Beaches North Coast
The beaches of the Dominican Republic are all freely accessible, except those where the resorts are located. You can, however, stroll through the strips that separate the public and private sections without any problem. On some beaches, you can hire sun beds and umbrellas for the day for less than $5. The beaches of Puerto Plata are of golden sand and many have coral reefs - ideal for scuba diving or snorkeling.
Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata, an all-inclusive complex just 15 minutes from the airport and 5 minutes from the city. It is home to several hotel chains, and extends over 20 km of brown, sandy beach. It has an 18-hole golf course, various casinos, nightclubs and a small shopping center.
Playa Cofresi, west of Puerto Plata, is about 15 minutes outside town. This golden sandy beach is surrounded by palm trees, crystal clear turquoise-green waters, calm surf and mountain views - you are offered the opportunity to relax completely on this Caribbean beach. In the surrounding area there are several hotels and resorts, as well as villas and apartments.
Playa Sosua, Puerto Plata. This beach 20 minutes east of the city can be reached through the adjacent street of Sosúa Bay Resort (now closed), or through the small area Los Charamicos towards Puerto Plata near the church. This beach is visited by tourists and at weekends by Dominicans who usually come with the family to spend the day. It has several bars and gift-shops, where you can buy the famous, colorful paintings found throughout the Dominican Republic. In fact, these paintings are Haitian origin. At Sosúa Beach you can take part in different aquatic sports like diving, snorkeling, and stand up paddle, and as added bonus, you can swim in the calm waters of the Atlantic. You can rent a hammock and umbrella for the day for about $5, but, as always, you can negotiate the price.
Playa Chiquita, Sosúa, as the name itself says, it is a very small beach (just 20 m) that few people know about. It’s located in the area that bears the same name. Protected by large rocks, it’s ideal to relax and hopefully enjoy a bit of beach time alone, as if it were your own! It’s situated in a secluded area, so we recommend going with friends.
Kite Beach, is the main spot for kite boarding in Cabarete. It features a reef 300 meters from the shore, and only the most experienced riders take the risk of entering this part. You can get to Kite Beach from Cabarete town in approximately 20 minutes by walking along the beach around the corner past Bozo Beach, or taking one of the motoconchos (moto-taxi) for just 50 Dominican pesos.
Playa Bozo is about 5 minutes from downtown Cabarete, between Cabarete and Kite Beach. This is where important competitions on the worldwide circuit of the PKRA Kite surf are held every year, a competitin that includes a series of freestyle, wave riding and official race events.
Playa Encuentro, Cabarete, is just 30 minutes from Puerto Plata. If you love surfing, and you’re looking for a beach where you can practice, Playa Encuentro is perfect. The national competition Master Surf Meeting has been held here since 2009, bringing together more than 100 competitors in various categories. With its golden sands and lush vegetation, it’s one of those wild-looking beaches where you can ride a horse in the waters of the sea.
Playa Costambar, located west of Puerto Plata, is a beach protected by coral reefs, lush vegetation and a row of trees that is ideal for sun protection. The sea is calm, clear and shallow - perfect for children. It has abundant coral reefs, some of which come right up to the beach. There are also restaurants and gift shops along the beach. During the weekend it is more populated, because the Dominicans from nearby cities such as Santiago de los Caballeros come to spend the weekend there with their families.
Playa Grande, located between Rio San Juan and Cabrera, is 120 km east of Puerto Plata, about 90 minutes' drive from Sosúa. The road is a bit tortuous, but the scenery is worth it. It’s an exotic virgin beach surrounded by palm trees and verdant hills. The sand is soft and white, the water is a magnificent, clear turquoise color - postcard perfect. Open-air restaurants line the beach where you can feast on delicious fresh seafood and taste Dominican cuisine. This beach is perfect for boogie boarding and surfing the waves.
Playa Caleton, Rio San Juan, on the northeast coast about 90 minutes drive from Puerto Plata. Your visit here is included in the boat tour that takes you from Laguna Grigri, but it can also be reached by car. It’s a small, golden-sand beach with calm, crystal-clear waters.
Playa La Ensenada, close to Punta Rucia in the northwest of the Dominican Republic, is a large golden-sand beach that offers shaded areas as well as a small Dominican restaurant located on the beach normally preparing fish and savory, fresh seafood dishes. You can park your car on the beach. It is surrounded by mountains full of vegetation, and is ideal for a relaxing family day.
Playa Punta Rucia. Located 70 km northwest of Puerto Plata, in the Bahia de la Isabela, is this beautiful beach with crystal-clear waters and white sand. Although the main attraction of visiting this beach is Cayo Arena, a small islet off Punta Rucia, about 20 minutes by boat. Here, you get the feeling of being on an island lost in the sea, surrounded by water so clear that you can see small colorful fish that come to welcome you. It’s ideal for snorkeling and is surrounded by unforgettable landscapes.
Playa Alicia, Sosúa. Located in the El Batey area, Playa Alicia is a gorgeous yellow-sand beach with a lovely rock cliff at one end. It does not have much natural shade, but for less than $5 you can hire sun beds and umbrellas from the guy you will find at the bottom, and even order some drinks from the "Waterfront" restaurant up the cliff. It is always clean, as the beach is visited by the guests from the neighboring Hotel Casa Marina Reef. A newly built park overlooking this beach.
Playa Montecristi, Montecristi. With reddish sand and strong waves, this beach is made up of rocks in some parts, and has no palm trees as is typical on Dominican beaches. So, make sure that you are well-protected from the sun, as there is no shade for shelter. The terrain is rugged, so it is advisable to take suitable footwear for walking among the rocks.