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Kiteboarding Travel Guide: Buen Hombre, DR - Destinations EP 09

Posted by Crystal Veness on


WIND BY SEASON

In most of the DR's North Coast, the windy season is strongest from April-September with lighter winter wind from December-February and a rainy season from approximately October-November. When the skies are clear, there can be wind year round in the North Coast of the Dominican Republic, and especially in Buen Hombre. The wind often blows much stronger than it does in Cabarete in the summer. The forecast is somewhat reliable, and you can check online before planning your trip.

ADVENTURE SCALE

Buen Hombre is all about adventure, from the moment you get in the car in Cabarete to navigate the busy streets of the DR right up until you arrive on the spot in this remote fishing village. This is approximately a 3 hour road trip from Cabarete and best done with a crew! Once you're on the spot, it's all about kiteboarding and settling into the local vibes. There is a kite school and kite camp on the spot as well as a small hotel with somewhat consistent power and internet. There are some amenities here on the spot but first class isn't an option, so come to get your kite on and enjoy the adventure!

QUICK CONTACTS

Accommodation and kite center - Kite Buen Hombre

Hotel - Hotel Playa Buen Hombre

All Inclusive Trips from Cabarete - Dare2Fly and GoKite

WAVES

While there is a wave breaking on the reef in Buen Hombre, it is not an ideal spot for wave riders. There is very shallow reef on some spots where the waves break, and you can end up running into exposed reef and rock if you time it wrong.

SLICKS

There is some great flatwater in Buen Hombre right in front of the kite school, but the water depth in this area and throughout the Bay can be anywhere frome extremely shallow to ankle to waist deep depending on the tides. There is another decent spot for tricks in the bay between the launch spot and the fishing boats. Here, the water is not quite as flat but it is deep enough to safely practice tricks.

BEGINNER

This is a great spot for beginner kiteboarders. The water is shallow enough to stand in most of the spot, and the low level of kiteboarding traffic makes it easy for first timers or beginners to find space to practice. There is also a kite school right on the spot for student support. The one challenge in this spot is the relatively small launch area, obstacles on the beach, and sometimes too shallow water which beginners should be cautious of. Be sure to check with the kite school on the spot to get the lay of the land first!

ALTERNATIVE ACTIVITIES

Paradise Island Downwinder - This beautiful little piece of sand out on the ocean is a great spot to visit on an organized downwinder. A boat will take you to the island to snorkel and get an incredible freestyle or flatwater session before you downwind back to Buen Hombre. Ask at Kite Buen Hombre, Dare2Fly, or GoKite to organize this trip. For other alternative activities or adventures, spending some time in Puerto Plata, Sosua, or Cabarete is recommended.

ACCESSIBILITY

If you're in Cabarete, Buen Hombre is an easy and worthwhile trip. It's about 3 hours from Cabarete, so staying overnight is recommended so you have time to enjoy the energy and get a couple sessions in. If you're planning to rent a car to drive yourself, be sure to download and save your directions offline before you go. If you're nervous about driving in the Dominican Republic, there are several kite schools in Cabarete that can take you in a private coach!


Spot Guide 

With so much coastline, there is no shortage of great kite spots in the Dominican Republic. But if you're looking for the best wind, you'll want to head to the North Coast. If you're reading this, you've almost certainly heard all about Cabarete... but there are plenty more hidden gems along those Northern beaches just waiting to be sessioned.

To put it into perspective, it would take you well over 5 hours to drive across the North Coast, from Monti Cristi to Samana. Peppered along that coastline are beaches where kiteboarders are few and far between.

In this guide, we'll focus on one of the most beautiful, quiet kite destinations in the Dominican Republic - Buen Hombre. At the end of this guide, you can find a short summary of some of the other North Coast kite spots.

Buen Hombre is about as local as it gets, with just the right mix of kiting culture. The lush mountains in the background look like something you'd see on the Hawaiian islands, and the shallow bay full of colorful fishing boats is a welcome site for weary kite travelers.

We'll start with details on the kite spot, then everything else you need to know before you go to make sure you make the most of your trip to this stunning spot.

Windy Season:

Like Cabarete, it CAN be windy in Buen Hombre in both winter and summer.. essentially any month outside of the rainy season of October-November. But Cabarete can get cloudy days that disrupt the wind forecast. When it's not looking good in Cabarete, check out the forecast for Buen Hombre. The microclimate in this spot which means that a day that's not windy in Cabarete can still be windy here, or a windy day in Cabarete can mean a super windy day in Buen Hombre. The wind here is typically quite strong, and often blows from 16-36 knots in the summer months, with wind slowly building in the morning for a ripping afternoon!

