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Old 13-12-2009, 13:56   #16
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Luperon

Luperoninfo.com is a good source of information.
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Old 14-12-2009, 07:44   #17
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I know it's not necessarily the cruising destination that so many are looking for, but 2 cents on the Ocean World Marina near Puerto Plata - it is a first-rate facility. Safe, clean, and yes, if you're towards the entrance at all, a little rolly possibly (but most of the smaller slips, are further from the entrance and protected by the quite significant seawall. And, most importantly, as there has been talk of less than lawful treatment of cruisers when clearing in at other locations in the DR (and so many other countries) - the folks at Ocean World were first class all the way. Not even a HINT of any kind of mordita or bribe or anything akin to that.

Like i said, I know it's not the out of the way crusing destination etc., but as a stop along the way, it's safe, clean, right next to Puerto Plata, and the folks are incredibly helpful. On the downside, it's really like an out of place vegas, and yep...it ain't all that cheap.

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Old 26-01-2010, 14:43   #18
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Luperon, Dominican Republic

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Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
It has been 3 yrs. since I was there but we found Luperon to be filthy. There are small stores there for provisioning and some restaurants but I would not buy any fresh meat as sanitary conditions are non existent. The main real big grocery store is in Puerto Plata which is a good sized city and an expensive cab ride away.
Fortunately, Puerto Plata now has a first rate marina
Caribbean Yachting Destination, Ocean World Marina & Casino - Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
and one no longer has to stay in Luperon. The beer (Presidente) is cheap and good in both places...and I know some people like Luperon...but we were stuck there for 30 days and I would never go back.
i'm afraid your misguided comments on luperon only provide evidence that you should remain in the states. you are in for a great deal of discomfort throughout your travels in third world counties. yankee go home!!!!
oh, and ocean world sucks!
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Old 26-01-2010, 18:56   #19
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I'd have to unequivocally agree. Third World Countries, are Third World Countries...if you are expecting South Beach Miami (which in my not so humble opinion IS a third world country) than you are bound for disappointment. I lived in teh DR for several years....and found the meats, hanging outside it markets to be fresh and clean. Just don't drink the water....you'l be fine. Not every country has an FDA, and in case you hadn't noticed, the FDA is not exactly a upstanding agency with its pontifications.

Americans (and I am one) are so out of touch with reality, especially today. It has been my not so humble opinion for years, that it should be required that ALL Americans live in a third world country for a minimum of 1 year...it would do wonders for most...and perhaps they would grow up.

The DR is fabulous...again, in my not so humble opinion. My parents were very wealthy...and I was exposed to the best of the best...but they also exposed me to other cultures and countries. That is the reason that I can make these not so humble and very well educated opinions.

Reduce your expectations, just as I have of most Americans today, and you will be much less disappointed in your travels....or perhaps, just stay home....
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Old 26-01-2010, 19:43   #20
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Luperon and the D.R. is usually the first experience most Norte Americanos (gringoes) have with poor or 3rd world countries and it comes as a great psychic shock to their purified, isolationist views of the world.
- - Add in that sometimes the shock of having to deal with people who do not speak American English and expect a "tip" (I call it a "user fee") for their normal service and you can get a very bad taste for the place. Further "down island" things are more USA normal. These new cruisers forget that they are no longer in the USA and are instead in a Country which has different lifestyles and ways of relating to each other. After you have been outside the USA for a few years you will have a totally different attitude - or - you will have sailed as fast as you can back into the protective arms of the US Federal Government's bureaucrats. It's tough being responsible for yourself and family and boat without an army of bureaucrats protecting you from yourself. It is also addictive to be back "in charge" of your life.
- - As many aged wise men/women have said - happiness is 90% attitude. Being open to different ways of living makes a huge difference between a horrible experience and a good experience.
- - Also as important is that first impression. Being surrounded on your new clean boat cockpit by a half dozen very large Spanish speaking bureaucrats expecting "gifts" from rich gringoes can give you a bad attitude up front. In the last few years they have been having cruisers come to the the little trailer at the base of the government pier where (other than the extreme heat in the little trailer) the process is clean and simple and no "gifts" are expected and that normally will result in a pleasant or benign attitude. Only the Commandante and/or his rep comes out to "inspect" your boat.
- - Even further down island I hear Norte Americanos screaming on the radio for the "coast guard" to report a perceived offense by some other boater. What coast guard? These little island countries have no such thing and if they do the boats never leave the docks as there is no money for fuel and anyway all the coast guard members are at home with their families drinking beer and watching TV. You ARE on your own.
- - Also it particularly bugs me that these types of cruisers think that US Laws govern the whole world. No way, everything from radio channel use to local law enforcement is ONLY subject to the local countries' laws - not USA laws. And many of these countries have no laws about whatever your complaint is about. What is that old saying "When in Rome . . . "
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Old 26-01-2010, 19:55   #21
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loved the DR and especially luperon. Didnt want to get in the water though! luperon reminded me of Cabo in the early 80's , rustic, a bargain and third worldly. Stayed in Luperon 5 weeks. Take a motorbike taxi to Puerto Plate for major groceries... should be cheap. There was a great thread with a DR cruising guide here a short time ago.
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Old 26-01-2010, 22:01   #22
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Thanks for that information on DR.
Haven't been down that way, yet, and won't be for some time, but man after reading this thread, I wish I could head out tomorrow.

