In our family's two years of sailing the Caribbean, the north coast of the Dominican Republic was, HANDS-DOWN, our very favorite place. Why? Well, if you're an active family on a budget, if you're craving outdoor adventure amidst a population of warm and welcoming people and you aren't interest in the swanky, all-inclusive mega-resort vibe of the south coast, then THIS is the place for you. Here's why, in a nutshell, you should go:
THE PEOPLE....the friendliest, loveliest, happiest people reside on the DR's north coast. There is a great synergy between the locals and visitors. We felt so welcome and made so many friends. Plus, speaking Spanish is the best!
BUDGET...for a traveling family on a budget, this was the cheapest place we found in the Caribbean. The food (in both grocery stores and restaurants) is extremely affordable AND delicious. 4 pineapples for $2 from a roadside truck was a typical purchase.
SURFING, KITING, and WINDSURFING...this is the water-sports mecca of the Caribbean. Cabarete is famous for kite-surfing, but our family fell in love with the break at Encuentro beach and surfed there every day. If you enjoy an active, sports-culture environment, you will be enchanted with all the north coast has to offer.
FUNKY...it's hard to put a finger on what makes this place so special. Arts and culture pervade...so does loud music blasted from giant speakers. Families stay up late and mingle in the streets. It's easy to meet people and to make lasting friendships. People are genuinely happy to see you. There is a magic in the air here that is hard to describe.
We came for a weekend and stayed six months!