On a recent and rare day-off from Casa de Campo events and activities, Philip and I made an escape out of Casa de Campo to a refreshingly Dominican and completly non-touristy destination – Macao, a virtually untouched beach on the Northern Coast of the Dominican Republic.  Given that Macao is located on the Northern coast and that Casa de Campo is on the Southern coast, travel time between the two (very different) locations is rather short. Leaving from Casa de Campo you head towards Bayahibe to Higuey and from there head North until you hit the ocean – it’s a coast to coast journey which will take you about an hour and is well worth it to experience a natural, beautiful Dominican beach with nothing but sand and a few shacks.

Your first sight of the beach as you come over the hill

Having never been to Macao before, Philip and I really didn’t know what to expect so at first we stopped in the first little carpark-like area we found and had a bit of a wander. We were very surprised to find not very much at all – just a surf shop, which literally only rented surf gear, which was a little disappointing as Philip and I were after a beer (it was a Sunday!)

The Surf Shack and Endless Beach

The lack of beer and food spurred us into adventure mode so we got back into the car and went off-road, following a track through the sand dunes, only to discover a much less tranquil side to this beach….we came across several make-shift ‘restaurants’ and groups of Dominicans enjoying the day with friends and family. Having driven past several of these ‘restaurants’ we ended up at the far end of the beach and decided to stop at the ‘restaurant’ there, for a beer and a bite to eat.

The ‘Restaurant’

As you can see from my photo, there is a good reason why I’m using the word restaurant in quotation marks, it was very basic, but before I say anything more it was delicious and even the service wasn’t bad – never judge a book by it’s cover! After a nice refreshing beer, we were feeling brave so we ordered a plate of tostones and a fried fish and as I said it was excellent – so good in fact that Philip wants to go back just for lunch!

Beer, fried fish and tostones: perfect Sunday beach food!

So with slightly distended stomachs (never ideal when you’re in swim wear) we took our leave from the ‘restaurant’ and headed out for a little stroll. We waded through the water around the end of the beach, where the sea was crystal clear and blue and where a courageous Dominican decided to ride his motorbike through the ocean to some of his friends hanging out on a rock. Click here to see photos of the swimming motorbike.

A rather popular stretch of beach!

So if you’ve never experienced Macao, go check it out – it’s a real Dominican experience, it’s beautiful and interesting.

Here are a few more photos: Please excuse the ones in black and white – Philip was experimenting with the settings again.