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Dear Cruisers,

It is a true pleasure to introduce to you my happy place!
CABARETE is one of those spots where, like me, people come initially for a week long vacation and end up staying a year. I’m not sure what it is about it, but I think it’s simply that people find freedom here, they slow down, reconnect with the sun, the wind and people. In my case, Cabarete took me out of isolation where I was working at home from my computer all day. I found here the sense of community that comes with island-village life, seeing the same friendly faces daily, smiley Dominican faces of course, but also the faces of people from everywhere in Europe and South and North America.

During these last few days on the ship, I’ve prepared a little collection of my insights as a local where I point you to my favorite spots to work and eat and tell you about the things I love to do in and around this town. Feel free to use this advice as a stepping stone to create your own love affair with Cabarete.



(They’re my personal favorites in no particular order)

  • Kiteboarding, of course. Particularly playing in the waves in front of Kitebeach and sunset downwinders from Kitebeach to Encuentro*
  • Hanging out at Encuentro in the morning, watching the surf and chatting with locals
  • Zip lining and swimming in the fresh water of Laguna Dodo and stopping for grilled fish at the road side parillas.
  • Salsa and Batchata nights at Lax Ojo
  • Listening to Live music acts on the beach
  • Sunday Market at Lax
  • Open Mic at VoyVoy, Listening to the old timer’s jazzy tunes and the Samantha with her Ukulele and her sweet folky voice. 
(Pssst! I hear Robi and Diego are gonna treat us to some nice duets at the open mic)
  • Long beach walks at sunset and sunrise
  • Quiet read and morning coffee before the town wakes up at Fresh Fresh, Dare2FlyBar and The Honey Company
  • Eating Churasco at Ali’s surf Camp with a group of friends



The currency is Dominican pesos.
The rate is approximately 45 dominican pesos to 1US dollar and 50 pesos to 1 Euro. All you need is cash (ta ta talala). 

Practically no one accepts credit cards. Even the hotels sometimes ask to be paid in cash.

There are a few ATM’s in the center of town. The maximum you can withdraw is 10,0000 pesos ($200) and there is usually a fee of 200 pesos. ATM’s in other Dominican cities won’t allow you to withdraw more then 5000 pesos ($100), but they have no fees so you might want to withdraw in advance if you are visiting other cities in the DR.


Motoconchos (mototaxi)

Cabarete is one main road (0.8 km), along the beach where motoconchos roam and call out ‘taxi?!’ to solicit all passer-bys. The price for a ride anywhere in town is 25 pesos during the day, 50 pesos if you go to Kitebeach and 100 pesos to Encuentro. The prices double at night. Be aware that they charge per person, so it’s no use hopping on with a friend, it’ll still be double the price. Simply get each your own motoconcho, it’s much safer.

Guaguas and carritos

You can also take the public system for cheaper. There are guaguas, white mini vans, and carritos, sedan with taxi like signs on their roof. You can flag them from anywhere on the side of the road and pile in with the locals and hop out anywhere you want. The price is 25 pesos to Encuentro and Perla Marina, and 50 pesos to Sosua and Puerto Plata.

There are also scooter rentals and car rentals in Cabarete. They are quite pricey.


There is only one big supermarket at the far East of Cabarete called Janet’s. You can find everything there, including a little organic section. Be aware that Janet’s is closed on Sunday afternoon.

There is a smaller supermarket open on Sundays called La Rosa. It is at the far West side of Cabarete.

Buying veggies and fruits from the food trucks that are often stopped on the road is a good idea as the prices are lower then in the supermarkets and the quality is better.

If you are looking for organic produce, Carlos sells giant organic baskets at Sea Horse ranch (a gated community about 8 km west of Cabarete) on Saturday afternoon. You’ll need to drive to Sea Horse ranch and let them know, at the gate, that you’re going to Carlos’ garden. They’ll indicate the way!


