Beaches in Dominican Republic
White sand beaches in Dominican Republic that seem to endlessly run into the horizon, punctuated with slim coconut trees reaching the skies: it’s what the Dominican Republic is best known for. South to east, and north, you will keep busy finding your favorite plot of sand along our 1,600-kilometer (1,000-mile) sandy coastline. Over 200 beaches—many of which remain uncrowded and undeveloped—line the Caribbean and the Atlantic coastlines, ranging from a brilliant white to a handful of black sand stretching southwest. Visit Punta Cana’s world-renowned 48-kilometer (30-mile) stretch, but also consider Samaná’s world-ranked beaches such as Playa Rincón. On the north coast, you’ll be spoiled for choice, from Playa Cabarete to Playa Grande, or Playa Punta Rucia. Go off-the-beaten track to Playa El Valle, or Playa Frontón—reached by boat—sure to leave you speechless.
Caribbean-facing beaches in Dominican Republic are safe year round, while our northern coastline requires more attention to weather conditions before swimming. Sundays are family beach day for Dominicans, and you’ll find plenty of food and music.
BAHÍA DE LAS ÁGUILAS
Recognized as the most beautiful beaches in Dominican Republic and part of the Jaragua National Park, this diamond-white stretch runs a whopping five miles, boasting crystal clear turquoise waters, and a spectacular rocky karst landscape hugs this beach all along the coastline.
BAHÍA DE LUPERÓN
Beige-colored beach with large rocks and swimmable area. Tourists will often stop by before or after a visit to the close by historic La Isabela site, the first European settlement in the New World. Western Puerto Plata.
Cabo Rojo remains one of the DR’s most popular beaches, winning visitors over with its captivating coastal views. Its turquoise waters are also home to some of the Caribbean Sea’s best-preserved coral reefs, providing a breeding ground for Antillean Manatees and the juvenile hawksbills.
The smallest of the islands off the shore of Bayahíbe; popular for its crystal clear waters year round, and its abundance of marine life and coral reefs.
Cayo Arena offers schools of tropical fish that can also easily be seen in shallow turquoise waters, making this spot a paradise for snorkeling fans; the area boasts some of the most abundant marine life in the DR, with corals and sponges, and schools of tropical fish swimming around your feet.
The small, picturesque island of Cayo Levantado sits just five kilometers (three miles) from Samaná Bay, and boasts brilliant white sand and palm-fringed beaches. Spend the day swimming, sunbathing, kayaking or paddle boarding, and enjoying fresh fish.
This small white sand caye lies across the corner from El Morro, just a couple of minutes off the coast of Montecristi, easily accessible by boat for a day out enjoying soft sand, calm turquoise seas, and seclusion near town.
Catalina is popular for water sports, particularly diving and snorkeling. Portions of the beach welcome cruise ship excursions, but the entire stretch is open for the public to enjoy.
Saona’s picture-perfect beaches attract more visitors than all of the DR’s national parks combined. A protected site and part of Cotubanamá National Park, the island is a dream tropical escape.
Off the beaten track of Las Galeras village, La Playita is lovely white sand, crescent shaped stretch shallow enough to walk for several feet. With a beachfront casual restaurant–crystal clear azure waters, and distant views of Playa Rincón, it is a favorite among those who find its shores.
While Puerto Plata’s city waterfront is lined with multiple beaches, the most social of them all is Long Beach. Weekend crowds flock here, particularly near sunset and into the night to enjoy the widest stretch of sand where a couple of beachside bars await.
A secluded, undeveloped white sand beach punctuated with rows of palm trees, and facing a wide, shallow turquoise natural pool, Palmilla is the ultimate Caribbean paradise.
Playa Alicia is one of the DR’s most recent beaches, formed over the last decade from sand shifting over to this location. Also known as the “miracle beach,” its ultra-wide, blond stretch sits below a couple of restaurants and cafés.
The private beach club near Samaná city offers changing rooms, a restaurant, nice bathrooms and rental loungers. Day passes available.
