Luperon - General Info

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Luperon harbor (also known as Puerto Blanco) is a large enclosed mangrove bay providing excellent shelter all year round. Its position on the north coast of the DR, opposite the Turks and Caicos Islands, makes it a useful shelter for yachts with southbound or even northbound cruising plans. It is the first and only substantial anchorage for boats heading east and is popular with both liveaboards as well as transient cruisers. It is also regarded as one of the safest hurricane holes in the world.

Luperon is a small rural town with very humble and friendly Spanish-speaking locals. They rely on fishing, farming, and cruisers for their income. It has markets and hardware stores,  a laundry, discos, a hospital, police, and two dentists. It is very quiet with not much to do except take it easy.

aerial view of a large wide bay with lots of fingers surrounded by green scrubby hills and many boats at anchor within the bays
Luperon Harbour

Cruiser Highlights:

Plenty of anchoring space; excellent shelter; easy water, propane and fuel; WiFi in the anchorage; welcoming long-term cruising community; lots of free cruiser activities; friendly locals; sheltered kayaking; safe ashore and on the water; beach at bay entrance; good cheap medical care; dog-friendly; limited groceries (good supermarkets in Puerto Plata); good restaurants; Puerto Plata (45 mins) and Santiago (1 hour) by car.

Cruising guides, apps and happy-hour chitchat can all be good sources of information for sailors in the Caribbean. Tune into the DR – Luperon Cruisers Net at 09:00 on VHF Channel 72.

The Tourism office in town (English speaking) is also happy to help cruisers with any problems, complaints or advice on local information or questions or issues on land or water.   The office is in town opposite the “Fresco supermarket” just past BoxPaq courier service.


Denise Simpson is the National Host for SSCA and National Port Officer for Ocean Cruising Club in the DR.
She is happy to assist all cruisers with pre-entry procedures country wide and advice on moorings, marina space, repair contacts etc.
Contact Denise at e-mail: [email protected]
WhatsApp +1 (829) 926-9392
Denise also runs the FB Dominican Republic Cruisers.
Local sailor Kathay McColl de Garcia lives in Luperón just by the marina and is happy to assist all cruisers with local knowledge, docking advice etc.
Contact Kathay at e-mail: [email protected]
WhatsApp +1 (829) 219-2830


The tourism office in town (opposite Fresco supermarket just past BoxPaq courier service) will also help with any questions or issues on land or water.

Luperon Links:

Entrance Notes or Cautions:

The Luperon marine-protected bay entrance is clearly marked with small markers. A night entrance should be avoided as there can be many unmarked fishing nets off the main entrance.

There are shallow mud banks on the side of the main channel by the mangroves on the port side coming in.  These shallow mud banks are over and above the marked mud banks on the charts in the mooring field and elsewhere.  It is advisable to motor in and out very slowly as many commercial vessels and yachts run aground on low and high tide.

Elsewhere there are many moored boats, so it is recommended during the daytime to get assistance from either Papo or Andy on VHF Ch. 68, and they can guide you to a mooring. Alternatively anchor clear of where the commercial fishing boats transit to get to the government dock – which is unfortunately not marked.

There are lots of power outages in Luperon with not many back up generator systems, so be careful when purchasing fresh/frozen produce, plus when eating out.

There are now quite a few commercial fishing boats tied into the mangroves on the port side of the channel upward from yachts on the government dock.  It has been reported that they sometimes discharge diesel into the water so it is not advisable to make water in this bay due to this and also the silt and mud which clogs filters very fast.

During windy conditions they can also drag anchor or break loose along with all the other commercial and pleasure vessels that arrive from nearby islands and the Dominican Republic’s north/north east coast.


  • The Luperon Bay Wildlife Refuge is now a “No-Work Zone” and the violation of rules will mean fines or even imprisonment.  See this News item for more information.
  • Anchoring or securing your boat amongst the mangroves is not permitted, unless notified by the Armada when there is a TS warning.
  • Undertaking work on your boat in the mangroves is also prohibited as is anywhere on the water (see repair facilities for more details).
  • It is not recommended to swim, or use a watermaker here, as there is no pump out facility (see marine services for more details). Take your dinghy to a beach to swim.
  • It is not recommended to swim, or use a watermaker in the bay as there is no pump-out facility and there is a lot of silt/mud. Take your dinghy to the beach by the entrance to swim.


19° 54’22″N, 70° 56’34″W (bay entrance)

Last updated:  January 2023

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Luperon was last updated 1 month ago.

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  1. November 24, 2019 at 12:53 PM
    snicklefritz says:

    Please note that with Noonsite transferring all of their old comments to this new website, you will notice below that all comments are dated recently, i.e. March 11th 2019 which I have pointed out to Noonsite to see if they can add in the original date of posting, which spans over many years.

    For up-to-date comments for any Face Book users, then please join the Luperon Sailors and Cruisers group page where the members and Spanish speaking officials will have a chance to defend any negative claims as there is often two sides to the story and thus be able to provide up-to-date current information as often we do not see comments on this thread.