There is an Orange store in the Ocean Dream plaza and a Claro store in front of Janet’s Supermarket. There is also an Orange counter in Janet’s supermarket where you can recharge your phone but not purchase a sim card. The Orange and Claro shop are closed on Saturday afternoon and Sundays. They will probably be closed on the 25th, so get your Sim cards on Satruday morning, the 24th!


Here is a list of places where you can sit quietly, have a coffee, breakfast or lunch, and of course, log on for free!


Healthy restaurant and smoothie bar in the center of Cabarete. Really nice deck in the back, with power plugs. pretty quiet in the morning (opens at 8am).

Food: see the EAT section.


Bar and restaurant on Cabarete beach, a favorite hang out amongst expats. It’s quiet enough during the day that you can work with out being disturbed and they have power outlets.

(I have a writer friend who completed a collection of short stories, sitting at VoyVoy for 6 hours, everyday, for a month. Looks like he found it to be a good working space!)

Food: it is not fabulous but they have a decent American style breakfast. It’s also fine for coffee.


This lounge bar has just opened in mid December (so I haven’t been yet) but it sounds like a comfy place to work, with lounge sofas and all. They tell me they have sockets and plugs outside and inside the bar. It is for the late risers amongst us as it opens at 1pm.

Food: they specialize in burgers and tapas

CASA MAMI (Extreme Hotel)

Café and bar on Kitebeach, part of Extreme Hotel. You’ll have lots of space to work, there are a couple of big table and it is quiet. Bonus: you’ll look at ocean through your window and can watch the kiters in the afternoon.
Food: healthy and good options for breakfast and lunch.


On Kitebeach, in Agualina hotel’s backyard. Tiki hut style bar and restaurant on top of a knoll, with big nice deck overlooking the ocean. It is generally quiet in the morning before the kiters arrive (wind doesn’t generally rise before 2pm).

Food: see the EAT section.


Kiteclub has the fastest internet. But you’ll be working on PicNic tables in an open air area next to the beach and it gets crowded with kite surfers in the afternoon on a windy day. The mornings (the wind doesn’t generally rise before 2pm) would be quiet.

*Please refer to the map for location information



In Cabarete the wind rises around 1pm and then drops when the sun starts to set, around  about 6pm.

There are 2 spots, Cabarete beach and Kitebeach. The ocean on Cabarete beach tends to be more wavy and less crowded, where as Kitebeach has flatter water but is more crowded.

Learning to Kite

The kite schools are aligned on the East part of Cabarete Beach and on Kitebeach and the prices for a class tends to hover around $60US an hour.

For beginners who can already get up on their board, yet still need supervision (cause they can’t stay up wind for example), there are young Dominican men who will happily supervise you for 300 pesos an hour. Show up at Dare2Fly kite school on Kitebeach and ask for a supervisor. They’ll have you practicing your spanish too!

Kite excursions

Do a 5km sunset downwinder from Kitebeach to Encuentro (Come back by motoconcho).

Want flat water? Go to La Boca, where the ocean meets the river (7 km’s East of Cabarete).

I’ve been told it’s really nice to stay there for dinner and have excellent freshly caught fish.


Surfing happens in the morning at Encuentro, a neighborhood 5 km’s West of Cabarete. Encuentro beach has the particularity of being at once a great spot for beginners and experienced surfers!

For board rental and surf lessons, best to go to Pahuana surf school. They offer the best service on the beach.


As local Jo showed us on the slides, it is possible to do SUP on the lagoon but it is simply not recommended to go into these stagnant waters! Doing my research yesterday I learned from a reliable source that the lagoon is filthy with bacteria and people get sick from swimming in it.

Instead, do SUP on the ocean when it is calm, in the morning for example and especially at sunrise. It’s peaceful and a great work out. You may develop a true licking and be enticed to learn SUP wave riding.

Audrey rents boards, offers YOGA SUP classes and sunrise tours. She’s very professional and helpful.
Visit or contact Audrey by phone or whatsapp at 809.863.6515


There are great trails in the El Choco National Park, really close by, just inland of Cabarete.

You can join a tour with Iguana Mama or simply rent a bike from Maximo Juan Martinez who has awesome gear.


