Bavaro Beach – resorts, best spots, activities and public access to Punta Cana’s main beach

Bavaro Beach is THE main beach in Punta Cana! If you are wondering how to visit it, where to stay and what to do at Bavaro Beach, this is your article not to miss. Bavaro Beach is an amazing stretch of beach in Punta Cana, with beach bars, restaurants, all-inclusive resorts, stunning beachfront apartments and exciting activities. However, even the beach, which is also called Playa Bavaro, is public, public access points are limited, so it’s good to know how to get to Bavaro Beach. This comprehensive guide (from someone who has visited the beach more than 100 times) will show you everything you need to know for your vacation in Punta Cana when visiting Bavaro Beach, incl. differences and similarities to other beaches in the area, such as Corales, Cortecito, Jellyfish and Bibijagua.

This article is about Bavaro Beach. If you are interested about further beaches in Punta Cana, check out this article about the best beaches in Punta Cana. It is also part of the Dominican Republics’ best beaches.
There is also a separate article about Macao Beach in case you are interested in this beach further north.


What is Bavaro Beach?

 Bavaro Beach, Dominican Republic, is Punta Cana’s main beach, stretching from Cabeza de Toro until Macao. Even there is no official definition and the borders to its neighboring beaches are seamless, it can easily be said that Bavaro Beach – or Playa Bavaro as it is called in Spanish – is the longest beach in the entire Punta Cana area. It is also where most of the beach action in Punta Cana is happening. If you are looking for beach clubs, local vendors, public access points and spontaneous activities, this is your beach to go to in Punta Cana.

 However, don’t imagine it to be a crowded beach. There is always something going on, people are enjoying their beach walks and locals are sitting in the sand, but as the beach is extremely long and wide, you always have more than enough space, it NEVER feels crowded.

The beach of El Cortecito with numerous bars and shops

 Depending on the exact definition of Bavaro Beach, it is between 5 and 12 miles long, with the finest sand featuring a white to golden color. The watercolors are ranging from oceanic blue to light turquoise. If you are looking for beaches with other colors, for example, the whitest beaches in Punta Cana, check out this article about the best beaches in Punta Cana.

 Furthermore, Bavaro Beach is one of the widest sections of all Punta Cana beaches. Depending on the area, it is easily more than 300 feet wide, especially between Corales and Bibijagua, lined with the all-inclusive resorts of Melía, Paradisus, Dreams Royal Beach and Secrets Royal Beach.

Travel resources

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Road-Trips & Self-Drive Tours: Info | Plan It

Where is Bavaro Beach?

 Bavaro Beach is located in Punta Cana in the east of the Dominican Republic. It is located north of Punta Cana International Airport, alongside the commercial center of Punta Cana which is called Bavaro. Bavaro Beach borders the Atlantic Ocean.

Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana at Secrets Royal Beach

Map of Bavaro Beach

Map with an overview of Bavaro Beach

Definition of Bavaro Beach

 As you can see, Bavaro Beach hasn’t any clear limits and the definition of Playa Bavaro varies.

 If you enter Playa Bavaro in Google Maps, it marks you the entire area in Bavaro which is lined by Bavaro Beach all-inclusive resorts and a few beach clubs, restaurants and beachfront apartments. It doesn’t include the long stretch of pristine beach after passing Hard Rock Punta Cana up to Macao, so the total length according to this definition is 8.5 miles.

 If you trust Wikipedia, Bavaro Beach runs all the way from Cabeza de Toro to Macao Beach, which would set it to 12 miles approximately.

The beach Arena Gorda in Punta Cana behind Hard Rock Hotel

 According to the Dominican Republic Tourist Board, Bavaro Beach is “extending 48 kilometers (30 miles) and surrounded with coral reefs, being the most developed section of this Punta Cana resort area”. While it is completely correct that Punta Canas beaches have a length of 30 miles and more, it would be exaggerated to count them all towards Bavaro Beach. Therefore, this definition is not entirely wrong, but it uses a lot of marketing creativity.

