Antonio and I were still learning how to travel in 2007. Sabíamos que queríamos viajar por el mundo, and we already had a feeling that we were not huge fans of hotels, even “luxury” ones. This was our first attempt at renting a vacation property. Estábamos llevando nuestras madres y sabíamos que íbamos a necesitar un lugar grande con un mínimo de dos dormitorios. We also wanted to have a kitchen. We got a lot more than that.
We did quite a bit of searching online and finally settled on Cabarete Beach Houses. The property is very nice. They offer daily maids to clean your house (convenient when you cook like we do) and there are security guards throughout the property (this is pretty important in the area). The property has some pretty sweet amenities, it is on the beach (which can get a little rough sometimes), a pool & jacuzzi, tennis courts (too hot for us to use when we went), airport pick up (super convenient). Nanny estates even did some shopping for us so that our fridges would be full when we arrived. Desde entonces, han añadido más beneficios tales como niñeras, massages, etc…At the time we paid $608 dólares para una estancia de 7 días. Not bad at all. Nuestra casa tenía tres pisos y era muy cómoda.
Cabarete has its ups and downs.
The beaches are marked by white sands and blue waters. There are caves for you to go spelunking (I thought it was a great idea until I stepped on a red ant hill and was unable to walk for 2 days). There is a strip with restaurants that offer everything from Italian, to Thai, to Dominican. Vas a estar sentado en la playa tomando el sol cuando de repente un montón de caballos va a pasear alegremente delante de ustedes. If you kite surf…you’re going to love this place. At dinner time, trios will sing you boleros for just a few bucks making a Summer night magical.
There is quite a bit of poverty. Every day you will get sad looking children either trying to sell you something you don’t need (like a child asking to shine your sneakers), or those who beg…and then run over to an adult to give them their money. There are starving animals and stray dogs everywhere as soon as you walk past anywhere that is commercial.
There is definitely a bittersweet feeling to Cabarete (and DR in general). We drove to the next town over to check out a nightclub with our moms and it turned out to be a brothel…if you ever meet me in person, remind me to tell you the story.
Would I go back to Cabarete? Yes, you are probably wondering why.
The country is growing. Sure, hay un poco de la pobreza bastante obvio, but the majority of people work really hard to show the best they have to offer. They are friendly and sweet.
The food is fantastic. Sancocho, mangu, tostones, arroz con habichuelas, concon…I could go on…
Nature – beaches, caves, national parks…serious nature here
Price – DR is still a steal, maybe not as cheap as when I last went, pero si usted está en un presupuesto apretado, you can still have a lovely time.
Lo que no debe hacer en Cabarete
No se quede en una de esas estaciones de mierda todo incluido. Eso es aburrido y segura. Be a traveler, not a tourist. If you just want to hang out with a bunch of Americans and Germans in the pool, do yourself a favor and stay in the US. If you go to DR, find a place to stay and meet some people. You will be surprised at how willing they are to open their doors and homes to you. De pronto tendrá una abuela que le invita a cenar y cocinar su especialidad. She may not have much to share, but she will share her work and family heritage. This is where travel becomes lovely. Si usted nunca ha hecho esto, give it a try. You will shed your tourist skin and become a traveler forever.
How to get there: Fly to Puerto Plata airport. It takes about 3 1/2 hours from NYC if you go non stop and if you do your research you can get some pretty affordable flights. Once you arrive, you will have to pay $10 to get in. You can take a taxi, but I recommend that wherever you are staying has someone come to get you. If you do take a taxi, it will cost you about $35 for the trip and be in Cabarete in roughly 20 minutes.
How to get around: Do not take public transportation. This is you begging to have your things stolen. Rent a car (I recommend a Jeep or something sturdy). Cabarete itself is quite small, so you can walk. I took the beach route on a daily basis. I recommend you do not walk alone at night.
Cosas que hacer en Cabarete República Dominicana
El Choco Caves – A great experience for everyone but me (as mentioned above I was attacked by evil red ants). There are some easy caves to explore. The moms & Antonio loved the caves. They even got to swim in fresh cool cave water when they were done. To get there you walk through El Choco National park where there is plenty of nature.
Beaches: Cabarete beach is lovely. You can definitely swim in the water, it is not too rough. It is quite popular with wind surfers (so much fun to watch). As you saw in the pictures above, there are wild horses and tons of unexpected surprises on the beach.
Restaurants: There are tons of restaurants right on Cabarete beach. They are all next to one another, making it easy for you to find a place to eat. Most of them were pretty good. Celina and Onno were my favorites.
Casinos: Yo no juego. I do “when in Rome”, but I think it a waste of money. That being said, if you go to the local casino, instead of free drinks, you get free sancocho…and it is good. Totally worth a little gambling for this delicious soup. The Casino is kinda ghetto, but whatevs, great soup.
Sports: No soy la persona más deportivo por ahí, but if you are, Cabarete is a perfect spot for you. Windsurfing, cascading, hiking, horseback riding, canyoning, mountain biking, ellos lo tienen todo.
Have questions about Cabarete Dominican Republic? Leave them in the comments.