The Dominican Republic is an island nation known for its beauty. In visiting its beaches, it’s essential first to choose a route! The least expensive city to land in, if traveling from the US, is the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo. From there, renting a car and taking a northeasterly route around the coast, toward Monte Cristi, will give you the best chance at exploring as many beaches as you can.
So stop looking for the best beaches in the Dominican Republic! Here are 21 beaches, listed in order as you arrive on your way from Santo Domingo.
- 1. Playa de Guibia
- 2. Boca Chica
- 3. Playa Guayacanes
- 4. Juan Dolio
- 5. Isla Catalina
- 6. The Playa Caleton
- 7. Dominicus Beach
- 8. Playa Bayahibe
- 9. Isla Saona
- 10. Punta Cana
- 11. Miches
- 12. Samana
- 13. Las Galeras
- 14. El Limon
- 15. Las Terrenas
- 16. Nagua
- 17. Cabrera
- 18. Rio San Juan
- 19. Cabarete
- 20. Sosua
- 21. Puerto Plata
1. Playa de Guibia
The most accessible public beach in the capital city is the Playa de Guibia, located on Santo Domingo’s coastal street, George Washington Ave. It’s a famous party beach for locals and travelers alike.
2. Boca Chica
38km east of Playa de Guibia (about a 40-minute drive) is Boca Chica. The white sand beaches and deep blue waters are the perfect backdrops for pictures. Many restaurants and bars line the beach but beware of the crowd.
3. Playa Guayacanes
Though the Playa Guayacanes is far shorter than the long stretch of sand in Boca Chica, it’s still well-loved. With a slightly more intimate atmosphere, this beach is a favorite for locals, with many tourists as well.
4. Juan Dolio
12km further east, we meet the Playa Juan Dolio, Very much maintained with tourists in mind, the beach features bars and small restaurants along the strand. Beautiful, clean water and lots of palm trees.
5. Isla Catalina
The Playa Isla Catalina is a dream. The Isla Catalina is uninhabited and used only for conservation and tourism. The crystal clear blue water and relative isolation make it a common choice for American and European travelers.
6. The Playa Caleton
The Playa Caleton is not a great beach. Don’t expect pure white sands or long stretches of shore. It feels more like a deserted beach, a perfect place to go alone and think or simply jog. The public area is minimal, but the resorts offer a more luxurious experience.
7. Dominicus Beach
Hugely popular with tourists, this beautiful golden sanded beach is unmissable.
8. Playa Bayahibe
Mostly a boating beach, the brightly colored boats can take you back to the Isla Catalina, or you can spend a day there people watching.
9. Isla Saona
For the brightest, most transparent waters, travel to the Isla Saona. It is famous for its moderate exclusivity and clean, bare beaches.
10. Punta Cana
The further away from large, industrialized cities you get, the more beautiful the beaches you see. Playa Bávaro in Punta Cana is, perhaps, the most relaxing, beautiful beach in the Dominican Republic, lined with swaying palms, and with sand so soft, you’ll think you’re walking on air. On top of that, Punta Cana boasts some of the best properties to simply chill and breathe the endless luxury a few days in the Dominican Republic such as Lopesan Costa Bávaro.
The long stretch of the Playa Arriba in Miches is very much like Punta Cana. Lined with tall palms, it seems to go on forever. But this beach is even far more solitary.
Samana is another gorgeous beach. Surrounded by mountains and palms, with crystal clear, baby blue water and powdery white sands, you may never want to leave.
13. Las Galeras
Playa Las Galeras continues on the theme of rocky beaches, with massive black boulders spotting the shore. Being here feels like stepping back in time. Wonderful.
14. El Limon
Getting a little further from the mountains, the feeling of walking a beach in El Limon is unreal. The salty air and warm sun are heartbreakingly sweet.
15. Las Terrenas
Once you reach the beaches of Las Terrenas, you’ll begin to see more people once again. Popular for sailing and boating, it is still one of more secluded beaches in the Dominican Republic.
Because you’re nearing another large city, the number of people you encounter will continue to increase for a bit. The Playa Grande in Nagua is beautiful but crafted for tourists. If you’ve been missing those seaside restaurants, you’ll be glad you stopped here.
The Playa Grande Cabrera is a tropical swimming paradise. The warm blue waters and rocky coast are not overcrowded, but not abandoned either.
18. Rio San Juan
With many beaches to choose from, you may find yourself spending several days here. The most famous beach is Playa Caleton, which features small cabana bars and restaurants.
Hugely popular with tourists, Cabarete Beach is often crowded, but with the crowd comes the entertainment and food not found on more secluded beaches.
With plenty of beautiful hotels to choose from, Sosua is slightly less popular than Cabarete, but can still be somewhat crowded. Luckily, the beaches are gorgeous, making up for the excess tourists.
21. Puerto Plata
The water that washes onto the Puerto Plata beaches is nearly green, with lots of foam. Often compared to Punta Cana, it is slightly less secluded, but with a beautiful frame of the wild jungle all around you.
Dominican Republic Beaches Road Trip Map
Know Before You Go!
Before you head to find the best beaches in the Dominican Republic, remember to consider the features you like most about beaches. Do you prefer to party, drink, and eat on the sand? Or, are you more interested in solitude and scenery? Using your list of likes and dislikes, you can narrow this list down into a more flexible itinerary, ensuring that you have a vacation you’ll never forget – for all the right reasons!