visit cabarete dominican republic

10 Reasons to Visit Cabarete

Once a minute fishing village on the Dominican Republic’s northern shores, Cabarete now stands as the extreme sports capital of the island, if not the whole Caribbean. While Cabarete is home to some of the Dominican’s most pristine beaches, it is much more than just a scenic destination from which to take in coastal views. When most travelers think of the DR, they conjure images of massive all-inclusive resorts that stick out from the coastline like an unwanted growth. Cabarete does not fit this mold.

While Cabarete is not lacking in lodging options, there is wild and untamed land to explore, isolated beaches to stroll, and of course waves to surf. Keep reading to learn 10 reasons why you need to make Cabarete, Dominican Republic your next travel destination.

1. It’s superb for beginner surfers wanting to learn to surf.

Learning to surf is tough, and if you’re not on beginner-friendly waves, it can be near impossible to progress. Fortunately for beginner surfers, Cabarete is full of fun and forgiving waves that will have you up and riding in no time. Playa Encuentro, where our boutique surf resort is located, is home to a variety of surf breaks suitable for all levels. Beginner surfers will find a picturesque beach break with a friendly sand bottom, perfect for learning.

Our surf school spends the majority of their time at Bobos, a perfect learning wave. In addition to surfing in model learning conditions at Playa Encuentro, guests at Swell Surf Camp will have the opportunity to learn from the best surf instructors on the island and participate in surf theory classes.

2. There are serious surf breaks for advanced surfers

In addition to beginner-friendly breaks, Playa Encuentro is home to some serious reef breaks that attract intermediate and advanced surfers from all over the world. Destroyers, a racing, and hollow reef break is ideal for bodyboarders and expert only surfers who are looking for doggy door exit barrels. “The left” is exactly what it sounds like, a solid left-hand reef break that turns on during winter months and provides long, clean rides.

The main peak at Encuentro has a fun left and right-hander for intermediate and advanced surfers. Coco Pipe, right next to Bobos, is a fast-breaking shallow reef break for experts only. There are even a few offshore reefs that can turn on during the right swell. So, regardless of your level of expertise, Playa Encuentro has a surf break for you.

3. You can learn to Kitesurf

While the morning in Playa Encuentro and throughout Cabarete’s coastline is perfect for surfing, the afternoons are idyllic for kiting. Cabarete’s beaches aren’t just some of the best in the country, or the Caribbean, for kiting, they rank among the best in the entire world. Kite surfers travel far and wide to get to the shores of Cabarete and showcase their talents at Kite Beach.

Fortunately for travelers looking to take up a new hobby, Cabarete is also home to some of the best kitesurf instructors in the world. Learning to kite can be dangerous, so it is important to learn from the best. Cabarete boasts a variety of kiting spots that cater to all levels. Advanced kite surfers will find the waves at the outer reefs to be a suitable challenger, while beginners will feel safe and comfortable in the calm waters of Kite Beach and La Boca.

4. It’s close to El Choco National Park

Located less than 15 minutes from the beach and the center of Cabarete, El Choco National Park gives travelers the opportunity for an unparalleled wilderness adventure. With hiking and mountain bike trails, glistening freshwater lagoons, and a labyrinth of caves to explore, El Choco National Park is a paradise for those seeking adventure. The park is home to a diverse array of species, including over 30 species of birds, lizards, and bats. Explore the park solo, or with a bilingual guide.

5. The local nightlife

Cabarete shines just as brightly during the night as its sun-soaked shores do during the day. A plethora of small, beach bars and night clubs line the waterfront and offer cocktails, live music, and all the fun a traveler could ask for. If you’re looking for a high-end night, head to Ocean World Marina to visit the variety of restaurants and entertainment options, including a casino. Start your night off with sunset drinks under the shady, palm tree adjacent bars on Cabarete beach and see where the night takes you.

6. Horseback riding along the beach has never been more fun

In Cabarete, horseback riding on the beach is taken to a whole new level at the pristine Sea Horse Ranch Equestrian Center. Go for trail rides through the jungle, explore the coastline on horseback, or even take lessons. The center offers tours on over 7-miles of trails and beaches. Advanced riders can even take lessons in jumping and other advanced equestrian activities.