El Choco National Park, right behind Cabarete has nice caves where you can swim in clear fresh water. They don’t let people visit the caves on their own, they need to take a guided tour for around $20.


The gym is at Extreme Hotel. Zach and Jeremy are the trainers there and they love there job. There’s crossfit and other fitness programs.


Extreme Hotel has a flying trapeze and offer trials.



From Cabarete beach to Kitebeach and back. This is a beloved ritual of mine at sunrise, but it is also nice at the end of the day when the sun starts setting and there are less kites on the beach. It takes about 30 minutes to walk from the center of Cabarete beach to Kitebeach.

From Encuentro to Perla Marina.

You probably won’t meet anybody on your walk except maybe for a swimming fisher man with a harpoon. You’ll know you’ve reached Perla Marina because there will be an eco style lodge with a restaurant. You can walk back to Encuentro by the beach or have someone at the reception of Natura Cabana call a motoconcho for you and drive back.

I recommend you don’t take any valuables on this walk and that you only swim in front of Natura Cabana. There are some places with strong currents along that beach.

HANG OUT AT ENCUENTRO  (neighborhood 5 km West of Cabarete)

This is a more wild and undeveloped beach and is therefore a truly sweet spot to hang out. The beach is bordered by a little wooded area with cabanas that host surf schools. Feel free to sit at the school’s picnic tables, lie in their hammocks and mingle with the surfing community.

Encuentro is a friendly place.


  • Extreme Hotel offers a Vinyasa flow style daily class at 8:30am, on an open air deck over looking the ocean. The price is around 300 pesos.
  • Grace Mazzuco gives morning and afternoon classes at Casa Feliz. Check her schedule on her website
  • Natura Cabana, a spa hotel in Perla Marina (neighborhood 8 km East from Cabarete), hosts a Sivana style class in the evenings.

There’s also a yoga shop in town, where you can find mats, blocks, yoga pants, etc.


  • Natura Cabana Spa and Millenium Spa have high end pricey massages. If you are gonna go that route, I recommend Larissa at Millenium.
  • A more affordable option is to have a massage with Grace (check her website or Magdalena at Extreme Hotel.


  • Happy hour at Lax Ojo. Lounge with friends on the beach, enjoy a cocktail and watch the sunset.
  • Happy Hour at THE HOT SPOT COMPANY. Just opened and apparently the comfiest spot to lounge and have a drink.


The Sunday market at Lax Ojo is a favorite meet up amongst the expats. Find quality hand made products: organic soaps, craft mamajuana (medicinal Dominican liquor made of honey, herbs and rhum), handmade bikinis, beachwear, tasteful jewelry…. Totally worth the visit!

On Sunday’s from 4pm to10pm.



BELGIAN BAKERY has good coffee, pasties and croissant. It also serves pretty good Dominican and American style breakfast.


(coffee, breakfast and lunch)

Best espresso and late’s in town!

Their breakfast menu mainly features smoothies and breakfast bowls of home made greek style yogurt swirled with the honey they produce themselves and different topping.

Carolina, a delightful Colombian woman, and her wry witted partner Spencer run this artisanal apiary. They produce all kinds of eco products from bees wax. You’ll also want to taste their home made greek style yogurt, coconut milk, arepas, kombucha, Dominican liquors like mamajuana… They are happy busy bees themselves!

Sometimes they host poetry slams here in the evening that attract a big crowd!


(Breakfast, lunch and Sunday Brunch)

On Kitebeach, one of my favorite place to hang out and watch the kiters in the afternoon. Tiki hut style bar and restaurant on top of a knoll, with big nice deck overlooking the ocean. The menu has enough variety to make burger lovers and health seekers equally happy. American and tai fusion dishes, excellent fish, and big salads.


