Playa Las Ballenas is one of the best beaches in Las Terrenas

Dominican Republic, Journal

The northern coast in the Dominican Republic got famous for its many beautiful beaches. In contrast to the southern side of the island, the north has lower temperatures to offer and more wind to cool down and do some water sport activities. Additionally, you’ll find fewer algae and finer-grained sand at the beaches. I was happy, spending time at one particular beach and would like to recommend it to every interested traveler. Read in this article, why Playa Las Ballenas is the best beach in Las Terrenas and worth a visit.


Approximate reading time: 5 minutes


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Where is Playa Las Ballenas?

Located in the Northern part of the Samaná Peninsula in the Dominican Republic, Playa Las Ballenas is a must-visit in Las Terrenas. Flanked with many apart hotels and vacation homes, Playa Las Ballenas can be easily found in the northwest area of Las Terrenas. It’s one of the most visited beaches in Las Terrenas.



Due to its good and central location, one would expect this beach to be overrun by many tourists. Surprisingly, I was able to have completely different experiences. This beach is not littered and in a much better and clean condition than I expected. Whenever I was there, I almost had the whole beach to myself:


Playa Las Ballenas - Las Terrenas
Las Ballenas in the Dominican Republic

Las Terrenas is one of the most visited areas in the Dominican Republic. Maybe I was just lucky to have had the right timing for my visits. But what about the name Playa Las Ballenas? Why is this beach called Playa Las Ballenas?

Why is this beach called Las Ballenas ?

Named Las Ballenas because of three rocky stones in the distance that resemble humpback whales, this spacious, wide white sand stretch with a shallow, calm sea sits right in the heart of Las Terrenas’s small town.

www.godominicanrepublic.com

The name ‘Las Ballenas’ is therefore a welcoming hint to one of the most popular tourist excursions that can be done in the Dominican Republic: Whale watching. A ‘ballena’ is the direct translation of ‘whale’ in Spanish. Every year from November to March, you can enjoy the whale watching season in the Dominican Republic. Giant humpback whales come every year to the bay of Samaná to give birth to their calves and breed them.


© barcelo.com

Whale watching is not an exclusive feature of this beach and can be done from other beaches in the Dominican Republic, too. But the idea to observe whales from this beach was an easy and remarkable transition. Naming a whole beach after its whales creates curiosity and make people want to visit it.

But the reason I like Playa Ballenas so much is not because of the many features I mentioned above.

What else is special about Playa Las Ballenas?

Walking a few miles without crowds of people and observing beautiful sunsets is what made me fall in love with this beach. I enjoyed some days there during the off-season and was never disappointed. It must be more crowded during high seasons. But in months like April till June (except Easter holidays) and from September till December (except the Christmas holidays), it’s worth a visit.



In my Instagram profile, I call myself a sunset hunter. Sunsets have a very relaxing and soothing effect on me. It’s like the farewell of a hot and sunny Caribbean day and turns into a warm and starry night. But the last hour of sunlight before it sets is a marvelous one.



If you enjoy sunsets the same way I do, you’ll collect some valuable memories at Playa Las Ballenas in Las Terrenas. Not sure, why this beach charmed me more than others on the island. But Playa Las Ballenas had the most fascinating sunsets I’ve seen so far in the Dominican Republic.


The Caribbean beauty of Playa Las Ballenas

Playa Las Ballenas is a very clean and peaceful beach in the Dominican Republic with the typical Caribbean flair. Picturesque sunsets invite travelers to observe the beautiful colors of sunsets and sunrises.

Whoever has a talent for photography or videography can let off steam at Playa Las Ballenas and the many soft lighting conditions and color changes that can be enjoyed by a loved one. Few visitors can find out more about the entire beach boulevard.

For me, Playa Las Ballenas is one of the most beautiful beaches in Las Terrenas and Samaná.

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It’s worth planning at least one evening there. With a bit of luck, you’ll capture the same photos and videos I did. I always had memorable evenings at Playa Las Ballenas. Lost in thought I observed the last orange and pink hues of the daylight.

I would consider Las Ballenas as the best beach in Las Terrenas and one of my favorites in Samaná. Maybe even on the whole northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Soon, I’ll report more about the marvelous beaches in the Dominican Republic.


Playa Las Ballenas - Las Terrenas

But this article should give every reader a good impression of what to expect from Caribbean sunsets in the Dominican Republic. You should also check out another article I wrote before about a Caribbean sunset. One of the most important resources in the Dominican Republic are the infinite sunsets.


