North Coast vs East Coast

As promised  here is the new thread. Play nice.

Pros and cons of North Coast : Luperon, Costambar, Puerto Plata, Sosua, Cabarete, Cabrera


East Coast: Cap Cana, Punta Cana all the way to Miches

No arguing, just state your opinions.  GO!

O.K. North shore usually appeals to the  more adventure oriented folk, Those not needing things as close to their " home " country. A more laid back life style either rich or poor. I find it more relaxed & not so important what you drive or where you live.  In general this is my opinion after more than 30 years here. And just not here because I have explored most of the island. Just my opinionated opinion.

North a blended Dominican lifestyle (Some gringo comforts and lots of Dominican exposure).  Like Tinker said for the more adventures minded
East coast............For those that like living "on vacation" and want most of the comforts of what they are used to at home.  To me not the real Dominican life experience
Bob K

bigbob here is your opportunity to tell us about Luperon.

Actually I think it is one of the better parts of the North Coast along with Cabrera. But in saying that I include the general area and of course the lovely Punta Rucia which is to the west.

The North Coast is more established and when I first visited Puerto Plata in 1983 it was quite sedate with natural beauty and Jack Tar had only just opened. But it has suffered a long slow decline and feels to me quite sad these days.

I had a few months working west of Cabarete some 18 month ago. I can't say I enjoyed being there but everyone to their own. Even Cabarete seemed subdued from memories of earlier visits. Casa Colonial in the Playa Dorado resort complex is still up there as a lovely place to stay.

Getting there is not that easy either with lesser quality roads from the interior.

But it is not all sad news. new large scale investment in branded resorts is promised. And there is Amanera for the well healed.

As for the East Coast, I am not a fan and heading east from La Romana does not invite the same excitement as driving west of north from the capital with lovely scenery all around. And I am no fan of All Inclusives and the beaches are samey to me when compared to others in DR. But I do like Miches and Sabana. The beach at Miches is great with lovely backdrop and Sabana is the gateway to the lovely Parque Haitises which should not be missed. There is a new road north from Bavaro now too and the start of resort development in Miches also.

I like the airport and it is provides me with a one hop trip back to UK when I go there, with a easy drive over from the capital on good new roads.

Thanks Planner.

I am pleased to expound on Luperon.

Why Luperon?  It is more difficult to get to from POP and Santiago.  Over an hour away from both.  So why are so many Canadians here?  Permanent, visitors and snowbirds?  Why not take the easy route by finding a location easy to get to?  Closer to the airports.  Then when I come or leave, it doesn't include an hour+ ride to the airport.  Must be a very good reason.  And yes, there always is as in this case.

My being here is for totally different reasons.  I am interested in developing new tourist attractions.  However, I too might look at the close to airport communities.  But, I am not looking for a location that is easy to get to.  I want the best places that afford what most of the other tourists locations don't have.

Let's start with history.  Add uncrowded white sandy beaches.  Throw in, low crime rate and the world known Luperon Bay.  And factor in, low property values and laid back atmosphere.  The recipe is starting to mix.  The extra time to get here and when I leave, are miniscule and are not an important ingredient in the final product.

It comes down to the time spent here and what the recipe calls for.  Every place has hotels.  White sandy beaches.  THAT is the Dominican Republic. They all have restaurants and Mototaxi and offer similar amenities.  It comes down to what turns you on.

Luperon, however, currently does not have large hotels and a lot of traffic.  Luperon doesn't have high cost real estate.  Prices are 25 % lower, or more, than the popular and convenient places closer to the airports. 

We buy food at restaurants based on the ingredients and how it tastes.  Same holds true, when looking for a location, especially to live or visit frequently. 

So get a taste of Luperon, and check out its ingredients.  I am confident you will like the taste.

Then when you tell your friends about Luperon, they will want to taste it too.

Great info, thanks. Now people have a sense of Luperon.

Hi,  what is the basic source of income for the locals?  Fishing, marine services, agriculture or tourist related business & activities?  I'm curious about the local economy & possible areas & types of investment opportunities.  Say hello to Tom Rush & beetle-uice or me, thanks.

The reality is that DR has so many excellent retreats like Luperon, but ease of access has restricted growth in expat ownership. It is certainly a place steeped in history with a good mix of mountains and beaches and that is what some expats are seeking as a retirement base. They don't want the hustle and bustle of the towns further east on the north coast. Equally there are those that have found Cabrera to their liking for similar reasons to Luperon.

As mentioned you have a similar situation on the east coast where a few expats found tranquility in places further up the coast such as Miches which was always a hidden secret because of poor road access. But the new Bavaro link is changing all that. And the planned ferry service across to Samana will likley change everything again(there is a small boat that crosses 3 times daily but foot traffic only).

I've written before that an impressive retreat west of Luperon is Punta Rucia and again a few expats have made this small town home despite being even further away from airports. But you could go on and mention Buen Hombre and Monte Cristi too. bigbob you must travel west past Parque Historica de La Isabela (where Columbus established the first western settlement in the New World) and onto Punta Rucia and go on a trip to Cayo Arena to fully appreciate that you are in one of the best parts of the north coast imo.

And whilst this thread deals with the north and east coasts, there are those expats who have found their piece of DR in the beautiful mountain zones and the south west.

