If you are planning your vacation to the amazing country of the Dominican Republic, which sea or ocean is washed by the shores of the country – this is an important question for any tourist. Without this information, it is difficult to decide on a resort or make an optimal travel route.

From the article you will learn about:

Dominican Republic: which sea or ocean?

Let’s start in order, there will be many photos for a better perception of information. Just the facts or honest recommendations, the choice is yours.

Dominican Republic which sea or ocean
One of the many beaches in the north. Few people, many palms.

What sea or ocean in Dominicana?

If you look at the map of the country (photo below), you can see that the Dominican Republic occupies most of the island of Haiti (Hispaniola). The island itself is relatively small, only about 500 km in its widest part. But nevertheless, the country is washed immediately by water:

  • Atlantic Ocean in the north
  • Caribbean Sea – in the south
Sea or ocean in the Dominican Republic
The map of the Dominican Republic is very clear: the Atlantic Ocean in the north and the Caribbean Sea in the south

The difference between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean

This is the most important part of the article for understanding the differences between the northern waters of the Dominican Republic and the southern.

Separately, about the weather, the rainy season and other weather phenomena, read the article about the weather in the Dominican Republic.

So, now about the similarities and differences:

Water temperature

It is important to know:

Around the Dominican Republic, both in the north and in the south, skirting the entire island, the most important warm world current, the Gulf Stream, passes and forms the climate in this region.

In the Dominican Republic, summer is all year round. Therefore, the water temperature in the Caribbean and the Atlantic is almost the same. And the differences on the same sunny day are less than 1 degree.

During the coldest months of the year, the water temperature does not drop below 26 degrees Celsius. And in the hottest it rises to +31.

Therefore, if warm water is important to you, then you can safely choose any resort in the country.

Water color and waves

But there are differences in the color of the water. The Atlantic is darker and not as azure as the Caribbean Sea.

Below are two photos, one from the Atlantic Ocean, the second from the Caribbean Sea and I will note that this color of water is only on a sunny day.

Caribbean coast of the Dominican Republic
This is the Caribbean Sea near the city of Barahona – photo completely without filters
Ocean in the Dominican Republic Atlantic
And this is the Atlantic in the Bavaro area, the water is not so azure, but also amazing!

Good to know:

Big waves and the power of water are felt not only in the Atlantic Ocean in the north of the Dominican Republic, but also in the Caribbean Sea. It does not depend on the sea or ocean, but depends on the particular beach, on its location, on the depth, whether there is a reef or a breakwater that breaks the waves.

More differences between the north and south of the Dominican Republic

In fact, there are not many differences. You can see that the water temperature is similar, but the Caribbean sea is more azure, it’s just like in the Bounty advertisement.

But there is an important point that is strongly distinguished by the north and the Atlantic Ocean.

  • There are mountains in the center of the Dominican Republic, with the highest point in the entire Caribbean – Duarte Peak (3093m).
  • This mountain range holds most of the air masses that move from north to south.
  • And as a result, even in the dry season, it rains every night in the north, and in the south it may not rain for a month.
  • This had a strong effect on the flora. In the north, all the beaches, without exception, with palm trees and greenery are right over the edge.
  • In the south, there are very few palm trees, and often there are only shrubs and cactuses on the beach.

Differences in the photo below.

Coson Beach Atlantic Ocean Dominican Republic
Coson beach in the north, see how much greenery. So on every beach in the Atlantic.
South coast of Dominican Republic sea or ocean
Eagles Bay in the South. Almost all the beaches in this region have such sparse vegetation.

Snorkeling and diving in the Dominican Republic, where is it better: on the sea or in the ocean?

Of course, there is a separate article about this type of outdoor activity in our guide. The link to the article will be below.

But in short, the underwater world of the Dominican Republic was not even close to the reefs of Egypt or Maldives. In the Dominican Republic, it is more scarce. But even here, there is a place with live reefs where you can watch fish and underwater inhabitants.

Useful fact:

They often write to me whether it is possible to swim with manta rays in the Dominican Republic somewhere. The answer is no 🙂
Dominican Republic sea or ocean
Snorkeling is better in the south, but there are good spots in the north, only there are fewer of them.

In general, according to my personal observation, the best diving and snorkeling in the south of the country, near Saona Island and in the Bay of Eagles. But there are good spots in the north of the country.

Humpback whales and the Dominican Republic, where to look at the sea or ocean?

The Dominican Republic is one of the few places in the world where at certain times of the year you can meet real humpback whales near the coast.

All the detailed information and our personal experience will be in a separate article: whales in the Dominican Republic. From this article you will learn where, when, how much it costs, tips and life hacks.

But if seeing humpback whales is your dream, then when planning a trip to the Dominican Republic, you need to cast your eyes on the Samana Peninsula. Which is located in the north of the country and is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Whales in the north of the Dominican Republic are only in the ocean, they are not in the sea
Read a separate article about humpback whales, there will be more photos.

Dominican Republic: which sea or ocean to choose as a result?

Summing up all of the above, my personal opinion is that the north of the country is more suitable for recreation, it has many advantages:

  • There is much more greenery here.
  • In the north, the climate is more humid.
  • There are whales here.
  • Most of the ready-made tours are sold precisely to the northern coast of the country.

And from the advanteges of the south:

In conclusion: after reading the entire article, now you know for sure that the Dominican Republic is both a sea and an ocean. And what you choose – it depends only on your preferences. Rest there and there will be a fairy tale.

Unforgettable vacation at sea or ocean!

Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Dominican Republic

  • Flights at the best prices with discounts
  • Car rental: DiscoverCars – a largest international resource
  • Hotels and apartments:
    • Hotellook – compares hotel prices among dozens of booking platforms and offer you the best price.
    • Booking – large online booking platform.
    • Agoda – even more accommodation options in Dominican Republic.
  • Vacation packages:
    • Expedia – best deals from Europe.
    • CheapOair – cheap packages from all US cities.
  • Tours, excursions and extreme activities:
    • GetYourGuide – more than 800+ tours and water activities.
    • Viator – 3500+ tours and excursions in Dominican.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
  • Internet and Calls:
    • Airalo – eSIM with internet package.
    • Drimsim – universal SIM card (or eSIM) in any country in the world.
  • Taxi and airport transfers: Intui.Travel