The reason I love the Dominican Republic is because of their beaches. There are 250 miles of coastline, so lots of beach. I have traveled and stayed around most of the island and each beach has its own personality.
In La Romana, their main beach on the south side of the island is Bayahibe. The sand is soft and white and the water is calm with small if any waves. This makes it a great for swimming, watersports and great for the kids. Some resorts have excellent snorkeling from their beaches. While in La Romana, it’s worth the money to take a day trip to either Catalina Island or Soana Island. These beaches are beyond breathtaking.
In Punta Cana, their main beach on the eastern side of the island is Bavaro. Again, the sand is soft and white but here the water has more waves. This beach is where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. At times, these waves can be quite high making it of fun for bodysurfing and boogie boarding. Theses waves are also good for stealing sunglasses so it’s best to secure your glasses with a strap before going in. I’m speaking from experience. I lost my “floating” sunglasses in these waves and hubby lost his eyeglasses. The water is calmest in the morning. I am a diver and there have been times when the surf is too rough to get the small dive boats past the shoreline to the open water where it gets calmer. But don’t let the waves scare you off. This beach is one of my favorite in the world and definitely worth the visit.
In Puerto Plata, their main beach located on the Atlantic Ocean side (northern) of the island is Dorado. The sand here on this side of the island is golden (hence the name – Spanish for golden is Dorado). The sand is still soft and the water is still clear and blue with soft rolling waves. Another great spot for families.
And last but not least is Boca Chica. This beach is protected by a large coral reef and it’s quite shallow and no waves. The sand is soft and white. It is perfect for families, perfect for snorkeling and perfect for floating. I would highly recommend water shoes for this beach because of the reef. There are lots of shells and coral from the reef at the shoreline. When we were there, there were also lots of little black sea urchins in the water. They don’t bother you unless you step on them. You do see them before you put your foot down so this shouldn’t be an issue. The water is so incredibly clear and almost unmoving. This beach is also perfect for collecting shells. On my desk, I have a container filled with the different shells I’d collected while there.
I have yet to visit the Samana area (eastern side) of the island, but I hear the beaches there are just as fabulous. When I do find myself there (it’s on my list), then I will definitely tell you all about it.