||to navigate this website.
||To enter follow longitude 070°56.500'W
right down to latitude
19°54.324'N favouring the eastern shore. You will
have passed the deep indent called the "swimming hole" and be
light color rock that arches across the cliff face. Turn to heading 240°M
and enter the channel favouring the deeper north side. (Picture aftward 060°M)
||When you get inside the bay, remember that the deeper
water lies along the mangroves. Don't blast down the middle! If you see a
big inviting open space, beware the depth. There's probably a good reason no
one is there. Wood stakes sometimes mark the shallows.
||The inner harbour has a disgusting muck bottom that anchors
just slide through. Despite whichever way everyone else is facing, set
facing east, pulling back west with lots of scope. By midday when the trade wind gets honking, you
will be glad that you set an east anchor.
||This harbour is literally a cesspool with a bacterial
potpourri that is alarming. Don't swim here! Nearly everyone gets sick in
the first week. Wash your hands after handling dinghy painters, wear glasses
to prevent spray causing eye infections and keep your mouth shut blasting
around in the dinghy. You know, it's just like the song that advises,
"Don't eat the yellow snow."
||If you stay here awhile, you'll get use to the
gastrointestinal bugs. The local fishermen catch, de-gut and rinse their
catch inside the harbour.
If you buy their fish, you get the GI bugs too. Cook it really well.
||This is the bay seen from the north shore facing westward.
The big government dock is far center. The inlet to the right is
called "Love Canal" at the end of which you can view Seacomber the
Winnebago. The owner brags that he has 15 years diesel experience and can
re-power your vessel. Ask him to show you his engine while you are there.
||Same position but facing south is the primary anchorage. It
is central to the businesses masquerading as marinas, but is about a half
mile distant from the town. The dinghy dock is at the government dock and
like all others is too small for the number of boats.
||Same position but facing eastward is the bay entrance. This
is where boats try to catch the tidal influx for running water makers. You
can have RO water delivered to your boat cheaper than the cost of
pre-filters, so why bother?
||If it had not been for outside trips, we would have gone
nuts in Luperon. Native Dominicans are a generous people, but the "gringos"
who have setup services here, in our opinion, are pariah. A small group think
that Bahia Luperon is their personal gold mine. They attempt to control
commerce and screw around with the local economy. They scheme, plot against
one another and engage in nefarious practices that would put them in jail in
North America. They look down their noses and make racist comments that
Dominicans are lesser third world people. These fine examples from the first
world think that it is acceptable to misrepresent truth, steal intellectual
property and financially abuse visiting Cruisers.
||On Wednesdays and Sundays, a VHF net broadcasts propaganda
under the guise of a Cruisers' Net. There is no weather given and
little useful community information. What it has become, is a advertising
harangue for gringo pariah. It's interesting to observe that the people
who have the most to say, are in our opinion, the last ones that you should
trust. There are a number of talented people in the harbor who don't advertise because
they are skilled, have excellent credentials and would not think of charging
a fellow Cruiser a dime. Before you let anyone touch your expensive boat,
ask about their background, talk to fellow boaters and only pay after the
work is done. The pariah have no insurance, limited skills, no assets to sue
(Hah - try that in the DR!) and no backup organization. They can, however,
tie you up with a boat lien, preventing your departure from Luperon.
||If you think coming to Luperon is going to save you money,
think again. Bureaucrats keep hiking the fees for entering the country,
inspections by various ministries, monthly harbor fees and recently a
Despacio fee by the Navy. If you go home for a visit, you'll be dinged entry
fees again and nailed with a Change of Crew fee. If you stay very long, you
will be spending more than the outrageous fees of the Bahamas.
Yes - in the off season restaurants are cheap, but not in season.
||In Luperon itself, groceries and supplies that we take for
granted are very limited in quantity and choice. You have additional costs
to travel to Puerto Plata, Santiago or Santo Domingo. Parts for your
boat are difficult to find; if you have to import anything, you're in a
world of hurt.
||My advice to anyone staying here is to get out of Luperon
and visit the rest of the country. Don't let language be a barrier to
exploration. Sign language and a big smile work miracles. We have had
several friends injured here on motorcycles, so consider public
transportation for long junkets. Dominicans don't drive like us and the
roads are a challenge. Street signs - what street signs? What's that cow
||If you do decide to stay for Hurricane Season, go up on the
SSCA website and pull down the information on "Hurricane Preparedness."
