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 for the next few minutes. 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 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.

What is Bavaro Beach?

 Bavaro Beach 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 and Secrets Royal Beach.

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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.

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 and which has several public access points (see map above and below).

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.

The beautiful Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

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

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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 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 and The Level at Meliá Punta Cana Beach)
  • Paradisus Palma Real (Paradisus Palma Real, The Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real and The Grand Reserve at Paradisus Palma Real)
  • Dreams Royal Beach
  • Secrets Royal Beach
  • Impressive Resort (Impressive Resort and Impressive Premium Resort)
  • Vista Sol Punta Cana
  • Presidential Suites
  • 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.

The amazing all-inclusive resort Paradisus Palma Real in Punta Cana
The best luxury all-inclusive resort at Bavaro Beach

Luxury: 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. With its exquisite restaurants, free green fees at the neighboring Cocotal golf course and newly renovated beachfront Rooms Paradisus Palma Real is the perfect choice for an exclusive Punta Cana holiday.

Secrets Royal Beach, an all-inclusive resort right at Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana
The best honeymoon all-inclusive resort at Bavaro Beach

Honeymoon: Secrets Royal Beach

If you are looking for something special for your honeymoon, why not booking a Preferred Club Room at Secrets Royal Beach. Personalized butler service, a lazy river swim-up bar and a Preferred Club infinity pool are just some of the highlights which will make your honeymoon in Punta Cana unforgettable.

Melia Caribe Beach, another all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana
The best family all-inclusive resort at Bavaro Beach

Family: 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, 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.

The beach of El Cortecito with numerous bars and shops
The best adults-only all-inclusive resort at Bavaro Beach

Adults-Only: TRS Turquesa

TRS Turquesa, the top tier of Palladium Resorts in Punta Cana, is the perfect option for relaxing in an adults-only environment. It is one of the smallest Bavaro Beach hotels and therefore provides more personalized service for your Punta Cana vacation. Furthermore, you can enjoy spacious rooms and 15 restaurants throughout Palladium Resort, among them 3 exclusively at TRS Turquesa.

Colorful Double Room at Vista Sol, one of the many all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana
The best budget all-inclusive resort at Bavaro Beach

Budget: 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 Corales and Cortecito beach clubs in walking distance, colorful rooms, remarkable à-la-carte restaurants (considering the price you pay for this Bavaro Beach resort) and a well-maintained resort.

Bavaro Beach guesthouses & Airbnbs

 Even there are several public access points to Bavaro Beach, 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, but they can be counted on one hand.

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

Small hotel/guesthouse 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. 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.

A Pina Colada cocktail right at the beach in Punta Cana
  • Califorña (Bibijagua Beach): located right at Bibijagua Beach, this newly renovated restaurant is particularly famous for lunch and a casual beachfront drink
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • TOC Beach Club (Corales): One of the newest additions to the culinary scene of Bavaro Beach. Get fresh juices, light meals and delicious cocktails in this beach club with a modern design.
  • Lio Beach/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
  • Celina (Cortecito): a restaurant right at Cortecito Beach with fresh seafood and an extensive menu
  • 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.
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

Snorkeling Tour at Bavaro Beach

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. Just keep in mind that not all of these cruises are 100% Covid-19 safe.

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 adventure brings you up in the air so that you can see the marvelous coastline, the turquoise water and the beautiful scenery from above.

 

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, Lopesán, Impressive, Vista Sol or Palladium.

 If you stay outside of this area, you have 4 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, 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 can access 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.

 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

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.

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