In a shocking development, 244 beaches in the Dominican Republic have been closed to the public, with some of the most popular tourist beaches being included in the short-term closures.
The closures are done on a case-by-case basis, with many remaining open, such as Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana. Although this is subject to change if conditions deteriorate in this area the same as elsewhere in the nation.
Why The Closures Are Necessary
The huge number of closures is thankfully just a temporary measure. The conditions at sea in the Caribbean have taken an aggressive turn, and forecasts show this continuing throughout the Easter season.
The Caribbean Sea in the Dominican Republic is extremely forgiving for most of the year, but episodes like this, where conditions become a threat to life, can arise without warning. Like any open body of water, the Caribbean Sea has an element of unpredictability.
As well as the large swells battering much of the Dominican Republic, there have been reports in some areas of increased pollution.
Although this can be worrying for travelers, the main tourism destinations in the country are expected to be free from this pollution as the areas often work under much stricter environmental measures.
The Closed Beaches
The closures are spread throughout the whole nation, with many in some of the most popular tourism destinations. The following is a list of the beach closures that may affect tourists over the Easter season.
This is the easternmost province in the Dominican Republic and is also home to the vacation powerhouse destination of Punta Cana. The following beaches in this area have been closed:
- Cabo Engaño Beach
- Macau Beach
- Hoyo Azul
- Punta del Coco Beach
In the north of the country, Puerto Plata manages to avoid many of the closures, although the Cabarete destination area of Puerto Plata has seen extensive closures.
Additionally, in Cabarete, it isn’t just beaches that have had to close, with a number of resorts exposed to the Caribbean Sea also having to shut their doors over Easter. These resorts include:
- La Hilera and El Canal
- Sozua Ocean Village
The popular and relaxed destination of Samaná has been hit with some of the most extensive closures. The area is expected to receive extreme conditions with the following beaches being closed:
- Chinguela Beach
- El Frances Beach
- El Valle Beach
- Gran Estereo Beach in Majagua
- La Cana Beach
- Chombito Beach
- Almond Beach
- Boca del Rio Beach
- Messina Beach
- El Mooron Beach
- Lanza del Norte Beach
In the southeast of the Dominican Republic, the state of Barahona is also a victim of the closures; across the state, the following important tourist beaches have been closed:
- El Cachon
- Presa Aguacate
- La Toma en Bayona
- El salto de los 3 Hermanos de Parra
- Playa San Rafael
Swimming Is Off The Table
In these conditions, swimming isn’t possible, and the above beaches have taken that a step further by closing the whole beach and not just entry to the water to be safe.
The authorities have stated that they will be posting patrols at all of these beaches to ensure no one enters the water.
While these conditions are at their worst for the next 2-3 days, the Caribbean Sea around the Dominican Republic is expected to maintain rougher than normal conditions throughout the week, with rain showers breaking up the weeks’ sun.
Furthermore, similarly extreme conditions are currently forecast for the following weekend, with Saturday the 15th and Sunday the 16th of April expecting a return of large swells and heavy rain.
It Isn’t A Vacation Buster
These forecasted conditions are far from ideal for travelers, but even with rough seas and sporadic rain, it’s possible to have a relaxing vacation.
The resorts across the Dominican Republic have fantastic amenities to keep visitors entertained when the rain does arrive. And the nature of the weather in the country means dark skies rarely last long.
Additionally, while it may be tempting to pack a sweater and scarf, they won’t be needed. A bad day in the Dominican Republic at this time of year is 79 °F (26 °C).
So, while travelers may need to take shelter at the poolside bar to avoid the rain, they’ll quickly be enjoying the sun again, and likely before they can finish their Mojito.
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