Best beaches in Puerto Plata Dominican Republic

Puerto Plata Beaches: 17 Best Beaches In Puerto Plata DR! (2024)

The best beaches in Puerto Plata are situated in an area that is often referred to as the “Bride of the Atlantic” north in the Dominican Republic (DR), with no less than 78 miles of sun-kissed golden sand beaches, and a few rocky cliffs!

There are plenty to choose from! So here you have presented the 17 best beaches in Puerto Plata on a really long list, and I have even singled out the top three for you at the end!

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The Best Beaches in Puerto Plata DR!

The best beaches in Puerto Plata are generally stunning wherever you go, with turquoise waters and soft golden sands that stretch as far as the eye can see.

So coming here, make sure to pack your swimsuits, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to experience the natural beauty of the best beaches in Puerto Plata!

1. Golden Playa Dorada

Playa Dorada beach Dominican Republic
The Golden Beach in the Dominican Republic

Playa Dorada, also known as the “Golden Beach,” is one of Puerto Plata’s most popular tourist destinations.

With its soft golden sand, crystal-clear waters, and abundance of water sports, it offers something for everyone.

The beach is lined with all-inclusive resorts, ensuring easy access to lots of amenities and a super comfortable beach day.

The calm waters also make it perfect for families or anyone looking for a relaxing beach experience!

2. Sosua Beach

Sunrise over Sosua Beach in Dominican Republic
Sunrise over Sosua Beach in the Dominican Republic

Sosúa Beach is a picturesque crescent-shaped beach known for its vibrant atmosphere and lively beachfront bars and restaurants.

The beach is surrounded by coral reefs, making it an excellent spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. The calm, turquoise waters are perfect for swimming, while the soft sand is ideal for sunbathing and relaxation.

Sosúa Beach is a must-visit destination for those seeking a fun and active beach day!

3. Cabarete Beach For Kiting

Cabarete beach is perfect for kite surfing!
Cabarete Beach is perfect for kite surfing

Cabarete Beach is a world-famous destination for water sports enthusiasts, particularly kiteboarding and windsurfing.

Its consistent winds and expansive beachfront make it the ideal spot for these thrilling activities.

The beach is also home to numerous international competitions, attracting athletes from around the world.

In the evenings, the beachfront comes alive with restaurants, bars, and live music, creating a vibrant nightlife scene.

4. Playa Cofresi

Playa Cofresi in the western outskirts of Puerto Plata is a charming, palm-fringed beach that offers a laid-back atmosphere away from the day trip crowds.

The beach is, however, surrounded by lush resorts, and is also home to the Ocean World Adventure Park, where visitors can swim with dolphins and interact with other marine life.

So this beach is perfect if you are looking for a fun and lively beach experience!

The soft sand and calm waters still give you a picturesque setting for sunbathing, swimming, and strolling the beach every now and then.

5. Playa Grande

Playa Grande Dominican Republic Credit Adalice Alcantara
Playa Grande Dominican Republic Credit <a href=httpsunsplashcomadili 17utm source=unsplashutm medium=referralutm content=creditCopyText target= blank rel=noopener title=>Adalice Alcantara<a>

Playa Grande is a stunning, secluded beach located just outside of Puerto Plata, and despite the name, it is not really that long!

With its powdery white sand, crystal-clear waters, and dramatic cliffs on the sides, it offers pretty much unparalleled natural beauty.

The beach is a bit calmer than many others and perfect if you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of more popular tourist spots.

It is also a popular surfing destination, thanks to its powerful waves and consistently good surf conditions!

6. Playa Caleton

Playa Caleton is a small, secluded, crescent-shaped beach surrounded by lush greenery, perfect if you really like to hide away in the Caribbean!

This almost hidden beach offers a serene atmosphere and unparalleled natural beauty.

The calm waters are great for a day filled with swimming and snorkeling, while the surrounding cliffs and nature provide opportunities for small hikes and exploring the local flora and fauna.

7. Playa Alicia

Playa Alicia beach in Puerto Plata Dominican Republic
Playa Alicia in Puerto Plata Dominican Republic

This hidden gem, also known as “Mirador Beach,” is also a small, crescent-shaped beach with turquoise waters and golden sand.

