Luperon, Dominican Republic


Sailing out of the Bermuda Triangle

It was a long three-day sail from the Bahamas to the Dominican Republic. We spent the first night in a nasty storm, with lightning all around us and 45 knot winds. We finally escaped it right as the sun came up. 

The next two days were fairly calm, and on May third, we finally saw the mountains of the Dominican Republic towering above the horizon.

The worst storm we've sailed in yet.

Arriving in Luperon

As we entered Luperon Bay, a local man that goes by Handy Andy met us in a small boat and helped us navigate the shallow waters leading to Puerto Blanco Marina.
After tying our boat to the dock, we were greeted by the marina staff. Within just a few minutes, officers from the Armada, the Military Intelligence Service, and the Bureau of Narcotics boarded our boat. Fortunately, a friendly representative of the Armada, named Richard spoke decent English. They reviewed our documents, asked a few questions, and took pictures. They also reminded us several times that we were welcome to offer them “gifts”.

The next day, we began the long process of clearing into customs. We walked into town and met with officials from the Armada, Customs, Immigrations, and the Department of Agriculture. After lots of paperwork and a couple small fees, our passports were stamped, and we were issued a cruising permit.

The boys hanging out at the marina
Bagia docked at Puerto Blanco

Luperon was very different from the Bahamas. There were towering mountains, fruit trees at every turn, and virtually no one spoke English. But, for us, the biggest shock was how inexpensive everything was (e.g., $1 for a dozen eggs, $0.35 for a cup of coffee, and about $4 for a mototaxi ride across town).

Our first meal in Luperon was a delicious breakfast at Las Velas Restaurante, which included bottled drinks, coffee, eggs, pancakes, bacon, toast, roasted potatoes, mashed plantains (mangú), and fresh fruit. All five of us left with full stomachs for just 1,000 pesos, or about $17.00. 

Just a few hundred feet outside of the marina, we found passionfruit, mangoes, guava, bananas, and avocados growing. Anything you couldn’t pick yourself was sold at the nearby market: sapote, watery rose apple, sugarcane, papaya, soursop, and many more. 

The locals were very friendly and were very patient with our small vocabulary of Spanish words. 

First Week in Luperon

We had been traveling alongside another sailboat, S/V Koinonia, since leaving Georgetown, Bahamas. They also were a family of five (Ben, Amber, Maddy, Lizzy, and Aliza). We met them for lunch and the boys immediately hit it off with their three girls. They spent much of the next week playing together at the marina. 

Gabriel and Brandon spent a day spearfishing with a Canadian gentleman named Vic but didn’t have much luck due to the poor visibility. 

We spent several days just walking around town and checking out all of the stores. The pharmacies didn’t require prescriptions for most drugs, so we stocked up on antibiotics.

The marina didn’t have potable water, and unfortunately the water in Luperon Bay was far too murky to use our water maker. So, Handy Andy delivered 5-gallon jugs of drinking water that we used to fill our water tank. He also delivered fuel, refilled our propane tank, cleaned the bottom of our boat, and picked up a replacement start battery for our generator. If you sail to Luperon, we highly recommend his services (+1 829-484-4538 on WhatsApp).

And yes, we ate out. A lot! It was less expensive to eat at a nice restaurant than it was to use the expensive provisions we’d purchased in the Bahamas.

Second Week in Luperon

We spent two full days sharing a taxi and seeing some nearby attractions with our friends from S/V Koinonia. 
We explored Fortaleza de San Felipe, hiked to 27 Waterfalls, took a delicious tour of Del Oro Chocolate Factory, visited many restaurants and roadside stands, and walked around downtown Puerto Plata. The kids learned a lot and had so much fun playing together.

One of the highlights was a cable car leading to a national park at the peak of Monte Isabel de Torres. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t overcome my fear of heights and spent several hours waiting in the parking lot. It was just too high, especially after being forced to slide down a waterfall a day earlier. 

We spent our last few days in Luperon making some minor repairs, buying groceries, and relaxing at the marina. We also saw our first sun halo (see picture), which we learned is caused by ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere.


We had so much fun with the crew of S/V Koinonia that we decided to travel together to Samana. The Dominican Republic has strict rules when it comes to moving your vessel from port to port, so we had to visit the Armada office and obtain a document called a despacho in order to leave Luperon and be allowed into Samana.

4 thoughts on “Luperon, Dominican Republic”

  1. Love the details about your adventure and I’m sure proud of you going down that waterfall (you’re so brave 🤣). The smiles on the boys faces are priceless!!! Missing you!

  2. 😳🤦🏻‍♂️😂😂 YOU DID IT!!! Proud of you for going down the waterfall ❤️. Miss you guys so much

  3. This looks fun😊. Good food, and I love Ashley sliding down the water slide and Gabriel playing the instrument. Awesome that the boys found friends too❤️

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