Sunset at Playa Los Patos in the Dominican Republic

Los Patos is one of the most visited beaches in the southwest of the Dominican Republic. I had the opportunity to visit this beach to see a breathtaking sunset. Luckily, I could take some nice photos and videos before it got dark at Las Patos in the Dominican Republic.

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Playa Minitas in the Dominican Republic (2)

Playa Minitas – A clean and neat beach in Casa de Campo

Dominican Republic, English

Beaches in the Dominican Republic are beautiful. Whenever I think about beaches from an illustrated travel catalog, photos could be taken from the Dominican Republic. One beach I remember in particular. Playa Minitas – A clean and neat beach in Casa de Campo. Read my short story about a beautiful beach in the oldest resort of the Dominican Republic. Maybe you need some Caribbean inspiration for your next vacation?


Approximate reading time: 2 minutes


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Where is Playa Minitas?

Playa Minitas is not a public beach. It is located inside of the prestigious Casa de Campo in La Romana. Casa de Campo was by the way the first resort in the Caribbean and exists now for almost 50 years.



To be able to access it you need to have permission to enter. That makes the beach very private in comparison with many other beaches in the Dominican Republic. The advantages of private beaches like Playa Minitas are obvious:

  • Not everyone can enter the premises
  • These beaches are equipped with lifeguards and security
  • Fewer noises, no beach vendors, better sanitary facilities

But the best thing I would consider is the neatness of Playa Minitas. In comparison to many other beaches in the Dominican Republic, you won’t find any plastic garbage there. Whenever I visited public beaches, there were far too many careless people leaving their trash behind.



Of course, a prestigious resort like Casa de Campo can’t afford any flaws and deficiencies on their premises. The beach was very clean and organized. I loved their dedication to supporting a clean environment!

Whoever doesn’t like sand between the toes has a great alternative. A few yards away from the shore is a swimming pool. Great for people who don’t like salt water and don’t like to be amid the waves.


Playa Minitas in the Dominican Republic (10)
A good and close-by alternative: The swimming pool at Playa Minitas.


As I wrote before, this beach was one of the greatest I saw in the Dominican Republic. It was quiet there, not too many people around, and simply that kind of beach you would expect from an illustrated catalog. A real paradise!



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From my perspective, it would be the perfect beach for families with little kids. The shoreside at Playa Minitas was very shallow and the moving waters can’t be even considered as waves. I always saw some lifeguards observing the coasts. Kids would be super safe there and have a great time.

So did I. Why can’t be all beaches like Playa Minitas in Casa de Campo?


Playa Minitas in the Dominican Republic (4)

Playa Minitas – Ein Strand wie aus dem Urlaubskatalog

Dominican Republic, English

Strände in der Dominikanischen Republik sind wunderschön. Wann immer ich an Strände aus einem illustrierten Urlaubskatalog denke, könnten die Fotos in der Dominikanischen Republik gemacht werden. Es gibt einen Strand, an den ich mich besonders gerne erinnere. Playa Minitas, ein Strand wie aus dem Urlaubskatalog. Lies in diesem Artikel über einen wunderschönen Strand im ältesten Resort der Dominikanischen Republik. Vielleicht suchst Du nach karibischer Inspiration für Deinen nächsten Urlaub?


Ungefähre Lesezeit: 2 Minuten


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Wo ist Playa Minitas?

Playa Minitas ist kein öffentlicher Strand. Er befindet sich im prestigeträchtigen Resort von Casa de Campo in La Romana. Casa de Campo war übrigens das erste Resort in der Dominikanischen Republik (und der gesamten Karibik) und existiert seit fast 50 Jahren.



Um Playa Minitas und das gesamte Resort von Casa de Campo betreten zu dürfen brauchst Du eine Genehmigung. Das macht diesen Strand natürlich nochmal etwas exklusiver und besonders. Die Vorteile von Playa Minitas als Privatstrand und Teil von Casa de Campo liegen natürlich auf der Hand:

  • Nicht jeder kann diesen Strand betreten
  • Der Strandabschnitt ist mit Rettungsschwimmern und zusätzlichen Sicherheitskräften ausgestattet
  • Weniger Lärm, keine Strandverkäufer, bessere sanitäre Anlagen

Aber der für mich offensichtlichste Vorzug von Playa Minitas ist die Ordentlichkeit von Playa Minitas. Im Vergleich zu vielen anderen Stränden in der Dominikanischen Republik findest Du dort keinen wild entsorgten Plastikmüll. Immer wenn ich öffentliche Strände in der Dom Rep besucht habe, ließen viel zu viele sorglose Menschen viel zu viel Müll zurück.



