New to DR life, visiting soon.

Hi guys, new member here.

  We Wil be Visiting Puerto Plata, DR in late Nov for the first time. Hope to have a great experience and learn more about life in DR. Might be a good place to make a big change from Vancouver, BC, Canada. Looking to learn more about a future here. Open to suggestions or advice. Work, housing, lifestyle, Etc.
  Experienced with Solar power, construction, and Wireless Telecom professional.


Welcome to the forums Scott.  Read read read honey, lots of info on various threads about everything you want to learn about.

Scott welcome. Lots of good reading here.  After reading the various threads please feel free to ask specific questions.
We have lived on the north coast (Sosua/Cabarete) for nearly 12 years full time.
Bob K

Thanks Bob,
I've been checking out this page and have learned a few things to research. Nov 24th we will be in BeLive resort, Puerto Plata. I hope to meet and chat with some of the locals while there.
Actually would like to know where to look for House rentals. We are motivated to spend some time in the area. (Long-term)  I've found some online rental listings but know these are limited to my knowledge of what, when, where,... to see which area is suitable. The Job Stress is going to kill me staying here.
  Rumor is that the crime rate is pretty high but I'm sure that is in specific areas. Logic must prevail in any country of course.
Is driving as thrilling as its made out to be? San Francisco rush hour style? LOL, Vancouver is rated as the most congested city in Canada.
The countdown in on...  (-:


Welcome - Planner and Bob along with others certainly have great advice and much of you are seeking has been discussed somewhere  here. I am a newbie here as well. I will residing inland in Moca. I will comment on the driving. Unless you have traveled and driven in countries outside North America or even Central Europe, you will be surprised by driving here. The driving experience that I have is limited, but the main 4 lane highway across the country from Santiago area to the out skirts of Santo Domingo before city congestion swallows you is as good as anywhere you are familiar with. Small 100/125 cc motorcycles and scooters are everywhere and go where they wish(it seems). In populated areas there is a major proliferation of these as well. Many are the quick, easy local taxi service. On the roads, solid lines only mean be careful because cars and bikes will pass if the vehicle in front of then is too slow. In towns villages etc, bikes and scooters are seemingly more prevalent than 4 wheel vehicles (except in major centers) and negotiating turns or even any 4 corner roads mean lots of horn honking. It seems like total pandemonium. Once you get used to it, no problem. Just be prepared.......I actually enjoyed it and surprised my future in-laws when I made home safe.... I hail from Red Deer AB, Cheers

While here explore Sosua and Cabarete for areas to live in the PP area. There are lots of long term villa rentals available.
What are you looking for and what is your budget?  I will give you some places to look when we know what you are lookin for.
You will not meet many locals or Expats at the resort but rather in the towns which is why you should explore Sosua and Cabarete
Bob K

Where you rent depends on what lifestyle you are looking for as well as your budget.

Tell us what you want? Close to ocean? Need schools for kids? Water sports or spectator? Beach lover or.pool? Golf? Shopping? Churches? Other special needs or wants?

And of course budget range? How many people? Will you need to work?

So much to consider. There are many areas across the north coast:

Puerto Plata

Those are all west to east. Be Live is west side of Puerto Plata.

You guys are awesome.

  The dream I'm chasing is to be fairly close to the water as we love Snorkeling, soon to Scuba, boating, etc. But as I know that most likely comes at a cost. Closer to the water you are the more expensive it is and at 47, I'm not about to retire.
  Next step is to make a budget. We have been discussing, when the time is right, we will basically sell off 90% of what we have and make the big move. This would all be about downsizing and simplifying life. That being said, there is still a need for an income.
  Jobs - Construction, Wireless Telecom, PM / CM roles, etc. Having worked at heights for 16 years on Cell Towers, now last 4 years in Construction Project management / Project coordinator. I would like to find something near that field of employment. This carries transferable skills to about 12 other trades as well. I do understand it is a different culture so there are limited options.
  Finding employment will set the basic budget so I got a lotta research to do yet.

We are definitely going to have a look around at the communities while down there. Sosua does sound inviting by what I read.
Yet I find some statistics a little disturbing when they show living in DR you are 15.7 times more likely to be murdered. So is this a Inner City issue or country wide?

