Best travel time
We recommend travelling during the European winter months, not only do you escape the cold weather at home, but you replace the cold with great waves, warm weather and sunshine in the Dominican Republic which is considered a year-round surf destination.
Air & Water Temperature
While everyone in Europe is shivering during the winter holidays, the locals and tourists in the Dominican Republic are enjoying warm weather, sunshine, and consistent surf. The average air temperature is 28 Degrees Celsius, which is accompanied with very inviting water temperatures of around 27 Degrees. The northern part of the Dominican Republic is more tropical, humid and wet than the south, especially during the monsoon season.
This rainy season occurs in-between November and January and definitely doesn’t mean that it’s constantly raining, usually the afternoon downpours are short and heavy, and end just as quickly as they started.
In the south this rainy season occurs more from May till November, and even during this time temperatures during the day hover around 32 degrees and don’t drop much below 23 degrees at night. Around the Cordillera Central, which sits roughly 1200 metres above sea level, the average temperature is 18 degrees and sometimes in winter it can drop below freezing.
You can leave that extra luggage at home!! Bikinis and Boardshorts are all you will need for surfing, the beach, or chilling in the tropical garden.
The local break at Surf Camps Caribbean is a consistent beach break that offers both lefts and rights. This spot is caters for all surfing levels and beginners will feel very comfortable in the water here. Playa Encuentro is a super consistent spot that works on all tides, the best swell directions are North, Northwest or Northeast.
This reefbreak is also situated at Playa Encuentro and breaks both left and right. It’s more for advanced surfers due to the shallow reef. This spot works well with a swell from 3-5ft from the north, northwest or northeast on any tide.
Again situated around Playa Encuentro, Bobo’s pipe is a slightly tamer, more hospitable version of Coco Pipe. Intermediate surfers can tackle this and have a lot of fun as well as improve their skills. It also breaks both left and right, works on the same swell as Coco Pipe.
Some other spots in the Playa Encuentro area are La Derecha and La Izquierda. Regardless of your skill level there will be a spot nearby to suit your needs and the experienced team will check the reports and find it for you.
British Airways and Iberia regularly fly to the destination airport of Puerto Plata (POP). If your boardbag is under 1.9 metres and under 23kg’s British Airways will take it free of charge., Iberia however will charge a hefty 150€ each way.
Taking your local bankcard will not always work. We recommend travellers always take an alternative form of payment such as a Credit Card. The local currency is Dominican Pesos (DOP) that you can only change when you are in the country. Best bet is to go to a Currency exchange booth when you arrive, or find an ATM machine and get your cash directly from your bank account. US-Dollars are accepted as well as all major Credit Cards (VISA, MasterCard).
You must have a valid Passport on arrival, and it needs to be valid for the duration of your stay. For a stay under 90 days a Visa from most countries is not necessary, you will however need to purchase a Tourist Card for 10USD upon arrival which is valid for 30 days, as well as showing proof of your return ticket. You will also need to show the tourist card at departure.
For entry into the Dominican Republic you will not require a Visa unless you stay for more than 90 days. The 10 USD Tourist Card is mandatory and must be shown when leaving the country. This tourist Card is valid for 30 days. Stays that are longer than 30 days must be approved by the relevant migration authorities (Departamento de Extranjería, Dirección General de Migración) as well as paying a fee. If you fail to meet these requirements you will be charged at the airport upon departure that increases progressively the longer you have overstayed
On departure there is a Airport tax of 20USD. Several Airlines have already incorporated this fee into their ticket price.
There are no extra vaccinations required when travelling to the Caribbean.
For more up to date information, click here.
So that you’re trip to the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean through Pure Surf Camps is a total success, we’ve put together a few tips.
Enjoying culinary treats is a must in the Dominican Republic. There’s no way you can miss out on the fresh fish such as Bonito (Frigate Mackerel) and Carite (King Mackerel). Other delcious seafood includes Snapper, Mero (Pike), Atún (Tuna) or the Dorado (Garfish) and the Papagayo (Parrot Fish). Fish dishes are usually accompanied with coconut rice, not only delicious but also super healthy.
Slightly less spectacular, but also a highlight, is a fresh local Grape Juice, which has become something of a rare speciality on the island but you’ll find the vines growing directly alongside beach at spots like Samana. The drink is prepared by adding a little coconut milk and sugar, and is called a Batida by the locals.
For those who are after something with a little more kick, you have to try a “Coco Loco”. It’s a super simple, yet delicious cocktail. All you need is a freshly opened coconut with a mouthful drunk out of it and refilled with rum, coconut cream, and a splash of Grenadine.
Whether it’s served in a coconut, straight, or in some other delicious tropical cocktail, Rum is definitely the national drink of the Dominican Republic. The price of a bottle ranges from 1 to 40 Euros depending on the quality. Some of the best brands to be found are:
Brugal (founded in 1888 from Puerto Plata), the best is “Siglo de Oro” and costs around 40, -EUR per bottle; not only is it a great drop, but also comes in an amazing bottle.
Bermúdez Aniversario 75 Año (founded in 1852 from Santo Domingo) is another great Rum and costs 15, -EUR per bottle.
Barceló (founded in 1930 from Santo Domingo) makes a bottle called Barceló Imperial, which is another great rum, and cost roughly 40, -EUR per bottle.
Another speciality of the island is Coffee that is served strong, black and sweet. However, the touristy version with milk has also become available all over. You also cant forget about Cigars. Some famous brands you can find are "Arturo Fuente", "La Aurora", "León Jimenes", "Carbonell", "Cojimar", "Juan Clemente", "Montecristo", "Romeo y Julieta" and "Thiriet Mercedes". You can also visit cigar factorie in Santiago and see them being rolled up close.
