cabarete travel guide

Cabarete Travel Guide

Our Guide to Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Here’s some tips and tricks to getting the most out of your Caribbean holiday in our little slice of paradise.

Food & Drink

Buying Food
All of our rooms have a mini-fridge so you can keep fruits or snacks to keep you energized between your meals at our delicious organic restaurant.

One of the best parts about being on a tropical island for example, is the wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables available year round. The best places to buy are at the small fruit and veg stands along the road (the closest to the eXtreme Hotel is less than 250 meters from our front door), as buying from the small shops instead of the markets supports local growers and families. Tropical fruits are relatively cheap when they are in season. For instance, you can get an entire delicious pineapple for only $40 RD (about $1.10 USD).

For other snacks and packaged goods, the are a few supermarkets in town. Janet’s is the biggest, but most have comparable pricing. There are also smaller mini mart style places with snacks, alcohol and other items you might want. If you need any help just ask our friendly front guest staff.

Eating Out
Cabarete is full of great restaurants with both local and international dishes to suit all budgets. Click here to read our Cabarete Restaurant Guide and learn our favorite places to go when we hit the town.

Water
It’s advisable to drink bottled water during your stay in the Dominican Republic. All rooms have a five gallon water dispenser – the first bottle is free and each five gallon bottle after is $100 RD (about $2.50 USD), which is exactly how much we pay for it. Just let the staff know if yours needs to be refilled.

Getting Around

Moto Taxis
One of the most typical modes of transportation in Cabarete is the moto-concho, aka motorcycle taxi. It’s one of the easiest ways to get around Cabarete and the surrounding areas, and the drivers usually know the area quite well. The cost is usually between 30 and 50 pesos per person (typically they’re more expensive at night), however make sure you confirm the price with the driver before you get on (haggling is often required).

Gua-Guas
Guaguas are mini-vans that operate as unofficial busses. There is no formal schedule, however they pass frequently during the day and all you need to do is wave one down when you see it coming and it will stop for you. Near and around Cabarete it’s 25 pesos per ride. When you are ready to get off, you just bang on the side of the vehicle or ask to ‘parar aqui’.

Taxis
There are normal taxis that you can hire to run errands, go further distances or travel at night. Be sure to agree on your destination and price with the driver before getting in.

Rental Cars
There are many options for rental cars in Cabarete starting at around $30 USD per day, which is a great way to get around if you want to do some further reaching tourism. Driving in the Dominican Republic is not for the weak of heart however – the quality of driving skill is very low on the island, so we recommend that only confident, alert drivers take this option.

Walking
Walking is a fantastic way to get to and from town, the market or even for going out. We are located only 2 km from the center of Cabarete, which is about 15- 30 minutes walking, depending how often you stop to take photos. If you’re heading there during the day, we highly recommend taking a gorgeous walk along the sand, however in the evening its best to walk along the road to avoid running into pick-pockets on the un-light beach at night.

Money & Banks

If you need to take money out, there are two main banks in Cabarete that we recommend. There is a Scotia Bank and a Banco Popular. Both are safe, and work great. It is worth checking with your bank to see if one offers better rates for you.

In the Dominican, both pesos and US dollars are accepted, however you’ll get slightly better rates using pesos. There are several money exchange places that will accept most major currencies. When you exchange money, you’ll need to bring your passport with you.

Health & Safety

Medical Information
Due to the large expat population, we have access to high quality medical care in Cabarete. ServiMed is the local Medical Service Center in the center of Cabarete, which is open 24 hours/day and is very good in emergency situations. We also have a local laboratory, which will run most tests for about $10 USD. If you need to visit a doctor for any reason, there is a very good Medical Center in Sosoua (the next town over), with both European and American doctors, as well as a well equipped private hospital in Puerto Plata (45 minutes away), which also has qualified European and America staff.

Safety & Security
Cabarete is home to many families, friendly locals and expats. It is a relatively safe place, but like anywhere you might travel to, it’s important to use common sense and keep your wits about you.

For example, the beach is a lovely walk during the day, however we recommend avoiding it at night as it is un-lit and a hangout for pick-pockets. It’s a good idea to leave your valuables in your room (expensive looking watches, electronics,etc.) and leave your passport at home unless you’re heading to change money. We recommended taking money out during the day and doing your best not walk around with more cash than you’d be willing to lose.

We consider the hotel very safe, however please remember to lock your doors behind you. We have both security guards and surveillance cameras, however it’s important to be careful as sometimes there are opportunists.

No Guest Policy
The property is open to outside guests, however we have a strict ‘no visits’ policy for the rooms. This means no matter how cute that boy is that you met in town, you can’t invite him upstairs with you. We do this to maintain security for you and all other guests – so enjoy your friends in the bar or at the pool, but when you see a “guests only” sign it means it’s a ‘guests only’ area.

Other Tips

Laundry
There are a few laundry mats in town, which cost about $400 pesos for up to five pounds or two and a half kilos of wash. The service is wash and fold, and should take anywhere from 24 – 48 hours. Please ask the front desk if you need any help.

Cell Phones
If you like having 3G while you’re out and about, you can pick up a cheap SIM card from Claro or Orange in town. Both have inexpensive pre-paid options and solid coverage.

Power
The town of Cabarete does have periodical power outages – it’s one of the lovely things about living on an island. As a solar powered hotel, we’re usually back online much faster, however we ask that you bear with us when some of these island things happen. As the Dominicans say, todo se resuelve, or, everything always works itself out!

