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 Boca Chica - Update History

Update History

May 2017: Marina services updated by marina management.
January 2017: Security section updated following armed boarding in Marina Zarpar and victim's report.
June 2015: New marina clearance charge and local information from SY Wapiti.
March 2015: Anchoring information clarified.
February 2015: Clearance Service at Marina Zarpar details updated. 
September 2013: Details of Clearance Service at Marina Zarpar posted. 
July 2013: Clearance and anchoring information updated following feedback from Marina Zarpar and Bob Lorenzi of SY Armido.
January 2013: Security note added to docking following break in of yacht at mooring balls reported by Arkadi Poliakevitch of Canadian s/v Beruta.
April 2012: Updated laundry prices and depths throughout marina.

Noonsite welcomes information from cruisers visiting this port.
E-mail noonsite with new information, updates and/or confirmation that the current information is accurate.

Miki says:
Nov 18, 2015 06:05 PM

Left my catamaran at Marina Zar Par for 4 months in the hurricane season. Found it to be an attractive and very nice little marina. Security was excellent. Always seemed to be staff 24/7 checking. Rigo and the staff very efficient, helpful and nothing is too much trouble. I have paid much more in bigger marinas and had far less service and way less security. Super restaurant in the marina too. Miki 17/11/15

wapiti says:
Jun 14, 2015 02:03 PM

Update on Boca Chica Dominican Republic for Noonsite Yacht Wapiti April 2015

All boats go to Marina Zar Par. On arrival the marina organizes the various authorities for a flat rate for $250US (increased from $225) which also includes departure fees. We were not given the option of doing the clearance ourselves but told to go to the office where we were given a bill payable immediately. Customs and quarantine carried out a fairly basic search. However on departure a customs official arrived very late and was on board for over half an hour, sticking his dirty ungloved fingers into our food and tasting it and also dropped a notebook computer and cracked the case. Fortunately it still worked OK. They then insisted on an immediate departure after issue of the clearance papers.

There is no room to anchor but moorings are available for $19US per day up to 50 ft
Marina berths are $1.18US per foot up to 60 ft including tax. A 10% discount is available for SSCA members. Water is free. Electricity is $3US per day without A/C
Travel There is a shuttle bus from a square a few minutes walk from the marina (30pesos) which goes to the village of Boca Chica where there is a helpful tourist office, ATM’s and Claro telecoms where you can get a prepaid SIM card for unlocked phones. The bus goes on past a well-stocked Ole supermarket to a bus terminus where express buses run to Santo Domingo – about 45 mins. (120 pesos) (Avoid the local buses which are extremely slow) You can get off at Independence Square and then walk to most points of interest in the town. It is hard to find the bus depot for return so the easiest way is to get a bus from where you got off which will go to the terminus. Taxis around town should cost 250 to 300 pesos but they will try and overcharge.

Santo Domingo is a very interesting town, in particular the Trujillo museum (Museo Memorial de la Resistencia) – see Trip Advisor.

Supplies: There is an Ole supermarket near Boca Chica and the marina run a shuttle to another larger Ole. There is a small chandlers near the marina and there is a large marine store called Automarina at Santo Domingo.
Diesel is available and the staff will arrange for LPG bottles to be refilled at a reasonable charge.

At weekends there is a great deal of noise and numerous local power boats passing through the anchorage, some with total disregard for the moored boats. Almost all seem to have ear-splitting sound systems.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Feb 06, 2015 03:29 PM

Marina Zarpar make it clear on arrival that there are options for clearance. Either appoint the marina to deal with everything (US$225) or do clearance yourself (this is clearly stated in noonsite's Boca Chica information). The marina manager is authorized to charge one rate only: and that is $225 US. This covers all costs (including visas) plus tips and plus transport to the Coast Guard office which is not on the property.

Andrew Smyth
Andrew Smyth says:
Feb 03, 2015 08:14 PM

Although the official rates is US$73 per boat and US$ 15 per person, they are now charging an outrageous US$225 for clearnae into Marina Zarpar. Speaking to other boat they have been charged different amounts but generally much less. The difference is clearly going into someone's pocket - apparently it's a charge made by the marina.

