Vela Cabarete is stocked with the latest kites and boards from Cabrinha. Our friendly staff is always on hand to help you select a kite, give quick tips, and make your vacation thoroughly enjoyable. Vela offers a full kiteschool and rental fleet so that you can learn this exciting sport in safe conditions from experienced instructors. Situated on Kite Beach, just 30 yards from the water, our center is complete with a great bar/restaurant, a full service kite shop with all the latest gear, storage lockers in case you prefer to travel with your gear, an air compressor, full bathroom facilities with showers, and rescue boat for your safety.
NOTE: Kitebeach became more closely regulated with a limited number of official schools available (less student on the water at any given time) as well as a full-time rescue boat (a safety net ... jut in case) and strict rules being enforced (no jumping and showing off next to shore) so kiting in Cabarete has become safer than ever before!
If you have been thinking of getting into this exciting sport, you've come to the right place! Since December 2002, Dare2Fly has operated out of the Agualina Kite Resort right in the heart of kitebeach, one of the best places in the world for year round kiteboarding. Behind the point at the upwind end of kitebeach is safe, flat water for beginners on the inside, also great for advanced riders for trying their latest moves, while waves break on the reef about 200m offshore. Waves are usually breaking between waist- to head-high depending on the time of year.
Cabarete has long been a hot-spot for windsurfing, and for many good reasons. Our team of talented and trained instructors are ready to help you work on any skills you hope to master, from carving-jibes to down-the-line wave-sailing with confidence, or even all the basics starting with an up-haul. Note that conditions over the winter months can be challenging for beginners and that a strong waterstart is a recommended skill, due to increased swell and chop inside the bay.
As you may have seen and heard, Stand Up Paddle (SUP) is taking over waterways all over the map, and there is no exception to the rule at Vela destinations! With great wind conditions not ALWAYS in the mix, Vela has been working to enhance the vacation experience for guests which includes use of SUP boards and new services featuring surf lessons, downwinder tours, races and more. Available to use free of charge during center hours for Vela guests renting windsurf or kitesurf gear (or as a separate rental for non-sailors) we will help to make CERTAIN you are on the water in Cabarete one way or another!
Stand Up Paddle Surfing is an ancient form of surfing. It can be traced back to the very early days of Polynesia. It’s most recent history dates back to the 1940’s when the beachboys (surf instructors) on Waikiki beach used to stand up and paddle out to the break using a one bladed paddle. The reasons for this are 2 fold. First it allowed them to have a better visibility over their group of surfing instructors and allowed them to call the sets easier as their upright position meant that they could see the swell long before the prone surfers. Secondly it allowed them to keep their wealthy customers camera dry and allow them to take pictures of them surfing. As time moved on board designs and fashions changed, the paddle was all but lost in the history of surfing. A few surfers in Waikiki continued to use a paddle but they were very much in the minority.
Fast forward to the first part of this century and the paddle made a return to surfing in the hands of some of the world’s most famous watermen. They were re discovering stand up paddle surfing to allow them to keep in shape for the bigger days of tow surfing as well as adding a new dimension to their skills. Standing up and paddling out through the waves is a totally new experience, most of us are more used to lying down and ducking under the waves.
Modern technologies have allowed the boards to come down a lot in weight and modern understanding of board design has allowed the large boards to be maneuvered easily on the waves. Carbon paddles cut weight and increase board speed and suddenly Stand Up Paddle Surfing has been reborn. It isn’t going to revolutionize or take over the world, but it does add another angle to surf riding and will mean that your time on the water can be greatly increased.
The sports greatest impact could possibly come on the waterways of the worlds great cities or inland water bodies. Slowly but surely, people’s eyes are being opened to the fact that there’s a watersport for everybody, in that anyone can do it. It’s the most peaceful way to get out and experience some nature whilst simultaneously allowing people to exercise in a way not possible before. Core exercise is the current catch phrase for fitness and pilates instructors, with SUP being the perfect whole body and core workout, trying to remedy a large percentage of the population suffering from a bad back.
