Digital Nomad Exchange

Digital Nomad Life in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic

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By Betsy Burlingame

Summary: Digital nomads and expats talk about what it is like to live in Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep. Get tips from others living in Santo Domingo about where to live, how to find a place to live, pros and cons of living in Santo Domingo and more.

How do I meet people in Santo Domingo?

Live in Santo Domingo? Answer this Question

When we asked people living in Santo Domingo about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"Any expat groups, spanish lessons at a qualified school. Join a dance group, a walking group and kind of group that gets you out meeting others," remarked another member in Santo Domingo.

"Sign up for a course in speaking Spanish at the Dominican Americano School, located on Antonio de la Maza in the block below Ave Abraham Lincoln. There you will meet Dominicans who are enrolled to learn English, giving you both something in common. Many who are there are willing to tell you about their culture and give you the do's and don'ts as to how best to avoid trouble and where to go socially. Other places are the bigger Malls and supermarkets and the Metro which is the new subway line," explained one expat living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep.

What is life like in Santo Domingo?

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When we asked people living in Santo Domingo what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"The culture revolves around home and community, it is one of the things I love about this country. It can make living here and getting things done a challenge. Embrace it as much as you can and learn to go with the flow when needed, and learn when to put your foot down!!," remarked another member in Santo Domingo.

"Yes! Just like most major cities. People are up early going to work or school. The proiorities in Santo Domingo are ME FIRST!! People here have total disregard for traffic laws and signals. If you are being helped by a customer service person at a bank or store, people will interupt and start talking to the service person as if you are not even there. If you are waiting in line, people will walk right up next to you and jump the line, thinking nothing is wrong with this," explained one expat living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep.

"I found that in the city, most people are just trying to make a living. Family is also very important. The weekends are meant for socializing," said another digital nomad in Santo Domingo.

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Where should I live in Santo Domingo?

Live in Santo Domingo? Answer this Question

We asked digital nomads and expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"I chose my neighborhood because it is located within walking distance of the Sea and one half block from the Metro/Subway. I found my apartment through a website named Sublet.com," explained one person living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep.

"i have lived in various parts of the country. The first place was a tourist resort on the Caribbean sea, where I went as my job as a scuba diving instructor was there. A small studio came with the job and after a month I moved into a rental apartment. Here you just put the word out you are looking and people come to you with their apartments. Now I live in a little Dominican town, chosen as it was far from tourists and hence much safer and much cheaper. Again just put the word out and found the house," wrote one digital nomad living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep.

"I first came to a beach town but then found that for a single older intellectual woman, the capital was best. I took my time, found the pool, the library, the neighborhood I liked best, then the apartment, not the other way around," said another foreigner in Santo Domingo.

What do I need to know before moving to Santo Domingo?

Live in Santo Domingo? Answer this Question

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Santo Domingo, they said:

"Be prepared to adjust. Be prepared to be frustrated and to want to smack your head into the wall. But also be prepared to find the small joys here!! The people are remarkably friendly and helpful. There are many many good people but that takes time to get to know who they are. You won't find them in your first few months here!!!!! After 11 years I am still learning so much. I live in a typical middle class Dominican neighborhood! I am the only expat and I love my life here. 11 years of business and consulting and I pretty much know how to get things done..... but every single day I learn something new!!!," commented a person living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep.

"Only come if you are retired, and have at least $3,000.00 USD per month to spend on expenses, and enough reserve cash to return to your country for medical treatment if you need because the medical system here is a total disaster. Also purchase Medi-Vac Insurance to be 100% certain you can be air lifted and repatriated in case of medical emergency. Do not move to this city, if you cannot deal with pollution and noise, rude people, constant traffic jams, crazy drivers. Only move here as a temporary stop in order to find your way into the more peacful interior town of Jarabacoa. If you are not retired, stay away if you are looking for work, unless you want to earn $400.00 USD each month," explained one digital nomad living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep.

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What do people appreciate most about the culture in Santo Domingo?

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"I appreciate the fact that under extreme poverty, the people somehow seem to survive on so little," explained one expat living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep.

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What do people find most challenging about the culture in Santo Domingo?

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"The most challenging aspect of the new culture for me has been getting business people to understand that when I pay for a service, I expect to get what I pay for in a timely manner. Example, ( I went to a local bank to open a checking account and I had to come back and forth four times to complete the process) ( my apartment lease includes TV internet and cable. The TV was a 30 year old TV that never worked, the cable only sometimes and the internet is much like waiting for a snail to travel one mile. I requested to have my lease reflect the fact that none of these services are being used due to the fact that the landlord removed the TV during my first week and I had to purchase my own, plus I had to purchase my own internet and cable to ensure that I have service. However, the landlord wants to stick to our original agreement even though he is not providing what is promised in the lease. These sorts of things are very common in Santo Domingo). Beware," wrote one digital nomad living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Rep.

What are healthcare services like in Santo Domingo?

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When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Santo Domingo, they replied:

"You must purchase private insurance here. Public medical care is available but it is not the same, it is seriously inferior," said another digital nomad in Santo Domingo.

Get a free international health insurance quote from our partner, Allianz Care, whose plans ensure that you have access to quality healthcare whenever you need it. Allianz's flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget.
Allianz Care International Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance in Dominican Rep

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is one of the founders of Digital Nomad Exchange and the Founder and President of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange and Digital Nomad Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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Get a quote for health insurance from our partner, Allianz Care.
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