Our Guide to the Best Beaches in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is known for many things, from its tropical rainforests and local traditions to its pristine golf courses. But nothing beats its spectacular shores. This Caribbean country is home to 1,000 miles of coastline—meaning there are endless options (seriously…there are over 200 beaches!) for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.
So, which ones are worth visiting? Read on for our take on the 10 best beaches in the Dominican Republic.
1. Playa Rincón, Las Galeras
Often featured on lists boasting the top 10 Caribbean beaches, Playa Rincón is situated on the eastern coast of the Samaná peninsula where 2,000-foot-high cliffs tower over the shore. It’s truly a stunning location to relax and soak up the sun.
It’s a trek to get to the beach, but the journey is well worth the effort. The powdery sand is absolutely perfect, and the stunningly clear turquoise waters are ideal for snorkeling.
2. Playa Boca Chica, Boca Chica
Boca Chica is another one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic. The waters are protected by coral reefs, producing relatively calm waters that make it perfect for families with younger children.
It’s also ideal for anyone looking to pair beach time with city time, as it’s located only 20 miles from the country’s capital, Santo Domingo. With a dynamic blend of centuries-old architecture and modern art galleries, shops, and cuisine, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon after a morning at Playa Boca Chica.
3. Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata
Positioned along the Amber Coast approximately 10 minutes east of downtown Puerto Plata, visitors often arrive at this beach from the two main resort areas nearby.
Playa Dorada is a reef-protected beach with wide stretches that are Blue Flag-certified for their water quality and services, but there’s plenty to do here beyond just taking in the natural beauty. Water sports enthusiasts can try windsurfing, water skiing, surfing, and banana boating.
4. Playa Bávaro, Punta Cana
Located on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana is perhaps the island's most frequented destination and its illustrious Bávaro Beach is one of the biggest reasons why. This 30-mile stretch of beach boasts golden sand and calm waters safe for year-long swimming. And since Punta Cana is a top tourist spot, there are plenty of luxurious all-inclusive hotels lining the silky-smooth shores.
5. Playa Cayo Levantado, Caya Levantado
This island, set off the Samaná peninsula near the mouth of the Bahía de Samaná, possesses one of the premier beaches in the Dominican Republic. A short ferry ride from the mainland, you’ll feel like you’re stepping into a secluded paradise. Come prepared though, because secluded also means very little in the way of facilities—pack a picnic lunch and plenty of drinks. Active visitors can also experience the hiking trails along the foliage-covered hills.
6. Playa Bahía de las Águilas, Pedernales
If you’ve always dreamed of relaxing on a remote beach in a tropical destination, look no further than Bahía de Las Águilas. Primarily accessed by ATV or boat, this beautiful stretch of sand is one of the Dominican Republic’s hidden gems. What it lacks in modern amenities is made up for with calm waters, privacy, and ecotourism—it’s situated inside the Jaragua National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the country’s most incredible natural reserves.
7. Playa Cabarete, Cabarete
Playa Cabarete (or “Kite Beach”), located in the resort town of Cabarete, is one of the world’s top kitesurfing destinations. In other words, it’s perfect for travelers who want to see the pros in action—or try the sport out for themselves. While admittedly not the best location for taking a dip (the water tends to be crowded with athletes of all skill levels, posing a risk to swimmers), it’s worth visiting to see the colorful sails glide through the air.
8. Playa Juan Dolio, Juan Dolio
While some people want to visit the Dominican Republic for the sand and surf, others will go for the lively atmosphere—which is exactly what you’ll get at Playa Juan Dolio.
Located on the Caribbean coast between Santa Domingo and Punta Cana, it’s surrounded by all-inclusive resorts, beachside bars, and casual eateries so you can feast on local cuisine in between swims. Just remember to wait 30 minutes before wading back into the water.
9. Playa Bahoruco, Barahona
This beach is a little different from the others on this list…
Instead of smooth sand, Playa Bahoruco’s shore consists of small pebbles. But we promise the waves more than make up for it! This is one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic for surfing. Plus, it’s close to Casa Bonita, where you can continue your outdoor adventures on a scenic zipline tour.
10. Playa Grande, Rio San Juan
Many of the beaches on this list are popular with tourists, but not all of them feel touristy—especially not Playa Grande. This low-key spot on the north side of the island features coral-colored sand, swaying palm trees, and epic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Being slightly less developed than other beach areas (there are just a few food stalls nearby), it’s one of the least crowded spots on this Caribbean island. Even on busy days, you’re guaranteed to find a patch of sand to set up camp for a day of sunbathing.
Ready to discover your favorite beach in the Dominican Republic? Get in touch with a Liberty Travel consultant to start planning your next getaway.