Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

The Ultimate Cruisers' Planning Tool


You are here: Home / Countries / Dominican Republic / Boca Chica

 Boca Chica - Profile


Boca Chica is a resort town just a 30 min drive from the capital city of Santa Domingo, where you can visit the first colonial city in the new world. Santa Domingo has much to offer. Just 5 miles west of Boca Chica is the Las Americas International Airport.

Boca Chica has lovely beaches and a lively nightlife. At weekends there is a great deal of local power boats passing through the anchorage playing loud music, so don't expect peace and quiet!

Buoyage has just been upgraded here (all charts are out of date; most particularly the leading lights have been replaced by a first rate RWG sectored light) and is now excellent (and lit) - but the passage does involve passing disconcertingly close to breaking waves to starboard!. On entry to the leisure port it is essential to keep very close to the moored boats on the port side to avoid shallows to starboard.

La Caleta is a Marine National Park just a few miles west of Boca Chica often used by cruising boats as an easy access anchorage for overnighting. The "Medio Ambiente" (Environmental Protection Department) have now initiated an order (March 2013) that no anchoring will be permitted here due to the possiblity of damage to the reef.  Additionally, no overnight stays will be permitted at the park. There are moorings for boats to use during the day only, for those that want to scuba in the area.

Note that it is not possible to depart the harbour after 18:00hrs and arrival after dark is not advisable. Cruisers have reported that they encountered difficulties contacting anyone on the VHF after 17:00hrs on the approach to Boca Chica.

Position 18°25.50'N, 69°36.67'W (marina)


See DR Formalities for detailed clearance information and fees.

There are full time Immigration officials based at Marina Zar Par. The official offices are open 24 hours per day, however, pleasure boats are serviced between 0800 and 1800.

Additionally, boats may not depart before sun-up and may not depart after 6pm.

Bear this in mind when planning your departure clearance. Rules in the DR are that yachts must leave directly after clearing out. The officials here are very strict about this, and you must leave immediately after your despacho has been issued.

The marina provides their fuel dock as a clearance dock to complete paperwork. If you are there for any length of time however, and not taking a slip/buoy in the marina, then they will charge for use of the dock.

The officials you need to see on entering are: The Coast Guard, Drug enforcement, M-2 Customs and Immigration.

Clearance can be complicated and lengthy, however cruisers are free to undertake clearance themselves if they wish. It is unlikely the marina will offer you this option (they have an agent on-site who can handle all arrival and departure procedures), however if you wish to do it yourself, insist on not using their service.

First visit Immigration in the marina and then go to the Coast Guard and the other officials. Expect it to take around half a day with transport costs for between offices.

The marina's "clearance service" is a flat rate of $250.00 US. This includes two visas at US$15 each plus US$73 for the boat plus departure fees. The balance goes to the 4 agencies involved in the form of gratuities and for transport to and from the Coast Guard office twice (once to bring the despacho from the prior harbor and again to get the despacho the day the boat leaves).

The visas are good for 30 days and if you stay over, you can pay a small additional fee when you depart.

There is one permitted anchorage in Boca Chica for visiting yachts, at the island across from the Yacht Club (see docking notes below for details). Yachts can proceed here after clearance if they prefer not to use the marina facilities, or anchor here prior to clearance and proceed to the marina by dinghy for clearance with officials.

For clearing out, the marina indicates that only those that are cleared to exit and cannot depart due to the time of day (i.e. after 6pm), may stay overnight on the fuel dock (no electric) and not pay.

It is advisable to arrive in Boca Chica during the day when all clearance offices are open. If arriving at night, the security guard will help you tie to the fuel dock (note he only speaks Spanish) and the authorities may, or may not come down to the boat. Some, or all, may wait until the morning. Note the launch service for guidance into the marina is not available at night.

Most boats are not boarded and searched.  However, if a boat meets a profile, such as men only and having come from Jamaica, it most likely will be searched for drugs. The DR is close to the US and is required by agreements to search every boat that wants to head for the USA as its next stop.  The search is a few minutes for virtually all boats.

