Macao Beach / Playa Macao - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic - Beach Guide & Resorts on the Beach

Top Rated Macao Beach Tour

Macao Beach, officially named Playa Macao gets praise for its natural beauty, remaining lush, with little development, offering visitors a great beach day with fun on the water and sand, and true Dominican-style cultural experiences.  Get ready for a fun day at the beach filled with beauty, great food, and fun adventures.

Please take a few minutes to read our guide with photos, videos, and visiting tips, complete with beachfront resorts to stay in Macao.  This guide will help you decide if this is the perfect location for your Punta Cana holiday/vacation.

Whether you stay in Macao or visit for a day, this is a place you don’t want to miss on your list of Things to do in Punta Cana.

The Landscape at Macao Beach – Punta Cana

Macao and Bavaro are the most beautiful beaches in Punta Cana, each one with its own unique landscape.  Both Bavaro and Macao continue to make it to the list of best beaches in the Caribbean.  Macao is spectacular, rugged, lush, colorful… a feast to the eyes with mesmerizing shades of blue on the water, amber tones on the sand, deep greens of a tropical forest of coconut trees that dance to the ocean breeze framing the shore… all under a bright blue sky.  The sand varies in color from golden at the north side gently mellowing to softer ivory at the south end.

Best Resorts & Hotels at Macao Beach, Punta Cana

Your visit supports hard-working locals

Macao Beach is a great place to support the local economy.  If you get to Macao Beach early, head to the southside entrance to observe fishermen arrive at the shores with the catch of the day.  Colorful fishing boats adorn the shore, a great spot for taking photos.

Palapa-covered seaside restaurants make an honest living by cooking with passion for residents and visitors, making people happy with the flavors of the freshest fish served with delicious Dominican food favorites. 

Macao Beach Accolades

Punta Cana Beach - Playa Macao - Dominican Republic

Macao Beach is consistently ranked as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. Travelers like you loved Macao so much, great reviews put this beach on the list of  Best Beaches in the Caribbean 2022, 2021 & 2020” by TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Best of the Best”.

Highlights of Macao Beach, Punta Cana Dominican Republic

You’re on vacation… allow yourself the pleasure of slowing down the pace for an hour by taking a leisure walk at Macao Beach.  Macao Beach has two sides, be sure to keep reading so you can have the experience you prefer.  

The More Natural Side of Macao

If you wish to have a more natural mellow beach experience, walk to the north side of Macao.  From the main entrance, start walking to the left.  The sounds of the ocean are melodic, the sand can be heavy to walk on where is dry, but right where the water forms into foam, it is more compact and easier to walk.  The sand on the north side is a darker golden tone, but just as beautiful. 

Best beaches in Punta Cana Dominican Republic - Playa Macao - Beach Quotes

You could walk all the way to Uvero Alto Beach, but we recommend you stop where River Maimon meets the ocean.  Once you get there, there’s a nice little beach spot where the water is shallow and you can take a quick dip on the water before returning back to the main beach at Macao.

Please keep in mind there are no lifeguards along this side, so please just enjoy a dip on the water along the edge for maximum safety.  During inclement weather never go in the water.

Beach Time & Culture

Punta Cana Beach - Macao Beach - Surfing - Dominican Republic

For a mix of nature, beach time and food cultural experience walk towards the south side of Playa Macao.  The first entry point of Macao (right across from Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana resort) has a few places to eat, and get a few drinks, this is also where you can get surfing lessons and rent boards.

Macao Beach Surfing - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

To rest, you may sit at the tables if you buy food, some places also rent lounge chairs and umbrellas.  As you sit and relax, it is entertaining to watch surfers.  If you get tempted to get on a board, just go for it and take some surfing lessons.

Playa Macao - Republica Dominicana - Best beaches in the Caribbean

You can walk all the way to the end, it feels much easier and pleasurable when you simply stop, take a break and enjoy the landscape.  The tall palm trees along the shore will give you some shade, a place to lean on and rest, and some great vacation photos to reminisce of these moments.

