Expand your social circle in Dominican Republic

Hello everyone,

Moving to the Dominican Republic means leaving one's family and friends behind. Creating a circle of friends or joining an existing one should therefore be paramount in order to fight loneliness in your host country.

But how can one develop a social network in Dominican Republic? Where and how to meet people there?

How easy is it to meet locals? What about cultural specificities?

Share your advice and experience!

Many thanks in advance,


Well lets get this started.  First of all specific areas are going to be different.  And it is different if you want to socialize with mostly expats or locals.

Lets tackle locals first.  If you live in tourist areas assume that all locals are  looking to make some money off this relationship.  *  do not get me wrong -  there are many many locals who are not but they will not get to know you quickly*     They will take you to various companies to "help you" get good pricing etc.  They will be earning a commission.  And they will expect something from you and you will feel grateful for their help and will likely oblige them.   Just understand how it works and its not an issue.  In tourist areas many locals are used to this way of doing business.  Understand they are not your "friends" they are doing business.  And they can be very helpful. BUT compare pricing all over the place and do not accept their word.

Many many expats come and go.  Locals are used to this as are  long term expats.  We know many expats will not be able to stay for any number of reasons, its just not for them.  We are a little bit leery of investing in a friendship when its likely the people will not stay. We will socialize with you but not invest in true friendship until we feel you are likely to stay. IF you make it 2 years then people start to look at you differently! 

If you want to meet and get to know locals start with your neighborhood,  its a culture of community, walk to the colmado nearby and chat!   Go where they go, the supermarket,  talk in the line at the checkout......   go to church and socialize there.  For me, I go dancing and meet people.

Expats - well if you live in a touristy are like the north coast, you quickly find out where expats like to hang out.  Big Lee's on the Malecon in Puerto Plata is a prime example as is El Carey in Costambar - I am there most Sunday nights.  Other places, ask around.....   And you meet other expats at the grocery stores,  church etc. 

There is an Internations chapter in Santo Domingo, they have monthly events.  They are an international group with chapters in most major cities around the world!

I am an old retired guy and made friends with two different hotel operators.  They give me trips to the airport to pick up arriving guests and that Is how I have met many of my long term friends here.  Many Canadians go home to Canada for 6 months out of each year, So I see them again when they come back.
I am now in charge of renting apartments in a project and advertise these online and  meet new people that way.

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