Last updated May 2017.


There is a well marked channel to follow into the bay past the megaport.


The only designated anchorage in Boca Chica for visiting yachts is located behind the island of "La Piedra" opposite the private yacht club. As one enters the bay, past the megaport the yacht club is the first facility on the port side. Opposite the yacht club is "La Piedra" where people do anchor and anchoring is permitted. It is not a large area and space is very limited, perhaps room for 3 regular sized boats. It's also not possible to anchor here long-term.

Further east in the bay on the port side is Marina ZarPar and there are moorings in front of the marina. There is a public beach further east. No anchoring is allowed in front of the public beach or the marina, although you may well see local boats doing just that.

Further out in the "channel area" the marina also has moorings.  These moorings are for rent and they are given free to local boats who use the area to swim on the weekends.

The photo shows the anchorage at Isla La Piedra and is taken looking west from the marina's T head dock. The boat in the immediate foreground is on a mooring in front of the marina. No anchoring is permitted here as it is both a channel to permit pilotage east along the front of the marina and a mooring field.

There is a shallow sandbar that curves in towards the docks of the private yacht club and Marina Zar Par.

Even further into the bay beyond Marina Zar Par is the Whala! beach resort which has a small marina attached (2 to 3 berths only). This is only suitable for shallow draft boats.

Map above showing the layout of the bay and anchoring photo courtesy of Free Cruising Guides.

Marina Zar Par and Mooring Field
In front of the marina are a number of mooring balls available for visiting yachtsmen. There is a daily charge for use of the mooring ball which includes, dinghy dock, hot water showers and bathrooms, captains club, security, free transportation to supermarkets and town, waste oil disposal, WiFi etc.

The marina will no longer permit boats larger than 50' on the moorings due to risk of going aground. The lines attached to the mooring balls can occasionally be missing due to theft by local fisherman or a large powerboat running over them. Please advise the marina if you find this to be the case.

Depths outside the marina average 10 feet (3.05 m), but can drop to 8 feet (2.43 m) or less depending on tide and wind direction. Boats with a draft greater than 7 feet (2.31 m) should  contact the marina for assistance before entry.

Advanced reservations are recommended for slips in the marina. The marina monitors VHF Ch.5 and will send a launch to guide you in from the end of the well marked commercial channel. This service is not available at night and cruisers have reported experiencing difficulties with VHF contact on approach.

There is a shuttle bus from a square a few minutes walk from the marina which goes to the village of Boca Chica.


One yacht on a mooring ball reported being broken into in 2013. Since then, the marina have employed extra security to watch the moorings. A subsequent armed boarding occurred in January 2017 inside the marina on an outside pontoon. Money and jewellery were stolen.

It is easy for opportunists to swim out from the beach or island without being seen.

Last updated May 2018.

Marina Whala
Tel:WhatsApp:+1 809-606-2520
Suitable for shallow draft boats, located off the beach resort further inside the bay from Marina Zarpar. Recommended to arrive on high tide. Normally only rent berths for a minimum of a month, but cruisers have reported that a 2 week rental was possible. Only 3-4 slips available as it is a small marina. Manager Anthony.
Marina Zar Par
Andres , Boca Chica
Tel:+1 809 523 5858 ,VHF Channel 16 and 5
Depths on approach may vary due to wind direction and tide. Boats with draft over 7ft (2.13m) should contact marina before entering. Mooring balls and berths to 110' available, by day, week, month or year. Water (not potable), electricity to 100AMPs or higher if needed, showers and bathrooms (new in 2017), laundry, restaurant, free Wi-Fi, security, waste oil disposal and rubbish disposal.
Immigration located on the property with full time Immigration officers. Agent on property available to work through all entrance and departure procedures if desired.
Marina is 8 miles from Santo Domingo international airport and close to all tourist attractions there (a safe bus ride away). Free transportation to supermarket and airport (subject to posted marina schedule). Local restaurant on property serving Dominican meals at reasonable price.
Marine Hoist Travelift to 70 metric tons. Repair facilities available.
Office staff speak English and cruiser-friendly; local SSCA cruising station.

