8 of the Prettiest Beaches in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is no secret to travelers who crave gorgeous tropical landscapes, stunning Caribbean seas, buzzing Latin culture, and an escape from the brutal winters found elsewhere in the world. It also happens to have some of the world's most beautiful beaches. And while many seasoned D.R. vacationers know all about the country's most popular stretches of sand, like Bavaro Beach and Boca Chica, there are almost countless pretty beaches to discover all around this Caribbean nation. With that in mind we've rounded up just a few of the best to help you plan your next warm-weather escape.

1. Playa Rincon

siri bl/Flickr

siri bl/Flickr

While Playa Rincon has gotten its fair share of press in recent years -- making several best-beach lists -- it still retains a remote and undeveloped feel. Near the eastern tip of the Samana Peninsula -- itself a blissfully almost-untouched place -- Playa Rincon is cradled amid a bay close to the town of Las Galerias. It can be reached by boats from the town or by four-wheel-drive vehicles over land. Don't expect much of the modern world here -- there's no beachside service, lounge chairs, or bumping nightclubs. Instead, just a few vendors and a simple beachside restaurant provide the necessary refreshments for a day in the sun. 

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2. Cayo Levantado

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado/Oyster

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado/Oyster

About a 15-minute boat ride from the Samana Peninsula, this tiny island is a beach-lover's dream. Half of Cayo Levantado consists of the Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado -- the only hotel on the island -- while the other portion is open to the public. The small beaches here are picture-perfect, framed by palm trees and tranquil blue waters that are excellent for snorkeling. It is a popular day trip from the mainland, so the beaches of Cayo Levantado don't have quite the same peaceful vibe as Playa Rincon, but the whole package is enough to fulfill most tropical dreams. 

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3. Playa Grande

Balaji Palace at Playa Grande/Oyster

Balaji Palace at Playa Grande/Oyster

Yet another wonderfully undeveloped beach along the Dominican Republic's northern coast, Playa Grande is far enough from the major tourist zones to retain its lost-in-paradise vibe. That said, don't expect many services here, aside from a few casual food stalls. Near the small town of Rio San Juan, it's almost a two-hour drive east of Puerto Plata and about 75 minutes from the airport in Samana. The surf here can occasionally be rough, but the scenery is stunning and there are more placid spots nearby (at Playa Caleton). 

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4. Bavaro Beach

The Level Melia Caribe Tropical/Oyster

The Level Melia Caribe Tropical/Oyster

This is ground zero for the Dominican Republic's legendary all-inclusive resort scene. Bavaro Beach is the most famed of the Punta Cana area beaches -- and for good reason. Despite being packed with sunseekers, partiers, and the like, it's big enough and pretty enough to merit all of the accolades. That means that you're just as likely to find a relatively quiet corner as you are beach parties and places to paraglide. Soft white sand, towering palm trees, and endless ocean vistas all clamor for attention, though keep in mind that the surf here is rougher than you'll find on the D.R.'s Caribbean side. 

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5. Cabarete

Millennium Resort & Spa/Oyster

Millennium Resort & Spa/Oyster

Situated a little less than an hour east of busy Puerto Plata, Cabarete is the even more laid-back cousin of lazily-paced Sosua. While you will find larger scale resorts here compared to those found farther east along the Dominican Republic's northern coast, the atmosphere is far less crowded and altogether made for unwinding. Popular beaches in the region include Kite Beach, which is famous for -- as you might guess -- flying kites and windsurfing. Otherwise, expect stretches of sand that feel far less packed than those in Puerto Plata or other major resort destinations, like Punta Cana.

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6. Playa Bayahibe

Dreams La Romana/Oyster

Dreams La Romana/Oyster

The southern shores of the Dominican Republic are significantly more active than those found along the country's north (with some exceptions), so you'll be less likely to find those almost-abandoned stretches of sand. However, that doesn't mean that beauty is lacking down here. For example, the Bayahibe area is packed with pretty beaches, though we especially love Playa Bayahibe. Here, you'll find just the right balance of resort amenities and tranquil vibes, along with dazzling stretches of sand and crystal clear seas.

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7. Playa Fronton

Molly/Flickr

Molly/Flickr

Once again, relatively untouched Samana delivers when it comes to dreamy secluded beaches. Playa Fronton is by no means easy to access -- it's a 40-minute boat ride from Las Galeras, though many travelers also get here by a fairly lengthy overland hike. The reward? A small strip of sand that's backed by jungle-clad cliffs and free of crowds. This is the kind of place that demands that you unplug for a day -- so you can truly get away from it all. 

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8. Playa Coson

Casa Coson/Oyster

Casa Coson/Oyster

Tucked along a remote stretch of the Samana Peninsula, Playa Coson looks lifted straight off of a postcard. And like other far-flung Samana beaches, you'll be able to enjoy a quiet escape here. Expect an almost uninterrupted stretch of golden sand, bright blue waters, and jungle-clad hills for a backdrop. There are scant resorts up here, and most services are low-key. However, you will find a few smaller hotels and local dining spots. 

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