Samana Bay

Samana Bay

This week, some guests of eXtreme Hotel decided to explore some other areas of the Dominican Republic.  A three day kitesurfing road trip was organized by the staff here at eXtreme.  A 4×4 was rented for three days from a rental agency here in Cabarete and was loaded up with kiteboarding gear.  Everyone jumped in the car and off we went.  Only stopping for cold water and a bathroom break, the driving was smooth on the newly resurfaced highway 5.   In Sanchez, we left Highway 5 to head up into the mountains towards Las Terrenas.  At one point, the view opened up displaying the beauty of Samana Bay far below us, surrounded by coconut palms as far as the eye could see.  The road from Sanchex to Las Terrenas was an adventure on its own with many potholes and construction, and switchback turns.  Make sure your breaks are in good repair before attempting this road!  The scenery was beautiful for the entire drive.

Once we arrived in Las Terrenas, we were surprised by its size.  It was even bigger than Sosua, and shaped like a figure 8, with one way streets.  The main road followed the coastline where there were many hotels, Bed and Breakfasts and restaurants.  The entire coast was beach with some reef further out.  As kiteboarders, our first priority was to check out the two local spots and to determine the kitesurfing conditions.  After talking with some of the locals, we were told the wind would be up later in the afternoon, so we decided to go look for a place to stay before kiteboarding.

Hotel Casa Nina

Hotel Casa Nina

Earlier on, we had decided not to make any reservations, but to look for an inexpensive place to stay upon arrival.  We found a place called Hotel Casa Nina that suited our needs perfectly.  It was simple and cheap and had room for four people to sleep and a bathroom.  We wanted to keep it simple as we would be on the beach kiting all day, everyday and out enjoying the nightlife in the evenings.

Flatwater riding

Flatwater riding

After we checked into the hotel, we changed into beach clothes, grabbed out kitesurfing gear and returned to the local kite spot in time to catch some wind.  The beach was beautiful and we were kiteboarding in a protected bay, so we had excellant flatwater conditions.  The only concern were the patches of reef underwater inside the bay where some came very close to breaking he surface of the water.  One member of our group hit the fins of his board on one of the reefs.  Further out, the reef became very shallow and covered most of the bay.  When doing tricks, you had to be careful to pick a line so that if you crashed, you wouldn’t land on any reef.  The second and third days, the water was higher and the reef was easier to navigate.  Over the three days we rode 8-12m kites, with 10m kites being the most popular.  The kiteboarding location was about a three minute drive from our hotel, and the 4×4 came in handy navigating the trail from the road to the beach.  The flatwater conditions and small number of kiteboarders made this an excellant place for everyone in our group to work on new tricks.  At one point in our second day, I was the only person on the water for nearly an hour.  The most kitesurfers out on the water at any time was eight or nine.  Usually there were four to six kitesurfers at a time.  The beach had both sunny and shady areas, though I recommend bringing water with you as there was no food or drink available here.

The local kite scene

The local kite scene

After our first day of kiteboarding we returned to the hotel and bathed and changed our clothes.  Afterwards we went looking for a local place that served Dominican style food and enjoyed all sorts of local cuisine from pollo fritos, yuca, porco and platino fritos to name a few.  When we were finished eating we went to check out a country fair that was operating in town.  They had all kinds of tents set up and a very old ferris wheel, carousel and swing ride.  There were venders selling anything you could think of and we bought cotton candy and some beer to enjoy while listening to local live music playing Haitian based tunes.

After our second day of kitesurfing, we went to check out a different restaurant that had an American theme and some very good hamburgers.  Afterwards we went in search of a pool hall and had a great time playing together.  We even had a mini-tournament (I lost) and drank some more beer while we played.  The music coming through the speakers was primarily Dominican Reggaeton.

The drive home

The drive home

Our third day had the best wind and weather and we stayed to kiteboard until around 4pm.  Then we packed up the car, had some food and hit the road for our return trip back to Cabarete.  The drive back through the mountains was just as beautiful the second time through as the first.  On the return drive we stopped at a couple of potential kitboarding locations for possible future adventures.

After arriving safe and sound in Cabarete, it sure felt great to sleep in my own bed again.  We ended up with some great photos and videos of our adventure and a lot of happy memories of good times with friends.