Cost of living in Dominican Republic – 2015

Hi all,

We invite you to talk about the cost of living in Dominican Republic in 2015, with an updated price listing.

Don't forget to mention in which city of the Dominican Republic you are living in.

How much does it cost to live in Dominican Republic?

> accommodation prices

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc.)

> food prices (your monthly budget)

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)

> education prices (if you need to pay)

> energy prices (oil, electricity)

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)

> price for a good menu in a traditional restaurant

> price for a coffee or a drink

> price for cinema tickets

Do not hesitate to add items to this list! ;)

Thank you in advance for your participation.

And I will get us started -

Don't forget to mention in which city of the Dominican Republic you are living in. LA ROMANA

How much does it cost to live in Dominican Republic?

> accommodation prices 3 BEDROOM HUGE APARTMENT 4 MINUTES TO BEACH - 9,000 RD

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc.) CARRO PUBLICO - DEPENDS ON ROUTE 25 TO 40 RD,  I DON'T USE EM.  BUS TO SANTO DOMINGO -  170 RD.

> food prices (your monthly budget) WAY TOO LITTLE ON FOOD, MAYBE US 100 AND WAY TOO MUCH ON CHOCOLATE.


> education prices (if you need to pay) NOPE


> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone) CELL PLAN - 1,030 RD, INCLUDES 200 MINUTES ANYWHERE AND FULL DATA,  TV CABLE,  2 HD BOXES AND MOST CHANNELS 1,700RD.

> price for a good menu in a traditional restaurant - TRADITIONAL IS PLATE OF THE DAY - 120 RD, DECENT  RESTAURANT - 2 PEOPLE NO ALCOHOL ABOUT 700RD.

> price for a coffee or a drink COFFEE 15 RD,  BEER - GRANDE 100RD.  RUM AND COKE - 70 RD

> price for cinema tickets - MON TO WED 75 RD, OTHER DAYS 150 RD


Do not hesitate to add items to this list!

These are rough prices for the north coast. It will vary by region.

> accommodation prices
Really Depends on where you live and what you are looking for.  It can range from as little as $250 USD to $3000 USD. 

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc.) ,
Local transport about $1,  local cabs $3-5 depending on length of trip, bus between cities $5-$10

> food prices (your monthly budget)
Again depends on if you eat local products or need  imported products.  For two it can be as low as $200 to more than $400

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)
Medical insurance is about $35 a month per person

> education prices (if you need to pay)
For Private education again can vary from $100 per month to several hundred a month

> energy prices (oil, electricity)

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)
Internet from $25 to $100 amonth
Cable  $25 a month
Phone again depends on usage.  I would suspect average is about $30 a month

> price for a good menu in a traditional restaurant
Dinner out for a good meal  with taxes and tip outside of the big cities $30 for two.  Double that for nicer places in areas like Santo Domingo, Santiago and some tourist areas

> price for a coffee or a drink
Coffee $4-$5 a pound
Beer $2.50 a bottle in the bars and a bit over $1 to buy in the stores

> price for cinema tickets
NO idea have not been to a movie in 9 years (since coming here)

Bob K

IT is really tough to  guess on pricing as Bob indicates, It really depends so  much on the individuals, couples or families. I know one single person who spends close to  US 500 a month on food alone.  Others who spend very little.

Entertainment - all depends where you go. Tourist clubs  and restaurants - you will pay much more then if you go to local type places.

The big cities - can be both more expensive and less expensive!  It all depends on where you go.

Bottom line -  tourism  areas are more expensive.  Smaller towns  - less expensive.  Eat local - save money.  Want to import - it will cost you.

Labor is inexpensive.  Materials - more expensive.

[at] Bob K and Planner > Thank you a lot for your contribution to this thread and for this sharing of information !  :top:

Anytime honey.... :D

You are welcome.

And as Planner says it really depends on the individual.

I know some who live on $1200 US a month and others $5000 is not enough.

Bob K

And I have lived reasonably well on  US 750!  My current cost of living is - US 600 not including entertainment!  That is rent, internet, cell phone, cable tv, electricity and food for  1person for a month.

BUT most  cannot do this until you understand the culture and the language!

Yes, inflation has hit.  I did it for 8 years on $600 & wanted for nothing.   My income now is enough to do it again.  See you all in May.   It depends on what you can be content with.  As you are here longer, you get to know the ins & outs of living well with less.  Good luck & welcome nubies.

Great info ! thank you guys !


