he Weather First and Foremost!
The first reason North Americans consider the Dominican Republic is the weather. Perpetual summer with no hurricanes on the North Coast is a gigantic draw. We average 28 degrees Celsius all year long – no radical highs or lows; just beautiful, sunny weather all the time. You’d think it would get boring, but it doesn’t!
Diversity Of Experiences:
For those that want a change of scenery, the DR has a vast array of places to visit: from wooded mountains in the centre of the country, to dry desert places in the south, to tropical jungles. There are lots of places to see and visit just a few hours drive away. Big cities like Santo Domingo offer history and big box shopping stores like Ikea. Visit the Colonial Zone, which is a UNESCO World Heritages site. This is where the Spanish first colonized the New World.
Many people simply enjoy a drive through the mountains to see some breathtaking scenery, they stop at a local fruit stand, have a Presidente beer along the way, and just enjoy a nice outing. It’s fun to take a few days away from your vacation home to visit another one! Take a three hour drive by the ocean and visit Samana for whale watching, or Las Terrenas for some incredible scenery. Try Jarabacoa for waterfalls and golfing. Head down south to La Romana and simply be spoiled at an incredible resort.
For beach lovers, there are so many to choose from, and they are all a little different. Some are wavy, others calm; there are white sand beaches and brown sand beaches; some where you will be the only people there, and others with full services.
Quality Of Life and Long Term Health
The pace of life is certainly much more relaxed here. Slowing down has an instant effect on health, but I think a bigger positive is the humid, warm weather. Not being cold has an impact on your muscles and the rest of your body. This is a relaxed lifestyle. People generally eat more healthful foods. Vegetables and fruit are fresh and very reasonably priced. Fish is available in abundance, as is chicken. Less red meat, food that is chosen for freshness, and less fast food, makes for a better, more healthful diet. The common cold is practically unheard of in the DR. The usual cold weather afflictions are gone, as are most skin conditions.
Many people find they start becoming more fit here. There is time for golf, or fishing, or to go to one of our several local gyms. Ladies who have never exercised in their lives find themselves joining classes and making new friends. Quading, biking, snorkeling or scuba diving and other activities are popular, as is stand up paddleboarding, or just walking on the beach.
Faster Medical Care
As a Canadian, we are proud of our free, great quality medical care. However, unless you are very ill, we often have long wait times, especially if you need to see a specialist. In the DR, doctors think differently. My husband has his urologist’s cell phone number. You can see a specialist the same day you think you need one. Modern labs, with the newest technology, are here to process your doctor’s test requests. Even small hospitals have MRI’s, CT scans, etc.
Yearly medical care is reasonable priced: for a family it is between $500 – $1500 per year (depending on the level of coverage you want). There is no medical and no prior conditions discussed. As we age, knowing you have access to quality medical care is important. We like knowing we are close to well trained doctors from around the world, who in turn have access to the proper facilities and medical services we might require.
The DR has many international airports. The Puerto Plata airport is a great jumping off place to the rest of the world. Miami is only an hour away and New York 3 hours. These are both great hubs for international travel. We went to Italy last year and could have flown direct from Puerto Plata to Rome. As it was, we had a very good deal flying out of Santo Domingo. You can use the DR as a hub to travel the world.
Flights to the North Coast of the DR are plentiful all year from North America and reasonably priced. Your travel costs are not high coming or coming from the Dominican.
Modern Shopping And Other Services
The DR offers the same items in the stores as North America. Here though, you have the option of buying things in a big box store, or from the local mom and pop stores. As an example, we have two large grocery stores in our immediate area. They would rival any grocery store you go to in your home country. While I go to them for canned goods, cereal, the brand of Hummus I like, etc., I go to the family run “fruit truck” for my fresh mangos, watermelon and other fruits. I prefer the German butcher for my steaks.
For entertainment, we have very good cable tv with English channels including HBO. We have an English movie theatre 20 minutes away. We all have Netflix and get the better American version of it! Internet is as good as any large city in North America. We find we watch much less tv here though. It is a more social, active lifestyle. Evenings are warm – we tend to go visit friends, have dinner on the beach, or just go for a walk.
Cheaper Cost Of Living
It’s easy to buy clothes, furniture, electronics, etc. locally. We have excellent selection in very good stores. Prices vary from where I’m from in Canada: food is much less here, tv’s are about 30% more, cars are the same price, clothes are much less. Overall, your cost of living is a lot less here, particularly for things like eating out, liquor, and just monthly expenses. Utility costs are less: no heating bill!
This word comes up again and again, and is one of the main reasons people buy in the DR. The expat community is large, welcoming, and great at coming up with fun things to do. When people do return to visit Canada or the US, it’s not the weather they miss, it’s the people!
It’s very hard to put into words why living here is beneficial. It’s not perfect. Nowhere is. But the North Coast of the DR ticks so many boxes: weather, infrastructure, cost of living, community, medical services, fresh food, etc. We always say: come here once and see how quickly it feels like home!
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Casa Linda Villas
Over 350 villas in a project devoted to expats and community life. Prices starting at $199,900 US and include private pool. Gated security, free shuttle bus, and much more.
This great oceanside project has tons of amenities, executive construction and seaviews from roof terraces! Private beach, spa, three restaurants, kids waterpark, tennis club & more!