Of course, a prestigious resort like Casa de Campo can’t afford any flaws and deficiencies on their premises. The beach was very clean and organized. I loved their dedication to supporting a clean environment!

Wer Sand zwischen den Zehen nicht mag, kann auf eine gute Alternative zurückgreifen. Ein paar Meter vom Ufer entfernt befindet sich ein Pool. Großartig für alle Leute, die kein Salzwasser mögen und lieber ihre Bahnen ziehen.


Playa Minitas in the Dominican Republic (10)
Der Swimming Pool am Minitas Beach Club & Restaurant


Wie ich bereits zuvor schrieb, war dieser Strand einer der angenehmsten, die ich in der Dominikanischen Republik gesehen habe. Es war ruhig dort, wenig lärmende Leute und einfach diese Art Strand, wie man ihn in einem illustrierten Katalog erwarten würde. Ein echtes Paradies!



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Aus meiner Sicht wäre es der perfekte Strand für Familien mit kleinen Kindern. Die Küste am Playa Minitas war sehr flach und das sich leicht bewegende Wasser könnte ich nicht mal als Wellen bezeichnen. Ich habe immer einige Rettungsschwimmer gesehen, die die Küsten beobachtet haben. Kinder wären dort super sicher und hätten eine tolle Zeit.

Die hatte ich aber auch. Warum können nicht alle Strände wie Playa Minitas im Casa de Campo sein?


Is Macao Beach the most beautiful beach in Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic?

Dominican Republic, English

Macao Beach ranks in various ‘best beaches of the Dominican Republic’ articles always in the Top 10. That makes a curious traveler like me even more curious. How can it be, that a beach at the overcrowded east coast of the Dominican Republic is so popular and famous? I wanted to find it out myself and decided to invest a day at the weekend to go there and check the facts. Is Macao beach really the most beautiful beach on the Dominican east coast?


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Approximate reading time: 6 minutes

Why is Macao Beach better than other beaches in Punta Cana?

The major reason is, that Macao Beach is less-frequented than other beaches in Punta Cana and still maintains the laid-back vibe of a Caribbean dream beach. In comparison to many other beaches in Punta Cana, Macao Beach kept a clean and authentic scenery with finer-grained sandbanks.

But first things first: The east coast in the Dominican Republic is the most famous tourist destination in the whole Caribbean. Punta Cana acts here as THE magnet for tourism in the Dominican Republic. Tourists from all over the world are seduced with all-round carefree packages in All-Inclusive-Resorts, many thrilling or relaxing activities and plenty of beautiful beaches to spend vacations.

However, there is still this one beach on the east coast of the Dominican Republic and in close distance to Punta Cana, which always scores in these Top-beaches-rankings. That’s Macao Beach. Just about half an hour from Punta Cana and 15 minutes away from Bávaro away.



Macao Beach is less visited than other beaches in Punta Cana

When I think of Punta Cana and the east coast of the Dominican Republic, I see in my mind’s eye all the crowded beaches with the artificial paved concrete deserts and accommodations. Hordes of package tourists cannot decide if they prefer after an ample lunch to be grilled by the scorching sun at the hotel pool or rather have the same experience on a beach chair for the rest of the afternoon there.

So it is a small sensation for me that Macao Beach even makes it into all of these rankings of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic. But I wanted to find out exactly why the beach is so beautiful and popular. Right at the entrance to the beach, it becomes clear that Macao Beach has not (yet) fallen victim to mass tourism.


Macao Beach, Dominican Republic
A real beach needs character. These beach huts help to create a good and relaxing vibe around the area.

For a public beach without any major hotel chains in close proximity, Macao Beach is in a good shape. It was from an architectural perspective very well planned and the adjacent green garden elements fit the surrounding of the beach entrance.


Macao Beach, Dominican Republic
The entrance to Macao Beach looks promising and well-kept

On the right side of this picture, you can see a few beach chairs of Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana Resort to separate a private area. It has 500 rooms and is probably during high season and off Corona times very well visited. But other than that, there weren’t other accommodations near the beach. Hence all the other visitors at Macao Beach were daily visitors.

Not more than maybe 80 – 100 visitors in total visited the beach. And I went there on a Saturday, which is usually THE day in the week when Dominicans go out of the house to visit their beaches. Of course, there are fewer visitors in September 2020 during the era of Corona. But on the other hand, that doesn’t mean that I can’t have a couple of those at the beach.


