip off the not-so-beaten track to the nearby town of Cortecito, the only fishing village left on this stretch, is an absolute must. This little village, known as the downtown area of Punta-Cana-Bavaro, where friendly local vendors can be found selling their wares along the edges of palm-fringed beaches, is frequented mostly by backpackers and independent European travellers intent on having a truly authentic Dominican experience.
There are three main shopping centres where shopaholics on holiday in Bavaro can spend, among other things, their time. Bavaro Shopping Centre is the main place to look for clothing, while the Plaza Bavaro offers almost everything from boutiques, gift shops, souvenir shops, jewellery stores, pharmacies and beach clothing stores. Palma Real Shopping Centre is a great place to buy cigars, and outside many of the hotels are flea markets where Bavaro locals can be found peddling their wares.
Most of the hotels and holiday resorts in Bavaro offer an array of eateries; some even have up to six or seven à la carte restaurants. A few restaurants can be found on Plaza Bavaro serving some wonderfully exotic Dominican fare. Bavaro Cortecito has plenty of other options for those looking to escape their hotels for the evening, Captain Cook's being the most frequented. When the moon is full, head on over to the Jellyfish Restaurant on Bavaro Beach where live entertainment can be found.
Like most things in Bavaro, the nightlife is mostly concentrated in the hotels and holiday resorts, although the nearby town of Cortecito sees some of the most dedicated party-goers in its clubs. Disco Mangu is one of the most popular clubs and a favourite for people to let loose and dance the night away while on holiday. Plaza Bavaro also offers some wonderful bars ideal for relaxing and enjoying a pint.
Many of the hotels and holiday resorts offer their clientele plenty of daytime activities and water sports such as snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing, waterskiing and parasailing, to mention a few. There are also wonderful golfing opportunities for those looking to improve their handicap at a range of beautiful 18-hole golf courses, such as the White Sands Golf Course.
The hotel nightlife leaves a lot to be desired and party-animals are warned that Bavoro may be a little boring. It is geared more towards couples and older travellers.