Learn to surf Holiday

Dominican Republic

There are three basic materials for covering: wood, metal and ceramic tiles. We had designed this house with panoramic windows, so we only filled it up with functionality.


This Surf Holiday is ideal for single travellers looking for a social surf holiday.

It has the social aspects of a hostel, with the comforts of a hotel; it’s a boutique surf camp.

Located on the North coast of the Dominican Republic, it’s a true watersport paradise for outdoor lovers: surf, kitesurf, windsurf, Stand Up paddle boarding snorkeling and diving are all activities you can do within a few miles radius.


Getting to the Republic is real easy for north Americans, with direct flights from New York, Charlotte, Boston and Miami. Once in the Dominican Republic for a once in a lifestime surf holiday you are only 25 minutes away from an incredible surf holiday for solo travellers



Most of the clients that come to Swell have never surfed before and choose to Learn with us. Why? We are not the cheapest surf school in Cabarete, but most of our clients realise that you get what you pay for.

We set up a 7 day learn to surf course that takes place at Playa Encuentro. We use qualified surf instructors that speak English as their first language.

We use safe soft top boards for the first few days of lessons. We provide good surf booties and rash guards. Besides the lessons we gave on the beach, we also provide theory lessons at the camp for more background on topics such as:

  • Safety briefing
  • Where to sit in the line up
  • Rip currents ( there’s none at Encuentro but at most other surf spots around the world there are)
  • Surfer’s etiquette ( don’t drop in, priority rules etc.)
  • Board designs and accessories.
  • How waves are formed.

Most other  surf schools and surf camps just focus on 2-3 days of lessons to make sure that the client manages to stand up on a board at least once. At Swell we want to make sure that when you leave the Dominican Republic you can not only stand up on a surfboard, but continue your surfing career at your local beach in a safe and fun manner.



What does a normal surf day at Swell look like when you are on the learn to surf holiday

  • Get up at 6.30 for the first morning session.
  • Quick cup of fresh coffee
  • Taxi takes you from Swell to Playa Encuentro.
  • Surf lessons or session until 9 at Playa Encuentro.
  • taxi ride back to Swell
  • Delicious fresh cooked breakfast at Swell.
  • Relax for a bit.
  • Back to Playa Encuentro for a second surf session ( free surf with tips from the instructors)
  • 12.30 back to Swell
  • Chill
  • Grab a lunch in town ( our clients love Gordito’s Fresh Mexican across the road from us)
  • If the conditions are very good and glassy we might go back for another surf  for a sunset session.
  • Chill at Swell until dinner is served or go in town with the other clients for a nice bite to eat.
  • Maybe a few cold Presidente beers at one of the bars that’s within walking distance.
  • Back to Swell, good night sleep in comfortable beds.
  • Repeat

We look forward to welcoming you this autumn or winter for a unique one of a kind surf holiday.

Surfing Cabarete

Here’s some information regarding the different surf spots , conditions and what to expect on a surf holiday in and around Cabarete, Dominican Republic.

Surf spots close to Cabarete
The most popular surfspot on the North Coast of the DR is Playa Encuentro, it’s 3 miles west of Cabarete town.
The beach of Playa Encuentro or ( or just plain Encuentro as everyone calls it) has several different surf spots:
From West to East they are:

  • Destroyer: like the name suggests, not a wave for beginners, it’s fast and barreling and best in the winter months. It’s shallow with pretty sharp reef so kamikazes and bodyboarders only!
  • The left at Encuentro: a quality left hander that can peel for a good distance, barrel sections, works in NE and North swells, and when it does you will not be the only one out there, so can get a bit crowded with good surfers
  • Encuentro main peak: a fun , consistent ( breaks all year round) wave, the right is longer, the left shorter and faster. Great for short and longboarders, also good for intermediates and experts.
  • Bobo’s point: right in front of Bobo’s surf school, a fun left and right wave for surfers of all levels.
  • Coco Pipe: good right hand wave, that only gets good in a North swell with some size. Barrels and good walls to hit. Shallow and uneven reef below the surface, so not for beginners

Cabarete’s main bay also has waves that you could surf, but it’s a long paddle, 30 minutes on a shortboard. Not the easiest place to surf since it’s hard to predict the peaks, No crowds, just the occasional Stand up Paddle surfer.
East of Cabarete is Mananero: best in East swells, without wind, so early summer mornings. It’s fast & it has a good punch for intermediate and experts surfers.

