Cabarete in the Dominican Republic is a beloved place to be for many travellers – for many good reasons! Known as a top place in the world for kitesurfing and having the perfect waves to surf, Cabarete is a magnet for kitesurfers, windsurfers as well as surfers making it a super cool destination with a mixed public.
After I spent almost 6 weeks in this little Caribbean paradise that has so many good energies, I can see why people come back or even stay for months. If you’re planning to travel only for a few days or weeks or even for a longer time living as a digital nomad like me, Cabarete will impress you!
In this post I’m sharing the top things to do and top places to visit during your stay. Read on if you wanna get to know Cabarete – a Traveller’s and Digital Nomad’s Paradise!
Top Things to Do in Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Cabarete is especially amazing because of its people and good vibes every day.
The passion for water sports, open mindness to connect to people and a diverse mix of young and old, expats, digital nomads, entrepreneurs and travellers make this place so hard to leave and so exciting to explore!
Here are the top things to do in Cabarete:
Cabarete Beach is the main beach in Cabarete and right in the city center.
It’s a great place to spend the day as there are plenty of restaurants and bars where you can hang out, have some snacks and food with the stunning view of the ocean.
Besides that, the water is calm and very inviting for a swim! There are options to rent beach chairs and umbrellas too.
Lunch with paradise view right on ‘Cabarete Beach’
Kite Beach & Kitesurf
Kite Beach is located directly next to Cabarete Beach which makes it an easily accessible beach as well.
It’s the favourite place to be for those who like to kitesurf or watch a few kitesurfers in action while having a drink next to the ocean.
Kite Beach Cabarete
➳ Good to know: Cabarete in the Dominican Republic is one of the world’s top places to kitesurf! That’s why it’s so popular for competitions to take place which attract the best kitesurfers all over the world. It’s amazing to be able to experience those events if you get the chance.
Kitesurf Competition in Cabarete
Even though Kite Beach might not be the most beautiful beach in Cabarete, it’s great for beautiful sunset walks and those who like to go for a run in the morning/evening.
Daily sunset walks at Kite Beach
Kite Club is right at Kite Beach and the place to be if you want to rent kitesurf gear or connect to other fellow kitesurfers. If you’re not a kitesurfer yourself, grab a drink or food and watch kitesurfers crossing the ocean.
Kite Klub Beach Views
➳ Tip: Kite Club is THE place to be for electronic parties! Every Friday there are DJ’s playing and it becomes a hotspot to party & meet other travellers. Be ready for cocktails and electronic beats on the beach!
Playa Encuentro & Surf
More remote and about 10 minutes drive from the city center is Playa Encuentro being my favourite place in entire Cabarete!
This beach is a long stretch of sand with beautiful ocean views. Known as the best beach to surf in town, it’s a must-see and really nice place to spend the day.
The waves are not only perfect to learn how to surf for beginners but also advanced surfers and even professionals come here every day to spend the day on the ocean.
This is also the reason why it’s a great place to meet other travellers and locals and the café on the beach (that has good Wifi as well) offers great breakfast and lunch options to hang out.
➳Tip: The area of Playa Encuentro also has the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Even if you don’t go surfing, it’s still worth it to come watch the surfers for a while and the sky turning into dreamy colours.
Sunsets that make speechless!
Surfing at Playa Encuentro
Playa Encuentro is perfect for those who like to surf or want to learn it. The waves in the back are great for the profi’s while the ones in the front are amazing for those just learning. There’s something for everyone!
You will find two surf schools at Playa Encuentro that both offer surfboard rental and surf lessons. I recommend you to go to Chino Surf School! There you can ask for Victor- he is a really nice local and a great surf teacher!
* Costs: 25 USD/day per surfboard
➳ Tip: If you’ll stay in Cabarete for a few weeks, you should ask for special prices because they offer long term options which will be cheaper!
La Boca de Yásica
La Boca de Yásica is about 10 minutes driving from the center and a nice half-day trip.
Here you will find a beautiful green estuary that connects with the ocean and turns into a favourite spot for kitesurfers when the wind conditions are good. Lots of locals come here on the weekends to do BBQ’s and swim in the waters.
On the way to ‘La Boca de Yásica’ you will pass long stretches of wild beaches.
