Stretched along the C-5 between the beach and lagoon that bear its name, CABARETE is a crowded international enclave that owes its existence almost entirely to windsurfing and kiteboarding. There was no town to speak of in 1984 when legendary windsurfer Jean Laporte discovered the area’s near-perfect windsurf conditions. The town quickly became a haven for sculpted surf bums debating the nuances of gear between death-defying feats, a scene that was augmented exponentially when kiteboarding became part of the mix in 2000 – it has now gone on to become the area’s dominant watersport. The multicultural cross-section of aficionados of the sports has attracted a growing community of people from across the globe, which has in turn attracted hotel chains and an assortment of adventure sports outfits. In fact, it’s hard for return visitors to believe how quickly Cabarete has blossomed. The website w www.activecabarete.com provides useful information and weblinks for the full range of the town’s outdoor activities.

Today “Cabarete” spans 4km of the highway, with no end to the expansion in sight. A spate of recently built all-inclusives has led to the growth of a more traditional brand of tourism, but the clients at these new hotels are generally younger, hipper and more interested in adventure sports than guests at more family-oriented complexes like Playa Dorada. And the open, accessible layout of the town prevents it from having the closed-off atmosphere of other Dominican tourist enclaves.

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