Your surf camp looks great, I am interested in booking, how do I proceed?
We are glad you like our place and we would love to welcome you here in sunny Cabarete. To make a reservation, contact us first to see if there's availability at the time that you want to come. We promise to reply within a day! If you don't receive an quick response - check your spam folder; our email is bound to be there. If we have space for you we require a deposit which can either be made by wire transfer or via PayPal. Once you have your flight arrival information, send us an email with airline, origin, flight number and arrival time and we'll be at the airport to pick you up.
Where is your surf camp located?
See the Cabarete page for a map
Why should I choose Swell over other surf camps, especially when you are not the cheapest?
We know we are not the cheapest place in town, if price is your only criteria when you book a holiday, then maybe Swell Surf Camp isn't the right place for you. We like to offer quality accommodation, food and safe & fun surf instruction from qualified instructors with good surf equipment, as a result we are not the cheapest, however we think our pricing is fair and transparent.
How do I get to the Dominican Republic?
Best is to fly into Puerto Plata ( airport code POP) since it's only 20 minutes away, alternatively Santiago (Airport code STI) which is 1.5 hours away, or last resort is Santo Domingo (airport code SDQ). Here's a list of which airlines flies where. Other websites we like that give good alternative routes are kayak.com ( www.kayak.com ) or hipmunk ( www.hipmunk.com )
I want to bring my little kid along, is that OK?
Swell surf camp is not suitable for children under 10 years old.
Questions regarding kids? Send us an email
I want to cook my own meals, is there a kitchen?
The kitchen at Swell is for staff use only. We are in a Tropical environment with an open outdoor kitchen so for sanitary reasons we do not allow the clients to self cater. We serve an excellent healthy breakfast and within 5 minute walk there are at least 9 restaurants that serve a very affordable good meal.
How much is an average meal and drinks in town?
There are restaurants 2 minutes from Swell that have a menu starting ataround $5 - you don't have to pay a lot for a good meal close to us. You can also splash out at $20 or so per head if you want to. Our local knowledge will save you from bad restaurant experiences. A beer on the beach costs around $3 - at Swell it is $2.
Can I can withdraw cash from the ATM's using my regular bank pass?
Yes. ATM's give out pesos only in the DR. You can pay for most things in the town with either dollars or pesos.
Why don't you have fridges in the rooms?
Good question. Electricity prices are one of things not so great about the Dominican Republic. They don't really effect you of course, but it is the main reason why each room is a fridge-free zone. That and also for hygiene reasons. We have a self-serve honesty bar instead - we'll keep the beers cold (and good value) so you can help yourself and record it on your bar tab.
Why isn't it air-con as standard?
Air-conditioning makes up by far the highest proportion of our bills each month so we must make a reasonable charge to cover the costs of it's use.
What are the dorm rooms like?
These are a great option for budget minded travelers, however it does mean less privacy. They are co-ed dorm rooms, meaning that we do not separate men and women. Don't book a dorm if you know you are a loud snorer, have difficulty keeping your stuff tidy or are generally intolerant. A/C in a dorm MUST be agreed by all occupants. If you know you cannot sleep without A/C, take a premium room.
If I take a premium room, can you allocate a person to share with me?
No. Double occupancy premium rooms must be booked with someone that you are arriving with.
Is there a safe in the room?
Even though Swell is a very safe environment, for your ease of mind, we do have small safes in the rooms, so you can put your passport , credit cards and money in a safe place, inside a safe room, inside a safe building ;-).
Your Ipad / tablet will fit inside, but larger laptops do not fit.
What’s in the communal areas?
We have a large dining area and games area, complete with a great pool table, table tennis table, fussball and a variety of board games. In our pretty garden, you will find a lovely swimming pool with LED and fibre optic lighting and chairs and hammocks and oversized bean bags to lie around on.
Where is Swell located?
We located Swell in the best position in town; we are not ocean front (or we'd be much more expensive) but we are a genuinely short walk to the best bars, restaurants and shops, but far enough away from the noise of the main street so we get to sleep very well!. The main beach of Cabrete, wher you can sunbathe, launch your kite or go swim/bodysurf is a few minutes walk away. Swell has a lovely view of the mountains behind us and great sunsets. Don't be fooled by surf camps outside of the town who claim to be a 5 minute walk - it's not true. Kite Beach and Punta Goleta/Seawinds are a 25 minute, normal-paced walk from Cabarete. Check our map (or any other) for confirmation.
Will we visit other surf spots?
Unless you are an experienced surfer, there is only one spot with several peaks that is really safe for you to surf. If you are a good surfer and want to experience some other breaks, we can arrange those trips for you. The longer distance trips will cost an addtional fee depending on how many people want to go. Ask us when these spots are worth visiting; they are not always breaking, but we know when they do. Inexperienced or intermediate surfers should stick to Encuentro as the other spots might have long paddles on very shallow reefs.
What about distance to the surf beach?
The main surf beach is a few minutes drive away. As there's nothing there but a pretty beach and surf there, we take our clients there early in the mornings and if conditions are still favorable back again after our amazing breakfast. Swell crew are normally the first ones in the water in the morning.
What do you recommend I bring with me for my surf course?
Board shorts to wear over your bikini (girls), a high-factor, water proof sun-screen (at least a Factor 40) a rash guard (we provide one if you are learning to surf with us) and casual clothes - water temps are averaging 28 degrees (that's warm!) and you will rarely need a sweater.
Is it safe in the DR? I heard you could not leave the resorts
B******t (sorry) but it's just a very convenient story made up by those big all-inclusive hotels who want to keep you (and your money) nicely wrapped up inside their resorts. It would be more profitable for us to be A.I. but we want you to see Cabarete and surrounding areas, enjoy the local restaurants and bars and see this beautiful country. If you are thinking about going All Inclusive because it costs the same with the flight as just the accommodation at Swell, ask yourself why? These hotels can only budget a couple of dollars a day to feed you and give you watered-down drinks because the flights take up the vast majority of the charge. You will miss out on so much if you stay in one of those places. But, do please stay in one if you have no sense of adventure and like to watch kids running around, hyped up on E numbers.........
Will I need a car?
Almost certainly not. The camp is in the center of town – the beach, bars and clubs are an easy flat, short walk. The camp has its own bus for the daily surf outings and we can organize day trips for you on request if you want to explore this fabulous landscape.
What documents do I need for entry into the Dominican Republic?
You will need valid passport and upon arrival, you must purchase a tourist card costing US$15. A $20 departure tax is also levied at the airport; both must be paid in US currency.
What about holiday Insurance?
You should always take out travel / holiday insurance policy for your trip and make sure that it does not carry exclusions for any sports you will be undertaking, swell surf camp will not accept resonsibility for injury, loss, theft or damage during your stay under any circumstances.
If I cancel my reservation, will I get my money back?
Swell takes your deposit to protect ourselves against total loss in the event that you cancel. We do not have an insurance company covering us if you have to change your plans for ANY reason so please do not look to us for compensation. Extensions to your stay, when caused by flight cancellations or any other reason are not our responsibility and normal charges will apply to extra nights. We will provide you with an invoice to make a claim on your insurance policy in this event.
Will I need Malaria tablets?
We say no because Malaria has not been seen on the North Coast for a very long time.
What is the weather going to be like when I visit?
Wish we'd have that knowledge, but unfortunatly we don't, we do have averages however. But they are never a guarantee, click on the image below to see it.
Click on this link to see the averages