Cabarete Beach Guide
Learn more about the beautiful beaches of Cabarete
The Cabarete Beaches have been known to woo tourists from all over the world and turn them into expats. It seems that most visitors find it hard to leave on time…or ever. So much so, they even made a song about it! Situated on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic, Cabarete is a tiny, laid-back beach village with the heart of a lion. There are 5 main beaches within 10 minutes of each other that are sure to satisfy even the most action-hungry waterman or woman. To make sure you are in the know, we are going to outline the main beaches of Cabarete, show you a few pictures, and describe their most popular activities. We might even throw in a few maps for good measure!
And what do you know? A map! The map above shows the general vicinity of each of the 5 beaches in Cabarete. We are going to start with Cabarete Beach because that is where our condos are located, and we will move on toward the West where will end up in Encuentro Beach. Technically, Cabarete Beach and Bozo Beach are part of the larger Cabarete Bay. The Bay has a nice sandy bottom and although there is a reef, it is far away from the beach and very easy to spot and manoeuvre around if you are in the water.
When you walk out of our condos and into the backyard you will be looking out onto Cabarete Beach and will be nestled right in the centre of town. Looking both left and right, you will be within walking distance of many yummy restaurants and several boutique shops. Straight ahead just a few meters is the always warm water of the Atlantic Ocean.
Cabarete is the longest and windiest beach in the Dominican Republic. Technically, we have about 300 days of kite-able wind per year. If you want to read a more detailed post regarding the wind in Cabarete, check out our previous post: When it is windy in Cabarete?
In the early mornings and on the very few occasions when there is no wind, people like to use the ocean to partake in Stand Up Paddleboarding.
By afternoon, the high winds make Cabarete a mecca for anything that requires a sail. Cabarete Beach can essentially be split up into 3 separate areas with a line drawn down the middle just about in front of our condos. This line can be considered a mix of windsurfing and kiteboarding zones. Still facing the water, the right of that line is the windsurfing zone, and the left of that line is the kitesurfing zone.
This is a topic that brings up much debate, but we are going to keep it simple and let you carve your own way. We hope that this article serves as a general guideline, not the end all be all of Cabarete watersport zones.
This is sort of an in-between spot that is within walking distance from our condos. The shore break can be big along with the chop. That’s ok since once you get up and out on your board, you will have a lot of open space to roam! If you head out a few hundred meters you will find the reef where there are some nice waves for intermediate to advanced wave riders. Again, the spot is shared between kitesurfers and windsurfers.
There are a few schools on Bozo, all of them offer equipment rental and a few of them have locker rentals.
On more than a few occasions when there is no wind, you might find a nice little shore break that can be surfed without a crowd. Not all that big, but fun and close to town. Also, not a long paddle out since it is a shore break. When it is not big enough to surf (and even when it is) you will find people sporting little flippers on their boogie boards.
An extension of the in-between spot after Bozo Beach, Punta Goleta has turned into a nice little place to bust out the skim board. There aren’t a lot of people on the beach or wading in the water, so you are free to skim your heart out without worrying about anyone getting in the way.
It’s not the most desirable spot for a kiteboarding beginner because if you make a mistake and can’t relaunch your kite, you could end up washed into the reef or the point of Kite Beach. If you are really great at kiteboarding, you will find that this is the very least populated area of the Cabarete Beaches, thus making it enticing for kiting, but you should proceed with caution and take note of the obstacles.
Located about 2.5km from our condos, you can either walk or catch a ride to Kite Beach. The walk is very nice and will only take about 30 minutes. You will notice this walk is a very popular daily exercise routine for locals and tourists alike, especially at sunrise.
In the mornings and during times of no wind, Kite Beach transforms into a SUP oasis with butter flat water and nice waves from the reef for those who really know how to handle their SUP board and paddle.
But Kite Beach gets its namesake because it has earned its place as a world-class destination for kiteboarders from all over the world. The reef provides 100m of protection from the chop for those that ride a twin tip. This same reef creates a nice break that is fun to ride on a directional at high tide and during a nice swell.
Kite Beach is also home to 5 or so kite schools. You will find all of the beginners walking up the beach and dropping in at “The Point.” This gives plenty of leeway for those who are learning and usually dragging downwind to some degree.
Because of all this, Kite Beach can be a little crowded. Especially during the summer months, since this is considered “kiting season.” That being said, if you pay a little attention to the rhythm of the area, you will find you have all the space you need. You can also ride out behind the reef and feel like you are the only one in the ocean.
One of the best things about Kite Beach is its proximity to the water. Very close. This makes access to the restaurants and kite school very easy, which comes in handy when you are hungry or tired. Another great thing about Kite Beach is you will never feel alone. If you are ever in trouble, there is always someone there to help you launch, land, retrieve your board, flip your kite, or untangle your lines. Of course, not much here is free, so be ready to dole out a few pesos for help from the locals.
Again, if you are interested in reading our detailed post about the wind in Cabarete, you can read it here: When is it windy in Cabarete?
Or check out our Kiteboarding In Cabarete post offering details on kite school, the locations and conditions.
Located about 7km away from our condos, you can reach Playa Encuentro easily via moto in about 5 minutes. You will have to venture about 1 minute off the main road to get there, but even still, it is easily accessible via a half paved/half dirt road. It’s just as well, because along the way you are sure to find yourself impressed with the lush greenery, overgrown fields, and wild horses that make up the ride to the beach.
Once you arrive you will be greeted by an assortment of surf huts, a few chickens, and wild horses. All of the schools are very friendly and offer lessons and/or board rentals. If you don’t need any of that, no problem! Make your way to one of the openings in the trees and you will discover a beautiful coastline and 5 distinctive surf breaks: Coco Pipe, Bobo’s Point, La Derecha, La Izquierda, and Destroyer. We will get into the details of these breaks, but for now, take it as an opportunity to make friends by asking the locals about each. And rest assured, there are breaks that accommodate everyone from beginner to expert.
If you are into wave SUP, you won’t find yourself alone at Encuentro. BUT, this is a heavily surfed area with a lot of people in the water, so recently SUP zones have been outlined and implemented by the DR Ministry of Tourism, so always check with one of the local schools first. This is also a good time to read our Surfing in Cabarete post which includes the universal rules of the waves just to make sure you are up on your surf etiquette.
Touted as the most consistent surf spot in all of DR, you can really surf any time of year. That being said, winter is seen as “surfing season” since this is when we tend to have more North Swells that bring bigger and cleaner waves and longer wave intervals. In general, it is best to surf when there is no wind, so sunrise is a good time to start thinking about getting out there. At around 9 the crowds start to thicken due to late risers and surf school lessons beginning. It is best to vacate Encuentro Beach before dusk.
*Keep in mind this is a loose guide based on our knowledge. You can practice any of your watersports on any of the beaches. Sharing is caring. Happy sun, wind, and waves!
**Shout out to EyeFly Films for lending us all of the beautiful drone shots. You can find Oliver and EyeFly all over the web. Give him a follow and keep in mind, the drone is for hire!
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