Las Terrenas the best place to retire

Las Terrenas is a small village located in the Samana peninsula, one of the most beautiful and lush throughout the Dominican Republic: here are stunning beaches and bang in a sea of many colors, mostly flat because it is the only one in the 'island to be surrounded by coral reefs. No coincidence that on holidays and weekends are the Dominicans in this fantastic place preferring the beaches of the sea to any place on the island. Besides the natural beauty and a must dimension the sparkling night life always full of surprises especially for single people (men or women who are), plus the myriad of restaurants in Europe and not distributed throughout the country ensures high quality for tastings daily. For those who want to cook for yourself there are a number of supermarkets offering all our national pordotto as nutella  or Barilla pasta ecc. In short, a fantastic paradise within an island. For any information on where to stay, investiment,  such as night clubs and favorite restaurants, the cost of living and everything else, I am at your disposal. Hasta Luegos Amigos

Unless you have a job in the area I would find it a hard place to retire to full time as it is so isolated and a long distance to any large city. However I do have to agree it is beautiful and the restaurants along the beach terrific.  We enjoy going there for a "break" and some "R&R".  But personaly I could  not live there full time. Maybe i could if i was French as there is such a large French community there.

Bob K

It depends on the kind of life you want to do, I love the simple life without being pretentious, so I feel good. I prefer to give up material things but have a better quality of life and especially more time to devote to me and my family. I am Italian, and perhaps as you said,  it is easier for a European to integrate in the country, because there are large colonies of the French, Italian and Swiss. Have a nice day my friend

I think it is  critical that anyone considering  moving to this country  do their  homework.It is not enough to research this country and the  various  areas.

It is  critical you take a good long hard look at how you want to live your life! Ask yourself the hard questions- do you have enough money or do you need to work? IF you need to work are there jobs available for  my skill set?  How much  will I earn? Can  I afford to live there?

What is important to me? DO I  need  internet?  How will I deal with electricity  outages?  Can I handle the pace of life?   Do I need to be near  a beach? Do I need to be near an expat  community? Do I  speak Spanish?   Do  I know  anyone else there already? 

What about  my medical needs?Do  I have an ongoing  medical issue? HOw far  from good health care do I want to live? How  far from an airport do  I want to be?

What about  shopping-  food, household etc etc.

You can see there is a lot to consider!!!!  One area is  fabulous for one person and will not work for another.  Samana  area  would not work for me at all but is fabulous  for others.

Each area has its  pros and cons, the key is to know and understand them and then make your choices accordingly! My  2 pesos worth..........

Planner, I absolutely agree with you!

First of all, thank you for having this forum and giving out the information. I was recently down in Samana for a day while on a cruise. I fell in love with the beauty of the bay and all it had to offer. As mentioned above, there is much to consider. I do not intend to move for approx. two years at the earliest as that is when I am eligible to retire! I have heard many things about how they are building up the airport and area. Many casino licenses have been applied for and granted and there is a 10 mile stretch of beach that is being rezoned for resorts. My next thought is, will this beautiful area get crushed by such a building boom? Obviously jobs wll come with all of this. I have checked for property to try to beat the eventual ambush. Our tour guide was telling me some rather incredible numbers. I've heard there is a price for locals and a price for foriegners. Is that true? I have so many questions. Please help. Thanks againg!!!


Hi Mike, yes is true, there will be a building boom,  But keep in mind that Samanà is one of the few places in Dominican Republic which has a masterplan , that prohibiting to building in front line in order to preserve the beaches.
With regard to prices is only partly true that there are prices for locals and foreigners
depends on the shops and then if you decide to live in las terrenas however  should apply  the local price
I advise you to go 2-3 months to recognize the zone if you think to retire in a future , a villa with pool, internet, security, weekly housekeeping, laundry, cable TV, parking, etc. you can pay about 550 usd monthly. Sorry for my English but I'm Italian:)

You  found  Samana one day  while on  a cruise. Similar to how I discovered this country as well!

I came back and visited 13 times before I made the move. You  may  not need to visit 13 times but you do need to come here and spend some time.  This country is not for everyone but it is fabulous for some of us.