The highlight here is Wilson’s Restaurant located on the other side of the bank, where you have to cross by boat. It’s only a quick 2 minute ride (for free) to the restaurant where they offer various options of fresh fish, shrimps and other food served with drinks.
Crossing by boat to Wilson’s Restaurant
An awesome place to be while enjoying good food surrounded by the lagoon and coconut trees!
– Rice, Fries and Fish 650 DOP
– Shrimps 850 DOP
In total we paid 1750 Pesos for 2 people including drinks.
Fresh fish at Wilson’s Restaurant
➳ Good to know: There’s a boat crossing to Wilson’s Restaurant every day at any time. The dock is really small, but the place is not big so it’s easy to find.
27 Waterfalls of Damajagua
Visiting the 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua is a highlight when coming to the north of the Dominican Republic! It’s perfect for those who are looking for some action and adrenaline in nature.
This canyoning adventure goes to 27 waterfalls through lush jungle and takes around 4 hours.
Depending on what you feel comfortable with, you can swim in the refreshing water between caves, jump off different waterfalls that range from 2-10 meters and slide down super cool natural slides. It’s an amazing trip bringing lots of fun!
➳ Good to know: Depending on the season, not all 27 waterfalls might be open so the tour will cover only the ones actually accessible. But even if there are only 7 waterfalls open (like on our trip in October), it’s still so worth it!
➳ Tip: Check Ambercove Time Schedule to avoid the big crowds visiting from the cruise ships.
How to get to the 27 Waterfalls from Cabarete
The waterfalls are located 1,5 hours from Cabarete by car which is why you should plan a whole day for the trip.
By rental car or scooter
If you have your own vehicle, you can drive the road (71 km) to the waterfalls by yourself. This is the most convenient and uncomplicated way to get to the waterfalls as long as you feel comfortable driving on the roads in the Dominican Republic.
We chose to go all the way by scooter– it went really well but almost takes double the amount of time compared to going by car (you have to leave very early). Make sure you wear good & closed shoes, a long sleeve shirt for the morning chill, fill up the tank before and wear a helmet if you decide to go by scooter.
Captured a magical sunrise on the way to the 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua
There’s no direct bus going from Cabarete to the 27 Waterfalls. You can check if there’s a public bus or ‘Guagua’ leaving from Cabarete or Sosúa to Puerto Plata. From there you have public buses that can drop you off at the waterfalls.
If this option is within your budget you can rent a private taxi for the day. This will usually cost you from 90 USD/day and might be convenient if you don’t want to take public transport neither drive by yourself.
➳ Tip: Independent on which arrival option you choose, make sure you leave very early in the morning to avoid big crowds! The waterfalls open at 8 am in the morning and first crowds arrive around 10 am.
There are two options to purchase tickets for the waterfalls:
- With any tour operator online– incl. organized transport (from 65 USD)
- Go by yourself – get entrance ticket at waterfalls (10 USD)
I personally recommend you to just get the tickets at the waterfalls. It will be cheaper and it’s easy to just purchase them. You then get a tour guide, all the safety equipment is provided and some other travellers will join the same group.
At the entrance you will also be able to purchase other services, like a locker to store your valuables while doing the tour and water shoes.
- Ticket: 550 DOP p/person
- Locker: 100 DOP
- Water Shoes: 100 DOP
➳ Tip: Booking in advance online with a tour operator might still be great for those who aren’t feeling secure which transport option to choose. I would then recommend booking here with Iguana Mama Adventure Tours (they offer pickup from Cabarete too).
What to bring
As safety equipment is provided you only have to bring:
- Dry Changing Clothes
Stop at Puerto Plata
If you do the canyoning tour early in the morning, you can spend the afternoon at Puerto Plata on your way back to Cabarete.
You can explore some parts of the city and visit the famous ‘Pink Street’ or ‘Umbrella Street’ where you also have some cute souvenir shops.
‘Umbrella Street’ in Puerto Plata
Lax Ojo is a really cool beach bar known for great parties on the weekends! You can enjoy drinks right on the beach and dance through night in the inside area that turns into a club as soon as the DJ’s arrive and the sun set down.
