Top 8 beaches in the Dominican Republic

Ask people to name a place in the world with great beaches and the chances are that many will plump for the Caribbean. This fabled land of epic puffy white sand beaches is an undeniable beach escape star, but it can be hard choosing one destination amidst so much glorious choice.

Top beaches in the Dominican Republic
Top beaches in the Dominican Republic © Irinaabs -

The Dominican Republic boasts over 1,200km of coastline, and offers an incredible amount of diversity with shallow stretches for families, exclusive coves for honeymooners to hide away in, and other beaches that offer myriad watersports.

What's more, these many beaches and bays are within easy, direct, reach of the UK. Book your dream all inclusive resort with First Choice*, then make the most of day trips to discover the island's exquisite coastline.

So dig out your swimwear and dust off your beach towels as we set off in search of sun my fellow beach bummers. Here, I share my favourite eight Dominican Republic beaches with you.

1. Playa Boca Chica

For city slickers this narrow strip of sand lies handily close to the capital of Santo Domingo. It's certainly no secret and is often very busy, so don't come here looking for peace and quiet.

A big positive is that, thanks to a sweeping offshore coral reef, it is super shallow so families can wander out for ages and still not risk getting into deep water.

It's so shallow that locals refer to it as 'The Pond'! Another plus point is that there are plenty of simple snack bars on hand selling local fish and shellfish.

2. Playa Dorada

It's time to head north now to the Amber Coast, where beach tourism really first took hold in the Dominican Republic. Playa Dorada is our destination and it's a stunner, for me the best beach on the Amber Coast, spreading its sandy feet for two miles around a bay.

The two mile long beach of Playa Dorada, Dominican Republic
The two mile long beach of Playa Dorada, Dominican Republic © GARDEL Bertrand - Alamy Stock Photo

There are plenty of facilities here to help you make the most of the celebrated sands. There are often decent conditions for a variety of watersports for those looking to do more than sunbathe.

3. Playa Grande

This is one of the more exclusive beaches on the island. Think fancy, refined hotels and stalls that serve lobster rather than fried fish. It's perfect for golfers too with a Robert Trent Jones Snr designed course on hand.

The sands themselves are sprinkled around a mile-long crescent that looks like it has been touched up for a postcard. Once you realise the sands really are that white and the waters really are that blue you will love it!

Beware especially with kids that the waves can be a bit rougher here.

4. Playa Rincon

Whether Columbus landed here or not, as some local historians say, is something of a moot point - he really should have as it's gorgeous! It's no surprise that this remote gem often appears in top beaches of the Caribbean lists.

Riding on the beach of Playa Rincon, Dominican Republic
Riding on the beach of Playa Rincon, Dominican Republic © Stefano Ember -

Plan on a full day for Rincon as getting here is not easy. You will need to catch a boat from Las Galeras or take a 4x4 ride. The starched white sands on the eastern shores of the Samana Peninsula are backed up by swaying coconut trees and high cliffs, making it feel every bit the Caribbean beach idyll.

If you're very lucky you may spot humpback whales on their migrations from January to March.

5. Playa Bahoruco

Ok, first up I have to make it clear that this is not a sandy beach. Still with me? I hope so as there are two big reasons to come to this three mile long fine white pebble beach in Barahona Province in the west of the country.

The first is that the brilliant white pebbles are superb for photographers, who can contrast them against the turquoise waters. The second is that the area offers some of the Dominican Republic's best surf conditions.

6. Cabarete

Staying on the watersports theme this is arguably the windsurfing capital of the Caribbean, a globally renowned oasis for lovers of flying around on a surfboard with a sail tagged on.

It doesn't end there at this sandy oasis as it also offers kiteboarding, glass bottom boat tours, kayaking and the thrill of deep-sea fishing.

There are plenty of bars and cafes along Cabarete Beach
There are plenty of bars and cafes along Cabarete Beach © Ian Dagnall - Alamy Stock Photo

Après-surf there's an array of chic bars and restaurants to check out in a resort that has a distinctly European and multicultural vibe thanks to the large expat community.

7. Cayo Levantado

If you're old enough to remember the Bacardi Rum adverts then this idyllic escape may seem familiar as it starred on the screen.

Bacardi Beach on Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic
Bacardi Beach on Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic © Fg3724727 -

This small island in Samana Bay is also popular with honeymooners as it feels like a real getaway as you have to take a romantic boat trip to get out here. There are three strips of sands to check out.

From January through to March you can look out for humpback whales on their annual migrations.

8. Punta Cana

Ok, so I'm slightly cheating again here and including a resort area with a trio of beaches. We're finishing up with what is the Dominican Republic's most popular beach resort hub; I wanted to show you some great alternatives before the most popular.

It is easy to see why Punta Cana* is so renowned with 20 miles of sweeping shoreline dotted with great beaches.

Playa Macao, the most northerly of Punta Cana's beaches
Playa Macao, the most northerly of Punta Cana's beaches © Ted Murphy - Flickr CC BY 2.0

Backing up the sands and sea are renowned golf courses and a smorgasbord of tourist facilities. A whopping two-thirds of all visitors to the Dominican Republic are said to come here. Three of my favourite beaches in the whole country are here - Playa Macao, Playa Juanillo, and Playa Cabeza de Toro.

Are you now craving some Caribbean sun, sea, and sand? Don't miss the latest deals on all inclusive holidays to the Dominican Republic with First Choice. Book you break in paradise today, and choose to fly from London Gatwick, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow or Manchester.

Remember you can also check out the weather in the Dominican Republic, and see when we think is the best time to go for ultimate beach holiday conditions.

More about the Dominican Republic

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Robin McKelvie

Robin McKelvie

Robin McKelvie is a Scottish travel writer, author and broadcaster. He has visited over 100 countries and regularly writes about Scotland and the Canary Islands. As well as frequently contributing to, Robin writes for publications including The Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, The Times and Wanderlust, and has authored more than 30 guidebooks.

Posted on Wednesday 28th June 2017 in: Beach Caribbean Excursions Nature Weddings & Honeymoons

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