Tortuga Bay’s Oscar de la Renta-designed suites and villas overlooking the Caribbean Sea reveal carefully curated elegance, the kind that lead to international awards, including the only AAA Five Diamond resort in the Dominican Republic. What is lesser known is that Tortuga Bay, part of the Punta Cana Resort & Club, is a world-leader in ecological programs, and is now, for the first time, opening up the Grupo Puntacana Sustainability Center, a world-recognized research facility that has previously been off-limits to guests.
Grupo Puntacana’s sustainability work started long before the center opened in 1999 as a research and education facility to address environmental and social challenges facing the Dominican Republic. In 1994, the resort’s owners created an Ecological Foundation to protect and preserve the area’s natural resources and to contribute to the region’s sustainable development. Nearly 25 years earlier, when the owners first developed the resort, they crafted an immovable commitment to respect the natural habitat, thus pioneering sustainable tourism before the term existed. Now, nearly 50 years later, what has long been the private domain of scientists and ecologists is open for guests to explore.
Tortuga Bay’s curious guests are guided on an exclusive tour through an innovative research facility previously closed to non-scientists.
For the first time, guests can walk behind the scenes to discover a groundbreaking program that involves national and international scientists from some of the best research universities in the world. Together, they positively impact the island’s natural resources and are creating a blueprint for environmental protection worldwide.
Every Saturday at 10 a.m., curious guests are led through the Sustainability Center’s captivating world to discover the island’s sensitive organic life. The tour delves into a series of important conservation and sustainability initiatives that are ongoing at the center. There is a restoration project helping to reproduce coral, and in effect, preserve underwater ecosystems. Guests are invited to learn more about the on-site apiaries producing local forest honey and are invited to tour the greenhouse and orchard that produce food for the resort; or to have an encounter with endemic rhinoceros iguanas and their habitats. An introduction to aquaponics teaches visitors about the self-sustaining ecosystems where fish and plants provide nutrients for each other to flourish.
The tour is a new way for guests to immerse themselves in the Domincan Republic, and to learn about how the scientific community is making strides with important conservation and sustainability work that will help protect the environment for generations of future visitors.
This first-ever look into Grupo Puntacana's Sustainability Center requires reservations, which should be made at least three weeks in advance. To learn more about Tortuga Bay, or to organize a Sustainability Center tour, please contact [email protected].