Punta Cana, Dominican Republic December 2007

The all-inclusive beach resorts on this, the eastern coast of the island are situated well away from the main centres of population and as such are extremely self contained. Many visitors to these resorts never venture outside the grounds and indeed there is little reason to do so as the surrounding countryside is fairly sparse, with the only signs of life being the numerous building sites where hotels and villas will one day stand. Workers at the resorts either live on site or in one of the tiny villages or towns nearby. Each hotel has it’s own area of beach crammed with sun loungers and dotted with watersports hire shops and small bars. The resort complexes have been blamed for environmental damage and coastal erosion. Indeed, some sections of beach where trees have been felled have had to be augmented with concrete to prevent the erosion that would have been previously held at bay by root systems. Despite this, the beaches and waters are very clean, though with construction up and down the coastline continuing apace it’s hard to say if this will last.

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