Weather/Temperature:

You can expect hot Caribbean climates here. In or out of the water, it's bikinis, board shorts, and not a whole lot else. As always, long pants and a hoody might come in handy on a windy night, but the humid summers usually mean you'll be lounging around in less. Be sure to bring some mosquito repellant and sunscreen to ensure the most comfort.

Launch:

If you're driving into town, take a left at the beachfront and follow the bay along until you reach the end, where there are a couple of shacks, restaurants, and a sign that says Kite Buen Hombre. You can rig your gear right here on the point (side on/onshore) or around the corner in front of the kite school (mostly sideshore). The launch spot isn't very big and there are a few hazards to look out for, so make sure you're a confident kiter with solid launching and landing skills and a clear understanding of the wind window, or be sure to check in with the kite center on the beach for assistance.

You'll want to be very aware of water depth throughout the spot to avoid any nasty bails or injuries. Water on the spot can be anywhere from inches deep to waist deep, and those big shallow patches are the ones to watch out for. Keep an eye on the tides or aim for the deeper spots in the bay closer to the village or further out by the reef. You have a beautiful reef break here, some flat water, and very small chop in the bay. Where the reef is breaking and closer in the bay, the waves and moving water can expose rock and reef, so be aware!

Level:

Because this spot is shallow, it's the perfect place for beginners or those taking their first kite lessons. Kiters taking lessons will want to spend a bit of extra time here amongst the local kite community. For intermediate or advanced riders, it's an amazing spot to practice tricks and progression, and an awesome overnight or multi-night getaway from busy Cabarete.

Riding Style:

This spot works best for freeride and freestyle. Freestylers will be stoked on the relatively flat water and stunning scenery. It's too shallow for foiling, and the waves on the reef aren't a major draw for strapless riders. If you're riding a strapless board, stay in the deeper spots to avoid fins touching reef. Big air riders will be stoked on the wild, windy days where you can get massive airs. Just watch where you jump and try to time your landings in the deeper spots. If you're just here to get some time on the water, this spot is perfect for chill sessions with your crew.

Facilities:

Come prepared to this kite spot. There is one small kite school here but no kite shops, so bring all your gear and any spare parts you may need if you're staying a couple days. There's a hotel in the village on the waterfront, and Kite Buen Hombre has beach cabanas for rent. You'll have power (sometimes) and wifi (occasionally), but this spot is off the beaten path. Part of the magic here is putting your phone away and just enjoying the moment.

Cautions:

It's always important to be aware of what to be cautious of at any kite spot, but in remote spots it's doubly important. Here, you're hours away from any medical facilities or major kite centers, which you'll want to keep in mind.

On the beach, you have trees close to the water, power poles, and a couple buildings. On the water, there are some fishing boats and nets in the bay closer to the village as well as submerged rock and reef that can pop up in the waves. Watch where you ride!

In the water, there's sharp shells and some urchins, so booties are a must if you'll be standing or walking or doing lessons, and you'll need to be cautious of the tide. When the tide is low, the water can be shallow enough that your board and fins will catch, so choose the area that you ride carefully to avoid running into obstacles underwater.

Travel:

Chances are, if you're coming kiting in the Dominican Republic you'll be hitting up Cabarete or one of the other major DR hot spots, with Buen Hombre being a short stopover on your trip. Be sure to watch our Cabarete Spot Guide and check out the written spot guide for detailed information on airports and flights to the area.

Buen Hombre is on the Northwest tip of the Dominican Republic, near Monte Cristi. You'll need a car to get here, or come as part of an organized group. Trips here can be organized through Dare2Fly or GoKite in Cabarete or you can contact the local school, Kite Buen Hombre. If you're in Cabarete already, you can rent a car in town and drive about 3 hours to get to this spot. Make sure you download and save your direction offline with Google Maps or your preferred app to avoid getting lost on your way here. Take it slow on the roads, there are lots of potholes and a bit of hectic local driving with a mix of cows and goats!

Accommodation:

In this spot, choice isn't really a thing. You can check in with Hotel Playa Buen Hombre on arrival or call in advance, or you can get a surf style bungalow at Kite Buen Hombre. If you've planned a trip with a group or tour provider, they will sort out your accommodation. Expect to spend between $10-40 a night depending on the room style and size.

