Kids Activities in and around Cabarete
Kids having fun on mountain bikes
When going on vacation with children obvious questions always come up: what will they be able to do there, and will they get bored? The abundance of outdoor activities, the opportunity to explore the beauty of the island, and the relaxed atmosphere of the Caribbean, all contribute to making Cabarete a great place for the whole family!
Travel Tips For Before You Leave:
- If you are coming to visit for an extended period of time, it is advised that your children see their Pediatrician, pre-travel, for a general check-up and to ensure they are up-to-date on all of their childhood vaccinations.
- Ensure you purchase any prescription medications before you leave in the event they are unavailable during your visit.
- It's wise to pack all important medications (prescription drugs, allergy medications, etc.) in a carry-on bag in case of flight delays or luggage loss.
- In sunny climates like Cabaretes' its advisable to bring sun hats and plenty of high SPF sunscreen to protect your children from sunstroke and sunburn.
- If you have a baby or very small child and plan on renting a car, you may want to ensure in advance that the car rental agency has car seats available. If not, you can decide whether to bring yours from home.
If your child is old enough to be away from you for short periods of time, ensure they know the name and address of the hotel where you are staying and all other emergency information in case they get lost.
- Some hotels offer free stays (or discounts) for children under a certain age when they are accompanied by adults and staying in the same room.
- If you need special bedding, such as a crib, identify whether the hotel can accommodate this need before making your reservation.
- Some hotels offer children's activities or play areas on hotel premises. It's best to check with the specific hotel you are interested in to see if these are available.
Many hotels have Nanny/Babysitting services available in-house. If they do not, most of them will arrange for these services on your behalf.
Toddlers are usually quite content to play on the beach and in the water. Older children tend to enjoy a little more activity or adventure. Besides swimming, there are a load of other activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Some of these require that children be a minimum age for participation (predominantly for safety reasons). As their parent or guardian, you are the best judge to determine whether a particular activity is appropriate for your child.
Enjoying The Beach
There is over 2 km of beach in Cabarete Bay where you and your family can relax and enjoy a day of sunning and swimming. If you are a guest of a beachfront hotel or windsurfing/kiteboarding club, loungers/beach chairs are usually provided to you free-of-charge. If they are not, chairs can be rented anywhere along the beach where there are businesses (restaurants, clubs, etc.). Snorkeling equipment, beach paddle ball and body boards are just some of the beach items available for rent or purchase at most windsurfing/kiteboarding clubs.
Cabarete Bay is a relatively safe area for wading and swiming because of the minimal current and undertow. Although the bay is quite safe, all children should be supervised when playing near or swimming in the ocean. The winter months experience bigger swell and therefore bigger shorbreak and stronger undertow. At any time of the year, the eastern end of the bay tends to be the calmest and the western end of the bay tends to have the biggest waves and shorebreak. The western end of the bay is where most of the body boarding/surfing is done.
Most windsurf clubs have windsurfing boards and sails specifically designed for children. If you won't be teaching or supervising your child yourself, it's recommended they participate in a lesson, particularly if they are just learning the sport. Not only will they be under the Instructor's supervision but they will learn all of the necessary information they need to make the most out of the sport - the different equipment and how it works, the wind direction, etc. Windsurfing conditions are more suitable for children in the morning, when the bay tends to be flatter and the wind lighter.
Many of the horseback riding ranches/operators have excursions specifically designed to include children. They use tame horses that are trained to go slow for children's safety. Some offer rides along the beach and others offer rides in the mountainous hill area behind Cabarete.
Columbus Aquaparque/Water Park
The waterslide park is located 20 minutes drive west of Cabarete and is the biggest waterslide park in the DR. The park has 14 slides, pools, restaurants, bars and shops. The park is open from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm daily.
Ocean World Marine & Water Park
The marine park is located one hour's drive west of Cabarete, in the resort area of Cofresi. It has the world's largest dolphin lagoon, the only sea lion encounter of its kind, the world's first shark interaction pool, along with tigers, exotic birds, reptiles and tropical fish.
El Choco National Park
This lush and diverse area was named a National Monument and is one of the few nationally protected areas of the DR. The park is comprised of pasture land, a lagoon and jungle area that containins lush tropical plants, exotic birds, caves and fresh water springs. The park is a 20 minute walk from either end of Cabarete and can be visited for an hour or two, or for the entire day. Due to the maze of unmarked paths and lush vegetation, its recommended you visit the park with a tour operator who can guide you and provide you with information about the area.
Islabon Jungle River
Islabon is located a 5 minute drive east of Cabarete. This tour allows you to explore the river area by boat and walk through jungle trails to a mini zoo that includes iguanas, snakes, turtles, ravens and a monkey.
Whale Watching (seasonal)
Between January and March each year, the increasingly rare Humpback Whales migrate to Samana Bay; about 2.5 hours drive east of Cabarete. Boats there will take you as close as they can to witness these large, warm blooded mammals swim and jump through the turquoise waters.
Activities For Older Children
Most surfing is done at Encuentro Beach, a 5 minutes drive west of Cabarete. Conditions are good for kids who are just learning and those that have more experience. Lessons and board rental can be arranged at the schools on site, or through one of the windsurfing/kiteboarding clubs in Cabarete.
Wakeboarding takes place on the Yasica River, about 10 minutes drive east of Cabarete. The river water is like glass, providing great conditions for a wakeboarding adventure.
Kiteboarding can be a dangerous sport if people practicing the sport do not have proper training or are unaware of the potential dangers involved. Kiteboarding is predominantly practiced by adults but there are more and more kids learning to kiteboard every day. If your child is old enough to take the instruction required to begin the sport (usually a minimum three day course), they may want give this sport a try.
Kayaking can be done close to shore so you can observe the coastline of Cabarete Bay by water. The more skilled/adventurous can kayak out to the larger waves of the outside reef. Most windsurfing/kiteboarding clubs have ocean kayaks available for rental.
Canyoning takes place in the Cordillera Septentrional region, a 40 minute drive into the mountains from Cabarete. You'll hike, climb, swim, jump and rappel into river canyons on these trips. Sneakers/runners are a must but all other necessary equipment (wetsuit, harness, etc.) is provided.
The Damajagua area, located 40 minutes drive west of Cabarete, hosts 27 waterfalls, ranging from .5 to 15 meters in size. A 30 minute walk/hike will take you to the first of 12 waterfalls you climb. The ability to proceed to each new waterfall depends on one's skill and fitness level.
Just outside Cabarete there are miles of dirt roads and endless mule trails, making it a mountain bike paradise. The scenery is breathtaking and locals are so friendly that you may have a hard time getting very far with the constant photo stops! There is something for most ages and all riding levels, and a bike is the best way to see the true Dominican countryside.
Fun City Action Park
This go-kart racing park is located 40 minutes west of Cabarete. The park offers 4 fun racing tracks with go-kart, sprint, midget, grand prix and bumper cars.