(Breakfast lunch and dinner)

The health hub and smoothie bar of Cabarete. There is a really nice deck in the back. Large menu and many options for breakfast and dinner. Extensive smoothie menu and plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. (Approx 400 pesos)


(Lunch only)

A gem in the heart of Callejon de La Loma!  There is no menu here, instead Maria prepares a new culinary feast each day: vegan, fresh, vibrant and flavored with the herbs and flowers from her garden. The plates are always full of goodness. You don’t have to be a vegan to love the food here. Try the purple lemonade… I won’t tell you why it’s purple, it’s a surprise!

(approx. 300 pesos per meal)

*Please refer to the map for location information



(Lunch, dinner and take away)

A very popular joint, a favorite amongst tourists and locals cause it’s fresh, tasty, filling, fast and affordable. Great Tex-Mex food, burritos, tacos and salads. My personal favorite is the fish taco.

Vegetarian friendly too.

(Approx 300 pesos)

(dinner only)

Tiny nook in the wall, next to La Rosa Supermarket. Ricky stands behind his bar, serves super fresh and tasty ceviche with corn chips and big bottles of Presidente beer, that’s it. It’s a tiny place and it’s usually very animated place.


Eat for cheap at the Dominican street food stands: fried chicken, abichuela’s (beans), yuka, plantain…. There is one in Callejon de La Loma, one at the far East of Cabarete and one between Kitebeach and Cabarete. (approx 150 pesos per meal)

Drink coconut water at the fruit vendors. Ounce you’ve drank the water, ask then to machete-open the coconut and eat the meat.



(dinner only and take away)

Dominican Grill when you enter of Callejon de La Loma, on your right hand side. Barbecued pollo, ribs with a choice of rice, veggies or yuka. This place is very affordable (approx 200 per meal)

ALI’S SURF CAMP(dinner only)

The very first place I went to when I stepped off the plane and set foot in Cabarete for the first time.I felt like I was dinning in the jungle, I was charmed. It’s famous for it’s churrasco and other grilled meats and fish. Unfortunately not vegetarian friendly.

The sweetest spot to sit is on the deck of the lagoon.

(Approx 500 per pers.)

(called Cabarete Surf Camp on the map… But everyone refers to it as Ali’s)


(lunch and dinner)

New spot on the beach that just opened in December. They serve Ceviche, burgers, tapas, chili con carne… Craft beer, cocktails and energy smoothies. They also host live music acts and events such as live radio broadcasting and media productions. They have happy hour from 3-4pm and 6-8pm with 2 for 1 on selected drink. They also have non-alcoolic detox drinks for the health nuts amongst us.


(lunch and dinner)

Popular place the lounge on the beach, watch the sunset, have drinks during happy hour  from 4 to 6pm when the pizza is half price. The food is decent and they have a very varied menu. I usually have the bandera, the dominican meal of rice, beans and chicken. (approx.500 per meal)


Excellent italian food and best pizza in town. Charming indoor garden and quiet ambiance. I especially love their burrata. Oh and try the gigantic swing at the entrance!

(approx 500 per person)

YALLA (dinner only)

Really nice tapas bar, modern and trendy, yet small with a friendly vibe and good service.Tasty Mediterranean fusion food and the best Sangria in town. (approx 700 per meal)

LE BISTRO (dinner only)

Small and quaint spot with a few tables on a narrow and quiet pedestrian alley. They have typical french menu, great wine selection and excellent service. (approx. 700 per meal)


Loved by German themselves! They have a typical German menu, goulash, schnitzel, steak,  fish…



This is just about the most romantic setting for a dinner, tucked away in a hidden spot directly on the water. Nice french and fusion menu, lantern and candle lighting, polite and welcoming waiters. The duck with apple sauce is exquisite. I would recommend to steer away from the tai inspired dishes with coconut milk, they don’t quite succeed at their attempt.

Otherwise a memorable experience.

(1500 pesos per person)


Remote tiki hut Spa resort in Perla Marina (a neighborhood 7 km Ouest of Cabarete). Boho-elegant setting next to the beach. Elaborate dishes, fresh and organic food. Vegetarian and meat lover friendly. Pssst! This is where the famous philosopher of our digital age Jason Silva vacates when he comes to Cabarete!

