There comes a point, during the trip to the secluded Playa Rincón, where you wonder if it’s going to be worth it. After all, you drove 4 hrs from Puerto Plata or 7 hrs from Punta Cana to the remote Samana Peninsula to make sure you didn’t miss this beach. You battled terrible roads, pot holes, blew out a tire, ran out of battery, just to get to Las Galeras, and then another 40 minutes pick-up truck ride that locals called Safari style. You turn off the main road onto a rocky dirt trail, passed through poor villages, some sketchy areas, and you get more nervous. Your butt hurts from the bumpy ride. Where are we going? What if this truck dies or blow out tires? What if these 2 locals you paid to give you a ride decided to rob you?
Then you arrive at an open beach that is 3-4 miles long, with white sands and palm trees stretching as far as you can see, and lush green mountains in the background. You have it all to yourself as there is absolutely no one on it. No development, no lifeguard, restroom, nothing. Untouched beach with waves gently lap the shores, and soft powdery sand and warm water that invites you to jump in. You have found paradise, off the beaten path paradise.
About Playa Rincon
It has been written by many travelers that Playa Rincon has been voted by Conde Nast as one of the top 10 beaches in the world (which we have yet to find the actual article). In our mind, it is in our top 10 off the beaten path beaches in the world. Playa Rincon is located about 25 km from the town of Samana, and 9 km from the town of Las Galeras. The Rincon beach is surrounded by the 600-meter cliffs of Cape Cabron, and a row of palm trees that run along the white sand and turquoise water.
At the west end of the beach is a cove with protected waters that are ideal for swimming. There is also a restaurant here. This west end is where most boats from Las Galeras will drop you at. At the east end of the beach is the Cano Frio, a small, freshwater stream that forms a natural border between the beach and the steep edge of the mountainous Cabo Cabron National Park. Next to this small stream is also a restaurant. It is where most jeep/truck excursion will drop you at. You can rent beach chairs at both ends of the beach, but why bother when all you need is a towel to lie on the soft sand.
On a busy day, you may find no more than 15 other people. Due to a hurricane that came through the night before, we were the only visitors. Currently there are no hotels or developments on the beach, likely because not many tourists made it to Samana. Go before the hotels and tourists get there.
Warning that you should not expect the beach to be clean of seaweed /trash. Like many virgin beaches, trash/seaweed do wash up and there are no one to clean it. It is as natural as you can have it. Trash and seaweed often accumulate near the Cano Frio stream on the east end. Best to spend your time in the middle of the beach where it is pristine.
Playa Rincon is simply pure paradise, not-to-be-missed if you are in the Samana Peninsula.
1. By Car – You can drive there, but the road is rough. You do risk blowing out tires, car breaking down, and being stuck with no one to help. You can get there with a standard car, but it is a big risk, and you have to go so slow that it will take you 1.5hrs. You really need a 4 wheels drive, which will take 30-40 mins. The road to Playa Rincon is 7km south of Las Galeras and clearly marked with a big sign.
2. By Excursions – You can also do an ATV excursion from Las Galeras for about USD$50/ATV. But it is a very long ride.
3. By a Local Guide – This is the option we took. There are many locals hanging along the beach trying to find customers where they can help arrange something. We met Ambriore, a very friendly local who agreed to take us on a pick-up truck for DR2000 (USD $50). He was a great host. He climbed up a coconut tree and cracked us 2 coconuts each for free. We had such a great time, and paid him and his friend a bit extra at the end. Ask for Ambriore when you are in town and he will get you anything you need. Everyone in town….really everyone knows him.
4. By Boat – You can rent services of a small boat on the beach of Las Galeras for about USD $15/person or USD $55 (DR2500) if you charter the whole boat. Prices varies depending on how many people are going to be on the boat. Standard option is a pick up at 9am from Las Galeras and a return pick up at 4pm (negotiable).
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See video of the Playa Rincon day trip below