 Finally, asking the locals from Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic, there is also no clear definition of Playa Bavaro. People from Punta Cana usually only refer to the subparts of Bavaro Beach, such as Cortecito, Corales or Jellyfish. And Dominicans visiting the Punta Cana area have different imaginations of what Bavaro Beach actually is. However, a crucial definition for them is which parts are publicly accessible.

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 For this Bavaro Beach Guide, I am referring to the area between Bibijagua Beach and the beginning of Arena Blanca Beach. All recommendations here – activities, Airbnbs, beachfront apartments, hotels, beach clubs or restaurants – are located in this area which is the main stretch of Bavaro Beach in the Dominican Republic and which has several public access points (see map above and below).

Bavaro Beach at Dreams Royal Beach, one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic

Which beaches are part of Bavaro Beach (Corales, Cortecito, Jellyfish, Bibijagua)

 Depending on your point of view, Bavaro Beach is a 5-12 miles long and uninterrupted stretch of finest sand or a combination of different smaller beaches connected with each other.

 If you are looking at my post about Punta Canas’ best beaches, you see that there are different beaches such as Jellyfish Beach, Cortecito Beach or Corales Beach, which are all part of Bavaro Beach. Those are also the areas which provide all the Bavaro Beach public access points.

Bavaro Beach during seaweed season

 Bibijagua Beach, the most southeastern stretch of Playa Bavaro, can be counted towards Bavaro Beach as well.

TOP 12 Punta Cana Excursions

Isla Saona: Saona Info | Book it*
Private Saona Island Tour: Private Tour Info | Book it*
Dune buggy and ATV excursion: Buggy Info | Book it*
Punta Cana Ziplining: Zipline Info | Book it*
Party boat & booze cruise: Party Boat Info | Book it*
Best Nightlife Show: Coco Bongo Info | Book it*
Scape Park Cap Cana & Blue Lagoon: Blue Lagoon Info | Book it*
Los Haitises National Park: Los Haitises Info | Book it*
Santo Domingo: Santo Domingo Info | Book it*
Samaná (Salto El Limón & Cayo Levantado): Samaná Info | Book it*
Helicopter & airplane tours: Helicopter Info | Book it*
Whale watching (Jan-Mar only): Whale watching Info | Book it*

Looking for more inspiration? Check out the 40+ best Punta Cana tours!

Which beaches are not part of Bavaro Beach (Arena Blanca, Arena Gorda, Macao)

 Once leaving Cortecito Beach northward, you’ll reach the Arena Blanca beach section. There is no defined border if or where Bavaro Beach ends, but as there are no further public access points and no beach clubs (except Kukua Beach Club further north) or local restaurants, the scenery changes a bit as it is exclusively dominated by Punta Canas’ all-inclusive resorts.

 Therefore, the Arena Blanca and the following Arena Gorda Beach should not be considered to the immediate core of Bavaro Beach, even it is completely walkable and the beach doesn’t have any interruption, as it features 12 miles of unlimited sand from Playa Bibijagua until Playa Arena Gorda.

The beach Arena Gorda in Punta Cana behind Hard Rock Hotel

 Macao Beach, located even further north, is not part of Bavaro Beach either.

Bavaro Beach Facts

Are you looking for a few numbers and facts about Bavaro Beach? Here we go:

  • length: 5 miles (extended length with adjoining beaches: 12 miles)
  • width: up to 250 feet
  • color: white-golden
  • temperatures are varying between 66°F (coldest night in December/January) and 94°F (hottest day in July/August) (read more about the weather in Punta Cana here)
  • Punta Cana International Airport is a 25-minute ride away from Bavaro Beach
  • sometimes Bavaro Beach is also referred to as the Coco Coast because of its many palm trees
  • Playa Bavaro is public and free, you don’t need a ticket for Bavaro Beach
  • 4 public access points at Bavaro Beach
  • Bavaro Beach resorts count approx. 20 all-inclusive hotels

Interested in more Bavaro Beach facts? Just drop me a comment and I am happy to answer.