The quiet and tranquil atmosphere of Playa Alicia makes it ideal for relaxation and sunbathing.

The beach’s calm waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and its location still offers stunning views of the surrounding coastline and the infinite sea!

8. Playa Encuentro

Playa Encuentro between Puerto Plata and Cabarete Dominican Republic
Playa Encuentro between Puerto Plata and Cabarete Credit <a href=httpspixabaycomuserscaniggia 15230127utm source=link attributionutm medium=referralutm campaign=imageutm content=4855139 target= blank rel=noopener title=>CANIGGIA<a>

Playa Encuentro is a renowned surfing spot in Puerto Plata, known for its consistent waves and inviting atmosphere.

It is closer to the city of Cabarete than Puerto Plata but still only a short drive away.

The beach is lined with surf schools and rental shops, making it an excellent destination for beginners and experienced surfers alike.

The laid-back vibe of Playa Encuentro offers a welcoming environment for those looking to enjoy the surf and sun.

9. Playa Imbert

This small, secluded beach is a hidden gem in Puerto Plata. Playa Imbert is perfect for those seeking a quiet, intimate beach experience away from the bustling tourist spots.

The calm waters and soft sand make it ideal for swimming and sunbathing, while the nearby cliffs offer stunning views and possibilities to hide away a bit if you feel so inclined.

10. Playa Costambar

Playa Costambar beach north in the Dominican Republic
Playa Costambar Beach north in the Dominican Republic

Playa Costambar is a tranquil, palm-lined beach located inside a gated community, which will provide you with a sense of exclusivity and privacy.

Super calm waters make it perfect for swimming and snorkeling, while the soft sand offers ample space for sunbathing and relaxation.

The beach is also home to several beachfront restaurants and bars, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable day at the beach.

11. Playa Colon La Isabela

Historic ruins right by Playa La Isabela in Puerto Plata Dominican Republic
Historic ruins right by Playa La Isabela beach in Puerto Plata

This historic beach is located near the first European settlement in the Americas, founded by Christopher Columbus in 1493.

Playa La Isabela offers a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and tranquility.

The beach’s soft sand and calm waters make it perfect for swimming and relaxation, while the nearby La Isabela Historic Park provides an opportunity for visitors to explore the ruins and learn about the region’s history.

12. Playa Bergantin

Playa Bergantin is a secluded beach surrounded by lush green hills and crystal-clear waters.

This is a bit of an off-the-beaten-path destination that offers a peaceful atmosphere, making it perfect for those looking to escape the crowds and enjoy a more tranquil beach experience.

The beach’s calm waters are ideal for swimming and snorkeling, and the nearby mangroves provide excellent birdwatching opportunities.

13. Playa Punta Rucia

This mangrove is just behind the Punta Rucia beach in Puerto Plata
This mangrove is just behind the Punta Rucia beach in Puerto Plata

Located on the northwestern coast of Puerto Plata, Playa Punta Rucia is a serene beach known for its white sand and turquoise waters, and right on the other side is a lush mangrove!

This beach offers a peaceful retreat for those looking to relax and unwind.

The calm waters make it perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and visitors can also take boat trips to nearby Cayo Arena, a stunning sandbar surrounded by coral reefs.

14. Playa Luperón

Playa Luperón is a beautiful, unspoiled beach located in a small fishing village.

The beach offers a tranquil atmosphere, perfect for relaxation and soaking up the sun.

The calm waters are ideal for swimming, while the surrounding mangroves and estuaries provide excellent opportunities for kayaking and exploring the local wildlife.

15. Playa El Breton

Sunset on the beach outside Puerto Plata Stock Photo Credit Dylan Taylor
Sunset on the beach outside Puerto Plata Stock Photo Credit Dylan Taylor

Playa El Breton is a small, untouched beach located within the Cabo Frances Viejo National Park.

The beach offers a tranquil atmosphere and stunning natural beauty, perfect for nature lovers and those looking for a peaceful retreat.