Yacht Clubs

Club Nautico de Santo Domingo
San Andres 6 , Santo Domingo
Tel:(+1-809) 685-4940 Fax:(+1-809) 549-6137
A private yacht club next to the marina that sells fuel, and can haul boats to 70 tons.
Oscar de schaetzen
Oscar de schaetzen says:
Jan 19, 2019 01:48 PM

We were in Boca Chica (Marina Zarpar) for some days between 30/12/2018 and 3/1/2019. This is a great place to stop and it’s easy to visit Santa Domingo from here. The marina is very nice and the staff is extremely friendly. There is indeed loud music everywhere, but it is not only in the marina – it’s everywhere and it’s part of the culture. We were not disturbed by that.

Clearance takes a bit of time but everything is straightforward – just go with the flow and respect everyone’s job. We did not use an agent and had no issues. All officials were very friendly and polite. Be sure to have your ‘Despacho’ when you arrive and don’t leave without a new one! This is really mandatory in this region.

Watch out, when going to Marina Zarpar you pass in front of a private marina where the water is shallow. A friend’s boat drafting 2,50m touched the bottom at their first attempt and the second attempt was OK but they passed at less than 3m from the pontoons of the private marina. So keep very close to port side when you approach Marina Zarpar.

Thanks again to the marina staff for their kindness and great service level!

April Cunningham
April Cunningham says:
Nov 16, 2018 06:08 PM

Henrik Poulsen says:

Nov 14, 2018 06:58 PM
Boca Chica, Zar Par Marina.

We arrived Sunday, 11 November 2018 around midnight. We sailed through the small narrow entrance to enter behind the protective reef, and passed by the two first small marinas at our port side. Depths at navionics is not accurate, just sail along the marinas, there is around 3 meters.

Zar Par is the last marina and guards were welcoming us. They checked our documents and we lay alongside until next morning when a friendly young man by the name of Victor helped clearing us in. A 40 foot sail boat costs close to US $50 a day. Mooring also available for US $30 a day.

The marina is very nice, helpful staff, chandlery nearby, sailmaker also. Travel hoist. We have had absolutely no problem.

November and December are not crowded but January to April it is advisable to book. The following e-mail can be used

Fair winds - safe sailing
Greetings, Henrik Poulsen

April Cunningham
April Cunningham says:
Jul 10, 2018 02:49 PM

Hi fleuraustrale,
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I did a bit of digging around and found the following on Marina Zar Par's website:
"The bottom is mostly sand and mud and the controlling depth is 10 feet, (when the wind is out of the NE, the depth will be less by about one foot. And if you arrive at low tide, allow for another foot.) Vessels drawing more than 7’feet should contact the Marina before entry for assistance."

fleuraustrale says:
Jun 29, 2018 09:16 PM

Just a brief note/question on Marina ZarPar - has dredging occurred recently? When we visited in 2015, we were assured in both English and Spanish over the phone that a vessel with an 11' draft could get into the marina. Upon arrival, it was clear that there was a sandbar significantly shallower than that across the access channel - another vessel visiting at the same time (with something like 7' or 8' draft) were barely able to power across the bar at full throttle. The slips in the marina looked to be as deep as advertised, but we couldn't get to them. That being said, the team at the marina was very helpful in arranging with the local port office to allow us to anchor in the harbor for a few days as we had crew flying in that we needed to collect, but unless the marina has been dredged there is no way to get to Marina ZarPar with a deeper draft vessel.

