Are Punta Cana Beaches Nice (and Can You Swim and Snorkel There)?

Not only are Punta Cana beaches nice, they are the best in the country! In fact, one of Punta Cana’s beaches - Playa Bavaro is consistently ranked among the most beautiful in the world, with its soft white sands and warm seawaters drawing many visitors to swim and snorkel.
Are Punta Cana Beaches Nice
Table of Contents

With an annual average sea water temperature of 27.5 degrees Celsius, it is possible to swim the whole year round at the beaches of Punta Cana.

Active vacationers can also go snorkeling off the beaches of Punta Cana or out to the reef.

Read on for the essential guide to beach activities in Punta Cana.

What is the Nicest Beach in Punta Cana?

The nicest beach in Punta Cana is Playa Bavaro.

Located to the north of Punta Cana, Playa Bavaro offers soft white sands and warm azure waters that are perfect for swimming and sunbathing.

Along the shore, this beach stretches for several miles, which makes it ideal for going on long walks as well as people-watching.

Which All Inclusive Resort in Punta Cana Has the Best Beach?

The best beach in Punta Cana, Playa Bavaro hosts several top brand luxury chain all-inclusive resorts. These include Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro, Barcelo Bavaro Beach and the Grand Palladium Bavaro Suites Resort & Spa.

As such, travelers who chose to stay at any of these all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana will get to enjoy the most beautiful stretch of beach in the entire Dominican Republic!

What is the Sea Like in Punta Cana?

Various factors will determine the sea conditions in Punta Cana.

These are:

  • Water Temperature: Punta Cana records average annual sea water temperatures that rise to highs of 29 degrees Celsius and fall to lows of 26 degrees Celsius. Therefore, Punta Cana experiences warm sea temperatures year-round. However, July is the best month to go to Punta Cana for aquatic activities like snorkeling and scuba-diving as it offers the warmest seas.
  • Clarity: During the summer months, the ocean in Punta Cana is generally calm which makes its seawaters crystal clear. But in winter, the ocean is often rough and turbulent, which makes swimming dangerous and reduces clarity and visibility for marine activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving.
  • Seaweed: In Punta Cana, seaweed becomes particularly problematic in the summer months of July to September, as well as during the rainy season that runs between May and October. However, seaweed will appear more rarely around Punta Cana’s northern parts at any time of the year.

Does Punta Cana Have White Sand Beaches?

Yes, Punta Cana does have endless white-sand beaches that seem to go on forever.

In fact, one of its beaches known as Playa Bavaro is world-famous for having soft, white sands that are lapped by the warm, turquoise waters of the sea.

Can You Swim in the Ocean in Punta Cana?

Yes, you can swim in the ocean in Punta Cana. With average annual sea water temperatures of 27.5 degrees Celsius it is possible to swim throughout the year in Punta Cana.

That said, Punta Cana often experiences rough, turbulent waters in the winter months which may make swimming dangerous at this time of the year.

Is the Sea Warm in Punta Cana?

Yes, the sea is warm year-round in Punta Cana.

Yearly sea water temperatures in Punta Cana average at 27.5 degrees Celsius, which means that you can swim all year round in Punta Cana.

In fact, every day is a beach day in Punta Cana!

What’s the Water Temperature in Punta Cana?

The water temperature in Punta Cana ranges from highs of 29 degrees Celsius to lows of 26 degrees Celsius. As such, Punta Cana enjoys warm sea temperatures that last throughout the year.

That said, the best time to visit Punta Cana for watersports such as snorkeling and scuba diving is from July onwards. At this time of year, visitors can enjoy warmer waters and clearer views of the coral reef and marine life.

Can You Swim in Punta Cana in January?

Yes, you can swim in Punta Cana in January.

Although January falls within the winter season in Punta Cana, it is nevertheless warm as the area enjoys a pleasantly warm climate all year-round.

As such January in Punta Cana is cool with little rainfall and less humidity, but is nevertheless warm and mostly sunny. This type of weather in the Dominican Republic is perfect for beach activities such as swimming and sunbathing.

It is also possible to swim inside the swimming pools at Punta Cana in January.

However, because the pools are not heated, you may first experience a slight chill when you get in. But after some time, the pool waters will start to feel nice and refreshing.

What Months is Seaweed Bad in Punta Cana?

Seaweed is bad in Punta Cana during the summer months of July through September, and in the rainy season which stretches from May through October.

Moreover, the amount of seaweed you find will also depend on your location in Punta Cana. This is because seaweed tends to appear much less often in the northern areas of Punta Cana.

In Punta Cana, seaweed doesn’t really accumulate on the beaches as it often washes away. As such, the amount of seaweed on Punta Cana’s coast will vary from one day to another because of ocean current activity.

Therefore on certain days you may not find any seaweed on the beach, while on other days there’ll be lots. Moreover, hotel staff often clear the seaweed daily to maintain an attractive beach.

Is Punta Cana Good for Snorkeling?

Yes. Punta Cana offers some decent snorkeling, with somewhat healthy coral in places and a good diversity of marine life including colorful fish.

Can You Snorkel Off the Beach in Punta Cana?

Yes, you can snorkel off the beach in Punta Cana.

That said, Punta Cana is not really known for good snorkeling opportunities directly off the beach. Although there is some snorkeling off the beach down by the Catalonia complex, even here it’s minimal at best.

