We stayed at Villa Rosa in Punta Rucia for 4 nights. Punta Rucia is a very small fishing village with friendly ppl, there is one main street and few tourists (at the moment - we also heard more development is expected soon including quite a number of French residents moving from Las Galeras to Punta Rucia) . There are a few guesthouses and one hotel at the entrance and a couple of restaurants if you do not eat at Villa Rosa (which is fantastic), a restaurant next door which we didn't eat at but was recommended and a restaurant to your left further down which was good. There is a discoteca which we went to, small, basic, open air, where you can dance bachata y merengue with the locals and the rum is cheap. Punta Rucia is so beautiful, the sunsets are so beautiful, the whole setting is like a postcard. This is the Atlantic Ocean but the water is so shallow, calm and warm - it so lovely! Apparently there is alot of coral which is why the water is so calm but in winter more rough. The beach across the road - the whole beach/coast of Punta Rucia is shallow, warm and clean - so beautiful - so wonderful - we walked along the beach from Punta Rucia to Playa Ensenada, stopping to swim along the way and we were alone at almost all times - not something I would expect you can get on the stretches of beach near Puerto Plata and Punta Cana. Playa Ensenada is nice and better for swimming as a bit deeper but it's very busy - esp on the weekend and unfortunately quite dirty - there is alot of litter. Off Playa Ensenada there are many shacks selling food and some discotecas - very Dominican, definitely have a look and while I was wary of the food (as I had gotten sick eating on the beach in another South American country), we ate some delicious Cotorra (Parrot) fish (known in this area), freshly caught and cooked with no stomach problems after. A must do while in Punta Rucia is Cayo Paraiso (Paradise Island) - a small island / sandbar 15-20mins by boat from Punta Rucia. The boat ride coming up to island and little island itself is amazing, ocean and surroundings so beautiful. We did a private tour, so there was just the two of us plus 2 crew and prices were more than worth it (Villa Rosa can secure booking with good price or you can go as a group for cheaper) as the guys were lovely, gave us snorkelling equipment, bread to feed the fish, and stayed with us all day, we also visited mangroves on the way back. The water is so clear and there are many varieties of fish - so colourful, so beautiful! Really can't recommend this enough. We went early (about 8am) and had the island to ourselves to snorkel, swim, lay on the beach. About an 1.5hr later another 2ppl came and an hour or so after that many crammed boats of ppl arrive which is when we decided to leave. There are only a few huts on the island so no food/drinks etc so make sure your bring you own. Villa Rosa has a main house where owner/staff stays with outdoor area to sit/eat, there is a circular pool and nice garden and further down a separate building with two separate large rooms and outside seating area - we had a double bed and single bed with mosquito nets, tv, bathroom. No hot water but water is cool so fine (water is warmer later in the morning / during the day). Room is basic but nice but the staff and owner and the food he cooks is spectacular! The owner is absolutely lovely - very friendly and helpful and he is an amazing chef, we had the most delicious French meals, the most fresh fish, and some lovely French wine to match - as with other Latin American countries good wine is hard to find and all of it terribly expensive so this was a real treat and all not overpriced at all - especially considering the quality of food matched some very expensive French meals we had in London. We ended our 2wk DR holiday in Punta Rucia and it couldn't have been a better ending.
Best way to get there:
From Puerto Plata get the motorway 30 towards El Estrecho - El Ranchito towards Punta Rucia
From Santiago de caballeros Motorway 1 get Mortorway 5 towards Altamira and then Motorway 30 to Punta Rucia. Avoid the Motoway 30 road that comes from (motorway 1) Autopista Duarte, towards Agua De La Palma - El Papayo as it is a dirt road and takes too long.