The Best Beaches in Barahona Dominican Republic
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The Best Beaches in Barahona Dominican Republic

Barahona Dominican Republic is a coastal province which offers some of the most incredible coastlines in the country. Located in the southwestern part of the country, this province can be reached from a three hour drive from Santo Domingo. Barahona is isolated far from large population centers and tourists, which allows for a relaxing beach getaway with pristine waters with a local flavour.

We will share with you the four most highly recommended beaches in Barahona province, with advice on how to maximize your experience. These beaches are truly some of the best in the Dominican Republic.

Best beaches in Barahona, Dominican Republic. Hidden gems and beautiful pebble beaches!

1. Barahona Dominican Republic: Quemaito Beach

This is the closest major beach to the town of Barahona, which makes it the most accessible. This picturesque beach offers stunning views of the Caribbean Sea. Quemaito Beach is known for its excellent coastline with safer swimming conditions than other beaches further along the coast. It is also a popular spot for snorkelling and diving due to its vibrant marine life. There is a small amount of free, on-site parking as well as some modest amenities including washroom, outdoor showers, and restaurants.

The beach is named after the hot pebbles and warm water that spans the shoreline - note that this beach and most others along the coast are difficult to walk on due to the rocky coast and warm rocks. We walked south away from the crowds and had a long stretch of coastline to ourselves, and several curious crabs. Truly one of the best beaches in Barahona province.

Playa Quemaito, aka Quemaito beach is certainly one of the best beaches in Barahona Dominican Republic.

2. Barahona Dominican Republic: Playa La Cienaga

There are countless secluded beaches in Barahona where you can have plenty of space to yourself, and Playa La Cienaga is no different. Its lengthy shoreline and mountainous backdrop makes the ocean views even more dramatic. We recommend La Cienaga beach if you're interested in a coastline untouched by manmade infrastructure; several kilometers of rocky shores with very few people.

There are no washrooms, showers or even parking lots by this beach. You may have to find some free parking on the side of the road of the town, which was a bit of a struggle. The waves are quite rough however we managed to put on our snorkel gear and see several tropical fish below. This beach is the most secluded and only had one other group of swimmers with us, as well as some local fishermen. It's incredibly picturesque, and for those seeking seclusion may find this the best beach in the Dominican. We found it almost too quiet.

The following two beaches in this list would be our favourites in Barahona Dominican Republic due to the scenery, amenities, and general vibe of the locations as they are popular with tourists and locals alike.

Playa La Cienaga, overlooking one of the best beaches in Barahona Dominican Republic.

3. Our Top Pick: San Rafael Beach

Known for its pristine white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters, Playa San Rafael is a beautiful and secluded beach ideal for relaxation and swimming. The beach is lined with stunning vegetation and mountains, and is absolutely one of the most picturesque spots in Barahona province. The shore is a mix of sand and small rocks, which is easier on your feet compared to other beaches in the area, however the waves are just as rough. Snorkelling and surfing is possible here with the consistent waves and clear waters.

This spot also offers numerous restaurants, washrooms and parking. No entrance fees, but 150 pesos or $3 USD for parking. Near the parking areas is a river that comes from the mountains and feeds into the Caribbean sea, which have been formed into a series of pools and waterfalls for relaxation. The midday sun becomes incredibly hot in the Dominican, so most locals will be relaxing here in the shaded cool river rather than the beach.

It's unfortunate that some bars and restaurants here are abandoned, as we could imagine this spot to be much more lively in the past and an excellent place to spend an entire day. We would still highly recommend checking out this stunning beach and river as it's one of the best in Barahona for swimming, relaxing and partying.

Balneario San Rafael; man bathing in a man-made cascading pool leading to one of the best beaches in Barahona Dominican Republic.

4. Our other favourite: Playa Los Patos

Claimed to be the shortest river in the Caribbean, locals come here close to sunset and the place comes alive. This beach is roughly an hour drive south from Barahona town, however the drive is enjoyable with beautiful views of the coastline. This beach offers several kilometers of stunning pebble shores and a mountain backdrop.

Due to the rocky coastline and strong waves that may be too dangerous to swim, the main attraction here is actually the river which feeds into the ocean. Expect music and drinks while swimming and standing in the calm and refreshingly cold river late into the evening.

There is good infrastructure at the beach, with washrooms and several restaurants nearby. There's no entrance fee for the beach, just parking which cost 100 pesos or $2 USD. If you're looking for a beach to party with the locals, or if you want to visit during the afternoon for a quiet refreshing swim in the cold river, Los Patos Beach is no doubt your best choice of beach in Barahona province.

Playa los patos, shortest river in the Dominican Republic, leading to a great beach.


To summarize, Barahona has very few resorts or tourism infrastructure, which comes with pros and cons. There's less traffic, the beaches aren't as busy and restaurant prices are affordable, however English is not widely spoken, and getting around without a rental car will be more difficult. The majority of beaches are rocky, and may have very strong waves which are unsafe for swimming.

Many travellers who come here also see Bahía de las Águilas, within Jaragua National Park, in the neighbouring province. This is known to be one of the best beaches in all of the Caribbean, let alone the Dominican, however getting here will take some planning. The road is only suitable for 4x4s and may require an overnight stay in Jaragua National Park. Alternatively you may find a boat tour much more convenient: Click Here

If you're looking for modern comforts and to relax on a sandy beach in a resort, sticking with an all-inclusive elsewhere in the country. However if you'd like a more adventurous trip away from crowds with some of the best beaches in the Dominican, Barahona might be perfect for you.

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