Bavaro Beach resorts

 Bavaro Beach has its fair share of all-inclusive resorts, even there are a couple of local restaurants, beach clubs or beachfront villas every now and then. This makes this Punta Cana beach particularly attractive, as there is more than just resorts.

 When strolling along this beach from the southeast to the northwest, you can find the following Bavaro Beach resorts:

  • Barceló Resort (Barceló Bávaro Palace und Barceló Bávaro Beach)
  • Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort
  • Melía Resorts (Meliá Caribe Beach Resort, Meliá Punta Cana Beach, Garden Suites by Melia and Falcon’s Resort by Melia)
  • Paradisus Palma Real
  • Dreams Royal Beach
  • Secrets Royal Beach
  • Impressive Resort (Impressive Resort and Impressive Premium Resort)
  • Vista Sol Punta Cana
  • Palladium Resort (Grand Palladium Bávaro Suites, Grand Palladium Punta Cana, Grand Palladium Palace and TRS Turquesa)

 If you are wondering what is the best all-inclusive resort at Bavaro Beach for your vacation in Punta Cana, I have a couple of recommendations for you. All resorts are different, so it pays out to know which one is suitable for each type of traveler. If you want to know more on how to pick the best all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, continue reading here.

Lunch restaurant at Paradisus Palma Real

Best Luxury Resort at Bavaro Beach:
Paradisus Palma Real

Paradisus Palma Real is your No. 1 pick if you are looking for an elegant Punta Cana vacation right at Playa Bavaro – especially now after the extensive renovations it has undergone during 2023. With its exquisite restaurants, their new destination inclusive experience with included activities outside of the resort (T&C apply), discounted tickets to newly-opened Katmandu Park Punta Cana and newly renovated rooms (which finally replaced the old outdated design of the traditional rooms) with a contemporary touch, Paradisus Palma Real is the perfect Bavaro Beach resort for an exclusive Punta Cana holiday.

Preferred Club area at Secrets Royal Beach, an adults-only all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana

Best Honeymoon Resort at Bavaro Beach:
Secrets Royal Beach

If you are looking for something special for your honeymoon in Punta Cana, why not booking a Preferred Club Room at Secrets Royal Beach. Personalized butler service, a luxury lazy river and a spectacular Preferred Club infinity pool with lounge are just some of the highlights which will make your honeymoon in Punta Cana unforgettable. You also have access to neighboring Dreams Royal Beach Punta Cana with additional pools and restaurants plus this resort is located at one of the best stretches of Bavaro Beach. It is one of the best adults-only Bavaro Beach resorts. For further information have a look at our Secrets Royal Beach review here.

Melia Caribe Beach and Melia Punta Cana, two neighboring all-inclusive resorts

Best Family Resort at Bavaro Beach:
Melía Caribe Beach

Melía Caribe Beach is the perfect family all-inclusive resort at Bavaro Beach, as it features a new waterpark, several kids-focused activities, impressive large tropical gardens, a kids club and multiple room categories suitable for families, such as 2-bedroom suites or a beachside family room with bunk beds and a sofa bed for up to 5 guests. This Bavaro Beach resort is also very affordable, so it won’t break your (family) bank. So far there isn’t a review online for this Bavaro Beach Hotel here at Punta Cana Travel Blog, however, you can check out the Melia Punta Cana review for further impressions of the area, as the beach and the tropical gardens are the same.

View from the rooftop bar to Melia Punta Cana

Best Adults-Only Resort at Bavaro Beach:
Melia Punta Cana

I don’t like to have a Melía Resort mentioned twice here in this overview of the best Bavaro Beach Resorts in Punta Cana (which is why I had TRS Turquesa* listed before), but to be honest, Melía Punta Cana Adults Only deserves its spot here. It features a completely new and unique wellness concept with many creative activities and a lot of spaces for your individual well-being plus amazing (although limited in terms of quantity) restaurants – particularly considering the moderate price for this Bavaro Beach Resort. Melia Punta Cana is a great choice when looking for an all-inclusive adults-only resort in Punta Cana.

