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Paradisus Punta Cana

When you enter Paradisus Punta Cana Resort through its serene tropical entrance, you immediately feel a sense of calm as you wander through the natural foliage and fish ponds towards the canopied beds in the common area. The resort has a very Zen like feeling in its initial impression, but the entrance eventually opens to a very lush tropical setting.

Only a short 30 minute cab ride from the airport, Paradisus Punta Cana has countless options to fit the needs of any honeymoon, wedding, family reunion, or corporate retreat. The property boasts 896 rooms in various styles, twelve restaurants, seven different pools, and an expansive white sand beach. The Reserve section of the property offers visitors more privacy than other areas. Containing only 132 rooms, The Reserve has private pools for adults and children. It also has restaurants that are exclusive to travelers who opt to stay there. It is the perfect way to enjoy the entire resort, but still be able to retreat back to a quieter area for relaxing.

The resort also offers a lot in the way of nightlife. The resort has nine different bars, nightly entertainment, and a casino.

Activities abound at Paradisus Punta Cana! The resort offers water sports including snorkeling, diving (for certified divers), windsurfing, kayaking, and a catamaran for sailing. If fun on land is more your speed, the resort has four tennis courts, three paddle ball courts, a rock climbing wall, batting cages, and volleyball courts. Horseback riding and golf (at Cocotal Golf) are available for additional charges as well.

After so much fun in the sun, you may find yourself needing to relax from your vacation. There’s no better way to do so than to relax at the resorts Yhi Spa. They offer a long list of services as well as a fitness center for use anytime. There’s also a kids “mini spa” where they can get pampered as well.

Paradisus Punta Cana has something for everyone and every occasion. It is perfect for large groups of people with varying needs and travel expectations. The resort is beautiful, and the staff is attentive to the needs of the guests. The Shady Umbrella would love to help you find your place in the shade, so contact us with any of your travel needs.

Happy Travels,

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Zoetry Aqua

Zoetry Aqua in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic offers the perfect balance of seclusion and luxury at their 51 room thatched roof resort. I have found in the past that there are usually compromises made when selecting a resort…we found none when it came to Zoetry. The grounds are beautifully landscaped, the rooms are lovely, and the staff as attentive as you will find. At Zoetry Agua you will find pools woven throughout the grounds and along the pathway to the beach offering it’s guests the opportunity to find the perfect spot to relax. The property is large enough, and the rooms few enough that you can let mind relax in your own private oasis. 

The focus of Zoetry seems to be health and spa, but if that’s not your thing there is still plenty to take in and enjoy.  The resort offers a full service spa, three restaurants, a coffee shop, and several bars. Activities like scuba, cigar rolling, kayaking, horseback riding and yoga are also offered outdoors and on the beach.

Zoetry is perfect for couples looking for luxurious quiet, honeymooners that want to loose themselves in eachother, and it provides an intimate setting for destination weddings.  

The rooms at Zoetry are very peaceful and lavish. They have a very therapeutic feel because of the hardwoods and stone flooring, comfortable bedding, and open layouts. Modern conveniences abound also such as air conditioning, free wifi, and satellite tv should you need it.

The resort is located about an hour outside of the Punta Cana airport by taxi, but there is also a helicopter transport option if you want to make a “baller”esque entrance into paradise.

The food at Zoetry is all very well prepared. There are several different restaurants to choose from as well as room service in the morning and late night. The resort has dishes prepared for the health conscious and for those who didn’t go on vacation to start dieting. All the food is made to order, except on Friday nights there is a expansive buffet at the beach bbq. The grilled spiny lobster is a treat, so don’t hesitate to go a little nuts.

Two peacocks named Paco and Pica roam the grounds at their leisure and can often be seen outside of your room or while dining. You may end up with a visitor from time to time.

Zoetry off
ers destination wedding packages for the couple who wants to get away with their family and friends for their special day. There is an outdoor pavilion for services and private restaurants available for memorable receptions. Susana, Zoetry’s wedding coordinator, takes the utmost care in providing a beautiful outcome to your day. 

Zoetry is the perfect fit for many travelers ideal vacation…The Shady Umbrella would love to help you find your place in the shade.

Happy Travels,


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Navigating the Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Airport



This is an overview of most island airports, but specifically Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ)… You may be wondering what to expect when you arrive, so hopefully this will help to make your trip as stress free as possible.

Upon landing in Punta Cana, you are first met with what is arguably the cutest thatched roof airport around.  Once inside here are a few stations that you must proceed through in order to gain entry into the Dominican Republic. The first station is where you purchase a “tourist card”.  These are  $10 (cash only, US dollars are accepted)  per visitor, and are given to an attendant at the next station to validate your purchase.  Now proceed to the customs line, here your passport will be stamped and the customs documents (blue page given by flight attendants) that you filled out on the plane will be validated by the customs officer.

Be sure to grab any luggage that you may have checked and the head towards the exit where another airport attendant will be collecting the information card (white page) that was also filled out aboard the airplane. 

Provided you aren’t a drug mule or international criminal that just slipped up…welcome to the Dominican Republic!

Transportation is waiting just outside the airport…

- A valid passport is a must.

-Don’t forget cash for the tourist card!

-Travel at your own risk, I suggest not taking anything you don’t want stolen or misplaced.


Checking your flight status 24 hours in advance for changes and completing the online check in (if available) is always a good idea. It helps save time and lowers the risk of surprise at the airport.

Once you return to the airport, there are two terminals (A and B ).  Check out the airlines at the terminal you were dropped off at.  If you don’t see your airline check-in area, then it is located in the next terminal on the other side of the airport. There are very long security lines for both terminals, so be sure that you have checked in with your airline before waiting through it.  

After the security lines, you will do your business with customs. Then follow the signs to your flight’s gate and relax. You are heading home!

If you do an online check-in with Spirit Airlines and choose to print boarding passes, these are NOT your airline tickets! Make sure to have your passport scanned and proper tickets printed prior to proceeding through security. Your new tickets will have “DOCS OK” printed on them validating your check-in.

Clearing US Customs upon Return

You will head through Customs once again upon returning to the US. Once your passport and paperwork are validated, a security check is again required. Any “Duty Free” liquor or perfume that has not been checked (over 3oz. and not in your quart sized plastic bag) that you have purchased will be confiscated and not allowed back into the country.  Basically making most “duty free” shopping a complete waste of time and money.

After you clear customs, welcome back to the US! Have a safe connection as you continue home!

Happy Travels,

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow” ~Lin Yutan

Helpful Links:
Country Entry/ Exit Requirements
TSA What to know before you go
American Airlines
Air Tran
Continental Airlines
Spirit Airlines
US Airways

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Don’t Get Hit With Unplanned Phone Charges

When planning to travel abroad it is a wise idea to check with your phone provider and review your plan. 
With smart phones that automatically update without prompt, you may be getting hit with charges without
making the first phone call. 

When in doubt simply cut off your data package while overseas.

Happy Travels!

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