Genesis

Will come back again next year!
Perfect for beginners, casual surfers and pros alike. You get to meet amazing people that you will probably be friends with for life. The camp is clean, safe, competitively priced and just downright super chill. Cabarete has beautiful beaches and amazing surfing without the busyness/seediness of a bigger city. You can also book different activities through the camp, I recommend doing Canyoning for the more adventurous types. The staff were great, from the mechanic, the cooks, cleaners and even the quiet security guard that comes by at night. Hauli, the manager, is super sweet and will take care of whatever needs you have. And the surf instructors (Dan, Scott and Neno) are super chill and very encouraging! I’ve surfed in a bunch of camps before and this is the best yet. I Highly Recommend it!

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James G.

Ricci Swell Surf Instructor

Probably the best experience I’ve had – JUST BOOK IT DONT HESITATE
I’m a 27 y/o from London and came on my own arriving on New Years Eve for 10 nights. Words really can’t do this place justice. It was probably the best decision I’ve made in years to come here. The facilities are fantastic, all the staff are great and the food is superb.

If your a beginner, intermediate or advanced, this is a great place for you to come.

Although arriving on my own, I left with a group of friends who I’ll know for a long time.

There was a review I read saying ‘ don’t hesitate, just book it’ and I can’t agree more. It took me 20 hours to get there (last minute flight) and 30 hours back ( weather issues in New York) and it was still worth it all.

Make sure you bring some things from home to leave there as it will feel like the right thing to do when you leave.

Extra thanks to Scott and Lee/ Gee/Nee /Meemo as they’re the glue holding it all together. Stay safe and enjoy it!

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Ashley

Don’t Hesitate – Just Book!
You will have gathered from all the other gushing reviews that this is a fantastic place to visit. I found everything written about Swell on their website and in these rave reviews to be accurate… and more. My advice is stop reading and just book, you won’t be disappointed.

At the booking stage, Clare is really quick to reply and answer any questions which was so helpful. Once you arrive there is a fantastic team in place, from Haudy’s warm welcome and organisation to the super supportive, fun surf and yoga instructors and cooks producing the most delicious, fresh and healthy food (yes, breakfast is legendary!).

The place is gorgeous. It’s hard to describe the chilled out vibe but it’s my new happy place. Everywhere is super clean (and I’m fussy), from the bedrooms to the pool toilet, it’s pristine.

The beds are incredibly comfy with crisp linen. I was in a premium room but the dorms looked lovely too. Rooms are airy, bright and cleaned daily.

So what is the Swell experience? Well, it was my first solo holiday and I highly recommend going on your own. After the first five minutes you forget you arrived alone. The staff and other guests were incredibly friendly and the atmosphere is so laid back.

We were up and in the van heading to the beach at 7am every morning. The first surf session works up a real hunger and breakfast is well worth the wait. Then it’s back to the beach for second session. The surf instructors were professional and fun, they really know their stuff and work hard to get you up and riding the waves asap. I felt spoilt to have such individual attention with constant tips and adjustments helping me progress quickly. Thanks Ed, Neno and Paloma for your patience and for the laughs!

Afternoons are free and there’s optional evening yoga three times a week. Your body will thank you for doing this and the poolside location is magic. Martín’s classes were fantastic. He was dedicated and accommodating to all levels, my new guru!

As an extra trip, I got the chance to go Canyoning. Four of us went together and joined a bigger group. This is quite physical but really exhilarating. Haudy organised everything, we just had to be ready for collection!

Dinner was delicious and for the nights that it’s not provided, there are loads of options. Gordito’s Fresh Mex is a must – we got take away for our pool party! Dinner on the beach was delish too – try the frozed Banana Daiquiris in Mojito Bar!

The week flew by and I left Swell positively humming from the sun, sea, surf and pure fun. I’m hooked on surfing and genuinely can’t wait to go back and do it all again!

Thanks for a fantastic holiday Swell Gang!!!!

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Hannah

Super-cool stay!
Clare and Jim have really created a heaven on earth with Swell! Having now also read the reviews preceding ours it is difficult to add anything new. The 200 plus reviews accurately describe Swell, its atmosphere and your future stay there! My sister and I decided to stay in the dorm room-we had the whole place to ourselves the whole week however had there been 2 more people it would not have made our stay less comfortable. The whole camp and rooms look exactly like on the pictures. The place is kept very clean and the food is amazing. There is 24 hour security on site and reliable transportation by the ever-friendly Michele. Ed, Neno and Paloma were the coolest kids in town- enthusiastic and patient surf instructors, and awesome company. Haudy, the manager, was extremely helpful in organizing everything on the spot seamlessly. Molly made us feel like yoga superstars and encouraged us to challenge ourselves further. Overall, the type of people this camp appears to attract as well as the staff guarantees a one-of-a-kind fun social experience. We had never surfed before and found this camp excellent for learning to surf. Definitely planning to return!

