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7 Days Swell Surf and Yoga Retreat Dominican Republic

7 Days Swell Surf and Yoga Retreat Dominican Republic

  • Swell Surf Camp, Calle Las Palmeras, Cabarete, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Yoga and Surf Dominican Republic Retreat

Surfing is a great water sport and when you are in the hands of true surf professionals, it is a very accessible sport for people of all ages. The Dominican Republic has some of the best surfing beaches of the Caribbean. Surfing and yoga are a match made in heaven and it's no accident that the two pair-up so well. Pre-surf stretching has been a vital part of surfing since forever: you’ll never see a surfer enter the water without doing some stretching first. Experience this exhilarating combination of surf and yoga in one of the most extraordinary beaches in the world!

Highlights

  • 3 yoga sessions
  • 5 days of surf course
  • 7 days of surf equipment usage
  • Daily transport to local surf beaches
  • Transfer from and to the airport
  • 4 dinners at Swell Surf Camp
  • 6 nights' accommodation
  • Daily healthy breakfast
  • 5 days with instruction
  • English
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Swell Surf Camp is the only surf camp in the Dominican Republic that has been purposely designed and built as such. After years of working in the surf travel industry and having visited lots of surf camps around the world, they knew exactly what people are looking for in a surf holiday experience, which is comfortable and spotlessly clean accommodation in a modern and stylish design.

Swell Surf Camp's unique environment is completely perfect for singles, solo travelers and couples alike. The layout of this surf camp has proved to be a huge success. The large communal area provides a cool spot for everyone to hang out, have fun, make friends, and eat delicious food. The garden is often described by guests as an oasis and the pool with its fiber-optic lights and color-changing display. This garden is a place people find hard to leave. You'll love the camp's over-sized beanbags, hammocks, and comfortable pool loungers. You will also love the ambiance and tranquility of the garden where you can practice yoga before surfing.

Facilities

  • LED mood lighting
  • Hammocks in the garden
  • A flat screen TV with media player to watch surf movies
  • Free Wi-Fi connection
  • Pool table and a foosball table
  • Surround sound system with iPod connection
  • Salt water swimming pool with 122 fiber optic and LED lights that change colors
  • Plenty of bean bags and sun loungers to chill on
  • A selection of board games (chess and poker chips)
  • Surf, kitesurf, and windsurf magazines and a ton of books to read
  • Self serve bar
  • 24-hour Swell Surf Camp's staff on site

Premium room

Premium rooms have a large king-size bed or 2 single beds (just tell Swell Surf Camp how you want it). The room will be perfect for a couple, 2 friends sharing, or 1 person that just loves a huge bed all to themselves. Two of the larger premium rooms can actually have one king plus one single bed, or 3 single beds. The amenities are:

  • Large, efficient, and quiet ceiling fan
  • Private en-suite facilities, water closet, and shower
  • Quality mattress, pillows, and Egyptian cotton sheets / pillowcases
  • Air conditioner installed (additional fee applies)
  • Stylishly decorated
  • Double glazed windows for a quiet night’s sleep
  • Daily maid service
  • Safe deposit box
  • Made for 1 to 3 people maximum who book together

Dorm room

Dorms are hostel-style rooms with 4 beds installed in a room - two on the lower level and two above. The rooms can be shared with a maximum of 3 other guests. They are facilitated with a shared en-suite shower / water closet. Your dorm room mates could be male or female. Please don't book a dorm if you know you are a loud snorer, have difficulty keeping your stuff tidy, or are generally intolerant. AC in a dorm must be agreed by all occupants since it will require an extra cost. If you know you cannot sleep without AC, please take a premium room. The amenities are:

  • Ceiling fan
  • En suite facilities
  • Beds on 2 levels with mezzanine style
  • Quality mattress, pillows, and sheets
  • Air conditioner installed (additional fee applies)
  • Stylishly decorated
  • Daily maid service
  • Safe deposit box
  • Made for 1 to 4 people who book separately or in a group

Surf

Surfing is a great water sport and when you are in the hands of true surf professionals, it is a very accessible sport for people of all ages. If you join the surf course at Swell Surf Camp, you could not be in safer hands because the surf coaches are all qualified. Having qualified coaches also means that Swell Surf Camp can teach you advanced techniques, not only the basics. So, if you are an intermediate surfer, you can also benefit from surfing lessons with Swell Surf Camp.

