Digital Nomad Guide to Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Work and Play All Day
Cabarete, Dominican Republic is an up and coming, yet underrated, destination for adventure loving digital nomads. Most well known as the Adventure Sports Capital of the Caribbean, we kitesurf, free surf, and standup paddle surf 300 days per year around here. As digital nomads and adventure lovers, we found ourselves “stuck” in Cabarete thanks to the dreamy conditions and decent wifi. In fact, our productivity level while living here skyrocketed and afforded us the opportunity to buy our kiteboarding center and healthy restaurant.
Nevertheless, there are some nuances to getting your hands on the good internet, so we decided to create this mini-guide to help you navigate this hidden digital nomad paradise. Below you will read all about internet speed, internet cafes, and internet providers, cost of living, community, culture, safety, weather, and airports. We hope you find it useful, but remember you can always contact us directly for any insider info on digital nomad topics at firstname.lastname@example.org
Internet Speed in Cabarete
There was a time when anything faster then 2mb was entirely too expensive and not reliable enough considering the cost. We are happy to report that in the past two years or so, Cabarete has stepped up its internet game. These days a 10mb connection is relatively standard, and several complexes and cafes have 50 and even 100mb connections.
Please note that you definitely run into accommodation advertising a hi-speed connection, but since too many units are sharing one modem, it feels more like dial-up.
Internet Providers in Cabarete
The good news is you can get your very own modem with your choice of speed and without a contract from Cable Del Norte. There are a few other providers like Delancer and Claro, but we use Cable Del Norte, and we are happy with both their cable connection in our house (3 MBPS) and fiber in our cafe (50 MBPS). SIM cards for your phone are also cheap, and both Claro and Altice (used to be called Orange) have 3G. You can pick up a SIM for these providers at most grocery stores and easy to find stand alone stores throughout town.
5 Cafes In Cabarete With Free Wifi
Our very own restaurant, Vitamin D Cafe, in front of Agualina Hotel on Kite Beach (50 MBPS).
Open 8 am – 3 pm Tuesday – Sunday.
Vagamundo Coffee and Waffles, across from Supermercado La Rosa.
Open 8 am – 5 pm Daily
Janets Cafe, above Janet’s Supermarket.
Open 8 am – 4 pm Monday – Saturday
Fresh Fresh Cafe, across from BHD Bank in central Cabarete.
Open 8 am – 10 pm Daily
Belgian Bakery, next to Banco Popular.
Open 7 am – 6 pm Daily
Digital Nomad Community in Cabarete
The truth is, Cabarete doesn’t tend to have digital nomad “meetups.” That’s because Cabarete has been a place for nomads decades before digital got added into the mix. The natural evolution of many nomads was going digital, so Cabarete is in essence one big DN community.
Ultimately, if you hang out at our place or go to any of the restaurants we mentioned, you will inevitably run into our crew.
However, there is a Facebook group for Cabarete Nomads if you want to connect digitally.
There is also a Facebook Group for Kitesurfing Nomads
Neighborhoods in Cabarete and Rough Cost of Rent
Cabarete is a pretty small town, but there are options for all lifestyles. You can live like a local or live like a rockstar. Many places come fully furnished, include all utilities and wifi. Since electricity is considered to be expensive, sometimes you will have to pay this separate based on usage. So, be sure to weigh that when pricing out your accommodation.
Live Like a Local in Cabarete
Callejon de la Loma (Alley of the Hill) is a safe and affordable neighborhood that houses many locals and still a fair amount of visitors and expats. It is off the main road, yet close enough to the beach, so you get a pretty good bang for the buck considering. You can find places where you can rent a room with a private bathroom and a shared kitchen at complexes like Casa Carmen for somewhere around USD$150/month including all utilities and wifi. If you don’t feel like sharing there are still plenty of apartments and houses where you can live a little more privately.
ProCab is another off-beach neighborhood that has a nice mix of locals and visitors and expats. It is also the place to go if you are looking for a hostel. The two best known are Cabarete Surf Camp and Hostel Laguna Park. For a room with a shared bathroom, you are looking at aboutUSD$10-12 per night including all utilities and wifi. Of course, there are discounts for weekly and monthly, so just ask when you inquire. ProCab is also a great place to look for an inexpensive apartment or casita. You can find a small one or two bedroom for somewhere around theUSD$300-400/month range including all utilities and wifi.
