- Where to Go
- The Best of the Dominican Republic
- A Nature Lover’s Dominican Trek
- The Sexiest Dominican Beaches
- Historical Dominican Road Trip
- A Dominican Culture Tour
- Carnaval and Its Masks
- Planning Your Dominican Wedding
- Dominican Adventures
- Golfing the Dominican Republic
- Dominican Music and Dance
- La Ruta del Mango
- Day-Tripping in Monte Plata
- The Best Small Resorts
Playa Cabarete is the main beach in town, and it is windsurfing and kiteboarding central. The Bahía de Cabarete is a gradual semicircular stretch that is great for people-watching. On the sand are countless bars, restaurants, and hotels from which to set up camp and witness the acrobatics of the hot shots and bless-their-hearts-for-trying beginners. It isn’t an easy surf, but it is close to ideal.
All the natural conditions that form this bay play a part in the perfection of the area for water sports. The temperature of the water is always balmy so forget the wetsuit. There is an offshore reef at the entrance to the two-kilometer-wide bay where the more experienced surfers ride, but the majority of the sea floor becomes sandy once you are in the bay itself. Combine these things with the direction of the eastern trade winds, which start blowing in around noon, and the low-lying hills behind Cabarete and you’ve got outstanding wave and beach conditions.
The western, downwind portion of Playa Cabarete is called Bozo Beach, which is named for the beginning windsurfers and kiteboarders still getting the hang of the sport who get pulled by the wind to this end of the beach.
This beach is about two kilometers west of Playa Cabarete, just past Bozo Beach, and clearly is named for the sport that it is ideally suited for. The wind is stable here, perfect for kitesurfing, since you need to have good control of your sail as the wind picks you up high into the air above the ocean. This beach can be much more populated on the days when there is a good wind. Everyone—from beginners to training professionals—finds Kite Beach the best. In fact, the conditions are so perfect that many world kitesurfing competitions have been held on this beach.
What the other beaches are to wind and kite surfers, Playa Encuentro is to regular wave surfers. Big waves, strong tides, and deep water draw crowds of surfers, especially in the morning when the water and wind conditions are prime. It’s best if you start before 7 a.m.—it gets blown out fast here. In the beginning, hang back and watch the regulars and locals for a bit to learn the etiquette of the water.
After the surfers’ prime hours are gone, the windsurfers and kiteboarders join in. The beach break at Playa Encuentro has a strong current, so watch where the locals paddle out. There are quality reef breaks to challenge you, like The Destroyer, which is fast and shallow (good for short boards); the Coco Pipe; and La Preciosa (The Precious One).
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition