Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Keri Stooksbury
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The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean paradise that rightfully tops many people’s lists of places to visit. From its world-class golfing and resorts to its gorgeous water and sunny weather, it’s the perfect place for some much-needed relaxation.
Of course, no trip to this tropical nation would be complete without spending some time on the sand. However, when the sea virtually surrounds you, it can be hard to figure out which stretch of the coast you should head to first. Sit back, relax, and get ready to dive into the crystal-clear water of the Dominican Republic at one of these incredible beaches.
Caleton de los Enamorados is a vibrant beach hideaway for people interested in a little seclusion away from the bustle of tourists.
Named after its romantic ambiance, this is a favorite place for couples to go on walks by the water. Just make sure you wear waterproof shoes since the sandy part of the beach itself is narrow.
You can find a rock to sit on or wade in the water. This isn’t the best area to swim in since the current can be strong. There are no lifeguards on duty either. Children might find themselves bored, especially if they’re not avid shell or rock hunters, but adult travel groups will find the area peaceful.
Hot Tip: Check when the tide comes in as access to the beach is limited.
If you’re looking for some seclusion while in the Puerto Plata area, Playa Bergantin is the place to go. This wild beach is virtually untouched and has maintained its natural beauty since it’s still relatively unknown among tourists.
Lined with green trees, there’s plenty of shade, so you don’t have to lug an umbrella for your beach day. There are adventure excursions that can take you around the area as well, such as buggy and horseback rides. However, you can also go on your own for a peaceful day at the beach.
Some businesses are nearby where you can get food or drinks, but the sand is pristine and often free of visitors. You’ll need access to a car to get here, though, as the road can be muddy and difficult to navigate on foot.
Playa Buen Hombre is a hidden beach gem off the beaten path. The beach’s open landscape allows a predictable breeze to keep cool even on a hot and humid day. It’s also a fantastic place for some kite flying without buildings or power lines to get in the way.
If you’re up for more adventure, you can try kitesurfing here since the water is shallow and the current isn’t too strong if you fall off your board. Since this is a more natural beach, it’s not manicured like the resort stretches are. That means you can find shells in abundance here.
You’re free to have a picnic on the beach, but if you don’t want to deal with bringing food with you, there’s a small eatery nearby where you can order a meal with locally-sourced ingredients.
Playa Dorada is a place for clear blue water and golden sand. With an extensive coral reef system protecting the beach, the current here is gentle, and the water stays clean. The city and nearby beach clubs also have a hand in keeping this beach clean, and it has the coveted blue-flag status.
For those who want some activity during their beach days, there are nearby kitesurfing schools where you can book a lesson. The wide open water is perfect for this sport. With its proximity to Puerto Plata city center, this 1-mile-long stretch of shore is easy to get to, and it is perfect for those who want to relax on the sand or have a little more excitement in the water.
If your main goal from your Dominican Republic vacation is to feel like you’re in a postcard, you can’t get much more picturesque than Playa Grande.
The golden sand is lined on one side by vibrant greenery and on the other by bright blue water. The water and the beach are also kept clean for locals and tourists. The beach is a family-friendly one because it strikes a nice balance between excitement and peace.
Visiting in the morning and early afternoon will help you ensure there aren’t many other people around so you can have a quiet day by the water. As the day goes on, more visitors start to file in, which gives the area a more lively and social feel. The beach is long, so even at busy times, you can find space.
Surfers love Playa Preciosa. It’s an untouched, wild beach without much tourist foot traffic, so you can splash around or surf in peace without worrying about many swimmers.
The waves here are predictable and consistent. That’s great news for adventurous beach-goers. However, if you’re more of a casual swimmer, this might not be the best place to go for a dip unless you’re okay with sticking close to the shore.
The beach also offers a one-of-a-kind hike. You can climb to the beach’s cliff for a cinematic and unobstructed view of the horizon. Try to plan your hike for sunrise or sunset to see how the sun’s light glitters on the water. There are a few businesses nearby where you can rent surf gear or beach chairs, and there’s even a snack bar a short walk away.
