With sugar-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and tropical forests, the town of Michès in the Dominican Republic is still a best-kept secret among locals. But, with the debut of the Michès’ first hotel, Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda, now is the perfect time to visit this still (mostly) untouched, off-the-beaten-path destination.
So, Where is Miches, Anyway?
Michès is a small, rural beach town located in the El Seibo province of the Dominican Republic (on the island’s northeast coast). The town has a population of about 30,000 people. Most residents are either farmers or fishermen.
How Far is Miches from Punta Cana?
To get to here, you’ll need to fly into Punta Cana International Airport. From there, it’s about a one-hour drive. Despite its close proximity to the bustling resort town, Michès truly feels like a world away with its unspoiled beaches, nearby mountains, and beautiful flora.
Read More: Everything to See and Do in Punta Cana
Beaches in Miches
Let’s face it: Most travelers coming to the Caribbean are in search of a warm-weather beach vacation. Unlike in Punta Cana, the beaches in Michès are pretty much untouched — which means you can enjoy turquoise waters, sugar-sand shorelines, and palm-tree shaded areas sans the crowds. Whether you’re looking to spend your day snorkeling, kayaking, paddleboarding, or simply just relaxing on the sand with plenty of space to sprawl, there’s no better place to go than Michès. Playa Costa Esmeralda (which is where Club Med is located) is a popular hotspot for tourists. Locals love Playa Nisibón because of its tranquil, crowd-free setting, and Playa Arriba is especially gorgeous with its beautiful mountain views. Other nearby beaches include Playa El Limón (a secluded, three-kilometer beach surrounded by coconut trees; in the spring, look out for sea turtles) and Playa El Morón.
Read More: The World's Best Secluded Beaches
Beyond the Beaches: Must-Do Local Attractions and Excursions
With its lush natural beauty, there’s no doubt about it: Michès is absolutely stunning. These activities and excursions are a perfect mix of fun, adventure, and, of course, epic photo ops.
- Salto Jalada, the tallest waterfall in the Dominican Republic, is a spectacular sight. It’s about a three-hour hike. If you’d rather save your energy, consider arriving via horseback.
- Embark on a fishing excursion and charter a boat from one of the local catamaran companies.
- Samaná Bay is the place to be if you love whale watching (the season runs from mid-December through late March).
- The two lagoons that make up the Redonda and Limón Lagoons Scientific Reserve (Laguna Redonda and Laguna Limón, respectively) are home to some incredible flora and fauna, including tropical birds.
- Montaña Redonda is a 1,000-foot-tall mountain that offers awe-inspiring views of the island and ocean. The mountain is home to the “Instagram Swing,” (where you can hop on and take a pic of yourself overlooking the island) attracting travelers and locals.
- If you’re up for the trek, hike one-and-a-half miles to reach El Limón waterfall (you could also do this on horseback, as well). The trail takes you through a beautiful forest where you can spot wildlife, as well. Afterwards, cool off in the freshwater pool beneath the falls.
- Take a one-hour boat tour to Cayo Levantado. This small island is home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. Spend the day soaking up the sun and enjoying the crystal-blue waters. The other half of the island is occupied by an all-inclusive hotel. Note that when large cruise ships dock off this tiny island, there may be restrictions on visits — so be sure to plan your trip ahead of time.
Where to Stay in Michès
We recently stayed at Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda, which opened in November 2019 and is the region’s first property. The family-friendly, all-inclusive resort spans 93 acres and features 335 rooms and suites, a large pool, tropical decor, exciting drinking and dining options, a spa, and a 2,000-foot private beach. Additionally, last month, AMResorts announced that they have started construction on two all-inclusive resorts in Michès: Secrets Playa Esmeralda Punta Cana and Dreams Playa Esmeralda Punta Cana.
Drinking and Dining in Miches
Avocados, oranges, mangos, and coconuts — along with locally raised cattle (like pork and beef) and fresh-caught fish — are all staples here. Some of the region’s most famous dishes include mangú (mashed plantains served with salami, eggs, and cheese), pollo guisado (a hearty chicken stew with veggies) and pastelitos (a savory pastry stuffed with meat and/or veggies). Pescado minutas (fried fish) is also popular here. Wash it all down with a glass of mavi (also spelled mabi): a tropical beverage made with fermented tree bark, sugar, fruit, and other flavors like vanilla, cinnamon, or nutmeg.