There ARE beaches in Santo Domingo but the BEST beaches near Santo Domingo are a bit outside the city limits.

9 Best Beaches Near Santo Domingo By A Travel Expert (2024)

There are beaches in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, but the city beaches are not what you dream about for a tropical Caribbean holiday.

They look inviting from a distance, but up close, there is quite a bit of rubbish and debris lying around. Ask the locals, and they will cringe at the thought of taking a swim in one of the littered beach bays along the capitol boardwalk.

I used to go running there when I stayed in Santo Domingo for a while.

The BEST beaches near Santo Domingo are a bit outside the city limits. My best advice is to get out of the city and find the most beautiful beaches near the capital. These are the 9 best beaches in decent proximity to Santo Domingo.

Affiliate disclosure: I only recommend tours, services and purchases I know and love on this website.

Map Of Best Beaches Near Santo Domingo

Trip map courtesy of Wanderlog, a trip planner app on iOS and Android

Here Are The 9 Best Beaches Near Santo Domingo!

1. Boca Chica Beach Santo Domingo!

Playa Boca Chica outside Santo Domingo in the DR, white sands and crystal clear water all the way to the end of the horizon where the sea meets the blue sky
Playa Boca Chica

Situated in San Andrés Bay, only 20 miles and less than half an hour from Santo Domingo’s city center, lies the stunning Boca Chica Beach. This beach is popular because of its shallow waters and sandy flooring; it is a great place for an outing.

It has also become quite a tourist attraction due to the wide array of vendors offering services ranging from massage to jewelry and seafood.

So, to enjoy this beach, you probably need to appreciate life more than tranquility.

There are plenty of eateries boasting delicious dishes from all around the world. 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

The crystal clear waters of Playa Juan Dolio in the Dominican Republic, the calm surf reaching the white sands under a bright blue sky on a summer day.
Playa Juan Dolio

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 with calm waters and fine sand. There are not many 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

The paradisiacal water of Macao Beach, it looks almost white to the baby blue, surrounded by white sands and rocky cliffs.
Paradisiacal 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.

Due to the large waves, Macao Beach is renowned for its surfing, windsurfing, and parasailing opportunities.

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, which are great for water sports.

Year-round surfing classes for all skill levels are available on-site, mainly during weekends.

4. Playa De Guibia

Playa Guibia along the Malecon in Santo Domingo at sunset with glowing orange sky in the background
Playa Guibia in Santo Domingo

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 it, but other travelers claim that the water contains sharp stones and sea urchins and occasionally causes skin irritations. Apparently, only surfers with special permission are allowed in the water.

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 Wi-Fi, a playground, an outdoor gym, and a volleyball court; a pizza joint and an ice cream parlor serve snacks and drinks.

You can also find a variety of restaurants and bars to enjoy along the Malecon beachfront!

5. Playa Hemingway Beach

The rocky hemingway beach on a sunny summer day, with grass and palm trees along the shore
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 the country and attracts countless travelers looking for leisure 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 Torecillas grassy field and small fortress structure on a sunny summer day in Santo Domingo
Punta Torecillas

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

Playa Caribe next to the highway

Suppose you’re in search of extra privacy on your journey. In that case, may I suggest visiting this tiny secret beach tucked away between the shoreline and highway, just a few minutes before reaching Juan Dolio?

Although close to the road, its entryway is shaped by volcanic rocks from the Caribbean Sea, creating 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.

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. Or bring lunch!

8. Playa Najayo

Playa Najayo is a stunning beach located near Santo Domingo. It is 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

Aerial photo of the lighthouse on the sandy tip of Bayahibe Beach, with white sands meeting the light blue water, and lots of parasols tucked under the trees and bushes on shore.
Bayahibe Beach

Playa Bayahibe Beach is located near Los Melones. It is a quiet and intimate beach far away from crowded places. Surrounded by coconut and palm trees, restaurants and bars are 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 starfish, cuttlefish, and manta rays, or visit the Naufragio del Capitán Kidd Shipwreck off Catalina Island!

My Favourite Trip: Day-Tour From Santo Domingo to Isla Saona!

The beach at Isla Saona, with white warm sand, palm trees, and a small bar along the beach area on a sunny day.
The beach at Isla Saona

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!

Catamaran trip to Isla Saona: a white catamaran sitting calmly on the blue water while people are snorkeling around it on a sunny day with blue skies
Catamaran trip to Isla Saona

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

Playa Moron on the northern side of the Samana Peninsula, a beautiful beach with soft sand, a bit of grassy fields to sit, and trees and bushes along the shore on a sunny day with blue skies.
Playa Moron

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.

EpicNomadLife Tip: Join the whale-watching tour that I did when I was visiting, and see the majestic humpback whales between December and April each year.

11. San Rafael Beach

San Rafael beach from a distance sitting at the bottom of a steep green hill, where the waves and whitewater can get fierce from the bright blue ocean.
San Rafael Beach

Although not really NEAR Santo Domingo, Barahona’s is home to an iconic pebble stone beach you quite possibly will love.

The San Rafael River weaves its way through cascades across the coastal highway until it reaches the Caribbean Sea, where early-morning surfers catch some of the best waves along this stretch of coastline.

It has breathtaking mountain vistas on one side and an unforgettable natural environment around it.

Along the beach, the waves are fierce, and the greyish stones are almost blurred in the sea haze. This beach is different but beautiful!

There are also lots of laid-back restaurants and booths with a wide variety of food and drink options here.

12. Caleton Beach

Aerial photo of Caleton Beach, with greenish crystal clear water and golden sands with palms strewn along the shore.
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.

Often part of a boat trip exploring Laguna Gri Gri and its captivating coastline, these crescent-shaped soft sands will bring you zen with its alluring atmosphere.

Getting here is simple from the fishing village of Rio San Juan, as it’s along the highway!

13. Las Terrenas Beach

Playa Las Terrenas, with golden sands, where palm trees are growing close to the water, and sometimes hanging out over the surf. The photo is taken on a sunnt summer day.
Las Terrenas Beach

Located between Las Ballenas Beach and Punta Popy Beach, it is a five-kilometer-long stretch of white sand 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

Local fishermen pushing a small wihte and blue fishing boat to the water on Guayacanes Beach, on a sunny day with sparkling blue water and bright blue sky.
Local fishermen on Guayacanes Beach

The tranquil fishing village of Guayacanes is a paradise shrouded in greyish, warm sand and turquoise waters.

Aside from the few restaurants and houses, it’s visited 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.

Water shoes are recommended due to some rocky patches on this beach, which is a secluded spot and an ideal destination for a romantic walk at sunrise or a peaceful stroll during sunset all by yourself if you are a solo traveler!

15. Punta Cana Beaches

The soft sands and inviting calm waves on Punta Cana Beach on a sunny day.
Punta Cana Beach

On the east coast of the Dominican Republic, you find Bavaro and Punta Cana, an area famous for its stunning soft beaches surrounded by all-inclusive resorts, bars, and restaurants. It is a vibrant Caribbean paradise with a fun vibe.

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.

You can also stay at one of the holiday homes or large pampering resorts in the region called Bavaro. 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?

Photo from the Santo Domingo Malecon on a sunny day with blue skies, where the water comes pouring in to the rocky area of the coast beneath the boardwalk.
There are small beaches along the Malecon

There are beaches in Santo Domingo, along the Malecon boardwalk, that actually look 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 from the Malecon.

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 closest 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 trip.

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 okay with driving 4-5 hours in any cardinal direction!

As a fun fact at the end here, did you know that the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, is as far away from Havana and Cuba as Cuba is from Key West and Miami?

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