Guess I gotta pretend I'm still working.. tho dreaming of Warmer Weather (-:


Perhaps if you are a drug dealer or local gangster that percentage might apply. Central Florida has an astounding number of violent crimes compared to the to the DR.  Most are domestic violence or drug or other criminal activity.  That # doesn't apply to ex-pats or tourists.  Belong to the criminal underground & you increase your chances of being underground. Since 1996, no one I know has been killed.  My error, one by his Haitian girlfriend.  Don't worry, enjoy, the odds are in your favor. Detroit has a worse record.

LOL, Your probably right. Couldn't be much worse than Vancouver, BC. Seems there's a new shooting every week. Now the gang wars are spreading and too close to home. It's getting pretty serious & that's another reason I want to get away from the big cities and out to smaller communities. Oh, and the weather, and the relaxed lifestyle, and,... no winters!!


Tinker is correct. Unless you are into drugs, love triangles and ohter various illegal things your chances of being involved in a major crime here are slim to none. You are more likely to be killed by a falling coconut than being murdered.


In terms of work you need residencia to work legally.

Then you are competing with locals who accept low rates of pay. While your skills MAY be transferable they may not be valued here. Do not count on income here to support a north american lifestyle.

PLanner is correct on the working aspect

Bob K

Hi Scott and welcome. We just recently made the jump from Edmonton AB to Sosua (about 6 weeks ago). This forum was incredibly helpful as was Bob. You can't believe every statistic you read. Yes, sometimes good people are in the wrong place at the wrong time and terrible things happen. Ordinarily if you go about your business every thing is fine. Housing was the trickiest for us as we came with 3 dogs but we love where we are at. Beaches don't seem to be very far, easily accessable. Don't loose site of your dream, all things are possible with some sacrifices and a whole lot of courage. Lol
Hope you enjoy your time in the DR. It's beautiful here.


Hi Gloria
I am also from edm and looking to move to bavaro area as I know a couple people there. I would like to move there soon but my concern is getting work. I am a plumber /gas fitter by trade and also do alot of home renos. I know it is different there but is my dream to get away from winter here. What do people do about work or look for work when they move to DR any info would be great. Thx

March 12 welcome.
Again to work here legally you need you residency and cedula (like a green card in the US).  Also note that jobs are very low paying with the average Dominican Salary of $200-$400 a month. 
As for trades like plumbing, electrician and such you will be competing in a very congested market for jobs.

Bob K

I second the welcome. Your trade experience will be welcome but few are willing to pay more than local rates for your skills. 

Bob is right, average salary in this country is about 300 US A month!  Your skills will pay a bit more IF you are legal and if you can find a position and IF you speak spanish.

Well aguess I can work longer days in summer then relax for winter when there. I know a guy on resort that pays 700 for rent so how does he do it. He works in premium department of resort.

Greeting Bob and Gloria - I'm from Red Deer and will be back there for good once I sell all my stuff here in Arizona. My soon to be son-in-law is an electrician and is busy all the time. Of course, we are inland in Moca, about 90 minutes or more drive from Puerto Plata. Good luck. Read these threads - lots of great info - and as Gloria has said, sift through it and form your own opinions and once here be aware more of the general area you elect go to. If roads were like in North America, the distance from Moca or Santiago would be half the time to the coast...Cheers


You cant always believe what you are told. What dept does he work in? Timeshare sales might make good money. Sr. management too. Others not so much.

And of course he may have "other" sources of income.  :D

Not everyone is willing to accept getting what they pay for. They will pay for professional, quality work.  Not at stateside rates, but higher than local rates.  I know several local (ex-pats & locals), people who provide excellent results. They too make more than the regular locals.  So do not despair my man, you can survive well here. It will take time to network, however good work news travels fast.  So stride forth into your new adventure & laugh at those who denigrate your decisions, just keep on trucking!  Thumb your nose at the naysayers.  Welcome to the world of real living & you will never be bored.  By the way, learn Spanish, it really  helps.

Ya very true. As I'm sure lots I will visit lors and hope get some good connections..thx and I wi read on...

Yes do spend some time "scouting out" the local scene.  There may be enough of  a demand, especially among the Expat community, that  you can eek out a living but it will take time and contacts.  Residency and cedula will still be important and probably necessary

Bob K

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