Playa Esmeralda truly is the darling beach of the Dominican Republic’s eastern region. Tucked away on the southern shores of Samana Bay, the approx. 5km long Costa Esmeralda (Esmeralda Coast) is a virgin cove among the most photogenic shorelines in the entire Caribbean. The lazy turquoise-azure waters and amber-colored sands are outlined by hundreds of coconut palms. To the south rise the Oriental mountain range and to the distant north rises the Samana peninsula. These are the sights that welcome you upon arriving at Playa Esmeralda.
The new Punta Cana – Miches Highway has made Esmeralda more accessible than ever. What was once an arduous 3 hour+ journey, from Punta Cana, is now an hour’s ride on a dual lane, modern and scenic highway. Only the journey’s final stretch is a bit bumpy. The turn off for Playa Esmeralda is located 8km east of Miches. About 4 km after passing the town of Los Hicacos, a sign on the right hand side of the road will signal the turn off for Costa Esmeralda. This is where the pavement ends. Although a 4×4 vehicle is not necessary, as there are no steep inclines, a vehicle with good ground clearance is. Many sections of the dirt road have large rocks and potholes. At the first fork in the road stay left and at the second fork in the road stay right. About 5 km into the dirt road the Esmeralda coast should come into plain view. Take the road all the way till the end when you are eventually stopped by a security guard. This is a good place to leave the vehicle as the nicest parts of the beach, with the best views, are at its most eastern point.
There are no services at Playa Esmeralda. Bring everything you need to enjoy a day at an isolated Caribbean Beach. But it’s Esmeralda’s remote location and undeveloped shores that give the beach its mystique. And now is the time to go. Club Med has already begun construction on the 350 room Club Med Miches at the cove’s far western point. Also in the works is a Four Seasons Hotel by Grupo Tropicalia. It’s become apparent that one day, Playa Esmeralda will be lined with all-inclusive resorts much like Punta Cana. But fortunately that day is not upon us just yet. Because today, Playa Esmeralda can still be enjoyed as the idealistic, remote Caribbean beach of your dreams.
Things to remember:
-A good bug repellant is highly recommended. Because of Esmeralda’s lack of development you’re basically in the jungle! Sand fleas, biting gnats and mosquitoes are common.
-If you’re visiting Esmeralda from January to March bring binoculars! This is whale season in Samana bay where thousands of humpbacks come to mate and calf. Whale sightings from the beach are not uncommon!