Punta Rucia & Cayo Arena – White Beachfront:
Punta Rucia, fully known as Playa Punta Rucia, is located 67 km east of Monte Cristi. It is basically between Monte Cristi and Puerto Plata. It is blessed with a white sandy beach and a calm turquoise sea, surrounded by gliding mountains. The main starting point is Cayo Arena (Sand dune), where thousands of visitors come to swim the reefs and snorkel every day. However, Punta Rucia itself is a lovely place, having both sides covered with delightful and cozy restaurants and bars. The tranquil lagoon preserves mangrove is also an ideal site for bird watching. You can basically go to Punta Rucia beach and ask the guys there to take you to the sand dune and the mangroves. It costs less than $50USD and includes drinks and lunch as well. They make you take your water shoes or sandals off before you leave as not to take sand from the dune itself as some times the sand dune itself looks tiny compared to when I was first there. When there is a storm or hurricane the place literally disappears.
Punta Rucia, well-known as a fishing village – offers a dreamy white sand beach and adjoining mangroves northwest of Puerto Plata. From the shore and nearby bay of La Isabela, the boat headed along the shores of Cayo Arena (also known as Paradise Island), offering beginners an excellent diving experience starting at 5 meters (16 feet). Tropical fish are easy to see in the shallow turquoise waters and making it a heaven for snorkeling enthusiasts. The region has the most abundant marine life in DR, coral reefs, octopus, crabs, sashimi, sergeant, squid, angelfish, and corals and sponges that will be dangling along your feet.
Cayo Arena Day Tour:
If you ever want to visit paradise on earth, then Cayo Arena tour will give you a perfect chance! As you can see in the photo above, it I like a white sandy sand dune surrounded by blue water with your feet dug deep in the warm sand, it’s nothing less than a paradise.
Panorama view of land and sea:
A full-day Cayo Arena tour departs every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from Puerto Plata on the northwest coast of the Dominican Republic. Taking you on a 10-hour visit to paradise on an air-conditioned bus, on the picturesque outskirts, and then to a small fishing village called Punta Rucia. Along the Gulf of La Isabela, you will then take a 20-minute boat trip to Cayo Arena. After a few hours swimming and that you are then taken to the mangroves and can swim in them too then back to the beach where you departed to have a buffet lunch which usually consists fish, salad and fruit. On the sand dune you can drink rum and coke for about $65 to $85USD from Puerto Plata, however if you leave from Santo Domingo, which is quite a lot further away it costs about $50USD, not very logical right, but the groups tend to be a little bigger, so the price is usually lower and they leave mostly only on weekends.
My advice is to book these tours when you get to the Dominican Republic and pay in local currency as you will be ripped off if you buy online. Most will pay about $50 or about 2500 pesos in DR and online up to $100. You can also stay on the beach as there are many different types of accommodations available to suit all budgets. The only thing is that it is a bit out of the way and renting a car is almost a must.