Dreamt of retiring in the Caribbean, sipping cocktails on the beach?! The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west. With fantastic beaches, golfing, and even the highest mountain in the Caribbean for those who are more active, this island nation offers a multitude of great retirement locations.
The Dominican Republic is accessible to ex-pats to retire in, requiring income of only $1500 per month. Allowing you to live comfortably makes it one of the most desirable places in the Caribbean to live in, with several beautiful cities to settle in.
The Best 9 Places To Retire In Dominican Republic are:
- Casa de Campo
- Juan Dolio
- Santo Domingo
- Las Terrenas
- La Romana
If you’re not so quick to be convinced, read on to discover what makes the Dominican Republic special and learn about some of the best places to retire within the country.
What is unique about the Dominican Republic?
Population: 10.8 million
Climate: 25 to 28 deg C / 77 to 83 F
Capital city: Santo Domingo
Currency: Dominican peso
With a relatively low cost of living, an excellent affordable healthcare system, and miles of sandy white beaches, the Dominican Republic is a little tropical paradise for retirement. There are plenty of ex-pats living in the Dominican Republic, and with this growing population comes more access to international products and services and a more familiar feel. This is one of the reasons the Dominican Republic stands out from other Caribbean islands and offers less of a foreign environment, in addition to sunshine, warmth, and tropical beaches year-round.
Having a simple application process that takes roughly 45 days for approval, there are other benefits and tax breaks that come with qualifying for retirement in here, just to sweeten the deal a bit. The country is safe, with modern infrastructure that is still being developed, and relatively good public transport in and between the larger towns. Accessible from all over the world, with more than one international airport, the island is both easy to navigate, as well as being accessible to mainland North America.
If you don’t know any Spanish, you are able to get by, but if you’re planning to be there long term, making an effort to familiarize yourself with the language will go a long way with locals. Joining a Spanish class is also a fantastic way to meet other ex-pats and will help to smooth the transition to your new country. It is also entirely possible to live in ex-pat-only communities and not learn Spanish at all, though you may struggle a little when talking to those who are less educated.
The Dominican Republic is safe, with low levels of crime. There are ex-pats from many countries around the world, including a large group of English-speaking residents. Also, a popular tourist destination, if you’re looking to escape during the high season, your property will likely be very rentable, giving you an extra boost to your income for a few months of the year. With a low cost of living, great weather and healthcare, and an easy banking system, the Dominican Republic drives a hard bargain when it comes to retirement destinations.
What are the best cities to live in?
With many cities that have a population of over 20 000 inhabitants, other towns as little as a few hundred, and so much beautiful coastline to choose from, deciding which city you live in can be tricky! We’ll help to simplify things by providing you with all the detail of our favorite places.
Casa de Campo
On the southeast coast, this is one of the most expensive places to live on the island. It was developed in the mid-1970s into a seven-thousand-acre resort complete with golf courses, villas, a marina, and restaurants. With a country-club type of environment, this may feel like a home away from home for some ex-pats and provide a relaxing place to retire with all the comforts you would expect. Buying a house can cost anywhere from $450 000 to $30 million, and there are some celebrity residents in this upscale settlement.
This is a small coastal town with only 2500 residents. The people are warm and friendly, hailing from different countries and hosting many ethnic restaurants. This welcoming town is good for diving and has a relatively low cost of living. With two golf courses, including private villas, and a beach club, there is plenty to do, and you have the option to live in a secure, gated community.
If you prefer being the hustle and bustle of a big city, Santo Domingo is the largest in the Caribbean by population, with 1 million inhabitants. With malls, restaurants, and movies easily accessible, this city has something for everyone, with quiet and secure neighborhoods, as well as more lively, loud areas.
Decent public transport, welcoming people, cheap accommodation, great food and sunny weather are waiting for you in the Dominican Republic. For more general information about its capital check out this article.
This is a province in the southwest of the country, about a three-hour drive from the capital. Relatively under-developed still, this is a beautiful, quieter, and more rural area of the country if you’re looking to avoid people and live in wide-open spaces with access to some virgin beaches. Note that this is likely to develop in the coming years, but for now, it remains a beautifully peaceful part of the island.
With a laid-back and local feel, Luperon lies on the north coast of the island. With a natural harbor, many of the people you will find living there have boats or are keen and frequent sailors. The ex-pat community is integrated with the locals and spread out all over the town, some even living on their boats in the harbor. This is primarily an agricultural and fishing port settlement of about 6000, so very different from the country-club-like atmosphere of some other towns.
Also on the north coast, Sosua has a relatively young population. However, it is a large English-speaking community, and slightly outside the main town, there are rolling hills, beautiful countryside, and sandy beaches. This allows for larger properties and more of a spacious and open feeling in your house than living in a villa on someone’s doorstep. Windier and slightly colder than the south coast, this is an excellent location for watersports if you’re an active retiree!
With some of the most stunning beaches on the island and a large ex-pat community, this town has all the comforts of home, but without being a large overbearing city. With great restaurants, health facilities, and shops, as well as gyms and plenty of options for staying active, this little piece of paradise is a popular choice amongst retired ex-pats.
With untouched natural beaches and newly paved roads, this is a relatively tranquil little town, largely free from tourists that can be found in other places on the island. With stunning cliffs, brightly painted Caribbean houses, and a French influence from Quebec ex-pats, this town definitely does not lack character. The French influence comes through in the food you can find here, both in supermarkets and restaurants, and the locals are proud, keeping the streets clean and tidy.
With 24 hours a day access to private and public healthcare, and luxury beachfront properties available, the only thing not to love about this town is the higher prices you pay. With an international airport and beautiful beaches with a coral reef around an offshore island, this is an excellent option for divers and snorkelers alike and has a thriving ex-pat community.
How To Rent Or Buy In Dominican Republic
Whether you are buying or renting there are options for all budgets in the Dominican Republic… If you are looking for something really cheap then you can go to facebook marketplace. Change your filter to Valparaiso and then click on Property Rentals or House Sales. Remember prices will be in local Peso.
While you will find places to buy there you will be dealing directly with the homeowner. As with buying any property in any country make sure you get the right legal advice prior to purchase to make sure the paperwork is in order.
It is always safer for buying or long-term leases to go through a real estate agent instead and I have taken the liberty to list a few for you to look at below. They will tell you about local laws and fees and taxes that may be involved.
Some Real Estates To Look At In The Dominican Republic:
The Dominican Republic has many other towns and larger cities that we didn’t even cover – your options are endless and really depend on what you’re looking for in your retirement and how you like to spend your time. If you’re looking for great weather, easy access, and a low cost of living, retiring here is a fantastic option, and finding a settlement on the island that works for you is only a matter of time – there’s something for everyone!
If you want to make the right choice and see if the Dominican Republic is the best Caribbean island for you, check How To Retire In The Dominican Republic The Pros And Cons and know about this beautiful island with fantastic beaches.
If you like cheap places to live with a very european vibe have you considered Siem Reap in Cambodia. As one of the most up and coming towns in Asia right now and having revamped the whole town during Covid have a look at how you can live there in luxury for less than $1k USD a month all inclusive.
Here Are Some Other Great Places You Can Retire On A Budget
Here are some other places with similar low costs of living that are safe and offer great lifestyles with large expat communities that you might want to consider looking at.
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