Cabarete Travel Guide

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Local fruit store

Local fruit store

The Caribbean's most fun place, Cabarete.  Rumor has it that Cabarete is the most cosmopolitan small town in the Western Hemisphere, because there are people from all over the world living in this small surf village.  All are drawn to the fantastic nightlife and variety of actions sports and things to do.

The primary draw is the wind and waves, popular with kiteboarders, surfers, and windsurfers.  There are good trade winds, waves, nice weather, excellent value for money, and a night life that doesn`t seem to stop.

Wind & Climate

The trade winds and seabreeze give Cabarete consistent wind almost all year round. The prevailing wind blows in an Easterly direction, affording Kite Beach perfect side-onshore conditions for kite and windsurfing.

During the months February until August the wind is almost perfect every day. In June the wind can be really strong up to 30 knots. This is also the time that all the best kiteboarders in the world amass for the PKRA world tour.

Generally the wind in the morning is calm. At around 11.00 the wind starts to build to 13 K, and is perfect for  beginners to go out practicing, or for big kites. Around 12.30  the thermal kicks in boosting the wind to 20 K + until 18.00 . At 18.00 the wind gradually dies until sundown, making for breath taking sunset sessions.

Kiteboarding in Cabarete

The kiteboarding in Cabarete is world class.  Warm water and various surf breaks, a fun crowd and an abundance of people to kite with all add to the mystique.  Adding to this are  the local kids who are often experts themselves

If you are looking for a kite school you don`t have to look very far. Cabarete boast no less than 10. Ideal conditions attract beginners from all over the world.

Kitebeach is the center focal point, and is about around 4 km from Cabarete town; it has sandy beaches and areas to launch your kite, perfect conditions and a reef 300 meters from shore. Beginners don't kite on the reef, but as a more experienced kiter it can be a lot of fun.  They are the only ones with a rescue boat should you run into difficulty.

Cabarete has several other places to go kitesurfing as well.

Next to downtown Cabarete is Bozo Beach, a  5 minute walk from Cabarete centre.  It often has a bad shore break and slightly more onshore wind, and kiting on the reef can be dangerous, as it is about 2 km out should you run into trouble.

When you are ready for big waves and proper kite surfing, go to Encuentro beach. Normally this is a wave spot for surfing,  but when the wind is on the surfers don`t head out, allowing the kiters a chace to hit the fantastic waves  This is a place for advanced kitesurfers only, but everyone should go there to try normal surfing, that is really nice.

6 km east from Cabarete is a place called La Boca. This is a river mouth with really flat water. Just be careful of any submerged obstacles and also be aware the river is very narrow.  Afterwards you can go out of the river mouth and do a long down winder back to Cabarete.

Surfing

The entire north coast of the DR is also world class surfing.  Encuentro is the focal point, with 4 breaks, 5 surf schools, rentals, board shops and tons of surfers to mingle with.  If you want less crowd, try one of the local guides who will be happy to show you some secret spots for a fee (of course!)


Getting There

Fly into Puerto Plata, POP.  This is much closer than Santiago or Santo Domingo airports.  Santiago (STI) sometimes has great flight deals with Jet Blue airlines, and from Canada westjet is great value.  Be sure to check out last minute charter flights for deals from Europe and North America. 

Easiest way from the airport to Cabarete is by taxi. Taxi will cost you $35 USD and its 20 minutes from Puerto Plata (POP) to Cabarete.  Taxi from Santiago (STI) is 80 USD one way and takes about 1.5 hours. 

Traveling in Cabarete is also no problem. Just take a Motorcycle taxi to drive you around (local name : moto conchos) They charge 10 pesos per person during day, when it`s dark they charge double price 20 pesos p.p. Taxis are the same price if you pay the taxi with 4 persons.

Other Activities

- Canyoning

-Fresh water Wakeboarding

- the Caribbeans best Skate Ramp

- Sunset Horseback riding

- World class Surfing

- Rockclimbing

- Mountain Biking in the National Park right behind

- Humpback Whale Watching (around January - March in Samana)

-Paintball

-Motocross


At Night

On the beach are several restaurants and bars, which have all kinds of meals. The nightlife is great, so go visit some bars. A lot of bars have local live music, like Pomodoro with live jazz every Thursday night.

The best places to go partying are Kahuna Bar, Onno`s, Bambu, and Lax. They stay open until early in the morning. Most bars have happy hours like Kahuna's 6 hour happy hour that runs from 3pm - 9pm everyday, where you can enjoy many inexpensive drinks.

Local drink - Cuba libre.  Also interesting is the typical drink of "Mama-juana" made from rum, wine, and honey cured with leaves and bark, its said to hold many medicinal values and is traditionally drunk after dinner.  You can buy a bottle of Mamajuana from a nice big black man on the beach, but in order to take it home thru Customs it must have rum inside, as well as the leaves....

Places to Stay:

There are many options to choose from for all budgets.  Generally, the closer to the beach the more expensive, but remember, off the beach means you have to carry all your gear to the beach!  Also, public beach access is limited.  Recently the wave of condos being built has opened up great deals on short term rooms with a kitchen.  Tourists are just starting to discover that you do not need to stay in a resort down here, as the fun is all outside the resort's walls. 



Playa Caletón
If you should have a day of wanting to be left more alone, maybe a trip to Río San Juan and the beautiful Playa Caletón could be a good idea. The beach is a tiny lagoon with beautiful white sand (of course) and quiet waters. Its not completely deserted, but normally there´s not too many people there, thus making it a relaxing contrast to the some times crowded an busy beaches of Cabarete. Furthermore, it´s practically free of salesmen and women, which, to some, may feel as a relief. If you´re lucky, some one is there to prepare one or two delicious fish dishes for you. Be sure to place the order in time though, they may have to go into town to get what you want.

It´s located at some 45 mins drive east of Cabarete, along the bumpy highway 5 (the one that passes straight through Cabarete), you arrive in the dusty and sleepy town of Rio San Juan. Once you´re there, find someone to take you to Playa Caletón, at a couple of minutes drive from the center of town.



Contributors

April 05, 2007 change by jørgenyr (2 points)

July 23, 2007 change by kitelounge (2 points)

March 11, 2005 change by giorgio

December 06, 2005 change by laureleastman

March 13, 2004 new by joosts

April 15, 2005 change by kitesurftravel

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