Come down for  vacation of  2 weeks in the area and spend it outside a resort. Get to know the  people a  little bit, the culture and the area. Read everything you can get your hands on about this country. Ask lots of questions!!!

Then come back again and check out other areas of this country.   Samana might  be perfect for your chosen lifestyle and then again maybe not. Maybe you would love  the south or the east...........  one of the things I love about this country is the diversity!

dylan and planner,
thanks for replying so quickly. the last trip down was actually our second stop in Samana. I speak very little spanish and realize I would have to learn. I come from an Italian American family where my grand parents spoke Italian. I remember  some words and know they are similiar.

As for what I'm looking for is a piece of vacant land to purchase for future building. I'm not looking for a huge lot. My next question is everywhere I look they say m2 $17 usd. What in the world does that mean? The tour guide told us you could purchase a hillside lot for $30.00 usd. Seemed low if unrealistic.

Hi, mikeecli is true, the prices are still quite low in the hills. Instead of the sea are the double.
Go in person to check, I can give you the name of a reliable person who can help you find what you are interested
In my opinion, now is a good time to buy, soon the prices will go  high. if you decide to visit Las Terrenas, and do not know where to go, I have an excellent  low-priced solution chalet in residence  with all comforts. If you want “private” information you can write me at dylan_10[at];)

We work with  metric here.  So   US$17  M2 is per square meter of land.

When looking to buy land you  want to  build on consider  access to  electricity,  water,  sewage disposal,   phone and internet access,  cable  (or other solution)  The thing you may take for granted we cannot here.

Little story -  I  was interested in moving into a new apt  building.I went to the office of the  internet  supplier to inquire about installation.  NO PROBLEM I was told,  yes we can install.   Right.   So I move in and find out that there is no main line near the building, the street or the  neighborhood!!!!  It  took  finding 8  other clients and   8  months to get internet installed.

Nothing is easy or  as you will expect.   Building and working with contractors is a WHOLE other topic.NOT  for those who do  not speak the language or understand the culture or know who to trust.  Be very very careful.

Yes... Planner ... BE VERY VERY CAREFUL ... your words are holy!

What about health care, doctors hospitals etc? Thanks Randy

In evidence two clinics with emergency room, a public not advisable, another managed by Cuban doctors good. There 's also a   gynecological center good enough. Obligatory health insurance

I have lived in Las Terrenas on the Samana Peninsula with my husband for 6 years, we are both from England and we bought land and had a house built, so if you need any advice just let me know ! We love where we live and we have never regretted any of our decisions to be here full time :-)

Many of the posts on Las Terrenas in the DR are outdated.  This is a great place to retire either full time or part of the year.  One, there is an International Airport El Catey/Samana (AZS) 30 minutes away. Direct flights from Canada and NYC,JFK via Jet Blue are available. Two, With new highways you are about a 2 hr drive to Las Americas Airport (SDQ) in Santo Domingo. Three, much new construction and a wide choice of properties available, to own or rent long term at reasonable prices. Four, there is a large European population here, 3500 French, 1200 Italians, 600 Germans and just about every other country in Europe has represented ex-pats.  There are also people from Great Britian, Canada, USA and of course, Domincan Republic and Haiti. French, Italian & Spanish are widely spoken.  If you have rudementry language skills you can survive.  There are language shcools here to learn any language. Many great restaurants, French, Italian, German and Dominican and some of the best seafood you will find anywhere. Six, Las Terrenas offers a wide range of some of the best beaches in the DR with varying conditions from flat ocean to surfing waves. Seven, There are many eco-tourism sites on the Samana Peninsula for you to enjoy, such as, hiking or horse backing up to see Limon Falls, Whale Watching(Jan15-March 15TH) Samana Bay, Ziplining Playa Valle, Snorkeling, Los Haites National Park and more....Eight, variety of night life, from Gaia Disc, Fisherman's Village Bars and Restaurants, El Mosquito Bar at Balcones del Atlantico to La Bogega(local dance hang out)and other local haunts. Nine, The town of Las Terrenas has a vibe unique to it.  Many local shops and services available, including fully equipped gym, dance studios and massage spas. Ten, The scenic beauty is all around you, walk a deserted beach, snorkel a coral reef or just lay under a palm tee and take a siesta.  Come ckeck out Las Terrenas for yourself.  I am not a paid spokes person but I should be. Asta la proxima


Excellent description and true in every sense of the word !
Thank you LTSteve :-)


Great post.  It turely is a beautiful place.


