Costs of every day things .

Am thinking of buying in Dominican We have been there 6 times and love the Punta Cana region
but have only stayed all inclusive so really have no idea as to what it is really like. I don't think we will be living there full time for lots of years but for the winters for sure in the near future.  My question is what are the real costs of things in Dominican. fruit, meat, beer,food, eating in a restaurant? sea food? Do yo buy all your fruit and veggies at the store or are there markets?
Not sure if Dominican is where we want to be yet but just comparing cost of living expenses.

Thank you so much for your answers.

Yes we were seriously thinking about Ecuador but I seen 136 photos taken at different times and in not one of them the sun was shining. It was heavy overcast.  I also heard that solar power was not used much there as it is not often sunny.   So i think Ecuador is out if that is the way it is. I  have asked and have not really got an answer. I live in Edmonton Alberta  area so travel time and cost is also an issue with Ecuador. As for Costa Rica I will have to look into it as I have not at all yet.  Thanks

First off it you are planning on "living" in the Punta Cana area understand that this is strictly a Tourist destination and there is no real commuinity.  Because it is a tourist area things are more expensive there

We live on the north coast which is a good mix of tourists, locals and a very large Expat community.  I think our cost of living is about  40# less here then it would be in the US.

Living here is much different the staying at a resort.  You should come for a couple of months and rent an apt or condo and then see if living here works for you.

Bob K

I agree with Bob, we have a place in Cabarete which is on the North Coast. Things are getting more expensive but it's the same in the rest of the world, you get to know local expats pretty quick-if you listen they will readily give you tips on where to buy certain things the cheapest but also decent quality.

here is a good view of what the cost of living is in DR. … n+Republic

Re living expenses its not as cheap as some places in the world, in fact its often more expensive than Europe.

I am spending far more here on food than I did in England, Germany or Holland. Supermarket prices in Sosua for example are sometimes double to what I paid in Europe. One example pint of Milk in Holland and Germany 0.49 Euros (US$ 0.65) here I pay about 47 Pesos (US$ 1.20) so almost double the price here!

>Dominican. fruit, meat, beer,food, eating in a restaurant?

local fruit can be cheap like bananas,etc .beer I find rather expensive (at least in supermarkets)...again lot cheaper in Europe- a large can in supermarket in Holland was 0.60 Euro (US$ 0.80), here I pay for a small can 50 Peso (US$ 1.27)so again virtually double!
but beer in the bars here probably works out cheaper although 80-100 Pesos ,its far more expensive in places like London, Amsterdam,etc.

Restaurants are reasonable prices here and in Sosua for example good selection with many differnet choices local and foreign.

Internet is also very expensive here, again (depending on speed) often double than Europe/US.

On the plus side other things are far cheaper like electric , I pay very little (dont use air con just fan) works out at 300 Peso a month, so less than S8.

and re the weather you mentioned we have not exactly been blessed with much sun here either of late, far more rain than I expected and just a few real sunny days.Been mostly partly cloudy or raining.
But today its nice :-)

Ecuador you mentioned can only comment on Quito where I lived for some time. Would consider that one of the best climates I lived in virtually constant reasonable temp all year round, and no shortage of sun, sometimes bit cold at night.
and best of all no mosquitoes whatsoever,altitude is too high for them.

Boy I have to dissagree with both the above posts. Cost of living here is about 40% less then what we spent in the US. Now of course if you need imported food things this will drive the price up.  However most things are less. Yes the supermarket in Sosua (Playero) is a rip off and I try to avoid the place as much as possible. Shopping a couple of times a month in PP plus buying veggies and fruits locally keeps food costs down.
As to the Numbero link above they are over priced in almost every thing listed. As and example they have 1.5 liters of water at 85cents. Actually we buy 5 gallon bottles ofr less then 77 cents beer is less then a dollar a bottle and so on.
You just have to be smart and careful.

Bob K

>Shopping a couple of times a month in PP plus buying veggies and >fruits locally keeps food costs down.

Yes Bob has a point, if you are prepared to go to other places its cheaper, Sosua is rather pricey like Playero, but at my small local supermarket round the corner its even more expensive!