PLAYA ARENA GORDA
Playa Arena Gorda is flanked on either side by all-inclusive resorts, including the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Its wide shore with thick, white sands and turquoise waves make it a favorite spot for long walks, body boarding, or simply lounging on the sand all day.
Sitting at the foot of towering cliffs, and reached via a staircase from a hotel above the beach, this romantic cove has a part pebble stone and part white sand beach with turquoise waters and active waves.
Small yet photogenic, this white pebble stone beach is most popular with surfers for its big swells and with fishermen who head out daily, while the undertow keeps the swimmers away. It’s worth a stop for a stroll and scenic views of Barahona’s coastline.
World-famous Bávaro Beach–often lumped into the general “Punta Cana” reference–ranks among the longest, most continuous white sand beaches in the Caribbean. Extending 48 kilometers (30 miles) and surrounded with coral reefs, it’s also the most developed section of this Punta Cana resort area.
Occupied in part with fishing boats, Playa Bayahibe’s scenic white sand stretches are uncrowded, and lined with lively seaside bars and restaurants.
Playa Blanca is a hub of water sports, good food, and beachside relaxation. Try out kitesurfing or stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) lessons, or join in on a diving and snorkeling excursion nearby.
PLAYA BOCA CHICA
Boca Chica is considered the capital’s main beach. Stretching a near mile long, this bustling stretch is well protected by a large coral reef, and its shallow turquoise waters—not more than four feet in depth—make it a favorite for families.
Playa Bonita is as pretty as its name suggests–a crescent-shaped, cozy white sand beach lined with a variety of boutique hotels, villas, and restaurants. The western edge of the beach is as still as a swimming pool, while the eastern side offers active waves for the adventurous.
PLAYA BUEN HOMBRE
Playa Buen Hombre, located in a fishing village, is well known amid avid kitesurfers for its white sand stretch, and its on-site kite school teaching you how to ride the intense waves along this wild Atlantic shoreline.
The Caribbean’s hub for windsurfing, kiteboarding, and laser sailing, Playa Cabarete–also known as “Kite Beach” on the western side–is where you can learn and practice wind water sports all year round.
PLAYA CABEZA DE TORO
Playa Cabeza de Toro is popular with tourists who stay at a number of on-site resorts. The area’s calm, bay-like waters are ideal for snorkeling and fishing.
Cozy, crescent-shaped Playa Caletón is a favorite, flanked with lush vegetation and rocky scenery–some of it bearing sculpted faces of Taino Indian chiefs–that gives it a mystical feel.
Reaching the spectacular white sand of Playa Cambiaso is worth the effort, as this wide stretch is lined with coconut palms, while donkeys graze at the back and a couple of local restaurants serve fresh catch.
Facing a picturesque cove, this half-moon shaped beach attracts surfers and boogie boarders on the weekends, flocking here from the capital for a bit of wave action.
PLAYA CASITA BLANCA
Located right within city limits, and lining part of the seafront boulevard, Playa Casita Blanca’s calm Caribbean waters are decent for a swim and an afternoon cool off. Several hotels line the beach, where non-guests are welcome to stop by for a drink.
Playa Cofresí is a relaxing stretch of light blond sand with calm waters for swimming, and plenty of shade. A few resorts and restaurants dot this beach, located adjacent to Ocean World Adventure Park.
Among the top three most stunning beaches on the Samaná Peninsula, this golden, soft-sand stretch is ideal for long walks, popular for kitesurfing–with on-site classes–and body surfing, and there are a handful of boutique hotels flanking its western and eastern sides.
Playa Costambar, a gorgeous golden sand beach, offers the ideal daytime escape with plenty of restaurants and bars lining the shore. Swimming here is safe, in turquoise waters with a little wave action.
This light white sand beach is not what you expect: a river flows so near, it gives the sand a soft, spongy texture, while the sea is a mixture of cold and warm from one end to the other.
One of the DR’s longest white sand beaches, Dominicus is popular for swimming in its shallow, turquoise waters, but also for diving, with an abundant reef right off its shore, and no undertow.
PLAYA DORADA & COSTA DORADA
These reef-protected beaches offer extensive options for water sports from kitesurfing to banana boat tubing, as well as restaurants and bars. Sections of these stunning, wide golden stretches are Blue Flag certified for their water quality and services.