Nice update!!!! I hope to get over that way in the next few weeks!

visiting soon .Looking for new horizens in costa rica or DR. Still researching all the info I can . Any suggestions. .will be retiring and have a a steady income.

Can anyone tell me if English owning a restaurant in las terranas would work, we speak basic Spanish but it seems to be a very French area.  Also can anybody tell me about immigration, there seems to be so many different answers on the internet.

My advice is to come and spend some time here.  It is vastly different to live here rather than being a tourist.
I would not apply for residency until you have made the decision to move here full time.

Bob K


As you probably already know operating a restaurant is a risky proposition to begin with. In Las Terrenas there are many restaurants owned mostly by French and Italians.  The high season is short, from Dec. to April. Before and after that it is not overly busy with tourists.  I guess it depends on what type of restaurant you are considering. Oviously location is the key. There is a place called Fisherman's village which is a series of restaurants and bars that runs along the ocean.  You could look into renting a location there but the rents are quite high. The government recently rebuilt this whole structure and I heard it was $3000usd a month for rent. Are you currently restaurant owners? There are a couple of people from England here. If you seriously want to look into this I can give you here e-mail. She is a real estate agent and her husband is a property manager. She could give you some real info.


Great advice Steve,  running a restaurant is always risky!!! Especially here in a new country without good spanish - you are taking a big chance. 

Come on down, spend a few months doing your research, checking out the country and learning Spanish. You will know within a few months if you really like it here!

if you wish to to  Guarantee failure OPEN A RESTAURANT

Seems many  expats dream of coming to the Caribbean to open either a restaurant or a bar, but have no experience running either. Mix in new culture, new language etc and it can be a recipe for disaster!

When we move, I would like to maybe work part time. As a bar tender as I have done that for a while here in the states, I also have lots of ecperience in Human Resources also.  Seems like Las Terrenas may be a option for me.

Where can I go to look up rental properties


If you want to work p/t in Las Terrenas you would have to be bi-lingual. Do you speak Spanish?  Also in Las Terrenas French is widely spoken and a lot of the bars and restaurants are owned by French expats.  If you only speak English it would be difficult to work at a bar.  The other issue is that I believe you need to apply for DR residency before you could legally work in the DR. This is a whole separate issue involving a number of documents and an attorney in the DR. It is also expensive at about $1200 usd to get this.  You can google DR residency and get more info on this.  If you are going to live in the DR permanently then you will have to apply for this to get what thet call a cedula ID Card showing that you are a resident.  Good luck.


Planning to work in HR  is difficult.  Here the labor code is quite complicated and based on French law so things are very different.  With not knowing the culture here HR is again difficult, so many things you will need to understand that take time to learn. 

Part time work is not plentiful here either so it can be a challenge to find.  In addition,  bartenders do not make much money  - they rely on  tips!

Do you speak fluent Spanish?

What forget to tell LTSteve it's why government rebuild the "fisherman's village". It's beacause dominicans where fed up with all this shity foreigns restaurants and set it on fire. Everything burnt and the nightclub "the Gaia" in front of was completly destroyed as well. Many of the owner were french and italians without insurance because they didn't want to pay taxes. Many lost big amount of investment and didn't get anything back.
Few month later everything was rebuild but for new owners... .