Yes, I have been to Columbus original community and now state park.  I am looking at Manatee Bay where he landed his 3 ships and walked to search fresh water.  It was what now is la Isabella. 

I will be looking at other beaches west of Manatee Bay. 

You have obviously travelled here and know the area.  As I previously mentioned, I am amazed at how many Canadians who have sailed into Luperon Bay.  And many bought houses here years ago.  My first contact was a realtor who was from Canada. I met him on the net.

I am sure there are dozens of lovely other locations.  I made my decision to build my hospitality and tourism here, built around the historical value.  It will be a better mousetrap.  And I am planning on adding a major tourism project.  It will make an encompassing destination.. 

Appreciate your input.  All is well received.

I inquired earlier, what is the local economy based on? What do the locals do for their income? By locals, I'm referring to the Dominican inhabitants.  Thank you for this info in advance.

Most Dominicans throughout the Dominican Republic typically have service jobs in restaurants and hotels.  The man I rent from, operates a van as a taxi service.  And he has a very nice home and was smart enough to build two, 2 bed 1 bath very comfortable apartments to generate extra income.

Some are teachers.  Many women sell food they cook, on the street.  Some wash clothes for income.  Some own a few cattle and sell the milk.  Men with machetes cut palm for roofs on Palapas.  A myriad number of things.

And like most other communities in the Dominican Republic, some work night jobs laying on their backs.

What is your concern of how they exist?  I am curious.

Thanks for the info. I have people who look for investment opportunites in small depressed areas.  Christian based groups, but without the preaching.  Sort of the 'Monkey Jungle' idea.  Great place, you should go & have an unique experience.

It's a very legitimate question about any area and can indicate many things.

For example, Puerto Plata is mostly based on tourism.  When tourism slowed the town and it's people suffered!  That can lead to many implications!   

My guess is Luperon doesn't rely on tourism the same way. The Marina is a going concern, some tourism and related services, farming etc etc.

The reality is Luperon is a small community which has its own Charms. Also has drawbacks.  And that is no different then any other place.

Having lived in mostly large cities, St. Louis, Washington D.C. , New Orleans, outside of Los Angeles and bustling Atlantic City, I am accustomed to all big city amenities.  Being in the hotel industry, I was able to travel extensively to New York City, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago and others hundreds of times.  No one on this blog has more experience.  Matter of fact.

However, as we are, we no longer have the passion of night life, Broadway shows, glitter of Las Vegas where I lived for 2 years, or dining at Tavern on the Green.  Values change.  And most want a quiet., no drama laid back atmosphere to enjoy our Golden years.  Our final days on mother earth.

We still want to live and enjoy these things.  But that what a vacation is for.  Those of you who are more mature (older) can relate.  I am one hour from POP and Santiago.  In my home town of St. Louis, Missouri that is average commute each way to and from work 5 days a week.

Luperon is perfect for me.

And that's all that matters!!!   Wherever you are needs to be right for you!!!

Amen to that.  I'm okay.  You're okay.

If you still had a twinge for nightlife, those that live in Punta Cana could argue that their part of the country has more to offer after sunset than anywhere else in DR even the capital. The big shows go to Hard Rock invariably, also to Altos de Chavon in Casa De Campo which is maybe 30 minutes away.

Luperon and Cabrera are well away from any sort of bright lights. Buuut you have Sosua in between! Ah I forgot there is now the ampitheatre in Puerto Plata now.

I am curious.  How many go to the show's and similar venues?  How many do you personally attend each month?  My suspicion is very few.  What exactly do these attractions offer?

The thread is about the pros and cons of the North Coast and the East Coast.

Hence my post.

It isn't about me or you, it is about the two resort regions, for the benefit of those that are thinking of coming here.

There are good points to raise about the East Coast and these days many expats prefer the modern infrastructure and those things they are used to back home. We residents are all different and hold different opinions but should share with 'boots on the ground' experiences rather than hold inflexible views.

Let's not descend into the mire that afflicts other social media.

planner what is the points score to date?

NC 2 EC 2? or is it a Luperon whitewash?  lol, pun intended but bigbob you know i'm a fan of your area.

Hahahaha omg you guys cracked me up.

Yes, pros and cons, no debating what is "better" .

Reality lots of people liked the occasional big shows.  Personally I prefer access to my form of entertainment so neither of those sites work for me.

Now let me throw in my 2 cents....

The town of Puerto Plata is a nice mix.  Big enough to have all services available including medical clinics, small enough to not have ridiculous traffic issues. One end of town to the other us like 9 minutes or something.   It's is an interesting mix of local culture, tourism and an expat community. There is always something to do, you can dance 7 days a week 364 days of the year.

Shopping now includes big grocery stores and even Payless shoes.  All banks are located in POP.  The Malecon (runs along the ocean) is really nice, lots of restaurants and bars, nice clubs, car washes and local clubs. 

You are very close to some nice All inclusive resorts and less than 30 minutes to the airport.  Santiago is just over an hour away.

POP is very green, Mt Isabella and the Teleferico are beautiful as is the new Amphitheater and the old Fort in the waterfront. I don't particularly like what they did to Central Park, too much concrete.  The cathedral is beautiful.

It is easy to sink into local culture in POP,  while still connecting with expats.

Drawbacks - motoconchos everywhere. Lack of diversified work opportunities for locals.  In tough economic times there is more crime, and some issues with foreigners being taken advantage of!

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