Amazing ocean views at Lopesan Costa Bavaro Resort in Punta Cana

Best New Bavaro Beach Resort:
Lopesan Costa Bavaro

Lopesan Costa Bavaro is one of the newest additions to the Bavaro Beach resorts, right next to Barceló Bavaro Beach, and gets amazing reviews – not only from us, also from many other travelers. The property offers an attractive combination of tropical vegetation, spectacular views and endless entertainment. It also is a great Punta Cana resort for kids thanks to the water park, the ice cream shop and the flexible dining hours. Plus, if you love modern rooms with contemporary design and lots of tropical touches (our favorite rooms in Punta Cana), this resort at Bavaro Beach is your place to go. Check out the comprehensive Lopesan Costa Bavaro review for more information.

Colorful Double Room at Vista Sol, one of the many all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana

Best Budget Resort at Bavaro Beach:
Vista Sol Punta Cana

Sometimes a cheap all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana is everything you need and if it offers decent quality, it is even better. Vista Sol Punta Cana is one of these examples, located at the very center of Bavaro Beach with the public beach areas of Corales and Cortecito with its many bar, shops and restaurants in walking distance. Furthermore, Vista Sol features colorful rooms, remarkable à-la-carte restaurants (considering the price you pay for this affordable all-inclusive hotel in Punta Cana) and well-maintained common areas.

Bavaro Beach guesthouses & Airbnbs

 Even there are several Bavaro Beach public access points, there aren’t a lot of guesthouses in this area. Most of the accommodation besides all-inclusive resorts are either stunning luxury villas, amazing beachfront apartments or small Airbnb double rooms. There are a few small bed and breakfast hotels as well – we are happy to list our favorites at Bavaro Beach here.

Green Coast Beach Hotel, a small hotel right at Cortecito in Punta Cana

Small guesthouse/hotel at Bavaro Beach

It is rather a small Bavaro Beach hotel than a guesthouse, but its prime beachfront location and cozy design make it a perfect option if you are looking for an affordable stay in Punta Cana outside of the all-inclusive resorts. The Greek Boutique Hotel (formerly Green Coast Beach Hotel) also features a beach club and a restaurant right at Bavaro Beach, so you can relax perfectly at the beach.

The beautiful Bavaro Beach at TOC Beach Club

Luxury Penthouse at Bavaro Beach

This 3-bedroom luxury penthouse right at Bavaro Beach is the perfect spot for an elegant Punta Cana holiday with family or friends. The views are amazing, the décor is tastefully selected and the location is as awesome as it can get – right in front of the beach with views of the turquoise ocean from your terrace and the second-floor penthouse balcony.

The Punta Cana public beach in the area of Los Corales

Beachfront apartment at Bavaro Beach

You find tons of apartments in Punta Cana and Bavaro, but very few of them are actually at the beach. This amazing 2-bedroom apartment lets you live the Caribbean dream right at the beach. Considering the prime location it is pretty affordable and the centric location with restaurants, bars, supermarkets and beach clubs within walking distance makes it even better.

Amazing Villa Pandora right at Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana

Villa at Bavaro Beach

Surprisingly enough there are not that many beachfront villas right at the beach as most of it is lined by all-inclusive resorts. Villa Pandora is one of the few options you have if you want to reside beachfront but with walking distance to restaurants, bars and supermarkets. And it’s an amazing option, as this 4-story luxury villa with 8 bedrooms and rooftop features state-of-the-art luxury, an awesome staff and unforgettable views.

Bavaro Beach restaurants and beach clubs

 Most Bavaro Beach restaurants and beach clubs are located at or next to the 4 public access points marked on the map above: Bibijagua, Jellyfish, Corales and Cortecito. All of them are right at the beach and serve as a beach club and restaurant at the same time. Some of them are more chilled out and focus on drinks with selected food options, others are more similar to a full-service restaurant located right at the beach. Check out the following options at Bavaro Beach for some tropical beach club cocktails and casual beachfront dining in Punta Cana.

