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Kitesurfing is one of those amazing sports that you can do virtually anywhere there’s a suitable body of water.
Kitesurfing enthusiasts even plan their annual holidays around the best spots to enjoy their favorite water activity, and kitesurfing Dominican Republic happens to be one of the most popular.
What’s so good about kitesurfing in the Dominican Republic?
The Caribbean nation has an idyllic island surrounding that gives it spectacular views but it also has ideal weather and wind conditions that make it a dream for kitesurfers and other water activities.
It’s a popular spot for visitors and sees roughly 6 million tourists each year, with many of those interested in the potential of a good kitesurf while they’re there.
If you’ve been thinking of planning a holiday that involves kitesurfing or just want to tick the famous location off your bucket list, there’s never been a better time.
This travel guide will show you exactly why the Dominican Republic is such a popular tourist destination for kitesurfers and where exactly you should visit to get the best conditions.
Why Is Kitesurfing So Popular in the Dominican Republic?
The Dominican Republic is one of the world’s premier destinations when it comes to kitesurfing and other water activities.
What makes it so popular is a combination of a few things, including the picturesque setting, perfect weather conditions for kiting, and accessibility that makes it great for people of all skill levels and ages to enjoy.
There are a few areas in the Dominican Republic that are particularly well known for water sports and they’re also great places to relax and enjoy other activities.
Being such a multi-faceted destination, you have the option to make your entire holiday about kitesurfing or just some of it, and either way you’re sure to be impressed. It’s easy to travel to the Dominican Republic and there are plenty of options for accommodation.
The best time to visit the Caribbean Sea if you plan on kitesurfing is January to August, and this is true for the Dominican Republic specifically.
You’ll get to experience their famous trade winds between 18 and 22 knots as well as pretty consistent weather for this season, and even kitesurf without having to wear a suit. Those traveling outside of these months will still get a lot of good kitesurfing in, but it may not be as consistent day to day.
Things to Keep in Mind About Kitesurfing Dominican Republic
While it sounds ideal to head to Dominican Republic for a kitesurfing holiday, you’ll need to educate yourself on the negative aspects as well.
Although it’s mostly all good to head to the Caribbean for a holiday some things might turn tourists away, especially if you plan on spending the bulk of your vacation on kitesurfing.
As stated, the Dominican Republic attracts around six million visitors each year. When you consider the size and that there are a few key spots where people tend to kitesurf, it can get busy.
Any good kitesurfer knows that you need your own space to enjoy it to its full potential so this is something to keep in mind when you’re booking your vacation. Aim for lesser-known kiting spots and enjoy the public beaches to try and avoid the crowds.
Mosquitoes are commonplace in many idyllic island destinations and it’s no different in the Dominican Republic. Sadly, there’s nowhere you can go to avoid them, so you’ll have to be proactive in keeping them away.
Always use mosquito repellent and opt for dark clothing to camouflage yourself from them. Dengue and malaria are both common in the Dominican Republic so these insects come with additional risk.
Choppy water can’t be avoided when you’re a kitesurfer but it will put a dampener on your vacation if it’s constant.
If you’re a beginner, we advise learning how to manage choppy waters before you head off, but for those with experience, you should still be able to kite even in these less than perfect conditions.
The Dangers of Dominican Republic Kitesurfing
The most dangerous thing about kitesurfing in the Dominican Republic is the weather.
Wind conditions are ideal most of the year, depending on the specific location, but it’s known for severe wind gusts that can erupt suddenly and also a wicked shore break. Some areas aren’t ideal unless you’re very experienced, so never kite out of your skill level.
As a popular tourist destination, it’s standard that many of the kitesurfers you’re sharing the water with will be inexperienced.
Therefore, it’s up to you to be vigilant about safety and always wear the right gear. You might know the rules but all it takes is one person who’s unaware and you could be in danger.
Finally, the Dominican Republic is classed as a risky travel destination by the Smart Traveler website. There is a high rate of crime, increased health risks, and other factors that should be extensively considered before planning a holiday here.