Shopping in PP is an option..Well, OK if you have a car, but dont think I fancy carrying a week or more worth of shopping in an overcrowded Gua-Gua or Publico Taxi!

Actually thought an option might be to go on the Metro bus, that goes to SD/Santiago via PP,  it would be a far more comfortable journey, but been told by Dominican friend they wont let you do that.
Seems rather shortsighted to me as it stops in PP anyway.

Im sure they would get a fair number of expats to go to PP on that bus.

>Actually we buy 5 gallon bottles ofr less then 77 cents beer is >less then a dollar a bottle and so on.

Well guess depends on the beer, could buy Bohemia cheaper but its so disgusting,(even my Dominican friend wont drink it) rather pay the extra for Presidente.

And even in PP you will not get milk, cheese, etc for as little as in Europe, I mean milk is a basic item and you will not get that for 0.49 Euros (US$ about 25 Peso) anywhere I have seen in DR ....even in PP and Santiago supermarkets prices are not as low as Europe for basic food items, many items can be had cheaper in Europe!

If you can point me to a place in DR where I can get a pint of milk for 25 peso I will gladly go there :-)

Well Bob is from US, I dont know the prices there, they may well be more than DR.

but looking at the whole picture -yes its still probably cheaper to live in DR, if all things like rent,electric, transport,etc are considered.

Actually pick up your beer in Sosua Abajo at the distributor and it is 900 pesos for a case of presidente. That comes to less then a dollar a bottle. Grandes are even a better bargain.
Milk at la Sirena is 37 pesos a ltr.
Veggies and fruit at the small store next to Super Super is about 25% or more cheaper then Playero so check her out as well. All her fresh stuff comes in on Monday and Thursday mornings.

Bob K

>Actually pick up your beer in Sosua Abajo at the distributor and it >is 900 pesos for a case of presidente. That comes to less then a >dollar a bottle

thanks for that info Bob ...worth looking into :-)

It is right on the corner where the sometimes working traffic light is. You can also get the same price I am told at the small colmado diagonaly accross from Bologna's and almost across from Infinity blu
You do need to bring your empties back to get this price

Bob K

Can anyone give me some advice on buying a good used vehicle and approx. price. Do expats sell their vehicles much? I know about the scooters new and used and their prices. Im thinking a small pick up or economy car.I would rather buy from an expat but i can bargain with the most hardcore dominicans because i have some mechanical and electrical skills..not expert but ok.Ill be looking in the Santiago to Caberete area. Thanks

Your best bet will be buying from an EXpat who is replacing a vehicle or leaving the country. At least then you will know about the car and upkeep. Buying from a used car lot (like in Mocca) most of those vehicles are junk title, flood damaged and such brought in from the US.  Most of the time the odometers are rolled back significantly. We were going to buy on once and when checked with car fax the car had left the US 10 days earlier with 100,000 more miles on it than currently on the odometer. Be very careful when dealing with a car lot.
There are always good used vehicles posted on the bulletin board at Playero in Sosua

Bob K

How about using a good Dominican Car Dealer with a respectful background and that uses CARFAX (there are thousands). It's good to note that carfax is also in DR, their website official website is

Another option is making use of DR-CAFTA. Which is the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement. It's simple, all American (when I mean American I mean USA) cars less than 5 years old enter Dominican Republic free of taxes. They have to be completely American, if you chose an American Car that comes from the factory with parts made in Japan, then it's not considered American Made.
You can buy your used car in the US, and just ship it here, it costs one thousand dollars to ship a Tahoe, so shipment is affordable. If you trust US dealers more, get the car over there and just ship it here, it will be free of taxes. There are many shipping companies in the US that can help you, and I'm sure your dealer knows a few.

Is there such thing as a "good" car dealer in the DR for used cars. I know in Mocca we went to 3 different "good" dealers a few years back and they ALL lied and falsified information that CarFax had.
So we did import one and bought one brand new (at 30% more then the cost in the  US)
You should also note that ALL cars used or new are 30% or so more costly then in the US

Bob K

You guys are very helpful thanks how can i give back?

