One of our writers, expert beach bum Skye Sherman, recently took a weekend trip to Cabarete, Dominican Republic. This three-day itinerary lays out exactly how she made the most of her weekend in paradise.
I recently boarded a quick flight (seriously, it was less than 2 hours!) from Miami to Puerto Plata, on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, to spend a long weekend exploring a country that was totally new to me. I wasn’t expecting much, because I knew almost nothing about the Dominican Republic, but I can confidently say there’s a lot to love about the chill vibes of this lush country.
For whatever reason, this Caribbean island gave me serious Koh Samui, Thailand, vibes—I guess because it’s a casual and beachy area that’s not overrun by tourists, but really feels like an authentic “locals-only” kind of place. They also have on-beach bars, water sports and abundant tropical foliage in common. I didn’t visit any, but the Dominican Republic also has waterfalls to hike, jungles to trek and even their version of Mexican cenotes to swim. It’s a great spot to visit, whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure or just a laid-back beach vacation.
Know Before You Go
The currency of the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Peso, but U.S. dollars and credit cards are widely accepted, too, making it a virtually hassle-free vacation destination. Keep in mind that it’s usually easier (and cheaper) to withdraw pesos out of an ATM; currency exchange centers are notorious for taking a large cut! A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that $1 USD equals around 50 Dominican Pesos.
Easy as it is to visit, not everyone in the Dominican Republic speaks English, so there are some distinct cultural differences (and that’s the beauty of traveling somewhere new, isn’t it?). The official language in the Dominican Republic is Spanish, but you can get by without it—just know that por favor and gracias go a long way!
Day 1: Arrive in Cabarete
I touched down in the late afternoon and spent a couple hours just settling in and chilling by the pool, soaking up the Dominican sunshine. Fortunately, our accommodations were an itinerary item in and of themselves!
While there are resorts all over the Dominican Republic, I can’t make any personal recommendations because my favorite way to stay is to rent an Airbnb, and that’s what we did on this trip. We stayed in this awesome three-story villa in a gated resort-style community called Sosúa Ocean Village; there’s another home next door owned by the same host, so it’s a great little compound if you’re planning a group trip or family reunion. The homes came fully equipped with everything you could possibly need, and the pool/patio areas outside were a fun way to wind down after a day playing in the DR.
Once the sun set, we headed out to dinner at Tuva, a fun eclectic spot that’s located beachfront in Cabarete. It has beautiful decor and they leave the doors open for the sea breezes to drift through, and the food has a Sicilian flair. They had great cocktails and lots of fresh seafood on the menu, but for some reason, I couldn’t resist the gnocchi. It was served in a rich parmesan cream sauce and hit the spot. (…)