Jan 12, 2009
Author: Daniel Steiner
What is it about certain kiteboarding destinations that keeps you coming back year after year? Is it the epic wind, waves and flat water? Or is just the chilled-out lifestyle and seemingly endless nightlife? Whatever it is, Cabarete, Dominican Republic has it all.
If you don’t already know, Cabarete is a small, super laid back town located on the North shore about 30 minutes from the Puerto Plata International Airport. This small town has the reputation of being one of the premiere kite destinations in the world.
Whatever kind of riding conditions you are looking for, you can find it in Cabarete. If flat water is your thing, La Boca – the mouth of the Yasica River- is one of the coolest places to kite. The howling trade winds come flying over the beach into the river creating “offshore” riding conditions with some of the flattest water you can get. To get to La Boca, you can take a Taxi from town for about 500 pesos or a moto concho for about 200. Taxis and Moto Taxi drivers are well known for ripping off “gringos” so make sure you set a price before you go anywhere.
A 20-30 minute down-winder from La Boca takes you through some epic shore break to Bozo Beach. Located between Cabarete and Kite Beach, this is the most popular kiteboarding spot in Cabarete and hosts the Presidente Kiteboarding World Cup.
Kite Beach, located about five minutes from town, is surrounded by a reef break and is one of the most fun places to kite. It is a prefect place for beginners just looking to get in the waves for the first time but can also be a really advanced spot when swell is rolling in.
Finally you have Encuentro. Encuentro is a 15-20 minute down-winder from Kite Beach and offers the cleanest swell within Cabarete. In the mornings, it is home to the surfers but as soon as the wind rolls in, the surfers are “blown” out and the kiters move in.
On the no-wind days, there are a plethora of options to keep you entertained. For the adventurer, there is canyoning, scuba diving, cave exploring, cliff jumping and many different excursions to keep you busy.
For someone into extreme sports, Cabarete has it all. One of the most popular non-wind activities for kiters is wakeboarding. The wakeboard school, CabWake (CabWake.com), boasts some of the best wakeboarding conditions you can get in the Caribbean. In addition to wakeboarding, there is surfing, moto-x, skateboarding, and mountain biking. Check out ActiveCabarete.com for more info on all these sports. .
When it comes to the nightlife and the food in Cabarete, again, the options are endless. You can literally go from fancy French cuisine to Chinese, Japanese, German and Dominican inspired restaurants all within a stones throw away from each other. Some of the best and most convenient places to eat are right on the beach in the heart of town. When the restaurants close, you won’t have to move too far as they transform into the notoriously crazy nightlife.
So when you are contemplating your next kite trip, Cabarete, DR should be at the top of your list. Anyone who has ever gone there will most likely agree with me when I say it is one of the premiere kite destinations in the world, with recreation, nightlife and cuisine second to non.
10 Must Do’s
Go Wakeboarding, Cabwake.com
Do a downwinder
Visit Blue Bar – ask anyone in town, they will know where it is
Enjoy a Power Hour on the beach (Drink Specials)
Go to the Casino – free drinks mmmmmmmmm
Visit Voy-Voy on kareoke night (Tuesdays)
Bring as many pairs of flip flops as possible
Horse back riding on the beach – may sound cheesy but it’s a lot of fun
Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Closest Airport: POP, Puerto Plata
Getting there: Fly direct from Miami and New York, or take a charter flight from Canada.
Wind Resources – Cabaretewinds.com, windguru.com
Best Months – You can have wind all year round but the best months are in the summer (June, July, Aug, Sept)
Best Surf: Best surf is through the winter months
Average Kite Size: 9-12
Cost Factor : $-$$
Forecast: Wind Guru
Local knowledge: Avoid being too hungover. Some of the best surf and wind for training is in the morning. Don’t miss it. Make the most of the friendly atmosphere and speak with friendly locals (they may share their secret spots) and learn the kitesurfing etiquette so you are aware of the rules to ensure safe riding.
Internet resources: activecabarete.com , kiteboardcabarete.com , dare2fly.com , kitexcite.com , xratedkiteboarding.com , cabaretekiteboarding.com , laureleastman.com , caribbeanwinds.com , club-mistral.com