The bay of Samaná in the Northeast of the Dominican Republic is definitely worth a visit. During the winter season Humpback whales come to the bay to have their babies, and just inland the tropical rainforest starts with giant waterfalls and remarkable Flora and Fauna.
Just a simple stroll along the beaches in the north is a highlight and with the nickname of amber-rock-coast you can guess what souvenirs you might stumble upon if you’re lucky enough.
If you are looking for a little more excitement, there is mountain biking, windsurfing, canyoning, or zip lining through the rainforest to get the heart rate up a little.
On top of all this you also have an amazing selection of reefs for snorkelling and diving. In the small northern fishing village of Las Galeras you can find an impressive coral garden with caves and shipwrecks. Between Bávaro and Punta Cana in the east there is a reef which stretches 30km along the coast; and in the south there is the Parque National Submarino La Caleta and Nationalpark Isla Catalina which are ideal for divers.
Infrastructure is not always the best in the Dominican Republic. It’s best to do some research when before you explore about how long trips should take and what general routes you should take. Unfortunately the crime rate is a higher and shouldn’t be underestimated, so avoid travelling through unknown areas alone and don’t walk around with lots of cash or expensive jewellery.
Tap water is also not safe for drinking and also be careful drinking cheap alcohol as it could be spiked. Definitely don’t buy or take drugs, as there’s hefty jail time involved if you get caught, and you have no idea what you are getting.
The Dominican Republic
Our International Surf Camp in the Dominican Republic offers white sand beaches that are dotted with coconut trees, year round tropical weather, and ideal surf conditions. The breath-taking national parks make up a third of the country and include every type of landscape from rainforest to mountains and include various nature reserves. Whether you’re a surfer, eco-tourist, active or beach vacationer, the Dominican Republic is a paradise for every visitor. The republic is part of the Caribbean and makes up the larger half of the island of Hispaniola, the other portion being Haiti. The language is Spanish and the currency is Dominican Pesos (DOP). European winter months are the best travel times and are definitely worth the trip.
Alongside the dramatic landscape and the picture perfect beaches, the Dominican Republic is also known for the warm hearted and friendly locals, a very interesting history, and of course, rum, coffee and cigars.
Christopher Columbus discovered the Dominican Republic in 1492 and it has since been a colony of Spain. It was, up until the middle of the 19th century, a part of Haiti before becoming and independent state. Museums in the Dominican Republic are well worth a visit. An important part of the culture is based around music and dancing, especially the rhythm of the Merengue and Bachata as well as Salsa and Son which you will hear all over the country. For the younger generation Regaetton is also popular
Regardless of where in the country you travel there will be incredible landscapes surrounding you. Samaná Peninsula on the north coast has beautiful Caribbean beaches with crystal clear, turquoise water, and fine, white sand dotted with coconut trees exactly how you picture them. As you move inland the rainforest begins and a little bit further you come across the largest waterfall in the Dominican Republic, the Salto del Limón. Near La Romana in the south is a small art village called Altos de Chavon where you will be greeted by Mediterranean flair, romantic architecture and authentic local restaurants and shops. Another attraction is the Amphitheatre which seats 5000 and has a spectacular view of the Rio Chavón.
The capital city of Santo Domingo also has a spectacular Old city within it which is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site partly due to it housing the oldest Cathedral of the Americas.
It doesn’t matter whether you are surfing, relaxing or exploring nature or the history of the Dominican Republic, it can provide everybody with what their idea of a dream holiday is!
Learn to Surf in the Dominican Republic
November till April you’ll find the best waves on the North coast of the Dominican Republic. The north coast of the Dominican Republic has the best surf spots in the country. The time to go for surfers is between November and April as the conditions during this period can be truly epic. In our European summer, waves are smaller, but super consistent, and a paradise for anyone learning. The beach break at Playa Encuentro, the local spot for our Caribbean Surf Camp, is perfect for beginners year round, and just around the corner is Coco Pipe – the Dominican Republics Pipeline – which will get more advanced surfers hearts pumping.
The water temperature averages around 27°C throughout the year, so definitely no need to bring a wetsuit. For those who want to escape the European winter and get into the ocean in Boardshorts or Bikinis and surf some quality waves, the Dominican Republic is definitely a great choice! If you check out Surf Spots Caribbean and Central America you’ll find the Dominican Republic is a great destination all year long.
Surf Camp Caribbean
The camp is located just 5 minutes on foot from the beach at one of the best surf spots in the northern part of the Dominican Republic. The spot is called Encuentro and there are plenty of breaks to choose from which cater to all levels, from first time on a board, to the super advanced ripper.
All year round you can enjoy the tropical climate, warm, crystal clear water, ample sunshine and the beautiful white sand beaches. The Camp sits in a small surf village called Cabarete where you’ll find great restaurants, cafes, bars and surf shops. Not only is this area renowned for great surf, but also for great areas to go kite and windsurfing.
For those who want to chill post surf you can cruise around on our Stand Up Paddleboards or practice Yoga with our qualified instructors. If you choose the “surf, Sleep & Yoga Packet” there will be 5 Yoga sessions included in your stay.
In the Surf Camp itself we’ve put in a great deal of effort to make it as comfortable and relaxing as possible by incorporating a tropical garden, its very own swimming pool, and hammocks all over. The Camp is made up of small apartments that accommodate groups of 2, 3, and 4
Every apartment has its out veranda with a hammock and some comfortable outdoor furniture, a kitchen and own bathroom. In the communal area there is a roofed BBQ area where you can chill with the other guests and enjoy a meal and a cold drink, or fresh coconut.
Dominican Republic really is the quintessential summer paradise that has an amazing camp, great surf and beautiful landscapes that will all combine to make your next surf trip a vacation to remember.