Santo Domingo beaches are found within a short drive of the city center on the island’s south coast and vary greatly in size and available tourist amenities. Some, like Boca Chica, are crawling with visitors and can be too crowded for some tastes, while others like Juan Dolio and Guayacanes are small, quiet, and have fewer amenities, but are heavy on scenery and serenity. There’s no doubt that after touring the many fascinating historic sites within Santo Domingo Dominican Republic, you might just crave a beach to sit back and relax on. With a vehicle, that’s an easy feat. The transportation system is another way to get between the city and the beaches.
Playa Boca Chica is the most well-known beach and the closest one to the capital city Santo Domingo. A vibrant coral reef surrounds the entire beach, creating a perfect area for snorkeling and offshore diving. When low tide occurs, the water becomes so shallow that it’s possible to walk over to the nearby island La Matica. Boca Chica Beach is a lovely sight, and mixed with a diversity of street vendors, small shops, restaurants and bars, it is a busy spot.
Playa Juan Dolio has a west and east side, one called Old Town and the other a thriving tourist hub called Villas del Mar. It is roughly a half-hour from Santo Domingo Dominican Republic. The beaches around the old part feature white sand and a large coral reef flanking the coastline. PADI certification and deep sea fishing tours are both popular things to do while visiting. Old Juan Dolio is a small, friendly place with plenty of budget option while Villas del Mar, the newer enclave, is filled with luxury resorts and apartment rentals.
Playa Caribe offers boogie boarders and kite surfers amazing conditions to pursuing. The waves are intense, so it’s not great for swimming, but the golden sand is a great spot to hunker down and people watch. In more recent years, since the opening of a popular bar, Playa Caribe is well-known for a thriving electronic music scene. All-day beach parties are a Saturday favorite with locals. The parties feature guest DJs from all across the world spinning at special monthly music events. Caribe is reached via the main highway on route to Juan Dolio.
Guayacanes is a nice combination of open space and tall palms providing both sun and shelter from it. This is one of the main Santo Domingo beaches popular with tourists and locals avoiding the often-congested beaches in Boca Chica. The water is calm and the beach is topped with white sand. There is a small fishing community living in the vicinity giving the beach an appealing local flavor unique among the larger Dominican Republic beaches.
Playa de Guibia
Playa de Guibia is more of a waterfront area than one of the popular Santo Domingo beaches, but there is some sand here to enjoy. The water along the beach area isn’t suitable for swimming but it does offer a scenic lookout area. This area between El Malecon and Avenida Washington is a well-known area popular with the gay community.
Playa Punta Torrecillas
The location of a historic lighthouse and scenic lookout, Playa Punta Torrecillas is set close to the Ozama River mouth by the portal to Santo Domingo’s harbor. Originally shut down in 1967, the lighthouse was rebuilt in 1986. The long stretch of beach features tan-colored sand, but is not a popular swimming area because of choppy harbor waters. The area is well-known for having great restaurants.