Kite Beach is where our kitesurfing school, Dare2fly, and restaurant, Vitamin D Cafe, are located. There is a section of Kite Beach called La Curva (The Curve) which is located directly across the street from the beach (about 100 steps). La Curva has a little oasis of bungalows and studio apartments called Mango House. Here kiter bums and local kite stars live in perfect harmony for aboutUSD$300-400/month including water and wifi, but you have to pay for your electricity separately here. If you want to live affordably directly on the beach, Kite Beach Inn is the best option for that. There are rooms with a private kitchen, but you can save money by choosing one that shares the public kitchen. Options range from USD$25/night up to USD$99/night for the penthouse studio including all utilities and wifi. Of course, there are discounts for weekly and monthly rentals, so just ask when you inquire.
Live Like a Rockstar in Cabarete
There are a few fancy complexes in Cabarete where you can live like a rockstar. The first one that comes to mind is Millennium. Located in Cabarete Bay, this is one of those swanky places with lots of white everything and an infinity pool. Another swanky place is Ultra Violeta. Situated on Bozo Beach, instead of white everything, there is, of course, a lot of royal purple. If you want to live in fancy town on Kite Beach, look into Ocean Point and Caba Reef. Since all of these places are beachfront condos with full kitchens and bathrooms, these accommodations will run you a few grand per month.
Somewhere in Between
You can find lovely studios and one-bedroom condos in Ocean One and Ocean Dream. These are apartment complexes located in the center of Cabarete that sprawl from the street to the beach, so prices range from about USD$800-1500/month depending on the number of bedrooms and whether it comes with an ocean view or not. On Kite Beach, our school and restaurant are located on the property of Agualina Kite Resort, prices in this complex range from about USD$800-2500/month depending on if you want a standard room with no kitchen or the penthouse. Dulce Vida is a charming little apartment complex located directly across the street from the beach. Here you can get a place ranging from USD$700-1500/month depending on the season and how many bedrooms.
Search For Places to Live in Cabarete
The best place to find a rental is on Facebook. There are several very active Facebook groups:
Of course, the whole world knows about Airbnb by now, but you are going to be better off looking for short-term rentals if you choose to go this route. The monthly rates are usually not that great of a deal. Airbnb is a good option if you just want to find something easy and well rated while you get acclimated. Our community is pretty tight, so you will make friends quickly and have insight on choice places to rent before you know it.
No one here really uses Craigslist. So, don’t bother. If they are using Craigslist, it is to target American renters 😉
We have access to a few rental units on Kite Beach, so you can always feel free to contact us for the inside scoop on our digital nomad deals.
Public Transportation in Cabarete
Getting around Cabarete is cheap, easy, and fast! Just know your prices and make sure you have change before you embark on your journey. More often than not, the driver will have a hard time coming up with change 😉
Most people hail a moto concho (motorcycle taxi). There is a stop on every corner and in convenient locations in between. For RD$50 during the day and RD$100 after sunset, you can go anywhere on the main road from East Cabarete to the beginning Sosua. If you find a moto concho that you like and trust, get his WhatsApp and call him whenever you need him to pick you up.
You can stand on the side of the road anywhere and flag down a guagua. Just be ready to feel like a sardine because these passenger vans are meant to hold 12 people comfortably, yet somehow they have figured out how to cram up to 25 in one. The guagua displays its route on a banner across the windshield. RD$25 gets you from Cabarete to Sosua. Getting to Puerto Plata will run RD$60-70. It’s good to know that these passenger vans stop and pick up and drop off passengers A LOT. So, not a good idea to use this mode of transportation if you are in a hurry.
If you want to get somewhere fast and cheap, hail a carrito publico. These little cars, usually a Toyota Corolla, drive at the speed of light once they fill themselves over capacity, 4 in the front and 4 in the back. You can get anywhere on the main road from Cabarete to Sosua for RD$30 during the day and RD$50 after sunset.
Personal Transportation in Cabarete
If you are going to stay a while, you can always buy a beat-up Honda Cub or something similar for about USD$200-300. Then when you leave, sell it for the same. Bring a helmet, or you can buy one at the local hardware store for abou tUSD$20.
The Facebook Groups are always an excellent place to start your search for just about anything. Like we already mentioned, they are very active.
Feeding Yourself in Cabarete
Again, you can live like a local or ball out. Local cuisine has a lot of beans, rice, and stewed meat or fried chicken. You can get a nice fat plate of Dominican Food for about RD$125-150.