PLAYA EL BRETÓN
This small cove is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and just relaxing. You’ll find fewer crowds here than at Playa Caletón, particularly during the week. There are no restaurants or facilities here, and that’s the beauty of it.
PLAYA EL CORTECITO
A lively, colorful beachfront lined with seafood and international restaurants, arts and crafts souvenir shacks, and bar-lounges. Playa Cortecito’s wide, white sands are ideal for swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, or simply lazing in the sun.
PLAYA EL LIMÓN
Few visitors make it to the pristine, brilliant white shores of Playa El Limón; make the effort to reach Playa El Limón and you’ll enjoy one of the peninsula’s quietest stretches. For more adventure, hop on a hiking excursion that will take you to this beach by wading your way down the Limón River.
PLAYA EL MORRO
Boasting one of the most breathtaking sceneries in the Dominican Republic, the golden shores of Playa El Morro are hugged by towering limestone cliffs–including El Morro–with gorgeous blue Atlantic waves. You will hike down a series of boulders to reach the beach.
PLAYA EL QUEMAITO
This brilliant white pebble stone stretch is the safest of all the beaches in the province, offering a turquoise sea devoid of waves. There are several food and drink booths, as well as palapa-shaded seating areas if you choose to just relax by the water.
PLAYA EL VALLE
Flanked by towering bluffs, and dotted with fishermen canoes, the undeveloped Playa El Valle is a great spot to get away from the crowds. Enjoy a seafood lunch on the beach, and take long hikes amid this rugged landscape while fishers bring in their catch or head out to sea.
The dream for surfers is at Playa Encuentro–described as a “perfect right-hand reef break.” You’ll find the area’s top surf schools right on the beach, ready to take you out into the waves. In true surfing tradition, the best time to catch waves is in the early morning.
Located just before Punta Rucia, Playa Ensenada is a favorite gathering spot of families on the weekends, for its perfectly white sand beach, ultra-shallow blue waters, and rows of frituras or shacks cooking fresh fish and other specialties al fresco.
Reached by boat from Las Galeras, Playa Frontón’s stunning shoreline is a sight for sore eyes. Its brilliant fine white sand sits at the foot of a 90 meter (300-foot) metamorphic, rocky cliff, with its shoreline dotted with bright green coconut trees.
This wide, two-kilometer-long (one mile) golden beach is known for its swells–good for surfers–and undertows in the winter, requiring extra care by not swimming too far off shore. On site, rows of local seafood shacks serve excellent lunch plates while the music echoes.
Frequented by fishermen and local flocks, the small fishing village of Guayacanes boasts a scenic white sand beach, home to just a couple of restaurants and homes. It is a lovely stroll at sunrise, or late in the afternoon to catch the sunset.
PLAYA JUAN DE BOLAÑOS
Playa Juan de Bolaños conveniently lines the seafront boulevard, offering views of the iconic El Morro cliff. Residents flock to this white sand beach and its turquoise waters on weekdays to watch the sun setting right before its shores.
PLAYA JUAN DOLIO
This beautiful white sand beach will take you over an hour to walk from end to end. Blessed with both waves and calmer areas, the beach lines Juan Dolio’s main road and is punctuated with seafront bars, restaurants, condominiums, and villas.
Often ranked as one of the best beaches in Dominican Republic, Playa Juanillo offers miles of pristine, powdery white sand beach, flanked with gigantic palm trees, iridescent turquoise waters, and excellent winds for kiteboarding.
PLAYA LA CALETA
Closest to La Romana city. This is where locals go for a swim on a hot summer day, but mostly for fried fish with plantains or yaniqueque (fried flatbread) and an ice-cold beer by the sea. Sections of sand mixed with rocks and pebbles.
PLAYA LA CIÉNEGA
Facing a beautiful bay, this lively beach is dotted with fishermen canoes, and fills up with families after sunset and on the weekends. Partly rocky waters attract small fish and are safe enough to swim in close to shore.
