I currently live and work here. The small town of Cabrera still remains largely untouched by “tourism” unlike the larger centres of Sosua and Cabarete. Virtually the only visitors to this area are those staying in one of the luxury villas for which this area has become famous. There are none of the “all-inclusive” hotels to be found here. Once thought of as remote, the area is now booming. It has come full circle from being out in the campo (country), when most of the land was still held in small, family-owned farms and mainly a cattle-raising area. Now set in the landscapes and oceanfront estates are some of the most exclusive gated communities in the country. Orchid Bay Estates, just a few minutes walk from the town, is one of these and home to some of the most prestigious villas and estates in the Dominican Republic. Visitors here are not those looking for the raucous nightlife of the tourist resorts but those seeking a relaxed, away from the madding crowd, style of holiday.
The construction of these exclusive enclaves has undoubtedly helped the local economy bringing with it welcomed employment and additional trade for businesses and service providers but fortunately has had little or no adverse effects on the town or it’s inhabitants. Cabrera is still a sleepy traditional Dominican town with a population of around 39,000 and life revolves around its central square. Thanks to the efforts of the current local Mayor, Jorge Cavoli, it is a remarkably clean town with plenty of rubbish containers, an effective collection service and a will on the part of the local population to keep it clean and tidy. The town also boasts its own fire and ambulance station, civil defence post, police station, a hospital and a thriving international school.
Almost every type of shop or business can be found in the narrow streets of Cabrera. Colmados, the traditional small grocery stores, abound and can vary from someone’s front room, selling a very limited range of a specific commodity, to surprisingly larger enterprises which seem to stock everything imaginable. Here you can still buy one egg or a spoonful of sugar, flour or rice and just enough meat, normally chicken, to make one small meal. All will be carefully weighed, in pounds (libras in Spanish), on scales which look like they date back to the ark and the final bill tallied on a calculator rather than a till. Digital scales and electronic tills have yet to find there way here! There are fishmongers, butchers, a local fruit and vegetable market, hardware stores, cafes, bars and a disco, along with all the other commercial and financial businesses you can think of!
Tourists are warmly welcomed here. The Dominicans have a reputation as friendly open people and here you will find the local residents are all that and more. You can mingle with them in the park, stop for a drink in one of the adjacent bars and always find a welcoming smile. Many will also speak English so ordering a beer, invariably a “presidente”, or a piña colada is easy.
Every town in the Republica Dominicana has a patron saint and in Cabrera, the annual “Patronales Festivales” is held in late September and lasts for nine days. Like everything else here, the action is centred in and around the central square and the whole town comes out to celebrate and join in the festivities. From a makeshift stage, live bands electrify the night. Sometime, nationally recognised recording artists perform here. Food stalls of all types offer local delicacies, others provide drinks of every concoction you can think of; vendors sell jewellery, souvenirs, and novelties and toys for the children and there are rides and a big wheel for both the young and young at heart to enjoy!
Interesting noting someone coming here to get married as this is very popular and my work. At some of the villas at Orchid Bay we specialise in “Destination Weddings” as they are called. If you are planning one and want information you can contact me on any of the following:-
These villas are also available for any event, Anniversaries, Birthdays, family reunions etc. or just a holiday.
I hope I may see some of you here in the near future.
Adrianover 3 years ago