Las Terrenas the best place to retire

you may didn't read me right the first time: read again I wrote "50% of the dominicans MALES". I made the distinction, I never said 50 of the population.

But I agree on your judgement for business skills and smart. Too many gringos arrived here thinking it will be easy to do something then put a local in charge because they thounght they will do nothing and just enjoy the beach. The result 3 month later when everything colapsed. It happened so many times.

And so many come here talking about how much their "friend" will help them.  Yup the guy they met working as a bartender in the hotel.  THey trust him for business related advice!!! Imagine, he knows so much about gov't and business and works as a bartender.

I say often, would you do this where you came from?  If not why would you do it here???

Yup I missed the word MALE in your first post - sorry.  I still find that tough to believe.....

For anyone wanting to know about the area's future...this is a good article in today's N.Y. Post: … esidential

I didn't heard about "special meeting" that happened 3 months ago. With who was it? citizens, ayuntamiento, expats, dominicans?
2 years ago there was a project for security patrols inside and arround LT. The plan was to organize LT in differents areas and specifics itinaries for armed security patrols. Hotels, beach, residence isolated could have a better protection.
The problem was: who gonna pay for this? Hotels manager didn't want pay for the safety of the residence outside LT, it was too expensive for the expats who didn't care about the safety of the tourists, ayuntamiento become blind and def like allways ... . Finaly the project went down because nobody could agree.   
It's ashame because it was a solid project with professionals from the capital (not this useless private security as "goldstar" or other in LT).

I found this which is a result of the meetings held earlier this year: … -seguridad
I know lt7 had a couple of articles in late Jan. or early Feb. but can't find them online now, will keep trying!

This pretty much sums up the problems in LT: … de-la.html

It was sent to President Medina in October 2012 by concerned groups. #7 in what needs to be corrected specifically refers to security problems, if you don't want to read the rest!

thank for the link...
it's exactly what was proposed before. I am scare it will be the same problem for the payment.
they are doing a "plan piloto" let's see how it goes,but if they employ locals from LT without a serious formation it will failed. I don't know why they  pick up a colombian company??? can not take one from the country?

Maybe they are more experienced with theft and crime in Colombia...or because they are so good at it they were more convincing!You know, Colombian tigres make Dominican tigres look like pussycats.
But hopefully with major new investments in the Samana/LT area, things will improve. A lot depends on transportation to the area which is now much better, and this makes it more attractive and affordable for tourists. So, it is a matter of time before the local economy picks up and there are more jobs and less poverty, and less crime!

Hello, Everyone! I've just joined this blog because I've been researching the 'possibly' best places to live in the Dominican Republic.  As it turns out, opinions vary so much that it can actually be confusing.  I started my search with the North Coast... from Puerto Plata to Samaná.  We are a family of four (4) with a 16 & a 15 year old, which means a good private school is needed, as well as doctors not far away. 

From different posts I've read, it seems that these places are called sex towns and from what I gather from this post, there's a lot of prostitution going on.

Michita, you said you left Las Terrenas, which place do you suggest for a family? Planner, you live in Santo Domingo and I know that has its pros and cons (as everything does), but I've read there's much more crime because there's so many people living in the Capital.  Are there nice, gated communities where a family of 4 can have a normal & safe life. I know, nowhere is it safe... I live in Puerto Rico and crime is out of control with shoot outs from car to car at any time of the day!

My husband would be working and would get paid in US$.  Ohhh, someone also suggested I tap into Punta Cana.

Suggestions will be greatly appreciated! :-)

Thanks a lot!

I will be watching the reponses your question. I recently returned from from Punta Cunta and I was in some  ways disappointed. The poverty  I was un beleivable..There is construction going on and everyone is trying to sell you property with incentives. I was with a  travel group so some site seeing was a bit limited.
I stayed in a resort that was alike a fantasy land. But outside looked  like a war zone with remains.
I wanted to go out into the area but it  greatly even in the day time  discouraged with guards at the end of the resort .Only  the excursions did they recommend going out. I still have mixed  feelings with all that I have been reading..I will do more research returning as I did not see any of what so far I read.As for crime I am sure it is as bad a many of the places where there is much poverty. Just my 2 cents for now:|

Thanks a lot, Pinkops! It can be quite confusing and unreal...

