A scrappy and mostly charming beach town on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, Cabarete attracts visitors for its daytime cafe scene, nighttime club scene, and huge, windswept beaches that have made it a world capital for kitesurfing, as well as a popular place for windsurfing and traditional surfing. At night, when the cafes transform into nightclubs, tourists and young crowds heavy with German and French expats come to party and dance to thick reggaeton beats. The scene has an ugly side as well: Advances from prostitutes are extremely common, and tourists are advised to travel in groups and to use common sense to avoid street crime, especially at night. Sosua, a small town located roughly halfway between Cabarete and the Puerto Plata airport, offers at least one appealing resort, but its beaches are notorious for nighttime prostitution.
Viva Wyndham, in Cabarete, is an all-inclusive with minimal amenities and subpar food -- but a great beach, making it a preferred spot for kiteboarders. Fifteen minutes from Cabarete is Natura Cabanas, a quiet, eco-friendly alternative to the big resorts with (yet another) great beach and strikingly good food, especially for the D.R.
Gregorio Luperon Int'l Airport (20 min., $35 cab ride)
June 15-Aug. 15; Dec.15-April 15
April 15-June 15; Aug. 15-Dec. 15
June 1-Nov. 30
No; $10 tourist card must be purchased at airport on arrival and $20 U.S. Departure Tax applies
110 V, 60 Hz (U.S. compatible)
10% is customary and usually included in the bill at hotels and restaurants