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
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.
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.
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.
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).
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’.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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!