If you choose to eat out, there are a lot of international options with authentic plates. Italian, German, American, French, Japanese, Mexican, Chinese, Vegan, Cabarete has just about everything. Most plates will run you somewhere from RD$250-450. A typical meal at our restaurant, Vitamin D Cafe, averages RD$300.
A cup of coffee is about RD$45 pesos. At our restaurant, Vitamin D Cafe we sell a bottomless cup for RD$90.
Grocery Shopping in Cabarete
First of all, there are colmados (convenience store) every five feet. Each one is a little different. Most carry the staples of beer, fruit, cakes, cookies, chips, and some will have extras like shaving cream.
We have one main supermarket in Cabarete, Supermercado Janet. We have another smaller one called Supermermercado La Rosa. You will be able to fulfill all of your basic needs at either one of these. There are two bigger grocery stores in our neighboring town of Sosua (about ten mins away), Super Pola and Playero. There you will find more of a selection and lots of imported goods.
Check out this post we wrote for a friend on Grocery Shopping in Cabarete.
Beer Prices in Cabarete
Below you will find beer prices at the local colmado. This always gives good insight into the cost of living in an area:
|Brand||Size oz||Size in cl||Cost in Pesos||Cost in USD|
Cabarete has a beautiful mix of locals, tourists, and ex-pats. It is a true melting pot of cultures from all over the world. The native Caribbean vibe is upbeat and exciting. Dominicans are warm and friendly and extremely fun to hang out with. The town is small, so everyone becomes like family, and you will likely make life-long friends in Cabarete. You have to have an open mind because you will surely have some experiences that could be considered strange in your own country, but once you find the groove, you might find it hard to leave. Ask us how we know!
Can’t Speak Spanish?
If you can’t speak Spanish, it’s ok. Most everyone knows at least a little bit of English. Even so, you will likely make so many Dominican friends you will end up Speaking a little Spanish by default. If you want lessons, check out our friends at Una Vaina Bien. Otherwise, you can contact us and we can put you in touch with a freelance instructor.
Is Cabarete Safe?
The short answer is yes. Of course, there are places you don’t want to go in the dark, just like in any town in any country in the world. Yes, you could get pickpocketed in the club. Yes, you could get your phone stolen if you leave it and walk away from it. But, if you have your head on straight you have absolutely no worries. If you make yourself into a target, you could run into opportunistic petty criminals. So, leave your Rolex at home and try not to bumble around town like a drunken idiot.
Cabarete is part of the Caribbean Islands. The air and the water average is 80°F here in Cabarete. Nov-Dec is the rainy season, although no one likes to admit that because Dec is high tourist season. We are talking to digital nomads here, so we know you can come when you feel like it and not just when you have vacation time to burn. Summer can get a little warmer (Jun-Sept) and winter a tad cooler (Oct-Jan).
Getting To Cabarete, Dominican Republic
There are several international airports in the country of the Dominican Republic, but Gregorio Luperón International Airport in Puerto Plata (POP) is the closest to Cabarete is the closest at 20-30 minutes away. It’s a straight shot from there to here. You can grab a cab right at the airport for USD$35 (about RD$1500). You can also walk to the road and catch a gugua if you don’t have too much luggage.
Cibao International Airport in Santiago (STI) is the second closest airport to Cabarete. You will often find that POP is the most expensive airport in DR, so be sure to cross reference prices. STI is about 2 hours away and you can get a taxi to Cabarete for about USD$100. We know a really great taxi driver Speedy Gonzalez who will take good care of you.
Las Américas International Airport in Santo Domingo (SDQ) is generally the least expensive airport, but also the farthest from Cabarete. It’s about 3 hours away via taxi USD$200 (they’ll start at $250, but you can usually negotiate down to $200).
With any of our 3 main airports, you can save a ton of money by taking the bus here. There are two companies running routes, Metro Tours and Caribe Tours. It costs about USD$10 for the trip. The buses are comfy and COLD so bring a sweater. They also have wifi believe it or not, although we have to admit it’s not really functional because it is so slow.
If you want to know more in depth details about getting to Cabarete from any of the airports, check out this series of articles we wrote for our friends. It has maps, prices, etc.
Just to be clear, Cabarete is not perfect when it comes to any of the things we mentioned. But it is pretty close in our opinion and we have found that there are very few occasions when you can’t get by. With all of the tips mentioned in this article, you should be able to figure it out. We have maintained an online business 6 years while living here.
We think that covers the basics, but if you have any insight or questions, feel free to use the comments.