The park’s surrounding forests provide excellent hiking opportunities, while the crystal-clear waters are perfect for freshening up with swimming and snorkeling afterward!

16. Playa Ensenada

Playa Ensenada Puerto Plata Dominican Republic
Playa Ensenada Puerto Plata Dominican Republic

This stunning beach is also known for its clear, calm waters and soft, golden sand.

Playa Ensenada offers a peaceful atmosphere, making it perfect for families and those looking for a relaxing beach experience.

The beach is also home to several seafood shacks, where visitors can enjoy fresh, delicious dishes while taking in the beautiful surroundings!

17. Playa Cambiaso

Playa Cambiaso is a remote, unspoiled beach that offers a true escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

The beach is also home to a small fishing village, offering visitors a glimpse into the traditional Dominican way of life.

With its soft sand, crystal-clear waters, and surrounding lush greenery, it’s the perfect spot for relaxation and communing with nature.

Wrap-Up Best Beaches In Puerto Plata DR

Paradisiacal beach outside Puerto Plata Credit Kangarooarts
The paradisiacal beach outside Puerto Plata Credit Kangarooarts

As you can see, Puerto Plata is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, with soft golden sand and crystal-clear waters that offer the perfect setting for relaxation and adventure.

But which ones are the best of the best? Here are the top 3 beaches in Puerto Plata:

3rd Place: Playa Cofresi

The charming, palm-fringed Playa Cofresi on the north coast of Puerto Plata is perfect for those looking for a quieter, tranquil beach experience!

The soft sand and calm waters provide a picturesque setting for sunbathing, swimming, and strolling. The beach is home to several beachfront restaurants and bars, offering you an exciting taste of traditional Dominican cuisine.

Cofresi Beach is also known for its stunning sunsets, making it an ideal spot for a romantic evening for your couple’s getaway, or maybe even honeymoon!

The nearby Ocean World Adventure Park provides additional entertainment options, including swimming with dolphins and sea lions.

2nd Place: Sosúa Beach

Sosua Bay beach Puerto Plata
Sosua Bay beach Puerto Plata

Sosúa Beach is mostly known for its vibrant atmosphere and lively beachfront, making it perfect for those seeking an active beach day.

Along the shorelines, lively stalls and stands make Sosua Beach a one-stop destination for sun loungers who also want restaurants, bars, access to tour operators, gift shops, and art stores – anything you could possibly need!

From fishing tours and yacht parties to a wide array of restaurants with cuisines from around the globe – English, German, Jamaican, Italian, French, Serbian Austrian, and North American – Sosua Beach is famed for its plethora of foods and water sports activities.

The beach is surrounded by shading palms, and in the sea there are coral reefs, making it an excellent spot for snorkeling and scuba diving!

And The Winner Is: Playa Dorada!

JackTar Hotel on Playa Dorada beach in Puerto Plata with great amenities only steps from your room!
JackTar Hotel sitting on Playa Dorada in Puerto Plata with great amenities only steps from your room

Playa Dorada, also known as the “Golden Beach because of its golden sand vibe, and the first reason this beach is near perfect is that it is super close to Puerto Plata city!

It is a stunning 1-mile plus stretch of friendly sand around 15 minutes from the historic city center of Puerto Plata, with easy access to urban amenities, and close to several all-inclusive resorts located along the beachfront.

One of the places I stayed during my visit to the DR was the BlueJacktar, which is only seconds from this amazing beach!

The Blue JackTar is home to the renowned Jack’s Kite and Grill Caribbean restaurant. With its menu and friendly staff, it is an area favorite for both casual dining as well as special occasions, and here you regularly will be entertained by live music shows!

The hotel will have sun beds or even four-point beds where you can lounge the whole day if you want to, only interrupted by strolling over to get some food and drinks every now and then.

The calm waters on Playa Dorada make it perfect for fun in the water, and the abundance of water sports activities ensures a great day for everyone!

Charming Puerto Plata In The North Of The DR!