There was a local seminar attempted here last year, but it was so woefully
presented that most participants walked out.
||Most importantly, make it a ritual to have your Sundowner.
You'll need it to keep your spirits up!
||This is Marina Luperon, a Yacht Club in name only. You will
notice that everything is under construction, but nothing gets repaired.
Their brochure promises all kinds of things that don't work or are coming
||The dining area has a spectacular view. It's a shame that
the cuisine does not supplement it. Specials are fairly good, but the main menu is
overpriced, portions are small and lack consistency.
||If you stay at the docks, you will be treated to brownouts,
blackouts and unexplained surges that destroy chargers and inverters. The
wiring is a joke and dangerous - look at the wiring panels, but don't touch.
As for water, that's an on and off again thing!
||This is the Club's Internet Cafe station. I worked months
getting the hardware and software stabilized. As soon as it was working
I got "Goodbye Jan, our little buddy will take it over now."
Two weeks later, it was so screwed up - nothing worked.
Too bad, so sad - they reaped what they sowed.
||This is owner Manulo Fernandez. I know from personal
experience that he will make an agreement with you and default on his end of
the bargain. In my experience, this man was dishonorable and only worthy of
||This is Javier, the Fernandez heir apparent, also without
He is doing a fine job of being a professional student.
||These people are Chuck and Janet of S/V Satori. They felt
compelled to try to manage Marina Luperon. Having entered into an agreement
with Fernandez, they may be appreciating the ancient Chinese curse, "Be
careful what you wish for, you might get it." We wish them well.
||This black hole is dedicated to Puerto Blanco Marina. We
visited it several times and were under-whelmed by the food, chewed alive by
no-seeums, disgusted by the cockroaches and annoyed by the attitude of the
pariah calling it home base. We did not enjoy this place, so we never went
back even to take a picture. You'll have to decide for yourself whether to
||One of the popular downtown hangouts, where men are men,
women are luscious and Steve is crazy.
||Steve serves a limited menu but it is consistently good.
Don't ask Steve to do too many things at once, he'll blow a gasket. Once you
understand that he's only doing it for the money and would rather be
someplace else, the attitude is grating but understandable.
||Steve actually owns the property and tries to run a diversified
business under stressful conditions. He has Pool Tables, Internet Access,
Laundry Service, Bar, Restaurant, Motorcycle Rental and more. Steve always
has to get the upper hand in deals, so count your fingers.
His quest for the gold blinds him to friendships, but he doesn't really seem
to care what anyone thinks.
||Another downtown hangout is Gina's. This is more upscale
than Steve's but less pompous than the Yacht Club. Max, Gina's spouse,
regaled us one evening with a story of how they started out as a brothel.
Apparently political pressure forced them to take tarts off the menu.
||Gina is an excellent cook and can turn out gourmet diners
that leave your mouth watering. The place is a little small and any crowd
causes problems with quality and speed of service.
||These are host Max and Chef Gina posing in their bar /
Jeez - they almost look happy.
||A popular downtown institution is Verizon. You can have
packages sent here, make telephone calls (no 800 numbers) and get Internet
Access. Unlike Steve's, you cannot attach your own laptop to the
||Letty's stands at "concho corner," where the local
motorcycle taxis wait your beck and call. Letty's has real Dominican fare and
is popular with the locals.
||Hemberto Balbuena is the nicest Dominican gentlemen that
we met. He hires out his van (background) to take you anyplace you desire.
He drives safely, guards your loot while you shop and will come in when
asked to handle merchant problems. Show him what you need and he'll do his
best to find you one. Book him via the Luperon Yacht Club.
||Unlike Georgetown, Bahamas, pot lucks and beach parties are
so too are the number of available beaches.
||This is a functioning DR patrol boat. The one in Bahia
Luperon is a rusting mess, but when the fuel actually gets put in the
bunkers, it does make short forays into the ocean. They call it a gunboat,
but I have yet to see any serious armament.
||This is the Comandancia, not to be confused with the
Commandant. The Navy has a say in everything that has anything to do with the water, so mind
your P's and Q's and respect their considerable authority.
Do bitch to the Commandant about the 'Despacio' fee gouging.
||This is the Customs and Immigration trailer. You'll be visiting
this quite often paying all the fees required of Cruisers.
||Ahoy ye mates, if you dare. Coming to Luperon, take
great care. Vessels lie awaiting fools. The rogues and pirates have
the tools. So guard your pesos if and when. You'll soon find out the
who not men!
<=== Left click flag for Rogues Gallery.