(1500 pesos per person)



LAX OJO hosts fantastic latin nights on Thursday’s. It’s Cabarete’s most popular weekly event. Dance salsa, bachata and merengue with eager Dominicans. They move so well, I believe they came out of the wound dancing.
This night club on the beach gets packed around 10pm or 11pm and it’s truly a lot of fun.

MOJITO BAR has the best Mojito’s and cocktails in town! If you like fruity rhum cocktails a little too much, don’t try the Chinola (passion fruit) Daiquiri, you’ll get addicted.

VOYVOY is the local pub on the beach. Friendly vibes, nice big tables to sit with a group. Famous for karaoke night on Monday’s night and open mic’s on Sunday evenings. There’s also a beach volleyball net right in front where they host a tournament on Thursday night.

TABAQUERIA 1844, a cigar and wine bar, is the expat’s best kept secret (well, not anymore). They often have live music.

VOODOO LOUNGE in Callejon de La Loma (the Dominican street) is where you go for craft beer and a grungier vibe. Under their tiki hut, they often host good shows of reggae, rock or folk.

LEAF is on the beach and is modern, white and chic. It sometimes good house parties on weekends.

KITECLUB hosts great monthly bon fires and full moon house parties.

PLAY POOL in one of the 2 pool bars in the center of Cabarete


Sunday night: open mic at VoyVoy

Monday night: karaoke at VoyVoy

Thursday evening: Beach Volley ball tournament at VoyVoy

Thursday night: Salsa & batchata night at LAX OJO

The Hot Spot Company is coming up with a weekly salsa night in January, stay tuned.


Saturday the 24th: ‘The High Tides’ (blues and rock cover band) at Beachside @ 8pm

Monday the 26th: Van Avakian Roots & Reggae at The Hot Spot Company @7pm.Van is a Dominican raised Armenian multi instrumentalist with powerful rythms and lyrics influenced by Hip-hop and Jazz

Friday the 30th: ‘Green Platano’ (mix of genres cover band) at LAX. It probably starts at 8pm but check on premises to make sure.


DOMINICAN TATOOS are what we call the burns that new comers get on their legs from the hot tail pipes on the motorbikes. To avoid them, hop on the motoconcho from the left of the bike.

DON’T WALK ALONE AT NIGHT on the unlit parts of town, like at the extremities of Cabarete or on the beach. People do get robbed.

THE ROAD is dangerous, be careful when you cross it. Some Motoconchos drivers like to show off by speeding and doing wheelies. When choosing a driver, go for the older men, they tend to have less testosterone in their blood stream. You can also say “despacio por favor!”



Get a small group together, find, rent or steal a car and drive to Laguna Dudu where you can jump off of a zip line into the lake (or not), swim in fresh water, visit caves and see the giant ostriches. On your way there, can stop and have a swim at Playa Grande and Playa Preciosa. On your way back, have grilled freshly caught fish at one of the road side parillas.


Canyoning and repelling off Magic Mushroom, a fall in the shape of a big mushroom. Iguana mama tours organizes day trips and Mathew McArthur (Mateo) can get you a sweet deal if you come as a group.


Hike 60 minutes to get to the top of a series of natural pools and waterfalls, then slide, jumps and swim your way back down to base camp. Be prepared for a little treck and bring sneakers. This is local Jo’s favorite day trips in all of the Dominican Republic!

Iguanamama offers tours but it’ll be cheaper to find a car or a driver who will take you there.


Have a morning ride on beach, forest and stop in a village for lunch. Rancho Luisa y Tomy offer by far the nicest excursion. Find Rancho Luisa y Tomy on Facebook or, call or whatsapp at 1-809-986-1984

Find out about kiteboarding day trips in the KITEBOARDING section of this guide.
Find out about mountain biking day in the MOUNTAIN BIKING section of this guide.

That’s all I’ve got for now,

but will be happy to answer questions about Cabarete on the Nomad Cruise FB group and will keep you up to date about any last minute parties of worthy events I hear about.

I hope you enjoy yourself and open up to all this place has to offer.