A cold presidente sounds good :)

Bob K

We are Canadians in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador (on the coast), staying for 3 months, until the last couple of days, the weather has been hot and sunny everyday!
And since the hydro is cheap here, less than $20 per month for 2 people, and cooking gas $1.60 to refill 50lb tank, no need for solar power either
Decent enough internet for $45 per month, and great beer, 680ml for $1.00 (that includes deposit)

Since this is the Dominican Republic forum and the thread is asking for cost of things here, how does your post relate??

Bob K

[at]Outsider4- You are on the wrong forum. Here is the Ecuador forum. You can start a new discussion there.

Thank you,

Bob K :

We live on the north coast which is a good mix of tourists, locals and a very large Expat community.  I think our cost of living is about  40# less here then it would be in the US.

Bob K

Would love to know the name of the area in the north coast you are referring to. A large expat community sounds comforting. I would love to research it


There is a very large expat community on the north coast in the Sosua/Cabarete area. If fact the whole are between Puerto Plata and Cabarete.
We live between Sosua and Cabarete

Bob K

Hey bloggers.

Let me begin by thanking you for the previously provided information on the cost of living in Punta Cana. I was offered a position to work in Punta Cana, specifically Bavaro and was wondering if someone could inform me or direct me to information on what living in Punta Cana is actually like. Obviously everyone's experiences are different, especially based on why they moved there, but I am hoping to obtain some background information so I can know what to expect.

Any information will be extremely helpful!

Thanks in advance.

Welcome Kaz!  Congratulations on your job offer.  You will find Punta Cana either wonderful or not depending on what you are looking for.  So, in my experience,  Bavaro / Punta Cana is growing quickly based on tourism and expats living there. When you get this combination you know things will not be cheap! 

What kind of a job have you accepted?   Will you need accommodations or are they supplied?  Will you have to worry about cooking etc?   Apartments and houses are not cheap.  Food is more expensive with fewer options of large stores - although this is changing slowly. 

There is not much Dominican culture there, it is full of tourists and expats.  There are small areas where locals live.  You will find things pretty spread out so transportation may be an issue for you,  I hope a vehicle is supplied for you if needed. 

This is my experience of Bavaro.  Personally a I don't really like it , it is  big hotels and resorts and ancillary services.  That being said, many LOVE it........ lets hear from some of them.

Thank you Planner!

I have been offered a teaching position and Accommodation is provided but without electricity, which, from what I have read, can be expensive. The contract is for $30,000 Dominican pesos, which I'm not sure it's enough to be "comfortable." That meaning not having to budget for every single purchase and having the opportunity to try new restaurants. Transportation to and from the school is also provided but the perks seemtoend there. The school is willing to assist me find alternative means of income but that scares me into believing the salary is not generous, especially in a tourist area.

I'm not a huge fan of the tourist lifestyle but love to travel and teach. From people's experiences, does the above package seem like one worth taking ?

Thanks everyone,

Accommodations are expensive in the area so that is a good perk,  with transport included, it isn't bad.  Electricity if you use an air conditioner at night will run you maybe 3,000 to 4,000 RD - just be careful on electric use.

then the rest is for lifestyle and you can make do.  Give it a try!  Once here and with some experience you can always look for the next position!

It is a lot more expensive to live here than you may think. 
Unless you want to live with very little and not have an American lifestyle.

North Coast rocks it!

By being careful and using local products we are living pretty much the same life style we did in the US at about 40% less

Bob K

Thank you very much all for your responses and assistance. I regret to say that I decided against the position with the school and am looking elsewhere, but I really appreciate all of your help with giving me a sense of the area and lifestyle. It drastically assisted me in making my decision, ultimately though finances trumped all.

Thanks again,

Good luck....where ever.

Bob K

Sorry to hear about the decision, but it needs to be right for you.

