Boat Rental in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic, which shares Hispaniola island with Haiti, is the 2nd largest nation in the Antilles by area, beaten only by Cuba, and the 3rd largest in terms of population. It also has the largest economy in the Caribbean, being the most visited Caribbean destination and also having the 2nd largest gold mine in the world (Pueblo Viejo). In the capital, Santo Domingo, you can walk the cobblestone streets of one of the oldest cities in the Caribbean and the fun in this bustling hub of activity doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Chill with the locals in Cool-mado, listen to live music in Veo Veo, or even head over to the slightly more touristy Jalao…the opportunities are endless!
The island also has great climatic and biological diversity, being the only home of the critically endangered rhinoceros iguana as well as the national bird, the palmchat. The lowest point in the island, Lake Enriquillo, is the largest lake in the Dominican Republic and also home to around 400 species of American crocodile. On the other end of the spectrum, the highest point, Pico Duarte, is the tallest mountain peak in the Caribbean, standing at 3098 metres (10,164 feet) tall.
How much does a Dominican Republic boat charter cost?
Boat charter in the Dominican Republic varies a lot in cost depending on the type of boat you want to rent. However, the prices generally remain consistent throughout the year, not being particularly dependent on the high and low seasons.
are especially good value, costing from around $175 for a day and $1,225 per week
For sailing boats
, hire costs start at $2,211 per day and $15,476 for a week
typically start at $1,000 for half a day, $1,400 for the full day, and $ 6,000 per week
Is it possible to rent a boat in the Dominican Republic with or without a skipper?
Yes, it is possible to rent a boat in the Dominican Republic both with or without a skipper. Bareboat charter in the Dominican Republic is the best option for you if you have a valid boating license and want to roam the Caribbean sea surrounding the beautiful island unrestrained. If you want a more relaxing holiday, however, you should rent with a skipper so that you can work on your tan while someone else worries about the technicalities of sailing.
What to do during your Dominican Republic boat rental?
With its sparkling turquoise seas and its white sand beaches, it’s impossible to see why anyone wouldn’t enjoy a boat rental in the Dominican Republic. The lush green vegetation and palm-fringed beaches are home to a wide range of birds while the seabed has one of the richest and most beautiful marine ecosystems in the world, the coral reefs attracting over 800 species of fish of a multitude of different colours.
If you go during the winter, you should hire a boat with an expert skipper, who can take you to Samaná bay, a popular mating ground for humpback whales. While this is surely a spectacular sight, we wouldn’t recommend that anyone inexperienced goes alone and obviously don’t go too close. Aside from obviously being inconsiderate to the whales, it could also be very dangerous for you.
While at Samaná bay, you should venture inland to Santa Barbara de Samaná which has the island’s whale museum. This museum has a giant whale skeleton that leaves all who see it in awe. While in the town, you can also stroll down the town’s promenade, the Malecón, and stop off in one of the bars and restaurants for a quick bite to eat.
If you prefer though, you can also dine on your boat, pulling into the bay at the idyllic island of Cayo Levantando. Imagine a beautiful starry night with the waves lapping gently at the side of your boat…what could be more perfect?
Or, if you fancy a slightly more extended trip, you can sail to Puerto Rico
, the nearest Caribbean island to the Dominican Republic, or sail to Haiti
, on the other side of Hispaniola island
to experience a taste of the French Caribbean.
What are the weather and sailing conditions like in the Dominican Republic?
High season in the Dominican Republic runs from the middle of December until the middle of April. During this time, the weather is perfect for sailing as it is mostly dry and the temperatures are a little cooler as a result of the northeasterly trade winds. Although the weather during this time can go through some cloudy periods, they never last for long. The average daily high temperature during this period stays between 29 and 31°C (84-88°F) and the lows rarely dip below 21°C (70°F).
April typically has amazing weather, especially for those who aren’t used to the heat of the Caribbean as while the weather is sunny, the really hot weather doesn’t start until May. In general though, most Europeans tend to go in the summer months, in spite of the heat and the humidity, probably in accordance with the school summer holidays. During the summer holidays, the average daily high temperature is 32°C (90°F).
The rainy season in the Dominican Republic falls between late May and late November. However, unlike the name suggests, this doesn’t mean that it rains non-stop. The wettest month is usually September, which gets, on average, 128 mm of rainfall over an average of 5 days. When it’s not raining, the sun shines bright in the sky, as always.
Like with all of the Caribbean islands, the Dominican Republic has a hurricane season, which runs officially from June 1 until November 30. Don’t be scared though as hurricanes do not always hit this island and you can always check the projected paths of tropical storms online and plan your vacation accordingly.
The sea temperature year round stays between 26°C (79°F) in February and March and 29°C (84°F) between August and October.
When is the best time to rent a boat in the Dominican Republic?
Generally, the best time to go to the Dominican Republic is April. This month falls at the end of the dry season and the average temperature is 27°C (80°F). From May onwards, the temperature really starts to heat up and the humidity becomes more difficult to bear. Having said this, most Europeans still tend to go in the summer during the school summer holiday months (July and August), giving you another reason to avoid these months if you don’t like crowds. It is a good idea to try and avoid going during the hurricane season as although hurricanes don’t always hit the island, the weather can still be more erratic.
What are the most popular ports and sailing areas in the Dominican Republic?
The Dominican republic is simply packed full of amazing areas to explore by boat and the port options are endless. In general, most people tend to start at the Santo Domingo Nautical Club in the island’s capital and it’s not difficult to see why. Aside from being practically next door to both Higuero and Santo Domingo Airport, the city is also a cultural hub and the perfect place to explore before setting off on your nautical adventure.
Other amazing ports to swing by include:
Bartolomé Colón Marina
Cap Cana (this port is found right next to Punta Cana)
Puerto Plata (mostly a commercial port)
Puerto Bahía (found next to the Bay of Samaná, an amazing place to take your boat)
While out sailing, there are also a couple of other islands within sailing distance. The first of these is Saona Island, a small island with white beaches, turquoise seas, and year round sun. The other is Catalina Island, a prime snorkeling location for any marine life enthusiasts. This island is one of the best places to swim with dolphins and whales and the biological diversity only becomes more spectacular on land with eight species of bat and a wide array of bird species, including the bald eagle.
How can I get to the Dominican Republic?
Obviously the easiest way to get to the Dominican Republic is to fly, either directly or through a connecting flight. With eight international airports (2 in Santo Domingo, and 1 in Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, la Romana, Samaná and Santiago), the Dominican Republic is one of the best connected islands in the Caribbean and if the air connections weren’t enough, it also has 5 different cruise destinations, many different marinas and even a number of domestic airstrips for private planes.
Currently, you can fly directly
to the Dominican Republic from most major cities in the USA and Canada
. In addition, BA offers twice weekly direct flights from London to Punta Cana
and there are also many direct flight options from London Gatwick and Birmingham to both Punta Cana and Puerto Plata
There are also a couple of sea based options for those who don’t mind an overnight cruise. Although the trip is a little too long to make in one day, you could sail in from either Turks and Caicos
, Puerto Rico or even Haiti
on the other side of the Hispaniola island.