Though the DR isn’t traditionally known for its surfing, the little town of Cabarete (a 30-minute drive from the Puerto Plata airport) is fast becoming a hot spot for newbies and those wanting to take their board skills to a new level. Cabarete boasts several surf camps including SWELL, “a purpose-built surf camp” that attracts surfers and wannabe surfers from all corners of the globe. A cross between a hostel and a just-the-basics boutique hotel, the camp has co-ed quad dorms and private rooms accommodating some two dozen travelers of all ages — a healthy mix of singles and couples, mostly urban professionals. Days here start really early, but what does it matter when you’re on the water catching waves? (There’s always the rest of the day to make up for that lost shut-eye.) Once you’re done with your surfboard, wander into Cabarete to grab a cerveza and a bite. Be sure to check out the town’s other favorite pastime, kitesurfing. Just look to the sky.