Cabarete, Dominican Republic: The Adventure Sports Capital of the Caribbean?

Words by Jesse Serwer, Photos by Patrick Bennett—

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When most people think of sports in the Dominican Republic, what comes to mind is baseball. Dominican players have, of course, come to dominate the sport in recent decades; it was no surprise to anyone this March when the DR team cruised through the World Baseball Classic tournament without losing so much as a game. Non-Dominicans who watch the sport must imagine that there’s a baseball diamond hiding behind every building.

Of course, that’s not true and bats and balls are only one facet of sporting in DR. Other world-class athletes from the island nation include NBA star Al Horford and super middleweight boxer Edwin Rodríguez. And lately the small seaside village of Cabarete (20 minutes away from Puerto Plata airport on the  north shore) has developed a reputation as the adventure sports capital of the Caribbean for its combination of kayaking, kiteboarding and mountain biking, and some of the country’s best surfing conditions.

The location of an offshore reef at the entrance of the bay, the direction of tradewinds, and the low-lying hills behind the village all combine to create wind and wave conditions that make it a perfect destination for water sports, particularly kiteboarding, which has held its world championship in Cabarete. (Not sure what kiteboarding is? Read more about this relatively new hybrid of windsurfing, surfing and wakeboarding here; or just look at the pic above).

It was our friends at Uncommon Caribbean who first put us on to Cabarete’s “adventure capital” status, and they recently returned to Cabarete, spotlighting the town as part of a whole week of features on DR. As part of the series, they’re holding a sweepstakes that includes a week’s stay at a Cabarete vila, along with kiteboarding lessons and a hiking-and-diving excursion. Sounds pretty awesome to us. Head over to Uncommon Caribbean for the details, and read more about kiteboarding in Cabarete here.

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