Puerto Plata offers a great choice in beaches and accommodation options, including a range of creature comforts at the vast Playa Dorada Complex, which features a choice of 15 all-inclusive beachfront hotels.
The picture-perfect northern coast is easy to explore by hire car. The region is indented with numerous secluded and active beaches around Sosúa (great snorkelling), Cabarete (excellent kite and wind surfing) and Cabrera (for the best surfing).
The best beaches around Puerto Plata include…
(North Coast) – Pick your own spot to sunbathe on this wide, 3.4km-long, pale golden sand beach that curves around a wide bay facing the clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Go swimming and windsurfing or snorkelling at the rocky headlands. Ride a horse along the shore or tee-off at the 18-hole Robert Trent Jones Jr-designed Playa Dorado championship golf course.
This recently refurbished palm-fringed beach is lined with a choice of 15 hotels, three casinos, three banks, a large shopping mall, dance clubs and numerous bars and restaurants that spread over a 20km-long stretch of beachfront.
Splash out in style at the elegant Casa Colonial Beach and Spa Resort, probably the most prestigious hotel in the Dominican Republic. Facilities such as towels, umbrellas and sun loungers are provided for hotel guests; otherwise they can be hired from beachside concession stands.
Water sports include waterskiing, sailing, kayaking, parasailing and fishing.
Playa Dorada is the primary beach destination on the north coast and is located a 10-minute drive east of Puerto Plata and just 18km from Puerto Plata’s International Gregorio Luperon Airport.
(North Coast) – Unwind on the wide golden sands of this 1km-long palm-fringed beach that faces a small cove framed by the Ocean World marine and water park to the west and low grass- and palm-covered cliffs to the east.
Come for a day and join the locals who often turn this popular beach into a giant weekend party scene with barbeques and merengue dancing. Or stay longer at the beachfront Sun Village Resort and Spa, which offers a range of facilities including umbrellas, sun loungers and a beach bar.
Visit the Ocean World Adventure Park to see dolphin and sea lion shows, snorkel with rainbow-hued tropical fish, pet a nurse shark or sting ray and perhaps (if you’re brave) feed a Bengal tiger.
Playa Cofresi is 5km east of Puerto Plata.
(North Coast) – Unwind on the golden sands of this 450m-long beach that shelves into the calm waters of Sosúa Bay.
The beach offers perfect conditions for swimming, snorkelling over the offshore coral gardens and scuba diving at the nearby wreck, canyons and wall.
The shrub- and palm-fringed beach sits between tree-covered rocky outcrops. Facilities include umbrellas, sun loungers, snack bars and water sports equipment for hire from beachside concession stands.
Come for a day or stay at the colonial-style beachfront Sosúa Bay Hotel or La Puntilla de Piergiorgio Hotel, which sits on a rocky promontory overlooking the beach. Playa Sosúa is 24km east of Puerto Plata, a 20-minute drive.
(North Coast) – Choose from three golden-sand beaches that lie just over the cliff-top promontory from Playa Sosúa, stretching 1.2km northeast along the coast.
The first is a picture-perfect 80m-wide strip of sand that stretches for 200m beneath tree-clad cliffs flanked by rocky headlands.
The second palm-fringed strip sits between the Casa Marina Beach Reef Resort and calm turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkelling the rocky headlands.
To find a more secluded section, you can simply walk north and relax in the sun beneath a wild and pristine tree-fringed beach.
Facilities such as umbrellas and sun loungers are available from the three resorts that front this gorgeous beach.
Water sports equipment including snorkelling gear, windsurfer boards and sailboats can be rented from one of the many water sports kiosks.
Playa Casa Marina is 25km east of Puerto Plata.
(North Coast) – Stretching for more than 2km along the coast, this tree-lined beach is the region’s best surfing beach. It is also great for beachcombing along the unspoiled golden sands.
Playa Encuentro is around 25km east of Puerto Plata and 5km east of Sosúa.
(North Coast) – This is the best beach for wind and kite surfing in the Dominican Republic.
Take your own rig or hire one from the numerous beachside instructors, who also offer lessons if required.
The windiest month on Kite Beach is March. Beachside facilities include bars and restaurants. Come for the day or stay longer at the Sosúa Bay Resort.
Kite Beach is 2km east of Cabarete.
(North Coast) – Escape the more crowded beaches on a trip to this quiet golden-sand beach that edges a small cove framed by the dramatic-tree covered cliffs of the Parque Nacional Cabo Francis.
Go swimming, snorkelling and beachcombing. Take your own food and drinks, as there are no facilities.
Playa El Breton is around 7km east of Cabrera.
(North Coast) – Unwind on this 1.2km-long white sand beach that sits between swaying palm trees and the clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
While you can go swimming, the beach is better known among locals for its excellent windsurfing, scuba diving and snorkelling.
Come on a day trip or stay longer at the Luperon Beach Resort. Facilities include umbrellas, sun loungers and water sports equipment for hire.
Apart from the hotel, there are several beachside bars where you can also order food.
Luperón Beach lies about an 80-minute drive west of Puerto Plata.
The best time to visit Puerto Plata is during February and March, but anytime from December through April is good, with daily temperatures average 24°C (75°F), rising to an average high of 29°C (84°F).
Despite the heat of summer and occasional rain showers, Puerto Plata is a year-round holiday destination.
More information about Puerto Plata weather…
Puerto Plata is located on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, and depending on the resort, is around 20km (12mi) from Gregorio Luperón International Airport (POP) – a short taxi ride.
The most convenient and quickest route to the Puerto Plata region is by air to Gregorio Luperón International Airport (POP), located 20km (12mi) from Puerto Plata, and close to the neighbouring tourist destinations of Cofresí, Playa Dorada, Sosúa and Cabarete.
The airport is also convenient to Playa Grande and Río San Juan, just an hours-drive away.
More information about how to get to Puerto Plata…
Latest update: Where to Honeymoon in Puerto Plata: 5 July, 2022