Sunny skies, impeccable water, delicious cuisine and good times are a given no matter which Dominican beach town you visit. But aside from those qualities, no two towns on this island are alike — each has its own unmistakeable flavor and distinctive vibe. To help you find the one that suits you best, we're highlighting the best Dominican beach towns for every type of traveler — whether you prefer non-stop beach action, unspoiled natural retreats, or the endless flow of piña coladas.
Watch our video about the best Dominican beach towns:
For the party-hard traveler
The party never stops in Boca Chica, located about 30 minutes from the capital city of Santo Domingo. This is not an idyllic beach perfect for whiling away the hours under the sun. It's the weekend retreat of Dominican families and friends, who gather around large bottles of Brugal rum, snack on the occasional yaniqueque — a fried bread best enjoyed with a dollop of ketchup — or enjoy the local specialty, fried fish with a side of crispy tostones.
Bachata and merengue are played at maximum volume here, and the lagoon-like waters are still and shallow, making the atmosphere more akin to a massive pool party.
Boca Chica is also the best option for culture lovers, as its within an easy drive (or taxi ride) of all the capital's culinary, cultural and historical attractions. In one day you could easily soak in clear Caribbean waters and also stroll cobblestone streets, admiring architecture that has stayed intact for centuries.
For laid-back, lazy beach lovers
Punta Cana is probably the best known Dominican beach town to North American vacationers, due to its coveted white sands and healthy spread of all-inclusive resorts.
If you envision yourself sitting by a giant swimming pool, never far from the poolside bar, you'll love the pampered treatment you'll get from Punta Cana's resorts. It's ultimate vacation experience for sure — just don't expect to get the authentic Dominican experience if you stay cooped up in the confines of your hotel.
For water sports enthusiasts
Cabarete, located on the island's northern coast, has become a sensation for kite surfers and other water sports enthusiasts, making it the best Dominican beach for active types. Strong waves ensure surfers always have something to work with — a strip of bars, clubs and al fresco cafes along the beach ensures they're always entertained after hours.
This town blends local and international culture seamlessly, making for a fascinating stew of Dominican, American and European cultures, with a bit of alternative flair.
For small-town aficionados
Think charming, small and walkable villages are better than bustling cities? Prepare to fall hard for Las Terrenas in the Samaná province, where visitors ditch cars and get around on 4x4s.
Besides a breathtaking coastline filled with bluer-than-blue vistas and golden-sand coves, you'll encounter French cuisine, low-rise motels and all the romance that comes with the beachfront paradise territory.
For nature lovers
Head to Bayahibe to see some of the islands' prettiest, most natural beaches. Not because you'll necessarily find them in Bayahibe, but because this fishing village gives easy access to Saona Island, the crown jewel of Dominican beaches sequestered within a national park.
From Bayahibe's modest town center, book an Saona Island tour with a local operator, and enjoy a day-long jaunt to see some of the most heavenly waters and whitest sands you could imagine.
Choose from catamaran tours or private motorboat tours, but allow as much time as possible. It will be hard to tear yourself away from one of nature's greatest accomplishments, but a few sugar-cane and rum cocktails, available at the Guarapo stand back in Bayahibe, will ease your pain.