Friday, November 24, 2017

La Boca - a Gem in Cabarete

La BocaAdd it to the list of Gems in Cabarete right away. Famous as it is, being featured in numerous magazines and a “must-do” attraction for a variety of professional athletes and international media, La Boca reveals some of the most beautiful scenery along the north coast. For those who can find it, that is…
Located about 4 kilometers from the center of Cabarete, the rivermouth of Rio Yasica de Sabaneta is like a playground for anyone who enjoys a decent day in the sun, next to the ocean. Whether it’s for activities like kiteboarding, wakeskating, jetski action or any other form of sports, anything seem to be possible where the river meets the ocean.When it’s time for a break… just catch the boat over to the local fish restaurant and dig in to a rainbow fish, lobster, platanos fritos with a coco loco on the side. It’s culture. Cabarete Culture.

For most kiteboarders, flat water is something worth searching for. In the Cabarete area, La Boca is the only place to find still and flat conditions to satisfy a picky athlete. Despite its narrow layout, the river mouth attracts hundreds of kiters every year. Some of them top level international riders with a tail of media behind them. Video productions, TV productions and magazine features have been created over and over at this place. On any given day with windy conditions, local athletes rip it up on the river, showing off their extreme skills for the tourists chilling by the riverside.
Ariel la BocaWith 3 or more kiteboarders on the water, this spot gets crowded, but never mind that… just take turns! While waiting, riding in the ocean can be as much fun, battling the shore break and boost off the lip of the waves. Onshore winds make it a bit tricky for those without much experience, and it’s recommended to have someone local guiding  kiteboarding sessions in this area. Should the kite go down, relaunching skills are worth gold, as the mangrove trees on the other side are known by the name kite killers. The wind blows offshore from the river side and will bring you down the river where the wind shadow won’t allow for easy relaunch. Boats are available for pickup if at some point relaunching doesn’t work.

At the end of a session, downwinders are popular and brings you straight to Cabarete Beach. The ride should take about 15 minutes if going straight downwind, but there are great spots all the way down, serving beautiful waves for those comfortable with that.
La Boca Restaurant serves amazing fish and lobster. Top it off with a tasty Coco Loco drink, straight out of the coconut. Photo: Anne Grethe Thomassen

You don’t have to be a kiteboarder…
There are other things to do at La Boca when not kiteboarding. Even though this gem is mostly known for its excellent kiteboarding conditions, it’s also known for hosting social get-togethers. Every Sunday, locals take a break from the busy every day life to enjoy a proper “Dominican Sunday”. Kiteboarding on a day like this call for precautions, as the water and the riverside get busy with families and tourists spending the day.

La Boca ShootingHow To Get There
Getting to La Boca can be tricky without local help. The ride there itself is an unforgettable experience, passing through local villages and mangrove tree forests. It is not recommended to try and find it on a “hunch”… Arriving from Cabarete, a taxi is probably the best bet, if not in company with someone local. Remember to negotiate taxi prices up front, as they tend to vary from trip to trip. A one-way trip should not cost more than 500 pesos, but you might be lucky and make a deal for even less. Talk to a local kiteboarder, a school or go directly to the taxi station in the center of Cabarete, located in the street outside of Banco BHD.

Note: In 2013 La Boca changed ownership and is undergoing planning and preparations for a tourist resort. The famous La Boca Restaurant has been closed, but Wilson's Restaurant has been moved and re-opened on the other side of the river. Parking and access is still available. Kiteboarding is still one of the main activities at the famous spot. Wilson provides boat transportation to his restaurant across the river.

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