Considered to be the best beach in Punta Cana, Bávaro Beach is home to soft white sand, coconut trees for shade, and stunning turquoise water. With a slight bay, the water here is calm, and the lack of waves makes swimming here idyllic. The beach has 2 different experiences depending on which part of the shore you want to hang out on.
If you’re looking for drinks delivered straight to your hand, these resort sections of the beach are the place to come. If you’re after a more laid-back and casual affair, pick one of the other sections of the beach where you can do your own thing.
Javo Beach, also known simply as “La Playita,” is a favorite family beach for Dominican Republic visitors. Thanks to the beach’s shallow water, it’s safe for swimmers of all ages and skill levels. The waves are calm as well, no matter when you visit.
Despite its popularity, the beach is relatively calm as well. The areas closest to the restaurants that line the beach are more prone to excitement, with music and crowds. However, if you prefer a little peace and quiet to enjoy the sound of the water, you just have to walk a little while to find it.
There aren’t many boats that come to this part of the coast, so the underwater environment can thrive. If you want to see what fish and other sea life call the water here home, rent snorkeling equipment and head out.
Playa Costa Esmeralda in Miches is constantly raved about as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. This remote beach is a hidden gem that has escaped the notice of many tourists despite its reputation, so it’s rarely busy. You can enjoy the shallow, turquoise water in peace even between December and April when it’s peak tourist season.
The beach has 2 different types of sand. You’ll first encounter firm sand that’s easy to walk on. If you venture out far enough, you’ll notice more white grains as the beach becomes softer. If you’re a surfer, don’t expect to find any intense waves here. The water is gentle, making it a nice spot for paddle boarding or kayaking but not for high-excitement beach sports.
Hot Tip: You don’t have to bring an umbrella for shade if you lay your towel under one of the palms.
Playa Frontón is the perfect place to go for a beach day if you want to leave civilization behind for the day. Lined with thick greenery and cliffs, this beach is a protected and hidden spot where you can enjoy the natural beauty of the Dominican Republic.
Since the beach is 5 kilometers from the nearest town, there’s a clear separation between the beach and the rest of Las Galeras. Most people get a boat to the beach, but the more adventurous can hike from town or get a taxi to La Boca Del Diablo and hike along the cliffs. Both of these hikes go through the jungle, so they aren’t to be taken lightly.
Despite being a wild beach, the water here is calm. You can go snorkeling to explore the lively underwater world off the coast or just wade in the water near the shore. Ensure you bring water and necessities because you won’t find reliable on-site amenities.
Playa Juanillo is a calm stretch of shoreline perfect for a relaxing tropical vacation. The beach is lined with luxury hotels that offer several amenities for your day on the sand.
Chairs are available for rent, and there are numerous beach bars and restaurants. However, if you’d prefer a more low-key day, you can have that, too. Just a few minutes of walking will lead you to secluded areas with plenty of palm trees for shade. The sand here is bright white and incredibly soft, so walking and laying out is pleasant and comfortable.
This beach can get busy, though. If you want a guaranteed spot on the sand, renting a spot for the day might be worth it so that you don’t have to hunt for a place to put your towel down.
Hot Tip: Check out our in-depth review of Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana located on Playa Juanillo.
Playa La Vacama is the place to go if you’ve always dreamed of camping on the beach. With tent rentals available and a reliable tide pattern, you can sleep to the lull of the waves on this tropical beach.
There aren’t many public amenities, but there’s a restaurant and eco-friendly lodging you can make reservations at to get in touch with nature. However, since many tourists don’t frequent this beach, try to learn a few phrases in Spanish before you head here so you can speak with any personnel easier.
The road to Playa Lava Cama isn’t paved, so if you plan on driving yourself, opt for a vehicle suitable for off-roading to ensure it can handle the bumps. The water here is clean, calm, and shallow. Despite there being no lifeguards on duty, you can swim safely.
If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy a few hours on the sand, Almond Beach in Boca Canasta is an option.