  • Nova Beach Club (Bibijagua Beach): located right at Bibijagua Beach, this newly renovated restaurant is particularly famous for lunch and a casual beachfront drink. (opening hours Nova Beach Club 2024: every day from 9 am until midnight)
  • Jellyfish (Jellyfish Beach): Jellyfish beach club and restaurant offers different levels for drinks and food at the homonymous part of Playa Bavaro. Choose between the terrace, the second floor or the beach with a wide menu. (opening hours Jellyfish Bavaro Beach 2024: every day from 10 am until 11 pm)
  • Soles Chill Out Bar (Corales): the name says it all: chill out! Even Soles does have food as well, their main attraction is their chill-out vibe with corresponding drinks. You’ll often have live DJs as well. (opening hours Soles Punta Cana 2024: every day from 9 am until midnight)
  • Zoho Beach (Corales): a full-service restaurant and beach club, conveniently located at the end of the access road to the Corales part of Bavaro Beach (opening hours Zoho Bavaro Beach 2024: every day from noon until midnight, on weekends from 9 am)
  • Mojitos Beach Club (Cortecito): a new beach club in Punta Cana, located right at Bavaro Beach in the Cortecito area. Good drinks, typical beach club food, nice vibe. (opening hours Mojitos Beach Club 2024: every day from 8.30 am until 8.30 pm, on weekends until 9 pm)
  • Onnos (Cortecito): one of the most popular bars in the Dominican Republic, which has locations in Santo Domingo, Cabarete, Casa de Campo and Punta Cana. Here at Bavaro Beach, you’ll enjoy beachfront drinks, good music and the typical Onno’s menu. Best option for a night out at a bar close to the beach. (opening hours Onnos Bavaro 2024: every day (except Mondays) from 3 pm until 2am)
A delicious mojito in a beach club at Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana

Things to do at Bavaro Beach

 Probably the main reason you are visiting Bavaro Beach is … the beach! Swimming, sunbathing, having a stroll, sipping on a cocktail – you name it. However, there are a couple of other things-to-do at Bavaro Beach, especially when you are looking for some activities. How about snorkeling, visiting the natural swimming pool or seeing Bavaro Beach from above?

An excursion by catamaran in Punta Cana

Bavaro Beach Snorkeling Tour

Punta Cana is not the best snorkeling destination in the Dominican Republic (check out this article to see why). However, if you have never snorkeled before, a catamaran cruise to one of the reefs and the natural swimming pool makes up for a pleasant morning or afternoon. Most of these snorkeling tours are starting right at Bavaro Beach.

Playa Arena Gorda in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Photo Shoot at Bavaro Beach

Especially when you are on your honeymoon in Punta Cana or would like to have some unique family memories, a photo shoot at the beach is a creative idea for an afternoon at Bavaro Beach. There are dozens of talented photographers out there, so just pick yours and book your private photo shoot at Playa Bavaro.

The one and only Isla Saona, the most popular excursion in Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic

Booze Cruise at Bavaro Beach

Do you fancy some fun, music, entertainment and (a tiny bit 😉 of) alcohol? Then you should book a Punta Cana booze cruise, where you can enjoy the turquoise ocean and the warm Caribbean waters. Try to book in advance, as tickets for this Bavaro Beach excursion are popular among travelers.

The beach of Arena Blanca in Bavaro in the area of Paradisus Resort

Parasailing at Bavaro Beach

How about seeing Playa Bavaro from the sky? Let’s head parasailing! This quick and fun Punta Cana adventure brings you up in the air so that you can see the marvelous coastline, the turquoise water and the beautiful scenery of Bavaro Beach from above.