About 45 minutes east of Cabarete is Playa Grande which has several surf spots in the region. Playa Grande itself has a fun beach break, great for bodyboarding & bodysurfing. The next bay has several surf spots, the most well know spot in Preciosa, a world class reef break in front of a headland, the left is better and longer than the right.

These spots are the most well known surf spots in the Cabarete region, there’s a good amount more spots, some are surfed less frequent in their consistency, some are secret spots, so you’ll need a willing local to share the info. At Swell staff has lived here for over 10 years, so we know all the major spots, but will not publish them here on the web ( maybe at Swell after a few beers, we can be bribed;-)


Playa El Encuentro on the North coast of the Dominican Republic is where we do most of our surfing. Why? Because it’s the most consistent surf spot on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic. Unlike most other surf spots in the Caribbean, Encuentro is a beach that has surfable waves almost every day of the year, ( I think on average it has waves bigger than waist high on 340 days of the year. Besides it’s constency it’s also a place that caters for surfers of all levels, from complete beginners that have never surfed before to die hard surfers with 20+ years of surfing experience.


How do we get to Playa Encuentro?


Playa Encuentro is about 3 miles out of the Cabarete town center ( where we are located), as a result we take our guests by taxi to Encuentro for their surfing. Contrary to what places that are located at Encuentro try to make you believe, staying in Cabarete is by far the best way to enjoy the best that this surf town has to offer. We are within walking distance to most great restaurants and bars. Encuentro is great for surfing, but there’s absolutely nothing else to do, eat, drink there during the day.

Feel like you are missing out on good surf?
Not when you are staying at Swell, we are always the first ones in the water ( if you choose to go on the sunrise surf session) and we go back to the beach several times during the day if the conditions are good for it. If you stay at basic accommodation at Encuentro yes you canb walk to the surf in the morning, but you are stuck way out of town for the rest of the day and night. Moto taxi’s; not if your life is dear to you.

Ok, here’s some surf spots of surfers of all different levels at Encuentro

longboarding cabarete

Interested in Surfing Encuentro?

We still have places open at our surf camp, so have a look at our packages and contact us.
See you soon

More info about Surfing Cabarete

Surf forecast for Surfing Cabarete can be found here.

More photo’s of surfing on the North coast of the DR.

Learn to surf holiday
North coast Dominican Republic
Year round
Ideal for
Solo travellers

Client testimonials

Great people make an amazing vacation!

We just finished a week at Swell and wished we had stayed longer. We are total beginners to surfing, but met a few seasoned surfers at Swell. We were the only couple with mostly solo travellers and had a great time meeting people.

This place is special; not just for beginners to learn how to surf, but it has just the right mix. Great instructors (Neno, Lee, and Ben), great team lead by Manager Haudy, and a great atmosphere. The owners, Clare and Jeroen have put a lot of thought and care into Swell.

The brunches and dinners at Swell are amazing! And well earned after two surf lessons a day. Food around town (Gorditos, Vagamundo Waffles, and Casa di Papi on the beach) are reasonable and tasty. The camp itself is intimate, clean, and modern. Wifi in the rooms is weak, but we didn’t mind, as you could use it in the common areas, and made us more social.

One word of advice: if you want to learn how to surf and get up, make sure you do the exercises Clare will send you. If you don’t, you will probably struggle.

We have already recommended Swell to several people and hoping to make our way back soon! Book it; you won’t regret it.

Josie -New York

Where can I find more info?

Follow this link for more info