There ARE beaches in Santo Domingo as well, and I can tell you that they look inviting from a distance, at least to me! But the BEST beaches near Santo Domingo are a bit outside the city limits.
Ask any of the locals, and they will cringe at the thought of taking a swim in one of the littered sandy beach bays along the capital Malecon boardwalk, where I did my evening runs in January.
You need to get out of the city to find the best beaches in the Dominican Republic near the capital.
So here are the best 9 beaches in decent proximity to Santo Domingo and an additional few that are a bit further away!
Map Of Best Beaches Near Santo Domingo
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Here Are The 9 Best Beaches Near Santo Domingo!
1. Boca Chica Beach Santo Domingo!
Situated in San Andrés Bay, only around 20 miles and less than half an hour from Santo Domingo’s city center, lies the stunning Boca Chica Beach, popular with travelers and locals with its shallow waters and sandy flooring!
It has also become quite the tourist attraction due to the wide array of vendors offering services from massage to jewelry and seafood.
If that’s not enough, there are plenty of eateries boasting delicious dishes from international cuisines all around!
Around 400 meters outside the beach is a semi-circle-shaped coral reef, which is the main reason this beach has such calm waters and gentle waves!
2. Juan Dolio: Playa Guayacanes
Just a short drive from Santo Domingo lies Playa Guayacanes, a small beach renowned for its white sand beaches and lush, tropical atmosphere.
Guayacanes Beach is a modest and less visited beach of calm waters and fine sand.
There are not a lot of hotels or restaurants here, but there are a few beach bars where you can try the local cuisine.
This is the perfect place to spend a quiet day on your stay in the surroundings of Santo Domingo.
3. Macao Beach
Located on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, a bit north of Punta Cana and 25 miles from Santo Domingo (just under a 3-hour drive!).
Macao Beach has a unique mix of white sand and dark volcanic rock that makes it so special!
This magnificent spot is one of the Dominican Republic’s most picturesque beaches, with its shimmering golden sands and vibrant palm trees.
Macao Beach is renowned for its surfing, windsurfing, and parasailing opportunities due to the large waves!
In addition, you can sample some of the tastiest fish plates in Punta Cana from any of Macao’s local restaurants!
Surfers flock to this destination due to its perfect swells and refreshing trade winds, great for water sports.
Year-round surfing classes for all skill levels are available on-site, mainly during weekends.
4. Playa De Guibia
Guibia Beach is a city beach situated along the Malecon in Santo Domingo, and according to the locals, no one is swimming from the city beaches!
I did not try, but other travelers claim that the water contains sharp stones and sea urchins and occasionally causes skin irritations. Apparently, only surfers are allowed in the water with special permission.
What is nice, though, is to walk (or run) along the Malecon at sunset or early evening; there are a lot of people and life along the whole area at this time!
On the plaza behind the beach, you will find some activities, like free wifi, a playground, an outdoor gym, and a volleyball court; you can get snacks and drinks in a pizza joint and an ice cream parlor.
You can also find a variety of restaurants and bars to enjoy along the Malecon beachfront!
5. Playa Hemingway Beach
Playa Hemingway, just 15 miles from the Dominican Republic’s capital of Santo Domingo, is an idyllic beach with dazzling blue water and snowy sand coastlines with a green frame that seems to go on for miles.
This spot is renowned as one of the best beaches in all of the country and attracts countless travelers looking for some leisurely time by the shore!
Playa Hemingway is a highly-rated beach offering a myriad of activities, from swimming and snorkeling to fishing or kayaking.
Here you can also enjoy the Caribbean atmosphere amidst stunning views while taking advantage of the abundance of nearby seafood restaurants for local delicacies!
6. Playa Punta Torrecillas
Punta Torrecillas beach is just across the Rio Ozama from Santo Domingo’s Port.
This sandy escape is situated at Sans Souci Lighthouse Park and offers clean waters, stunning views of the Zona Colonial, and the sunset!
Plus it’s extra secure due to its location near a Naval Academy, which also takes care of it. The beach is lined with palm trees and has a serene atmosphere that makes it perfect for relaxation.
Punta Torrecillas Naval Club has a restaurant that is open to the public, which might be a perfect place to toast as the sun sets!
7. Playa Caribe
If you’re in search of extra privacy on your journey, we highly suggest visiting this tiny secret beach tucked away between the shoreline and highway, just a few minutes before reaching Juan Dolio.
Its entryway, shaped by volcanic rocks from the Caribbean Sea, creates exceptional waves that draw surfers from all over the southern coast.
Boca Chica or Playa Guayacanes are more bustling, while this tranquil little getaway provides an ideal atmosphere to bask quietly in sun-kissed sand accompanied by a pleasant tropical breeze!
There are a couple of restaurants nearby, but Playa Caribe mainly offers a tranquil atmosphere, making it the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the Caribbean scenery. Bring lunch!
8. Playa Najayo
Playa Najayo is a stunning beach located near Santo Domingo, a breathtaking beach adorned with striking greyish sands and small pebbles!
Here, you will come across two distinct sections: one larger than the other, and the larger one is filled with restaurants and bars!
If you’re looking for an opportunity to get away and find tranquility, the small part of the beach is ideal.
It’s not swarming with tourists like other Caribbean beaches, thus enabling you to take in the crystal clear water without interruption or crowds.
9. Bayahibe Beach
Playa Bayahibe Beach is located close to Los Melones and is a quiet and intimate beach far away from crowded places.
Surrounded by coconut trees and palm trees, you do find restaurants and bars close by.
It is also close to the starting point for boat trips out to the stunning islands and is known for its fishing, snorkeling, and diving possibilities.
