When to come?
As I mentioned, Encuentro has great waves for beginners all year round. High season in Cabarete is December to around June, so the town is full of bustle. Very different vibe in low season, much more chill. Surfer’s choice!
If you’re an intermediate surfer looking to improve your skills, then the May to October reliable waves will be perfect for you.
The winter swell builds from November to January, and peaks from January to April. If you’re an expert surfer hunting massive overhead waves, then this is your time.
To Cabarete and beyond!
As well as carving up the waves at Encuentro, you can test out the waters in nearby El Canal, Mananero and Sosua Bay. These are all great quality surf spots, though less consistent than Encuentro. But, still, it can be fun to mix it up a little!
Mananero is best very early in the morning, as surf conditions go awry with any wind. A nice summer surf spot.
If you head east down the coast, you’ll find Rio San Juan, Playa Grande and Preciosa. All good spots if you like to adventure out of town a bit further. To refuel, there will usually be Dominican restaurants or informal ‘comedors’ around nearby serving tasty chicken, rice and beans.
Note that not everywhere will have board rentals, so be prepared if you want to wander outside town.
Surf culture is pretty prevalent in Cabarete. You’ll see a good few surf-themed shops and restaurants, while you’re here, so don’t miss out on this side of local culture. Check out our Lesson in Surf Slang article to prepare for that post-sesh surfer chat on the beach! You’ll be getting pitted in no time.