Dominican Republic

Beaches of Punta Cana

The white sand beaches of Punta Cana, the easternmost tip of the island, are among the most popular destinations in the Caribbean. Lucky for athletes, they are also great for running. Sand here is notoriously soft, but at low tide and close to the water, it can be firm enough for running (Tide Chart). Keep in mind that not all beaches are public, so take care not to run onto a private resort unless you are staying there. To help keep things straight, here is a rundown of some of the best running beaches (and how you can access them).

Playa Juanillo: Technically in Cap Cana, this funky getaway is a center of activity from sporting events to concerts. Although gated, this is a public beach. If you’re not staying at one of the resorts, simply show your ID at the Cap Cana entrance and let the guard know you’re headed to Playa Juanillo. The runnable section of beach is about ¾ of a mile (1.2 km) one-way.

Playa Juanillo Route Map

Playa Blanca: Located within the Punta Cana Resort & Club, the 26 square mile Playa Blanca is the only public beach in the “true” geographic area of Punta Cana. It’s also one of the most picturesque, with bright white sand and shallow blue lagoons. Runners not staying at the Punta Cana Resort & Club, Club Med, The Westin, or other Punta Cana beachfront properties can enter through the open air restaurant at the Punta Cana Resort & Club. From here, there is about 4.3 miles (7 km) of running between Tortuga Bay and Corales.

Playa Blanca Route Map

Playa Bavaro: Bavaro Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the DR. Although it is lined with plenty of resorts, this beach is public and can be accessed from several side streets in the Bavaro area. Runners can easily continue north through Playa Bibijagua, Los Corales, Cortecito, and the wide “fat” sands of Arena Gorda. At the northern end, it’s best to enter south of Arena Gorda, since this resort beach has limited access. However, there are about 4.4 miles (7 km) of running along the coast here.

Playa Bavaro Route Map

Playa Macao: This off the beaten track stretch of sand has a more remote, laid back vibe than other Punta Cana beaches, which makes it a relaxing spot for a run where you don’t have to dodge resort umbrellas and beach towels. In fact, this beach is resort-free and totally public — just show up and run. The sandy expanse is about 2 miles (3.2 km) long one-way.

Playa Macao Route Map
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