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Surfing Punta Cana: where to surf in Punta Cana

Surfing Punta Cana? Are you allowed to surf at the resort? These are questions that we’re asked all the time. First of all, every resort will let you surf!

Surfing in Punta Cana isn’t dangerous for swimmers because you unfortunately have to paddle out to the reef (200-300 yards) to get any break. The beaches in Punta Cana are public, which is a good thing, you might have to walk for awhile to find a good location where the reef is a little closer and there’s a decent swell.

There is a good 250 foot long wave in front of Secrets Punta Cana Resort that has a point break and a beach break. Booking at Secrets or one of the adjacent resorts will shorten your search.

Punta Cana is famous for its “Punta Cana breeze” – unfortunately this is a killer for surfing Punta Cana. All surfers know that once the on-shore breeze turns on, the waters get too choppy and the swells and breaks disappear - surf conditions gone!

It is true that the best surfing in the Dominican Republic is on the North shore. If the only purpose for your trip is surfing – head there. Punta Cana is a better location for everything else so if your pleasures are mixed, go to Punta Cana and you’ll still be able to satisfy your love for surfing.

Punta Cana surfing excursion

Macao is about 20 minutes drive west of Bavaro beach and the best spot for surfing in Punta Cana. Your choices are to take the “gua-gua” (local buses) or to hire a taxi. You could rent a car, but it’s pricey and doesn’t really pay off for such a short trip. If you do want to take a taxi, know that it is sometimes difficult to find one for the return trip. Paying your driver a little extra to wait for you is a good idea.

Once you’re there you have a number of choices. There is a decent reef break about 1/3 of a mile out. You will see the Punta Macao as soon of you get there which is as good as surfing Punta Cana gets, but is located against a cliff which isn’t a great idea for intermediate or beginner surfers. There are miles of beach breaks on the Playa El Maco which is probably the safest choice. If the onshore breeze is howling, the Playa is your best bet – it gets choppy but tends to stay surfable.

Surfing Punta Cana Tips:

  • The resorts will always caution you from traveling anywhere unless their making money on it.
  • Traveling around the Dominican Republic and surfing in Punta Cana is safe (but can be quite a culture shock).
  • The Dominican Republic does have its fair share of crime, so just don’t do anything stupid while you're surfing in Punta Cana.
  • Don’t walk deserted beaches or surf Punta Cana by yourself and avoid walking around at night.
  • Don’t mix shopping and surfing excursions in Punta Cana – when you surf it’s best to look like you don’t have anything to steal.
  • Bring your board, a towel and sunscreen, that’s it!

  • Only bring the amount of money you need for transportation and maybe a credit card (keep them in your bathing suit).
  • Don’t bring your wallet, it should be in the safe at the hotel.
  • Having a laminated photocopy of the front page of your passport is a decent idea.