We had an agreement for our holiday this year that wherever we went, Darryl would be able to surf. Admittedly Punta Cana isn’t known for its surfing spots as the waves are better in the north, so it was a bit of a risk, but Google saved the day and we managed to track down a place called Macao Surf Camp at Macao Beach which luckily was only a few miles from our resort.
If you can make your own way there then it’s pretty cheap to just rent a board for the day, but to make life easier we decided to also book a hotel pick up and drop off. All in it came to about $75 for the day. It might have been cheaper to get a taxi, but getting to spend the journey there chatting to one of the owners, Gustavo about their business and his stories of when he lived in London made it worth the few extra dollars. The surf camp is run by three main guys and a team of people, with onsite portaloos, changing facilities and a small shop. Plus these adorable kittens!
Although the beach wasn’t as stunning compared to others that we saw on that holiday, it was virtually untouched and practically deserted, which made it feel like some sort of a hidden paradise. I’m not sure how long that will last though because Gustavo told us that they’re planning to build a huge resort on the beach. In fact the day we were there the locals hosted a huge protest from the town down the beach, which you can see a bit of in my vlog.
Darryl rented his board for the whole day, so for the first few hours I sat under one of two umbrellas on the beach trying to get some shade, before I got told to either pay $8 or move, so at that point we headed into the beach shack for a $3 fresh coconut and ate the picnic that we’d bought with us from the hotel breakfast buffet (excellent travel hack if you’re cheap like us). Thankfully that also got me away from the angry beach dog that had decided to share my towel for the previous two hours.
Even if you don’t go there to surf, just going to see the ‘real Dominican’ is worth it. It’s a huge stretch of beach with coconuts plummeting from palm trees left right and centre. We spent about an hour just walking and taking it all in, without having to dodge beach balls or avoid destroying a kid’s sand castle.
Later in the afternoon the sun had moved behind a huge palm tree creating some free shade for me, so Darryl headed back in for one last surfing attempt in the hope that the waves would pick up a bit (they didn’t). But even without being able to surf properly, the water was beautiful, so I’m pretty sure he spent 20% of the time surfing and 80% of the time just floating around on the board. Later on we headed back to the hotel, stocked up on snacks and crashed out by the pool. Mondays don’t get better than that!
Tips for a day at Macao Beach: take your own packed lunch if you want to save money, consider bringing an umbrella for guaranteed shade and if you’re surfing remember to take regular shade breaks! Darryl spent about six hours in the water and burnt to an absolute crisp even after several applications of water-resistant SPF 50…
Click here to find out more about Macao Surf Camp!