In these Caribbean waters, you can observe starfishes, cuttlefishes, and manta rays, or opt for a visit to the Naufragio del Capitán Kidd Shipwreck off Catalina Island!
First, I want to tell you about this day tour I did from Santo Domingo to the amazing island Isla Saona, with even more amazing beaches – but you do need a boat to get out here!
Luckily, you can join the day trip from Santo Domingo that I did, with everything included, to experience this magnificent place!
The downside is that you need to get up REALLY early and meet your tour guide in the park before you set off towards the little village of Bayahibe further south, which is the home of the boat!
Halfway out, you will stop at the beautiful natural pool called the Blue Lagoon, a sandbank where you will be at the foot of the sea, and the water only has a maximum depth of 1 meter to basque around!
Once you arrive at the beach on Isla Saona, you have a bit under three hours to swim, have lunch, and chill in the hammocks.
Then occasionally head over to the bar (the tour is all-inclusive all the way), before you head back to shore with the catamaran with sun-kissed cheeks (remember sunscreen!) in the afternoon.
Although I hate getting up super early, this trip was definitely worth it, and I don’t think you will regret spending your day at Isla Saona.
Other Great Beaches In The Dominican Republic (A Little Further Away)
10. Playa Moron Beach El Limon
Take the bus to Samana Peninsula and then a taxi for an hour to the north coast in the direction of Puerto Plata and Cabarete Beach, and you will first arrive in El Limon , a small fishing village.
Then, drive on for around 15 minutes, and you will end up at an amazing spot called Cap El Limon and Playa Moron!
Out here are only private luxury villas (that you can rent), a stunning secluded and quiet beach, and a restaurant where you can have lunch, dinner, and a nightcap with the sunset.
From here, you are also super close to where you can do a whale-watching tour outside the waters of Samana if you are traveling in the period between the 15th of December and the 31st of March!
11. San Rafael Beach
Although not really NEAR, or even in proximity to Santo Domingo, Barahona’s iconic pebble stone beach!
Nestled next to the main coastal highway and offering breathtaking mountain vistas and an unforgettable natural environment, is a must-visit beach destination.
The San Rafael River weaves its way through cascades until it reaches the Caribbean Sea, where early-morning surfers catch some of the best waves along this stretch of coastline.
Onsite vendors serve up delicious Dominican seafood plates to enjoy while you soak up your surroundings!
12. Caleton Beach
Lush vegetation, jagged cliffs, and artifact-like rock formations of ancient Taino Indian chiefs – Playa Caletón is an enchanting beach situated between Río San Juan and the renowned Playa Grande Beach & Golf Complex.
Getting here is simple from the fishing village of Rio San Juan, as it’s along the highway!
Often part of a boat trip exploring Laguna Gri Gri and its captivating coastline, this crescent-shaped paradise will take your breath away with its alluring atmosphere.
13. Las Terrenas Beach
Located between Las Ballenas Beach and Punta Popy Beach is a five-kilometer-long stretch of white sand beach that welcomes travelers to dreamy Las Terrenas.
Parts of the shoreline are filled with fishermen’s canoes, and you’ll find several seaside bars, luxurious hotels, and even boardwalks for those who prefer not getting their feet wet!
Ultimately this paradise connects to both Playa Las Ballenas (the favorite swim spot) and Pueblo de Los Pescadores towards the west—talk about an idyllic destination!
14. Guayacanes Beach
The tranquil fishing village of Guayacanes is a paradise shrouded in white sand and turquoise waters.
Aside from the few restaurants and houses, it’s frequented by fishermen who come to cast their lines out into the horizon, as well as locals eager for fun-filled days spent splashing around with waves or simply lounging away beneath the sun.
Although water shoes are recommended due to some rocky patches on the beach, this secluded spot remains an ideal destination for that romantic walk at sunrise.
Or a peaceful stroll during sunset all by yourself if you are a solo traveler!
15. Punta Cana Beaches
All the way on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, you find Bavaro and Punta Cana, an area famous for its stunning soft beaches, hotels, and all-inclusive resorts, a truly Caribbean paradise!
Punta Cana is two and a half hours from Santo Domingo, so you can go here for a day trip with a rental car or even the bus!
Or you can opt for staying at one of the holiday homes or large hotels in the region. If you want to go all in on the luxury side, travel a few miles south of Punta Cana to Cap Cana.
This is where you find the super luxury resorts in gated communities where the rich and famous of the world come to enjoy the Caribbean vibe of the Dominican Republic!
FAQ’s Beaches Near Santo Domingo
Here is the answer to some of the most common questions travelers have about beaches near Santo Domingo.
Are There Nice Beaches In Santo Domingo?
There are beaches in Santo Domingo, along the Malecon boardwalk, that actually looks really nice from a distance!
But they are generally considered dirty and polluted, and the locals would never swim there. You can enjoy the sound of the waves though, and the amazing view of the sea!
There is a myriad of fishermen along the Malecon in the afternoon, so you can stroll along and just take in the views and the ambiance (lots of locals, too, having romantic walks or running in the cooling air).
Just keep your feet dry within the city limits!
How Far Is The Nearest Beach From Santo Domingo?
Venture around half an hour outside the Santo Domingo city center and head out for the beach that everyone seems to love, like Boca Chica!
Wrap-Up Beaches Near Santo Domingo!
So now you know that there are beaches in and near Santo Domingo, but that you better stay out of the actual water within the city limits!
The closes beach is around half an hour away, and there are a decent number of really nice beaches near Santo Domingo that are perfect for a day tour!
And if you start really early or make it a multi-day tour, the Dominican Republic is not that big – there are even more amazing beaches if you are ok with driving 4-5 hours in any cardinal direction!
Happy Travel Planning!
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