Interested in Punta Cana?
We'll send you updates with the latest deals, reviews and articles for Punta Cana each week.
A group trip walking from the Ocean Blue Resort waaaaay down to Los Corales. We get thirsty and hungry. With all the private resorts along the way, where do you stop for food & beverage refueling? Find out here...
After meeting at the Ocean Blue beach bar, our group of ten spiked off east on the beach toward El Cortecito at a decent pace. After about 40 minutes of people watching along the route at the many all-inclusive resorts, we saw the beach shacks in the distance and knew our first stop of the trip was near. Just past Captain Cook's restaurant, we found Palmas Sand's large, thatch-covered seating area inviting us in from the beach past the unattractive wrought-iron furniture scattered in the sand. We sat down at one of 15 tables for eight and were immediately greeted by a young lady with amazing emerald eyes. Promptly, she brought us a round of ice cold Presidente beers. A small brick pizza oven was cooking some excellent island pizzas while island music emanated from the upstairs balcony. Out front, streetside, were several shopping areas lacking the typical souvenier hustle and accommodating flip-flops and beachwear.
At shortly before noon, we headed out again. Palmas Sand was fairly empty but people began trickling in and some sat out on the beach. With the quality food, service and beverages we experienced, I'd bet a Don Juan cigar that the place would be packed for late lunch.
With the popular Photo Bar a couple of doors down closed until 7 pm, we continued eastward on the beach toward our next oasis.
It's hard to miss El Pulpo Cojo with its beach complex of restaurants, bars and surfside lounge areas. Alongside the red-painted EPC is its log-sided sister restaurant, Sitting Bull steakhouse, sandwiching a small, open-air thatched roof bar in between with lush gardens in the rear. If that weren't enough to catch your eye, the old, infilled foundation sitting directly in the water with a lone Austrailian pine shading a few plush lounge chairs cannot be missed. Seated on a sun-drenched deck facing the surf, we ordered another heavily chilled round of Presidentes. In the interim, the waitresses brought us a complimentary array of appetizers which were delicious. Most ordered a light plate consisting of shrimp and avacado on a base of shredded lettuce while some split the ample paella dish. The Spanish owner was very friendly and engaging as he displayed his fresh Carribean lobsters and told us that El Pulpo Cojo translated into "octopus with a severed tentacle" which their logo reflects. The restaurant's interior was wonderfully appointed and the bathrooms were nicer than many at the resorts. This is an excellent choice for a beachside lunch, dinner or rounds of drinks.
The two individuals of our party that ordered the paella caught the post-dining sleepies so, down to eight, we continued east toward Los Corales.
The beach both flattened and widened as we passed the Barcelo and Bavaro resorts - and the beaches showed signs of neglect. The sea grass that was raked up each morning on the western beach resorts lay dormant on this stretch and trash was sporadically evident. The Huracan Cafe, though inviting, looked dead as did Umi and Bamboo. Further left of these we saw the luxurious beach seating of Soles Chill Out Bar and headed directly for it. As the sun was wearing us down a little, we chose seating under the palms toward the back of the property near the bar. The large wooden table accommodated us perfectly and the cool sand at our feet complimented the breeze. Another round of Presidentes at 125 pesos (roughly $3) was follow by a few ounces of rich anejo rum, surprisingly at about the same price. The fresh grilled fish and meat empanadas were both excellent and a steal at the prices listed. The service was very good and friendly. Maybe it was the long walk (probably a good 3 miles) or the mid-day spent in the sun or the cool beneath the palms but everyone agreed that this was an ideal spot well worth the walk. Soles Chill Out Bar could not have been named better considering the setting, service and consummables. Absolutely perfect.
We all decided to walk the 3 miles back to Ocean Blue rather than catching a cab in Los Corales or El Cortecito despite wanting to hit Steve's Corner Bar in town on a Wednesday. As we passed back by the Huracan Cafe, the beach beds and lounging area again caught my attention so I told the others I would catch up and headed inside. On the way in the dark, thatch-roofed bar area, I passed a glassed-in area on my right which I thought was odd for a beach but probably popular in a rain outburst. I was the only soul in the place other than staff and caught the attention of a young lady behind the bar. We fought through communication issues though I finally received a menu and a cold Presidente. I'm not sure whether Huracan is only open in the evenings as it was after 4 pm and the staff was looking in preparation instead of a serving mode. Regardless, I glanced at the menu and saw some inviting Italian dishes, salads and pasta but was unprepared to hang-out due to the walk ahead. Out of respect for the setting, the beach furniture and the cold brew, I'm compelled to suggest this as a viable beach dining and bar alternative. Some beach torches, an evening breeze and a little island music and this spot would be choice.
I caught up with two of my party back at the Palmas Sand. We briskly walked back to Ocean Blue in about 30 minutes. Once there, we decided to walk the few steps west to the quaint little bar/grill/shack called Cana Bar & Grill in the midst of the souvenier shacks. You cannot get closer to the beach as the surf was lapping up underneath the weathered wooden deck of the Cana Bar. The waitress quickly served us Presidentes for $4 dollars. I balked at the price until I realized that these bottles were much bigger than those previous, probably 20 ouncers easily. Inside the Cana bar was a large sliding soft drink style cooler and a bar/counter across the back. The menu listed on the sandwich board stuck in the sand out front didn't exactly match the lesser variety on the paper menu inside but we weren't here to dine anyway. Unfortunately, the Cana Bar doesn't have a website - they're lucky to have a semblance of furniture - but that is the beauty of the place. We sat at the rail at the front of the 10' x 12' deck, Presidentes (and plastic cups) resting on a warped wooden table with the finest view of the day as the sun sank and people waded past in front of us. Truly the definition of a classic beach bar shack and a perfect way to end the day.