A super nice place to catch up with other travellers, come for a chilled evening or dance the night through if you’re in party mood.
➳ Tip: You can find cheaper drinks at Mojito Bar! There’s a happy hour in the late afternoon where you can get 2 for 1 for 180 DOP. It’s a good to pre-meet option before heading to Lax Ojo for the party.
➳ Hot Tip: Don’t forget to try Mamajuana, a traditional drink from the Caribbean Islands served as a shot. It’s made from brown rum and red wine as well as honey and various herbs – reminds a lot of a cold version mulled wine from german christmas markets! 😀
Cocktail at Lax Ojo Beach Bar
Best Places to Eat
The ‘Encuentro Food Park’ in Cabarete is an absolute must do! It’s my favourite place to eat and hang out and every traveller really loves this cute spot.
There are different food trucks owned by international expats who present their talented food makings! You can find an Argentinian couple making THE WORLD’S BEST SUSHI (that you cannot miss!!!!), other seafood and ceviche plates, empanadas, pizza made by an Italian family or rustic BBQ or burger options.
Most delicious Sushi at the Food Park
The Food Park is a very cozy place with fairy lights, delicious food and a great option to meet other travellers in Cabarete, Dominican Republic.
I remember one night we came here and ended up having drinks with a big group of different people from all over the world- it was sooo nice to hang out with everyone and share these moments of simplicity. It was the funniest night ever!
➳ Tip: Every Saturday there’s Live Music! On Tuesdays the Food Park is closed.
➳ Hot Tip: Don’t miss the Piña Coladas! They are by far the most delicious cocktails in the Dominican Republic, but at the Food Park in Cabarete they have the BEST ones!!
My second favourite place to eat, drink and hang out is Vagamundo Café. Probably not only my favourite café in Cabarete but all Dominican Republic! It’s so cute, comfortable and cozy. Exactly how you imagine an island café in the Caribbean to look like!
➳ Good to know: The Wifi here is really good which makes this the perfect day office for digital nomads!
Vagamundo offers various breakfast and lunch bowl options but is especially famous for having the best waffles!
Waffles & Chai Latte & Lunch Bowl at Vagamundo
The coffee (& chai latte) is amazing and they offer many different options including vegan milk options and some creamy variations with caramel if you wanna try something new.
… and an awesome office for digital nomads!
If you’re looking for a more basic place to have good breakfast check out Friends!
This place is located in the city center, therefore easily reachable and also in front of the beach. They have many pastries and brekky options from pancakes, sandwiches, American Breakfast, fresh juices and more to choose from.
➳ Tip: Try the Pesto Sandwich! Baguette with Salad, Tomato, cheese and pesto. Sounds simple but it’s the best sandwich in Cabarete for a very good price of 180 DOP and you can share it between two as it’s quite big.
La Casita de Papi
‘La Casita De Papi’ is a beautiful seafood restaurant located right at the beach. It’s not the cheapest place to eat but you can enjoy the most delicious prawns, lobsters and more while feet in the sand and ocean views right in front of you. What a dream!
➳ Tip: The restaurant is especially known for its famous lobsters or shrimp “a la papi”, cooked in a delicious thick sauce that reminds of a curry but tastes even better- really a must try!
➳ Good to know: There also are vegetarian meals available.
Shrimps ‘A la Papi’ – soooo good!
Probably something you wouldn’t expect in the Caribbean but if you like Chinese food then there’s a really delicious Chinese Restaurant called ‘Chino Xiang Wag Jia’ in the center (opposite street of Friends Café). The owner is chinese and the food is super fresh and sooo delicious!
Chinese Food makes happy!
Where to stay Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Kite Beach/Cabarete Beach
The cheapest option to find accommodation is nearby Kite Beach or Cabarete Beach which is closer to the city center. This area is a little more busy but very recommended when your budget is tighter. By scooter or mototaxi from here it’s very easy to get from A to B.
➳ Tip: We stayed at Mango House. They have very cool apartments equipped with all that you need (bathroom, kitchen, desk etc.) and some even have a balcony. The owner is called Samuela, an Italian who lives in Cabarete- she’s the cutest person and we loved staying here so much!
Our apartment view from Mango House.
