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Raphael Voue
Raphael Voue

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Nestled in the rocky shoreline of Bayahibe, the small Playa Magallanes is one of the most easy-to-reach snorkeling spots in the area. Above all, snorkelers come here to explore the caves and rock overhangs found along the coastline. It is a good place to look for groupers, moray eels, lobsters and scorpionfish, who appreciate the shelters offered by the crevices of the reef.

Smooth trunkfish
Smooth trunkfish are fairly common in Playa Magallanes.

How to get to the Playa Magallanes snorkeling spot

Playa Magallanes is located in Bayahibe, on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic. From the village, take the dirt road that runs along the coast in the direction of Dominicus. After about a 500 meters walk, you will see the small beach of Magallanes on your right.

Playa Magallanes snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling Playa Magallanes

Water entrance is from the beach.

Playa Magallanes snorkeling exploration

Playa Magallanes is less than a hundred meters long. It is edged on both sides by a rocky coastline. Near the shore is a moderately shallow area of boulders and outcrops. A little further, large areas of the reef are covered in sea fans and coral, divided by sand tongues.

Goldentail moray at Playa Magallanes
Several species of moray eels can be seen in Playa Magallanes, like this goldentail moray.

It is in rocky areas, where there are many crevices and small overhangs which are worth looking into, that snorkeling is the most enjoyable. Many species find shelter here, especially high-hat, squirrelfish, greater soapfish or small lobsters. Moray eels are also fairly common here, often seen sticking its head out a hole in the reef

In the more open areas, you will easily see foureye butterflyfish, smooth trunkfish, bluehead wrasse, blue tang and many other species that are common at Caribbean reefs. With a bit of luck, you will spot a yellow stingray or a spotted scorpionfish in the sandy areas.

Yellow stingray at Playa Magallanes
Keep and eye on flat areas, where yellow stingrays are sometimes reported.

Playa Magallanes is a well-sheltered spot, which generally has a pretty calm sea, perfect for snorkeling. Do not enter the water if the sea conditions are changing.

Restaurants and accommodation near Playa Magallanes

El Paraíso de Maritza restaurant is located just across the road. Otherwise you will find in the village of Bayahibe (500m away) a wide choice of restaurants and accommodation.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth20ft/6m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.