Read more about Best Short Trips from Cabarete and Outdoor Adventures in Cabarete on our blog.

Our Organic Farm Tour
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Taino Organic Farm Tour

organic farm

Taino Organic Farm

Taino Farm is a permaculture inspired, agro-tourism demonstration and education center inspiring sustainable, nutritious food, hidden away on a tropical river outside the surf town of Cabarete, on the north coast of the Dominican Republic.

The Taino Organic farm is very cutting edge for the region, with modern aquaponics and water management systems, vermiculture, animal husbandry practices, as well as apiculture and aquaculture. The systems are so advanced for the Dominican Republic that some of the country’s best Universities take field trips out to visit the farm to learn more about it’s systems.

Currently the Taino Organic Farm also supplies about half of the ingredients for our beachfront farm-to-table restaurant at The eXtreme Hotel, meaning many of the organic veggies and free range poultry that may find their way onto your plate during your yoga retreat with The Yoga Loft come from the finca.

Organic Farm Tour

So of course, included in all of our retreats is a tour of the Taino Organic Farm. This half day experience will teach you about aquaponics and sustainable agriculture, as well as get you into the local culture of rural Dominican Republic.

The Taino Organc farm grows a variety of fruit, vegetables and super foods which you’ll be able to taste fresh off the trees during your tour – and even take home with you!

After the farm tour, you’ll grab your inner tube and your sunscreen and head down to the beautiful Yasica River. The cooling fresh waters will be your guide as you float peacefully downstream. About half way down the float, adventurists are invited to scramble up a jungle side cliff and jump from an overhanging tree into the crystal waters below.

The whole float takes between 1 to 2 hours, and It’s amazing how a relaxing river float will really build up your appetite, so afterwards you’ll enjoy a homemade lunch prepared from fresh organic produce. Farm Meals are typically vegetarian, and more importantly incredibly nutritious and delicious!

If you’re not coming on a yoga retreat but would like to book a tour anyways, please contact us for more information.

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yoga inversion pose

10 Reasons to Try an Inversion Pose

yoga inversion pose

At the Yoga Loft in Cabarete, our amazing instructors will often lovingly encourage you to try an inversion pose. An inversion is most generally categorized as any asana in which the head is below the heart. There are many variations to try- you can chill out with your legs up the wall, or go big and kick up into a handstand. No matter your level of practice, the simple truth is inversion poses are amazing for your whole body.

Here are some of the reasons why:

They are Energizing:

Heating inversions such as handstand, headstand, and forearm balance work your muscles, big and small, which gets your blood moving, resulting in physical invigoration and mental revitalization!

And Relaxing:

Cooling inversions like shoulder stand & legs up the wall activate the parasympathetic nervous system, soothing your body and mind, producing feelings of balance and calm.

Improve circulation:

Inversions let gravity provide the brain with more oxygen and blood, improving concentration, memory, and processing abilities. This is part of why they are called the fountain of youth!

Increase immunity and prevent illness:
The lymphatic system is key to keeping the body healthy. As lymph moves through the body it picks up toxins and bacteria to be eliminated by the lymph nodes. Lymph fluid only moves as a result of muscle contractions and gravity, so getting upside down allows toxins to more easily travel back to key node areas to be eliminated.

Improve balance:
Once balancing in one legged poses has been mastered, the obvious next step is finding equanimity on hands and head! Inversions trigger small muscles which will help stabilize you in everyday tasks as well.

Increase muscle strength:

Shoulders, arms and core all get a workout from these stabilizing poses—and the difference improves your form in all poses over time.

Build confidence:

When you first see someone kick up into a handstand and find that beautiful place of balance, you may be feeling a twinge of envy and having “I could never do that” thoughts. As you practice challenging yourself through these upside down poses, you’ll build confidence to conquer other things you thought at first to be impossible!

Gain patience:
Before we finally “get it”, those many attempts to gain upside down postures remind us of how much more we have to learn, and how truly it is about the journey, not simply the destination. Going easy on yourself can be the make or break between giving up and going forward.

Give a new perspective:
Yoga gently encourages us to move away from any unconscious habitual patterns, and the invitation to invert is simply another way by which to shake things up. They teach us through metaphor that there is always another way to approach the situation/person/problem. Seeing life in a different way can enforce in your mind what a gift it really is!

Increase playfulness:
They are fun! We are reintroduced to our inner child and reminded that while yoga is a contemplative endeavor in many ways, the asana practice is also a time to be playful and light hearted! Life becomes easier when we stop taking ourselves so seriously!

Like all things in life, the suggestion to get upside down is not for everyone. There are certain contraindications that should be observed so as not to cause or exacerbate previous injuries or illnesses: unmedicated high blood pressure, some heart conditions, neck injuries, recent stroke, detached retina, glaucoma, and epilepsy are common issues that should be addressed before inverting. Talk with your doctor and teacher if you are unsure about your status. Above all, as always, listen to your body first.

Namaste

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Nulla consequat massa quis enim. Donec pede justo, fringilla vel, aliquet nec, vulputate eget, arcu. In enim justo, rhoncus ut, imperdiet a, venenatis vitae, justo. Nullam dictum felis eu pede mollis pretium. Integer tincidunt. Cras dapibus. Vivamus elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Aenean leo ligula, porttitor eu, consequat vitae, eleifend ac, enim.

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