The Dominican Republic is renowned for its gorgeous beaches. The top eleven, listed here by region, vary from undeveloped and secluded to bustling with crowds and resorts, plus everything between. Most, however, are pure white stretches of untouched sands, despite flocks of beachgoers.
Punta Cana and Bayahibe
One of the most well-known beaches in the DR, Playa Bávaro hosts many resorts, but that doesn’t take away from its glorious stretch. The crystal clear water is the perfect temperature for a dip.
The undeveloped Playa Macao is great for surfing or taking a stroll along the palm-studded blond sand. It also has some of the best fish shacks on the Punta Cana coastline.
On the southern tip of the Punta Cana coastline, the long, shiny white stretch of Playa Juanillo is dotted with towering, leaning coconut trees—a poster-worthy sight.
A quick boat ride off the coast of Bayahibe, Isla Saona’s beaches are a brilliant white, dotted with tall coconut trees and facing a turquoise Caribbean Sea. The best of all is the uncrowded, beautiful Canto de la Playa at the edge of the island.
The Samaná Peninsula
The crown jewel of the Samaná Peninsula’s beaches, Playa Rincón is a two-mile-long strip of white, soft sand and leaning coconut trees, just 10 minutes by boat from Las Galeras. Visit in the afternoon for fewer crowds.
The most stunning beach in Las Terrenas is Playa Cosón, a long, dreamy, blond stretch, dotted with a handful of luxury boutique resorts. Locals flock to the undeveloped stretch on Sundays to swim and indulge in the best fish shacks in the region.
Playa El Valle
Tucked north of Samaná town, Playa El Valle is an ultra-remote, undeveloped golden beach, sitting at the foot of the towering, lush hills of El Valle. It is not a swimming spot due to riptides, but it makes for a lovely walk.
The North Coast
Punta Rucia and Cayo Arena
Playa Punta Rucia is a jumping-off point to the offshore Cayo Arena, and each stuns on its own. The uncrowded Punta Rucia offers miles of unshaded white sand, which sparkles even brighter in the hot sun. The tiny Cayo Arena has beautiful turquoise waters and some of the best snorkeling in the DR.
Getting to Playa Cambiaso requires a bumpy, 1.5-hour ride from Puerto Plata city, but the remoteness of this stunning stretch is what makes it unique. Locals flock here on Sundays for swimming and seafood, but on weekdays you’ll have the beach to yourself—save for a couple of wild donkeys to keep you company.
Playa El Morro
Hugged by El Morro, a towering limestone mesa, the reddish blond eponymous beach offers breathtaking scenery. Soft stones shift from one half of the beach to the other with the tide.
Bahia de las Águilas
The remotest of them all, and often said to be the most gorgeous beach in the DR, is Bahia de las Águilas, a protected, undeveloped stretch facing a stunning bay and hugged by a magnificent rocky landscape. The water is so clear that you can see your toes.
Excerpted from the Fifth Edition of Moon Dominican Republic.