Macao Beach (Playa Macao) is one of the Punta Cana region’s least-crowded public beaches, set away from most resort hotels. A favorite among locals, this stretch of white sand is considered one of the Dominican Republic’s most beautiful coastal escapes, with clear blue waters and a beach break known for its surf-friendly waves.
Lounge on the sand, boogie board, or learn how to surf near the beach’s bigger breakers. If you prefer to stay dry on land, an afternoon horseback ride serves up coastal views and fresh air. For a dose of adrenaline and an overview of the area’s natural highlights, visit the beach and the nearby Macao Cave during a dune buggy adventure from Punta Cana.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Several stands sell cold beers and local grub, including fresh-caught fish and lobsters.
- There are no restrooms on-site.
- Bring along some cash to purchase souvenirs from the beach vendors.
How to Get There
Macao Beach is located on the northern side of the Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana region, roughly 20 minutes by road from most resorts. The beach is accessible by taxi or via a guided tour. Ride-sharing services were recently introduced to the nation, but are only available in big cities such as Santo Domingo, Santiago, and Puerto Plata.
When to Get There
Since Macao Beach is a favorite among locals, try to visit during the week when it’s quieter and less crowded. Expect the biggest crowds in the Dominican Republic from December through April, especially around Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, and spring break. And keep in mind, the peak months for hurricanes in the Caribbean are September and October.
Located closer to Punta Cana, the more crowded Bavaro Beach draws visitors with its abundance of tour and cruise offerings, plus water activities such as snorkeling, parasailing, and windsurfing. This beach also boasts more amenities than Macao because of its proximity to Punta Cana’s luxury resorts in Punta Cana.