While I was planning the trip to Punta Cana I was trying to find something fun and a bit different to do while we were there. I had been once before and had done a snorkelling and catamaran excursion, and we had just done a lot of great snorkelling in Mexico, so I really wanted to do something different. I remembered that when I had been in Puerta Plata years ago, we had gone to Cabarete which had a big windsurfing community. I looked into it a bit more and found that there is a large surf community and culture in Dominican Republic and a surf camp with outstanding reviews near our resort in Punta Cana – Macao Surf Camp. I corresponded with them via email before we went down and set up private lessons one morning during our trip. They confirmed the reservation, let me know we would pay when we arrived and asked me to email them when we got to our resort to confirm.
The day of our lesson the van arrived to pick us up from our resort just a few minutes late, and we joined a group of people who had been picked up from different resorts on the way to the beach. There are four options for pick up times and they depend on where your resort is. Ours was close to the beach so we were picked up at 10:30am, but there was also an earlier pick up time and two afternoon times. The trip from our resort, the Iberostar Bavaro, was pretty quick; I would say 20-30 minutes max. The beach is an absolute gorgeous sight to pull up to. Beautiful water, clean sand, and waves! It is a local, public beach which was kind of neat, but a lot of tours stop there so it does have a touristy vibe as well. When we arrived to the surf school shack there were a lot of instructors and people sitting around, looking at us, and we really didn’t know what to do or where to go. Eventually it was figured out and we were given rash guards and a place to put our stuff. Just a note, we weren’t actually given lockers like it says in the Trip Advisor reviews, which wasn’t a big deal because if they stole my money they wouldn’t be getting paid for the lesson, but it may make some people feel uneasy. After a few minutes of standing around we were told to come to the sand for the first part of the lesson.
The beach lesson was taught by an older gentleman who spoke english well and was able to explain very clearly what we needed to do. He seemed to really know his stuff and I would bet he was a seasoned pro. After about 15 minutes of the sand instruction we were ready for the water and a group of instructors walked us down the beach to the spot we would be surfing. Note: for any avid surfers out there, this is a beach break so it is a nice sandy bottom, no reef to worry about crashing into. Now, the surf instructors did not really speak English, which made me think they were making fun of me because I couldn’t understand them… lol…I wish I spoke more Spanish!! Even though there was a language barrier, they had every single person in the water up on their boards, surfing the waves. If they wanted you to move back on your board they would just gently tug on your ankle or show you what your body should be doing (it’s like surfing charades!!) There were 5 of us in the group and probably 6-7 instructors in the water with us, plus the photographers….that’s right! Probably the best part of this was that they took professional photographs the entire time!! They took some of my boyfriend and I on the beach, posing with the surfboards and coconuts, and tons of us in the water. We bought the CD of about 400 photos for $50.00 which was awesome. Such a great keepsake!
Overall this was a great day. We were in the water for about 2 hours, with about a 15-20 minute coconut water break in the middle…which I desperately needed. I honestly headed in about 10 minutes before the others as my body was exhausted!! I caught lots of waves and also have photographic evidence of many wipe outs 🙂 While we walked back to the Surf Shack after the lesson the instructors broke their English out to ask us if we would be tipping them well, so we gave our instructors each $10.00. Total cost for the day was about $150.00 per person for transportation to and from the resort, surf lesson, rash guard and board rental, and photos. I would go back to this beach and surf again for sure, but since I’m so experienced now (ha!) I would probably just rent a board and skip the lesson 😉
Have a fabulous trip! 🙂