    Should you not have a FB account then feel free to contact [email protected] via email and I will provide up-to-date information on check-in etc. which is very easy to do as our local town council man is at your service for free to assist with same due to possible language misunderstandings.

    24 November 2019.

  2. December 1, 2017 at 11:44 AM
    Data Entry2 says:

    E-mail from Sobeida Brito – Tourism office Luperon ([email protected])

    We have been working so hard the last two months to make positive changes (in Luperon for visiting yachts) and passing resolutions (like agriculture now costs 20 dollars less). Also the Immigration tax per boat.

    We have a new commandant who speaks fluent English.

    Yesterday we finished with the Navy to organize anchoring at the entrance to the bay. There were 16 boats in the middle of the entrance. We fix the electricity. We also had a meeting with all the authorities to find the best way to keep and bring more visitors to Luperon.

    There have been problems in the past, but not any more. Please…we aren’t bad people, give us the opportunity to show you we need and we want visitors…don’t judge by one case, one person’s mistake for all the citizens. Let’s tell the good things and we attract the best things.

  3. September 25, 2017 at 9:06 AM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Reported by the Caribbean Security & Safety Net – 18th August 2017:
    An unoccupied trimaran on a mooring in Luperon bay had its primary mooring vandalized (released) and the in the water backup/secondary anchor and rode stolen. The boat went adrift and had damage to its stern mounted radio antenna as it struck another yacht before eventually grounding itself in the mudflats. Both yachts had minor scratches. The owner/captain made a report to the local police.

  4. August 23, 2017 at 3:33 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Luperon is one of the best Hurricane Holes I have (come across). Avoid Marina Tropical, (but) the rest of the people and the Boaters community are great and very helpful.

  5. August 11, 2017 at 7:08 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Do not attribute this incident to Luperon generally. The back story involves a dispute over money and an exceptionally belligerent gringo.

  6. May 12, 2017 at 5:11 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Luperon: Vandalism
    Reported by CSSN: 28 April 2017

    A yacht was tied to a mooring in Luperon Bay for a few hours before the owner went ashore. Vandals released the yacht, and removed all lines from it and the mooring itself during daylight hours. The yacht was seen adrift, an emergency VHF call was made and the yacht was recovered undamaged . No police report was made.

  7. January 17, 2017 at 1:43 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Luperon: Dinghy and Outboard Theft (not locked)
    Reported by CSSN: 6 January 2017, at 0230, the owner went on deck and discovered that the dinghy painter had been cut. The thief had been very quiet, neither of his two dogs had been disturbed. He heard an outboard in the distance that sounded like his. Radio calls (68/16/09) to authorities were not answered, but another cruiser responded and helped with a search.

    At 0330 the dinghy, minus its 30HP outboard was found adrift off the outside beach. Tire tracks and drag marks indicated the outboard was stolen with the assistance of a vehicle. No one was on the beach at this point, including members of the Commandant’s squad who claim to patrol there from 6 PM to 6 AM.

    The next day a report was made to the police, the Commandant’s office, and on the local VHF net.

  8. July 1, 2016 at 6:16 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Moorings in Luperon Bay:

    I do not recommend using any mooring in the bay unless you see the installation. Last week 2 boats broke off in 20 knots of wind. Just drop you anchor with ALOT of chain. There is still a dinghy dock at the city. I recommend using a stern anchor for the dinghy.
    We rented a car from Franklin for 25$US.

    Here in Luperon, there is lots of fruit and vegetables at small stands. For meat take a ride with a car to Sosua.Super a Publix.

  9. June 15, 2016 at 1:34 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    15 June 2016
    We are staying at the Luperon Yacht Club, with electricity and water plus A/C. Our cost per week is 69 US$ for a 42-foot sailboat. James Bennett is the dockmaster. He is a great guy. For all Customs fees with a dog, it cost us 139 US$. The Customs and Immigration were nice. At the Luperon YC, the swimming pool does not work and the bar and restaurant are closed.

    Andy is still here and will fill your jerry cans with fuel. For 8 jerry cans, it cost us 135 US$. Call him on VHF Ch:68. There is still a cruisers net on Ch:68 on Sunday and Wednesday. No security issues.

  10. December 28, 2015 at 8:07 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Update of our May experience (see below). Thank you noonsite!

    Departing Luperon recently was even more problematic. Took 2 full days to get a despacho. We lost a day on our weather window. The new Commandant seemed very sincere in his efforts to dissuade the portman from charging us $170 in harbour entrance and anchor/mooring fees. We had our receipts to show we had been at private dock/Marina the entire time….which paid for use of that private dock and various another usage. The portman “Freddy” refused to look at our documents….again.

    He demanded US$ and would not accept DR pesos. We are now very familiar with all the issues of Luperon having been there over a season. We demanded a receipt with the English translation included. The receipt said for “use of the facilities and harbour entrance fee”. There are no facilities.

    The dingy dock is partially sunk and is seriously broken to the extent numerous cruisers had nasty injuries. No lights at night, frequent theft. No viable garbage receptacles, and under no circumstances would we dare park our vehicles there near the dock. Trash and foul smells scattered about.