PLAYA LAS BALLENAS
This spacious, wide white sand stretch with a shallow, calm sea sits right in the heart of Las Terrenas’s small town. Lined in part by hotels, villas, bars, and restaurants, on either side of the beach, it offers plenty of shade, and shallow waters ideal for families.
PLAYA LAS GALERAS
Las Galeras is a beautiful white sand stretch that holds its own, good for swims and cold drinks, as well as surfing on its western side. The atmosphere gets livelier at sunset, when the fishermen and the tour boats return at the end of the day, and everyone gathers for dominoes at sunset.
PLAYA LAS TERRENAS
This white sand beach runs along the town’s center, tucked between Playa Punta Popy and Playa Las Ballenas. You’ll notice fishermen’s canoes in some parts, as well as a handful of beachfront bars, hotels, and a boardwalk for those who want to hike along the beach.
PLAYA LOS PATOS
Like most beaches in Barahona, this stretch has pebble stones rather than sand, and is popular with surfers who come here to enjoy the fast-breaking waters. On the other side of the beach is Los Patos river, where a wide natural pool attracts locals.
PLAYA LOS PINOS
Los Pinos –boasting a sandbar with a backdrop of pine trees—is a favorite of standup paddle surfers, as well as Optimist and Sunfish sailors.
Easily one of the Dominican Republic’s top-five most stunning beaches, the mega-wide, brilliant blonde, palm-tree studded Playa Macao is a surfer’s favorite. Macao’s local restaurants are also known for serving some of the best Dominican-style fishplates on this side of Punta Cana.
Playa Madama’s small size belies its numerous, precious finds all around–forest paths flanked by cliffs, hidden caves, and bright corals under the strong turquoise Atlantic Ocean. Snorkeling here will reveal black sea urchins and vibrant corals.
Casa de Campo Resort’s Playa Minitas is home to the beautifully designed Minitas Beach Club, boasting a 23-meter infinity pool, and panoramic sea views from its Latin Mediterranean restaurant, bar, and chic outdoor lounge.
Among Samaná’s most secluded and historic beaches, few make it to the golden Playa Morón, but the trek rewards those who find its long, golden sands. You’ll ride past farmlands and bumpy gravel roads to reach the beach entrance.
Lined with resorts and villas, Playa Portillo begins at the entrance of Las Terrenas town, stretching all the way east as the first part of the whopping five kilometer long coastline. Its soft white sand boasts a coral reef close enough to swim to and snorkel.
PLAYA PUNTA CANA
The name Punta Cana is used to refer to the entire 50-kilometer (30-mile) beachfront destination, but the eponymous beach–sandwiched between Playa Los Corales to the north and Playa Blanca to the south–is where the area’s tourism got its jumpstart in 1978.
PLAYA PUNTA POPY
Playa Punta Popy is the social and water sports beach hub of Las Terrenas. Peppered with a maze of giant palm trees, its white sand shores offer the perfect wind and wave conditions for kitesurfers, new or experienced.
PLAYA PUNTA RUCIA
Punta Rucia boasts a brilliant white sand beach and calm turquoise sea, flanked by soaring mountain views. The main jumping-off point to Cayo Arena, thousands of visitors come here daily to reach the caye and snorkel off the large coral reef just offshore.
Ranked by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world, Playa Rincón’s pristine, long white sand beach lining a bay of calm turquoise waters, peppered with coconut trees, captures every visitor’s eye.
PLAYA SAN RAFAEL
This signature Barahona pebble stone beach combines panoramic mountain views with river pools and cascades that run all the way to the shore, where the San Rafael River meets the Caribbean Sea. Surfers find waves here to practice on, particularly in the morning.
Hugging a crescent-shaped bay, Sosúa is a beautiful stretch of golden sand contrasting against deep azure-turquoise waters with a white, sandy bottom. It’s also a diver and snorkeler favorite, with easy access to a wide array of sites near shore.
PLAYA UVERO ALTO
This sparkling white to golden beach is long, wide, and boasts wild waves that are perfect for body boarding fun, and surfing in some parts. A number of resorts line Playa Uvero Alto, as well as restaurants and bars.