CaribbeanDominican Republic

The Dominican Republic Is More Than Just Luperon, part 3

By June 19, 2022 No Comments

{I wrote an article about cruising the Dominican Republic that I am going to submit to several magazines to see if they are intersted in publishing it. Before I do that I thoght I would share it with all of you and see what you think. Please feel free to leave a comment below giving me your thoughts. Thank you. – Shane}


It was an over night passage to get to Luperon, where we were meeting our friends so we could cruise from there to the Haiti border roughly 50 miles away. Not withstanding what I said at the beginning of this article, Luperon is an amazingly protected harbor and that is why so many boats stay there during hurricane season. The rest of the north coast needs to be done with caution and an eye on the weather and north swell.

Our first anchorage was at the town of Castillo behind a little reef that gave some nice protection. While the beach was fun the highlight to us was checking out the ruins of La Isabela. This was the site of the first attempt at a colony in the New World and Christopher Columbus’s only house in the Americas. Another highlight was lunch at the multilevel, beach side day resort called Fricolandia.

The next day we sailed 15 miles past Punta Rucia so we could visit Cayo Arena. It is a tiny sandbar like island in the middle of a long reef system that takes some careful navigation. All you will find on the island is a row of 6-7 thatch covered picnic areas and a bunch of local day boats, but the beach and water more than made up for it. In the afternoon we motored upwind five miles back to Punta Rucia where we found a great little sleepy beach town.

Monte Christi was out next destination. We sailed inside the reef system about 25 miles before rounding El Morro, a rock/mountain that prominently sits on a point. This thing is so large, and the landscape around it is so flat, that we could see it for over 10 miles away. After turning in our despacho we took the dinghy up a mangrove river a couple miles and found a really cool observation deck where it was 10 feet deep with a sandy bottom.

Our final anchorage was in Manzanillo Bay, but first we wanted to check out a couple of the Seven Brothers. These seven reef ringed sandy islands are the perfect getaway. They are all fairly similar and we anchored in the lee of Monte Chico & Tororu. Minus the palm trees, these islands are exactly what you think of when coming up with a deserted tropical paradise. Once we were in Manzanillo Bay we spent one night in a little mangrove lagoon next to the small town of Pepillo Salcedo and another at the north end of the bay. Pepillo Salcedo is so close to the Haiti border that we were able to take a small ferry across the river and have lunch one day.


We loved our month and a half in the Dominican Republic and feel very fortunate to have been able to cruise so much of the country. This was on top of the road trips inland we took to see Santo Domingo, the Larimar mines, the jungle, a monkey rescue, sledding down sand dunes, kite surfing, and so much more. The DR is a great place to visit. The only thing I wish is that they would change having to get and turn in a despacho at each new bay/anchorage. What a pain in the butt, since even though it is required the officials seem clueless how to handle the paperwork. What are you going to do?

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