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By No owner — last modified Feb 07, 2017 03:19 PM

 Dominican Republic - General Info

Time Zone

UTC -4

Yachting Essentials

Electricity

Voltage: 110 V
Frequency: 60 Hz

Water

You can buy potable water in 5-gallon jugs very inexpensively; there is a deposit on the jug. However, when you return it to get more water, you pay only for the water by exchanging the jug.

Fuel

 

LPG / Bottled Gas

You can easily find propane refill stations throughout the DR. Propane is very reasonably priced in the DR because the government subsidizes it. It is universally used to cook. You can bring your tank and have it filled. Or you can find someone with a motor bike who can do it for you for a small tip.

Repair Facilities

The best facilities are to the east of the capital, Santo Domingo, at Boca Chica and further east at Casa de Campo. Outside of the large industrial centres, repair facilities for yachts are virtually non-existent although minor repairs can be dealt with by ordinary workshops. Consult each port page for a full directory of services available (left hand side bar).

If you have need of something in the way of parts, or something beyond the range of normal daily provisioning, Santo Domingo is where you need to go. Specialty items for sailboats are not readily available and need to be imported, probably from the United States.

Opening Hours

Many repair or supply businesses start work about 8 am with a two hour lunch between 12 midday and 2 pm. Keep in mind that while you may be told that the repair will be ready very soon; there are often delays due to electric outages, lack of parts and a long list of other factors that intervene.

Money

Cash

Dominican Republic peso (RD$) of 100 centavos. Keep exchange receipts to change RD$ back on departure.

Effective 1 July 2015, the I cent and 2 cent EC coins will be withdrawn from circulation. The coins will no longer be valid either as consumers will not be able to conduct transactions using these coins. Persons can present the coins at any of the commercial banks which operate within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) to receive face value.

A price rounding system will be implemented within the ECCU countries for the settlement of cash transactions only, whereby the total payment, inclusive of duties, fees and taxes, will be rounded symmetrically to the nearest five cents. Non-cash payments using cheques, debit and credit cards will not be impacted and therefore will not be rounded.

Banking

Don’t expect every ATM machine to be working all the time and remember to remove your card promptly. Be prepared to queue even at an ATM. Avoid banks and machines around the first and the fifteenth of every month as this is pay-day and very busy. There is usually a numbered ticket queuing system.

 

Communications

International Dialing Code for Dominican Republic is +809.

rangeRoamer provides short-term cell phone service for international travelers. Buy, Rent, or use your own cell phone.

The mail service in the DR for outgoing mail is quite good and inexpensive; receiving mail in the DR is less certain. DHL, Fed Ex and UPS are readily available.

Internet connections are available in most towns although the quality of the equipment and the speed varies. Most places will allow you to plug in your own computer, even if you have to ask to disconnect one of their machines to do so.

The @ sign is achieved by holding down ‘alt’ and typing 64 on local computer keyboards.

Transport

The quickest and most flexible public transportation around town is a "motorconcho" (motorbike - you sit on the back), which will take you from place to place very inexpensively. Taxis are more comfortable but cost more. Buses are safe, reliable and inexpensive and cover the entire country.

Diplomatic Missions

Events

Round Hispaniola
The only 2 week Regatta in the Caribbean covering 1,300 nm of sailing and fun. All invited. The Regatta stops in the best marinas and hurricane holes around the Island; Sans Souci Marina, Boca Chica, Casa de Campo marina, Cap. Cana marina, Puerto Bahia marina, Ocean World marina, Luperon, Club Nautico Montecristi, Port Morgan, Bahia de las Aguilas, Isla Beata, Salinas and Santo Domingo. November 16 to December 5 2010.

Emergencies

Emergency services (police, firemen, ambulances) Dial 911.

Publications

IMRAY AND ADLARD COLES PILOT BOOKS are available at a discounted price for Noonsite.com users via World Cruising Club

A Cruising Guide to the Dominican Republic 7.0 - December 2015
Author: Frank Virgintino
Available free from
www.FreeCruisingGuides.com or on Kindle from Amazon or any EPub store.