You are welcome

Bob K

Very Helpful everyone thank yoU!

Living here costs me about the same as Planner - approx 600 per month - and I don't say no to a drink or night out. My rent is $US 125 per month for a solid, well-built, furnished apartment, not very large but surrounded by a huge, 1,500 square foot private terrace with a view of the town. We don't have hot water but water and electricity supply are very stable.

These are other costs I can think of:

- Private health insurance premium for me alone with ARS Humano: 2,050 RD$ per month (quasi-top plan with dental covered)
- Presidente beer, jumbo bottle: 120 RD$
- A meal in a local restaurant ("pica pollo" type): 80 - 130 RD$ (plus drinks)
- One small bag of coffee, Santo Domingo brand: 100 RD$ (I say small but it last one month!)
- One 5 gallon jug of drinkable water: 40 RD$ (lasts 10-12 days for me alone)
- Toothpaste (small tube, Colgate): 50 RD$
- One full bag of fruits: approx. 100-120 RD$
- Half a chicken, 3.5 pounds: 200 RD$ (feeds 4-5)
- An individual bottle of water: 10 RD$
- One large bottle of Coca Cola: 15 RD$
- One pack of 10 Marlboro cigarettes: 75 RD$
- A gua-gua ride from Gaspar Hernandez to Puerto Plata (1.5 hour): 100 RD$
- Beach chair, full day rental: 100 RD$ (if you go to Cabarete, enter the beach through the Pasta e Vino Restaurant (or the entrance near Banco BHD) and ask for Louis, he's a good guy who rents chairs and is very honest and helpful).

Words of advice:

- When looking for a house, make sure the water tank ("tinaco") is large enough or that it can be refilled regularly.

- Equally as important, make sure the house is equipped with good "inversores" and enough batteries. In my first months I lived in my friend's house which doesn't have enough batteries. Since we only get electricity 10-12 hours on lucky days, we'd run out of power all the time. By comparison where I live now (same town, one block away) we have so many batteries that even 3 days without any electricity supply wouldn't be enough to drain our batteries.

- Keep small cash reserves and make sure you have more than one bank account in your country of origin (if you plan on keeping them). Same applies for credit cards. ATMs can be defective for days here and banks are prone to blocking your cards because they suspect frauds. Fixing that from the DR can be quite an ordeal. My advice is to call your bank before leaving to 1) mention you will be in the DR so they don't interpret your transactions as fraudulent and 2) enquire about the procedure in case your card gets lost or cancelled. Know where to call if that happens and keep that phone number close. FYI reverse charge calls here are not easy to make but Skype (voice only) works well, which will save you tons of money for long-distance calls.

- Don't buy stuff on the beach or in places for "gringos". They will squeeze your wallet like there's no tomorrow. For example the guy who sells newspapers in Cabarete beach wanted to charge me 200 RD$ for the local paper, while the normal price is 25-40 RD$. Bring your own water as well, they charge you 50RD$ for one bottle on the beach while the regular price is 10RD$ (12 RD$ in Cabarete)!

- Make local friends who know the regular prices for whatever you want to buy. In small / local shops, they sometimes (though rarely) try to charge you the "gringo premium". Same applies to public cars and motoconchos. One day a public car driver wanted to charge me 200 RD$ for a ride I knew should cost 50 RD$. Fortunately I knew better.

- Don't only rely on shops for gringos (Super Polla, Playero, etc.), sometimes (though not always) they will charge you more than local vendors. Know the local vendors in small independent shops and for things like clothes and shoes, feel comfortable to bargain. Make your starting price 1/2 of the quoted price (in China I would have said 1/10th) and settle at 2/3 or less.

If you need more specific info, ask us the fellow expats!

MP good post but certainly a bit on the frugal side at least for me. :D

Bob K

Yeah, that's frugal and I could spend much more (as I actually did on my first month here), only I don't see the point since I can already enjoy myself so much with such little money. In Canada I could spend $3-4 k per month for half the fun. Good news though, I'm pretty confident one can spend $100 k a month here as well.  :D

Good post!!!!     Yes I too CAN spend a whole lot more money but I don't really need to!  Life here is  a lot of fun without blowing the budget...........

You two are my kind of thinkers.  With me, it is because of  a small income.    As stated before several times, I can live on $600 -$700na month, lacking nothing to keep me well fed & happy.  I'm a retired chef & restauranteur for many years in the islands.   T he hardest thing to do is to know what makes you happy & content.   Years of trial & error ( many, many errors) have taught me what I needed to know.  Life   without adventure is no life at all.    Lay back & watch the clouds,  sooner or later you will see your face there.

