The serene beaches of Punta Cana are some of the most spectacular in the Dominican Republic. With 40 miles of tropical coast to explore, it’s easy to lose yourself in beach after beach of white and golden sand against stunning blue Caribbean waters. Try your hand at snorkeling, parasailing, or simply soaking up the sun under a cabana. Punta Cana beaches are perfect for both ocean adventures and losing yourself in ocean paradise.
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Intro to Best Beaches in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Please note that the weather can drastically change the landscape of a beach, especially after a hurricane. If you love to travel for beaches, make sure to check the best times to visit the Dominican Republic for this.
Second, know that Punta Cana is huge! It can take over 2 hours to drive from one end to the other. So we have broken down this list of the best beaches in Punta Cana by the following regions:
- Cap Cana: the private luxury neighborhood in southern Punta Cana
- Macao: region in the north with both public and private areas
- Bavaro: resort area in the central part of Punta Cana
- Los Corales: walkable and best area for solo travel in the central part of Punta Cana
- Punta Cana Group Resort: private luxury neighborhood in southern Punta Cana
- Uvero Alto & Miches: northern region with both public and private attractions
- La Romana: bonus region one hour west of Punta Cana and well worth visiting
I. Beaches in Cap Cana Area
1. Juanillo Beach ★
This is the best beach for cooling off in paradise and wading in shallow waters while enjoying a Caribbean drink! Juanillo Beach is often hailed as one of the best places to visit in the Dominican Republic. You’re not going to find great snorkeling opportunities or deep water swimming here, but Juanillo is often a quick getaway for visitors who want to take a sunset walk, dip their toes in the water, or enjoy a meal and drink with stunning ocean views. Along the shore are a ton of beach clubs fit for guests of all ages to enjoy.
- Location: Cap Cana
- Entrance Fee: $20-35
II. Bavaro + Los Corales Area in Punta Cana
Bavaro and Los Corales are located in the central part of the Punta Cana Region. It’s one of the most popular regions to visit in Punta Cana. If you’re a solo traveler, you’ll LOVE Los Corales with its many bars, restaurants, and boutique businesses. If you’re more into the resort scene, Bavaro has some of the most popular Punta Cana resorts. But either way, this region is perfectly centralized for travelers who want to explore the many fun things to do in Punta Cana.
2. Los Corales Beach ★
This is one of the best beach towns in the Dominican Republic, if you’re solo traveling around the island. Los Corales Beach is surrounded by cute restaurants and pop-up bars where you can enjoy epic ocean views while savoring a bite and an island cocktail. You can book one of many boat tours from this location to explore the coastline of Punta Cana. Los Corales is in a safe area and very walkable, even if you aren’t staying in a nearby resort.
3. Bavaro Beach
Bavaro Beach is one of the most stunning Punta Cana beaches with unforgettable ocean views. The waters here are gleaming turquoise hues with soft white-sand beaches that are easy to walk on. You feel like you’re on a Caribbean postcard, and it’s wonderful for relaxing under the sun. Shops, restaurants, and some of the best luxury resorts in the Dominican Republic are right off-shore and have a ton of lively adventures you can take part in. Note: This is a busy resort community, but its length helps spread to everyone and makes you not feel so crowded.
Pictured above: Grand Bahia Principe Bavaro
4. Arena Blanca Beach
Lined with all-inclusive resorts, Arena Blanca Beach is nicknamed the ‘All-Inclusive Beach’ of Punta Cana. Beachgoers will enjoy the mix of white and golden sand, perfect for beach relaxation and long walks. Be sure to bring food or eat before, as there are no public eateries.
Please note: This beach is located in the private VIK Hotel Arena Blanca. There is no public access to this beach. You’ll have to walk along adjacent beaches to access this area unless you’re staying in the resorts.
5. El Cortecito Beach
The bar scene at El Cortecito Beach is fantastic, perfect for groups of adults or couples who want to test a variety of tropical drinks. There are several beach clubs that offer lively nightlife, events, and activities, with opportunities for enjoying music, dancing, and delving into local seafood from fresh menus. El Cortecitio is also a wonderful place to explore Dominican culture or take a sunset stroll along the crystal-clear blue water of the Caribbean Sea.
