Cayo Paraiso

Dominican Republic




Mini Beach Escape

Though it may be one of the tiniest beaches you ever set foot on, Cayo Paraiso (also known as Cayo Arena or Paradise Cay) is nonetheless a must-see attraction on the north coast of the Dominican Republic.

Boasting just a few thatched-roof huts to shade visitors from the sun, the coral island is little more than a bump of sand amid shallow, clear waters. A popular excursion from the mainland, Cayo Paraiso is visited by many tourists on the average day, so don’t count on having the place to yourself.

Clear, Calm Water

In order to get to Cayo Paraiso, you’ll need to book a short boat trip from one of the small towns on the mainland, such as Punta Rucia, or from major tourists spots around Puerto Plata. Choose from catamaran excursions or a private speedboat tours.

When you arrive, the island will likely be teeming with other tourists taking in the sun and sand, so rent snorkel gear and wade out a few yards into the water. You’ll get amazing views of tropical fish swarming about.

Nearby Attractions

Not far from Cayo Paraiso are beautiful mangrove forests that operators navigate through on the boat trip to or from the mainland. Watch for manatees, known to visit the area.

When you return, consider checking out some of the other renowned beach destinations not far from here, such as Puerto Plata, Sosúa and Cabarete.

Cayo Paraiso at a Glance

City:Punta Rucia

Country or State:Dominican Republic

Access:By boat

Best time to visit:May to June - fewer crowds, better rates

High Season:December to April

Low Season:May to November


  • Snorkeling gear rental
  • No lifeguards
  • No rentals

Beach Type:

  • White sand
  • Saltwater
  • Popular, but in a secluded area