Especially snorkeling at Bavaro Beach is a much-requested activity, even though some of the best snorkeling activities in Punta Cana start outside of Playa Bavaro. Therefore, you can either choose these amazingly-rated snorkeling excursions, for example, this one for adults* or this one for families* or you snorkel right from Bavaro Beach and check what you can explore underwater. Especially when heading towards the southeastern end or continuing to Cabeza de Toro, you might find some fish when snorkeling from the beach.

Editor’s Choice: the best experiences 2024

Most unique experience in a small group: Authentic rum tasting* (rating 4.78/5)
Best Rated Punta Cana excursion: Isla Saona Premium in small groups* (rating 4.95/5)
Most booked through Punta Cana Travel Blog: Small-Group Snorkeling* (rating 4.91/5)
Best off-the-beaten-track excursion: Montana Redonda & Costa Esmeralda* (rating 4.79/5)
Best excursion for family fun: Jungle Buggies + Zipline Combo* (rating 4.91/5)
New and trending for 2024: Evening Buggy Tour with Water Cave and Dancing*

Not the right tour for you?
Check out the 45 best Punta Cana excursions here at Punta Cana Travel Blog!

 Need further ideas on what to do? Check out the best activities and excursions in Bavaro and Punta Cana!

Bavaro Beach public access points: how to get there?

 From most all-inclusive resorts, especially in the Bavaro area, you can access Bavaro Beach walking. Alternatively, you might already stay right at Bavaro Beach, especially when you have booked hotels like Barceló, Melía, Lopesan, Impressive, Vista Sol or Palladium.

 If you stay outside of this area, you have 4 Bavaro Beach public access areas: Bibijagua, Jellyfish, Corales and Cortecito.

 If you have a rental car in Punta Cana, Bibijagua and Jellyfish are your best options as they have the biggest parking lots. Parking in Corales and Cortecito is more limited, even though you usually find a space.

 If you are arriving by public transport, Corales and Cortecito are the easiest access points. Just tell the driver you’d like to get out at either of both points and walk the remaining 2-5 minutes.

 If you would like to arrive by taxi or Uber Punta Cana, all sections at Playa Bavaro are accessible without a problem.

Punta Cana beach access points to Bavaro Beach

 As you can see on the map, you have public access to all Bavaro Beach sections from the main road (Avenida Alemania / Francia / España) running through Bavaro.

 The access for Bibijagua is between Barceló Resort and IFA Villas Bavaro / Lopesan.

 The access for Jellyfish is between Lopesan and Melía Resort.


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The author Chris in the Dominican Republic

 Corales is located between Secrets Royal Beach and Impressive Punta Cana.

 Cortecito is located between Presidential Suites by Lifestyle Vacations Club and Palladium Resort Punta Cana.

 If in doubt, just leave a comment and I am happy to help.

Bavaro Beach Seaweed

In recent years, seaweed in Punta Cana has become an issue, even though it is not a Punta Cana-specific problem, it occurs in the entire Caribbean, the US, Central America and Mexico. Also, Bavaro Beach gets its fair share of seaweed, but if you know a bit about what to expect and where to go, you still can enjoy the amazing beaches of Punta Cana.

Punta Cana’s and Bavaro Beach’ seaweed season runs from around February/March until autumn. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t see any seaweed outside of these months and this doesn’t mean that you will have seaweed every day during the seaweed season in Punta Cana.

Seaweed in Punta Cana - the sargassum problem is existing at Bavaro Beach

Basically, all resorts in Punta Cana clean their beaches daily, including all of the Bavaro Beach resorts mentioned above. Furthermore, seaweed usually arrives in batches, hence you sometimes have weeks without any new seaweed. There are also beaches in the surrounding where you can go which are usually free of seaweed, such as Macao Beach, Bayahibe or Miches.

For further information on this topic, I’d highly recommend reading the extensive Punta Cana Seaweed Guide here on Punta Cana Travel Blog, where we have explained the whole subject thoroughly and shared all our experiences with the sargassum at Bavaro Beach and Punta Cana from the recent years.