I'm curious to know more about your "many many" errors Gypsy! Must be quite something and would be a good subject for another thread. :D

Speaking for myself what really makes me happy is the people around me - all Dominicans because I don't live in the "gringosphere". Today I went to buy a jug of water at the colmado next door and there was a man chatting with the colmado's owner. As soon as I got there he started asking me if I liked the country and how was my life here. We talked about my novia, food, Brugal rum, etc. He asked me if I had any siblings, I said no, then he said "I can be your brother!". That doesn't happen in Canada.

When I go to the campo to see my novia, her mother always prepare good food for me and her siblings insist on giving me fruits they picked. Her father once told me: "You can come here as much as you want, now this is your house too".

My landlords, who live downstairs, always invite me to sit down at their house and share drinks, coffee, food. Good old Dominicans from the campo who owned a restaurant in the Bronx for over 20 years then came back here for retirement. Yesterday my landlord's wife told me: "We thank God that you're happy here with us, you're like family for us". How can you not love people like that?

Whatever problem I may have to solve I know someone who can help within a five minute walk. Locals have accepted me like a "Dominicano puro". Whenever I go somewhere I'm greeted with handshake and a smile.

All those things cost 0 RD$ and are worth a hundred times more to me than the sum of everything I owned in Canada.

If you have a month or two to hear the humorous & tragic tales of my life's travails & many joys, you are welcome to them.   You are so right about the native Dominicans.   If you have true interest in them, respect them & do not behave with the endemic Gringo holier than thou attitude,  you shall make life long friends & companions.   When I lived in Puerto Rico, I would drive up into the small mountain villages, stop at Tiki hut bars, or camados .  Would buy a beer & talk to whomever was there.  It wasn't unusual to be invited home to their casa for food & drink.   Back then I had no Spanish but bano & cervaza.    I believe it is the Latin culture & nature to be so open & kind.   It is an inherent part of their daily life.        Prepara su ohos, amigo, por mi historia.     Take heed of his words, incorporate them into your lives.   You'll be the richer for it.

Blessings I have found much of the same experience(s). Compared to most major modern cities the cost of living here goes down and quality of life goes up. Holas, que pasas and genuine smiles are pretty much priceless also.  Thanks for sharing. Please carry on. Salud and buena fortuna en todo.

This is great info and very helpful , thanks to all
Hopefully I will be there by the end of February.

Tony G.

Tony welcome.  You plan on living here?

Tell us more about yourself.

Bob K

Thanks for sharing ! very helpful !

Puerto Plata Area!!  We are into our second year and loving it!! Definitely can be a cheaper lifestyle.For us..we like a little comfort but don't hesitate to grab a Plato's  del dias at our fave places!! $avg 150 rd..each
Rent $500 US Plus Maintenance Fees $7600 RD..We have a great 3 bedroom,2.5 bath house with mountain and ocean views..back up generator 24/7.Gym ,Club house and large community pool..almost private as there may be 2-4 people there at any given time.
Transportation..bought a small Tracker(6500 RD Yearly for insurance)..runs on Gasoline/Propane..quite economical for long trips!!  and fun!!  once you get a hang of "Dominican Driving" ..i.e motos have right of way..hehe ..pedestrians proceed with caution
Cable $950 RD monthly with 2 boxes and good pkg(POP Cable)
House phone/Internet pkg. $1850 RD ..2MB.
Edenorte ..varies $1500 RD- $4000 RD depending on heat levels!!
Groceries..varies widely depending on how many days spent at home cooking..$12000-15000 2 people..sometimes 4 with friends over.
I always shop deals!!Patrick the Veggieman for fresh produce..Nano's  Fruit truck ..know the markets!!
Dinner out ..San Jorge Pizza!! ..Mediano Completa  feeds 2..$380 RD..100 RD Grande Presidente!!
Fish n Chips(awesome) &..Burger Platter and a couple cold one's at "BigLeesBeach Bar  on Malecon..$750 RD plus tip!!
Chair Rentals for a beach day..$200RD (2)  Pack my own drinks/snacks..
Quiet,safe neighborhood where we can enjoy a good healthy morning walk with great views and no fear of getting run over by a moto..or robbed in drive by!!!
Health care with ARS Monumental $3900 RD each every 3 months
Purchased a "FilterPure" water filtration system so no need for the $40RD Bottled (dead) water that has had all it's minerals removed!!!  Cost $2200 RD. .Five year life span!!
So far so good..Spanish improving a bit..the better it gets the further we will venture.So far Las Galeras has been our furthest trip!! Salto El Limon!! Priceless!!! What a beautiful,diverse country..