Pinkops - lets address your comments first.  Almost all tourists in the big resorts are discouraged from going outside. They say it is not safe.  Bull!  That is how they sell excursions, it is only safe to go with us at a big cost!!!!  It is pure bull crap.  Sorry but that is how I feel.

I am a fairly small female who has been here almost 10 years. I go out all the time without being on an excursion (LOL)  It is about being smart -  don't flash money, don't go into really really poor areas,  watch where you go and how you walk!!! Go with determination.  Walk  like you know where you are going and won't take crap from anyone.  There are always taxi drivers around or recommended who will take you off resort.  Ask around for one. 

Lauryburg - ok so for schools you are going to want to be where there are good private schools.  Biggest selection Santo Domingo,  then Santiago,  you will find options in Punta Cana and in the Puerto Plata area.

Yes some areas of this country are full of prostitution, it is legal here.  The main areas to stay away from are Boca Chica in the south and Sosua in the north. But you will find them in a smaller amount almost everywhere.

If you want to live in a gated expat community - they are located in many many different areas.  In my opinion, those communities have lots more problems - you have a group of "rich" expats all in the same place.

For me, I would look at a good middle class Dominican neighborhood before I would consider an expat community!  I live a Dominican experience. I know all my neighbors and they look out for me as I look out for them! 

I love the north coast, but I also love the capital.  there are differences and pros and cons in every area.  It is all about what will work for you.

Thank you, Planner! I had no idea there were middle class neighborhoods! (sorry for the ignorance). Based on this option, sounds like we might be able to have a similar life as we currently have in PR.  We are middle class, working people... have private health care (public insurance tends to be for the unemployed and some elderly... And those that just don't work!) and my kids are in a private school for the same reasons stated.  Safety issues are about the same... you don't go to the mall and flaunt your money... Never know who's watching and may follow you! 
Sounds like a good advice to try and make friends with the locals... since our islands are so close we have Dominican friends here and if and when we decide to leave, we can always seek their advice, too!  However, can you name a few of the middle class urbanizations or neighborhoods? I would like to check!
I also understand that you would pay a premium to have all your requirements met... I'd do the same! My daughter even checked to make sure there are malls over there!
Thanks a lot, Planner!

Lots of middle class areas. BUT you need to come see them for yourself!  Yes you will pay a premium for the comforts,  I know I am willing to do so.

Tell your daughter the malls in Santo Domingo ROCK we even have Krispy Kreme!   

Health insurance is available and not expensive. Inside my group I pay US 45 a month for good coverage.  Feel free to email me for more info consultantdr[at]

The only place I have found so far which meets min.requirements in terms of housing, health care, security, and affordability with outstanding weather year round is Jarabacoa. It does not have beaches, but offers rivers for canoeing, kayaking, rafting, swimming, and mountains for hiking and paragliding! There is a golf course and horseback riding.
At least two good English schools are available:
These are private schools and there are also regular Dominican schools.
It is half an hour from La Vega which has a Sirena store, and less than an hr. from Santiago. You can find excellent fruits and veggies at the local market here, and the area has lots of greenhouses filled with flowers, herbs, etc. Higher in the mountains,in Constanza, potatoes and strawberries are grown for export. Coffee is also grown here and exported.
It is not a "hot" tourist spot, but most rich Dominicans have weekend homes and come regularly. It is more for eco-tourism and has not attracted the same type of people who frequent resorts. Housing is more affordable but more difficult to find unless you speak Spanish. There are a couple of upscale developments: (we made their website)and
We also recommend you look at and which we also made. They are both good choices for checking out the area.
Obviously, we work on the internet and that is also acceptable here (not perfect).
There are some foreigners who live here: Americans, Italians, Spanish, a few French and Swiss, but because job opportunities are rare, it is not for everyone.
We are currently working on which provides a number of videos of the area.
Please feel free to ask more questions, Michele

Thank you, Michita! I will definitely check out the websites you suggest.  Also, you are the second person I've gotten in contact with that has suggested Jarabacoa if you are a country person instead of a beachbody! LOL!
Saludos! ...obviously I speak Spanish, I'm Puerto Rican...

Gracias a todos por su ayuda!!!

PD:  Fresh strawberries? OMG, they're so expensive here and not always fresh!

