This gorgeous beach on Sosúa Bay, renowned for its coral reefs and dive sites, is a 20-minute drive east of Puerto Plata. Here, calm waters gently lap at a shore of soft, golden sand. Swimming is delightful—except after a heavy rain, when litter floats in. But beware of sea urchins in the shallow water—beach shoes are definitely recommended—and bring your own mask and snorkel if possible. You can see mountains in the background, the cliffs that surround the bay, and seemingly miles of coastline. Snorkeling from the beach can be good, but the best spots are offshore, closer to the reefs. The beach is backed by a string of tents where hawkers push souvenirs, snacks, drinks, and water-sports equipment rentals. The weekend scene here is incredible—local families pack the beach, and the roar of Dominican fun fills the air. Alas, with the closing of the Sosua Bay Resort, the tourist presence has diminished. Don't bring valuables or leave your belongings unattended. There is a small parking area on the beach's north end near the Big Blue Dive Center, at the south end of La Puntilla Street. Amenities: food and drink; parking (free). Best for: snorkeling; swimming; walking.