When you fly in to Puerto Plata International Airport, the plane travels a few kilometers east of the airport before looping back for the final approach. On a clear day, you might see a stretch of beach which seems to be packed with sunbathing tourists. As the plane descends, however, it becomes clear that, although the beach is still crowded, it is not with people. What had appeared through the clouds as hundreds of sweating bodies are, in fact, surf boards; and the sunbathers' beach towels turn out to be windsurfing sails. This is Cabarete.
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The importance of windsurfing in the Dominican Republic is huge; and Cabarete has hosted the sport's World Cup no less than five times since its windsurfing potential was discovered and exploited in the 1980s. The secret of Cabarete's success is twofold: the wind is consistently strong; and a protective reef of dead coral on the outer limit of the bay provides calm waters close to the shore. This combination has made Cabarete one of the best places in the world for beginners and experts alike. In addition to the PWA World Cups, the town has staged an amateur windsurfing competition aptly named Cabarete Race Week since 1997. For one week in June (the windiest month) competitors converge on Cabarete to windsurf, while hundreds of others follow in their wake to enjoy the party atmosphere. If competitive windsurfing is your scene, or if you enjoy the sport just for fun, Cabarete is calling