Situated on the north coast of the island facing the swirling seas of the Atlantic Ocean, Puerto Plata is the perfect playground for water sport enthusiasts. With great undulating waves, a perfect climate, and pleasant trade winds, there’s a host of activities to please every kind of water baby – from adrenaline-seekers who surf and kitesurf, to underwater explorers with excellent snorkelling. In addition to some wicked waves, this slice of the Dominican Republic is known for its exquisite beaches, which make for a great spot to while away the day working on your tan or an idyllic backdrop of your picture-perfect wedding ceremony. Say, “I do” with the warm ocean breeze blowing and the sun shining down upon you.
The best beaches in Puerto Plata cater to travellers of all styles and interests. Here is a selection of beaches to dip your toes in, snorkel your way through or just simply while away the hours on some pristine oceanfront stretches of sand.
Mark this beach as a “Must Visit” when you find yourself in Puerto Plata. Arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic, Playa Grande offers sun-worshipping vacationers stunning azure waters on one side, milky-beige sands on the other and backed by a dense fringe of palm trees. Striking cliffs plunging into the ocean depths below, visible in the distance, add to the enchantment of this fairy-tale beach setting. Lovers will delight at this tropical locale which offers picture-perfect backdrops for post-wedding photos thanks to its lush foliage, clean sands and naturally-splendid landscape.
El Breton Beach
A short drive east of Puerto Plata nestled within Cabo Frances Viejo National Park, El Breton Beach, a gorgeous cove, hides away behind swaths of lush verdant forest. For those looking for a beach off the beaten path, this one is the winning ticket. Work up a sweat with a rigorous hike through the park then cool off with a refreshing dip in the ocean. Divers and snorkellers will marvel at a magnificent Spanish galleon shipwreck, which sank almost 400 years ago and displaced so much of the living coral that it gave the new formation the moniker, “Silver Shoals.”
Punta Rucia Beach
West of Puerto Plata, Punta Rucia boasts white sand beaches and gorgeous mountain views. This beach on the north coast a small point that separates the two beaches (Ensenada) is bordered by a large thriving coral reef, which provides great snorkelling to discover a multi-coloured world of marine flora and fauna and is a popular spot for snorkellers. Small eateries line the beach and are convenient addition to while away the day without having to leave. A peaceful lagoon nearby provides the perfect setting for bird-watching.
One cannot help but conjure up dream-like images of paradise islands and mirages when they come upon Cayo Arena. A tiny islet surrounded by emerald and sapphire-coloured waters and a short boat ride from the north shore, Cayo Arena brings to mind the paradisiacal landscapes of an oasis island in the middle of the sea. This tiny paradise is famous for its sea bed that is home to a spectacular aquatic world with beautiful coral reef formations and vibrant marine life making it a list-topper for snorkellers.
Surfers, windsurfers and kiteboarders find their true calling at Cabarete, where the perfect mix of constant winds and waves provide the ultimate playground for these aquatic athletes. Just 20 minutes from Puerto Plata, this small, laid-back spot is also home to the world’s largest kiteboarding competition each year. You won’t want to forget your camera as witnessing these water gliders and their colourful sails in the sky provide great subjects to photograph. Bring along your own equipment for a small fee to catch some of your own waves, or simply admire these daredevils from the shore.
It’s evident that the beaches in Puerto Plata serve up a harmonious mix of silky sands, beautiful deep blue waters, and laid-back vibes. So, no matter what kind of vacationer you are, grab the sun block, your flip flops and your shade, and hit the beach!