Why not see what the little rural town of Luperon, Dominican Republic has to offer you (check out the below link to a lovely drone video taken Nov. 2019 showing you the town and anchorage).
Firstly, it is considered one of the safest hurricane anchorages in the world! (see Passage Makers link below with Chris Parker’s thoughts on same).
The bay is mangrove water so many chose not to swim in it, but there is a lovely beach a couple of minutes dinghy/motor bike ride away which you can also walk to or hire a motor bike/3 wheeler motor bike taxi to enjoy BBQ’s, swimming, kayaking and have a great day out on the beach with your family, pets plus friends.
A lot of cruisers buy or hire motor bikes which are so reasonable here and then participate in fun rally’s.
It is not just a safe Hurricane anchorage, but also a very safe little rural town 24/7 (farming and fishing) where you will find the local people so humble and friendly plus you do not have to worry about not being able to speak Spanish, or not speaking it that well, as there are people to assist you all around. with regard to security on the water then there has unfortunately been crime against cruisers over the years so get into the habit of securing valuables on your boat, locking it up safely, arming it with an alarm system, chaining and locking your dinghy to the govt dock as further down South you will be it is more necessary. You can see reports on crimes on Caribbean Safety & Security net CSSN website and also their FB page.
Due to the increasing severity of summer storms across the US East coast, cruising Bahama’s all winter and then ducking across via the Turks & Caicos or sailing up from other locations into Luperon is looking much more attractive than ever before plus Luperon can offer you:
* Excellent prices on everything with the exchange rate currently being at 54/1 (May '20). * Free assistance with entry in the harbor: the entrance is clearly marked with standard navigational buoys and once you are in then you can call out “Safe Yachts” on Ch 68 and someone can guide you around some shallow spots in the anchorage and settle you down either on a mooring, on anchor or on The marina, then run up your Q flag and DR courtesy flag and stay on-board until we contact the Armada/Navy to get instructions. * The approx. cost for a 40ft sailboat with 3 crew = USD150 then USD15-20/month for the boat in harbor fees depending upon the length and budget for USD10/person for the visa/month, which decreases in cost with the amount of time you spend in DR plus you can stay here for as long as you want. * For check-out allow 1-2 day’s notice or more for check-out. * If you want to go for a day sail down to the beautiful Cambiaso beach (it can roll there so make sure when you leave the entrance it is not rolly otherwise turn back!) and you can just go and see the Navy and chat with them (no matter where you are in the DR this can be arranged). * A visa is not required for most to enter Dominican Republic you van check https://www.dominicanrepublic.com/dominican-republic-visa-2/ however upon arrival then one purchases a Tourist visa card for USD10 which lasts a month and then when it comes time to sail or fly out, the time you spend in the country is worked on a sliding scale so the longer you stay, the cheaper it becomes every month with your tourist visa!
If you plan on flying back home, there are numerous well priced international flight’s from Puerto Plata which is 45 minute taxi ride or other major cities.
It is very easy entering Luperon with pets (Luperon is very dog friendly so they are welcome at Most establishments on leashes).
Luperon is a mangrove harbor that gets 2 tidal changes a day with the gentle Trade Winds in the daytime and no wind at night (all you hear are tree frogs and rays leaping out of the water and the blow holes outside the bay, plus there are turtles in the bay and now and again manatee’s plus dolphins), so unfortunately small patches of diesel can hang around that are pumped out by the fishing boats and cruising boats alike.