Frank Virigntino
Frank Virigntino says:
May 21, 2018 03:43 PM

Regarding clearing in, the gentleman could have checked in with the various authorities on his own and spent a day or two getting it sorted out paying his own fees to the agencies. Instead he hired an agent and paid him the agreed price. The agent did everything for him and as a result earned his fee. There is no corruption in that!!!
As to service, the marina does not have a service facility. It is very clear that the service area is run by a 3rd party not related to the marina. Whatever complaints he had would be with them; not Marina ZarPar
AS to Boca Chica and prostitutes, i have never gone looking for them and have always enjoyed the tempo and great restaurants in Boca Chica. Essentially you find what you are looking for! There are thousands of tourists in Boca Chica and in all the years i have visited that town, i have never had a problem with crime or mugging.
Frank Virgintino, Director
Marina ZarPar

Erlend Solbakk Harbitz
Erlend Solbakk Harbitz says:
May 15, 2018 09:01 PM

A warning about Marina ZarPar: We came in to Boca Chica and Marina ZarPar in the beginning of March, 2017. The marina facilities (restrooms, laundry and showers) are fairly descent, but after staying there for a while we had so many problems that we want to warn other sailors.

tl;dr: The immigration procedure is highly corrupt. You will end up paying several hundred USD for something that is supposed to be almost free. Crime in the area is high, the city is nothing to see. The power boats racing around at night is loud, dangerous and there is always music playing at maximum volume all over the marina and the nearby beach. The mechanics recommended by the marina area highly unprofessional and the marina takes no responsibility for the people they recommend. In addition, the marina is highly overpriced.

Long version: Firstly, the city of Boca Chica is not a nice place to visit in the Dominican Republic. The crime seems very high; the city is overfilled by prostitute; sex-tourism; the water is polluted by the city and the nearby industrial port; and several boats have been boarded by armed men the last couple of years. In addition, the noise from power boats and jet-skis racing around and playing loud music 24/7 is beyond annoying. The only good thing about Boca Chica seems to be the vicinity to Santo Domingo where the old part of the city (Zona Colonial) is very nice to visit. We would recommend people to instead travel to the Samana Bay where the level of crime and corruption seems much lower, the city is nicer and one can still take the bus to Santo Domingo for a few days visit.

Upon first sight the marina seemed professional and we decided to ask for a mechanic to change a worn-out cone in our gearbox. They provided us with a mechanic and we agreed on a price for the maintenance, the cone itself and we were supposed to get the gearbox back in a day or two. After some days we realized that the mechanic wasn't able to obtain a new cone for our gearbox (fairly standard gearbox for Yanmar 2GM20) and we agreed to order the cone ourself and get it shipped to the Dominican Republic. The mechanic would still replace the cone when it arrived. We obtained a new cone in a couple of days with express shipping. We had plans to meet up with friends and family in the Cayman Islands and were running out of time.

Finally, with countless delays and communication problems with the marina and the mechanic we handed over the new cone to the mechanic and he promised he would replace the cone and get the gearbox back to us in a couple of hours. When we finally got it back it was obvious that it did not work at all. It was much worse than when we had arrived in Boca Chica. The mechanic insisted that everything was fine and we had to spend much time arguing with him whether or not the gearbox worked or not.

In the end we opened up the gearbox just to discover that the mechanic had destroyed almost all of the parts inside the gearbox when putting it together again. It looked like he had been using a hammer to put things together and parts were bent and broken all over.

Our stay in Boca Chica which was supposed to be about 3-4 days ended up being a 6 week nightmare. We had to order a completely new gearbox and get it shipped in. We mounted it ourself to avoid any further problems. Our plans to visit Cayman Islands went up in thin air. So did all our family and friend's plane tickets. The marina ended up taking zero responsibility. They claimed that they didn't know the mechanics who worked at the marina even though they had originally recommended him. They would not provide any discount for our stay either, and as the marina was highly overpriced the 6-week stay there turned out to be an expensive experience.

In addition, when doing immigration you are pretty much required to do it through Victor who will charge you USD 250+ for some paperwork. The marina claims they have absolutely nothing to do with Victor, but his desk is in the marina office building. Everything about this place seemed extremely corrupt and mismanaged. We were not the only people having trouble there either. Several other boats were "stuck" there while trying to do maintenance on their boats.

All in all, try to avoid Marina ZarPar. Visit Samana Bay instead. We had a great time there (and along the rest of the north coast of the country). In our six weeks we also got to backpack a lot of the country. It's a nice country to travel around in as long as you don't have to interact with the corrupt bureaucracy and unqualified mechanics.