We're only staying one night to refuel and now I really wish we have never come. says:
Jan 11, 2015 10:51 PM

Well we are back on our boat. It's been a long time since we left the boat at Zar Par marina. We were gone 9 months. Talk about your leap of faith. The entire time we were back home, I've been worried about the boat. When we got to the marina, and saw the boat I was instantly relieved. It was still there and in great shape. We hired a young man to keep her clean (inside & out), and run the engine once every week. Other than a very few minor issues (any of which could have happened to me if we'd stayed), the boat was cared for as if I was there. We couldn't be more pleased. Next week we are going to haul the boat and do a bit of bottom maintenance. I'll post another commentary on how that goes as well.

To sum up I would do it again, w/o hesitation.

s/v Island Pearl

Lance Stairs
Lance Stairs says:
May 11, 2014 01:56 PM

Yes the marina Zar Par people are great. Enrica bends over backwards to help. But and this is a big but. They only have two maybe 3 spots for catamarans and believe me you do not want to moor out on a weekend. The beach is a mad house-- multiple car powered boom boxes all playing different music as loud as possible, jets skis driven by drunken young men, cigarette boats powering through the mix, and boats anchored out playing loud music until 12:00 am.

I did like the Resturant. His conch salad is the best

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Apr 25, 2014 04:05 PM

Posted on behalf of Sigrid Greven, SY Lucky Bitch
I just want to let you know my big appreciation for the mechanical help I got in Marina Zar Par, for the problem-solving of my inboard engine. More special I want to emphasis on the high quality technical knowledge of Juan Karlos, the mechanical guy, who repaired my engine. Not only his technical skills also his being so client-friendly, I never forget and really made me a happy skip. As I am now sailing around the world for almost 3 years, I have a lot of experience and know that it isn`t always so easy to find these good, efficient, friendly and not too expensive mechanics. So, I really want to thank Juan Karlos, and want to let you know about him and advice to call him, for any technical need when you are in Boca Chica or neighborhood. The man came even on a Sunday to Las Salinas (more than 100 km. away) by bus, to find out and solve the second problem om my engine. A challenge which could be solved by none of the technical guys in Las Salinas.
Juan Karlos Baez: phone number 809-805 81 25 - Technical Marine says:
Mar 21, 2014 10:21 PM

The weekend traffic is busy no doubt. We stayed the first nite on a weekend day on a mooring ball. We lit up the boat very well and pulled the dinghy out of the fairway. Of course accidents happen, especially when liquor is involved. Since the original poster was not involved in anyway, I find his/her commentary pure hearsay.

The staff at the marina are excellent. Frank V. was awesome in his assistance to us for setting up a permanent slip, and care of the boat while we will be gone. The town is very interesting, however I would not visit during the weekend. The only reason being it is very crowded with people as this is the goto place for the weekends. Weekdays are pleasant and the swimming areas are much less crowded.

The marina coordinated any transportation or checking in/out needs, as well as complimentary rides to the airport (we had relatives visit while we were here).

Oh and not to forget the little restaurant at the marina. It is awesome! Rubio I believe is the owner. While we where there a guy arrived in one of his 15 helicopters (just to give an idea that this guy could eat anywhere), just to eat at this little spot. He came here often.

Just as a footnote, we have no affiliation or interest what so ever in this enterprise.

s/v Island Pearl

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Mar 13, 2014 01:43 PM

Posted on behalf of Victor Jimenez of DNCD, the department of Drugs for the Dominican Republic.
He says:
When someone arrives in the DR or departs I am part of the process along with Marina Guerra to accept them or dispatch them. I was on duty when the skipper of Magic Brewer received his papers to depart. He did not leave. When we asked him when he was going to leave, he said that it was up to him. It is not his decision. When boats receive their despacho, they must leave in 1 hour or less. He got very angry and used bad language with everyone.
As a representative of this country, it is my job to have people conform to the rules. If they do not, they cannot make their own rules. When this man became very abusive to us, we did not penalty him, we just realized he was upset.
I am sad because he says for people not to come here to my country and this is not correct. We try very hard to give the best service.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Mar 13, 2014 01:38 PM

