Retirement in the DR

Hi everyone, my name is Sherry.  I currently live in the USA but will be retiring in a few years and am looking for somewhere else to live.  My first stop will be Las Terrenas.  I plan on visiting there for a couple of weeks within the first three months of 2018.  I still work a full time job so two weeks is all I can do at this point.

I have been reading things on the Dominica Republic and Las Terrenas, searching the internet, and I have just started to learn Spanish.  Hopefully I will have a good base of knowledge before I arrive.  I would however appreciate any information that anyone provides.

My first questions would be as follows:
Coming from the USA, is the Santo Dimingo Airport (SDQ) the only airport I can fly into?
Would it be best for me to rent a car at SDQ or rent one in Las Terrenas?
I have been searching VBRO, Homeaway, and Airbnb for rentals, is there somewhere else I should look?
Does anyone have any suggestions where to stay, I'm looking for something on the cheaper end but nice and clean?

I have a million more questions but I will search the forum and see if I can find some answers.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.


First off I would not drive here on your first trip.  Driving here is very dangerous.
Second fly to Puerto Plata or Santiago and then take a cab or bus to LT.
You are looking at the right places for your rental.  You can also check Trip advisor under Las Terrenas vacation rentals for more options.
Good luck
Bob K

Sherry -

Check out Villa Los Suenos in Las Terrenas.  A number of villas are on AirBnB.  My husband and I just spent a week in #4.  The location is great for walking around and exploring the central area of LT, Playa Popy and Playa Ballenas.  The units are clean and well equipped.  The water from the tap isn't potable but they have a large water cooler of clean water for drinking, making coffee, washing fruits and vegetables and brushing your teeth! Christelle and Christophe are the owners/managers of the properties and were great to work with.

One Love Surf Shack at Pueblos de los Pescadores is where a ton of English speaking expats hang out. 

Do know that January to March is high season, and while LT isn't as busy as PC and some other areas of DR, you will be visiting during the peak!  In addition to vacationers, you also have a lot of snowbirds that come in for those three months.  If you think it's a bit too crowded, understand that the rest of the year will be slower.  If you love the amount of activity, understand that come low season things will change.


Great info provided!!!

Thanks Bob,

How will I get around to see the country and visit other  towns while I'm in Las Terrenas if I have no vehicle?

Is it possible to hire a driver for a day? Do you have recommendations or know about what the cost for this would be? I have been reading the Forum and as you said, driving is not recommended.

I gather from what you are saying that coming from the USA I do not have to fly into Santo Domingo but can fly into other airports directly?  I thought somewhere that I read that I could only fly into Santo Domingo?

Any information you can provide is greatly appreciated,  it is hard to know who and what to beleive.


Fyi, bus from ad airport to semana cost around $59 us dollars. Trust me, money well spent.

Thanks for the information Denise. I will check out your suggestions.

What did you use for transportation while there?

What airport did you fly into
I do realize that that is the busy season in Las Terrenas, however, I also realize that is when they have their best weather and when the killer whales are there, which I would like to see.

Were you there on vacation or are you planning on moving there?

Any information you can provide about your trip there would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help.


Thank you, I have heard about the bus and I am going to check it out.


From Santo Domingo to Samana = $50.

Fat fingers...

You can fly to any of the international airports directly.  Currently I believe 4 have flights form the US.  Where in the US are you flying from ?

Yes you can hire a cab for the day (usually about $150 or so).  Or use public transport. 

Bob K

Once on the ground and you want to go to say  Sosua or Puerto Plata  then ask around locally for a driver.  Negotiate -  depending on time of year you can negotiate a lot or a little.

I live in Columbia, SC but will most likely be flying out of Atlanta due to cost.  Do you have any ideas where I can get a road map with mileages between cities for the DR?

Thank you.

Google  maps are your friends!  LOL   Mileage here is in KM not miles.  WE can likely help you -  what cities you looking to and from......

For example Santo Domingo to  Puerto Plata by way of the Santiago bypass road is 230 KM.

Thanks, I had looked at google and of course that is what I use here in the US for traveling.   I just found another website that is great for newbies to the DR.  It is at … sp?more=1. You can put in any city (To and From) and it will give you the km and the mileage.  It also offers an interactive map and shows where all the airports are located their international airport code as well as the US codes.  That is as far as I have gotten on the site so far but it looks promising. I wasn't looking for one particular distance just trying to get some ideas of how far it is to different places from LT.   Trying to write all the information I research down just in case I don't have connection to the internet when I'm there.

Great info and thanks for sharing with us!


We walked throughout central Las Terrenas - from our villa to the beach, bars and restaurants, shops and the grocery store.  We had a realtor showing us properties, so she would pick us up and drive us, and she even picked us up for trips to an attorney and the bank.

We are in Charlotte, and could have gotten direct flights into PC or PP, but since the shortest drive was from SD, we ended up connecting in Miami.  El Catey airport currently only has flights coming in from Europe or Canada.  Some of the US expats said that JetBlue used to have flights from NY to Catey, but that might be a seasonal thing.

Our trip was a combination of house hunting/exporing LT and pure vacation.  After a few days in town, we moved to a small all-inclusive on Coson.  We were able to walk from there to Playa Bonita (where we are buying), and it was a short drive back into central LT for the attorney and bank trips.


Yes El Catey is a very seasonal airport. I believe Jet Blue has flights in high season from USA.


I'd be very interested in any thoughts you'd care to offer on Las Terranas.  It's one of the areas I'm interested in. Is that your first trip there? Obviously you like the area since you are buying. All the information I have gathered is from sites like trip adviser and tv shows like "house hunters international".  The Las Terranas area seems to be one of the rare topics that Bob and Planner don't have a lot of info on.

It would be great to hear some first hand impressions - weather, the people there, expat population, some general costs, time/distance from the airport, what you like about the area or what you don't. Really anything you want to comment on would be fascinating.



So true on your comments. I have not been there in about 15 years!

I'd also love to hear more on LT as well. Any members out there that can share any information?


Same for me about 5 year since last time in LT.

Bob K

I will be arriving in Las Terrenas on Monday Aug. 1st. Will post what I find over the next few weeks if you like. I hope to make it my long term home, have read lots of good stuff about it.

Las Terrenas is beautiful. It's a medium sized town which grows in population during high tourist season. It has 2 large supermarkets and a third under construction. Most of the Dominican bank could also be found there.

Most fly using the Santo Domingo airport which is about 2 hours away. You can also take a bus and taxi to get to the airport.

There are 4 tolls in between totally the equivalent of about US$23 each way.

Las Terrenas also has many good authentic restaurants.

It is also probably the town the has the most diverse foreign population in the DR with French, Italian, American, Canadian, British, Argentinian, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Polish, German, and more.

Since the population has grown quickly in the past 5 years or more perhaps the infrastructure has not been able to keep up although efforts have been made to do so.

FYI - Before purchasing property please confirm if the area or the road/bridges that lead up to your desired neighborhood have been flooded in the recent past.

mountainmama we look forward to your posts

Bob K

Thank you Bob K.

You are welcome and good luck

Bob K

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