A Thinking Mans Guide to Voyages South - the many facets of Caribbean Cruising
Author: Frank Virgintino
Published: 3rd Edition January 2013
Available as a Kindle version at www.amazon.com as well as other EPub bookstores.
The latest edition of this route planner is larger than ever. For more details see this report

The Gentleman's Guide to Passages South
By Bruce Van Sant
Publisher Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson; 9 Spi edition (15 Oct. 2006)
ISBN-13: 978-0944428795

The Turks & Caicos and The Dominican Republic
By Stephen Pavlidis
www.cruisingguides.com

Routes and Waypoints
By Captain Pieter D. Brown
Publisher Baico Publishing Consultants Inc., Ontario, Canada (2011)
ISBN: 978-1-926596-83-9
A Navigational & Piloting Guide of Suggested Routes with Waypoints from Eastern Canada to Grenada including: the Canadian & USA E. Coasts, Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Leeward & Windward Islands.
Read Review here

Update History

May 2017: All formalities updated with the help of Frank Virgintino.
January 2017: Security section updated following dinghy and outboard theft in Luperon.
April 2016: Clearance fees and tips updated by Frank Virgintino.
March 2016: Tourist Card renewal fees updated from Migracion.
October 2015: Security Section updated
May 2015: Publications checked
April 2015:Updated information added to General/Money
February 2015: Immigration fees updated.
November 2014: Clearance fees updated by FV.
November 2013: Fees updated with information from FV.
May 2013: Clearance updated with Customs requirement from Frank Virgintino.
March 2012: Clearance, Customs & Immigration checked.

Noonsite welcomes information and updates especially regarding clearance, customs and immigration procedures from cruisers visiting this country.
Please E-mail noonsite with any new information, updates or corrections. Even just a short email confirming that the current data is accurate would be most helpful.

Share |
EvenKeel
EvenKeel says:
Feb 04, 2017 05:40 PM

I was not suggesting the extortion was part of the hold up. I was just writing these facts as a result of our detention.
My point is only, if you go to DR be careful, you won´t sail the way you want. That's it.
I'm sailing for nearly 30 years all over the world, so I'm quite aware of what should happen or not.
Anyway, thank you for justifying the DR point of view as you did, but I'm quite sure there are more reports of robbery and attacks than disasters at sea.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Feb 03, 2017 02:04 PM

Posted on behalf of Frank Virgintino - author of the DR Free Cruising Guide:

The real issue is one of safety and you will find it throughout the Greater Antilles and for good reason. Heading east from Cuba, Hispaniola or Puerto Rico, strong NE winds, E winds and SE winds can cause difficult conditions especially near capes and highlands - such is the case between Salinas and Barahona/Punta Beata. I once spent 7 days "locked up" in San Juan due to strong NE winds, because the Coast Guard would not let us depart.

The Coasts Guard of the Greater Antilles is very aware of vessels moving in high winds and large seas. Frequently motors quit on boats due to sludge in the tanks clogging filters and many times boats are lost and crew injured or worse. In the case of the Dominican Republic, when winds become strong, the Coast Guard in Santo Domingo review wind and sea conditions and make a "small craft" decision for the entire island. Sometimes it is extended to include commercial craft as well.

The writer of this report suggests that the hold up was related to extorting an extra tip. There is no question that tips are a way of life in these countries, but in the case they describe, the orders did not come from Salinas, they came from Coast Guard Central in Santo Domingo. Once the Coast Guard there decides that "small craft warnings go up", it is no different than in the States; boats are advised to stay in harbour. In the DR, because of the need for a despacho, truly one cannot leave. This can lead to upset and frustration, but it comes out of a commitment of the Coast Guard doing their job.

Let's take the reverse. High winds and large seas are the conditions and the Coast Guard allows boats to depart. Someone loses their boat and/or gets hurt and then asks "why was I allowed to depart in those conditions?"

When we are cruising, all manner and sorts of things happen and not always to our satisfaction. However, to cruise happy (and safe), as we visit different countries, we must realise that we subject ourselves to their jurisdiction and judgement. While we may be captains and masters of our little ships, we are subject to local laws and customs.

EvenKeel
EvenKeel says:
Jan 28, 2017 01:59 AM

There is a new administrative disposition in the DR. It is supposed to protect the sailors and the fishermen from bad weather risks.
The Armada is still giving the «despacho» but now, under the order of a «weather coordinator». Colonel Perratas Mieres is the official in charge for the time being, and believe me, he will protect you more than any «mother hen» could ever think of.
For example, when 25 knots of wind is forecast at Puerto Plata and Samana (Atlantic coast), he will hold all despachos for the Caribbean Coast too, even if it´s forecast 5 to 8 knots gusting 12! The result is you cannot leave the place you’re in! It´s like if someone, in your birth land, says: «Fresh wind forecast in the Great Lakes - California Coast is closed.»
This is why we had to stay 4 supplementary days in Salinas.
To get an international despacho, we had to go to Barahona, an easy 30 miles step from Salinas.
There, same story. 7 days and 30US$ for prolongation of the stay! Winds between 5 to 15 knots, seas 1 to 2 feet. And it lasted 7 days.
We tried to explain the «boat is built to cross oceans» and we have «weather knowledge and facilities to get forecasts», but the commandantes of the Armada are totally afraid of Mieres, and would only check the SMS sent by the colonel, answering us: «Mañana... maybe».
Colonel Mieres sees no difference between a light fishing boat and a 40 foot long-range cruiser. I really believe he sees no difference between 10 knots and 35 knots of wind either.
At least, when the wind started to blow a little, Mieres decided everything will be delivered soon.
It took 1 more day to get everything in order -40 US$ of mandatory propina included (but not due), to be freed from our chains, and I mean it, because you really feel like in prison in your boat.
Thank you to Sarayu for their support all along this unsupportable episode. This is an experience I’ll hope to never experience again.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 16, 2016 12:32 PM

