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Thread: Puerto Plata Versus Santo Domingo (COL etc..)

  1. #1
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    Default Puerto Plata Versus Santo Domingo (COL etc..)

    Hello, and Happy Holidays to everyone. Numbeo has living in Puerto Plata about 30% cheaper then living in Santo Domingo. Does that sound about right to everyone, and the goal is can a 63 year old single man, live a western standards middle class lifestyle there on $2,500 a month in a location suitable to walking to many places, and just using moto's, uber etc. and not buying a car. I am just looking for a clean studio, or 1 Br, 1 Bath kind of place with A/C. Any suggested rental areas would be great as well. Thank you, and have a Merry Christmas!!

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    Its apples to oranges. Puerto Plata is a 3rd world city with terrible infrastructure but on a beach in a very scenic part of the country. Santo Domingo is (in parts) a modern first world enclave. Your money will go further in Puerto Plata but you will also feel like you stepped back 20 years in human development. 2500 should be enough for a single person if you are not into drugs or other vice but I wouldnt say that youd be living the "high life" in other spot.

    Once you are there for a couple months you will settle down and learn how to spread that budget out ...

    In Santo Domingo my hood of la Julia or Gazcue Piantani Naco are your best bets for getting around without a car. There are other great areas but you would want a car. In Puerto Plata a lot of the money youd save in rent etc would get eaten up in extra transit costs if you didnt drive.

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    I live in Evaristo Morales in Santo Domingo and I spend around $4000 per month. But I live like a king in a luxury apartment for that price. I have friends here who barely spend 2k a month. They all live in Gascue. I own a car but i never drive it here during the day. I use Uber and Cabify and its really cheap. I spend like $150 a month using those. Food isnt that expensive when youre living alone, the key is to eat things that arent imported. Plus you can go to places like plaza central and eat full dinners for less than two bucks. When I look at my budget, the majority of it, like $1500 per month, goes to partying and entertainment. So yes you can live great for $2500.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfp View Post
    Its apples to oranges. Puerto Plata is a 3rd world city with terrible infrastructure but on a beach in a very scenic part of the country. Santo Domingo is (in parts) a modern first world enclave. Your money will go further in Puerto Plata but you will also feel like you stepped back 20 years in human development. 2500 should be enough for a single person if you are not into drugs or other vice but I wouldnt say that youd be living the "high life" in other spot.

    Once you are there for a couple months you will settle down and learn how to spread that budget out ...

    In Santo Domingo my hood of la Julia or Gazcue Piantani Naco are your best bets for getting around without a car. There are other great areas but you would want a car. In Puerto Plata a lot of the money youd save in rent etc would get eaten up in extra transit costs if you didnt drive.
    "2500 should be enough for a single person if you are not into drugs or other vice but I wouldnt say that youd be living the "high life" in other spot".
    Which city are you referring to and "should" is important too. Thanks.

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    The choice for me between Puerto Plata and Santo Domingo is like the old choice between airline food and hospital food.
    Yes Puerto Plata is cheaper, but I wouldn't want to live there. I really dislike Santo Domingo.

    As for being single and having $2,500 US each month, you can do OK on that and it will be easier to do so in Puerto Plata than in Santo Domingo. Use great caution when interacting with people, eat local food, don't drink too much and use public transport after you found a safe place to live. Single guys certainly do that in Cabarete and Sosua as well.

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    @OP, only you can make that decision between Puerto Plata and Santo Domingo. Some move to la rep dom to become a beach bum with sand on their feet everyday and others come for wanting the same USA comforts here on the island. I could never, ever live in Puerto Plato or anywhere on the north coast. I don't need the beach everyday. I prefer having my 24/7 electric, being able to walk to a supermarket that has a huge selection. I love the idea of picking a movie theater out of a dozen choices or more. If you want to be around a bunch of expats than the north coast would be for you. If you don't mind not seeing gringos everywhere you turn than Santo Domingo is the place. North coasters get excited when they hear a McDonalds or Pizza Hut is coming to town. These places are everywhere in SD.

    The absolute worst thing with Santo Domingo is the traffic. After awhile you learn the better times to be on the road. Better yet if you have an apartment near the Metro subway you can travel underground.

    You could just get by on $2500 a month in SD. A nice one bedroom where the building has a full emergency generator would run you about $750. Gated building, security day and night, washer/dryer, hot water, and A/C.

    It really comes down to where you want to be and if giving up a lot of the creature comforts you could deal with.

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    One other thing for the OP. If you are serious you may want to look into getting medical insurance. It is much, much easier to get up to one month before you turn 65. I pay a little over $100 USD a month, not the best nor not the worst policy but a definite security blanket.

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    bigbird knows Santo Domingo and obviously found his own personal nirvana there.

    To the OP, he answered your question well. You could just get by with $2,500 USD in Santo Domingo.

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    It was important for me when I first arrived here to be able to lean on my new friends. My spoken Spanish was almost nonexistent, I had not lived in the developing world before, and took things like running water, electricity, common sense and bureaucratic sanity for granted. I assumed if I made a mistake and purchased the wrong plumbing part I would be able to take it back and exchange it for the correct one, or that the deposit I paid on water bottles would be cheerfully refunded when I returned the bottle...

    In the beginning I feel it is most important to be able to access help, information and socialize in a language one understands. It is really hard to talk about technical details, contracts, and processes during the first year or so and pretty much impossible for the first few months unless Spanish comprehension is a strong point. Most people will need a significant amount of information as they adjust to a new way of living. It is easy to become isolated when you can't understand voices on the radio, TV, read signage. Resources like DR1 can be invaluable, but sooner or later you will have to stand in front of someone and ask for something. You need to be understood and you need to understand the response. Access to English is greater in parts of the North Coast.

    If the OP is determined to live in the DR full time, they should pack up the stuff at home that they want here, make arrangements to have it stored and then shipped once their residency is finalized and they know where they wish to live. Arrive as light as you can to make moving and traveling from place to place as easy as possible.

    I would suggest renting a place in or near Puerto Plata for 3-4 months, then relocating to SD for 3-4 months, then making their final decision. Who knows, maybe neither place is to their liking and Santiago or Las Terenas will appeal to them more. You can't choose where to live based on the opinions of others and how others choose to spend their money. You need to walk that mile in your own shoes. $2500/month for me, would be limiting. I think that with inflation $3000 is the minimum that a first-worlder would need to not feel like they are constantly compromising. Having a little $$$ left over at the end of every month is a good thing - hand to mouth here can be precarious if disaster strikes.

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    I dont know why people are saying he'll just get by with $2500 a month in Santo Domingo. That's ridiculous and makes me wonder if you live here. I know people getting by on $1500 a month here. It's all dependent on where you decide to stay but $2500 you'll live just fine.

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