Most of the popular resorts and tourist destinations are safe to travel to, but caution still needs to be taken.
How Expensive Is It to Kitesurf in the Dominican Republic?
You can easily budget for a kitesurfing trip by looking at the most important aspects that’ll make up your stay.
When considering a vacation in the Dominican Republic specifically, this is what you can expect to spend:
- Flights: Flights leave daily from the US including New York, Miami, and Boston, costing around $500 with sales offering flights for a lot less.
- Accommodation: With hundreds of accommodation options it’s up to you and what you’re happy to spend. You can find budget hotels for around $130USD a night or into the thousands for something five star.
- Kite and gear rental: Learning at a kite school usually includes your gear but to hire equipment for your kiting adventure you can expect to spend about $50USD an hour for both the kite and board.
- Kiting lessons: Kite schools can be found all around DR in places like Punta Cana and Cabarete. The average cost is around $60USD for an hour’s beginner lesson or up to a few hundred dollars for an intensive all-day course.
Visiting the Dominican Republic for a vacation is generally considered budget-friendly provided you know the places to eat and shop.
Otherwise, there are options for people who want to spend more and enjoy a lavish holiday, and it’s a place that offers experiences at both ends of the spectrum.
The 5 Best Kitesurfing Locations in the Dominican Republic
Once you’ve decided that the Dominican Republic is the place where you want to take your next kiting vacation, you’ll have to choose the perfect spot.
These are some of the most popular kitesurfing locations in the DR, or you can go it alone and find something a little less crowded for your favorite water activity.
- Cabarete Kite Beach: Arguably the most popular place for kiting, hence the name, Cabarete Kite Beach is an experience like no other. It’s got kiters of all skill levels who flock here due to the ideal weather conditions, and it’s got gear hire and lessons to enjoy everywhere you look. If you want a lot of space, it’s not for you, but for intermediate and beginner kiters you’ll be sure to love it.
- Encuentro: Referred to as ‘the best waves in the Dominican Republic’ this place is a must-visit for anyone who loves water sports. Encuentro even features a surf lodge that has specialized accommodation for kitesurfers. With perfect conditions 330 days of the year, there’s nowhere else you’d rather be.
- La Boca: Located about 7km east of Cabarete, this is a popular place for kiters who prefer to freestyle. It’s close enough to all of the hotels and resorts but with enough space to do as you please out on the water. La Boca surrounds many other popular kiting locations so you can spend the day traveling the coast and checking it all out if you have the time.
- Punta Salinas: Punta Salinas is a great place for kiters of all skill levels to come together and enjoy, so it’s better for those who are still learning to master the kite. If you’re traveling with family who wants to give it a try then it’s got something for everyone. Salinas has a wide shore, it’s clean, the winds are consistent, and it doesn’t get too packed even in busier months so it’s well worth a visit.
- La Ventosa: This beach is not for the faint-hearted, nor should it be for the inexperienced kitesurfer. If you want to avoid the crowds and give yourself a challenge, you’ll want to head to La Ventosa and check it out. This place is regarded as one of the windiest locations in the world and it’s where you need to go if you want to test your speed and skills.
Kitesurfing in the Dominican Republic is the ideal way to combine an island vacation with your favorite extreme sport.
If you’ve never traveled for kiting before or just want to know a little more about how to enjoy it away from home, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions that beginner kitesurfers have about the right way to do it.
What is the Best Weather for Kitesurfing?
The best weather for kitesurfing would consist of a sunny day without clouds and a consistent wind speed of 15 to 20 knots blowing in the side shore direction.
While it is possible to kitesurf in all kinds of weather conditions, with some people even preferring it, this is the ideal weather for beginners and those who want a smooth session.
Can I Travel With Kitesurfing Gear?
Most airlines allow you to carry your kite and harness as part of your carry on luggage due to their smaller size, but you must remove the line leash and knife if you do.
If you want to take your board, you’ll need to check this on to be stored in the luggage compartment.
You should confirm with the airline before booking your vacation to be clear on their requirements for traveling with these specific items.