After spending 18 days in Luperon, I can safely say that I am absolutely in love with this little village off the beaten path. First off, let me just state that it is incredibly inexpensive to live here. An average meal out costs about $5 a person, but if you want to be frugal and cook your own meals, groceries are just as affordable: 2 bags of fruits such as mangos and papayas cost us around $2; 3 days worth of pork and chicken cost us around $10; and canned goods were found to be cheaper than even the states. Since the average income per month is around $250, you can imagine how far the dollar can stretch here, and it's no surprise to me how many ex-pats have decided to retire here and call Luperon their home. From a cruiser's point of view, this place is more than idyllic, with its incredibly sheltered harbor, to its access to the internet from your boat (at $15/week) , to the convenience of how close town is via dinghy, you can understand why we stayed for so long. As mentioned in my previous post, yes, the water in the harbor is pretty nasty, so no you won't be able to use your water makers, but at $1 per 5 gallons of drinking water delivered directly to your boat and into your tanks by the local go-to guy, Papo, who really needs to use their water makers. Papo pretty much delivers anything you would possibly need directly to your boat at a very nominal price…from fuel, to laundry washed and folded, to propane, to even groceries, making it very convenient to stay on anchor.
Aside from all of the logistics of being here, the Dominican Republic is also a beautiful country. On one of our first days here, we met the daughter of a local ex-pat that offered to take us to the beach, Playa Castillo, in the back of his pickup. The beach itself was scenic, with the mountains as a backdrop to the turquoise waters, but what was most impressive was simply the ride there. Words cannot describe how enchanting the countryside is, with its looming lush mountains, colorful little houses, cactus fences, and cattle fields. I felt was I transported to a different time, where life seems a bit more simple.
|Riding in the back of a pickup|
|Lindsay and Frank in Playa Castillo|
|Little town of Luperon|
After this excursion, we decided that we really wanted to explore Luperon and its surrounding areas. We talked to the local gringos and asked for directions on how to get to Puerto Plata, a small city about an hour from Luperon by a guagua (bus) and set out to explore the city with our sailing buddies, Nick and Lindsay. Luckily for us, Lindsay is fairly fluent in Spanish and we were able to easily traverse the city. We had a great time just walking around, soaking in the culture and being tourists. If you ever get the chance, I must say, the city of Puerto Plata is a pretty place to explore.