The entrance is clearly marked with standard navigational buoys but at night a few lights are out so you can call out “Safe Yachts” on Ch 68 once you are within 2nm from the entrance and we can come out to assist you Free of charge for coming through the entrance/channel into the harbor then settle you down in the anchorage, which has a couple of shallow mud spots which are no big deal, either on one of the local harbor guy's moorings, on anchor or on the Puerto Blanco Marina docks, then run up your Q flag plus DR courtesy flag and stay on-board in the bay or on the marina premises until we phone the Comandante for instructions.
The navy has an interpreter and there is an English speaking gentleman in immigration/ports. For any French speaking visitors then they can phone Jose Ovidio.
The approximate check-in cost for a 40ft sailboat with 3 crew members = USD150 which is good for 90 days then you pay USD15-20/month for harbor fees in Luperon depending upon the length of your vessel and should you wish to stay and cruise around this beautiful big island, then before the 90 days is up you need to apply for a "Cruising Permit" with the navy which works out to be approximately Usd35/month paid up-front for a year.
Down South we have Armada and Auxiliary friends who are sailboat owners who will happily host you at many beautiful naval marinas/regattas and advise you where best you can leave your boat safely to be able to travel cheaply (54/1 May ‘20!) around this beautiful big island and then you can return to Luperon for hurricane season which is known as one of the safest hurricane holes in the world !
Then budget for USD10/person for the tourist visa/month, which decreases in cost with the amount of time you spend in DR plus both you and your boat can stay in DR for as long as you want as long as the harbor fees are paid up front or monthly (at the marina we handle monthly harbor fees on your behalf for ports) and the yearly cruising permit is kept up to date.
CHECKING INTO LUPERON FROM ANOTHER DR PORT Once you have checked in elsewhere (say Samana) then you only have to pay the entrance to the bay and the monthly harbor fee which covers the cost of dredging Luperon harbor, maintaining channel markers plus the free bin on the govt. dock then your cruising permit after 90 days and then your tourist visa will carry on running as usual and is only due for the balance as above when you fly or sail out which actually works out cheaper the longer you stay.
CHECKING OUT TO A FOREIGN PORT (*** PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY***) Allow 1-2 day’s for check-out procedures or longer if possible. Please also bear in mind that the Navy can call a shut-down of the ports due to bad weather so you would have to wait for the next weather window (this is due to boats/ships in the past having to be rescued or wrecked on DR coastlines).
Please note that it is illegal to leave without a local or international clearance/despacho and the navy can put their vessels to sea throughout DR to bring you back in which means your boat could be locked on the govt dock and you could be detained. The reason for this is that DR has an agreement with US due to there being a problem with smuggling of drugs/guns and human trafficking from its coastline by the likes of South American crime rings so by not obtaining a despacho, you draw suspicion to yourself!
Please show respect to all officials and they will happily deal with you in a nice manner.
A nice bonus is that there is no check-out required any more for day sails down to the beautiful Cambiaso beach (it can however roll there at night!) or to go out to empty your holding tank off shore from any harbor in the DR. Just go and see the Comandante and let him know you are wanting to do same.
The officials will accept US Dollars as per the below rates sheet (rates are also on the outside wall) and should you need to exchange USD for Pesos then the marina can assist with same or if you need to draw cash then the Marina can obtain permission to let the Crew go into town via taxi that we provide to be able to go to a bank or ATM. Unfortunately Luperon is not set up as yet for Debit or Credit cards or a one window system but our friend, the lady president of the Luperon Sailing & cruising Association is working very hard to change this.
For full up to date information then we highly recommend you contact us and join our FB groups ie the Dominican Republic cruisers and the Luperon DR cruisers information group.