Puerto Plata beaches, this one outside the Blue Jacktar hotel, with incredible double sun beds with ceiling and curtains

17 Golden Puerto Plata Beaches DR From A Solo Traveler (2024)

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

I traveled around the Dominican Republic for over a month, and Puerto Plata was one of my favorite destinations (Also, I arrived during the Carnival).

There are plenty of golden sandy beaches along the Costa Dorada to choose from. So here you have 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 to make it easy.

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

The Best Puerto Plata Beaches in 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

Luxury lounging at Playa Dorada in the Dominican Republic, you can spend the day in a queen bed on the beach with white curtains on the golden sands by the sea
Luxury lounging at Playa Dorada

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

The golden sands on Sosua Beach in the Dominican Republic on a sunny day, surrounded by greenery and charming houses
Sosua Beach in the DR

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

I exited from this beach while scuba diving in Puerto Plata, and I loved the atmosphere here.

The beach is surrounded by coral reefs, making it an excellent spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. The calm, warm 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

A myriad of kite surfers and kites in the air outside Cabarete Beach on the northern shores of the DR on a sunny summer day with blue skies over the water
Cabarete Beach

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, on the western outskirts of Puerto Plata, is a charming, palm-fringed beach with 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 you 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 provide a picturesque setting for sunbathing, swimming, and strolling the beach occasionally.

5. Playa Grande

A pair of purple sunglasses on the sand on Playa Grande in the DR, with the crystal clear bluish ocean and sky in the background
Mood from Playa Grande DR

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, perfect if you want 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 want to hide away for a day 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, known as Mirador Beach, with soft golden sands outside the palm trees and bushes on a sunny day with blue sea and blue sky.
Playa Alicia outside Puerto Plata

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 in Puerto Plata, with a female surfer heading out from the beach with her surf board in hand meeting whitewater waves
Playa Encuentro is great for surfing

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

Aerial photo of the warm beige sands of Playa Costambar in the Dominican Republic, strewn with parasols here and there, shielded by green trees from the hotels along the shore on a sunny day
Playa Costambar

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

The ruins and red sands that leads to the Playa Colon de Isabela beach in the DR on a sunny day
Playa Colon de Isabela

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, east of Puerto Plata center, is a secluded beach surrounded by lush green hills and crystal-clear waters.

This is an off-the-beaten-path destination without hotels and resorts, that offers a peaceful atmosphere. 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

A boat trip in a white boat in the green mangrove canals behind the sands of Punta Rucia beach in theDR north west of Puerto Plata
The mangroves behind Punta Rucia

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 you can also take a boat trip to nearby Cayo Arena, a stunning sandbar surrounded by coral reefs.

14. Playa Grande Luperón

Playa Grande Luperón is a beautiful, unspoiled beach located in a small fishing village to the west of Puerto Plata. Next to the smaller Playa Chiquita Luperon, the beach offers a tranquil atmosphere, perfect for relaxation and soaking up the sun.

There are a few hotels here, as well as in Luperon village. However, there are also really great condos, and hacienda holiday homes for rent close to the Luperon beaches.

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

Playa El Breton is an 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

The golden sands of Playa Ensenada in the DR, with soft waves coming onto the beach from the crystal clear ocean
Playa Ensenada

This stunning beach is also known for its clear, calm waters and soft, golden sand. Situated a couple of hours west of Puerto Plata, this is a wonderful destination for a day trip if you want to combine a day of exploring along the northern coast with fun at the beach.

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

This beach is also home to several seafood shacks, where visitors can enjoy fresh, delicious dishes for a tasty lunch while taking in the beautiful surroundings.

17. Playa Cambiaso

Playa Cambiaso is a remote, unspoiled beach west of Puerto Plata that offers a true escape from the hustle and bustle of the more busy beaches.

It 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 lush greenery surrounding it, it’s the perfect spot for relaxation and communing with nature.

Also read: Incredible Solo Travel Dominican Republic From An Expert

Top 3 Beaches In Puerto Plata DR

Sosua beach early in the morning with lots of people and boats preparing for a day on the water under the morning sky
Scuba diving exit from Sosua Beach

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

Sunrise over Sosua Beach, with a blurred out view of the ocean, the waves, and the soft sands with the clouds glowing in the background
Sunrise over Sosua Beach (stock photo)

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.

Shading palms surround the beach, and in the sea, there are coral reefs, making it an excellent spot for snorkeling and scuba diving!

And The Winner Is: Playa Dorada!

The dark golden sands of Playa Dorada on a bright summer day, the sun is shining from blue skies, and there are sun beds scattered along the beach.
Playa Dorada outside Puerto Plata

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.

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!

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

Wanna Stay At The Blue Jacktar?

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 casual dining and special occasions. Live music shows regularly entertain guests here!

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.

Charming Puerto Plata In The North Of The DR!

February is the carnival month in Puerto Plata, when every weekend the town main square turns into a fiesta of colors, music and shows.
The February carnival in Puerto Plata

Puerto Plata is located on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic right on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

It 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 give 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 getaways.

It is also a great destination for passionate scuba divers. I had a wonderful scuba diving day while staying in Puerto Plata.

FAQ’s Puerto Plata

The park on Mount Isabel de Torres, with stone pathways amidst treen plants, flowers and trees.
Mount Isabel de Torres park

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.

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?

Partly outdoor restaurant along the Malecon in Santo Domingo sitting on a green cliff on a bright sunny summer day with clear blue skies
Restaurant along the Santo Domingo Malecon

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—to 4-hour drive yourself, allowing you 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 offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and history combined with modern amenities.

Highlights Puerto Plata

A dark old fashioned hallway in the Puerto Plata rum museum, with lights for every section between the old wooden columns, and oak barrels of rum on each side
Inside the Puerto Plata rum museum

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.

Bonus: Highlights Punta Cana

The white sands and soft surf from the sea on Punta Cana beach on a bright sunny summer day
Paradisiacal Punta Cana Beach

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.

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 visitors a wide range of activities and attractions, from historic landmarks and cultural experiences to outdoor adventures and beach relaxation.

BTW, 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!

The outdoor lounge area at the Hyatt Zilara at night, with cozy and elegant seating areas, warm lighting, small fires, and blue light from the pools
Elegant Hyatt Zilara lounge area

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 maroon brick structures of San Felipa Fortress in Puerto Plata, with old fashioned cannons still pointing out to sea and the cruise ship port
San Felipa Fortress Puerto Plata

Puerto Plata offers a rich cultural experience and stunning natural beauty for history-loving travelers (like me). The historical center is protected on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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 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

Hazy view from Mount Isabel de Torres over Puerto Plata in the afternoon, when the low clouds become fog on top of the mountains, while the city below has clear skies still.
Puerto Plata from a foggy Mount Isabel de Torres

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

Whale watching in Samana north in the DR, you might see the regal humpback whales diving like in this stunning photo of a large tail fin heading down into the sea
Whale watching in Samana December – March

From Puerto Plata, you can go on 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 spent 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

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

There are a myriad of great super popular scuba diving sites in Puerto Plata, and within day-trip distance from Puerto Plata – like from Playa Dorada.

Visit The Amber Museum

At the Amber Museum, explore the world’s largest collection of Dominican amber and learn about its history and 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 green grass of the park outside San Felipa Fortress in Puerto Plata, next to the greenish blue seas under a clear blue sky
The park outside San Felipa Fortress

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 Puerto Plata Beaches

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

Whether you’re looking for a tranquil beach experience or active days filled with water adventure, the beaches of Puerto Plata have it all. 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, not to mention the rich history you see everywhere, I am pretty sure you will like Puerto Plata also outside of the beach.

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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