Macao Beach, Dominican Republic
Getting infected by Corona drinks

Why Macao Beach is a pure Caribbean dream beach

But too much alcohol at the beach makes you not only tipsy but also dizzy and sluggish. The best thing to do against that is to walk along the beach and check out the scenery. What Macao Beach offered me was more than I expected and a natural resource in its pure beauty.



I was maybe lucky or just picked the right day in the calendar. But there weren’t many people at the beach and I made some very good photos.

There are some strong waves in the afternoon at Macao Beach. However, this condition depends on the form of the day. I was quite lucky and tried my best to literally ‘catch a wave’ with my camera.


These waves are not only good to take some goofy photos as I did. Especially water athletes with their boards would have a pretty good time at Macao Beach. No wonder, that Macao Beach is at the same time considered as one of the best destinations for surfing in the Dominican Republic.


Beach check: Macao Beach in the Dominican Republic

Did you plan to visit Macao Beach in Punta Cana? There are some things I can promise you to be excited about. On the other hand, there are also some things to consider before planning to travel to Macao Beach.

Read in the following section more about 5 reasons why a visit to Macao Beach is worth it and 5 reasons that should take into account for your travel planning to Macao Beach.

5 things I loved about Macao Beach:

  1. Macao Beach is a very clean beach and doesn’t consist of algas, seashells or garbage. I was pretty impressed by the neatness of Macao Beach and can barely remember any comparable beach in such a good shape.
Macao Beach, Dominican Republic
Macao Beach is one of the cleanest beaches I’ve seen in the Dominican Republic.
  1. Macao Beach offers good conditions for people who love water sports. If you are looking for waves, you’ll find them at this beach. There is also a famous surf school at Macao Beach called ‘Macao Surf Camp‘.
  2. Although it is a public beach, you’ll have a lot of privacy there. Just take a look at the pictures I uploaded earlier. If you walk for a couple of minutes away from the entrance you’ll be virtually alone at the beach.
  3. This relaxed vibe is very rare on the east coast of the Dominican Republic. There aren’t many quiet and serene places left around the shores of Punta Cana. You should enjoy that before this place is going to be exploited like the rest of the east coast.
  4. You like the sun, but you don’t fully love and enjoy it? Expect enough shade from offered umbrellas of the few beach bars. You’ll have to consume a couple of drinks, but nothing easier than that! If you are thrifty enough to save also a few bucks here, mother nature helps you out to not burn in the sun. The shoreside of Macao Beach is palm-lined with a lot of coconut trees who spend shade.

Macao Beach, Dominican Republic
Macao Beach on the east coast of the Dominican Republic.

5 things to consider before going to Macao Beach

Nobody’s perfect. Not even the beautiful Macao Beach on the east coast of the Dominican Republic is perfect. In fact, there are some reasons to consider before going there. Here you have 5 reasons to regard for your travel planning to Macao beach.

  1. Macao Beach has limited parking spaces. If you come by car, you probably have to park a bit outside of the official parking areas and walk some 5 – 10 minutes under the scorching sun. These parking spaces are under semi-professional surveillance. Don’t leave any valuable objects or money inside the car when you go to the beach. No one guarantees anything.
  2. Having a shower costs 50 Pesos. Not too much, but you should have change ready in your pockets. These showers aren’t private either. Remember the first picture I uploaded in this article?

Macao Beach, Dominican Republic
This shower is literally public and leaves no privacy for a visitor

  1. Public toilets exist. But I only saw two cabins there, not equipped with either toilet paper or soap. Could be very stinky after some time. Better doing one’s business at home before driving to Macao Beach.
  2. No changing booths at Macao Beach. The only privacy you can have is inside of the toilet cabins. And they are understandably not the best place to change clothes…
  3. I was there off-season during the Corona era and was pretty impressed by everything I saw. But I don’t even want to think about, how the most beautiful beach on the east coast of Punta Cana looks during high season at the weekends.

Is Macao Beach in Punta Cana the best beach on the east coast of the Dominican Republic?

I hope, that these 5 arguments for or against a visit to Macao Beach helped you out to have a better understanding. You should now know better what to expect from Macao Beach. I just can tell you, that I have had a pretty good time there.

If you still ask why, please take a look at the following picture:


Macao Beach, Dominican Republic
If you walk a few minutes, you can have Macao Beach for yourself and don’t need to share it with anyone.

Macao beach is definitely the beast beach on the east coast in the Dominican Republic. It doesn’t feel like Punta Cana and that’s the best argument for a visit. So far, I didn’t encounter any better beach on the east coast in Punta Cana. And if I ever will, I am going to write a new article about it 😎

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Dominican Republic 🇩🇴