A place I’ll never forget. Looking back, I accomplished so much during the 4 months I lived in this hidden away Dominican fishing village, Buen Hombre.
I first arrived in June 2018, where I embraced digital nomad life, managing a rustic remote kite camp along side plenty of kitesurfing, with open arms.
I remember arriving at the gates of Kite Buen Hombre as if it were yesterday. Driving along a bumpy dirt road, in the evening darkness, not sure if the driver knew where he was really going.
Yet, I was certain to be beside the ocean as the salty aromas flowed into the wide open window of the taxi. It seemed I was heading to nowhere, but found myself welcomed to a secluded kiteboarding paradise in the Caribbean.
Little did I know what lay in those months ahead; my first downwinds, the adrenaline rush of my first jumps, grabs and backrolls, not to mention completing my IKO instructor course.
I adapted to Buen Hombre’s laid back local essence quickly, and was truly content with the simple things in life. A beach hut, plenty of wind and man’s best friend.
I felt like I was living the Caribbean dream, growing fonder of remote kitesurfing destinations by the minute. In fact, you can read more about my Summer season experience at the time, here.
- Kite spot for all levels
- Sleep, eat, kite, repeat lifestyle
- Ideal for beginners and a nice teaching spot
- Dreamy Caribbean ocean blues
- Simple, friendly local village vibe
- Loving camp dogs
- Hard to work on a Sunday – it’s time for bachata and Dominican’s to party 😉
KITE SPOT INFO
There are two wind seasons in the Dominican Republic (DR). The strongest starts from April to September with a lighter Winter season from December to February. If there’s any months to avoid, it would be during the rainy season, usually around October to November.
Buen Hombre, a remote local fishing village hugged by a mountainous backdrop, often has stronger wind throughout the Summer months compared to the more globally known kiteboarding location, Cabarete.
If it’s cloudy there, check out the forecast of Buen Hombre’s drier microclimate, with an average of 16-25 knots.
It’s glorious clear skies kick start the thermal wind not long after breakfast, usually peaking towards end of day. This means plenty of blissful moments on the water watching the fires of sunset orange darken on the horizon.
In this reef protected bay, you can absorb the rays of sunshine kiting in board shorts and bikini throughout the year, as water temperatures rarely drop below 26°C.
As ever, bring some slightly warmer clothes for those cooler windy nights.
Ensure to check the tides, as it can be anywhere from ankle to waist deep within the bay. Before setting up and jumping into the water for the first time, it’s a good idea to head over to the kite school for a quick spot check.
An ideal location for beginner kitesurfers and those wanting to start their windy watersport adventure.
Why? Because the learning process is made easier by the following:
- Shallow & flat water to stand in, increasing stability, allowing quicker retrieval of your board (bring shoes)
- Less traffic on the water with more space to practice
- Side-on-shore wind bringing you back towards the shore
- IKO certified school on site
The flat water area outside the school is a perfect playground for progression, with another spot around the bay bend before the set of fishing boats, although keep an eye on the tide levels to practice your tricks safely
There are a few breaking waves to play with along the reef – you’re timing is key here to avoid running into anything exposed whilst surfing.
I loved guiding this downwind from Paradise Island at Kite Buen Hombre, a popular and often crowded tourist attraction, but that’s not what we were there for.
Setting out around 20 mins on a small fishing boat from the camp, we would head over for a snorkel pit-stop on the island (probably one of the smallest you’ve ever seen), before making our way over to the mangroves to launch the kites.
Taking our time to absorb the elements, slowly making our way along the empty coastline back to camp. The journey includes flat water and rolling waves for all levels to enjoy, with the boat right behind you.
Aside from Paradise Island, the kitesurf school also offers a 17km downwind to Playa Popa and a more adventurous 7 Islands trip which I wish I had documented more at the time.
Flights & Transport
The closest airport is Santiago, around a 90-minute drive away. You can either rent a car or organise transport with Riin from the kiteschool, if you plan to stay at the camp.
Make sure you download and save your directions offline before driving there yourself. If you’re heading from Cabarete and uncertain about the roads, there are several kite schools that can take you in a private coach or simply ask Riin.
It’s around a 3h (180km) drive away from Cabarete, but totally worth the trip.
A tourist Visa isn’t required for visits shorter than 30 days. All travellers to the Dominican Republic pay a $10 tourist fee that’s incorporated into the flight charges.
You can contact the Migration Department to extend your Visa or pay a fine at departure for overstaying which can range from $55 for one month to much more depending on the length. I ended up paying the fine.
You can find more details here.
Like most beautiful remote destinations, there is limited accommodation.
Kite Buen Hombre
A rustic kite camp, with a few palm leafed bungalows standing close enough to hear the sounds of the ocean as you sleep. You might just have to pinch yourself when waking to these florescent shades of blue.
Back then, it took some effort to run the camp as the village lived without a constant flow of electricity, running 6 hours on and 6 hours off. Camp batteries kept it going whilst it shifted, and its water tanks were filled from passing trucks to accommodate those cooling outdoor showers under the night stars.
I’m pleased to say the village, that Buen Hombre now has 24h electricity and running water.
This non-commercial kitespot is spoken about by few yet loved by many, with most visitors coming to see what all the growing fuss is about.
Many of whom drop their plans to complete their beginner kiteboarding course here, or return to stay several nights joined by fellow kiters and camp bonfires.
I juggled digital nomad life and managing this kitesurfing camp with an eclectic mix of international riders from beginners to pro’s, who all seemed to share an open mind for local, simple living.
The day started with communal breakfast, usually catching up on the mischief during our nightly game of Jenga partnered with local rum.
Once the wind picked up, we’d hit the water, observing tricks from the private beach chill-out zone during well-deserved breaks and taking in the sunset hues before the day drew to a close.
*Tip: there’s a very basic Hotel Playa Buen Hombre, but I’d definitely recommend the kiteboarding camp vibe any day.
Wifi is available at Kite Buen Hombre. This allowed me to continue working digitally, fitting my virtual assistant schedule (mainly emails) in whilst getting plenty of time to enjoy wind and water.
Plus, I’ve been told the connection has improved a lot since my visit.
As ever, for a smoother kitesurfing and digital nomad life, always have your back-ups, whether that’s a local SIM or a portable WiFi device.
There is also a local beach view restaurant with WiFi within a few minutes walk from the camp, in case you fancy a change of scenery. Although, I do not suggest scheduling a job interview there whilst you’ve got chickens, cows and bachata in the background. I learnt that lesson!
Claro was my prepaid SIM choice for DR, it’s market leader. You’ll need to register with your passport from an approved re-seller or official store, costing 150 DOP (3 USD) for the SIM.
Credit scratch cards are available at stands on the roadside if you’re heading to the kitespot (one just opposite a big restaurant on the corner along the beach road). For example, Claro offers a 3GB 30-day data pack for 1,125 DOP (20 USD).
Since July 1st 2020, international flights have resumed with social distancing protocols in place.
Country-Specific Information is available for you here.