8 Things To Do In and Around Luperon, Dominican Republic
Spending hurricane season in the beautiful Luperon Dominican Republic? Or traveling to Puerto Plata on vacation? We took a break from our cruising adventure and waited out hurricane season in the lovely Luperon in the Northern Dominican Republic. We had never been here before, but we found it to be one of the coolest places we had ever visited.
If you are planning on staying in and/ or around Luperon, during hurricane season (or any other time) here are 8 things we recommend you get out and try and/or visit. And because we are live aboard cruisers too, they are listed according to their impact on your budget!
Also bear in mind that all but one of these requires you to leave Luperon harbor. We bought and rented a motorcycle during our time here, which helped us get around, but you can generally get a cheap rental car, rent a bike or there is always taxis or moto taxis. Check in with someone at Puerto Blanco Marina and I’m sure you will be able to arrange some transportation. Either way you will need some sort of transportation to get from Luperon to these places, but believe me the commute is more than worth it!
8 things to do in and around Luperon, Dominican Republic
1. Playa Chiquita - Luperon, Puerto Plata - A small little public beach along the channel to Luperon Harbor. It’s free because you can take your dinghy there. Most days of the week it is basically empty, but on Sunday it is packed with locals and families. Best explored at low tide, as the shallow parts at the right side allow you to walk in ankle deep water pretty far out and around near the rocks. Cleaner water to swim than anywhere in the harbor, so it is a nice little day outing if it is getting too hot on the boat!
2. Playa Grande - Luperon, Puerto Plata - Debatable as to weather you need transportation or not. A 10 minute walk from Puerto Blanco Marina, is Playa Grande. It used to be home to a huge vacation resort, but the resort was destroyed in a hurricane and now like Playa Chiquita, Playa Grande is usually close to, if not empty on any given weekday. It is a great beach and swimming spot and on calm days snorkeling is possible too. You can sometimes find local fisherman who are out spearing and catching fish, and they are sometimes willing to see fresh fish to you right there on the beach. This beach also has the added bonus of food available. There is a storage container, turned into a restaurant/ bar where you can get cold drinks, fresh fish and good food.
3. Castillo Beach - La Isabella, Puerto Plata - a small beach town about 20 minutes outside of Luperon, Castillo is a beautiful beach hangout spot. With multiple food huts, and a large coral reef this beach makes for a great day trip. You can enjoy a few beers, or order a pizza or ice cream crepe, and sit back and enjoy the view. Like you many of the other beaches this one has little traffic during the week, but increased traffic on the weekends. A popular hang out spot for cruisers, as it is a short scenic motorbike ride away.
4. Cambioso - Cambiaso, Puerto Plata - A popular day sail from Luperon, Cambioso is another great beach located approximately 25-30 minutes (drive), a few hours sail away. A much bigger beach, it still has a few options for food and drink, which make it another popular hang out spot for cruisers on the weekend. There is also a cute little inlet that you can explore with calm, clear waters, that is a five minute walk once you are at Cambiaso. If you do happen to make it here, ask one of the locals at the little restaurants for some fresh lobster. The meal (feast) you will get here is unlike any other!
5. Brugal Rum Factory - Puerto Plata City - About an hour commute from Luperon, Puerto Plata is a bustling city where you can find almost anything including the Brugal Rum Factory. A nice cheap activity is the Brugal Rum Experience, where for $5 USD per person you can tour the Brugal Rum Facility. A guide will bring you through a small (few rooms) museum type venue where he/ she will give you a history of the company and an overview of the rum that is produced, followed by a chance to taste two different varieties of Rum. You will then be able to see the bottling factory, where hundreds of people work at assembly lines to assemble, package and organize hundreds of thousands of bottles of rum for distribution. After you can take some time in their store to purchase all the rum your heart desires. Note to reader: The rum at the factory tends to be a few dollars cheaper than at any store so it may be worth picking up a few bottles while visiting.
6. 27 Charcos of Rio Damajagua (27 Waterfalls) -Imbert, Puerto Plata - Approximately 35 - 40 minutes from Luperon, the 27 waterfalls are a MUST see if you make a stop here in Luperon. Nature’s beauty is captured here at the falls where you will have the opportunity to walk, jump and slide your way through them. You have a choice of how many falls you would like to explore, and the price depends on what you choose, but you should expect to pay between 5-12 USD for the waterfalls, plus an addition $3 for a locker, and then an optional $3 for the lunch buffet afterward. We did the waterfalls 3 times while we waited out hurricane season, so we like to think we know what we’re talking about. Read our testimonial and decide for yourself if this adventure is for you!
7. Paradise Island, Punta Rucia, Puerto Plata - A bit further from Luperon (90 minute drive), Punta Rucia is a large beach on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Located another 5 miles offshore is a beautiful little island (sandbar) called Cayo Arena, which is popularly known as Paradise Island. This gem in the middle of the ocean sits on a beautiful reef teeming with fish. Arguably one of the best snorkel spots in the country, Paradise Island is a great place to spend a day. We visited a few times, once with just two of us and once with a group. The price ranged from $50 per person when the two of us went, and $35 when we went with the group. The price seems to be negotiable, so bring your friends and negotiate a price. Either price we felt was fair as the day includes a fast boat ride to the island, rum drinks and soda included on the island and at the hotel, use of snorkel gear, a tour of the mangroves when you leave and a buffet lunch at the hotel! Be aware, the tides significantly affect this island, so check your tide schedule before you go! You want to visit the island around the low tide for the day, otherwise the island may be covered.
8- Monkey Jungle - Sosua, Puerto Plata - Another one that is further away, you can make the 2 hour drive to the Monkey Jungle where you can feed the squirrel monkeys and zip line! For $50 PP you can do both the monkey experience as well as zip line. The cutest little creatures, the squirrel monkeys are very friendly and love having visitors. Follow up your visit with the monkeys by zip lining through the Dominican Country side!
A few other noteworthy sites worth a visit!
Fricolandia - La Isabella Puerto Plata- This hidden treasure is one of the most beautful places we have seen and been lucky enough to visit during our travels so far. This is a privately owned venue, that is not generally open to the public, however if you can gather a group of cruisers together and contact the owner he may be willing to open his venue to you for a negotiated price. More like an island oasis, the tiki huts set over the water and the crystal clear turquoise water make a great setting to enjoy a beer or take a swim.
Ocean World - Cofresi, Puerto Plata - Ocean World is a Dominican Version of a sea world. Approximately 50 minutes from Luperon, Ocean World is a popular tourist destination (especially when cruise ships are in town, check the Amber Cove Cruise ship schedule before you decide to go). As cruisers it was a bit outside of our budget, at $169 per person, however a well spent considering the experience. When we went out intention was to swim with the dolphins, something I had never done, but thought would be amazing. The $169 covered the entrance fee to the Ocean World park, where we got a 30 minute swim with the dolphin experience as well as a sea lion experience. Admission also included a lunch buffet as well as the ability to roam the grounds and visit and see various other aquatic and tropical creatures. We watched a shark show, and visited the birds and then roamed around. We didn’t stop at the pool, or do the snorkeling they offer, but both were available for us if we chose to. A very unique experience, well worth the cost.
We hope you get the chance to visit some of these places, they are great day trips, and fit nicely into a cruising and/or vacation budget. Happy Travels! 😀