6. Arena Gorda Beach
Arena Gorda Beach is a wonderful mix of all-inclusive resort access and a public white sandy beach. If you want to stay away from the resort traffic, visit the section of the beach after the Hard Rock Punta Cana. The best public access is from Playa del Cortecito; be prepared for a long walk. Kukua Beach Club is the only public eatery on Arena Gorda, with delicious Island dishes made from local catches in a friendly atmosphere.
7. Cabeza de Toro Beach
While Cabeza de Toro Beach doesn’t seem anything spectacular, if you take a walk to the north end, you’ll discover a palm grove oasis with a secluded beach. This is the perfect beach for avoiding crowds and tourist traffic, allowing you to relax fully and unwind. You’ll want to bring your camera to take some Instagram-worthy beach shots. We recommend grabbing a bite at Pearl Beach Club or booking a snorkeling tour with a relaxing walk in the sea and a catamaran ride.
III. The Punta Cana Group Resort Area
I kind of wish this area within Punta Cana would change its name because it can be really confusing! So, “Punta Cana Resort” is the official name of an actual private resort/gated community area within the Punta Cana Region. But it’s so big, and with epic attractions like Ojos Indigenas, that it’s also its own widely recognized “neighborhood”. So while the entire region (including all the areas we’ve listed in this article) is referred to as the Punta Cana region, this region within the Punta Cana region, is called the Punta Cana Resort. To make matters even a little bit more confusing, this private property borders Cap Cana (listed above). But because they’re both huge estates that are private and fenced off, you have to drive like 30 minutes on the private roads all around to get to the other side of each one.
8. Playa Blanca Beach ★
Playa Blanca is simply gorgeous, like most beaches you’ll find in Punta Cana, exclusively part of the Puntacana Resort & Club. What set’s this spot apart is the long stretch of waist-deep, crystal-clear water that lets you wade far out to sea. You can swing on the beach swings, relax on banana boat floats or book a paddle boat for the day for a unique way to explore. There are excursions and tours that will pair a visit to Playa Blanca Beach with an exploration of the Ojos Indigenous Reserve.
- Entrance Fee: $20-$50
IV. Beaches in the Macao Area of Punta Cana
10. Playa Macao
Playa Macao is a hidden gem in Punta Cana that you must explore when traveling to the islands of the Dominican Republic. The golden sands are practically untouched, giving you a sense of seclusion in an island oasis with minimal city crowds. Parasailing, excursions, and beach buggy rentals are popular activities in Playa Macao. Surfing conditions here are ideal, and nearby resorts in Punta Cana can be perfect places to stay if you want to spend more than a day at this beach and get pampered during beach breaks.
V. Uvero Alto & Miches (Northend of Punta Cana)
11. Uvero Alto Beach
Uvero Alto Beach is lined with fun family resorts and is a lively beach for fun under the sun. This is NOT, however, a pristine and soothing Caribbean beach. The surf and waves are more like the Atlantic Ocean, and there is a ton of seaweed that washes up on shore. On the bright side, if you love exploring lush and dune-like beaches without crowds, Uvero Alto Beach is the place to be.
12. Lava Cama Beach
Access to this beach is limited to a dirt road, which is a little challenging if you don’t have an off-road vehicle. Because of this, though, Lava Cama Beach is private and relaxing. The surrounding palm groves provide natural shade to keep you cool on hot days. Nearby, there is an area where outdoor travelers can camp in the wilderness, with a beach restaurant and restrooms.
- Location: Uvero Alto
- Entrance Fee: Free
13. Emerald Bay Beach
Emerald Bay Beach is a breathtaking cove with an upscale marina and hotel nearby. The beach backs onto the Sandals Emerald Bay Resort, but it is open to the public. The cove is a tranquil place to go snorkeling and explore the colored underwater world of the Dominican Republic. Emerald Bay Beach is only 10 minutes from the Punta Cana International Airport and a great first stop with the perfect blue hues you desire for a tropical vacation.
