If you love a good beach, the Samana peninsula of the Dominican Republic should definitely be on your list!
The beaches here are stunning, and pretty unique. In Punta Cana, the beaches are what you would consider typical of the Caribbean. Soft white sand and wide, calm beaches.
However, as you head further north towards the Samana peninsula, the beaches become more varied and more wild. At all of these beaches, be sure to pack a cooler and some snacks and sandwiches for the day as there are limited, if any, services available. Here are our favorites.
The Dominican Republic first came on to my radar as the home of Playa Rincon. A massive crescent, there is plenty of room to have your own space here. When we were at Rincon, the kids loved splashing in the waves. The waves here are manageable and safe. There is a small tide around the peninsula, and during the day the beach rises and falls by a few feet so be sure to set up your blanket at the back of the sand.
When you arrive, if you head left you will find a freshwater creek at the far end. Here is where most of the local Dominicans hang out. If you turn right, you’ll find some plastic chairs which you can use for free and a small bar and restaurant. Here is where most of the tourists hang out.
One piece of advice we were given is to be sure and park near other vehicles. This is one way to keep your vehicle safe and not invite petty crime.
Getting there: There is a marked turn off just south of Las Galeras and small signs directing you towards Las Galeras. The drive is about 25 minutes through local villages and palm tree forests from Las Galeras.
Located just one bay over from Playa Rincon, Playa Colorado was one of our absolute favorites. We were there for the entire day and have the beach COMPLETELY to ourselves. It was incredible.
Here the waves were more significant than other beaches. Perhaps it was the time of year and general weather conditions (we kept hearing how rough the water was compared to “normal” conditions), but there were huge waves and a pretty healthy undertow.
While the kids loved splashing in the waves, they seemed dangerous and with a strong undertow in the middle of the beach. Instead we settled in at the very far right end of the beach. With a small section of beach nestled into a rocky cove, the water here is much more calm yet still a blast for the kids. As with most of these beaches, the color of the water here is a stunning turquoise and the views in the horizon of the thick jungle cliffs was truly dramatic.
Also, Playa Colorado has the widest beach from grass to water’s edge of any beach we saw.
Getting there: Again, there are small signs you can follow en route to the beach. You will arrive at a small gated community with 5 houses. While the area is private, by law they have to let you through because all beaches in the Dominican Republic are public. We were told by the friendly guard at the gate we had to park outside of the gate and carry in our supplies, but if you speak Spanish I’m sure you could negotiate driving in no problem. Be warned that the roads to get here are pretty rough and there are some really steep hills in some places. Best to have 4 wheel drive and especially if it’s raining drive with caution.
Playita is more of a local’s beach and generally pretty crowded. Here you’ll find vendors, a small bar and restaurants. Chairs can be rented for about $4 per day.
This is a great beach for small kids, as even when we were there during a rough time of year for the season the water here was as calm as a swimming pool.
We enjoyed it for a change of scene after a full day boat excursion, but probably wouldn’t want to spend a full day here.
Getting there: We arrived on boat, but it also is possible to arrive via car. Follow the signs from Las Galeras. There is ample parking.
Las Galeras Beach
Located at the very end of the main road that runs across the Southern side of the Samana peninsula (Highway 5), Las Galeras beach is where most boat excursions begin. The beach itself is long and offers a nice place to spend the afternoon, especially if you’ve done a morning excursion and just want an easily accessed beach to enjoy for a few hours before sunset. Las Galeras is a bit of a tourism hub, so you can expect to see more people here than on other beaches.
We arrived at this beach via Horse, but there were a few other groups already at Playa Madame who had arrived via boat. This beach is a common first stop on a Snorkeling tour (including Playa Fronton, see below) and only accessible via boat or horse. While the scenery was dramatic and we loved checking out the nearby caves and hiking on the cliffs, there was way too much trash here for us to really enjoy hanging out at the beach or swimming here.
This was another WOW beach and should definitely be on your list. This is also one of the best beaches for snorkeling in the Dominican Republic.
Here the water is super clear, a beautiful shade of blue, and the surrounding coral reef ensures the beach is very safe for swimming. If you come here, be sure to arrive early-ish in the day, as by about 2pm the beach is completely in the shade of the massive cliffs that tower above the beach. Be sure to bring a cooler and your own lunch, or book a beach BBQ in advance (which was very tasty grilled lobster, fish, chicken and rice).
Getting there: Playa Fronton can only be reached via boat. It’s only about a 10 minute ride from Las Galeras. Book this with one of the many guys hanging out at the end of Highway 5 in Las Galeras, or book in advance for more of a “package” that includes a stop at Playa Madame, a BBQ lunch on the beach and a cooler full of drinks.
Playa Coson, located just outside of Las Terranes and where Sublime Samana sits, is simply beautiful! Expect to see more people here thanks to several small hotels and a number of private residences but again it doesn’t feel crowded. Plenty to see and do with a long stretch perfect for walking.
Thinking about the Dominican Republic for your next family beach trip? Contact us to start planning today!