Elvira Llabres
Elvira Llabres says:
May 14, 2018 07:26 PM

Anthony. Marina Whala! WhatsApp:+1 809-606-2520

Elvira Llabres
Elvira Llabres says:
May 14, 2018 07:20 PM

We are in boca chica now. If you are a shoal draft boat, definitely talk to marina Whala off the beach resort that is further in from the bay from marina zarpar. No long term anchoring is allowed In the bay and the well known Zar Par marina charges thirty dollars a day for moorings. The smaller Whala marina gave us a great price for two weeks even though they normally only rent by the month. The marina manager, Anthony is super nice and we are very pleased with this little used option in Boca Chica. 5 feet depth in one spot to get here on high tide, so shallow draft only vessels. Only 3-4 slips available as it is a small marina.

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

Dominican Republic
Boca Chica
Casa de Campo
Las Salinas
Monte Cristi
Puerto Plata / Cofresi
Punta Cana
Santo Domingo
Yacht Clubs
Repair Facilities
Engine Repair
Mechanical Repair
Electrics & Electronics
Rigs & Sails
Canvas Work
Hull & GRP Repair
Air Conditioning
Liferafts & Inflatables
Marine Services
Marine Supplies
LPG (gas)
Charts & Marine Publications
General Services
Yacht Charters
Yacht Brokers
Yacht Surveyors
Shore Services
Transport & Travel
Restaurants & Bars
Update History
Update History
American Samoa
Antigua & Barbuda
Ascension Island
BIOT (Chagos)
British Virgin Islands
Canary Islands
Cape Verdes
Cayman Islands
Channel Islands
Christmas Island
Cocos Keeling
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
East Timor (Timor Leste)
Easter Island
El Salvador
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Subantarctic Territory
Heard, McDonald & Macquarie Islands
Hong Kong
Ivory Coast
Juan Fernandez Islands
Marion & Prince Edward Island
Marshall Islands
Myanmar (Burma)
New Caledonia
New Zealand
New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
Norfolk Island
Northern Marianas
Palau (Belau)
Papua New Guinea
Pitcairn Island
Puerto Rico
Reunion Island
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Sierra Leone
Sint Maarten
Solomon Islands
South Africa
South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Spanish Virgin Islands
Sri Lanka
St Barts
St Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Martin
St Pierre & Miquelon
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Subantarctic & Southern Ocean Islands
Trinidad & Tobago
Tristan da Cunha
Turks & Caicos
US Virgin Islands
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Wallis and Futuna
Add/Update Your Business
If you would like your business to be listed, or the details are wrong, please update your business
Platinum Sponsors

Where cruising sailors meet

Free Cruising Guides
Covering all the Caribbean including the DR

Related Reports
Caribbean: National, Regional and Island Weather Websites and Reports

Caribbean: National, Regional and Island Weather Websites and Reports (08 Jan 2019)

Report Icon

Dominican Republic, Luperon: Unoccupied yacht burgled - November 2018 (11 Nov 2018)

Report Icon

Dominican Republic, Luperon: Burgled while asleep - November 2018 (10 Nov 2018)

Report Icon

Dominican Republic, Luperon: Burgled while travelling inland - October 2018 (30 Oct 2018)

Report Icon

Dominican Republic, Luperon: Burgled while ashore - August 2018 (05 Aug 2018)

Dominica: Emerging from Maria's Aftermath!

