The Dominican Republic is blessed to have myriad white sandy beaches, especially in the Punta Cana region. This city sits along the easternmost tip of the island and touches both the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. It’s perhaps best known for its plethora of all-inclusive resorts stretching for miles down the coast.
For a traveler in need of the perfect location for their next vacation, use this list of Caribbean beaches in Punta Cana for guidance.
Just a 16-minute drive from the Punta Cana International Airport, Playa Juanillo is considered one of the best beaches on the East Coast. It’s open to the public but offers an air of exclusivity as it’s located in the private community of Cap Cana and you must show ID to access. It’s important to note there are no public restrooms here, so be sure to plan accordingly before heading to this heavenly slice of white sand and topaz water.
Access Playa Blanca through Punta Cana Resort & Club, a savvy traveler simply needs to pass through the Playa Blanca restaurant to get there. Spanning 26 miles, it’s one of the few public beaches on Punta Cana, however there are no public restrooms. The clear water is perfect for snorkeling and on land you’ll find excursion opportunities and sports like beach volleyball. Playa Blanca’s only five minutes from the airport, making it perfect for a pre-departure beach day.
Playa Cabo Engano
Playa Cabo Engano runs just south of Cabeza del Toro and is far more secluded than Punta Cana’s other beaches. Until recently, the only way to access this beach was by a dirt road. The consistent winds at this Coconut Coast beach make it a popular destination for windsurfing and surfing—if you want to learn, you can book a lesson right on the beach.
Playa Cabeza de Toro
This beach stays busy year round with local families and resort guests from Dreams Palm Beach Resort, Blue Beach Luxury Resort and Natura Park Resort. Although many excursions for snorkeling are available, the main attraction is the Dolphin Explorer. Train dolphins to leap over you, snuggle with miniature seals or snorkel with sharks and rays. Proximity to many resorts, golfing and restaurants makes Playa Cabeza de Toro a perfect place to start your day before trying other activities.
Popular among tourists, Bavaro Beach is well-known for its fun, action-packed atmosphere. Browse hundreds of local shops in Plaza Bibijagua and keep your memories alive with souvenirs. Locals sell handcrafted jewelry, clothing, coffee and the famous Mamajuana liquor. Thrill seekers can ride dune buggies on the beach, parasail or get a bird’s-eye-view of the island from a helicopter. Enjoy savory seafood caught fresh right off Bavaro’s shore at Jellyfish Restaurant—it’s also a fantastic venue to say “I do!”
Playa Arena Gorda
Playa Arena Gorda is one of the Dominican Republic’s widest beaches. Located south of Playa El Macao and just north of Bavaro, it’s home to resorts including Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro and Ocean Blue & Sand. White velvet sands, rolling waves and fresh cocktails create an ideal beach vacation. The hotels are reasonably priced and offer activities such as kayaking and snorkeling making this beach easy to revisit.
Crank up the dune buggy and drift over to Macao Beach. Declared by UNESCO as one of the best in the Caribbean, Macao Beach remains untouched by hotels and other commercial influences, providing you with a lavish coastline. Compared to other beaches in Punta Cana, the lack of seaweed is significant, making its soft white sands and turquoise waters notably rewarding. If you’re feeling venturous, check out Macao Surf Camp. They’ll teach you how to glide those glossy waters, plus you can take home photos and videos of your surfing experience.
Uvero Alto Beach
Seclude yourself under frayed shadows of palms leaning over the golden sands of Uvero Alto. Roughly 45 minutes from the airport, lies a warm and wavy Caribbean beach just waiting to be discovered. Swelling tides and winds deliver consistent surfing and windsurfing and the remote coastline encourages a calm and casual atmosphere.