Playa Dorada is a stunning and city near beach in Puerto Plata!
Playa Dorada is a stunning beach near the city of Puerto Plata

Puerto Plata, located on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic right on the edge of the Atlantic Ochan, is a breathtakingly beautiful province renowned for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters that have captivated travelers from all over the world.

Palm trees dotting the landscape provide shade by the seaside and add to the tropical ambiance, while Mount Isabel de Torres right behind the city will get you fresh air and an incredible view!

Along the coast, you will find both tranquil, secluded coves and a lively beachfront with bustling bars and restaurants, Puerto Plata has the perfect beach getaway for every type of traveler.

FAQ’s Puerto Plata

Carnival mood in Puerto Plata city Dominican Republic in March 2023
Carnival mood in Puerto Plata city in February

How To Travel From Puerto Plata to Punta Cana?

The distance between Puerto Plata and Punta Cana is approximately 250 km (155 miles).

The quickest way to travel between these two destinations is by air, with a flight time of around 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Laid back beach restaurant in Punta Cana on the eastern tip of the island
Laid back beach restaurant in Punta Cana on the eastern tip of the island

Several airlines offer daily flights between the two cities, and ticket prices can range from $100 to $300, depending on the season and availability.

Alternatively, you can take a bus, which takes about 6-8 hours and costs around $20-$40 per person, or rent a car and make the 4-6-hour drive yourself.

How To Travel From Puerto Plata to Santo Domingo?

Seaside restaurant in Santo Domingo by the Malecon right outside Zona Colonial. Dominican Republic.
Seaside restaurant in Santo Domingo by the Malecon right outside Zona Colonial

The distance between Puerto Plata and Santo Domingo is approximately 215 km (134 miles), around three hours depending on traffic and your skills.

The most convenient way to travel between the two cities is by bus, which takes about 3.5-4 hours and costs around $10-$20 per person.

Several bus companies, like Caribe Tours and Metro Tours, offer comfortable and air-conditioned buses with multiple daily departures.

Alternatively, you can rent a car and make the 3-4-hour drive yourself, allowing for more flexibility in your travel schedule.

Also read: 9 Best Beaches Near Santo Domingo DR

Puerto Plata vs Punta Cana?

Puerto Plata and Punta Cana are two of the most popular tourist destinations in the Dominican Republic, each offering a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and history combined with modern amenities.

Highlights Puerto Plata

Mount Isabel de Torres Christ statue gazing out over Puerto Plata
Mount Isabel de Torres Christ statue gazing out over Puerto Plata

Puerto Plata, located on the northern coast of the island, is known for its charming colonial architecture, stunning beaches, and lush tropical forests.

The city’s historic downtown area features several well-preserved 19th-century buildings, including the imposing San Felipe Fort and the beautiful Amber Museum.

The city is also home to several picturesque beaches, including Playa Dorada, Playa Cabarete, and Playa Sosúa, each offering its own unique atmosphere and activities.

One of Puerto Plata’s most popular attractions is the Teleférico, a cable car ride that offers stunning views of the city and the surrounding mountains.

Highlights Punta Cana

Strolling along the Punta Cana beach is as zen as it gets! Dominican Republic beaches.
Strolling along the Punta Cana beach is as zen as it gets

Punta Cana, on the other hand, is located on the eastern coast of the island and is famous for its pristine white sand beaches and turquoise waters.

The area is home to some of the best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, offering a wide range of amenities and activities, including golf, water sports, and spa treatments.

I stayed at the amazing Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana (just south of Punta Cana) in March 2023 during my two-month tour of the Dominican Republic, which was simply outstanding!

Sunset over the beach outside the Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana 2023
Sunset over the beach outside the Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana

Punta Cana’s most famous beach is undoubtedly Playa Bávaro, a 20 km (12.4 miles) stretch of powdery white sand and calm, crystal-clear waters. The area is also famous for its excellent restaurants, lively nightlife, and world-class shopping.

Both Puerto Plata and Punta Cana offer a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors, from historic landmarks and cultural experiences to outdoor adventures and beach relaxation.

