Playa Costambar

Dominican Republic

  •  Photo: Theresa Boehl

  •  Photo: Theresa Boehl

  •  Photo: Theresa Boehl

North Coast Haven

The Dominican Republic’s northern coast is blessed with beautiful beaches and dozens of picturesque small towns, offering a more down-to-earth and budget-friendly experience than that of Punta Cana, the country’s top destination.

In Puerto Plata, you’ll discover golden-sand beaches, mountains draped in tropical vegetation, and rich cultural, musical and culinary traditions (not to mention way fewer tourists). And with its own international airport served by JetBlue, American Airlines, United Airlines and WestJet, the region is not hard to reach for most North Americans.

No-Frills, Family-Friendly Beach

Playa Costambar is just one of around a half dozen small oceanfront coves found along the coast in Puerto Plata, but its casual beachside eateries and quiet, family-friendly atmosphere make it one of the most beloved.

Thanks to its shallow lagoon and water clarity, snorkeling and swimming are popular activities. But a head’s up: There are no lifeguards on duty and no public restrooms.

Fresh-caught seafood, Italian fare and Dominican specialties are served at the string of restaurants and food shacks on the beach and around Reina Isabel Street. You’ll find that prices are fair and that beer and piña coladas are invariably ice-cold.

An Explorer’s Dream

Unlike Punta Cana, Puerto Plata offers a host of attractions to explore independently outside of the all-inclusive resort experience. Ride the Teleférico cable car to the top of Pico Isabel de Torres, home to lush botanical gardens and a smaller version of the Christ the Redeemer statue found in Rio de Janeiro.

Visit the imposing Fort San Felipe, completed in 1577, and then head to Plaza Independencia, a Spanish-style central park bordered by colorful Victorian-era buildings.

Playa Costambar at a Glance

City:Puerto Plata

Country or State:Dominican Republic

Length of Beach:1 mile

Access:By car or bus

Best time to visit:Fall - best rates, no crowds

High Season:Dec. to April

Low Season:May to November


  • Beachfront dining
  • Chair and umbrella rentals
  • No lifeguards
  • No public restrooms

Beach Type:

  • Golden sand
  • Saltwater
  • Popular

Special Events:

  • Dominican Republic Jazz Festival