Cost of Living For A Couple In The Dominican Republic

We are a married couple from California traveling the world blogging and vlogging about everything we learn and all of our experiences in each country. We stay in every country for one month. Our goal is to live the culture and experience each place as close to a “local” as possible. We stay mostly in Airbnb’s, with the exception of the times when we only want to stay in a city for a few nights. We are trying to find the most economical way to live in these countries, while still being comfortable and safe. We will be doing a monthly cost breakdown of what we spend and what we spend it on. Here is our post on the “Cost of Living For A Couple In The Dominican Republic”.

**  Full disclosure, we still have a ton of fun, but we are on a budget because this is a long term business plan. We are not spending like we are taking a yearly vacation.

If you are looking for beautiful areas to vacation for a week contact us directly at joel@2travelinglovers.com and we will point you to the best areas. Also, you can take a look at our blog posts which have lots of information on the countries we have visited.

Where Did We Stay?

In January 2019 we went to the Dominican Republic. We stayed long term in Las Terrenas, and we spent a 1- 3 nights in Las Galeras, Jarabacoa, and Santo Domingo.

Accommodations – $650 for the month

We primarily use Airbnb for accommodations and if you’re interested in some tips on how we use Airbnb to figure out the best deals click here. The Airbnb that we rented in Las Terrenas was $650 for the month. The place was a modest one-bedroom apartment about 1 mile from the beach. It had everything we needed; shower, comfortable bed, air conditioning, stove, fridge, but nothing fancy.

We book all of our lodging accommodations through Airbnb or Booking.com.  If you are interested in booking a hotel or checking prices please use our link at no cost to you.  Click here for Booking.com

If you are interested in checking out Airbnb prices.  Click here. You will receive a $40 travel credit after your first booking.

We stayed in the downtown area of Las Terrenas, which is less expensive than the beach resort areas. If you don’t stay in the resort areas of Las Terrenas, it may be a bit of a shock for you if you haven’t traveled to second or third world countries before. Most areas are very, very poor. That being said, looking back on our stay we both thought it was one of the best experiences of our lives. The Dominican people are genuinely kind, friendly, and compassionate.

Is It Safe?

You need to be careful everywhere you go, but we always felt very safe in Las Terrenas during the daytime and evenings. The worst thing that happened was getting catcalled (whistled at) at times.

To see other areas of the Dominican Republic, we booked nights through booking.com at Las Galeras, Jarabacoa, and Santo Domingo. This was double booking for us because we already had the Las Terrenas place reserved for the month. We did this for business purposes for our blogs and videos. You may not want to consider these amounts for your purposes.
Las Galeras – $56
Jarabacoa – $50
Santo Domingo – $55

Consensus

Expect to spend $650 – $1,000 per month on modest accommodations. Many places on Airbnb have better deals when you book monthly. If you are staying for a week or planning a honeymoon, we toured the Alisei Beachfront Hotel Restaurant and Spa if you want to see the video and the post from that tour click here.

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Transportation

Transportation Car/taxi/scooter/bus – $570

Our transportation included a taxi, a scooter (pasola), and a bus.

Scooter $15-20 a day. Click here for our Dominican transportation blog post which has the contact we found. He speaks English and is very honest. Mention us, and he might give you a better deal if it’s long term.

Car rentals $40-$50 per day

Quad rentals $40-$50 per day

Private & Public Bus transportation – varies depending on how far you are going.

We wrote a blog post on Transportation in the Dominican Republic which details this topic.

Again, we highly recommend that you use our contact for renting vehicles in Las Terrenas. You need to be able to trust that you have the right insurance that protects you adequately. FYI we chose to rent the scooter (pasola), and we will get into reasons why later.

Should You Drive in the Dominican Republic?

Our honest opinion of driving in the Dominican goes like this, if you’re in the city area, it can get pretty crazy. Once you get out of the city, it is less hectic. When scooters and cars pass you by, they honk to let you know they are there, but we never felt like we were in danger. The one exception was driving from Las Terrenas to Las Galeras, but it had nothing to do with the drivers. Click here for the video and blog.

We chose to rent a scooter (pasola) because it was the least expensive option. We quickly found out how fun and exhilarating it was and we both loved it. In the city of Las Terrenas, it was much easier driving around than it would be in a car. The streets are narrow, and it’s organized chaos. If money wasn’t an option, we would have rented a quad because it’s safer than a pasola (moped) yet it could still maneuver around the narrow streets.

Taxis are costly. If you are on a budget, we highly suggest you look into the bus option. It might be a little more difficult in regards to planning, but it will save you hundreds of dollars in the end. For example, if you take a bus from Las Terrenas to Santo Domingo airport costs around $8. If you take a taxi, it’s going to be around $180. There is no Uber option in Las Terrenas.

