What you need to know:
-Great, safe place for solo travelers -I am talking as a female solo traveler!-
-Great place to meet other travelers in their mid-thirties (just in case you were afraid, as I was, of the Spring break twenties years old)
-The price is great considering what you get: a private, clean room, with boards rentals AND food included!
-Most rooms have a safe but honestly there has never been any issue with money or anything disappearing... the staff is trustworthy.
-Some rooms can have a mold smell. Bring an aroma travel candle just in case.
-Diners are good but can take time to get to your table if the restaurant is busy.
-Breakfast is definitely minimal: fresh fruits, d0-it-yourself fresh squeezed orange juice, coffee. I recommend you do as I did: bring some nuts to add proteins to your morning diet.
-Stock up on big bottles of water, the water is not drinkable there
-The guagua takes you to the surf sessions in the morning, and usually the locals will tell you it's not that great to surf in the afternoon... but don't forget they are spoiled with great waves year around, so to them ok waves are not worth their time. But if you are a beginner it won't hurt to practice on white waters in the afternoon. This is when I finally managed to turn on my board actually (it wasn't crowded either!).
-Antonio is a great surf instructor -proof is: he watches you until you are finished with your waves and has a comment each time that will help adjust your technique.
-A photographer takes pictures of you and gathers them on a CD for you to buy ($12) so you can have pix of you surfing and souvenirs pix of the surroundings.
-I know it's hard not to drink cocktails on a caribbean vacation (delicious caipirinhas at the camp!), but you feel the difference in your surf in the morning. Of all the local surfers I met there, none of them drank as often as we tourists do. (but oh well... and the drinks are dangerously cheap too!)
-Ladies, I recommend cute shorts instead of a bikini bottom to surf, when you are a beginner. You will understand when the first wave over you swipes your bottom down to your knees, leaving you with the choice of either paddling with your arms, or using them to save your modesty. (unless you are a proven surfer of course and have your surf-proof bikini)
-Order your massage session with the front desk because all the ones advertized in town are another type of massage, you know what i mean.
-Don't forget to tip well each person from the staff: all this great ladies working in the kitchen, always with a welcoming smile and ready to help out. I repeat: Tip well, so take this in account this in your budget. What might not be a lot to you will mean a lot to the staff.
-Cheap things that i liked to buy at the supermarket and bring back: Pack of local coffee, hot salsa, guavas or mangos jams, plantain chips (also good to have as a snack at the airport, where everything is suddenly twice if not three times more expensive).
-The restaurant is by a pond which means lots of mosquitos. But at the supermarket you can find a green after-sun lotion with aloe vera and citrus blend which is a natural mosquito repellent, only made with natural ingredients (no poisonous deet stuff), and cost less than $4. I tried it and recommend it.
-No taxis to get to the beach, just plan on using a motocycle to get there. No helmets, but they are somewhat good drivers. From Cabarete to Playa encuentro (the surf beach) the standard amount is 100 pesos. Announce the price right away. And get out from the left side or you will risk burning your right leg on the tail pipe (you will see loads of tourists with that battle wound there).
Hope that helps- Enjoy your trip!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.