I'm headed to the Dominican for a week and staying in Cabarete. I've heard it can get good there, but I'd love to know more about the place if anybody has any info. I can't bring my boards, so I'll rent one when I'm there. Any suggestions for good spots to surf/rent equipment?
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Anybody surf Encuentro/Cabarete?Tags: None
I wish I could bring my EF, but the airline would charge me $$$$$$. Cheaper (and safer for the health of my board) to rent one. From what I can gather there are a bunch of places that rent decent equipment, but what I'de really like is to find a place that has a demo Hellrazor! (I'm thinking a 6'7" might be my next board - unless I go for a Potato.)
yeah tough love with airlines these days.
unfortunately I doubt there are any Hellrazor demoes down that way...
I can probably answer questions for you - been surfing there for years. Im not local but I travel there several times/year. My next trip is in March where I be trying out my Addvance.
There are no firewire demoes there. Many local shapers and most folks seem to ride quads. You'll probably end up renting from one of the camps at Encuentro - ~$20/day though you can negotiate if you're there for some time. Quality of boards can vary - what are you looking to ride? Staying in Cabarete or Encuentro?
If you want to know more about the town, i.e. where to eat, places to hang, etc. I can give you info as well.
I'm staying right on the beach in Cabarete at one of the resorts there (the Wyndham I think). I typically ride a 6'3" El Fuego, so I'd be looking for something similar (ballpark 6'6 shortboard, or a fish depending on the waves that day). Feel free to send over any info you might want to share.
EDIT: There is one thing in particular I really want to know. What is the bottom at Encuentro like? Do I need reef shoes or not?Last edited by Gnubee; 02-14-2012, 08:25 AM.
Bottom is reef and has urchins, lots of them. Reef shoes depend on how much you put your feet down. I don't wear shoes but Im also use to cutting out spines from my feet when they happen. When you rent a board you can borrow shoes as well - most, if not all of the camps have them(and rashguards as well).
It's an early morning spot - when the wind picks up(most days) it's around 12-2pm, is usually onshore and the waves get mushy/blown out. Add a usually strong crosscurrent and it can make for short/tiring sessions. Surf camps open at 7am, earliest and usually close at 4(earlier if conditions are bad). Check the tides - low tide isn't the best time to be out there.
If you're not renting a moto(moped) or a car, you'll need transportation up to Encuentro. The Wyndham is on the other side of Cabarete and it'll take you around 10 minutes to get to Encuentro. Few ways to do this:
1. Most expensive: taxi: costs around 500 pesos, each way(you can negotiate depending on time of day, etc) Pro: you can pick one up no problem. And they take you right to the break. Con: 500 pesos is expensive!
2. Motoconcho (moped/motocycle with driver). Pros: they're everywhere and relatively cheap (no more than 50 pesos). Takes you right to the break. Cons: Can take 2 passengers max(3 total with driver). People drive like idiots and many motos do NOT have taillights so there's always a bit more risk with motoconchos. If you go this route smart thing is to find a driver you like and get his # and call him regularly.
3. Guagua - mini buses that rolls on the main road. You flag them down. They cram as many people as they can. Costs around 25 pesos. Pros: Cheap. Cons: You have to wait for them on the street - there's no set schedule. Also, you have to walk from the main road to the break (+15 minutes)
4. Taxi publico: like the Guagua just cars with a white badge on the roof. They will cram as many people in as possible(I've been in a toyota sedan with 6 passengers not including the driver). Pros and Cons: same as Guagua though 30 pesos.
Travel just with cash (dont forget coins esp for motoconchos, guaguas and publicos) - leave your wallet and cards locked up in your room.
Also, there's really no food available at Encuentro - there is 1 vendor - terrible egg sandwiches and empanadas - so bring your own, including water. From the Wyndham, Janet's Supermarket is on the way to Encuentro.
I can get into where to eat in Cabarete, etc, if you want.
Any rental places to check on? Any to avoid?
What do you suggest for food? Our hotel is all inclusive, but honestly I want to go out from time to time.
Ive rented from Antonio for years (Cabarete Surf Camp) but there's many others that are good - Pauhana Surf School, Swell, 321 Takeoff, No Work Team. Prices are pretty much the same for everyone and are for the entire day.
Food depends on your budget and tastes:
Places I go to:
Gorditos(Ocean Plaza Mall) - budget mexican that's very good
Mojito Bar(on the Beach) - great sandwiches and drinks. Closed Tuesday(and I think Wednesday) odd hours: 11-8pm.
VoyVoy. Bar towards the Wyndham end of Cabarete. Food there is surprisingly good both lunch and dinner. It's a bar first though. Karaoke Monday is popular.
El Pomodoro Pizza - on the beach. Good selection of ingredients. Live jazz, thursday nights.
Couple of Dominican places I hit as well but only know them by sight.
Places I avoid:
The Chinese restaurant(right in the middle of Cabarete on the main drag). Terrible.
Besides Mojito Bar, VoyVoy and Pomodoro, I avoid eating at most of the other places on the beach - they get very expensive and the service usually isn't so good.
Places I'll get to at some point:
Blue Moon - the only Indian food around and has a great reputation. 25 min ride though. You need reservations and a large party
Castle Club - close to Blue Moon. You need a large group and reservations as well.
Just got back, and I can say it was pretty fun stuff.
Encuentro is a decent break. The locals have the place absolutely wired. I can see where it would get hollow on a bigger day. I rented from Antonio and tried a variety of boards including a stubby twin (sub 6', super deep swallow tail) for the smaller first day. The El Fuego would have been perfect there every day but the last one, which was head high and a bit steep. Probably still would have rocked it once past the drop.
We stopped at Playa Grande one day (about an hour from Cabarete) and it looked like it would be an outstanding beach break with a decent sized swell. Reminded me a lot of some of the beachies on the Gold Coast.
We ate at Casa de Papi in Cabarete one night - not the cheapest but the lobster was KILLER.
Elite Firewire Liaison
- Dec 2011