Northern Coast Beaches of the Dominican republic
Here is a list of beaches we find attractive to visit, all located in the north coast of the Dominican Republic
SOSUA BEACH (Sosua Bay)
Playa Sosua, near Puerto Plata, and the Playa Dorada, is probably one of the main tourist attractions in the north. The beautiful turquoise of the Atlantic, and the great expanse of the white sands lends to a magic that one must experience in person. Sosua Beach is perfect for that long stroll – so inviting to just send your cares away on the next set of waves.
Whereas Europeans tend to visit the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana and surrounds, North Americans have been returning to the Puerto Plata area. With the golfing at Dorada, and the tranquility of Playa Sosua – it’s little wonder.
Waters here are mostly calm. It is a perfect place for your kids to play. In spite of the fact that the beach can be crowded on weekends, it still preserves crystal clear turquoise waters. This is definitely one of the most beautiful beaches on the north coast. Great for snorkeling and glass bottom boat trips, as well as it is the most popular spot for scuba diving trips.
PLAYA ALICIA (in front of the Waterfront restaurant)
Playa Alicia is smaller than Playa Sosua, with a lovely rock cliff at one end. It does not have much natural shade, but has the advantage of having less people and fewer vendors asking you to purchase things than Playa Sosúa. Playa Alicia is a gorgeous yellow-sand beach with a quite strong surf. It is always clean here, as the beach is visited by the guests from the neighboring Hotel Casa Marina. You can hire sun beds and umbrellas, and even order some snacks and drinks from the restaurant up the cliff “Waterfront”. Now a newly built park is overlooking this beach. The beach access closes at 7PM.
PLAYA LAGUNA (Escondido Bay)
Just a kilometer away from the center of Sosua you will find a nice secluded beach. In the highway you will see the sign Playa Laguna turn into the road going down to the ocean, and follow the signs to lead you to the coast. Here you will find a set of oceanfront complexes right on the beach. Normally this beach is not busy, so for one who is seeking tranquility it could be the magic place, no vendors or shops along the beach, just you and the ocean.
PLAYA AT NATURA CABANA (Perla Marina)
This beach is located between Sosua and Cabarete, in the residential area Perla Marina. You need to go to the famous resort/restaurant on the beach Natura Cabana, and access the beach via this resort. The beach is normally not crowded, and changes with a season, it can be sandy at one spot and rocky at the other. The stretch goes along for about 2 kilometers, you can use the private beach by the Natura Cabana and order drinks/snacks from the restaurant, they offer sunbeds too, or choose to take a walk and find yourself a more secluded, untouched spot. It is frequent that you can see a group of horse back riders along the beach. Great sunset!
Encuantro Beach is an isolated stretch of beach located between the more heavily populated cities of Sosúa and Cabarete this popular surfing beach is accessible to the public via dirt roads.
Encuentro Beach consists of five distinctive breaks:
Coco Pipe is a serious, powerful and hollow reef break which favors high tide and North or Northwest swell. This wave is almost always bigger than it looks from the beach, with a heavy vertical drop. This was first surfed by Bam Rossiter, who managed to ride a 589ft wave fakir.
Bobo’s Point is a series of consistent peaks with a hollow but easy take off. It is powerful when overhead and best at low to mid tide on a Northeast swell.
La Derecha, meaning “the right”, is the North Coast’s most consistent surf spot. Two peaks, outside and inside with two distinct take off zones, and a reef that breaks like a point combine to create a wave that breaks with any swell direction and any size.
La Izquierda, meaning “the left”, is a hollow barreling performance reef break. Two sections that usually connect make up this fairly long wave. It is also very consistent with something to ride almost every day, although the wave tends to close out at heights over 12 feet (4 meters).
Destroyer is a powerful, hollow and shallow left, over a sharp reef. This dangerous wave breaks best at 8 to 10 feet (3 meters). More info http://www.surfingdominicanrepublic.com/
CABARETE BEACH (Central Cabarete)
Cabarete is famous for having excellent conditions for the sports. Everything revolves around the six kilometers of Cabarete Beach. On a two kilometer stretch (Cabarete Bay) businesses of all types have sprung up, many run by foreigners who first came as tourists and then came back to stay.
The restaurants, bars, surf shops and occasional hotel are located just far enough from the beach to add to the destination, not detract from the enjoyment of the beach. Many feel the attractiveness of Cabarete is in the people, the mingling of tourists who enjoy the intimacy of the smaller non inclusive hotels that encourage their guests to venture out and discover Cabarete. In the evening, the restaurants place their tables on the beach to serve dinner. While most are plastic tables, don’t be fooled. The quality of some of the restaurants is first class. The whole evening experience of strolling on the beach under the stars from one place to the other to pick the restaurant for the evening is special. Many tourists even dress up for a fun people-watching evening. See and be seen.
While Cabarete caters to a young sports-minded crowd, it is also perfect for those who just want the leisure of sitting in the shade or taking sun on the beach, and for parents with little children.
