Anybody seriously involved in kitesurfing or even wind sports will have heard of it. Cabarete, the mecca of wind sports in the Caribbean! A little paradise tucked in the northern part of the island, that offers incredible conditions to practice our favorite sports! And I can attest that is well worth a visit! Azure blue water, nice sandy beaches, and a constant wind that won’t disappoint! Welcome to the Dominican Republic, a great choice for your next kitesurf holiday!
In This Article...
Kitesurf overtaking Windsurf in Cabarete
Anybody over 40 will know Cabarete probably more for its windsurfing fame. But sorry to disappoint you older friends: windsurf is dying, and a quick walk around the beach on a windy afternoon will quickly confirm this. You will hardly see any windsurfers, and on a good day, there will be instead over 100 kitesurfers flying their beautiful kite in Cabarete bay! Yes, it can get busy but there is a lot of space for everybody to enjoy.
The Kitesurf conditions
There are 2 seasons in Cabarete. People like to call the first one the Wave season, which extends from January to April. The second season is around mid-June to mid-August. The beach is wider, and the Waves are bigger. So if you have any intentions of bringing a surfboard, then you should choose this time! The wind is a little weaker than the second season but still provides a nice 15 to 25 knots, at the most. the average will be around 18 knots and will start blowing around 1 to 2 pm, until sunset.
What really amazed me about Cabarete, is to kitesurf on these Caribbean crystal blue waters. There is a Coral reef about 100m from the beach, and passing over it creates these beautiful light colors, and tons of turtles swimming around! So yeah, just be careful not to hit them with the board (it can happen…).
Kitewaves in Cabarete
The waves just past the reef are amazing! some count them as some of the best waves in the world for Kite-wave! I would agree with that. Of all the coasts of brazil where I am mostly used to riding, Paracuru must be one of the best. But Cabarete blows Paracuru out of the water in terms of waves! just amazing! I love a surf here and there in every session and wasn’t disappointed. But the best was to use them as kickers to send it and shoot to the moon!
encuentro just a few km downwind is worth the visit a well, know for even better waves. Also a nice thing to do is to go downwind from Cabarete, surfing the break all the way to Encuentro (to avoid going back upwind!). Its about 4km, so make it last!
Where to ride
There are several spots to ride, in Cabarete Bay, Bozo beach, and Ktiebeach. I was mostly riding in Kitebeach since my apartment was in that area, but all of them are good. After launching, I would mostly ride upwind to reach Cabarete bay and its amazing waves, to get out of the crowd of Ktiebeach. In fact, the crowded area of kite beach makes it really unattractive to kite, and I would just recommend staying away.
Abuses to watch out for
Many locals in Cabarete are starting to complain about foreigners buying out their whole coast and Prohibiting them from even reaching their own public beach. Sadly, this is happening a lot in Cabarete and it has become an enormous problem, as there is no more beach access! the whole coast is not private and are trying to cash in by charging locals to access the public beach! This is the case of Kiteclub near kite beach which are charging as much as 10$ per day to kitesurf from there.
Definitely, the government should enforce some rules to secure free and abundant access to Dominican beach, and prohibit foreign real estate investments from abusing. This type of behavior should not be encouraged and any business trying to take advantage of this should be denounced. We as tourists and kitesurfers, should abstain from visiting any premise that charge for beach access, and go somewhere else. Judging from the number of negative comments posted on kite Club’s google maps page about their 10$ charge per day, I can see that many people are angree and shocked about this situation… their prices are also exorbitant compared to other Dominican local restaurants, so just avoid it, and go somewhere else.
As an alternative to launching your kite from kite Club, I highly recommend getting an apartment that has beach access. It might be much more expensive, but beach access is a major bonus! Else, try looking on google maps where the public access are, and from the beach, launch from anywhere where other kiters are. They will assist you to launch and land your kite.
Accommodation in Cabarete
There is a lot of accommodation in Cabarete, and different places to stay. Some prefer to stay around kite beach for the ease of reaching the spot. Others chose to stay nearer to Cabarete town, which is 4km away. Staying on kite beach can be convenient, but just remember that there is very little accommodation there, and it is just DEAD after sunset. If you chose to stay there, 100% stay at one of the beachfront condos, do not make the mistake and be tempted to stay across the street in “el barrio” where the locals live, in one of those dilapidated apartments. There are many, but I have heard a lot of stories about these apartments, from bug infestation to thieves targeting foreigners (doesn’t take a genius to figure out that every apartment will have thousands of dollars worth of kitesurf equipment).
Apartments on Bozo beach are also nice, and there are much more to chose from in Cabarete town. But overall, just remember, that Cabarete is a bit expensive and it will pay off just accepting this and getting yourself a nice apartment to make your experience worthwhile!