Oops! It's jarabacoa mountain village.
There is no visible prostitution...not in the open, not walking around on the streets.
It is much more traditional, and people are much lighter skinned than around the rest of the island.
Also, from what I hear, there are good doctors but for specialists there is Santiago.
There are quite a few American missionaries in their early twenties.
Some decent restaurants but no malls to brag about!

Jarabacoa is one area I've not yet been to.  I fully plan to visit this summer! 

For me, I just don't like being that far from any coast,  but I do understand it is beautiful! Thanks for the links too.

Let me know when you come, would like to meet you and show you around!

Planner after all these years I have to disagree with you on a couple of points.
1. "The main areas to stay away from are Boca Chica in the south and Sosua in the north."  We as you know have lived in the Sosua/Cabarete area for 7 years. Yes there are a number of "working girls" here but there is also a very large active Expat community that has nothing to do with them but carry on very normal, in some case productive career, lives.
2.  "If you want to live in a gated expat community - they are located in many many different areas.  In my opinion, those communities have lots more problems - you have a group of "rich" expats all in the same place."  We live in a gated community made up of Expats from all over the world.  In fact we are only one or 3 "American" families in the community. We all look out for each other all the time and the one thing we don't worry about is security.

I would not trade our lives here for anything or anywhere else.

Ok off the soap box and out to get some sun and a swim

Bob K

Unless you can afford Sea Horse Ranch in Sosua or Casa de Campo near la Romana, gated communities can feel like prison camps because of guards walking around day and night...I lived in one in El Portillo in LT, and one in Sosua, and I became more fearful of the guards than of thieves!!!They know all about your daily routine, and in Sosua they would provide prostitutes to the Americans and Canadians coming down for long weekends or weeks. So, you can live in a "nice" community and wake-up at 3 am with a screaming prostitute next door because she isn't getting paid or is just jumping in the pool drunk. Of course, that can happen outside of a gated community also, but with many homes being rented for short stays, it is more likely to happen there. And, these homes rent for $1,000/wk or more but you have a few guys splitting the bill and it's party time. That's my experience, maybe others have been more fortunate with gated communities!

Michita you too are wrong. Don't live in Sea Horse or Casa Linda.  The security here is very good (all our emloyees not hired help), NO Chicas running around or even in the community, NO loud parties, no crazy behavior.  Just a good group of people living and interacting together.

Bob K

Bob K, we are on the same planet but deffinetly not in the same world.
I don't know if you are just hypocrite or out of your mind ... and I don't care.
Stop selling DR as paradise.
Of course you love being here because you have money... with money even the worst place on hearth will be pleasent. You have acces to medical health service, living in private secure residence, eat meat everyday, have a nice 4x4 and can pick up all the chicas you want to.

But not everyone is like this. Not every foreigners come here with pokets full of dollars, so telling to someone that here is the paradise if he has to work with a local contract will be lying.
A resident is not a tourist, it's different to come here few weeks than living here every single day and doing his shopping in moto concho. Air conditioning, internet, food everyday, waching machine, cars... are not for everyone.
Unless you are in a big city you will not find cinema or theatres, no library nothing to improve your general knowledge.
Dominican Republic it's more or less 10 millions of people (3 millions in USA), 70% are living from "small jobs" , on the 30% left there is maybe 2 millions working in a descent job (lawyer, business owner, ingeeners...). Dominians all know each other and don't want share their market.
I will be curious to know how many houses do you sell to the dominican? Even if you are well integrated you will allways be the "gringo" gringo loco, gringo viejo, gringo borracho ... whatever.
There is few foreigner having good business but they stay discret (SRC Seguridad, Sogetras).
Give me other exemple: ....?
But it's still funny how foreigner tell to the locals people how to live in their own country.

One thing shocked me, on BonK presentation it's written: "7 years in DR" and "speak some spaish" is that a joke? can not even write "spanish correctly so of course you are no ready to learn it.

So Bob K be tolerent and open mind (I know it's hard for an american).

You know, everything in life is relative because we all have different standards, values, experiences, and knowledge which shape our criteria.
If you have found a nice place to live in Sosua, share it with others...although it may not be for everyone. I searched for a nice place there and did not find it. It doesn't mean there aren't any, but if people who live there don't want to share what they found, then it's not the kind of place I want!
And, yes, 7 yrs. is long enough to learn a language well. Most Americans criticize latinos who live in the States and don't speak English. So, why would Dominicans feel differently about foreigners who live here...

