The Dominican Republic has the largest number of beaches with the prestigious Blue Flag certification in Latin America and the Caribbean with 14 blue flag beach certified properties. Four properties in Punta Cana have the certification: Bahia Principe Bavaro, Barcelo Punta Cana and Iberostar. Barcelo Bavaro in Bavaro beach is also a Blue Flag Beach. There are two more in the Cabeza de Toro area: Grand Oasis Grand and Cabeza de Toro Natura Park.
In Samana, in the northeast, there are three Blue Flag beaches: Cayacoa Bahia Principe, Cayo Levantado Bahia Principe, and El Portillo Bahia Principe. In Puerto Plata, at Costa Dorada there is Grand Oasis Marien and the Iberostar hotel, both in Costa Dorada. And in Puerto Plata, there is Playa Dorada I and Playa Dorada III.
In the southeast, the Blue Flag beach is at Bayahibe’s Playa La Laguna Dominicus, the first in the Dominican Republic to receive the prestigious certification. A 15th Blue Flag beach certification had been granted to Bahia Principe San Juan resort, which was closed last year.
The main requirements for being awarded this distinction include the introduction of measures that will guarantee the correct use of local beaches by ensuring that the waters are not polluted and that there are no factors that will spoil the surrounding waters or the environment.
Another important addition is the collection of organic materials, maintaining safety standards, providing ramps for the disabled, defining swimming areas with buoys, and proper installation of bathrooms so that waste disposal does not pollute the beaches.
Also, the development of a recycling program and the implementation of an environmental department that is responsible for the proper management of the beach and coastal management.