    In October the Dominican Republic’s Attorney General SeƱor Brito, for President Medina, came to Luperon and inspected this situation. He declared all the harbour and tourist card fees charged there to be illegal. They stopped charging briefly, then started it again when a number of us cruisers departed a couple of weeks ago. They have had 4 different Commandantes during our stay. We were told explicitly that the portman has final authority over all other tourism agencies assigned to process entry. So, in fact, there are 6 agencies, not five, at Luperon. Freddy rules.

    Interestingly, in the fall a national port authority “Escoto” went on a tv interview making it clear they were targeting Luperon for extra fees and spoke in terms of US$ which blatantly targets the US. ALL national rate sheets are in RD pesos. We have the transcript.

    We are distraught at the suggestion of Papo to manage anything for cruisers. Please do not use him, or do so at serious risk. We did not use him but were witness to some tragic events that fell upon friends using him. There have been theft and extortion issues for cruisers associated with his ‘management’. Please contact Pantaenius Insurance to learn if they would recommend him is our advice. They had an in-depth experience.

    We and another vessel did have fuel contamination issues from Luperon fuel in spite of using bios, Baja filter, fuel polishing and numerous filters to the engine that were new on departure. Our engine failed off of Cape France’s Viejo at 9 pm. Changed ALL filters again. Another that departed when we did had his engine fail numerous times while crossing the Mona from dirty fuel. He changed the filters several times underway, and feared he would run out of filters! He too had polished, used Baja, and new filters before departing.

    Puerto Blanco Marina is very good. We were at their dock. As long as Leo is there you will have very good food, facilities, dingy and main dock, and safety. Our vehicle was always safe there, as are the cruisers who have motorcycles parked there.

  11. May 19, 2015 at 3:44 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    We had a nearly identical experience to Mr Pederson. We had already paid all of the tourist immigration fees at another port of entry and were advised by that immigration officer we would owe NOTHING at Luperon. Our despacio to Luperon speaks for itself.

    This nasty little G4s ‘person’ refused to acknowledge the government issued documents from the other port and threatened us he would stop us coming ashore and from leaving the harbour. Refused us access to the Commandant’s office. He basically called his own governments’ issued documents false and called us liars. Our immigration documents each had individual red serial numbers and a red seal stamped on a government letterhead form with signature, date, and amount paid. he claimed they were false papers and we would have to purchase his hockey little printed papers that anyone could have printed on a PC. No signature no numbers…. he was wearing a tag and shirt that had no official government capacity such as DR navy, immigration, customs, etc.

    Yes, it is a cute town with nice people that tolerate an illegal operation at the government dock that PHYSICALLY THREATENS people. OF COURSE, the Commandant gets a cut of the action on these fake pieces of paper called ‘tourist cards’.

    That is obvious, or the Commandant would put a stop to it. The harbour waters and high water mark are owned by the DR Nation, not some mafia styled organization. This G4s person claims he does the same thing in Samana so beware. After what just happened in Samana with a kidnapping of cruisers and this recent posture of the Commandant in Luperon….it seems best to bypass DR.

  12. March 5, 2015 at 12:43 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Luperon is a great harbour, well sheltered, excellent holding and a nice town. Unfortunately, the port officials are very unpleasant. A young well-dressed man with a flash car and a G4S badge who works from the port authority office insisted we paid $10 US each for ‘tourist permits’. We checked with CESTUR in town (armed tourist security officials) and they told us we shouldn’t pay anything and refer the port guy to them.

    We put off the payment for a few days, but eventually, we were no longer allowed out of the port into town. We had to accept a lift to the ATM, and pay up. Meanwhile, some people who arrived at the same time as we were not allowed to leave (because of the weather, which was poor for just a few hours) for over 2 days, and all five of them had to re-arrange flights. When we asked for a despacho to leave, we were told we’d have to pay another 1500 pesos and provide photocopies of our passports (again) – all the following day, which is the day we intended to leave.

    Since the weather window for our trip was small and we were fed up with the officials, we did a runner at dawn (despite no engines and very little wind!). Be warned too that the bank is very unreliable. The only ATM is currently broken (somebody smashed it). When it worked, it only sometimes worked, and only coughed up smaller amounts than 2000 pesos. Changing money inside the bank never took less than an hour, sometimes two.

  13. October 16, 2014 at 11:48 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Have been here about 6 weeks and love, love, love the people here! Commandante Brian was given a promotion due to his great work here and things are a little more lax because of it. Theft of fuel at the dinghy dock is on the rise and it remains to be seen what the new commandant will do about it. Other than that, our experience has been completely crime free and we highly recommend this anchorage to cruisers.

  14. May 7, 2014 at 2:04 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    For some great photos of Luperon from a visit April 2014 see

  15. March 17, 2014 at 3:37 PM
    Data Entry2 says:

    It was reported on the Cruiseheimers SSB Net that the fuel being sold by tenders in the Luperon Harbor in the Dominican Republic has been contaminated. One vendor with the tender named “Ronnie” has been particularly bad about having contaminated fuel. It was not specified whether the fuel was gasoline or diesel fuel. So if you are buying fuel in Luperon, be careful and use your Baha Filter.

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