One thing you need to understand if you want to move here: you can not find jobs who will permit you to live with high standing (nice flat, air conditioning, electricity, internet, water...) litlle things who seems obvious for you are not here. A policeman earn 6 000 pesos (90 dollars) per month. If you want confort it will cost you 15 000 pesos to rent a nice flat, more 15 000 pesos to eat propely (dominicans people don't eat meat everyday... far from it).
You will need at least 30-40 000 pesos/month to live "correctly". So working for a local company with a local contract will not provide you enought money.
For foreigners to live in DR there are only 2 solutions: or to be retired (or earning money in foreigns devises) who can permit you to live without working or to create a business. In wich case it can not be a restaurant or other touristic agence (diving, hostels, ...) everybody does it, too many of them who don't work.
Business more serious such as construction, electricity company... are allready done by dominicans and they do it well, don't need a foreigner to do it.
It's like everything if you want to make money you need to brieng money to create a business who his missing in DR.
It's funny how the opinions are differents between the french forum and the english forum, they live in the same place but see the things different.

Cigano, Wow do you live here?  Are you a frequent visitor? Where do you get your somewhat crazy information from???????
Oh and you should know police make more than 6000 pesos a month (but not a lot more) and 6000 pesos is actually $150 not 90.

It has been a long time since I have seen such a negative post on this forum.  I have lived here for 7 years and can not disagree more.



You must have an inside scoop. The "locals" burnt down the fisherman's village?  That is your theory?  You logically thought this through?  You're telling me this was because all of the restaurants and bars were owned by ex-pats.  Tell me then why most of the new tennants in the re-constructed Pueblo de los Pescadores are still ex-pats? A combination of ex-pats, Dominicans and Haitians have made Las Terrenas a very interesting and nice place to live.  Is it perfect, no. Not many places are. I can only talk about my experience being a retiree from the US. There are many business owned by ex-pats. You might be bitter about this but it certainly helps the local economy and adds to the community of LT.
What you described about the state of jobs and pay is problem around the entire DR. That is the way things are in a 3rd world country. Do you live in the DR? Just curious. You are certainly entitled to your opinion but I will stick to mine and continue give factual info to people who are interested.


You are asking me if I am living in DR??????? I am dominican so I know probably my country better than you do.
You are retiree, good for you. You don't need to work there, so keep your lies about "the best place to retire" because it's not true. As I said before foreigners can not come to find a local job there, or they create a business or they live with  foreigns incomes. You just confirm what I said.
Did you tell other why RD (and specialy LT) get such a huge number of retire? Because old men want enjoy the beach, the sun... and the youg girls dominican/haitians.
Just have a look on this old men driving quads with beautiful young girls in their back pick up at "la bodega" or "el toro". You think this is love? No this is prostitution.

About my "scoop" for el pueblo de los pescadores"  I am a "local" so I know certainly more than you do gringo.

Actually there are 2 sides to LT. One is what visitors experience when they stay for a couple of weeks and, the other, when you live there for months. If you want firsthand experience from an American with a bar, ask Dan at Dan's Polar Bar. He's been there for years and is hardly making it.
Like most of the world, LT is very divided. The French hang out with their own and frequent their own establishments, the Italians, the Germans, and the Americans do the same. It is cultural and language is a crucial factor in this segregation.
There are very few bus. opportunities because tourists are scarce and Dominicans only come on weekends and bring their own things from the capital.
Food and housing are expensive in comparison to other places on the island because it is a beautiful tourist resort. The local power company charges more than any other on the island, so with a/c you will normally pay around $200/mth. There are huge problems with security, more so than in most areas because there are many unemployed Haitians.
As for the Pueblo de los Pescadores. there are different stories. The Tourism Ministry has been on a mission to regain control of the beaches in the area. They now have control of all the rental space previously owned by foreigners who lost quite a bit of $.
You can find all this info by reading lt7 online. It is a weekly paper with lots of news and opinions about the area.
I have lived there several times during the past 4 yrs. The last was for 6 mths. until I moved in Feb. of this yr. We have a couple of websites:,, and
In FB, you can also check las terrenas and you will find several pages listed.

