If you’re interested in surfing in Punta Cana, you may wonder which beach will give you the best chance of catching a wave and staying safe.
Apart from the friendly Caribbean vibes, it has beautiful beaches, excellent surfing conditions, delicious food, and a variety of non-surfing activities. Furthermore, it is a haven for adventurers and active travelers alike!
One of the best surfing spots I’ve visited in the Dominican Republic is located in the resort town of Punta Cana. With its white sand beaches and rolling waves of all different levels, surfing in Punta Cana is an experience I’ll never forget.
In Punta Cana, you’ll find five popular surf spots: Macao Beach, Bavaro Beach, Esmeralda Beach, Juanillo Beach, and Uvero Alto. I’ll discuss each destination to help you make the most of your surfing trip.
Let’s dive right in!
5 Best Surfing Spots in Punta Cana
If you’re planning to surf in Punta Cana, don’t miss these excellent surfing spots:
1. Surfing in Macao Beach
Macao Beach is one of the best surfing spots in Punta Cana and across the Dominican Republic.
Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Macao Beach, or Playa Macao, as known by the locals, is a public beach located in the province of La Altagracia.
It’s often dubbed the most beautiful beach in Punta Cana, which is saying something considering that it’s surrounded by miles upon miles of jaw-dropping Caribbean seascapes. With brilliant blonde sand, clear waters, and high waves, one can’t help but marvel at the sight.
Macao Beach offers one of the giant waves in Punta Cana, sometimes reaching 7 to 15 feet tall. For this reason, Macao is a great place to surf, windsurf, and parasail.
Despite being open to the public, Macao Beach isn’t as crowded as the nearby beaches as it isn’t surrounded by hotels, food courts, and large malls. So if you’re searching for a quiet place to surf, Macao might be the place for you. Just make sure you’re not visiting during Dominican Holidays.
It’s important to note that since it’s a public beach, it only comes with a few amenities (at least not free ones). Also, there are no lifeguards on duty, so you must be extra careful when surfing alone or with young children.
2. Surfing in Bávaro Beach
Bávaro Beach is a 20-minute drive from Macao Beach. It’s the longest beach in the entire Punta Cana area, stretching from Cabeza de Toro to Macau.
Bávaro Beach is an all-inclusive beach surrounded by lush tropical forests, crystal clear waters, and soft white sand.
It’s located in the middle of the resort and tourist region of Punta Cana, so it became the main tourist beach in the area and the most famous beach in all of the Dominican Republic.
Despite popular belief, you don’t have to book a room to enter Bávaro Beach. It’s open to the public, though public spaces are limited. Because of this, it can get extremely crowded during the summer. If you’re not too into crowds, visiting in the off-season is wise.
In Bávaro Beach, there’s a surplus of exciting things to do. Some of the more popular activities include surfing, kitesurfing, and windsurfing. There’s a lifeguard on every corner, so it’s safer than Macao Beach. Plus, it’s just a couple of steps away from local vendors, beach clubs and bars, and public access points.
3. Surfing at Juanillo Beach
Juanillo Beach is a great place to visit if you’re traveling with family. It’s located towards the south end of Punta Cana, in Cap Cana. It’s a private area surrounded by 5-star luxury hotels and restaurants with cabanas and beach lounge sofas.
Juanillo Beach is open to the public, but it’s less popular than the rest of the areas on this list because the surrounding amenities are expensive. The food and the activities are pricey, as well.
However, the beach is luxurious and beautiful, with clean white sand, pristine waters, and picturesque palm trees. You won’t regret spending time here, especially with your family, as it’s away from crowds.
In Juanillo Beach, you’re given plenty of opportunities to explore crystal-clear water. Activities include surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, kiteboarding, windsurfing, and more. The waves aren’t as high as Macao’s, so it’s great for beginners and casual surfers.
4. Surfing in Uvero Alto
Uvero Alto is a beach and resort located at the northernmost point of Punta Cana. The beach is surrounded by all-inclusive, 5-star resorts, so if you’re planning to stay in the area for a while, Uvero Alto is an excellent place to start.
Uvero Alto is a bit out of the way compared to other beaches on this list. You might only know about it if you’re staying in one of the many secluded high-end resorts in the area.
The surrounding area outside the resort is relatively empty, with nowhere to shop and eat. As such, you’ll have to depend on the nearby resorts for food and amenities when visiting Uvero Alto.
The beach in Uvero Alto doesn’t have an entrance fee, so you can visit anytime. It’s one of the cleanest beaches in Punta Cana, with soft golden sand and lush, uncrowded coastlines.
Alongside Macao Beach, Uvero Alto is the most popular spot for surfing. The waters are warm with varied types of waves, high enough to surf on but low enough for it to be safe. Nearby, you’ll find exclusive surfing lessons that can be booked through the resort or directly with the establishment itself.
Other activities include horseback riding by the beach, biking, snorkeling, kayaking, and kiteboarding.
5. Surfing at Esmeralda Beach
Esmeralda Beach is another fantastic surfing destination in Miches, near Punta Cana. Locals rarely visit the area, so it has a relaxing ambiance. If you’re looking to explore non-touristic places in Punta Cana, Esmeralda Beach should be on your bucket list.
Known for its white sand and insanely blue waters, Cabeza de Toro Beach, offers diving, surfing, kitesurfing, and deep-sea fishing activities. In addition, you can easily find areas that provide surfing lessons and rentals, so you can spend a whole day in the room without carrying your equipment.
The Dominican Republic is tropical so you can visit Punta Cana any time of the year to surf. However, if you’re looking for huge waves, the best time to surf is from October through March. The winter season experiences fewer crowds and stronger winds, so you should visit then. But always keep in mind that this is near hurricane season.
In Punta Cana, you’ll enjoy warm water year-round, even as early as 6 AM. Water temperature varies from 77°F to 85°F, with an average of 83°F.
Surfing in Punta Cana is an experience you’ll never forget. With pristine waters, soft sand, and waves of all sizes, it’s a place that every surfer should visit at least once.
Macao Beach is an excellent place to start if you’re looking for huge waves. However, remember that it doesn’t come with any lifeguards or amenities.
Juanillo Beach might be right up your alley for a more relaxing, exclusive trip. The waves are low, so it’s suitable for young surfers still trying to learn.