The North Coast of the Dominican Republic is well known under the independent travelers and under the surfers. This part of the island can be explored indepent from the travel organisations. The infrastructure is extensive and caters aswell for the budget traveler as for the all-inclusive tourist. Besides small self catering appartments there are a large number of all inclusive resorts. There is a lot to do and the nature is beautiful. The most developed all inclusive destination is Puerto Plata, while Sosua and Cabarete are more popular with the independent travelers. Cabarete is a wind- and kitesurfing hotspot and draws professionals and novices from all over the world.
The city is the capital of the province with the same name, being famous for various tourist centers, such as Costa Dorada and Playa Dorada, as well as the luxurious 4 star hotels, many of them providing extensive, all inclusive services.
The main beach is located near the eastern part of the city, and it is called Long Beach. This is the public, urban beach associated with the city. Other well-known beach locations include Costambar and Confresi, both located west of the city and abundant in many luxury resorts that are geared toward the needs of even the most demanding traveler or tourist.
Most of the main locations associated with Puerto Plata are natural parks and places that are considered to be wonders of Mother Nature. The El Morro National Park, for instance, is one of the best places for bird watchers. Here, you can find wood storks, American kestrel, plovers and many other rare and interesting bird species.
The nearby bays are some of the best places for viewing migrating humpback whales, as they travel to the waters around the Dominican Republic every winter. The best place to see them is Silver Bank, an incredible reef system found along an area of over 3000 square kilometers north-east of the city.
You don't have to go too far from Puerto Plata to find coral reefs and to explore the underwater wildlife, however. About 20 minutes from the city, you will be able to see some of the most impressive places practically made for scuba diving. Also, the shallow reefs are not the only attraction, as there are also many underwater canyons and even old shipwrecks that can be explored.
In the beginning, when tourists only just started visiting the Dominican Republic, about 2 or 3 decades ago, Sosua was considered to be the most important destination of all. The small city belongs to the Puerto Plata province.
Conveniently placed, the city is only about 15 minutes away from the windsurfing capital of the Caribbean, Cabarete, and about 4 miles away from the Puerto Plata International airport. It can easily be accessed through Camino Cinco, which is the main highway in the entire northern side of the Dominican Republic.
The town is located near a valley and close to a river that flows into the Sosua bay. It is renowned for its beautiful, relaxing beaches that take your breath away when you see them, as well as for the numerous shops, restaurants, cafes and night clubs, most of them located in the El Batey neighborhood.
In contrast with this, some places within the city are far poorer, consisting of narrow streets and shabby houses that show the contrast between the two different sides of the Dominican culture. In the Los Charamicos neighborhood, where most of these locations can be found, you can explore the less known aspects of the culture, and enjoy delightful traditional meals that you will likely not find anywhere else.
While some may enjoy a refreshing meal at a luxurious restaurant or are interested in roaming the streets of the city and looking up one of the entertaining night clubs, most tourists come to this area specifically for the wonderful experience that its tranquil beaches can offer.
If you visited the Dominican Republic before the 1980s, the city of Cabarete was virtually not even present on the map. Since then, its incredible features and beautiful beaches have made it one of the most sought after locations in the country for tourists, travelers and especially sporting enthusiasts.
Kite surfing in Cabarete, as well as practices such as windsurfing, scuba diving and stand up paddle boarding are only a few of the many sports and activities you can practice in this amazing place. Apart from that, its sunny beaches, unique restaurants and fast food places and luxurious accommodation options have made the city one of the most delightful vacation places, regardless of what you are looking for.
The warm ocean waters and the East Trade Winds have made Cabarete one of the best places in the entire country where people can practice activities such as kite boarding and windsurfing.
Cabarete kite boarding enthusiasts are always able to enrich the view with their colorful kites, and should you be interested in the sport, you can find numerous retailers and companies that produce and sell kites, boards and all the required accessories that you may need. The different windsurfing clubs give daily surf lessons and provide amateurs and professionals alike with the best equipment and accessories to turn their dreams into reality.
The fun and enticing Cabarete windsurfing competitions represent another distinctive aspect that has become practically a tradition in the city. The sailing conditions in Cabarete in the morning are perfect for beginners or children, and the water is warm basically all year round, so you will not need to bring along your wetsuit.
Cabarete kitesurfing and windsurfing are of course not the only activities you can take a part in. Scuba diving and snorkeling are also popular in the area, and there are many delightful underwater locations to be explored.
The ocean is not the only place in the Cabarete area that can provide you with sporting thrills. Horseback riding and golf enthusiasts are also known to come here for a challenge, as the different equestrian ranches and specially designed 9, 10 and 18-hole golf courses can provide the best possible experience for those who are interested in these sports.
The best time to visit the North Coast is May and June, when hotel rates take a dive for the impending rainy season. In general, the city's weather is warm with average highs ranging from 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to about 90 degrees in the summer. The region does experience a large amount of precipitation with an average of 50 to 60 inches of rainfall each year, with almost 10 inches alone on average in November.
The area sees most of its annual precipitation between June and November, with November being its rainiest month -- The North Coast is subject to tropical storms and hurricanes during this Atlantic hurricane season. But room rates are still slashed and crowds are non-existent, so if you were planning on skipping the beach, consider this time of year.
Although the weather is gorgeous from December to April-- ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit -- this is also the peak tourist season. Accommodations will be expensive and might be hard to come by, so book at least three to four months in advance.
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