It's good to read you Michita, it's rare to see someone telling the truth and understand LT as you do.
Many foreigners have shity commerce and keep them because they bought it thinking this will be the "business of the year" and unfortunately they are stocked with it, can not sell it and just earn enought to pay bills.
A dominican family live with 200 dollars/month, so people think that with 400 they ll be the king of the island... wrong. To live here you need at least 1000 dollars/ month if you want keep your foreigns  lifestyle.

I disagreee only about one things on your post Michita it's about the security. Santo Domingo and Santiago are way more dangerous than LT.
Many haitianos are there it's true (most of them works with french... they speak the same language), but LT is safe because of high number of tourists( there are politur officer, national police, private security...).
There are few houses invasion robbery but nothing realy serious compared to the capital.
Santiago is even different, no tourim,  dominicans living there are more "white" and there is more racism for the "black dominicans and haitians".
Carrying a gun is allowed in DR. 50% of the dominicans males carrying a weapon. Girls + rhum+ guns can do a very bad mix.

I was not comparing LT to Santiago or the capital in terms of crime because I don't consider these to be tourist towns. LT does have a lot of burglaries in the homes on the hills around town. Some are very scary...people who rent for the weekend are surprised in the early morning hours, tied, and have everything taken from them. It got so bad there was a special meeting with several dept.s to see how they could control it because it was affecting tourism. This happened about 3 mths. ago and was published in the newspaper!Many people have left the area because of this including myself.

Sorry moved here to retire and failed at that and had a very successful run selling realestate (ReMax).  And my wife came with me worked the realestae as well and we don't go around looking for young chicas.
Last post on this for me as you are somewhat off base
50% carry guns???????????????????????????????????????/


Wow, did this thread every take a turn.  I can agree with parts of what everyone is saying. But not everything. Here is my experience:

You cannot live a foreign lifestyle on regular local wages.

Too many expats come here with expectations that are NOT well thought out.

To open a business here and NOT lose everything - you better make it legal,  you better research what you are doing,  you better speak the language,  and you better have business experience! 

Only some skill sets will pay more then local wages!  Unless you have them or can develope them you better have an income.

Areas where tourists and expats live and hangout will almost always have higher crime rates.

Sorry I don't believe that 50% of all Dominicans are carrying!

But I do agree that girls + rum +  guns = disaster!!!! but don't forget presidente!

Unfortunately this are the statistics: 1 man on 2 carry a gun (appear on el periodico... I didn't invented  it).
In DR there is no differences between carrying and owning a handgun. In USA you need a permit to be allowed to carry it, not here. That's why so many mans carry it in their belts (I do). Guns are easy acces and commun life here, for the shotgun (unless you are a private security agent) you are allowed to keep it at home but not carrying it (seems  logical).
Bob K you don't go to see the "chicas" that's good for you (or bad because some are realy beautifull). This is your right but don't be hypocrite pretending doesn't exist, it's same for the woomen with the "sanky panky". Prostitution is legal here, many whorehouses in Santo Domingo. Nothing shocking but denying it will be a lie.

As I said: to create money you need to brieng money. Creating a realestate agence without money is not possible, you can do it because you are american (and money is much more easy to make in your country or in Australia thant in Europe) but don't pretending you live as a dominican with 200 dollars a month.
making serious business with a big investment will allways work... just need to have the money to start. Take as exemple the company SOGETRAS (french company specialized in subaquati works)... this is the perfect exemple (not a realestate who steal most of the clients and abuse tourist who want to rent a flat. You think dominicans pass by realestate agences?)

You are completly right Planner about a legal business... many should take exemple from you.

I  can see your logic but your math is wrong.  1 in 2 men carrying guns does not equal 50%  -   women don't normally carry guns or very very few.  So it would be reasonable to say 25% of the population of ADULTS.  or  50% of ADULT MALES maybe.  Even then I think it is high.

In addition even if people come here with a LOT of money, without the right skills and smarts - they still may not make a good business with it.  And they always need to understand the language and the culture where they are! I have seen many many fail because the failed to understand what things are really like here!

I don't think Bob was denying the prostitution and sankies - he knows what happens here. And you are right, prostitution is legal!  Sankie behaviour - while legal is certainly unethical. I know that in Dominican society, sankies are basura!

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