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James

learn to kitesurf

The best!
My wife and I booked a week’s stay at Swell Surf Camp with the goal of improving our ability to surf. We knew nothing about Swell except for what we read on the Website and other internet sites, so we were not sure what exactly to expect. It turned out to be ONE OF THE GREATEST TRIPS WE EVER TOOK!! Every part of the experience was EXCEPTIONAL. The accomodations, the food, the staff, and of course the surf instruction, were all OUTSTANDING! Our surfing skills improved significantly. Ed, Paloma, and Neno are terrific instructors, and Hawdy made sure everything ran smoothly for all the guests. We met great people from all over the world. This is a MUST for anyone who likes to surf. We are already planning to return again this year. Well done Swell staff, well done!

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Petra

surf retreat

Our visit to Swell Surf Camp was everything we hoped it would be for a pair of beginner surfers. Having never been to the DR before it was nice to book ground transportation, lodging, instruction, and a majority of dining all at once. But don’t think of Swell as an “all inclusive.” It’s much more than just a gated compound that you have to feel unsafe venturing away from as the town is safe to explore. It’s a unique mix of adventure, a relaxing getaway, fantastic dining, and meeting new people. The mix however is really up to you.
The accommodations are clean and meticulously cared for. We loved having the privacy of our room and the open air social setting of the kitchen, “living room” area, and pool. This is not a place to go if you’re not looking to socialize. The breakfast and dinners are better than we expected. Fresh ingredients freshly prepared by excellent cooks are enough to bring us back again. The best mango I’ve ever had.
Haudy takes excellent care of you and is more than just a concierge and manager. She’s engages you daily to make sure things are going well and organizes details (details, timing, etc) for any other excursions beyond surfing. Honestly we just had fun hanging out with her.
Surfing for beginners? I’m sure there are other competent instruction programs but Swell stood out among the others I saw while I was there. Neno, Ed, and Paloma were a lot of fun to learn from with great attitudes and patience with students. Their philosophy about learning to surf and positive coaching styles have a consistency that allows each of them to work with you at any given time without contradicting one another. They also seemed to genuinely get along which shouldn’t be underestimated as a factor in the experience.
We really liked the 2 session format for surfing and the flexibility to skip the 2nd session after breakfast if you chose to. It was nice to work on technique, stop and rejuvenate with breakfast, then go back out for round 2 if you’re up for it. After 4 hours of surfing you were all done by 12:30 which feels like you still have the whole day in front of you to go canyoning (Matt at Kayak River Adventures is a very enthusiastic and just plain fun guide) or a variety of other activities. Or you can just chill at Swell’s pool all day!
We did a few sessions of yoga with Molly who is pretty much the most joyous and energetic yoga instructor I’ve encountered. We really enjoyed yoga at Swell and consider it a must do when we return. I like yoga but typically don’t find myself having as much fun as I did with Molly’s style.
From Swell you can walk to town and you should. Many food options (we kept finding ourselves at Fresh Fresh and Gorditos) and be ready to be solicited for everything from rides to town, jewelry, food, hair braiding, and much more. Most are pretty friendly and aren’t too persistent if you’re polite to them. It’s a beautiful Caribbean town despite some areas where there’s trash laying around and we highly recommend the 2 for 1 mojitos at the mojito bar from 4p-8p.
We’re already starting to plan our return trip. Swell is worth the repeat!

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Alex

surfing encuentro

There was never a time I didn’t feel at home at Swell. All the staff is warm, welcoming, and absolute professionals. The grounds are beautiful and immaculate. The rooms are ample sized, kept very clean, and everything works! For the social butterflies, there is plenty of space to mingle and get to know the staff and guests.
The camp is close enough to the action in town that you won’t need a cab during your stay if you want to try out the local cuisine, but just far enough that you can guarantee a good night’s sleep before your morning session. The surf instructors are amazing; super talented, knowledgeable, and patient. I should’ve put this first: The food is AMAZING! Never a bad meal. Never even a descent meal. They were all top-notch. Nobody leaves when the Swell chefs are cooking dinner, you won’t’ find a better meal. Swell made my trip to the DR hands-down my most memorable and satisfying vacations. I could stay.

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Greg & Tracey

Great people make an amazing vacation!
We just finished a week at Swell and wished we had stayed longer. We are total beginners to surfing, but met a few seasoned surfers at Swell. We were the only couple with mostly solo travellers and had a great time meeting people.

This place is special; not just for beginners to learn how to surf, but it has just the right mix. Great instructors (Neno, Lee, and Ben), great team lead by Manager Haudy, and a great atmosphere. The owners, Clare and Jeroen have put a lot of thought and care into Swell.

The brunches and dinners at Swell are amazing! And well earned after two surf lessons a day. Food around town (Gorditos, Vagamundo Waffles, and Casa di Papi on the beach) are reasonable and tasty. The camp itself is intimate, clean, and modern. Wifi in the rooms is weak, but we didn’t mind, as you could use it in the common areas, and made us more social.

One word of advice: if you want to learn how to surf and get up, make sure you do the exercises Clare will send you. If you don’t, you will probably struggle.

We have already recommended Swell to several people and hoping to make our way back soon! Book it; you won’t regret it.

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