Las Galeras: The Best Beaches in the Dominican Republic

View down an unspoiled white sand beach with turquoise blue water coming up on shore.

Beautiful Playa Rincon. Photo © Brent, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Las Galeras is known for its untouched beaches. Walking the white sands, you might find yourself on a secluded beach, surrounded by tall palms. These beaches have been hailed by many Dominicans as the most gorgeous in all of the Dominican Republic. Certainly, if you are not staying overnight in Las Galeras, their splendor alone is reason for a day trip.

Playa Rincón

Playa Rincón is one of those beaches that you thought you’d never find.If the beaches of Las Galeras are the jewels of the beaches in the Dominican Republic, then Playa Rincón goes even beyond that. As if on a stage, it is surrounded by the 600-meter cliffs of Cape Cabrón and a thick curtain of palm trees that run into the plush white sand and clear sapphire water. Sound too perfect for reality? It is not: Playa Rincón is one of those beaches that you thought you’d never find. It is not perfect in the manicured, raked-sand way, but in the wild and deserted-in-paradise way with fallen coconuts and twigs from trees scattering the ground. And, there is plenty of sand space for all who go there. There are even several spots to buy freshly caught seafood and rent beach chairs.

Playa Rincón’s remoteness and terrible roads are probably keeping it from being overcrowded. To reach Playa Rincón by car, a four-wheel-drive (like a jeep) is strongly recommended. The eight-kilometer trip from Las Galeras to the town of Rincón takes 40 minutes, and then you turn off for a two-kilometer, very rough ride to the beach. But the best way to reach Playa Rincón is by boat. At the main beach in Las Galeras you can find local boat captains with whom you can make arrangements for a departure and pickup time to Playa Rincón or any of the other beaches in the area (about US$12 per person). If you decide to take a taxi, you’ll pay about US$50 round-trip.

The Río Frío is a freshwater river that flows along the western end of Playa Rincón. It is a popular place to take a dip, despite the frigid temperature of the water, and grab something to eat at the fresh fish shacks set up there.

Playa Las Galeras, Playa Cala Blanca, and Playita

At the north end of Highway 5 is Playa Las Galeras, a perfectly good beach where you can catch boats to other beaches or simply while away the afternoon enjoying the white sands and calm waters, with lunch from a small fish stand.

Adjacent Playa Cala Blanca, a short walking distance away, is a tranquil beach perfect for families with small children. The coral reef offshore prevents big waves from making it to the beach, creating a shallow, warm, and tranquil pool.

Playita can be reached by foot or from the main road just south of Las Galeras; turn west onto a dirt road that is marked for the beach and the Hotel La Playita. The beach itself has tranquil surf, a wide sandy area, and a coconut grove. You can get some fresh fish and a cool drink from the stands here.

Playas Madama and Frontón

These adjoining beaches are a bit harder to get to, but their beauty will give a huge payoff to those who make the effort. East of Las Galeras are the rocky shores and high bluffs surrounding Playas Madama and Frontón. Playa Madama is wonderful for snorkeling, and it is not unheard of to find these beaches with few to no other people on them. These beaches are best reached by boat. Negotiate a price with the Playa Las Galeras local boat captains.

Map of La Península de Samaná, Dominican Republic

La Península de Samaná

Excerpted from the Fourth Edition of Moon Dominican Republic.

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