Bayahibe is a lovely fishing village located on the southeastern coast of the Dominican Republic.
Founded in 1874 by Juan Brito and his family, Bayahibe went from being only a fishing community to be one of the most popular destinations in the country and in the Caribbean in general.
Despite the arrival of mass tourism, from which the village definitely benefit economy-wise, the citizens of Bayahibe decided and managed to maintain fishing as their main activity. Most local families are fishermen and own small boats that go out every day.
The south coast of the Dominican Republic overlooks the Caribbean Sea, which ensures calm, warm and crystal clear waters, as opposite to the Punta Cana area where the sea is not as flat and turquoise.
Bayahibe offers a big public beach that shares a border with the private beach of Dreams La Romana All Inclusive resort. Despite its name, this hotel is located right on the Bayahibe beach and clients can easily reach the village after a short and pleasant stroll on the sand.
The big sandy area is divided in three:
hotel private beach, Bayahibe public beach and Bayahibe main harbor – overlooked by the Marina de Guerra (the Dominican Coast Guard).
The beautiful white sandy beach is lined with palm trees as well as local restaurants, excursion companies and gift shops. The restaurants here come in handy when the beachgoers feel like snacking on some local food or drinking a delicious freshly squeezed juice. One of the favourite drinks is Coco Loco, which is simply coconut water mixed with rum – usually in the coconut itself. So refreshing!
In Bayahibe you can also find a smaller, secluded beach that not many people know of. This is our favourite beach and snorkeling spot in town. Playa Magallanes can easily be reached by walking through the village and it is located across town from the public beach, just after the baseball field where the village boys practice the Dominican Republic’s national sport.
When you reach Magallanes you will be amazed at the flat, crystal clear, turquoise waters that you will find.
Because Magallanes is such a hidden gem in Bayahibe, you will likely find yourself alone on this little corner of paradise. There are some trees and bushes that provide shade, but don’t expect to find restaurants or anything like that, so make sure you take at least some water with you. When you get hungry, you can easily reach the town center where you will find delicious restaurants, both local as well as international.
Another thing you shouldn’t forget when you go to Magallanes is to take your snorkeling gear with you! Magallanes is blessed with a gorgeous reef that starts right off the beach to the left side. We suggest you go snorkeling there at least once during your stay in Bayahibe. It is very easy, not deep (perfect for beginners) and all you have to do is follow the reef making sure you don’t go out of the bay in order to stay clear from boat traffic.
Get ready to see some amazing underwater wildlife such as Pufferfish, Moray Eels, Lobsters, Cow Fish, Parrot Fish and a variety of super colorful tropical fish. Remember to watch out for Sea Urchins (there are many that live on the rocks) and keep your eyes open for Sea Biscuits!
Things to do in Bayahibe
Bayahibe is not a massive tourism hub like Punta Cana, but they have a number of excursions and activities available for everyone.
From full day excursions to the gorgeous Saona island, to half day tours in the jungle, to activities that take place in the village itself such as guided snorkeling, horse riding, SUP and many others.
Only 5 km away from Bayahibe you will find Dominicus. This small touristic settlement is the area where, at the beginning of the 1980s, many foreign entrepreneurs started building the all inclusive resorts we have today. In Dominicus there are only five all inclusive resorts, as opposed to 60+ you can find in the Punta Cana area, but there are also many other types of accommodation such as apart-hotels and private villas.
There’s not much to see or do in Dominicus beside relaxing on the beach, walking around the promenade, browsing the gift shops, enjoying a massage or eating and drinking at the many restaurants.
Almost all the beaches in Dominicus belong to the resorts, but there are a couple of public areas where the sand is white and the sea is flat and turquoise.
Less than 20 km west of Bayahibe we find the bigger town of La Romana, famous all around the world for the luxury Casa de Campo Golf Resort, where celebrities from all over the world spend their holidays in their gorgeous houses overlooking the sea or the golf course. You can visit Casa de Campo after paying an entrance fee.
La Romana is a relatively big town where you can see the real Dominican life happening. Cars and moto-taxis crowd in the streets, along with the food carts that sell typical Dominican specialties all day long from the early morning.
In La Romana you can also visit the beautiful church and the adjacent Duarte park (El Parque, as everybody calls it not because it is the only park in town, but because it is the main one). Sometimes it feels like life in La Romana revolves around the park.
In the park you will find statues of the most popular Dominican baseball players that make this country proud and famous even abroad.
The main beach in La Romana is called Playa Minitas and it is very popular. If you want to visit it, we suggest you do it during the week, because the weekends are family days for the locals and all beaches are crowded with families having barbecues and sharing a great time.