Luperon harbor is a large enclosed bay providing excellent shelter. At night the mountains on the island generate a “lee” effect greatly diminishing the winds from the east, winds causing calm conditions inside the harbor until late morning. However never, enter Luperon Harbor in the dark; local fishermen string traps and nets around and across the harbor entrance during the night hours. These floats are just small pieces of styrofoam and empty plastic bottles with up to a 100 feet of line leading down to traps.
The following waypoints will normally keep you out of the way of the fish trap floats. Initially make for waypoint N19. 55.00’ W070 56.53’ which is just north of the entrance; take up a course for wpt N19 54.38’ W070 56.51’ which is in between the two floating ball/buoys that mark the safe passage between the reefs. Next head to wpt N19 54.25’ W0 70 56.50’ which is abeam the White Cliff on the eastern shore. From there, start a turn to the right/west to wpt N19 54.08’ W070 56.70’, which takes you into the harbor area. Favor the right/northwest side of this channel as there are shallows extending out from the south side. Once in the anchorage areas you can proceed down the southern shoreline and find any open spot there or continue further west closer to the town dock. You can turn right and follow the northern shoreline towards the Marina Luperon Yacht Club and/or look for a spot around there, just beyond is the Puerto Blanco Marina. Beware of the shoal areas just south and west of the M.L.Y.C. in the center of the anchorage.
You will notice definite open areas amongst the boats, which is an indication of their locations. Regardless of which way the other anchored boats are facing, set your anchor to the east. The afternoon trades blow from the east. So lay the anchor rode westward as you back down (your bow will be facing out the harbor entrance). If you would like assistance entering from seaward call on VHF Ch 68 when approaching the harbor entrance and “Sea Comber” or somebody will dinghy out to assist your entry. VHF Channel 68 is the in-harbor hailing channel. There is a cruiser’s net on VHF 72 on Sundays and Wednesdays at 08:00 AM.
Photo Credit thelifenomadik.com
Clearance Procedures: It is best to plan your arrival for just after sunrise to take advantage of the calming “Lee” effect the island has on the near shore winds and seas. The officials from Customs, Immigration, etc. have normal working hours of 0800-1700, weekdays. Fly the Q flag and wait to be boarded, as it is illegal to land before clearance. The Naval Commandant, whose office is located on the hill, will come out to inspect the boat. Firearms are checked by the boarding officer. Then, usually, port officials from customs, immigration and agriculture will come out to the boat. The ship’s papers, passports and clearance certificate from last port should be presented on arrival. If the officials do not come out to the boat you can go ashore and check in at the immigration/customs and Port Control offices that are in a trailer at the foot of the government dock. There is a dinghy dock on the northwest side of the government dock for cruisers to use. Yachts must clear from port to port, and see customs on each arrival, but there is no charge for this. Clearance papers must be obtained from each port. Permission should also be obtained from the Port Authority/Commandant to cruise outside of the port.
Leaving Luperon Harbor: Visit the Port Authority and pay any harbor fees, get a receipt and then proceed to the Commandant’s Office up on the hill. He or his representative will make out a “Despachio” to your next port and then inspect your vessel to insure you are not carrying any unauthorized passengers. If heading eastbound is normally recommended that you get your dispachio made out for Samana, on the east coast of the D.R. This helps avoid having to pay all the entry fees again should you find it necessary to divert
Photo credit boostdam.net
This is a harbour community where you can have a meal at one of the local establishments, enjoy a bottle of Presidente Beer or a Coke, and visit an ATM machine for some Pesos. (The locals here will gladly accept your US dollars but probably not at the banks current rate of exchange) There is a couple of mercados in town for basic supplies as well as a Verizon (Codetel) office on Duarte Street to make a phone to call the states, fuel can be delivered to the dock in drums and off loaded into your boat, farmers selling produce every morning. You can take a cab east for a 25 mile trip into the City of Puerto Plata. There are local individuals who will be glad to direct you to whatever you are looking for, you only need to ask.
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