Posted on behalf of Gilben Camacho, the owner of the boat that was involved in the accident that caused the mast to fall down.
He says:
There are some errors in the report posted by Magic Brewer. I was not driving my boat, my friend was and I was with him. Coming back to the marina ZarPar where we keep the boat, he was distracted and looked away and at low speed we hit the sailboat on the mooring. Unfortunately, we hit it on the turnbuckle that holds the wire to the top of the mast and the mast fell down. No one was struck by any mast or injured in any way and I have agreed to pay for all the damages. Today I met with the owner of the sailboat and now that the boat is fixed enough to move he will go to St. Maarten to make a better repair to the mast on his boat.
I have been at the marina since it opened and do not find it dangerous as Magic Brewer says. There has never been an accident there before that I know of.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jan 15, 2014 02:24 PM

Posted on behalf of Frank Virgintino for Marina Zarpar:

The marina is upset that this transpired but in fact it was an accident caused by an intoxicated driver, which is why he was arrested. There has never been an accident of this type in the bay and certainly the accident that transpired is not reason to recommend that no one visit the marina or the country.

As to clearance in and out; the authorities do not want boats to leave after sundown and do not like boats to leave before 8am. These are the restrictions in the DR and in the guide I make note that the clearance procedures can be onerous unless one understands them and does what one has to do to comply with what is being requested. Because the language is different, they cannot always express themselves fully. That results, many times, in what appears to be a lack of an orderly process. However, cursing at the officials of the Dominican government is not the way to comport oneself in any country. The guide mentions over and over that patience and good manners are what finally prevail.

In this case it is the belief of the marina that the owner of this boat that was hit was angry and emotional after the accident which is easy to understand. Nonetheless if there was an accident on a highway in any country in the world, would it be appropriate to say that everyone should not visit that country? Moreover would it help the situation if one lost ones temper in such a situation and acted aggressively?

The marina laments the situation and does all that it can to provide an environment that makes cruisers feel supported.

magicbrewer says:
Jan 14, 2014 02:20 AM

Marina ZarPar Warning. We sailed in to Boca Chica late in the afternoon and cleared customs at the Zar Par dock before going to take a mooring directly in front of the docks. While at the dock I noticed a sailboat with it's mast bent in two and laying on top of the boat. I asked the two young Canadian sailors what happened the said that they were hit by a boat while on the same mooring we were on. They said the harbor is insane on weekends, day and night. It was dark and they could see the power boat coming right at them, planning with it's bow high in the air. They waved and shouted but it hit them right on a stay and brought the entire rig down on them. One person was stuck but saved by there solar panels and arch. Well sure enough on Friday the harbour was full of screaming jetskis and speeding power boats passing within a few yards of the moored boats. These were not skiffs or small fishing boats, these were 25 to 30 ft. boats with music blasting away through most of the night. It was frightening! The second day and night were the same. I had two anchor lights and the cockpit on even through we were hardly 25 yards from the marina docks. I was below reading about 10pm and praying no one hit us when I heard a loud crash. Sure enough a power boat went flying through the moorings and hit another party boat. People on the dock who watched it said they thought for sure it was going to hit us. Evidently he was going so fast he went right over the top of the other boat, injuring two people onboard. We were told the driver was jailed.
That harbor and the moorings at Marina Zar Par are absolutely unsafe on weekends. I would not recommend anyone visit there.
Problem number 2: This was just too scary to stick around so we decided to leave and sail to Salinas, DR. This is about a 60 mile trip so we needed to leave by 7am to arrive at the unfamiliar anchorage in daylight. We explained this to the harbor master and asked to get our exit papers the day before and leave between 6am and 7am the next morning. No, they said that was impossible. The papers could be delivered to us at 8:30am the day we want to leave and I explained that does not give us enough time to get Salinas in the daylight. So we politely argued with them for the rest of the day until the harbour master said I'll see what I can do and returned later saying "good luck, they will deliver the papers this evening" Great we thought after the police delivered the paper and I signed it. About an hour later at 5pm the harbor master saw me on the dock and said you have to leave right now. No I said we can't leave now we would arrive in Salinas in the dark. No you have to leave now before the police come. At this point I abandoned the advice of the cruising guides and began screaming in his face and updated his English curse words. He called in the Drug and Customs official who checked us in, whose English was better and he seemed to understand all my foul language. They finally called a guy they referred to as the police and I continued my rampage. Finally they agreed that if I would give back the exit papers someone would deliver a new one at 6:45am the next morning. So, we will see if this is true tomorrow morning.

In short, I will be so glad when we leave the DR for Jamaica and promise never to come back. I would recommend the same for anyone else. Spend your cruising dollars in a country that appreciates them.
s/v Magic
Jan. 13, 2014

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