Best beach in Punta Cana & Caribbean - Playa Macao - Dominican Republlic

The farther entry point on the south is where most of the locals park, eat, and enjoy the water.  The south end is also the most picturesque with colorful fishing boats on the shore. 

Playa Macao - Dominican Republic / Republica Dominicana

Beautiful boulders and limestone cliff frame the end of the beach cove… 

Playa Macao - Dominican Republic

with the clearest and most shallow water at Macao Beach.  The sand at this spot is lighter, a softer ivory shade.

Crowds at Macao Beach

It gets more crowds on the weekends, so get here on a weekday if you wish to experience a more mellow scene.  To get there, drive past the center point (Dreams Resort) and park.  As you walk around some locals may come selling you souvenirs or a photo op with a parrot for a few dollars… if you don’t wish to buy anything simply say “No gracias” and keep walking.

If you long for relaxed, romantic walks on the beach during your entire stay in Punta Cana, we recommend you stay either at Playa Juanillo or Playa Blanca Beach.  Access to these beaches is through a gated resort community, keeping the beaches more exclusive to guests.

The Water & Sand At Macao Beach

The Water at Macao Beach

Punta Cana Beach - Dominican Republic - Playa Macao

The colors of the water range from cobalt and cerulean blues to cobalt aquamarine, to clear turquoise and jewel emerald green at times on the more protected cove along the cliffs on the south side of Macao.

Can you swim at Macao Beach?

Macao Beach is not the best beach in Punta Cana for those that prefer to go swimming.  Again, the water at Macao Beach is most popular for those that love surfing.  The north side of Macao has a stronger surf, the south side is best for taking a refreshing dip on the water, that’s where you’ll see most locals enjoy the beach.

During the winter months, the waves are higher and stronger, and during the summer months, the water is the calmest.

Color of the Sand 

Sand Color of Playa Macao - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The color of the sand at Macao Beach has beautiful tones from dark to light amber to soft ivory at the south end of the cove.  The color is likely due to a combination of the rich minerals of the limestone rocks, volcanic sediment from the lush land bordering the shores, and shells of the rich marine life on the waters. 

We read a few articles online stating that Macao Beach has white sand, seems like a lot of people don’t even go to the beaches they write about and continue to repeat the same wrong information they read.  

Is Macao Beach on the Atlantic Ocean or the Caribbean?

Macao Beach is near the point where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea, just like the beaches of Rincon, making Punta Cana and Puerto Rico great surfing spots in the Caribbean.

Things to Do at Macao Beach

Punta Cana, La Altagracia, Dominican Republic

We invite you to put Macao Beach on your things to do list during your visit to Punta Cana.  Some of the most popular tours in Punta Cana include a visit to Macao, take a few minutes to get acquainted with some of the activities and experiences you can enjoy at this beach.

Eat, Drink & Be Merry at Macao Beach

Fresh Fish, Cool Tropical Drinks & Colorful Creations to Take Home at Playa Macao

Punta Cana Beach - Playa Macao - Dominican Republic

Playa Macao is the best beach location in Punta Cana to savor freshly caught fish at non-touristy prices since both locals and tourists go there to eat.  Besides food, you’ll pass various kiosks selling jewelry, and paintings made by local artisans, more of them will be open on weekends.

Food at Macao Beach

Seaside restaurants prepare a variety of fish including fresh lobster, typically served with mixed rice, or rice and beans, plantains, and fritters.  Some places also sell chicken dishes.  To refresh, there are a few cool casual beach bars serving up refreshing drinks, cold coconut water straight out of the fruit, and of course ice cold Dominican beer.  The average meal is $10 per person.