I agree it is all relative.  It really is about what you came here for or want to come here for.

Bob -pretty sure I didn't say "stay away from" in a generic sense. My intent was to say that if you want to stay away from rampant prostitution then Sosua and Boca Chica will not work for you.
No one can tell me that it is not rampant in both those areas. 

Sure some expats can live in those areas - that is their choice. But I stand my my comments and would NEVER recommend the areas.

As for a gated community - makes little difference if it is all expats or not. IF you live there THEN THE ASSUMPTION is you are rich, so therefore a target. Simple.

Some good points are made about Dominicans not wanting to share their market and success. So true.  Once an expat opens a company  and is successful,  it will be replicated and or taken over.  that is a generalization, yes their are exceptions. But my advice is still to always do everything above board and legal!  Don't get yourself into trouble.

Bottom line -  it is not paradise for everyone. It is paradise for some,  it is at times challenging,  exhilarating, frustrating, hard work and fun!  Just not all at the same time.....LOL   Take your time,  check things out,  don't listen to just one opinion!  This country is worth the time and effort!

Geez! Got to comment on this back & forth when I get back! Off to the movies...


Wow, this back & forward you folks started was tough and more confusing then ever.  I do understand everyone's view because everyone is defending their side of the story as you each see it through individual eyes.

Please, for someone like me who has never been to the DR, not even on vacation because I always preferred to go on a cruise or the US and not visit the island next door, I need honest opinions.

I looked at the country, but though it looks nice and peaceful, it may be too secluded for us.  I would be terrified if I had to stay alone with my kids, plus the road seems pretty far, curves, hills & slopes.  Not really my cup of tea... I don't actually drive in similar roads here... don't think I'm a stuck-up, I live in a gated community in the country, but it has quick access to the city, hospitals, my kids school and my job.

I liked Planners suggestion of a middle class neighborhood where I could meet Dominicans... I don't know about you folks, but when you live alone, your neighbor becomes your closest relative.  My oldest daughter is an ex Navy Sailor and my son-in-law is a Recruiter, meaning they have no relatives nearby and their neighbors and new friends become their support system.  I'm too far to help so they rely on each other... that's the military way... buddy system.

I like the idea of having my kids studying in an international school.  This will allow them to meet new friends from different places and appreciate new cultures.  My kids have always lived in Puerto Rico and it would be healthy to expand their knowledge and the way they perceive the world.

Bob, through my search I saw some beautiful places in Sosua, with pools and everything, but I would be concerned to live in a community which is mainly tourists that come and go which means you never really have a neighbor.  I've heard horror stories of people when they vacation... They do so many stupid things they would never do back in their communities.  It would be like living right in the middle of the Vegas Strip, Louisiana during the Mardi Grass or Brazil during their Carnavales.   Too many people, too much chaos.

We are a normal, decent family.  Yes, we like music, drink beer, watch movies, but for the most part we like to enjoy our home.

Ok, so today I went to Costco with my daughter... bought 2 lbs of strawberries for $10.  How does that compare? How much would a 64 oz bottle of Coca-Cola cost? How much is the milk? The one that comes in box containers and is 2%?  I just paid $20.25 for three tickets to watch GI Joe (with The Rock & Bruce Willis), how much would that be?

Tuition, does anyone have an idea of the monthly cost of a private school for high school students?

Those are part of my questions... Sorry if it sounds like a lot, but everyone's honest contribution will be really appreciated!

Saludos! :-)

Hi there!
Come & visit Cabrera.
I discovered it about 4 years ago.
I have a condo outside of Sosua.
I have been living with mi novia &
her (our) kids, 3 teenagers for 1.5 years now.
It is quiet when you want, noisy when you want.
The pizza is world class, (Chico's) & the
Presidente is always ice cold.
People are wonderful,police good when you want them,
schools, well, schools are schools in the DR.
I'm a retired Canadian.

There are 3 private clinics & 1 Gov't. hospital in town.
There are a couple of loosely gated communities up a bit in the hills.
The crime rate here is very low.

Private high school - again depends on which year and which school but you are looking at  US 600 a month and up to almost US 2,000 a month.  Those are schools in Santo Domingo that I am familiar with.

If you like movies - then you will need to be in Santiago, Santo Domingo or Punta Cana areas.  Not sure where else there are movie theaters. 

