Playa Encuentro offers the most consistent surf in the Dominican Republic. Waves are rideable 350 days a year making it the perfect place to learn to surf, and we have a legit surf season with world class surfing as well. We’re going to break down the season and the breaks for you in part 1 of this 2 part blog feature.
Surf Season in Dominican Republic
Let’s repeat that Playa Encuentro is great all year for learning to surf. The fall and winter is our official surf season for more advanced wave riders and yes, that coincides with hurricane season.
Surf season starts in September and goes strong up to June. In that stretch of time Playa Encuentro gets waves from different directions, of different sizes, with different time periods. Don’t get us wrong, we do get swells from tropical storms and other weather systems during the summer but the perfect and sometimes massive swells are back to back in the fall and winter.
Tourism-wise, Cabarete gets the bulk of it’s visitors starting around Christmas time all the way through April. We get a second mini high season in July and August. If you want to enjoy the best of the nightlife we recommend visiting around these times, if you want the waves all to yourself, visit us in the fall and early winter.
Here’s some general tips about Playa Encuentro:
north and northeast swells light encuentro on fire
the favorite website to check surf conditions in Cabarete is Wind Guru.
the more east the swell, the more lefts you’ll see
periods of 13 or more will make set waves almost double in size
the less wind or rain there is at night, the cleaner the waves in the morning
wind usually kicks in around noon, this doesn’t kill the waves but it might kill your paddling arms
No paddle boarding allowed, it’s just too dangerous.
the restaurant opens at 8 for coffee and breakfast (and beer, no one’s judging you)
What makes our beach special is the different breaks to choose from any day. Each break shines bright depending on the conditions. We will start from the far east of the stretch of surf schools that make up Playa Encuentro and go west.
Coco Pipe – best in north swell
Arguably the world-class wave on our beach, the shape of the reef, shallow waters, and position on the coast make waves break clean, fast, big, and powerful here. Our Head, Coach Heriberto says Coco Pipe is one of his favorites in Dominican Republic because you really have to watch what you’re doing and be skillful and he enjoys that challenge. Some days with big swell when waves might close out on the rest of the beach, Coco Pipe shines bright.
Bobo’s Point – best in northeast swell
Some on the beach might also say “in front of 3-2-1” because this area is in front of Bobo’s surf school and 3-2-1 Takeoff. It’s important to know that this break is located behind the beginner area. Sometimes beginners stray too far back and drop-in on waves or are in the way as you’re riding one but this is their area too and everyone has fun. Waves here break left or right, it depends on the conditions.
La Derecha – most consistent, best in east and northeast swell
Located right in front of Chino’s our beloved school, we love “the right” because this wave is for locals and experienced surfers only. We love beginners but it can be dangerous to surf in an area where everyone expects you to know what you’re doing. La derecha breaks left and right, but the right can go on forever.
La Izquierda – the guest celebrity, works in east and northeast swell
Our left is like your favorite family member, not always around but when they are you take advantage and spend as much time with them as you can. When this wave is working surfers will be taking advantage, it’s such a fun wave being powerful at the peak and long on the inside. This wave breaks fast and the water is pretty shallow but unlike Coco Pipe, there are many patches of sand and a nice channel to make surfing here a bit less gnarly.
Destroyer – the loner’s peak, best in north swell
The name is hint enough, this wave is infamous for being such a shallow break with lots of sharp reef underneath. On a busy day locals will sneak off to this peak anyway because you will almost always find no one surfing there.
Come surf with us, and we’ll show you all the ins and outs of Playa Encuentro first hand. If you’re interested in other surf spots in the country let us know, we’ll set you up with a trip!