Exactamente MPDesjardins!

Hello everyone😊😊we lived in Bavaro )! It's nice and beautiful place with white sand on the beach))) I can tell you life in Dominican not cheap🙈🙈 we rent apartment 1 bedroom in small residency with pool for 500$ and + extra bills . Without deposit. If u gonna make contract , be careful cause they make 2 type one in English one in Spanish . And Spanish will be right. And they a writing inside if u wanna go out early u have to pay fine 5000$. Read good before u sigh anything .👍😊 Food is also not quiet cheap. It's many private shops around, and for 2 people u a gonna spend between 500-700$ minimum. And it's big supermarket National, but u have drive 20 km with car. Also we found out that it's cheaper buy water 20 l -55 cents, than 5 l- 1$ . U can go eat in some cafe , restaurant depends of your budget. Cinema ticket is 6$. Mototaxi is funny and better than bus🙈🙈🙈🙈😱😱 start from 50 Rd ))! Close, and small thing is expensive . And if u wanna buy like sunglasses big chance they a not original. Ok))) mmmm)) about medicine if u don't have Dominican insurance u have to pay .. It's incredible expensive...mama mia. We went to privat hospital for oculist and just to see doctor they ask 200$ 🙈🙈🙈 catastropha. And eu insurance doesn't work. Dominican local hospital is disaster )! U have to be careful with mosquito they transmit dengue (((  Medicine is expensive , better if u take with u what u need))) max👍👍👍 anyway it's nice place to stay when it's winter in Europe))) good luck😊😊😊😊

Nice post Katie....

Dashutka -  welcome to the forum.  I hate to tell you that it is expensive because of where you chose to live!!!!   That is a tourist spot and it is expensive.  Period.

You want less expensive then you need to be elsewhere!  I live in La Romana and I can tell you I do not pay anywhere near that.

You get taken advantage of as well when you do not speak any Spanish or know the culture. One of your points - leaving early and losing the deposit  - same the world over. That is why you have a contract and a deposit - so you cannot just do what you want when you want.

This is exactly why I can't understand living in a tourist area for the long term. Better infrastructure but might as well live in Miami :)

Yes but some might like that.  To each their own..... right.......LOL   :D


> accommodation prices: $200/month up to $3-4000 (US). I have gotten away with paying about $400/month, living on the beach, for 3 years based on networking and renting out my extra rooms on Air BNB.

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc.): Motoconcho $50 RD (100 at night), Guagua $30 RD

> food prices (your monthly budget): $800 US for 2, but that includes any other little necessities I get from the grocery store, drinks (at the bar), gas in my moto, dog food, and any extra curricular activities. That is basically our monthly budget for everything after rent and internet.

> energy prices (oil, electricity): Included in housing for me.

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone). I pay $2500 RD per month on internet and less than $250 RD on phone credit (my phone credit usually expires because I don't use it enough). Cable is included in my housing.

> price for a good menu in a traditional restaurant: $150 RD for a plate of Dominican food. $250-400 (average) RD for tourist food.

> price for a coffee or a drink: Coffee $40-60 RD. Bebida $100-150 RD for a cuba libre.

> price for cinema tickets: What???

I wrote a blog post not too long ago on a similar topic. I gathered a lot of the info from our local community message board. I hope I am allowed to post it, if not my apologies and feel free to remove my post:

POP Cinemas 150 RD per person..have not gone yet..but some rainy evening....think they have 2/1 popcorn..drink..hotdog nights as well

We have two for one nights here at the movie theatre too!.   So two go for  100RD.....   lol.

Thank you all for sharing these information. :top:

Shaazia Team

Thank you so much for all the info ! very helpful in the preparation of our move !  enjoy the nice sunny day as we  need to shovel our driveway once again today !

Ahhh yes the  S N O W shovel....... I vaguely remember one of those.......

Hurry up and get here.

MP where did you find a decent place for $125 a month on the North Coast. Are you in Gaspar Hernandez? Are your dwelings really safe? Just Curious.

Snow shovels what a memory......BAD memory.  Don't miss if for a nanosecond.

Bob K

Sand shovels..... well that is another  issue.......   :D  :lol:  :P

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