Puerto Plata’s charming colonial architecture and lush tropical forests offer a unique atmosphere, while Punta Cana’s pristine beaches and luxurious all-inclusive resorts provide a luxurious and indulgent vacation experience.

Both destinations also offer excellent opportunities for water sports, including snorkeling, scuba diving, and deep-sea fishing.

In terms of drawbacks, Puerto Plata can sometimes be slightly more affected by tropical storms and hurricanes during the hurricane season, which runs from June to November.

Meanwhile, Punta Cana sometimes feels overcrowded during peak tourist season, with large crowds and long wait times at popular attractions.

However, both destinations will give you a unique and unforgettable tropical vacation experience, with something for every type of traveler!

Are There Beaches Near Puerto Plata Cruise Port?

Yes, there are several beautiful beaches near the Puerto Plata cruise port (Taino Bay Port Terminal).

Playa Dorada, a popular beach with golden sand and crystal-clear waters, is located about 6 km (3.7 miles) from the cruise port.

Another nearby option is Playa Costambar, a tranquil beach within a gated community, situated approximately 4 km (2.5 miles) from the cruise port.

Playa Long Beach, located just 2 km (1.2 miles) from the port, is another option for visitors looking for a beach within walking distance.

These beaches offer a variety of amenities, water sports, and opportunities for relaxation, making them perfect for cruise passengers looking to enjoy their time in Puerto Plata.

Tours & Things To Do In Puerto Plata!

The San Felipe Fortress in Puerto Plata vith a view to the cruise port! Dominican Republic.
The San Felipe Fortress in Puerto Plata with a view to the cruise port

Puerto Plata offers a rich cultural experience and stunning natural beauty for traveling history nerds (like me).

From historic landmarks to outdoor adventures, there’s no shortage of things to do in this charming city. Here are 8 must-do activities in Puerto Plata:

Visit the 27 Waterfalls Of Damajagua

Take a guided tour to explore the 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua, a series of cascading waterfalls nestled in the lush tropical forest.

Here you can have fun hiking, swimming, and even sliding down the natural water slides!

Experience the Brugal Rum Factory

Learn about the production process of one of the Dominican Republic’s most famous exports at the Brugal Rum Factory.

Sample some of the delicious rum and bring home a bottle as a souvenir.

You can go there by yourself on any given day, or visit the rum factory as part of an organized tour of Puerto Plata city!

Teleferico + Rum + Cigars + Fortress!

Do a whole day tour (around 5 hours) exploring in Puerto Plata with a focus on all your senses, the view, the history, and the rum and cigars – and lunch!

This top-rated tour takes care of you for the whole day, this tour will feed and entertain you high and low for the duration!

Explore the Isabel de Torres National Park

One of the paths on Mount Isabel de Torres on top of the Teleferico! Puerto Plata Dominican Republic
One of the paths on Mount Isabel de Torres on top of the Teleferico

Take a cable car ride up to the top of Isabel de Torres Mountain to explore the National Park.

The park offers stunning views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean, as well as hiking trails and a botanical garden.

You can do this as an organized tour combined with other activities, or just head over to the ground station and get yourself a ticket for the Teleferico!

Whale Watching In Samana

From Puerto Plata, you are able to go for a whale watching tour in Samana, which is an incredible experience!

But be aware that the journey from Puerto Plata to Samana and the tour starting point is very long, so the whole day will be around 13 hours where most of the time is on the bus!

If you don’t plan to go to Samana and still want to see whales, I just want to let you know it is an option.

Also, you need to be aware that whale watching in the whale season, which runs from December through March, is very busy as lots of people really want to see whales!

I did the tour in March 2023, and despite the super long journey and lots of other tourists, for me, it was worth it.

If all this is worth it to you, you can check out the tour from Puerto Plata to Samana to see whales here.

Ride The Teleférico For The View

View from Mount Isabel de Torres on a hazy day Puerto Plata Dominican Republic
View from Mount Isabel de Torres on a hazy day

Take a ride on the Teleférico cable car up to Mount Isabel de Torres for stunning views of the city and surrounding mountains.

The ride takes about 10 minutes and offers breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings.

