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Thread: Chartering A Boat from DR to South America

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    Default Chartering A Boat from DR to South America

    Four backpacker friends and I would like to get from the DR to South America (Colombia or Venezuela). After researching online, it is clear that there are no ferries. But would it be possible to rent a boat for $1000 or less for five people from Santo Domingo to Caracas, Venezuela or to Santa Marta, Colombia? By plane, the total cost would be about $3000 ($600 each for 5 people). That's why we're looking for other options to get into South America. Any other recommendations would be great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jargz View Post
    Four backpacker friends and I would like to get from the DR to South America (Colombia or Venezuela). After researching online, it is clear that there are no ferries.
    That is right. That's over 500 miles of open sea.

    Try looking for freighter-passenger services. However they may not be cheap and you may have to take a extremely circuitous or undesirable route.

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    Having made the trip from the DR to Venezuela by boat, I can tell you it is a very long way. I doubt very much that you will find anybody in the DR who will take the 4 of you to either place in a seaworthy boat.

    Personally, I would not even consider it if I were still cruising. Even though I don't know you, just knowing that you are 4 young backpackers would raise too many red flags. No matter what you told me in the interview, I would still suspect that at least one of you has drugs in your backpack, which would cost me my boat when found in the certain inspection to be made of the boat and your belongings by the immigration people in Venezuela or Columbia.

    Buy your plane tickets or check on freighters, as tmnyc suggested are my recommendation.

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    The only regular charters I know of are between Panama (Colon) and Colombia (Cartagena), via the beautiful San Blas Islands, a trip of about five days.

    From Cartagena to Santa Marta catch a bus for about $20 (five hours). Once in Santa Marta it's a 15 min ride to Tatanga ("Mochilero" backpacker heaven).

    If you choose to go this route you can find information on message boards at most hostels in Panama City. Prices vary ($250-400) as does the service, craft sea worthiness, trip experience, etc. Do your research and choose wisely.

    That still leaves the dilemma of leaving DR to points south on a budget...

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