Unfortunately there is no “heads” holding tank pump out facility (which is the case in most of the Caribbean islands) so you can take a day sail out (just speak to the Navy as it is very easy to arrange with no problems re lots of paperwork etc.) and empty your holding tank 5nm off-shore or cruisers pump out into the bay or some have composting heads which they say are more friendly, but it is not as bad as the stories you may hear and you definitely cannot smell it! For the first few weeks you may smell the natural mangrove on low tide, but after a while you do not even notice that and there is no sewerage pumped into the bay by the town plus “the sea of cups” as it earned its name many years ago with styrofoam is now a lot less with wash off after the rain than say back in 2000;
In Luperon you can also find:
Excellent very well priced dental care for all procedures with “same day” or short waiting periods by the two dental clinics in town;
A brand new “free” clinic/basic hospital (perhaps buy a small gift for the staff to say thank you). For any other serious problems, then it is a taxi ride away to the superb large modern hospital HOMS in Santiago or there is another smaller private hospital in Puerto Plata and one can get reasonably priced medical coverage here from approx. USD35 no medical check – USD125/month medical check required;
Pharmacies that sell most script drugs over the counter;
Gentle massage by a visually impaired lady in town plus an excellent resident EU chiropractor/firm massage therapist who can come to see you, pedicures/nails;
RO fresh water for “drinking” (they put fresh water through a RO process) and then tap water from underground springs/rainfall for “washing” purposes only . Some cruisers make their own water 2-3 hours after high tide for “washing” purposes only but be prepared to change filters often with it being a mangrove harbor, or you can go and anchor out in the entrance of the bay to make water, clean the bottom and have a fun day of snorkeling, kayaking, etc.;
Fuel, propane plus methanol for use in Origo stoves which burns clean that you can source locally, can be delivered to your boat at very reasonable rates by the 3 contractors in the harbor (try to use a portable filter/separator or Raycor filters on your engine for fuel as in the rest of the Caribbean just to be safe);
A transport company with 5-7 day shipments direct from Miami to Luperon on smaller items at very reasonable rates plus they will handle incoming courier packages (Fedex and DHL) and may soon become an outgoing agent for Fedex. On larger items, a shipping company with 30-day delivery and cheaper rates;
Wi-fi in the anchorage to your bullet plus free wi-fi at the marina and most restaurants in town plus the 2 mobile phone companies have data packages or a little unit that broadcasts wi-fi at various rates depending upon the speed you require which seems to work very well for some people out in the bay and another option is to use your phone as a hotspot if you do not need to worry about taking it off the boat;
Numerous exceptionally well-priced restaurants/café’s with specials and happy hours;
4-5 supermarkets plus little local shops;
2 x Banks/3 x ATM’s (you get a max. of 10,000 Pesos/draw (USD200) but you can put your card back in to try again and it usually gives you another USD200 so you never, know, perhaps third time lucky as well, however, 30,000 Pesos will go a long way in Luperon! Rather draw cash as there are some places that charge a high percentage to accept overseas debit or credit cards due to bank costs from this side;
A well-stocked hardware store;
Two mobile phone providers with data and wi-fi services either from your phone as a hotspot or via a little unit for stay-on-the-boat use;
Laundry facilities in town or via the harbor contractors;
3 wheeler margarita Taxi’s from the marina into town for usd1/person or motor bike taxi’s pluscar taxi’s to take you down to Puerto Plata or elsewhere at good rates ;
Various overseas consulates in Puerto Plata (45 min. drive) plus embassies in the major cities;
International courier services for sending packages overseas can also be found in Puerto Plata;
Car and motor-bike hire;
Free Yoga classes, movie nights, poker games, pool tables, motor bike off-road get-togethers, kayak outings, music jam sessions, dominoes, etc.
A lot of cruisers arrive here and fall in love with Luperon due to the low cost of living plus the super friendly local people (when you have been here over a month it will take you longer and longer to walk through town due to having to stop to greet people back, especially if you do not wear dark shades!) and a lot of cruisers end up “swallowing the anchor” and moving to land, so if that is what you decide, then assistance is at hand to market your vessel for sale “by owner” at low rates by Safe Yachts.
now being home with our family and Dominican friends we found out sadly that not much marketing was done on Luperon as a cruising destination since Michael left in 2006 therefore it’s now time for us to put the town of Luperon back on the cruisers map as a little gem.