And always remember, the sargassum is a mostly new phenomena and nobody knows how the seaweed will be at Bavaro Beach 2024. Weather conditions always can change

Comparison of Punta Canas beaches

Punta Cana has a lot of different beaches and sometimes it is hard to know which one is the right one for you.
In general, Bavaro Beach ticks a lot of boxes, it is not without a reason one of the best beaches in Punta Cana. However, you might look at some accommodation or an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana which is on another beach and would like to know how it does compare to Playa Bavaro. Check out the following sections to see which one of the beaches in Punta Cana is the right one for you.

Juanillo Beach vs. Bavaro Beach

Juanillo Beach is located in Cap Cana in the south of Punta Cana. It is a picture-perfect white-sand beach with very shallow and turquoise water, which makes it one of the most photogenic beaches in Punta Cana. However, the beach is not as perfect for swimming as Bavaro Beach and there is just one small beach club (which is also pretty expensive). When comparing Juanillo Beach vs. Bavaro Beach, Juanillo is also considerably shorter, after 3 minutes of walking you have explored it all.

Recently, a couple of new hotels were opened at Juanillo Beach, such as Margaritaville Island Reserve* and Hyatt Ziva*. Further resorts and properties are under construction.

Juanillo Beach in Cap Cana - one of the best beaches in Punta Cana 2023

Arena Gorda Beach vs. Bavaro Beach

Arena Gorda Beach officially is not a part of Bavaro Beach but can be definitely considered as its prolongation. You can walk from Bavaro Beach to Arena Gorda Beach, hence the natural character is similar. The beach is perfect for swimming, walking and counting the endless palm trees, even though Arena Gorda Beach usually is not as wide as Bavaro Beach.

Another difference when comparing Arena Gorda Beach vs. Bavaro Beach is the public access. Arena Gorda Beach doesn’t have any public access and only one beach club-style restaurant, hence it can’t compete with Bavaro Beach when it comes to bars, social vibe and locals at the beach. On the other side, if you are just looking for a Punta Cana beach as a location for your all-inclusive resort, Arena Gorda is a perfect option.

One of the best places to stay at Arena Gorda Beach is Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana.

The wonderful Arena Gorda Beach in Punta Cana, with a view of Bahia Principe and RIU Resort

Cap Cana vs. Bavaro Beach

If you are choosing accommodation options between Cap Cana and Bavaro Beach, you are basically deciding between staying in a gated community that was built out of nowhere and staying close to the center of Punta Cana, Bavaro. While the beaches in Cap Cana are beautiful without any doubt, there is absolutely nothing around, hence you can only leave your resort by rental car, taxi or when heading on one of the excursions in Punta Cana.

Another thing to consider when comparing Cap Cana vs. Bavaro Beach is that Cap Canas’ beaches are more on the shorter side, hence you can’t go on long beach walks like at Playa Bavaro. On the other side, Cap Cana offers more options when you are looking for private villas* or top-notch resorts without all-inclusive, such as Eden Roc* or Four Points by Sheraton*.

Secrets Cap Cana, a fantastic all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana

Macao Beach vs. Bavaro Beach

Macao Beach is renowned because of two things and therefore differs significantly from Bavaro Beach: it is the local favorite when they head to one of Punta Canas’ beaches during the weekend and it is the number 1 spot in Punta Cana for surfing.

Usually, the weekends are pretty busy at Playa Macao. Even though people also love to hang out at the beach clubs along Bavaro Beach, this is nothing compared to the crowds enjoying their cold beer and freshly fried fish at the several “Comedores” at Macao Beach.

Another important thing when comparing Macao Beach vs. Bavaro Beach are the water conditions. Usually, you can easily access the ocean in Macao, but you have to take care of the waves and the currents. While this always depends on the day, you are safer to stay in the shallow area or at the eastern end of the beach.

Another difference between Macao Beach and Bavaro Beach is the amount of accommodation. Dreams Macao Beach is the only all-inclusive resort in Macao and also the best and only option to stay right at the beach.