SUP has hit the ground running - or more correctly - hit the water stroking. If anyone doubts that, check out the Doheny event. Over 300 racers on the course. Spectacular! What a send-off for a fresh new sport — or rather: the next new thing! But is it new? Well no., its antecedents date back several millennia. Well before the emergence of the western religions and even before the development written languages. Cave paintings are all we have to go on but they show stick figures standing and sitting on what can only be logs — later to be hollowed out with hot coals from a fire — propelling themselves with some sort of sticks — later to be developed into oars. So oars, paddles if you like, have a very long and distinguished history in the affairs of mankind Just note, if you will, 1) that there are more oar and paddle disciplines than there are sailing disciplines in the Olympics, 2) there are more oar powered boats sold every year than sailboats and 3) romance is more easily accommodated in a rowboat than in any sailing dingy, large or small.
Now, onto the stage of maritime history strides the humble paddle held by an all too human paddler, both standing on and using distant relatives of that log and stick I mentioned above. Where will he take this new sport? An easy guess is that — like its sister sports, skiing, snowboarding and windsurfing — it will quickly morph into three or more sub-disciplines, each having its own more-or-less distinctive paddle and board design. Already there are point-to-point, course racing and wave events. Those will take care of themselves with or without my help. But the discipline I would find most fulfilling is the one that inspired the Serenity. Distant but still close to land; absorbed in how the waves work with board and the board with the waves; utterly lost in one’s thoughts. Brief moments like these are…..well….. you know, priceless.
Starboard SUP, stand up paddle board equipment for paddling, surfing and windsurfing. Leading innovators with the world’s most comprehensive range of shapes and technology options.
Bikes are available for rent from Iguana Mama's Bike shop right in town. Ride independently or with a guide. Rides vary from easy level trails along the coast to fun single tracks through lush countryside. Vela clients are entitled to special on-site discounts.
Cascading and Canyoning Tours:
Get away from the crowds with the ultimate “off the beaten track” excursion. Hike deep into the Septentrional Mountain Range and discover the cascading experience: leaping off a series of waterfalls as you immerse yourself in a Dominican wilderness undiscovered by most tourists. A delicious breakfast and Dominican Style lunch are included with most tours through Iguana Mama.
Check out one of the newest national parks in the country, just a quick 5 minute motorcyel taxi (or 20 minute walk) from town! An incredible 77 square kilometers of jungle, lagoon, caves, forest and open backcountry to explore. Can there be a better way to learn the Spanish names of various plants, trees and fruits than through smelling, touching, climbing and tasting the real and natural thing?
One of the best ways to see the Dominican Republic’s breathtaking landscape is from a kayak. Experience the sensation of freedom and tranquility as you float through magnificent green landscapes. The Yasika River rises in the "Cordillera Septentrional", the northern mountain chain of the Dominican Republic and winds it’s way down to the Atlantic Ocean just west of Cabarete.The section of this tour is incredibly beautiful and although has some rapids this is a very easy trip, ideal for families and bird watchers. Children from the age of 10 up can paddle their own kayaks and younger children can travel with adults.Tours includes kayaks, transport from Cabarete, drinks and snacks.
Escape from the busy tourist areas to the virgin Dominican wilderness. No access by motorized vehicles. The perfect cultural, ecological and picturesque adventure of your holiday. Ride western style through the forest, rivers, canyons and Dominican villages, using ancient trails used by the native Taino Indians now serving as routes for local farmers to move cattle. This ride includes refreshments, lunch (full day only), guides, and roundtrip transportation from all hotels in Cabarete. Often been quoted as seeming "Like I was on an expedition for National Geographic... well worth it!"
Travel to the central region of the island up to the challenging Rio Yaque del Norte river near Jarabacoa. Carving through the “Dominican Alps” you will experience class III to class IV rapids that will change your image of a Caribbean island forever. Experience jumping from the "El Cerrazo" rock and swimming through the "Crocodile" rapids. Thereafter you will enjoy a huge Dominican buffet back at the ranch overlooking the river. Again... another tour best guided by the folks at Iguana Mama.