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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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