Most of my time was spent in Cabarate, which is located along the Northern Coast of the Dominican Republic. It’s a pretty popular tourist spot so there are loads of hotels, condos and restaurants scattered along the beach. Some foreigners make their residences there; others visit often almost making it a second home.
The Kite surfing Spots
Throughout the island, the best wind season is June through August. Most of my time was spent in Cabarete, specifically Kite Beach or Bozo Beach. The latter is a bit better because the beach is much larger and has fewer obstructions in the way of coconut trees. Kite Beach on the other-hand was further from where I was staying and had a very tiny beach where a kite could be prone to crashing in the trees if you’re not careful.
I think I’ve progressed immensely since the last time I kite surfed in Langebaan, South Africa. The water in Cabarete was not as flat as Langebaan nor was the wind constant. I almost had to relearn everything because of the conditions and I think this made me better.
I brought two kites with me a 12m Liquid Force and my trusty 10m Star Kite. The Star Kite is a Dominican brand of kites so there’re in abundance in the DR except for mine because it’s from 2011. Nevertheless, I saw an 8m version of my kite parked on the beach. So for all those people from Cape Town making fun of my old Star Kite, there’s at least someone in the DR that owns one.
I carried one of my two kites to and from the beach depending on the wind conditions. My board was stored at a kite school so I didn’t have to carry that everyday. I got around with a bicycle, which I rented for $40 for the entire time I was there. This was really handy because it was really hot and walking wouldn’t be very convenient. Alternatively, I could have taken a motoconcho, but the cost of that adds up and I don’t like carrying my wallet or phone to the beach.
The town of Cabarate is small. The closest airport is Puerto Plata located about 30 minutes away by car. Cabarate only has one main street and a portion of it has shops and restaurants. One of my favorites is Gordito’s, which is a burrito shop owned by some Americans. In the afternoon some of my kite surfing buddies and I would go to Fresh Direct and get fresh fruit smoothies for about $3.
I mostly ate lunch at locally owned places, for two reasons. One it was cheap. Second, I wanted to interact with the locals to practice as much Spanish as I could. The lady running the food place was surprised that I could comprehend her when she asked for “ciento vente cinco pesos,” which was about $2.75 USD. The food was pretty good. Everyday I had rice with a choice of meat. I always got baked beans “habichuelas” to go with my meal.
Cabarete was fun. I’m glad I went and met other like-minded kite surfers. My goal was to progress in kite surfing and Spanish, which I think I’ve accomplished. Cabarete isn’t terribly far from the North East Corner of the States, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I see myself going back.