Why you should go: small town feel, cheap, and very friendly locals mixed with several gringos.
Top sight: Wendy’s bar
After taking a $40 cab ride from Puerto Plata, I made it to Luperon. On the way, we had to swerve to miss horses and cows roaming the streets. I was on my way to meet up with a friend who was living on a sailboat there and he said to meet him at the dock around 4. As we got into town, we asked for directions. One thing I noticed about Dominicans, is that they are really eager to help you, but don’t always know the right answer. Actually, they almost never knew. But I lucked out for once, because the town was small and there was only one marina. I got out, and walked down the long dock and looked for his boat (of which I didn’t know the name). I spotted what I thought was it, but it was quite a bit away. So I walked back up the dock, and saw something that resembled a marina help desk. I was wrong again, it was a Coast Guard station. With my broken Spanish, I tried to explain that I was looking for my friend. The guy looked super confused and pointed me in the direction of a younger guy, who spoke great English. Thank goodness! He called over the VHF, but with no luck. He told me to go to Wendy’s bar and wait, and he’d tell him to meet me there if he heard back from him. Fearing I wouldn’t be able to find it, I asked for directions, and it was super easy to find, and they had WiFi.
Wendy was super nice, the beers were cheap and there were many other “cruisers” there, those that sailed here. Luperon is a common spot for cruisers because its blocked by a lot of the winds, and those wishing to sail south, stop here until after rainy season when its safer. I met a few of the cruisers and I told them who I was looking for, and they were able to tell me the name of the boat (oh, the irony of the name!!), and that he usually frequents this bar. I posted on facebook that I was looking for him and luckily he was at another bar (there’s only like 3 in the town) and saw the post. I finally found him! Hooray!
After settling in, and drinking some homemade mamajuana (a concoction of wine, rum, honey and bark), we went back to town and got some fresh chicken, onions and yucca for dinner for 100 pesos. One of the cheapest meals I’ve had! We went back to Wendy’s and the locals and cruisers (other sailors) told us about a baseball game going on the next morning, and invited me to play.
The two teams were the Dominicans vs the Cruisers (aka Gringos). I haven’t played in a long time, and I’m not as athletic as I used to be. But I was in luck! The young Dominican children fight over you so they can run for you! My runners name was Jeff. He ended up getting on base a few times and a run! We lost horribly, but it was still a blast. Off to the side, a few kids were playing marbles. I haven’t seen that in a long time! Afterwards, everyone went back to, you guessed it, Wendy’s for drinks. It definitely a cool little spot to hang out. When I was there this time around, I saw some goats crossing the street. I wish I was making this up.
At night I swung by Wendy’s again and there was an intense game of dominoes going on. I hadn’t played in a long time, but I remember it being easy. It was 3 gringos and one Dominican. One of the guys was tired of playing, so I offered to jump in. I ended up being really good at it. The key is, to slam your domino down, and really get into it. I’m pretty sure its for intimidation. I saw many other Dominican’s doing it that way, and I wanted to fit in. I helped my teammate win the next 3 games. The locals were not pleased, but we all still had fun.
After dominoes, we decided to bar hopping. We went to a few but they were all pretty dead. We ended up following the sound of really loud music over to something that resembled a convenience store. I don’t really remember because I was pretty drunk, but I remember there was a few tables out front and we were allowed to buy beer from inside and drink on the covered patio. My two friends and I sat down at a table with an older Dominican man who only knew Spanish but he seemed friendly, but pretty quiet. At one point, I was flexing my arm “muscles” (I don’t have any), when a younger Dominican guy comes up from behind me, signaling that he wanted to arm wrestle me. Drunk me thought it seemed like a FANTASTIC idea. So we did. I won the first round with no problem! He wanted a rematch, of course. Just as I was about to pin him, I feel a smack across the back of my head. Of course I’m confused (and hammered), and the next thing I know, there’s a girl hitting the guy I was arm wrestling. I’m guessing it was her boyfriend and she got a little jealous. So I take refuge behind the older man at our table, while my two friends help protect me from her rage. She grabs her rum bottle and a beer bottle and throws them on the ground, screaming in Spanish. It doesn’t take a native to figure out what was going on. He finally gets his girl out of the bar and out on to the street, and comes back in and starts cleaning up. I’m still wide-eyed, but everyone in the bar/store agreed that she was “loco.” In my broken Spanish, I asked the guy if he would buy me a beer for my troubles. He abided.
I’m glad that was my last night there!!
Other than that, there was a few nice beaches around, very few places to eat, and no real excursions to do. I think at some point there was plans to make it into more of a resort area, but it fell through.