ATV / Buggy Tour

Lush untouched coconut palm groves line Macao Beach, and one of the most fun ways to admire the rugged and gorgeous coastline is on an ATV / Jeep tour.  While Bavaro Beach offers many fun tours on the water, the best fun at Macao is on a board riding the waves or 4 wheels on the sand.  Macao Beach is where the very best and most highly rated tours ATV tours go, combined with other fun stops such as cenotes in the area.  See top-rated Macao Beach tours below.

Top Rated ATV / Jeep Macao Beach Tours

Surf the Waves of Macao Beach

Punta Cana Beach - Playa Macao - Dominican Republic - Surfing Beaches

Playa Macao is a surfer’s playground all year round with six surfing breaks.  The best surfing conditions are during the winter months. 

Always wanted to learn?  Head to Macao Beach, home to a few shops with friendly instructors ready to teach you safely, we recommend you book a surfing class ahead of time to secure your spot.

Top Rated Surfing Lessons – Macao Beach

Location of Playa Macao

Punta Cana - La Altagracia, Dominican Republic

Where is the Beautiful Macao Beach everyone loves?

Playa Macao Beach Map - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Location of Macao Beach

Playa Macao is a public beach located in Punta Cana, part of La Altagracia province on the east coast of the Dominican Republic.  Macao Beach is just 35 minutes from Punta Cana International Airport and about 20 minutes from Bavaro Beach.  Playa Macao borders Uvero Alto Beach to the north and Arena Gorda Beach to the south.

Access Points to Playa Macao - Punta Cana

Macao Beach is the most accessible public beach in Punta Cana where you can feel free to take a leisure walk, relax under palm trees and eat at a variety of laid-back authentic Dominican beachside restaurants.

There are two main entry points:

  • Park at the first entrance you’ll see when you arrive at Macao Beach.  This spot is where you can get surfing lessons, and board rentals.  There are a few beach bars, food kiosks, and stands selling artisan crafts.  
  • As you enter Macao Beach, keep driving towards the right, after passing the resort Dreams Macao Punta Cana, you’ll arrive at a parking lot.  There are more restaurants on this spot.  This is a scenic spot at Macao Beach along the cliff with boulders and calmer water.  This is also where you can see fishermen’s boats on the sand for taking great vacation photos. 

Getting to Playa Macao - Punta Cana

  • Rent a car for the day to enjoy the beach at your leisure, while also visiting interesting nearby places.
  • Book a tour to Macao Beach – Some of the most popular tours in Punta Cana make a stop at Macao Beach, giving you some time to take a walk, eat and enjoy the water.  Some tours offer ATV / Jeep adventure on the trails of Macao Beach, a fun activity for the whole family, couples, and groups of friends.
  • Book private transportation ahead of time of simply get a taxi at your leisure.

Resorts & Hotels at Macao Beach

Punta Cana, La Altagracia, Dominican Republic

Up until 2020, there were no accommodations at Macao Beach, it felt more like a protected nature reserve.

Many locals expressed concern for Macao Beach, afraid of losing Macao’s Beach natural allure and the freedom to access all its resources.  As more and more of the coastline of Punta Cana, particularly Bavaro Beach has been developed with all-inclusive resorts, Macao Beach remains natural with just one all-inclusive resort and one intimate luxury inn giving guests the additional pleasure of a relaxed and somewhat privileged beach escape.

Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana


Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana - Best beachfront resort at Macao Beach - Punta Cana, DR

Selectum Hacienda Punta Cana

Selectum Hacienda Punta Cana - Best hotels - Macao Beach - Small Luxury Romantic Hotel - Dominican Republic


Map - Macao Beach & Best Beachfront Resorts

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Photo Gallery - Macao Beach

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Macao Beach - Punta Cana - Beachfront Hotel - Selectum Hacienda Punta Cana

Macao Beach & Best Resorts on the Beach - Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Punta Cana Tourism   〉Punta Cana Things to Do   〉Beaches of Punta Cana   〉Macao Beach Guide & Beachfront Resorts