These days my life revolves around work, kids, trying to stay ok with the wife, and working on the boat. Some times I forget WHY I am working on the boat....

Thanks for reminding me.

Bob
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:08   #23
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Luperon, paradise or not

I am in Luperon now, it very thrue that this is not a pararadise, but it il continue existing. Years by Years I have seen how many commandant has been removed because they dont have the idea how to work not seen money in their way but in the moment they are cacht they move them.
Another important thins is that became a paradise depending what you come to look for, if come to look great people you will find them but if you come to contact a prostitute that the 95 % are not from Luperon, yes you will find them, like in anny other place in the world.
yes this it a poor town but they working to be better, I now for sure that they are giong to changes soon.

anny problem you visit the tousim office in Luperon
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Old 05-02-2010, 14:05   #24
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I am in Luperon now ...
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Home Plate.

Although your English is far superior to my Spanish, I had difficulty deciphering your post.
Could you repeat, and expand upon, your contribution in Spanish - en Español ?
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Old 05-02-2010, 14:27   #25
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Luperon

Yes Iam Dominican My english is not good, What DO WE VALUE PERSON OR LANGUAGES.

WELCOME TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
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Old 05-02-2010, 23:53   #26
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We liked Luperon very much. If there was anything we didn't like it was this self-important group of "cruisers" that try to police it. The locals are poor but happy and smiling and actually like you which is a nice change after the Bahama's.

We went to a big supermarket in Santiago and bought one of everything to try out (local products if possible). The beer, rum, coffee, long-life milk, cigars & cigarettes were the best we ever got. We made a list and took it to a little shop in Luperon (friendly woman owner) and asked for a price. A couple of days later she came back with a much better price than the big supermarket and a 1-week delivery time. During that week, her little shop started filling up with our stuff and she proudly told all her customers that this was all just for one customer.
The day of delivery she had been to the hairdresser and looked like a hot shot business woman in her new clothes. She had hired a nice/new van with driver and enough hands to carry everything onto the dinghy dock. When something fell she sent a hand to get replacement with much drama and theater. Half Luperon was watching now, it was her big day. We paid her $1,000.- US. which had filled up the dinghy dock and that included 100 cartons of cigarettes (!!) 10 gallons of the finest aged rum (extra viejo), 30 cases of beer&soda's, 30 pounds of coffee and I can't even remember how many cases with milk, canned food etc. It was ridiculously cheap. The commandante sent an armed guard to escort her to the bank and she walked back into town like if she came back with three gold Olympic medals. Priceless, love the place!

6 months later in Grenada we were the only boat with Presidente beers ;-)

I could write a couple more of these stories and you just must visit Escondido too.

About the bribes etc.: relax, show respect, smile and try to communicate. Your own government tries to squeeze every dollar out of you and you accept that so if they try to sell you that courtesy flag for $10 and you don't have one yet, just buy it because it'll be $14 in the chandlery. Accept their culture and try to adjust, just like you expect foreigners to adjust to your culture in your country. Respect, a smile and a kind word gets everything done in the D.R.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 06-02-2010, 04:10   #27
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We liked Luperon very much.Accept their culture and try to adjust, just like you expect foreigners to adjust to your culture in your country. Respect, a smile and a kind word gets everything done in the D.R.

ciao!
Nick.
LOL.... nick. To true in anyplace I imagine.
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:27   #28
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I believe the place JEDI was talking about is "Ana's" store on the corner known as moto-honcho corner. Ana can get you really good deals on case lots of just about anything, it just takes a couple of days.
- - Living in Luperon on a cruising boat is really an experience for those no used to 3rd world life. Basically honest and friendly people willing to help without expectation, especially if you are there long enough to be recognized rather than just being "here today, gone tomorrow." Sure they have dirt floors and use sapplings for holding up their cana covered roof but they are willing to share and have fun regardless of your Dunn and Bradstreet rating.
- - Luperon has a major ex-pat community from both Europe and the USA so it you choose you do not have to ever interact with the locals except for occasional shopping. Most major provisioning is done in Santiago (3 great supermarkets and a PriceSmart) and also sometimes in Puerto Plata. Ex-pats head out once or twice a week on expeditions to shop and tagging along is not a problem. There are "names" of taxi drivers who for an embarrassing small amount of money will take a car/van load to Santiago for a whole day of shopping or tracking down some obscure part or service. And the act as a translator for you in dealing with the local shops and craftsmen.
- - The "problems" with officials seem to abate or disappear once you get to know them and are recognized as a friendly person - otherwise, they will play you for as much money as they can get.
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Old 09-02-2010, 18:40   #29
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Just did it

Shades of Dan Quayle!! We're gringos!