Beautiful Macao Beach in the northern part of Punta Cana

Uvero Alto Beach vs. Bavaro Beach

Uvero Alto and Bavaro Beach are already 15 miles apart, but both are still part of Punta Cana. Uvero Alto is particularly famous for its upscale Punta Cana resorts but offers a gorgeous beach as well. It is more golden than Bavaro Beach, but still offers beautiful views and particular more pristine stretches, hence you are much closer to nature than at Playa Bavaro. With around 5 miles, Uvero Alto is also one of the longer beaches in Punta Cana, even though it can’t compare with Bavaro Beach’s 12 miles.

Another important thing to note when comparing Uvero Alto Beach vs. Bavaro Beach is that the water is a bit rougher in Uvero Alto, hence you might have a red flag the one or another day, but in usual circumstances, you still can enjoy the ocean on the most days.

The best place to stay at Uvero Alto Beach is Zoetry Agua Punta Cana* or Excellence Punta Cana*. If you want to stay in Uvero Alto and are looking for a Punta Cana family resort, Grand Sirenis Punta Cana in the budget segment and The Finest Punta Cana in the upscale segment are your best choices.

The beach of Dreams Onyx Resort in Uvero Alto

Cabeza de Toro Beach vs. Bavaro Beach

Cabeza de Toro Beach is located south of Bavaro Beach and is a small agglomeration of all-inclusive resorts and a few shops. The beach here differs widely depending on where you stay. If you stay at Serenade Punta Cana or Catalonia Bavaro Beach, you can expect a beautiful beach, perfect for photos and having a beach walk. As the ocean is pretty shallow here, this area of Cabeza de Toro Beach is not as perfect for swimming as Bavaro Beach, but great for hanging out in the water with a drink.

On the other hand, if you’re staying at Sunscape Coco, Dreams Flora Punta Cana or Jewel Palm Beach, you have a wider beach with a more swimmable ocean.

Another thing important to know when checking Cabeza de Toro Beach vs. Bavaro Beach is that Cabeza de Toro hardly has any life outside of the resorts. It is a small resort town with nothing around, hence if you want to explore the local area walking during your Punta Cana vacation, the Bavaro Beach area is a better choice for you.

The gorgeous and beautiful beach section of Catalonia Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana

 What do you think of Bavaro Beach? Have you been here or are you planning to visit? Feel free to comment with your thoughts.

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The face behind Punta Cana Travel Blog: Chris


Author, Travel Coach & Punta Cana based digital nomad

Hey, I am Chris, a born and raised German, travel-addictive and Caribbean Soul. Since 2011 I have been living in the Caribbean, among them 5 years in the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana is my home-base here in the country and I’d love to tell you more about how to experience Punta Cana off-the-beaten-track and give you all the advice you want to know for your vacation in Punta Cana.

6 thoughts on “Bavaro Beach – resorts, best spots, activities and public access to Punta Cana’s main beach”

  1. Hey there Chris! Thanks for this! If staying in an apartment..are there chairs/shade around the public entrances for free? Should I bring my own? Or is paying for a seat at a beach bar or resort my only option?

    1. Hi Netta,
      no, there are no chairs/shades for free if you are not staying at an all-inclusive resort. However, you can easily get one close to the public access points of Bavaro Beach either from the beach vendors (for a fee) or at the beach clubs if you consume drinks and/or food.
      Cheers, Chris

  2. Hi Chris!

    Great blog, thank you!
    I’m wondering which resorts on Bavaro Beach have ice cream, particularly Barcelo Bavaro Beach Palace, Lopesan Costa and Vista Sol Punta Cana.


    1. Hi Rhonda,
      Lopesan Costa Bavaró definitely does have an ice cream shop (with many flavors). Vista Sol Punta Cana serves ice cream in the snack restaurant if I remember correctly. Barcelo Bavaro Beach Palace doesn’t have a separate ice cream shop as far as I know, but usually you can get ice cream at the buffet.
      Cheers, Chris

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