Explorer Chick’s Cabarete Adventure & Fitness Retreat in November of 2015 was chock full of adventure, friendships, and fun.
Everyone arrived from Santo Domingo to our lodgings in Cabarete around 6pm, but the party started sooner! A few pictures popped up on Instagram and Facebook of the Chick’s sipping some ice cold Presidentes during their trip from the airport! Our driver, Angelo, sure knows how to get everyone in the island spirit.
That evening we went for dinner on the beach ordering fruity concoctions and the island’s specialty, Mojitos! We were in for a special treat because the Jazz festival was also being held that weekend. After our dinner we strolled the beach and swayed with the crowds to the beats.
On Monday morning following a delicious Organic, farm to table breakfast, we were off on our first adventure: Learning to surf! Our instructor, Nico, had the Explorer Chicks practice their form and pop ups on the beach before paddling into the water. The star of the show was definitely Erica. She may have discovered her calling as a Surfer Chick!
The following day we woke early for a day of jumping from waterfalls. After a van ride through the Dominican countryside and breakfast on the go, we arrived to “base camp” to get outfitted in our wet suits, helmets, and harnesses. Our guides led us down a steep embankment into the river that cuts through the canyon. And, we saw GOATS! They were much better on their feet than we were going into the canyon.
The day was absolutely thrilling! We waded and swam through the chilly river. We jumped from waterfalls as high as 30 feet. I struggled to snap pictures of Anna jumping after me. Turns out she is scared of heights! Her strategy is to not hesitate and just jump. No time to think!
The hike out is always a challenge. It’s a steep climb with several switch backs to get to the “top.” Some of the Explorer Chicks opted to get donkeys to take them on the second half of the journey back to basecamp. Erica and I opted to continue the beautiful hike on our own legs. Erica was quick to spot the donkey and horse caca terrified of stepping in it! Wouldn’t you know, she took a spill landing right in it!
An authentic Dominican lunch was served back at base camp. A farmer gave me and Erica an avocado during our hike which was sliced up and shared with everyone. A fresh avocado with a sprinkle of salt is a DELICACY!
We joined the circus on Wednesday. Okay, not really, but we put our acrobatic skills to the test. Amber was a natural! She quickly learned to hang from her knees and flip off to drop from the bar. In no time she was teamed up with Chiqui practicing catches and releases.
On Thursday morning, we said good bye to Amber. She was only able to get away for a small period of time. 🙁 We made sure to send her pictures during the rest of the week!
The rest of us went to the Taino Organic farm to tour the source of the authentic breakfasts and dinners we’d been eating all week. Our taste buds were tested as we tried to guess the different spices and herbs grown on the farm. We then ditched our clothes for our bikinis for the ultimate in rest days! A Lazy River Float. With Presidentes in hand, we enjoyed the sunshine, the courntry side, and the crystal clear river. Of course, it wasn’t completely lazy.
“Hold my beer. Watch this!” Famous words before jumping from an overhanging tree into the depths of the river!
After yoga Friday morning, Angelo picked us up for our hike up Mt. Isabella de Torres. Our guide was quick leading us up and up some more! He stopped to hand us fresh picked mangos. Sweet, juicy, and transcendent (Yes. They were that good!).
Our second guide, Laika, followed us the entire time. She was our little Mountain Puppy Sherpa. We kept waiting for her to drop back, but her tiny little body ran back and forth “herding” us and making sure we were all safe! After climbing for an hour, the mountain proved too steep of a force and we opted to exercise prudence.
We hiked back down, devoured some Dominican chicken, chugged some Coca-Colas and loaded back into the Taxi. We instead, drove to the summit of Mt. Isabel de Torres. Upon arrival, the vista was all clouds. We could see nothing! We all decided to use the bathroom. While we were in there, the clouds dispersed and we were left with a clear, blue sky! Our view of Puerto Plata, the ocean, and neighboring mountains was completely unobstructed.
On the way home, I introduced the Explorer Chicks to Valentino’s ice cream. For all of you Helado Lovers out there, you will never set your sights on something more beautiful than their glowing case of divine goodness!
Saturday was a free day! No planned adventures, just a day to explore Cabarete, hang by the pool, and stroll the beach. I arranged private Horseback riding for Anna on the beach. Erica found herself back at Encuentro on a surf board.
We closed our final night together with an incredible dinner and drinks under the stars. We shared stories and toasts.
Throughout the week, we found ourselves sweating in the Tiki Hut with Zach and Jeremy. Double squat box jumps anyone? Molly led us through a few yoga practices in the open-aired yoga loft overlooking the ocean. Her squishies are the best! Angel and his staff made sure we were well fed all week with amazing dinner and breakfasts. True story: Our dinners always disappeared from our plates before we would remember to snap a picture! (Dominican “Lasagna” is amaze balls!)
Other fond memories:
Gordito’s post surf Fish Taco’s game is on point.
Fresh Fresh Smoothies – No words.
Erica somehow finds her way behind bars and DJ booths.
Our evening Mojitos served post work-out and pre-dinner.
Matilda accompanying Anna and I poolside. (She has life all figured out!)
Anna M. ~
Explorer Chick Adventure Co. has truly set the bar for vacations going forward! It has encouraged me to continue to improve myself physically, mentally, and spiritually, because life is never happier than when I am outdoors and challenging myself in some way. The bonding opportunity with fierce women who want more out of a vacation than a beach and a towel is unparalleled, and the trip planning is all done for you! I dare anyone reading this to become an Explorer Chick – you won’t regret it!!
Amber M. ~
I know it took me a while but I wanted to answer this email to let you know how I was impacted by our trip to Cabarete. When I came back I felt stronger in both body and spirit. I felt rejuvenated and motivated to continue being active and living a life that I love. Everyday tasks that I used to hate, such as carrying 40 lb bags of cat litter, were suddenly no big deal. And I got one of my turns in my ballet class for the first time at my very first class back from the trip! I had a wonderful time on the trip. It was awesome to be around like-minded, fun-loving women. It was so much fun to push ourselves and encourage each other. I hope to be able to do another explorer chick trip in the future!
Erica D. ~
Nicki Bruckmann and Explorer Chick Adventure Co. are amazing! Seriously can not get over what I have been able to achieve and the fears I conquered. These past 6 months have been pretty tough. The ones closest to me have seen it but this adventure with 3 of my dear friends reminded me of who I am and my strength. Seriously, I am thankful for this adventure and experience. I’m looking forward to the rest of the week. Please connect with Nicki no matter what gender to plan an adventure or check out one of her upcoming ones. I am so impressed with my friend and her professionalism, dedication, enthusiasm, and leadership. The trainers she had to teach the evening fitness classes after a day of getting your butt handed to you are amazing and the tour guides for the jungle she hired are beyond trust worthy as well as the taxi drivers. This girl is literally the Real deal!
Ready to join us in Cabarete? Check out the upcoming Explorer Chick Adventure Travel Trips!