Anyway, we just sailed the North Coast of the DR, left Provo on November 23 and arrived in Fajardo, PR on December 23. We loved the Dominican people but found the official rules a little frustrating. I wrote a short piece on our experiences with officialdom that is published on noonsite. I got along great with most of the officials but had a little difficulty figuring out how much to tip. I don't mind the little mordidas, it's a way of life but it takes a while to figure out how much. There was only one case where we were very strongly asked for a tip. In most places they said nothing or made a very polite reference to how hard is was to make it. Oh, I should say that I speak fluent Spanish so that may change my experience. And I've lived in third world places more than once. I think that I'd go for about a $8 to $10 tip in most places. The frustrating thing is that you have to get a despacho to leave every port and you will be boarded by the officials at almost every port. It's just a lot of time and you'd better not leave without one. I understand the Dominican concern for safety and smuggling. The comandante in Monte Cristi told us that there was a piratical attempt on a sail boat that was passing their waters the night that we were anchored there. They foiled it because they had information that the bad guys were going to try it. Having said that I felt perfectly safe in the DR. We spoke to lots of fishermen, people in small towns and officials and never got any bad vibes or heard of any other events. In our experience you will be boarded by an official from the Marina de Guerra (Coast Guard) and Inteligencia (anti-drug and smuggling) and they will have someone who speaks reasonable English with them to translate.

We crossed from Provo to Monte Cristi. Monte Cristi is not an official point of entry so they have a Comandancia de la Marina de Guerra (Kind of like a Coast Guard Post) but no Customs and Immigration. At first we were told that we could clear in Luperon or Puerto Plata, whichever we went to next. But then the Immigrations official drove from Manzanillo and cleared us in. That worked well because one of our party was taking the bus to Santo Domingo to fly back to the US. We stopped in Punta Rucia and then sailed to Ocean World in Puerto Plata. I recommend all of those places! Ocean World was really empty but the folks were wonderful and they have good services! And...cheap rum and beer in a liquor store right in the marina! We then went to Rio San Juan and El Valle (Escondido). We just overnighted in El Valle and saw no officials. Escondido is really pretty, though we didn't go ashore, but the holding was awful! The Samana. Samana is a good place to provision. They have an excellent outdoor fruit and vegetable market and pretty good stores. The downside is that the harbormaster has decided to charge to anchor and the Marina de Guerra wont give you a despacho to leave until you have cleared with them. They zapped us $5 per day to anchor. You shouldn't miss the Dominican National Park at Les Haitises. It's about 10 or 12 nm sail across Samana Bay and it is very beautiful and peaceful. Well, on weekends (we were there for a Sunday and Monday) there are a number of launches that come to bring tourists to see the caves. The park rangers may come by in their panga and charge you a couple of dollars. The problem is that you have to clear out of Samana and then return to Samana to clear out again if you are going on to another place in the DR.

We decided to cross the Mona Passage on the southern route, from about Punta Cana, past Mona Island, to Boqueron. So, we left Samana in the early evening and didn't have much luck with winds so decided to put in at Punta Macao the next evening. We didn't leave the boat but were boarded by the Marina de Guerra and Inteligencia. This was the only place where we were basically told to pay a mordida or we couldn't stay there. It was the official from Inteligencia that put the arm on us. We had a voltage regulator problem not long after we left Punta Macao so decided to sail to CapCana Marina. The marina was pretty empty but again the folks were wonderful and helped with everything we needed. We were there for 4 days waiting for weather to cross the Mona Passage. The biggest problem with CapCana is that it is isolated so if you want to buy anything or see anything you'll have to rent a car. But the marina office can take care of all of the details. And when we were preparing to leave they took care of getting Customs and Immigration officials from the airport to clear us to leave for Puerto Rico.

To make this trip I strongly recommend reading Bruce Van Sant's book and Frank Virgintino's free guide. They are both full of good information but take it all with a few grains of salt.

Bottom line: I loved the DR and especially the people. I only wish that they'd give some kind of cruising permit like the Bahamas (only cheaper!!) to avoid the time spent with officialdom.

Bill
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Old 09-02-2010, 19:22   #30
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Makes me want to be there doing it!
Great info.
Soon, I hope.
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