With the exception of the sandy bottom and possibly a sting-ray or two, there isn’t much to see when you snorkel off the beach in Punta Cana.

For the best snorkeling in Punta Cana, it is recommended that you take a boat trip out to the reef for some reef snorkeling.

Is It Dangerous to Snorkel in Punta Cana?

Snorkeling safety in Punta Cana will depend on the time of year you decide to go out and snorkel.

If you go snorkeling in Punta Cana outside the winter months, you are likely to find idyllic conditions on most days with calm waters.

On the other hand, because the beaches of Punta Cana are surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, it often experiences rough, turbulent waters during the winter season.

As such, winter snorkeling in Punta Cana comes with the risk of getting trapped out at sea by strong currents.

Is the Water Clear in Punta Cana?

Clarity of the sea water in Punta Cana depends on the absence/presence of waves.

On a clear and sunny day when the Atlantic Ocean is generally calm with no waves, the waters surrounding the beaches of Punta Cana will be crystal clear.

But on a stormy, rainy day with strong waves, the waters will be rough and turbulent, thereby reducing clarity and affecting visibility for scuba diving and snorkeling.

Is the Sea Calm in Punta Cana?

The calmness of the sea in Punta Cana will depend on the time of year you visit.

Normally, the ocean in Punta Cana is very calm as the beaches are protected by both barrier and fringing reefs. As such, there are hardly any waves, which makes it safe for swimming, and offers good visibility for snorkeling and scuba-diving.

However, in winter, the ocean in Punta Cana tends to become rough and turbulent.

Is There Surf in Punta Cana?

Yes, there are two main surf spots in Punta Cana at Macao Beach and Uvero Alto.

The most famous among surfers is Macao Beach, although Uvero Alto is also a good option. Both places have surfing schools that offer lessons for beginners. Most tour operators offer excursions to these surf spots.

In terms of surf waves, the beaches of Punta Cana are known for being calm.

Wave activity here ranges from gentle swells that are suitable for beginner surfers, to lagoon-like tranquility with the sand sloping easily to enable you to walk a long distance before getting in over your head.

Can You Rent Jet Skis in Punta Cana?

No, you cannot rent jet skis in Punta Cana.

Since 2004, Jet Ski rentals have been restricted within the major tourism areas of the Dominican Republic such as Punta Cana, Bavaro, Bayahibe, Samana, La Romana, Puerto Plata, Sosua, Playa Dorada and Cabarete.

Jet Ski rentals were banned on the eastern shores of the Dominican Republic because of the dangers they pose to swimmers.

The only Jet Skis found along the eastern coastline of the island are the private ones over by the marina, which are used responsibly and not rented out to guests.

Are There Sharks in the Punta Cana area?

Yes, many species of sharks are present in the waters around Punta Cana.

Still there’s no cause for worry that your holiday in Punta Cana will be ruined by sharks.

This is because cases of shark attacks are very rare in the Dominican Republic. In fact, during the last sixty years, only four shark attacks have been recorded in the whole country.

Why Are There No Sharks in Punta Cana?

There are no sharks in Punta Cana because the beaches in Punta Cana are surrounded by both fringing and barrier reefs and cut-off from the open ocean by a rocky submerged offshore bank.

Nearer to the beach it is shallow and all sandy with little fish if any for the large sharks to eat.

Therefore sharks don’t typically use such areas as their hunting grounds, making them generally safe from shark attacks.

Can You Swim With Sharks in Punta Cana?

Yes, you can swim with sharks in Punta Cana.

In fact, the best place in the Dominican Republic to enjoy the exhilarating experience of swimming with sharks is in the Caribbean Sea waters off the coast of Punta Cana.

A wide range of shark swim excursions are available including the popular “Sharks and Stingrays Excursion,” which is one of the top family aquatic excursions in Punta Cana.

The ultimate marine life encounter, this tour is perfect for families of all ages out for an afternoon of snorkeling fun.

Can You Swim With Dolphins in Punta Cana?

Yes, it is possible to swim with dolphins in Punta Cana.

In fact, Punta Cana’s warm seawaters offer the best spot on the island to experience the magic of swimming with dolphins.

Punta Cana has a wide variety of dolphin swim excursions on offer, which include experiences in aquariums as well as the ocean.

Are There Jellyfish in Punta Cana?

Yes. Many different jellyfish species are found along the coastline of Punta Cana. These range from the non-stinging variety to those that result in a stinging rash.

Luckily, the most poisonous species known as the box-jelly is not found in this region. Moreover, encountering jellyfish along the beaches in Punta Cana is very rare.

This is because jellyfish are typically found:

  • Out by the reef
  • Along the cliffs where there are deep waters
  • Trapped inside the coves following heavy seas

Which Beach is Better Puerto Plata or Punta Cana?

Your choice between the beach at Puerto Plata or Punta Cana will depend on what you look for in a beach.

Puerto Plata is ideal for active vacationers who wish to engage in aquatic activities like diving, boating, parasailing and windsurfing.

But for tourists who seek a relaxing and scenic holiday at the beach, then Punta Cana is the best choice.

This is because Punta Cana boasts the best beaches in the entire country, including the world-famous Playa Bavaro with its soft white sands that seem endless and warm turquoise sea waters that are perfect for swimming.