Dominica: Emerging from Maria's Aftermath! (12 Jun 2018)

Report Icon

Dominican Republic, Boca Chica: Armed boarding & Robbery - February 2017 (15 Feb 2017)

Report Icon

Dominican Republic, Boca Chica, Marina Zarpar: Violent Nightime Robbery - January 2017 (26 Jan 2017)

Report Icon

Dominican Republic, Luperon: Burgled whilst ashore - November 2016 (05 Nov 2016)

Report Icon

Dominican Republic, Samana: Attempted Theft - June 2016 (26 Jun 2016)

Report Icon

Fees for Cruising Boats in the DR (10 Apr 2016)

Report Icon

Caribbean: Cruisers' Facebook Groups (29 Mar 2015)

Report Icon

Problems en-route to Isla Beata, DR: Incredible assistance from the DR Navy (18 Dec 2014)

Report Icon

Dominican Republic, Boca Chica: Armed Boardings and Theft - December 2014 (16 Dec 2014)

Eastern Caribbean Cruising: Simplified Clearance Procedures Explained

Eastern Caribbean Cruising: Simplified Clearance Procedures Explained (15 Jun 2014)

Report Icon

Boca Chica: Yachts must leave immediately after Departure Clearance (14 May 2014)

Report Icon

Marina Zarpar - Cruisers Comments (19 Mar 2014)

Report Icon

Dominican Republic, Luperon: Burglary at Puerto Blanco Marina - January 2014 (15 Jan 2014)

Caribbean Security for Cruisers: Everyone’s Concern, Everyone’s Responsibility

Caribbean Security for Cruisers: Everyone’s Concern, Everyone’s Responsibility (01 Nov 2013)

North Coast, Ocean World Marina: Simple Clearance

North Coast, Ocean World Marina: Simple Clearance (22 May 2013)

Report Icon

Dominican Republic, Boca Chica: Break-in and Theft at Marina Zarpar moorings - January 2013 (11 Jan 2013)

Report Icon

Dominican Republic: Hispaniola 360 Challenge Regatta (28 Nov 2012)

Report Icon

Punta Cana: Cap Cana Marina Update (23 Apr 2012)

Report Icon

Wonderful People in the DR (16 Jan 2012)

Report Icon

Dominican Republic, Luperon: Break-in and Burglary (16 Jan 2012)

Report Icon

Domincan Republic - Don't Miss it (25 Nov 2011)

Report Icon

Updates on Cruising the DR (22 Apr 2011)

Report Icon

Recent experience in the Dominican Republic (27 Feb 2011)

Report Icon

II Vuelta a la Hispaniola - 16 Days of Pure Sailing and Fun (04 Sep 2010)

Report Icon

DR Cruising Guide - Casa de Campo Correction (01 Jul 2010)

Report Icon

Why are there so few yachts in the DR? (20 May 2010)

Report Icon

Boca Chica - Great Service Recommendation (12 May 2010)

Report Icon

DR - 2010 Updates to Entry Procedures (27 Apr 2010)

Report Icon

Cruising the South Coast of the DR (25 Mar 2010)

Report Icon

Our recent experience of the DR (30 Jan 2010)

Report Icon

Our Experience of Officialdom in the DR (17 Jan 2010)

Report Icon

Cruisers Report on Current Luperon Check-in info (24 Nov 2009)

Report Icon

DR - Current Entry Procedures (19 Nov 2009)

Report Icon

Anchoring "Surcharges" in the DR (30 Oct 2009)

Report Icon

DR New Clearance Regulations – The Reality (15 Sep 2009)

Report Icon

DR - New Clearance Charges (12 Aug 2009)

Report Icon

Cruising the DR – Our Experience (28 Apr 2009)

Report Icon

Don't Miss the DR! (24 Apr 2009)

Report Icon

Warning about Barahona (24 Apr 2009)

Report Icon

Las Salinas and Other Places in Dominican Republic (13 Mar 2009)

Report Icon

Positive Feedback about Luperon (12 Jan 2009)

Report Icon

Luperon, Dominican Republic (26 Jun 2008)

Report Icon

Luperon: Comments and Advice from Cruisers (26 Jun 2008)

Report Icon

Avoid Luperon DR letter is Erroneous (28 Feb 2008)

Report Icon

Avoid Luperon DR (04 Oct 2007)

Report Icon

Cruising Report On Dominican Republic (16 Jul 2007)

Report Icon

Good experience at Casa do Campo Marina (12 Feb 2007)

Related News
Caribbean: Sargassum coverage significantly higher than most years since 2011

Caribbean: Sargassum coverage significantly higher than most years since 2011  (18 Feb 2019)