KITE BEACH (Cabarete)
Kite Beach Cabarete is the most popular windsurfing and kitesurfing (kiteboarding) location and one of top 10 kite surfing spots worldwide.
Best kitesurfing is at KiteBeach itself, although Cabarete bay west and the nice long stretch of Bozo beach, (on the way to Kite Beach), is also where the kite surfers go to ride, or take kite boarding lessons.
Kite Beach simply has better wind direction – a perfect side-onshore wind, especially useful when you first learn to kitesurf, so you don’t get dragged out to sea and have no problems to return to the beach (Before you learn how to kite surf up-wind).
Kite beach also has stronger and more consistent winds than Cabarete west. The central part of the Cabarete bay has little wind by the shore and the eastern section of Cabarete bay has practically no wind most days, since the C-shaped bay blocks the wind.
There are around 15 kitesurfing schools in Kitebeach & Cabarete.
PLAYA MAGANTE (Los Gringos)
Playa Magante is situated between Gaspar Hernandez and Rio San Juan on the north eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, famous for its wild beauty and seclusion. You will see a signpost from the main road in Yagua (via Magante) down to Magante Beach. This is the most gorgeous beach you can ever visit on the north coast, very secluded, tranquil, shallow waters, unforgettable view like out of the book. Perfect for relaxation or getaways.
Here you will find the Los Gringos Beach Bar and Grill offering everything from a refreshing drink or a quick snack to a four course meal…plus three wonderful thatched beach cabanas to stay in. Its new thatched gazebo is perfect for a wedding or special group function with wonderful views of the beach and sea.
Los Gringos is situated at one end of Playa Magante, a spectacular stretch of sand scattered with palm trees offering plenty of shade, where you can walk for miles and enjoy what nature has given this part of the island.
And, as the place is protected by a double coral reef, there is safe swimming and snorkeling from the beach. Thankfully, no power boats and no jet skis. Just the occasional local fishing boat and the lap of the waves. Those who are keen on collecting shells and corckels will find this place a great find, as it has plenty of different kinds.
The hosts of the place will make your visit as enjoyable as possible, whether it is for a lunchtime snack, a gourmet meal, a special group function, a few drinks and a game of beach volleyball or a week of bliss staying in your own beach cabana. Breathtaking sunsets a local
Playa Caleton is a charming little beach tucked away into a bay, protected by 2 small islands at the mouth of the bay. The water here is typically very calm and clear. For the adventurous, apparently snorkeling is pretty good out by the islands.
The locals frequent this beach, and it is relatively unknown in tourist circles, because to find it is an adventure in itself. Driving time from Cabarete is 30 minutes towards Playa Grande. After going through the town Rio San Juan approximately a kilometer up the road, there will be a two story small hotel/bar, now start looking for the sign. There is a Playa Caleton sign on the right side of the road. If you blink you will miss it. On the opposite side of the road there is an open bar, that serves drinks, the road before the bar, and it looks more like a trail into a bar, but yes, this is the road to Playa Caleton and worth the drive in. Ask the bar owner if you are unsure.
Drive very slowly, it is about a 2 minute drive in, the road is very uneven. There are rentals for chaises and there is food from the shacks, where they will make whole fried fish and other things on the menu. Avoid the months where there is no letter R in the month… fish isn’t good at these times.
The unique thing about this beach is that on the right side of the bay on the rocks are white busts of human heads. Some have fine coral afoxed to look like hair, it looks like a shrine… probably 40-50 of these adorn the rocks. Folk lore has it a boat from Puerto Rico sank at the mouth of the bay and all the people drown… fact or fiction.
The sand is lovely. Avoid Sundays, as the locals come, drink and it becomes a horror show, but there is Police around if things get out of hands.
PLAYA GRANDE (Cabrera)
Playa Grande, in the Rio San Juan/Cabrera area is probably known best for serious golfers. Many golfers consider the course here at Playa Grande to be the best in the Dominican Republic. A few have even compared it to Pebble Beach. It was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Ten of its holes border the Atlantic Ocean. These are atop dramatic cliffs overlooking our featured beach. Playa Grande has some serious beach front as well.
Located 120 km east of Puerto Plata, Playa Grande Beach was once rated as one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world by Conde Nast Travel magazine. As you can see, this expanse of white sand, coconut palm lined paradise is a must see.
Each end of Playa Grande Beach is anchored by rugged coral formations and beautiful cliffs. Some great surfing and boogie boarding can be done at certain places along the beach. Keep your eye out for some of the locals who know the area and surf well.
Behind the tree line are a number of food vendors who offer up some of the finest in traditional Dominican cuisine. And some of the seafood is incredible. You won’t go hungry here – so plan on spending the day.
PLAYA DIAMANTE (Cabrera)
A newly asphalted road from Sosua towards Rio San Juan leads you to Playa el Diamante. About 15 minute drive after Rio San Juan, past Cabrera, there is a sharp right curve, where you should slow down by a big sign “Pescaderia” on the left and a pointer to Playa el Diamante. Continue down the small street to the ocean, which opens a beautiful scenery.