Your surf theory lessons will be given in one or two stages during the week (depending on how long you stay). Learning how waves are formed and how to spot the best place to sit are just two of the topics covered in these lessons. With a week-long stay, the intermediate or beginner surf lessons will consist of 5 surf lessons, followed by supervised surfboard rental. If you are not too exhausted and if the staff feel that your surfing ability is up to it, you can make your own way to the beach to continue surfing without Swell Surf Camp's staff present. Below is the typical surf lesson day at Swell Surf Camp:

  • Have a quick cup of coffee or tea
  • Off to the beach
  • Allocate your equipment
  • Warm up / stretching
  • Talk about conditions on the learning beach on the first day or a refresher on what was taught the day before
  • Practice techniques on land
  • Going into the water for the first time, accompanied by Swell Surf Camp's coaches to provide feedback and oversee your safety
  • Catch a few of your first waves with some help from the team
  • Have a break to rest the body at the beach, drink something, and listen to some more tips / pointers / tuition
  • Back into the water for another 45 minutes of learning the art of riding waves
  • Have breakfast at Swell Surf Camp
  • Go back to the beach for an informal lesson

Yoga

Unless you are a seasoned swimmer, arms are not used to paddling as a rule, so shoulders can react unpleasantly to the demands of catching lots of waves. Good balance is an essential part of the surfing process. Yoga brings together many of the skills you will need to learn to surf well and perhaps most importantly, helps to stretch, relax, repair, and tone aching limbs.

Yoga at Swell Surf Camp is not just for experts who have been to a lot of surf and yoga camp / retreats before, but for people of all skill levels. Yoga sessions are held at Swell Surf Camp's garden 3 times per week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons.

Surf and yoga camp preparation

Even if you have a generally good level of fitness, there are certain muscle groups used in surfing which might need some coaxing into action beforehand to prevent injuries occurring. During paddling, multiple muscles are required: triceps, biceps, deltoids, the trapezius, rectus abdominis, latissimus dorsi, and obliques. It is wise to try and prepare these muscles a little, rather than shocking them into action during your surf vacation.

There are several good surf warm-up videos on YouTube if you search on Google for ‘surf stretch and warm-up videos’. Swell Surf Camp doesn’t want to recommend any particular video, as everyone is different. They are sure, though, that you will find one that suits you to help prepare for this surf and yoga holiday at Swell Surf Camp.

  • Molly O'Meara

    Molly began practicing yoga in 1993 while she lived in Aspen Colorado. Now, she is a dedicated Ashtanga practitioner. Her teaching style is warm and supportive and she encourages students to explore beyond their perceived limitations by emphasising proper alignment to maximize performance and prevent injury.

Cabarete

Cabarete is a special place if you want to pursuit surf. This vibrant town has a beach dining scene that cannot be found anywhere else. Surfing spot is a short drive away, but you do not need to rent a car since Swell Surf Camp will take you there twice per day anyway and apart from the surf, there are no shops or restaurants close to the surf beach.

There are 5 restaurants within a 2 to 3-minute walk and other restaurants and Cabarete's nightlife is also within a 10-minute walk. At night, these restaurants will light up the palm trees with lanterns and place their tables and chairs directly in the sand. Some of these restaurants turn into clubs where you can dance the night away, all in a unique and friendly atmosphere. If clubbing is not your scene, you can wander back to Swell Surf Camp where you can enjoy a more peaceful location, just far enough away from the action to enjoy your night’s sleep.

Surf spots

The Dominican Republic’s north coast is blessed with surf spots that cater for surfers of all surfing levels. Encuentro, the main surf spot on the North Coast, is a short drive out of Cabarete. The good thing about Encuentro is the wave consistency: there are surfable waves pretty much 350 days per year that are suitable for complete beginners or intermediate surfers who wish to improve their skills on their surf holiday to the Dominican Republic. Playa Encuentro is a very consistent surf spot. For beginners, its inside provides a fun and safe playground. For intermediate and experts surfers, there are several different peaks to be found at Encuentro.

