Costa Dorada

Best of both worlds

Costa Dorada is an exclusive and compact resort on the Dominican Republic’s Amber Coast. It has bagged itself a chink of pristine shoreline between Playa Dorada, a popular purpose-built resort, and Puerto Plata, the region’s bustling capital. It means that you’re away from the madding crowd, but never too far from the action.

The beach

Costa Dorada’s Blue Flag beach curls around the bay of Cayo Negro. Its golden sands keep going for miles in both directions, so space is the last of your worries. Its family credentials are rock solid, too, with crystal clear water and a gently shelving gradient. There’s a small coral reef off-shore for snorkeling and coco palm umbrellas are dotted along the sand – it all adds up to a textbook tropical beach.

The resort

Unlike its all-singing, all-dancing neighbour, Playa Dorada, that packs in a shopping plaza, a cinema and several casinos, Costa Dorada doesn’t need to inflate its credentials. The entertainment, restaurants and bars are all hotel-based. Its diving centre, Dressel Divers, comes out top of the class on the Amber Coast. And on its front doorstep is Fun City, the biggest go-kart centre in the Caribbean, where you can burn rubber on 3 different courses.

Close to Puerto Plata

A 5-minute drive away is cosmopolitan Puerto Plata. You can visit the 16th-century San Felipe Fortress that guards the harbour, take a tour of the Brugal rum distillery, or swim with dolphins and sea lions at Ocean World theme park. And don’t forget to ride the cable car up Mount Isabel de Torres. On the summit is a wide-armed statue of Jesus, like the one in Rio de Janeiro.


Beach-friendly weather comes as standard in the Dominican Republic. On average, you can expect average temperatures in the high 20s or low 30s, plus about 300 days of sunshine a year. From June to October the mercury rises even more, but you’ll usually see the odd tropical shower, too. Humidity can be high in this part of the world – travel between November and April to avoid the worst of it. Hurricane season falls between June and September, but severe storms are pretty rare, and hotels are well equipped in any case.