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.

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If you are looking for things to do in Barahona, look no further. 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 province.

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

1. Quemaito Beach

This is the closest major beach to the town of Barahona, which makes it the most accessible. This 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.

coastline with blue water on Playa Quemaito or Quemaito beach ,one of the best beaches in Barahona Dominican Republic

2. 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 might be 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.

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

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.

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 fee, but 150 pesos or $3 USD for parking.

Near the parking area is a river that comes from the mountains turned into cascading pools leading up to the Caribbean sea. Though the water can be cold, it is very clear. 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.

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

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 place as it's one of the best in Barahona for swimming and relaxing.

4. Our other favourite: Playa Los Patos

Claimed to be the shortest river in the Caribbean, locals come here close to sunset when 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 lead up to 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.

smallest river leading up to the ocean in Dominican Republic surrounded by trees in Playa los patos, Barahona

Summary

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 that can be unsafe for swimming.

If you're looking for modern comforts to relax on a sandy beach in a resort, sticking with an all-inclusive elsewhere in the country is for you. 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.

Many travellers who come here also see Bahรญa de las รguilas, 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 to get here much more convenient.

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