Jump on the back of a motoconcho – if you’re only there for a few days, you can always get Motoconchos (bike taxis). These are people on motorbikes that drive people around. They cost anywhere from $1 to $5 depending on where you are going. Just a word of caution, if they know, you’re a tourist, and you don’t speak Spanish they will try and get more out of you on many occasions.

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

Trip Video

This Video will give you an idea of food costs in the Dominican. Also, what grocery stores we went to in Las Terrenas

Excursions, Food & Shopping

Excursions – $320

Generally speaking, excursions are going to cost you anywhere from $40 to $80 per person, per tour. The beauty about having a car or scooter is most excursions you can access on your own, and there are no entrance fees. This is one of the reasons we enjoyed the Dominican Republic so much. You can explore on your own, and you’re not gouged for money everywhere you go.

El Limon Waterfall

For example, if you want to go to the El Limon waterfall, you CAN pay the Excursion fee, which includes horses, lunches, etc. for around $75 per person or you can find your way there, walk into El Limon, and pack your lunch. You can do the whole thing for less than the cost of your transportation and the food you bring along. For some people paying for an excursion will be the way to go. If you’re only in Las Terrenas for a week and you don’t want to think or lift a finger this might be the best option for you, sit back and relax.  To read our blog and see the El Limon Waterfall post click here.

For our purposes and what we’re trying to accomplish it doesn’t fit our travel model. We want to figure all this stuff out on our own, so we can pass this information on to you as a follower to save you money. It’s easy to google all the excursions, what we want to do is give you a money saving option should you not want to go that route.

Whale Watching

There was one exception for us; we did pay for whale watching. Whale watching is from January 15th through March 31st. We met a lady named Elena, here’s the blog post where her contact information is. We strongly recommend you call her or text her before you come to the Dominican Republic. She is very reasonable, and she will set everything up for you. She speaks five languages and will take care of all your needs. Elena was one of the best contacts we made in all of Las Terrenas.

Restaurants & Happy Hour – $500

For us, we made a few big mistakes early on by spending $75 to $100 on a great meal with drinks. We forgot we weren’t living in California anymore and working every day. This is just not something we can do very often. That being said, we did find many happy hour places where you could have a few drinks and share an appetizer for $30. Some of these restaurants were right along the ocean. If you look at our best restaurants in Samana blog, it will give you an idea of where they are. Click here if you’re interested.

Groceries – $480

There were two main grocery stores that we visited, Supermercado Lindo and Supermercado Pola. We found that we spent around $60 every four to five days on groceries, this includes alcohol. Local beers and rum were inexpensive. To Christie’s dismay, she found the selection of wine to be limited and the prices the same or a little higher than California prices.

Shopping/Incidentals – $100

We didn’t by a lot of souvenirs because our suitcases are packed to the brim. We did try a local favorite spiced rum called Mama Juana juice. It’s a juice that’s made by mixing rum, red wine, and honey and allowing it to soak in a bottle of bark and herbs. It is thought to be a tonic, and some consider it to be an aphrodisiac. You can buy the concoction already made or you can buy the bark to make it yourself. It tastes like a mild port wine. We also purchased a locally made bracelet with turquoise.

VIEW ALL OF OUR IMAGES FROM THIS TRIP

Closing Words

Our cost of living for 1 month in the Dominican Republic was $3,030, that included our storage unit in the United States, and our T-mobile international phone plan.

We loved our time in the Dominican Republic, and we hope to go back again one day. You can spend next to nothing and enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, see the gorgeous landscapes, and meet some of the kindest people we’ve ever met.

Many of these towns didn’t feel like tourist destinations or tourist traps. You can drive your scooter up, get off and lie on a beach by yourself or by a neighborhood fish stand, whatever you choose. The lifestyle is completely laid back and relaxed.

We hope you enjoyed our post on the “Cost of Living For A Couple In The Dominican Republic”.

If you want to read and watch videos of our experiences at the best beaches in the Dominican Republic click here for our blog post. There are resorts, restaurants, and excursions where you can spend a good chunk of money but you don’t have to if it’s not in your budget.

We hope you found our tips to be useful and you are excited to visit the Dominican Republic.  

Travel Resources:

If you are interested in checking hotel prices we have found booking.com to have the most competitive prices.  Click here to check out hotels. 

All of our video footage is taken with GoPro HERO6.  It’s a waterproof digital action camera for travel with a touchscreen.  We use this camera daily and we love it. If you are interested in checking it out here is the Amazon link:  Click here

Another item we use daily is our Northern Coyote cooler backpack.  We use this as Christie’s carryon bag on the plane and as our cooler at our final destination.  We wish we would have thought of this item a long time ago. If you are interested in checking it out here is the Amazon link: Click Here.   

Our goal while traveling the world is to help couples find the best cultural experiences in every country while keeping costs very reasonable. We have become experts in planning travel and not breaking the bank!!

If you would like to follow our journey around the world please subscribe on our website at www.2travelinglovers.com. We give a great deal of FREE information to make your lives easier. Learn from our mistakes!!

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