If there’s one thing the Dominican Republic has in spades, it’s gorgeous beaches. From white sand to pebbles, calm waters to towering waves, there’s a beach that’s perfect for everyone; we’ll show you our top 15 picks below.
15 Best Beaches in the Dominican Republic in 2023
The Dominican Republic is known as one of the world’s top tropical vacation destinations. It offers world-class surfing, tropical breezes, and stellar Caribbean cuisine.
When the Dominican Republic truly shines, though, is with its sugar-sand beaches. The rocky landscape provides secluded coves and picturesque stretches of sand.
Its reefs provide calm waters in some areas, while other sections boast some of the best surfing waves.
Whether you’re a family looking to get away, a watersports enthusiast, or someone looking to enjoy a drink by the lapping waves, there’s a beach for you. Continue reading to learn about the best beaches in the Dominican Republic.
1. Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata
Playa Dorada is the primary beach in Puerto Plata. It’s located in a popular resort area where you’ll find a lot of mid-range and luxury resorts that offer easy access to the beach.
This beach is one of the calmer beaches in the Dominican Republic. The atmosphere is relaxed, and the waves are relatively small. Families will enjoy Playa Dorada because of its tranquil waters.
At the same time, those looking to learn a watersport will find it a good place to take lessons. You shouldn’t have a problem finding parking in the car park near Playa Dorada.
And if you don’t feel like packing a lunch, there are plenty of eateries off the beach you can stop at for a bit to eat.
2. Kite Beach, Cabarete
If kitesurfing is on your Dominican Republic vacation agenda, your first stop should be Kite Beach in Cabarete. It’s one of the top kitesurfing destinations in the world. Kite Beach is also home to the annual Master of the Ocean watersports championship.
Kite Beach is where most vacationers head for the best watersports in the Dominican Republic. You can find morning lessons for beginners that’ll help get you started. Then, later in the day, the pros come out to take to the waves.
Since this beach is so popular for watersports enthusiasts, it won’t be a good spot for a relaxing day. Instead, you’re better off heading to one of the smaller beaches with calmer waters if you want to kick back and let your kids roam free.
3. Bahía de Las Aguilas, Pedernales
On the southwest shore of the Dominican Republic is Pedernales, home to the 5-mile-long Bahía de Las Aguilas. It’s one of the best beaches to go to if you want a relaxing atmosphere. There’s plenty of room to spread out, so you won’t have to worry about being on top of your neighbors.
Bahía de Las Aguilas is one of the Dominican Republic’s best swimming beaches. The waters there are pretty calm, so you won’t have to worry about watersports disrupting your day.
This beach is inside Jaragua National Park, making it an excellent stop for ecotourists. You’ll be able to take in quite a bit of wildlife during your visit, but you’ll need an ATV or boat to get there. You can catch a ride from Cabo Rojo, but don’t expect many modern amenities.
4. Bávaro Beach, Punta Cana
Punta Cana is one of the most popular Caribbean destinations, so it’s no surprise it offers some of the Dominican Republic’s best beaches. Bávaro Beach is located just north of the city, lined by the region’s best shopping, dining, and resort areas.
The offshore reef makes Bávaro Beach ideal for a mix of activities. Roped-off swimming areas provided protected sections for children and swimmers. Further past the reef, you’ll find the perfect environment for catamarans, party boats, surfing, and diving.
Bávaro Beach is well-maintained and highly popular. Since it draws crowds, try to go during the week or in the morning to get a prime spot. Parking, gear rentals, and food are all easily-accessible, so you won’t need to pack much.
5. Playa Grande, Rio San Juan
Rio San Juan is another popular tourist spot. However, it’s usually less crowded than bigger beach towns like Punta Cana. Playa Grande is one of the nicest beaches in Rio if you want something slightly more low-key than busier areas.
You’ll find every beach day convenience at this one-mile stretch of white sand. Parking is a breeze, and there are showers and bathrooms available for changing and cleaning up after a day in the sand. There’s also a convenient picnic area to make lunch a sand-free event.
Playa Grande offers several water activities, restaurants, and chair and umbrella rentals. However, try to get there early to avoid the crowds and to ensure you get your rentals, as they’re limited in numbers.
