As a Dominican guy, I started to hear about Punta Cana about 10 years ago as a vacation destination – back then, Puerto Plata was the place to be for vacations. The problem with Puerto Plata was that the city was very disorganized and had many problems, so the developers looked for a new spot, completely virgin, to be developed in another way. Now the times have changed and Punta Cana is our top place for tourism, but it has the inconvenience that it’s far from any city. A few years ago, all the personnel used to live in the hotel because there was no town in Punta Cana, so they provided food and a bed to the employees. Today, some live in the hotel, like the big managers, and lower-level employees have transportation to Higuey, a 45-minute ride. Now it’s changing, but for that reason, many of the visitors find that it’s not like Cancun, which has discos, parks, and a vibrant nightlife. It’s a city under construction. But for dancing at night, Le Pacha is a good disco, and the top one is MANGU, located in the Flamenco Hotel, and the cover is really cheap (just 6 dollars). If you like the games, try your luck at one of the casinos - you can play like in Las Vegas.
Regarding the culture, the Tainos (Indians) were killed by the Spanish conquest (they were forced to work hard producing sugar and looking for gold), so we're a very poor country, even in culture, but with beautiful beaches and friendly people.