Go Scuba Diving

Visit The Amber Museum

Explore the world’s largest collection of Dominican amber at the Amber Museum. Learn about the history of amber and its importance to the region.

Relax On Playa Dorada

Spend a day lounging on the golden sands of Playa Dorada just outside the city center of Puerto Plata!

This popular beach offers calm waters and a range of water sports, making it perfect for families and adventure-seekers alike.

Explore San Felipe Fortress

The park outside San Felipe fortress in Puerto Plata - right by the sea!  Dominican Republic
The park outside San Felipe fortress in Puerto Plata right by the sea

Discover the city’s rich history at the San Felipe Fort, a well-preserved 16th-century fortress overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The fort offers stunning views of the city and surrounding coastline.

Take A Catamaran Tour

Embark on a catamaran tour to explore the nearby reefs and enjoy the beautiful Caribbean waters. Some tours also offer snorkeling and swimming opportunities.

Wrap-Up Best Beaches In Puerto Plata

The Museum of Rum in Puerto Plata

There is something about the northern shores of the Dominican Republic, I loved visiting every place along the Atlantic shoreline, the hazy breeze, and the vast sea!

Whether you’re looking for a tranquil beach experience or active days filled with water adventure, Puerto Plata has it all! And as one of the few destinations with Uber in the DR, it is super easy to get around Puerto Plata!

With a range of activities and amenities available, from water sports to beachfront bars and restaurants, not to mention the rich history you see everywhere, I am pretty sure you will like Puerto Plata also outside of the beach.

From Playa Dorada’s golden sands to Sosúa’s lively beachfront and the picturesque Playa Cofresi to the historic city, the adventures, and the Teleferico – there’s something to suit every taste and preference.

So go ahead, start planning your visit to Puerto Plata in the DR today, and experience the true beauty of the Dominican Republic’s Bride of the Atlantic!

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Related blog posts:

8 Best Beaches in Punta Cana Dominican Republic

9 Best Beaches Near Santo Domingo Dominican Republic

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10 Comments

  1. The waters here are absolutely stunning. I can’t believe the colours that you’ve captured in your photos. I definitely want to see this part of the world one day. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Kim,

      I was actually surprised, as I had the impression beforehand that the northern shores would be more “rugged”! But you will find both the wild cliffs and whitewater and the stunning sandy beaches up here!

  2. It has been a long time since we last visited the Dominican Republic. You post sure showed me the great beach reasons why we visited. I love the variety in the beaches in Puerto Plata. Something for everyone. And so much to do when you leave the beach.

    1. Puerto Plata town was actually one of my favorite places to visit, as it is really beautiful and clean, with so much history and city life, activities and tours as well as the beautiful beaches! I am definitely going back to the DR myself, I really enjoyed traveling there!

  3. All of the beaches look fabulous, but Playa Dorada looks like paradise.The scuba diving and catamaran look amazing! I haven’t’ been to the Dominican Republic yet, but it looks like a dreamy beach vacation spot.

    1. I can recommend the Dominican Republic as a travel destination, without a doubt! There are all these stunning beaches in the north, as well as in Punta Cana in the east, and the secluded (only accessible by boat) Bahia de las Aguilas in the south! The really good thing about Playa Dorada is that it feels secluded, but still is super close to the town, and there are some really great hotels and resorts steps away from the beach as well!

  4. This post is amazing! It is pretty hard to imagine 78 miles of fabulous golden beaches so Puerto Plata sounds like vacation heaven! It’s cool how much variety there is, from hotel-like beds on the beach, to wildlife, to historical ruins. You must have had so much fun checking them all out.

    1. Hi Josy!

      I know, right!? It is not like the really long beaches you might find in the eastern part of the island, but the quality of the beaches and the Caribbean stunning vibe is amazing “up here”. Puerto Plata was one of my favorite destinations in the DR, exactly because of the diversity of nature, the city, the beaches, and all the activities! From here, you can also take a tour to experiences the amazing humpback whales outside Samana, between December and March!

  5. So many beautiful beaches to choose from! And lots of different activities to do as well which is great. Thanks for the beach tips!

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