This small beach has plenty of shade for mid-day walks and soft sand to lay out and work on your tan. The waves here can be unpredictable, though, and are often quite strong. While wading in the shallowest parts of the water is safe, don’t expect to do much swimming here.
There’s a small beach club nearby where you can go for some entertainment and on-site amenities. You can grab a drink, some food, and even enjoy their pool and music. You’ll find a few vendors selling coconut slices and water you can enjoy on the sand. Locals recommend planning your visit for sunset to see the sky’s colors reflect on the water.
Playa El Derrumbao isn’t discussed much, but it deserves to be near the top of your must-visit list in the Dominican Republic.
With its gray-black sand and mountain view, this coast offers dramatic views you won’t find in many other places in this corner of the Caribbean. The water here is gentle and shallow near the sand for easy and generally safe swimming.
The beach is accessible via a 20-minute walk through Las Salinas, or alternatively, you can get there by car if you have an off-roading vehicle available to handle the bumpy road. If you decide to walk, ensure you can carry all the water, towels, and food you’ll need because there are no shops you can go to if you forget something.
Hot Tip: There are a few low trees. Other than that, there isn’t much shade.
Playa Gringo is a picturesque beach easily accessible around Bajos de Haina. This part of the coast offers visitors a well-rounded beach day. That’s largely thanks to its golden sand that’s firm near the water for walks along the shore and fluffier further back if you want to lay out a towel.
Though the beach can get crowded with tourists, there’s a relatively predictable pattern regarding how busy it is. Monday is generally the least crowded day, with the number of tourists on the sand slowly picking up as the weekend approaches.
This beach is one of the most easily-accessible beaches in the country. While there’s no wheelchair ramp, there’s a gentle, even slope that leads down to the sand, so people with mobility concerns can still get to the water without much difficulty.
Playa Matanzas is a dramatic and secluded beach if you’re looking for the ideal place to take some unforgettable vacation photos. The sand is dark and soft, which contrasts starkly with the bright blue water that surrounds the area, and there are few signs of people.
This isn’t a very manicured beach, however. Many shells and bits of driftwood regularly wash up on shore, so watch your step if you’re going to walk without shoes on. Unless you’re an expert, this isn’t the best beach to visit if you want to swim, though. The waves are quite strong, and there are no lifeguards keeping watch.
This beach is particularly striking in the evening, and since the road to get here is almost entirely paved, arriving isn’t too difficult. You can plan to come in the evening to take pictures after a day of exploring.
Playa Palenque is a mile-long beach with numerous cabanas you can rent to enjoy your day at the beach in the shade. It’s generally a calm beach, even when it’s crowded.
Its dark sand sets it apart from many other beaches in the area, though be careful if you lay out a towel as the fabric can become temporarily discolored. The nearby eateries play music you can enjoy, but if you’d prefer the natural sounds of the water, you can walk a short distance to find a little peace.
The water itself is a bit unpredictable. The waves are often a little strong for young or inexperienced swimmers to go very far, but the water near the shore is safe and shallow. There are also boats available nearby you can rent if you want to try your hand at some fishing.
The Dominican Republic has no shortage of beaches, no matter where in the country you decide to spend your vacation. We hope that this list has brought you one step closer to planning your perfect Caribbean trip by helping you narrow down which beach or beaches you must visit while you’re there.
If you want to avoid the rainy season, try to visit the Dominican Republic between December and April, when the weather is mostly sunny. Those are also the least humid months. However, this is also a busy season for tourism.
There are numerous swimmable beaches around the Dominican Republic where you’ll find gentle, clear water. However, some areas can be prone to stronger currents or have underwater rocks, making swimming riskier for non-skilled swimmers. These areas are usually marked.
There are a few beaches in the Dominican Republic that usually don’t get much seaweed washed on shore. Cabarete and La Romana are the 2 areas that typically have clear sand all year. Most seaweed washes in with the April to October tides, so avoid planning beach days then.
The Dominican Republic is known for its clear blue water. That’s largely due to the area’s low plankton levels, which can change the coloring of the sea. The water is also generally pretty shallow, letting light reflect.
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