New arrival to La Romana - tips, tricks, advice, guidance, wisdom?!

Hi!

After introducing myself in the 'newbies' thread, I thought I'd start my own thread to beg, borrow and steal any DR wisdom before I arrive (please!!)

I have recently accepted a teaching job in La Romana, and am moving to the region in August. I am, of course, incredibly excited! I have never visited DR before, but have immersed myself in as much reading around culture shock/ expat fatigue as possible, in order to prepare myself. That said, I am looking forward to fully embracing a totally different experience (I am from London, UK)

I was wondering if I could trouble any experienced expats for any 'golden nuggets' of advice before my move. For example:

- Does anyone have any experience living in La Romana? Do you have any recommendations for food or music (real passions of mine!) or expat experiences I should get involved in?

- My employer has recommended that I purchase a scooter upon arrival in DR, in order to commute to shops etc. I am aware of the 'madness' on the roads, and am therefore quite dubious about doing so. Would some kind of vehicle be recommended though, in your opinions?

- I am 27 years old, so am interested in opportunities to be able to meet, socialise and build a friendship network locally to La Romana. Any recommendations of 'hot spots' in La Romana? Or any insight into the local and expat '20-something' vibe? (Not AT ALL that I am suggesting I am ageist! I am just interested to hear experiences, as I kind of 'assume' that the Casa de Campo area - where I will be closely based to - may be more heavily populated with more established/ mature residents? Or retirees? I hope I am not digging myself a hold here!)

- Finally, any top top tips on what to absolutely remember to bring? I have read and researched and seen a few recommendations, but there is nothing better than being over prepared, I feel.

- *edit* Finally, finally! I am in search of a carpenter upon my arrival, to build a small 'cupboard' shaped structure. If you have any recommendations, please please do let me know! - thank you

Thank you VERY much in advance for even attempting to read/ respond to my long, rambling thread. I'm ridiculously excited, but also, as I'm sure you can imagine, hugely anxious!

Looking forward to get to know you all better

La Romana is a medium size city here.  You are close to Casa de Campo - make sure you check out the marina and night life there. There are many good restaurants etc but remember it caters to high end tourism.

La romana itself offers a variety of places to enjoy music, dancing and night life. It really depends what you like. Things do change and I have not lived there in  a few years now.

I used to go to La Caleta on the  west side of the city on Sunday afternoons,  lots of music and dancing starting in the afternoon.  Good seafood there as well! 

The other teachers are  likely best people to help you get settled and  learn  the places to go. 

In terms of buying a scooter - I would not do it at least not in the beginning.  Its nuts to drive here let alone on a scooter.  For now use a good taxi.

Welcome from another resident Brit.

My interactions with La Romana are limited to visting a work friend in Casa de Campo a few times and dealing with two contractors from there in relation to a large project in Samana, so I can't offer much advice on the area.

I would say that you should make the most of nearby Bayahibe for weekends. I went back there a coupe of weeks back and the place has become an excellent resort.

You may well need to start thinking about being mobile soon after arrival if you live out of town and you mention near Casa de Campo. Adjust first, find your bearings and then look at your options. Two wheeled transport will cost you less than $1500 new and much less if used. Cars are expensive and a risky purchase second hand. As a work permit holder there is a process to get a DR driving license.

As a Brit, if it is your to your liking, you must bring lots of your favourite teabags because you will not find anything suitable or anywhere tasting like the tea found back home.

Registeras being a new resident here with the British Embassy in Santo Domingo too through their website. https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/ … to-domingo

DR is a diverse and immensely rewarding place to live despite it's problems as a developing nation. Be cautious especially when out a night. Adapt to live here, integrate and you may not want to leave. The women are considered to be attractive and for a single young man you will likely be very popular and in demand so be aware and prepared.

Here is the link to the Ministry of Tourism's website godominicanrepublic for La Romana.

http://www.godominicanrepublic.com/la-romana/

Don't buy Dominican pesos at a crazy price back home, and you will be better off bringing some US dollars which can be exchanged easily here at outlets throughout most towns at a good rate of exchange for pesos. GBP exchange is not always favourable except the resort areas. Don't exchange at the airport at poor rates either.

Enjoy and don't hesitate to ask more questions.

Very good advice . Just be careful and trust no one at the beginning .with time you will know
who you can trust . I am from Canada and had learn the hard way about trust issues in the DR . On a brighter note . Enjoy la Romana it's a nice town with great scenery and most people are friendly . But traffic is crazy ... I will be moving near you in January. I am moving to  San Pedro de macoris  . Enjoy your new start in the beautiful DR

Thank you all so much for your wisdom and recommendations!

I'll definitely be thinking twice about purchasing a scooter straight away, and I am excited about exploring La Romana!

Thank you all again!

Hello DBtoDR,

I lived in La Romana seasonally for the past 3 year years before moving into Casa de Campo where I sell real estate. I have contact information for a carpenter, as well as most other services including your transportation issue. My friend Catherine Alquier from France owns a large BnB (Chambres d Hotes) there for the past 9 years and has excellent contacts, information and guidance on life in La Romana. Let me know if you want her Whatsapp / email address. Do you speak any Spanish? Important.

Steve

Hi Steve . My husband is a mechanic .He has fixed many boats and seadoos in Casa de campo. If you know anyone who needs these services give me a text or call my husband .His name is Ezequiel *** Thanks. He values his work and his customers.

Moderated by Bhavna 3 weeks ago
Reason : Contact details should not be posted on the forum but rather exchanged through the private messaging system. Thank you
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

Hi Steverino
I am presently living in La Romana. I would love to have your contact for a carpenter and an electrician if you would have that too. Many thanks,
Gaspésie

Hello Gaspesie,

My dear friend Catherine A***from France has lived in La Romana for the past 9 years. She has a bed and breakfast at 28 Larimar St. at the top of the hill close to the river. Her number is**** She is on Whatsapp. We all use Whatsapp in the D.R. She is arriving in La Romana today after a month in France. I suggest you contact her tomorrow, Tuesday, to introduce yourself. Speak slowly if you do speak Spanish or French and tell her I sent you. She knows everyone in La Romana and can be trusted completely.

Moderated by Bhavna 2 weeks ago
Reason : Contact details should not be posted on the forum but rather exchanged through the private messaging system. Thank you
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

Sorry,  I reported this post accidentally,  I will have it put back up!  My apologies.

Welcome DB, I live in San Pedro, 30 minutes far from La Romana but I used to live there for 8 years, I sugest you to wait in the purchase of the scooter until you familiar with the area where you will live, and you see how we drive here to you will be prepared for our ways to drive.   Do you know what area in La Romana you will live?  La Romana has diferents kinds of nightlife, for Dance I like Marinelly.

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