2 liters of coke brand - right now 65 RD per bottle
2 liters no name brand - right now 38 RD per bottle
Milk in those container not needing refrigeration until open 48 RD
Strawberries - never bought them - too expensive....LOL

Other items from la Sirena, this week:
Orange juice 1 liter - 74 RD
Cucumbers, 1 lb 27 RD
Tomatoes, 1 lb 30 RD
Red onions, 1 lb 17RD
Starkist tuna light,in oil 40 RD
M&M's small package  40RD
Purina Dog Chow small bag 235RD
Raid crawling bug killer, small, 175RD

Right now 1 dollar is 40.9 RD

By the way, we have PriceMart in Santiago and Santo Domingo, similar to Costco

Hi Tomas, Cabrera is definitely interesting, but all the real estate I found was VERY expensive. Why and where would you find houses in the $700-1200/mth range? Any good realtors, Dominican or other?
How about Rio San Juan?
Thank you, Michele

Hi Michele! I am sure there are some in your $ range. Rio San Juan is a bit smaller but more tourists.
Were you looking for a place right in town?
I'll ask around & get back to you.

Thank you, but not Nagua!
I have been to Cabrera and the town is quaint, but we have a great dane who likes to run so it would be great to have a large fenced yard.
What is in Rio San Juan for tourists? I have no idea what the town or surrounding areas are like. Good restaurants? Beaches?
An expat community?

Hi, Planner! Thanks so much for the price information provided.  I calculated the items and they are more or less as here... since things have to be shipped to both DR and PR, items will be more expensive and we won't always have the freshest fruits unless you eat mangoes, pineapples... native fruits! Green plantains are 85 to 90 cents each (soooooo expensive)... supposedly most are brought in from DR!

Tuition seems a little steep, but it's because my kids go to a school in the country... Prices in the metropolitan area are outrageous, but some people like the feeling of having their kids in these high class schools... Sorry, haven't got that kind of money! LOL!

As always, I really appreciate your feedback! Hope your are well... :)

I was wondering how much money you would need a month to truly live ulta comfortable without having to work.  My pension nets me close to 5000 per month us dollars.  Is it enough because here in the States its just surviving. … WtrcbWQWZN

This is another local newspaper from Las Terrenas with an article about a crime involving armed robbery in a home in Playa Bonita a couple of days ago. Fortunately, the French woman survived!

With that amount you will no problem living here VERY well and still have money left over at the end of the month.

Bob K


I see you are living in Paris.  I'm I correct? You seem very bitter about your own country.  The laws in the DR were not created by foreigners.  I really don't care about your "statistics" My wife and I have been coming to the DR for 30 years.  That is probably longer than you are old, so yes I know a little about local life.  If you want to lump everyone into the cateogory as dirty old men coming to Las Terrenas that is your perrogative but again you are wrong.  Yes, that exists but they are a small minority and welcome to their life style. In the DR unfortunately it is more about economics sometimes than what a man and women might have in common.  People are free to make choices even if you disapprove.  Get over it.


& thank God we can make out own choices here in the Dominican. If we want to go buy sex, we can. But NOT from anybody under 18 of course! It's legal here. But pimping is illegal.
Have a great Plantain day!

artie1970 :

I was wondering how much money you would need a month to truly live ulta comfortable without having to work.  My pension nets me close to 5000 per month us dollars.  Is it enough because here in the States its just surviving.

It is enough to live very comfortably with a retirement lifestyle!

I read this thread and want to say the entire thread should be adapted to a small manual.  It is by far one of the most interesting and information laden writings on the Dominican Republic.  It is my second home and I am there often and i travel around th ecountry often.  While it did get off subject, the responses were educational and give a very realistic view of the DR, and the thought process you need to go thru. 

I would only add this observation.  I meet alot of tourists and expats who discuss their experience and aske questions about "making money" investing, or retiring in the DR.  What is interesting is that all of the Answers to the questions are common sense answers.  It is odd that very smart people from big cities throughout the world come to the DR and then get stupid.  Being smart, doing your research, be cautious around suspicious surroundings and being worried about being a victim of crime are things we all think about in our home countries, but when they come to an island, they get stupid.  And the thing to remember is this, while languages are different, most people are the same everywhere and have the same "types."

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