6. Playa Fronton, Las Galeras
Couples often head to the Dominican Republic for a romantic getaway. One of the best ways to add to the romance is to go to Playa Fronton, one of the most secluded beaches on the island. It offers a private beach experience that’s perfect if you want to avoid crowds.
The white sand of Playa Fronton sits with a backdrop of towering cliffs. If you want to do more than lounge or swim, you can try your hand at rock climbing, sailing, or any other leisure activities in the area.
When you head to Playa Fronton, consider packing a picnic. Although there aren’t many food options nearby, it’s one of the best places to enjoy a romantic ocean-side meal.
7. Cayo Levantado, Samaná
The picture-perfect islet of Cayo Levantado is the perfect place for adults who want to enjoy a vacation without children. Also known as Bacardi Island, this all-inclusive resort is for adults only.
Half of the island is a private resort, while the other half is public. Cayo Levantado has three white-sand beaches with calm, crystalline water.
The crowds are minimal, the beaches are quieter, and there are many leisure activities to enjoy if you want to take a break from lounging on the sand. The only way to get to Cayo Levantado is by boat.
You can take a ride from Samaná or get a private lift from a local. Traveling via public boat will be more cost-effective, though. If you want to grab a bite to eat, you can indulge in some fresh seafood on the public half of the island.
8. Punta Rucia, Punta Rucia
Punta Rucia is a small fishing village on the Amber Coast that has one of the prettiest beaches in the country. It’s far less crowded than some larger beaches, making it a peaceful getaway for guests of all ages.
One of the nice things about Punta Rucia is that the mountains and rocky shoreline protect it from the wind. So, when you visit, you won’t have to worry about the wind whipping the sand around. Instead, you’ll enjoy nothing but serenity.
One thing to remember when you visit Punta Rucia is that it offers very few amenities. Don’t expect easy access to rentals or food. Instead, you’ll need to bring your own gear and pack a lunch.
9. La Playita, Las Galeras
La Playita means “little beach” in English, and the name couldn’t be more perfect. The beach is relatively small, offers lovely views of the cliffs and rocky shores, and is a great option for families with young children.
The turquoise waters at La Playita are calm and shallow. The ocean floor is flat, making it perfect for letting your little ones splash around. What’s best is there are no waves to knock young kids off their feet. For adults, you’ll find offshore reefs perfect for snorkeling and diving.
You won’t have to worry about lugging your gear to the beach because La Playita because chair, umbrella, and snorkeling rentals are plentiful. There are also restaurants and parking conveniently located nearby.
10. Juanillo Beach, Punta Cana
Another of Punta Cana’s best beach spots is Juanillo Beach. It’s not quite as crowded as the bigger beaches. Still, all beachgoers will find something fun to do as they enjoy the powdery sand and glittering water.
Juanillo Beach has pretty calm waters, making it pretty family-friendly. However, there are plenty of activities for older visitors, too. Sailing, paddle boarding, and kayaking are just a few leisure activities you can take up during your visit.
Since there’s a restaurant on-site, you won’t have to worry about packing a lunch. Chairs are available for beach visitors to use, but they get grabbed up pretty quickly on weekends. You’ll enter the beach through the Cap Cana resort, where you’ll also be able to park.
11. Playa Boca Chica, Boca Chica
Playa Boca Chica is a small, mile-long beach on the southern coast near Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic’s capital city. It’s conveniently located near all the major amenities in the city, so you won’t want for anything when you visit.
Playa Boca Chica is a good option for families because the ocean floor is flat and the waters are calm. You’ll also have your pick of watersports and activities to do once you arrive.
Due to Playa Boca Chica’s proximity to the capital, you should try to get there early to beat the crowds. Boca Chica offers plenty of restaurants, and parking options are easy to come by. You’ll also have access to chair and umbrella rentals along the beach.
12. Playa Rincón, Las Galeras
As one of the top ten most beautiful beaches, Playa Rincón is an undeveloped narrow strip of beach on the Samaná Peninsula. It’s pretty secluded, so the easiest way to access the beach is to hire a boat in Las Galeras.
If you choose to drive, be aware that the road is paved but rough. Swaying palm trees cast just the right amount of shade over Playa Rincón. You’ll have access to lots of activities, including surfing.