- Location: Miches
- Entrance Fee:
14. Playa Costa Esmeralda + Punta El Rey
Want another virginal, secluded beach in Punta Cana for private relaxation where you feel you’re the only one on the island? Playa Costa Esmeralda’s coastline is aboutj a 1.5-hour drive from Bavaro or Cap Cana. There are no restaurants nearby, so bring your own food. Compared to other beaches closer to Punta Cana, there are far more trees, and the temperatures are slightly cooler. Right before you get to the beach, there is a road to get to Club Med, an eco-chic paradise set on 93 acres and one of the most popular hotels in the Dominican Republic.
- Location: Miches
15. Playa El Limon
This uncrowded beach used to be swarmed by pirates roaming the Samaná seas! Playa El Limon is a white sand beach tucked away on a peninsula in a quiet cove. It’s the perfect spot for local hikers looking for a break and a place to cool off. Excursions of this area will take you wading down the Limón River, where you are surrounded by lush jungle.
- Location: Las Lisas, between Vero Alto and Miches
16. Carlyle Cove Beach
Carlyle Cove Beach is a place for peace, quiet, and tranquil beach vibes. The tropical coastline offers picturesque views of the far-off mountains. This is not a touristy beach, so there won’t be many activities or anyone to clear your trash if you leave it–take it with you! You can bring your own fun and play beach volleyball, snorkel, swim, or run along the smooth sand.
- Location: Miches
17. Playa Arriba (Beach Up)
Serving as a cute coastal tourist destination, Playa Arriba is a popular destination for guests from Saona Island and Samana. The coastline is spacious, with emerald waters and soft sand to walk on. You can grab a bite to eat at the beach bar with easy access to the beach and parking 100 meters away. It can get a bit crowded during the high-peak travel season.
- Location: Miches
BONUS: La Romana Beaches
These gems are in La Romana, which is not technically in Punta Cana. However, this region is just an hour west, so they are definitely worth a day trip to from Punta Cana!
18. Casa de Campo ★
Casa de Campo is a private estate-formed community neighborhood with a lovely resort, some villas, and luxury condos. Within this gated neighborhood, you can find this private community’s supermarkets, a cinema, a gas station, gyms, etc. But my personal favorite thing inside Casa de Campo? Minita’s Beach Club & Restaurant! It’s gorgeous. Grab a green juice or cocktail, and some bites, after spending your day at the Casa de Campo beach. Bonus: there are many other attractions in Casa de Campo such as La Marina, Altos de Chavon, and much more.
19. Catalina Island Beach
Here, you’ll find the coral reefs you’ve been looking for and one of the premier snorkeling locations in Punta Cana. Catalina Island Beach has crystal clear waters where you can see all the local wildlife swimming by your feet. You have to access the beach from a boat, taking about 30 minutes one way to the island. Don’t forget to check out Captain Kidd’s shipwreck, the only pirate shipwreck found in the Caribbean!
20. Playa Bayahibe
The waters at this beach are some of the most gorgeous aqua hues you could ever experience. Playa Bayahibe is a quiet, calm beach with sparkling blue waters perfect for snorkeling explorations. Many boat trips and excursions explore Bayahibe by catamaran ride and include trips to the natural pools of the region. This is another beach that tends to be less crowded but still has a few places to shop and eat and some tiki umbrellas to soak in the ocean breeze. Please note: Playa Dominicus is right next to Playa Bayahibe.
21. Playa Dominicus
Playa Dominicus is one of the longest beaches in the Dominican Republic, filled with soft white sand to lie down and relax in. There are a series of luxury resorts along the coastline, with public beach access to all. We recommend visiting the beach section facing the Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus, located next to the unique lighthouse-shaped bar. The shallow turquoise waters here are perfect for wading and swimming, and they also have a massive reef nearby where you can dive and snorkel for hidden treasures.
22. Isla Saona
Right off the southeastern tip of the island, Saona Island has unforgettable beaches, mangroves, palm grooves, and coral reefs. The island is part of the East National Park, where you can spot an abundance of starfish in the shallow waters. Nearby, the village of Mano Juan is a charming fishing village with a turtle sanctuary and colorful shacks. You can book a private tour of Saona Island right from your Airbnb, where you’ll begin at Bayahibe Beach and take a speed boat out to the island for a fantastic day of discovery.