Mountain Biking in Cabarete
Biking around Cabarete
Cabarete is the homebase of World Famous "Iguana Mama,"
the Pioneers of adventure in the Dominican Republic. They are responsible
for developing all of the routes that are still in use today. Their
trips, which all start in Cabarete, have been voted "Best All
New Sporting Adventre" by Outside Magazine, "Tour of the
Month" by Bicycling Magazine, and nominated as "Top 25
Adventure Tours in the World" by National Geographic Adventure.
Just out of Cabarete there are miles of dirt roads and endless mule
trails making it mountain bike paradise.
The scenery is breathtaking and locals are so friendly that you
may have a hard time getting very far in one day with the constant
photo stops and invites for cafe! There is something for all riding
levels, and a bike is the best way to see the true Dominican countryside.There is currently one advertiser in this category.
Iguana Mama - biking
Visit their web-site
|The Dominican Republic is a mecca for bikers of all levels. Its diverse terrain offers cyclists breathtaking downhills, challenging single track and easy coast cruises. A bike is undoubtedly the best way to see the true Dominican countryside! |
Young biker walking with a local country boy
Iguana Mama has tours for everyone. If they are up for the adventure,
but too small to ride, Iguana Mama can offer you or a trailer to
pull behind the bike. They offer a 12-day Coast to Coast for US$
1950, a 9 -day Dominican Alps for US$ 1450, and a variety of daily
and half day tours from US$40 to US$85. Highly recommended is the
Downhill Cruise US$60 Half day or US$85 full day with a traditional
East Indian lunch at the Blue Moon Restaurant. Iguana Mama does
private tours anywhere in the country, and the prices are fair.
Helmets are a must. Remember that the DR is famous for its beaches
and countryside, not its hospitals. While riding on any road remember
this simple rule: "the bigger you are, the more right of way
you have". Since local drivers are used to sharing the road
with dogs, chickens, mules, goats, trucks, motorbikes, cars and
guaguas, they tend to be alert. All of this taken into consideration,
one should not miss the opportunity to cycle in the DR. There is
no better way to see the countryside, and nothing feels better than
the nice Caribbean breezes when you are coasting down those hills!
Hiking around Cabarete
There is a $50US fee for bikes on American Airlines each way. It
is a good idea to check with your airline before arriving at the
airport with bike in hand. All bikes must be boxed or packed in
bike bag. Expect to be stopped at customs when entering the country
with a bike. They may cut your box open. Although it may be a little
unnerving while it is happening, this is routine. There are only
a few places to rent mountain bikes on the island. Iguana Mama,
located on the North Coast, rents high-end, front-suspension Specialized
bikes. Most of their equipment is decked out with XT components
and all is well maintained. They sell their bikes every 10-18 months,
so it is also a good place to pick up a used bike for a great price.
They currently have a fleet of 50 Specialized Stumpjumpers and Rockhoppers.
A helmet, water bottle, repair kit with spare tubes and bike insurance
Is included with all bike rentals. A full day rental is $30US, and
a week goes for $140US. If you plan to rent a bike longer than one
week, they are sure to give you a deal. Monthly rentals are also
All of the major resorts and many hotels advertise that they include
bikes or mountain bikes. Be aware that this equipment is low-end
and often not well maintained. This doesn't mean that they are not
great bikes for a cruise along the coast, but anyone wanting a real
mountain bike adventure should not be fooled into thinking that
they have a suitable bike at their hotel.
When to come
Although the majority of cyclist visit the DR in the winter, the
best time of year to mountain bike in the DR is June through Oct.
It tends to be dry and more single track is open. The nice thing
about the DR is that you can bike all year round. Road biking is
excellet year round, as well.
Top 5 advanced rides in the the Dominican Republic
Map of the top bike rides in the Dominican Republic
1) Constanza to San Jose de Ocoa. 85km
This takes 2 days and there is no place to get water or food
en route. You pass no one, except in the middle at the army barracks
in Valle Nuevo. (Good place to camp if you can.) By far the most
breathtaking views in the Country are along this road. It is very
cold at night in Valle Nuevo, so you need to pack warm clothes.
Very difficult ride.
2) Jarabacoa to Constanza. 60km
A very big climb starts this route, and there is no water or
food along the way. There are local homes where you can offer
RD$50 for a plate of food, but you should have your own drinking
water. Very difficult ride.
3) Gaspar Hernandez to Moca on the old road.
When it is dry, this is an area you can spend weeks exploring.
There are hidden waterfalls and small villages. Ask at Iguana
Mama for more information. Extremely difficult ride.
4) Rocky MF. 14km
Plenty of fun single track in one of the newest nationally protected
areas in the country. 50RD$ entry fee at the park.
5) El Choco Loco. 40km
This ride offers big rolling hills and beautiful views on a 3
hour ride. A great chance to get in to the Country if you don't
have much time. You can always ride it, rain or shine. Get free
map at Iguana Mama.
Top 5 easy/intermediate rides
1) Ciabo Vally 3000 ft Downhill Cruise. 40
An exhilarating 40 km of downhill riding. You will need to get
dropped off at the top (unless you want to ride up). Take the
road from Sabaneta de Yasica through Jamao towards Moca the top.
There are some cool off-road loops.
2) Jarabacoa Waterfall Loop.
This ride starts at Salto(waterfall) Baiguate and you can ride
to Salto Jimenoa. It is fun and takes 3 hours.
3) Jamao River Loop. 23 km
Start at El Choro in Jamao el Norte, and cross the river to follow
the trail. Always take right turns when the road forks.
4) Rio San Juan to Playa Grande. 23 km
This ride offers nice rolling hills on paved road. Head out of
Rio San Juan going east on the North Coast road. Watch for a small
road forking to the left and signs for Playa Grande before a large
hill after about 20 km.
5) Playa Rincon from Las Galeras (Samana Peninsula).
30km round trip
This is a beautiful ride with one of the Country's most beautiful
beaches at the end of the road, so bring your suit and towel.
They sell fresh fish at the beach.There are hundreds of great
rides not mentioned here.
***IMPORTANT: Remember that routes can change due to hurricanes
and rain storms. For example, after Hurricane Georges, you could
not drive a car over the road from Constanza to San Jose de Ocoa.
This is why it is such a great ride now. If they fix the road, it
will not be as good of a mountain bike ride, but don't worry they
never fix the roads.
Parts and Repairs
There are bike shops in all major cities and small 'repuestos'
(repair shops) in almost every town. All parts and bikes are imported,
so expect to pay a higher price than you would in the States. Labor,
however, is cheaper. Be aware that only a few shops have mechanics
trained in higher-end bikes. If you bring your own bike and it is
a nice one, we recommend you only visit the shops listed below.
Puerto Plata (Cabarete)
Calle Principal, Cabarete
tel: 571 0908
Casa de las Bicicletas
Av R Betancourt 249
tel: 535 2565
fax: 532 0215
Av R Betancourt 1370
tel: 534 7374
Mirador del Norte
tel: 535 2152
Rafael Augusto Sanchez 8
tel: 616 2399
fax: 412 5076
Aro y Pedal
Av 27 de Febrero 112
tel: 686 5861
2 Rueda y Mas
Frente Cervceria nac. Dominicana
tel: 533 2783
Bartolome Colon Esq 27 Febrero
Frente a Ferreteria MC
tel: 582 4146 / 471 7146
fax: 247 4641
Centro Comercial Perez
Av. Independencia 47
tel: 578 2833
Klein, Trek, Giant