We have been going to the Dominican Republic for about 15 years now and have been to many parts of the island in all inclusive resorts till last year. We rented a condo in Bavaro last year for 1 month and we have decided to rent this year for just over 3 mo. in the Bavaro area. While we are down there we want to look into the health care system and the cost of health insurance and where to look for the insurance, as we are planning on moving to Dominican Republic with in the next year or so and looking into a less expensive area to live in so any help would be appreciated as I will probably have many more questions

Health insurance here is very affordable. For the two of us for full coverage we are paying about %53 dollars a month.  There are multiple agents around so finding one will not be hard

If you stay out of the tourist areas you costs go down but sill as I have posted before you will spend less here for living than you do at home

Bob K

Bob is correct,  good quality health insurance does not need to be expensive.  I have a group and offer 2 plans.

You can live here quite reasonably with a modified expat / local standard of living!  And yes you need to get out of the tourist areas to do that.   

When you are here for 3 months make sure to visit other areas of the island! It is a very diverse island and you want to check it out before you decide where to settle.

Thanks Bob k and planner for your information and are looking so forward to coming down for the three months and will be pretty busy checking out a lot of information and different areas of the island

Hi- My husband is Dominican born but has not been there since 1978.  We are considering a permanent move to D.R. and selected the Cabarete/Sosua area because of the International School since we have a 5yr old daughter.  I have a few questions I hoped some of you could answer:

1. I heard that it is not guaranteed she would be accepted to the school.  Any suggestions of high quality schooling so that she could transer back to the U.S. for college if she wanted to?

2. Does anyone know about the immigration process for me & my daughter?  We are U.S. born citizens but do not want to denounce our citizenship.

3. Any suggestions on importing household goods & shippers that do this?

4. We have 2 boxer dogs.  Has anyone brought their snub-nosed pet there and if so how much did you spend and what method did you use?

5. Does anyone know about mortgages in D.R.?  Requirements? credit score? money needed to put down?

6. Lastly how does one find a job there?  My husband would need work and he is bi-lingual but no special skills.  Would there also be work at home positions for me?

Any help is appreciated.  Thanks

sorry,not sure.I know more about Santiago and Puerto Plata.

We live on the north coast so I will try to answer what I can.

1. This is true she will have to go through an interview process. Yes credits are transferable and most of the kids go on to college and in many different countries with out difficulty.

2. No you do not have to give up your US citizenship buy you should both get your residency papers (like a green card in the US). It is pretty easy to get done.  After 5 years you can apply for citizenship here but there is no need to do so.

3 You are allowed one 40 foot container to be shipped here basically duty free within the first 6 months of applying for residency.  Items are supposed to be personal used household goods, but many of us shipped new items (washer, dryer, stoves, refrigerators, ceiling fans, up to 2 TVs are allowed.  Using this our "import tax bill" went from $10,000 or so to $500.  There are lots of shippers that so this

4.  Don't know about boxers (have never seen one here) but we did bring our small dog in.  Dogs are easy to bring in but you need certain paperwork done, there is a $10 fee here and the airlines will not ship dogs during the hot summer months

5 Mortgages are VERY hard to get here and the interest rate is in the 8% range. Most who purchase do so as a cash deal or use financing from their home country.

6.Work is very hard to find here and pay is very low. The average worker will make in the $200-$400 a MONTH range.  It is best to look when you get here.  Many work remotely for home companies via the internet.  Not sure about home positions  but I imagine not many of those either

I would STRONGLY recommend that before you make the "leap" you come down for a month or two and scout our the situation and see if it fits for you

Hope this helps

Bob K

This helps TREMENDOUSLY, thank you so much.  I appreciate the time & thought you put into your reply.  My husband will likely not have much choice about returning to D.R. as we are having a hard time getting his Visa renewed here.  Since my daughter nor I have ever had a passport we will have to apply and I will definitely give it a trial period.  I am disabled due to a few medical conditions so I will have to travel back and forth a few times a year to see a few specialists so I will have to become an expert on the immigration policies. 

Again, thanks so much!

If you and your daughter are US Citizens then getting your passport should be no problem and then traveling back and forth from here is easy and hassle free.
Like I said residency is pretty easy to get here as well and I might add to work here legally you need your cedula (Dominican national ID) and you can get this along with and at the same time you get your residency.

Bob K

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