Food & Drink:

On the spot, catch of the day is always on the menu. In fact, there usually are no menus. If you want to order fish, you can take a peek in their freezer to pick your fish. You can try it grilled or fried (yum!). Depending on the season, you can also get langostines. If seafood isn't your thing, the locals are great at preparing chicken - grilled or fried. For sides, vegetables, fried plantains, or fried yuca are a local favorite. Food here is simple but absolutely delicious. You can grab cold beer and rum at the corner store up the hill as well as fruit, pastry, or coffee in the mornings. Be sure to drink only bottled water.

Adventure:

In Buen Hombre, the trip itself is the adventure. While you're here, you can plan a downwinder from Paradise Island, which starts with a boat island to a beautiful island paradise, lunch and snorkeling in clear, flat water, and an island kite session followed up by a downwinder back to Buen Hombre. This can be planned with Kite Buen Hombre while you're on the spot, or you can organize this trip in advance with Dare2Fly in Cabarete.

Buen Hombre is limited in alternative activities, so for non-kiters, SUPing and snorkeling are the main options, though neither are ideal when it's windy. If you're on the spot and the wind isn't blowing, wander over to Kite Buen Hombre - they can organize wakeboarding, SUPing, spearfishing, or you can just get to know their crew on a lazy afternoon!

Interested in the some other North Coast kite spots?

Our ideal North Coast kite expedition starts with tropical, barefoot luxury at Natura Cabana where we can take some time to settle into the Dominican Republic, and recover from a long trip. From there, you an organize a rental car or taxi through the hotel to get to some amazing kiteboarding spots and have a comfortable home base to return to between kite adventures.

ENCUENTRO

Right next door, Encuentro is surf lovers heaven. If you're watching the waves on a morning where the swell is working, you'll see everything from beginner to competitive level surfers on the waves. This is a great place to rent a board or take a lesson and paddle out to catch some waves.

For kitesurfers who prefer wave riding, this is the place you'll want to be in the windy afternoons! When the wind is working in Cabarete, it's working here too. A favorite kiteboarding experience in this area is a downwinder from Bozo Beach to Encuentro with some extra time hitting waves here in Encuentro.

LA BOCA

Freestylers will be in heaven in La Boca. This is the flattest water in the Dominican Republic, and the perfect place to practice tricks. It's a river mouth, and the terrain on the sandbar can change drastically depending on when you're there. You can ride in both the ocean side and in the river mouth. You can even downwind from here all the way to Cabarete or Encuentro, but the downwinder is best for experiend kiters only or with a guide.

If you're not an experienced kiteboarder, this spot can be much less friendly. The trees on the opposite side of the river have caught many a kite (sometimes many in one day!), and it's a mission getting your gear back. This spot can also get very crowded, and more than 4-5 kites on the water can be too much. Those that ride in this spot are often skilled freestyle riders going through a trick rotation, so watch the rotation before you try to jump in, or be sure to ride upwind or downwind of the trick spot.

PUERTO PLATA

Skip the crowds in Cabarete and enjoy a little extra space at Playa Dorada in Puerto Plata. This large and uncrowded beach is a great place to take lessons, and the semi-flat water has plenty of space to play. If you ride downwind from here, there are rock formations jutting out of the water and reef scattered beneath the surface to explore on your kite. Just make sure you can get back upwind!

LAS TERRANAS

If you like lighter winds, Las Terrenas is absolutely ideal for kiteboarding. What really stands out about Las Terrenas is the scenery. Whether you’re looking below at the crystal clear water, or back towards the mountains as you kitesurf in the bay, this romantic Dominican beach town will take your breath away.

Don't forget to check out our Cabarete spot guide for more ideas on excursions and adventures in a more tourist friendly destination. If you have any questions about this kite spot, please send us a message or reach out to Crystal Veness on Facebook or Instagram.

We'll see you at the next Destination!


Crystals 2018 Gear picks.

Kite: Dutone Dice | Twin-tip: Duotone Gambler


Crystal Veness

North Kites USA team rider and a MACkite team rider. Originally from Canada, she now calls the entire world her home, playground, and her workplace. She goes where the wind blows - so if you see her at a kite beach somewhere in the world, say hello! Her primary goal is to share her love of kiteboarding and travel and all the lessons learned along the way with the world.

Website: CrystalVeness.comInstagram: @crystalintlFacebook: CrystalVeness

Written and produced by Ryan (Rygo) Goloversic and Crystal Veness