The second option would be nearby Playa Encuentro. This area is more expensive than staying closer to the center but is really beautiful and perfect if you want to be closer to the surf beach in Cabarete.
Thirdly, there’s Perla Marina which is behind Playa Encuentro. This area is even more remote and has very beautiful beaches! I would only recommend this area if you have your own scooter as it’s even further from the center & supermarkets and also a little drive to get to Playa Encuentro.
Magical full moon bonfire nights at Perla Marina
How to get around
Rent a scooter
The most comfortable way to get around is renting your own scooter. It’s not only the cheapest way but also the most convenient as you are super flexible and can quickly be anywhere. If you stay for a month or longer, the price will be cheaper.
From 180 USD/month or 11 USD/day
Buy a scooter
If you stay more than a month, it might be worth it to buy a scooter as you can resell it at the end of your stay and actually save money. You will pay between 550 USD – 650 USD and insurance will be around 300 DOP extra on top of that. The petrol is cheap with 300 DOP for a full tank that lasts you a little more than a week if you stay within Cabarete.
➳ Watch out: When you buy a scooter, you need to make sure the seller gives you the official papers and not only a copy!! It needs to have a blueish stamp on it. Inform yourself before and make sure you don’t get screwed over by the seller.
Our beloved scooter we bought in Cabarete
Taking a mototaxi is a great option if you don’t feel comfortable driving by yourself. Note that it’s gonna be more expensive on a long term basis than renting a scooter and you’re always dependent on having a mototaxi nearby.
100 DOP one way to destination within Cabarete
➳ Good to know: In evening/night they charge the double amount (200 DOP one way).
‘Guaguas’ are the public buses in the Dominican Republic. This is only worth it if you go to further destinations out of Cabarete (e.g Sosúa/Puerto Plata). They are 17 seat vans that you can wave down from the road, then you just get in and tell them where you want to get off.
From 25 DOP (depending on distance)
‘Guagua’ in the Dominican Republic from the inside
How to get to Cabarete, Dominican Republic
There are different ways to get to Cabarete: by international flight or public transport within the Dominican Republic.
International Flight to Puerto Plata
The international aiport is located in Puerto Plata which is 30 minutes by car from Cabarete. Usually it’s cheaper to fly to more popular airports into the Dominican Republic like Punta Cana or Santo Domingo and then taking a bus to Cabarete. However, there might be good options!
From Punta Cana
To get from Punta Cana to Cabarete, you have to take a bus. Unfortunately, there’s no direct bus going to Cabarete, so you’ll have to take two different buses.
The buses are big tour buses with comfortable seats and air conditioning.
- Punta Cana – Santo Domingo with Bávaro Express (around 2,5 hours)
- Santo Domingo – Cabarete with Caribe Tours orAsotrapusa (4 hours)
You don’t have to pre-book the bus tickets, just inform yourself about departure times before, head to the terminal on time and buy the ticket there before getting on the bus. Make sure you tell the bus drivers that you want to go to Cabarete after, so they’ll drop you off at the right stop.
450 DOP p/person
➳ Tip: In the popular regions like Punta Cana and Santo Domingo, there’s Uber which is really safe to use and very convenient to get to the bus station with your luggage.
From Santo Domingo
From Santo Domingo you can go to Cabarete by Caribe Tours or Asotrapusa (like mentioned above). Go to the counter, get your tickets and off you go to Cabarete!
From Las Terrenas
From Las Terrenas you can also either take a bus from the operators above or you can take a Guagua. Note that the Guagua takes almost the double amount of time to arrive in Las Terrenas (around 5 hours) than the bus (3 hours) as they make several stops in between.
Besides that, Guaguas can get very stuffed with people and luggage so there might not be much space, on the other side they are easier to just wave down from the road so you wouldn’t have to go far to get to a bus stop.
450 DOP p/person
➳ Tip: Check with your accommodation host which option would be more convenient for your situation.
Going to Punta Cana?
➳ Also Read: Top 5 Things you cannot miss in Punta Cana.
That was the Full Guide to Cabarete in the Dominican Republic. I hope you enjoyed reading this Blog Post! Are you planning to go any time soon? Leave questions or comments below and don’t forget to share this post! 🙂