If you want to hit the waves, head toward the right side of the beach. For calmer waters, stick to the left.
If you’re planning to have lunch on the shores, there’s a restaurant and several food stands nearby. In addition, you’ll find chair rentals near the beach, but the main road is a bit of a distance from the sand, so be prepared to walk.
13. Playa Bahoruco, Barahona
When you want to take to the waves, there’s no better beach for surfing than Playa Bahoruco in Barahona. This pebble beach is a popular spot for more active beach activities, including boating, surfing, and kite surfing.
While you’re there, you should check out Casa Bonita, which is a prime spot for ziplining and other outdoor activities. It’s also an excellent spot for photographers who want to get some great shots of the Caribbean waters.
The undertow at Playa Bahoruco is pretty severe, so swimming is often at your own risk. However, the beach is still an enjoyable place for sunbathing and lounging.
14. Playa Juan Dolio, Juan Dolio
The 6-mile-long Playa Juan Dolio in X is perfect for active beachgoers and adults. Although it tends to be one of the busier beaches in the area, it’s ideal for anyone looking to explore the reef or participate in some leisure activities.
Playa Juan Dolio offers easy access to all of the urban amenities you’ll need for your visit. There are also several beachside bars and local eateries to sample the local cuisine.
You’ll be able to find free and paid parking near the beach. Just be sure to get there early to get a good spot. It also has lounge chairs and umbrellas available to rent, so you can pack light when you go.
15. Playa Cabarete, Cabarete
Located in the sunny town of Cabarete, Playa Cabarete spans the Cabarete waterfront. It’s ideal for families and anyone who wants to try out a new watersport. You’ll be able to try your hand at windsurfing, banana boating, and paddleboarding, among other things.
The shallows at Playa Cabarete go out pretty far, making it a good place for kids to swim. However, if you want a quiet place to relax, you’re better off heading to one of the less-popular beaches on the list.
There’s a parking lot right by the beach and beach bars and gear rentals to make your visit easier. You can wind down your day with a drink at a beachside bar, then dive into the Cabarete nightlife nearby.
Things to Consider
A day at the beach can be fun, relaxing, and exciting. However, as with any vacation, there are a few things to consider before loading up your gear. These include:
- Not all beaches have eateries, so plan ahead for lunch and snack
- Factor in your need for gear because not all beaches offer rentals
- Most beaches are more crowded in the afternoon, so go in the morning to avoid the crowds
- Some beaches are geared toward adults, so check before you take your little ones
- A few beaches are only accessible by boat, which could make logistics for families complex
- Always remember snacks and sunscreen
- Choose your location based on what type of activities you want to do
- Plan ahead, so you know where restrooms, showers, and restaurants are
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you still curious about some of the Dominican Republic’s best beaches? Here are a few commonly asked questions that’ll give you more information:
What is the best time of year to visit the Dominican Republic?
Peak tourist season in the Dominican Republic ends in April. If you want to visit, consider going in April or May. This straddles the period between tourist season and hurricane season, giving you nice weather with fewer crowds.
Does Punta Cana have waves?
Most of the beaches in Punta Cana offer calm waters. However, there are a few areas where the waves are suitable for beginning surfers, making it a good spot if you want to take a few lessons.
Do all beaches in Punta Cana have seaweed?
Some beaches in Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic see a lot of seaweed washing up on the shores. However, clean-up crews comb the beaches each morning to remove any seaweed that washed ashore overnight.
Which part of the Dominican Republic has the calmest beaches?
The Dominican Republic’s calmest beaches are on the western shores. Boca Chica, La Romana, and Bayahibe offer calm, pool-like waters.
Are beaches in the Dominican Republic public or private?
All the beaches in the Dominican Republic are public. However, many are maintained by luxury hotels and resorts. Those beaches tend to be more enjoyable than those that don’t see similar maintenance levels.
Best Beaches in the Dominican Republic: A Summary
The Dominican Republic is a lush Caribbean paradise packed with white sand beaches waiting for you to explore. The beaches on this list offer the best amenities you can ask for.
So, whether you want to learn to surf or watch your children splash in the shallows, one of the beaches on this list is sure to pique your interest.