7. The DR’s world-class snorkeling & diving

Situated on the northern shores of the Dominican Republic, Cabarete is ideally position for snorkeling and diving expeditions into the enchanting Caribbean Sea. Just a stone’s throw from Cabarete is the town of Sousa, where many dive and snorkeling tours operate. If you’re a first-time diver, fret not, there are plenty of programs that will get you PADI certified in just a few classes. For more advanced divers, or those looking to snorkel, many companies offer full-day or half-day expeditions.

8. It’s within reach of secluded beaches

Playa Caleton, a calm watered, crescent-shaped, secluded beach is the perfect getaway for travelers looking for a little extra relaxation. The isolated shores of Playa Caleton are surrounded by lush vegetation and rocky outcrops, many of which are carved into unique sculptures. Take a dip in the emerald green water or relax on the sandy shores, either way, you’re sure to fall in love with Playa Caleton.

9. Cabarete’s unique local food scene

While Cabarete is small compared to many travel destinations in the Dominican, its food scene is both authentic and diverse making it perfect for food-loving travelers. In Cabarete, travelers will find a diverse food scene with options from all over the world. In the mood for Mexican? Head to Gordito’s Fresh Mex, a local favorite with plans to expand all over the DR. Want something a bit more authentic?

Wilson’s at La Boca is a BBQ beach shack that serves up freshly grilled fish among other favorites. Cabarete Coffee Company serves up breakfast favorites, smoothies, and of course excellent coffee. Cabarete beach is also a hub for fine dining. Enjoy fresh seafood or steaks cooked to perfection at La Casita de Papi’s Seafood.

10. The many adventure opportunities

Cabarete may be the watersport capital of the Caribbean, but there are endless opportunities for adventure inland as well. One of the most popular activities amongst Swell Surf Camp guests—other than surfing— is canyoning through Cabarete’s nearby waterfall system.

This adrenaline-filled adventure will have you jumping off waterfalls, swimming through gorges, and exploring caves. Another popular activity among travelers in Cabarete is ziplining at Laguna Dudu. The zipline at Laguna Dudu is not your average zip line, it sends you soaring above the lagoon from the nearby cliffs before you plunge into the picturesque water.


As well as the physical and psychological benefits of surfing and the way it allows for a healthy lifestyle, you can also meet new people and forget about the stresses of life for a couple of hours. To finish our guide, we want to provide a few considerations before booking your first surf lesson!

Your height and weight aren’t important because there are various shapes and sizes of boards.

  • Don’t worry about your fitness levels right now because your stamina will improve over time.
  • Surfboards can even be custom-made, if necessary.
  • You should NEVER feel as though you’re too old to start surfing.

Don’t live life according to other people’s expectations or rules, make your own rules (perhaps not on the road, but you get the idea!). If you feel you’ll enjoy surfing and you like the sound of the many benefits we’ve discussed here today, we have three words for you; GO FOR IT!


Teaching people the sport of surfing in a safe, quick and fun way is what we specialise in at Swell Surf Camp. We have taught 1000’s of people the basics of surfing.

Age? Well the average age of a Swell client is 37, which roughly means for every 20 year old we teach the sport of surfing, we also teach a 54 year old. We have taught people well in their 60’s the sport of surfing

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Learn to surf in the Caribbean with us

Interested in changing your life to see the health benefits of learning to surf?

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Send us a message today and we’ll get you up and riding…regardless of your age!


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  • “Think of Swell as the anti-surf camp. There’s plenty of surfing, of course, but the similarities to other surf camps end there. For starters, the rooms are stylish — more boutique surf retreat than reggae-loving surfer digs. Then there are the legendary breakfasts (omelets, pancakes and crepes, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and fruit bowls). Structured surf lessons take place each morning, with an instructor alongside you and the head surf coach watching from shallow water, ready to offer learn to surf tips between riding waves. If you are serious about learning to surf, then Swell should be on top of your destination list. Highly recommended!

    Reference Source:
    [Frommer’s Travel Guides]

    Designed with the discerning surfer in mind, Swell is far from a crash pad. The spare clean lines, plush bedding, modern photographs and funky furniture say ‘boutique surf retreat’ but the pool, ping-pong and foosball tables and social vibe suggest otherwise. A huge wood communal table is the center of the hanging-out action, after all the surfing is done. Highly recommended!

    Reference Source:
    [Lonely Planet]




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