Caribbean: Chances of a Dengue Fever Outbreak increases in all Caribbean Islands

Caribbean: Chances of a Dengue Fever Outbreak increases in all Caribbean Islands  (29 Jan 2019)

Small Caribbean Island's Waste Management: How Cruisers can Help

Small Caribbean Island's Waste Management: How Cruisers can Help   (22 Jan 2019)

SSCA Net from Nova Scotia to South America: Volunteer Net Controllers Needed

SSCA Net from Nova Scotia to South America: Volunteer Net Controllers Needed  (05 Dec 2018)

Caribbean Bound? Some Useful Noonsite Articles and Links

Caribbean Bound? Some Useful Noonsite Articles and Links  (16 Nov 2018)

Heading to the Caribbean this Fall? Find out about Sargassum.....

Heading to the Caribbean this Fall? Find out about Sargassum.....  (22 Aug 2018)

Caribbean Sea, Puerto Rico: US family rescued transiting from Turks and Caicos to the Dominican Republic

Caribbean Sea, Puerto Rico: US family rescued transiting from Turks and Caicos to the Dominican Republic  (04 Jun 2018)

CSSN Annual Report 2017 Reported Yacht Crime – Caribbean

CSSN Annual Report 2017 Reported Yacht Crime – Caribbean  (13 Mar 2018)

Caribbean Safety & Security Net Launches Zoom-Tap, Know and Go

Caribbean Safety & Security Net Launches Zoom-Tap, Know and Go  (12 Jan 2018)

Caribbean: Tracking Sargassum Seaweed 'Invasions' via Satellite

Caribbean: Tracking Sargassum Seaweed 'Invasions' via Satellite  (16 Oct 2017)

Hurricane Maria leaves Puerto Rico without power and has devastated Dominica

Hurricane Maria leaves Puerto Rico without power and has devastated Dominica  (20 Sep 2017)

CSSN Annual Report 2016 Reported Yacht Crime – Caribbean

CSSN Annual Report 2016 Reported Yacht Crime – Caribbean  (23 Feb 2017)

Caribbean, BVIs: Search for Cruising Family's Abandoned Yacht

Caribbean, BVIs: Search for Cruising Family's Abandoned Yacht  (18 Jan 2017)

Report Icon

Chesapeake Bay to St. Maarten: Atlantic 57 Catamaran capsizes  (05 Dec 2016)

Free Cruising Guides announce newly updated Caribbean Island Guides

Free Cruising Guides announce newly updated Caribbean Island Guides  (18 Mar 2016)

Cyber-Crime Scams Against Yachts in the Caribbean - CSSN Special Report

Cyber-Crime Scams Against Yachts in the Caribbean - CSSN Special Report  (17 Feb 2016)

Cruising the Caribbean: Free Cruising Guides Unveils New Website

Cruising the Caribbean: Free Cruising Guides Unveils New Website  (15 Oct 2015)

A Cruising Guide to the Dominican Republic 6th Edition: Now Available at FreeCruisingGuides

A Cruising Guide to the Dominican Republic 6th Edition: Now Available at FreeCruisingGuides  (22 Aug 2014)

Dominican Republic: New Requirement for Visits of more than 90 days.

Dominican Republic: New Requirement for Visits of more than 90 days.  (28 May 2013)

Dominican Republic check-in: Customs now a requirement

Dominican Republic check-in: Customs now a requirement  (16 May 2013)

Report Icon

Dominican Republic, La Caleta Marine Park (nr Boca Chica): Environmental Protection Department Ban Anchoring  (13 Mar 2013)

Report Icon

A Thinking Mans Guide to Voyages South - the many facets of Caribbean Cruising  (10 Jan 2013)

Report Icon

New Edition of Dominican Republic Cruising Guide Now Available Online  (25 Feb 2010)

Report Icon

Dominican Republic - Current Entry Procedures  (19 Nov 2009)

Report Icon

Dominican Republic - New Clearance Procedures to Stop Bribery   (11 Jun 2009)