Nearby places

  • Restaurant - 2 to 10 minutes by foot
  • Cabarete Bay - 5 minutes by foot
  • CMC Hospital - 10 minutes by car
  • Gregorio Luperón International Airport (POP) - 25 minutes
  • Cibao International Airport (STI) - 1.5 hours
  • Las Américas International Airport (SDQ) - 3 hours

Swell Surf Camp's staff are preparing and cooking all your fresh meals right in front of you in an open kitchen. Dominican eggs, fish, and chicken are amongst the tastiest in the world and fruit and vegetables here are mostly organically produced. Swell Surf Camp takes these great ingredients, combine them with good recipes, and the result is wonderful, tasty, and genuinely home-made food being prepared right in front of you. There’s a very good reason why Swell Surf Camp's guests have asked them for their recipes time and time again. If you are a vegetarian, vegan, or even gluten intolerant, just let Swell Surf Camp know in advance of your surf holiday with them and they will do their very best to cater for your needs.

Breakfast

You can savor these following breakfast menus during your stay at Swell Surf Camp:

  • The omelet by Swell Surf Camp: This is the favorite for most clients and filled with healthy locally produced ingredients.
  • Crepes: The crepes are nice, thin, and very tasty. Put some banana's on top or treat yourself with some chocolate syrup.
  • Toasted breakfast wrap: For a savory choice, take some scrambled eggs and bacon, or perhaps a sweet one with bananas and syrup, wrap them up tightly, and toast them in the grill until the wrap is deliciously crispy.
  • Home-made muesli with yogurt: This is the ideal food for those who are on a diet, but don't forget how much energy you use for surfing.
  • Freshly squeezed fruit juices: Equally popular as the omelets, there are fresh oranges, fresh mango, cherry, and chinola for juicing whenever they are available. You'll have to squeeze the juices yourself, which probably makes them taste even better.
  • Freshly cut fruit platter: Fresh tropical fruit and coconut, nice and healthy, seems to taste better here than anywhere else, probably because it's all locally and organically grown.
  • Coffee and tea: Swell Surf Camp's coffee is grown and roasted in the Dominican Republic and always available during and before breakfast.
  • Daily bread, bananas, and drinking water

Lunch

Swell Surf Camp doesn’t serve lunch because you really are so close to great places to eat. You can get some lunch easily and you would miss out on Gorditos’s famous fish tacos just 200 meters from Swell Surf Camp's front door. Cabarete has so many restaurants that you can explore. Many different cuisines are on offer and Swell Surf Camp will gladly help you choose where to eat when the food is not prepared in the camp.

Dinner

Four times each week, Swell Surf Camp will cook dinner for all their clients and it's already included in your surf package. They concentrate on taste and freshness and prepare all food in front of you. You can enjoy the meal around the huge table that is the heart of the camp. A sample of the dinner meals is as follows:

  • The traditional Dominican meal: The Dominican ladies will prepare rice, herbs, yucca, platanos, and very yummy chicken, beef, or fish marinated in fresh organic herbs and spices before cooking.
  • Lasagne: The lasagne is tasty and plentiful.
  • Chicken peanut pasta: Swell Surf Camp 'borrows' the recipe from a good friend of theirs named Skip.
  • Chicken cordon bleu: It is served with lots of green stuff on the side, garlic bread, and sautéed potatoes and it tastes very good.
  • Chicken and pineapple creamy curry: The meal is served with lots of steamed rice and it tastes amazing.
  • Locally caught fish: Haudy knows just how to get the best out of fresh fish.
  • Desserts: Dinner is normally followed by a daily dessert of ice cream and / or crepes.
  • Canyoning, repelling, and jumping the Magic Mushroom
  • Diving
  • Horse riding
  • Kitesurfing
  • Mountain biking
  • Partying at Cabarete's night clubs
  • Snorkeling
  • Windsurfing

Different kinds of massages are available for you at the lovely Naomi Day Spa and at very reasonable prices. The prices start at 75 USD.

  • 3 yoga sessions
  • 4 dinners at Swell Surf Camp
  • 5-day surf course
  • 6 nights' accommodation
  • 7-day surf equipment rental
  • Daily healthy breakfast
  • Daily transportation to local surf beach
  • Transfer from and to Gregorio Luperón International Airport (POP)

Arrival by airplane

Please book a flight to arrive at Gregorio Luperón International Airport (POP). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Swell Surf Camp will pick you up from the airport. Another option is to fly to Cibao International Airport (STI) and Las Américas International Airport (SDQ). Flying into and out of Cibao International Airport (STI) adds 150 USD to the transfers fee (per taxi). Flying into and out of Las Américas International Airport (SDQ) adds 365 USD to the transfers fee (per taxi).

Arrival by bus

Buses and coaches also run between Cibao International Airport (STI) and Las Américas International Airport (SDQ) to the North Coast. The journey times are approximately 3 and 6 hours respectively.