There is a chandlery contact in Luperon on the north coast.
On the south shore in Boca Chica near the yacht club is a marine store.
Also in the south in Santo Domingo is a marine dealer called Automarine. They have full chandlery as well.
Our thanks to Frank Virgintino for this prompt summary.

wmcc
wmcc says:
Nov 14, 2016 01:33 PM

Hi everyone, I am looking for somewhere to buy some basic emergency flares in the DR, preferably in Samana or along the North coast. We are on a charity kayak expedition and unfortunately were robbed of our flares and a number of other items. Also looking for somewhere to make some basic fibreglass repairs (or at least buy the supplies for).

Ogrot
Ogrot says:
Mar 18, 2016 01:02 AM

From March 2016:
1.8 USD per foot for a berth in Boca Chica Marina (Zarpar).
Officials are friendly, but they all tell you to talk to the agent at the marina (who will charge you 250 USD). So when checking out I would strongly advise to start the process early. There is no need to pay the agent anything. Total cost for me ended up being the 75 + 15 + 15 USD (i.e. the boat + two persons - all paid to the Immigration office at the port on entry) plus 20 USD to the coast guard after the boat had been searched and we were clear to leave.
It took 2 hours arguing before I could leave though, but better that then paying 250 USD to the agent.
I'm on a budget, knowing what I know now, I would have skipped the DR and gone straight to Isle La Vache in Haiti. Free anchorage, and no hassle.
The Capitan of the Marina Zarpar is a good man! But the agent there is willing to say a lot of rubbish to have you pay him.
Olav Grottveit
SY Rainmaker

Miki
Miki says:
Feb 28, 2016 08:48 PM

ANCHORING!
Engine failed and sailed into pretty bay in the South near El Soco, Romana. Moored in front of top end hotel. Within half an hour friendly policeman arrived in hotel dive boat. Told us we had to leave and I explained engine kaput. Gave him $20.00 and he said we could stay only behind the little island in centre of the bay. So he towed us there and we sailed off in the morning. Anchored off Isla Catalina, no problem, likewise Isla Saona. Engine broke off Boca de Yuma and anchored 50 yards up river in 2 meters, delightful place. Again policeman arrived with fisherman gave him $30.00 and coffee, Very helpful guy and called a mechanic for us. Left 2 days later. Anchored in Miches and early morning taken off to Police station. Usual transaction all very nice and dropped back to boat after checking despacho and stuff. Anchored in Sosua North end of the beach. Fair swell. No official visitors here. It is a shame they have this unusual policy about no anchoring in the DR, but great officials. Recommend smiling and being friendly!

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Oct 26, 2015 08:47 PM

Posted on behalf of 4Tux:
March entry to Puerto Plata: $12.50 per person for tourist visa document (immigration) for 30 days. That has recently been extended officially to a 60 day tourist visa. Other fees for entry were $75. A grande total of $100 for two persons and a vessel. Luperon is charging about double that amount for entry plus harbor entry fees, anchoring fees, landing fees.

Cade Johnson
Cade Johnson says:
Jan 11, 2015 12:44 PM

I arrived in Luperon in 2009 by sea, and have swallowed the anchor and moved inland. So I cannot provide a first-hand account of check-in and check-out as currently practiced, but several Luperon expatriate residents have recently reported that very few boats are visiting Luperon. Some that have reported being charged undocumented fees by the current port captain. For example, one recent boater reported being charged for only staying a few days and "not spending enough money in town". Naturally such rumors are difficult to substantiate. Port captains change every six months or thereabout and some are honest - but since the traffic rate is now so reduced it will be relatively difficult to obtain current information.
On the bright side, the Puerto Blanco marina has had a facelift and is under new and invigorating management (NW corner of the bay).

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