Juan Dolio, the Dominican Republic's Casual Coastal Paradise
Updated: Aug 22
By: Alessia Sirianni
Dominican Republic's south shore is a relaxing world away from tourist hot spots Punta Cana and Puerto Plata.
Photo: Villas Del Mar beach in Juan Dolio, at Barcelo Capella Beach Resort. (all photos courtesy Barcelo Capella)
Imagine turquoise gentle waves on soft white sand. Palm trees swaying in the breeze offering just the right amount of shade and dappled sunlight. That is the Dominican Republic's south shore. Protected from heavy waves on the island's southern coast, the small towns of Juan Dolio and Bayahibe welcome visitors with a laid back attitude. Hotels here are smaller than the mega resorts of the more popular Punta Cana and Puerto Plata areas on the east and north coasts. But don't mistake smaller size for less enjoyment. What the DR's south shore lacks in room volume, it more than makes up for in charm and comfort.
The Barcelo Capella is one of the few all-inclusive resorts where the main restaurant is right on the best beach in the area.
The former fishing village of Juan Dolio is located on the Caribbean Sea and extends over a length of about 7 km along the coast just 50 km from the country's capital of Santo Domingo.
Bayahibe is the best location in the Dominican Republic for Scuba diving is a very popular tourist attraction in Bayahíbe—Bayahíbe being the best location for scuba in the Dominican Republic. There are numerous scuba diving shops scattered around the main beach that take scuba divers to the many dive sites around the area. There are over 20 official dive sites located near Bayahíbe and all are accessible from the dive boats in the area. There are three shipwrecks in the area including the Atlantic Princess, St George and Coco. Bayahíbe benefits from the crystal clear, calm waters of the Caribbean Sea which makes it perfect for many water sports including snorkeling and stand up paddle boarding.