It is a spectacular view: the lagoon in the form of a circle with fine white sand and turquoise water, blending smoothly into the blue of the
deep ocean. Two low rock formations with wind shaped trees frame around Playa el Diamante, the precious diamond of Dominican Republic. In addition to the wondrous landscape of this lagoon, there are unique small freshwater streams struggling out from the sand at the edge of the sea water, covering the surface which resembles a giant mirror. Playa el Diamante is the most shallow beach you have ever seen. First, you walk on a thin layer of fresh water, massaging your foot palms, 20 meters later, the water reaches your ankles, 40 meters further up to the knee. If you want to swim, it would take you some time and around 70 meters of walking deep into the lagoon. This is the best place for families with
children and couples who like privacy. Playa el Diamante is completely deserted on weekdays, but can be very crowded on weekends as lots of loud Dominicans come here to party.
The beach fascinates you and not only by its splendid beauty, but also what seemed to be against all laws of physics, the cold spring water is
on top, and a warm sea water near the bottom. This happens because the fresh cold water is lighter than the salty ocean. It feels incredibly nice and very relaxing by every cell of the body. The sand beneath is caressing your feet with the smallest white sand, so pleasant. One step and your foot hits the cool little stream, another step and you feel the warm, thick ocean waters. Its a great natural SPA, where the tiny geysers on the bank gush out from under the sand, turning into a mere trickle of spring water, flowing into the ocean.
PLAYA DORADA (PUERTO PLATA)
Playa Dorada Beach is located in Puerto Plata on the Dominican Republic north “Amber Coast”. Amber was actually discovered here. This is one of the Dominican Republic’s most established resort areas. Playa Dorada Beach is a great area as each of the resorts here have their own piece of the beautiful, beige beach. But the area has also a public access.
There are some nice reefs here as well. Just off the shore, and even close-in along the strand, you’ll find some of the best snorkeling on the north shore of the Dominican Republic.
The Ventana Beach Resort is on one end of the hotel area. From there, you can see right up the Playa Dorada Beach with a spectacular vista of the region. This ocean here makes for great windsurfing and kiteboarding. Some water skiing can be found, however, ocean waves make skiing tiresome.
Remember that the “Amber Coast” faces the turbulent Atlantic – water can be rough. Another thing to note about the area is that it does rain a lot during the winter months. Because this coast is well developed, it can get crowded.
PLAYA COFRESI (Puerto Plata)
Cofresi Beach is located close to Puerto Plata and was named after an infamous Puerto Rican pirate, Captain Roberto Cofresi. This town began much like Buzios, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; a tiny fishing village that went on for years as a sleepy bay on the Atlantic.
Today, Cofresi has changed but only slightly, with high-end hotels and condos offering great views of both Cofresi Beach and the nearby mountains. What a fantastic bay – golden sand blending into crystal clear water. There is only one entrance to the town; a narrow road that runs all the way to the beach. Mountains peak at either side of the city.
Close to Cofresi Beach is the Ocean World & Water Park which houses the world’s largest dolphin lagoon.
PUNTA RUSIA BEACH (Montecristi)
Punta Rusia is one of the most picturesque beaches on the Dominican Republic‘s north shore. Lined with beautifully green coconut trees and speckled with a few fishing boats makes Punta Rusia one sleepy and delightful beach. Remember that picture in your mind you had as a kid of that laid back Caribbean beach? This is it.
And a special treat; on Sundays you’ll find local musicians playing bouncy meringue tunes everywhere along Punta Rusia. What’s even more special, is that there is plenty of beach here to go around – so even on weekends – you won’t feel crowded out.
Shade abounds with thatched huts in various locations along the strand. Umbrellas can be rented as well. There’s a small reef that follows the beach in some areas, so snorkeling can be good if the surf is low.
Otherwise, there is too much silt to see much. A local operator can run you out to “Paradise Island” where snorkeling is perfect. On the way back, you can pass by mangroves and check out the wildlife.
PLAYA MONTE CRISTI (Montecristi)
In the far north-west corner of the Dominican Republic, is the province of Montecristi. This is home to Monte Cristi Beach, or Playa Monte Cristi. Since Monte Cristi Beach sits on the Atlantic, again we are faced with some rough waters at times.
Columbus first sighted this island in this area. As a matter of fact, ruins can still be found in the area from the first European settlement.
Certain areas of Montecristi have been nominated to the UNESCO World Heritage Center. So, when you’re not enjoying the beach – take a tour through this historic city.
There is no escaping the huge “El Morro” next to the small island named Pablillo. That’s where our beach is found. It’s semi-circular and has significant surf, for the most part. You can surf and boogie board here. You will note that the sand is more golden here. This is because of the mix from the rock.
El Morro Beach (or Montecristi) is rarely crowded and mainly secluded. The beach is rocky in places.
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