Best Place to Live in DR - opinions needed

wildnfree

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Jun 14, 2005
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hola a todos los personas aqui,

As the relocation/move/escape to DR gets closer, I was wondering where the "best" place to live down there is. I know everyone will have different opinions, and I would love to hear them. Maybe some background info. on me would help...

I am originally from Australia of italian descent. Can pass as a white latino. Speak OK spanish. Been living in Hong Kong, China for past 3 years teaching english. I am just looking for a place where I can live OK, not make a fortune, speak and get spoken to in Spanish (in HK the institutionalised racsim prevents non-chinese learning chinese, and your job opportunities DECREASE with it),a place to kinda feel at home. Get stared at alot for being white here so is that gonna happen there too?. Ill start by teaching english (a sure bet to employment I gather) before branching out. Where are the jobs and environment I yearn for? (Be nice!)
 

carina

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Mar 13, 2005
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More info

It would depend on what you are looking for, the island is quite big and differs alot...
Do you want to live by the ocean, in the city, on the countryside????
 

wildnfree

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not fussy

Im not too fussy on the envirnoment I will live in, having lived in places as diverse as China and Australia and Miami. But I would like a place where locals are accepting of foreigners but still treat them equal (Im still being traumatised by some places Ive been to!). Also with enough teaching job opportunities (sp). I guess what I am looking for is more tolerance and acceptance rather than a specific physical environment. Any ideas?
 

rellosk

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Mar 18, 2002
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wildnfree said:
I guess what I am looking for is more tolerance and acceptance rather than a specific physical environment. Any ideas?
I believe tolerance and acceptance of foreigners by Dominicans is the same throughout the Dominican Republic, except perhaps amongst the super wealthy where your acceptance probably depends on your wealth. The ease of acceptance is what foreigners love about the DR.

Your determination as where to live may be based more on where you can find work and whether you want to avoid tourists, rather than your acceptance by Dominicans. What kind of work do you currently do?
 

wildnfree

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Currently, I am an ESL teacher in Hong Kong.SO I am assuming the opportunities are all in SD? Been here (HK) for three years. My plan is to try to interperet/teach eng over there while I get a feel for the place and find what I really want to do. I am happy to hear about the acceptance of foreigners there. It is not many places that do that. And that is the most important thing for me...
 

alabemos

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getting stared at

You mentioned specifically getting stared at for being white. Well, I practically glow in the dark, I'm so white. :) I didn't think people were staring at me any more, but I was walking with my friend and her little girl one day, and the little girl said, Mommy, why does everybody stare at Peggy? Then I realized that I had become so accustomed to being stared at, that I just didn't notice it any more! I live in Santo Domingo, but tend to spend my time in areas of the city that are less frequented by tourists and expats.
This also reminds me of a teenager I knew who had grown up in Puerto Rico. There, when you stop at a traffic light, you always look at the people in the cars in the next lane. When she went to the States, she said that people were so rude--they just ignored you at the traffic lights, as if you weren't there!
 

superdave83

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I'm white like leche, and while it's true that people will probably stare (a lot!) it's not a bad feeling or with any hostility at all. If anything, it will be a good ice-breaker and a way to make lots of new friends. When I lived in the DR I lived in Santiago and then San Francisco de Macoris. I also spent some time in Cotui and Nagua. I never lived in the capital myself, but I did visit it frequently and for me it was just too much, but then again I'm from a fairly small city myself. I think you'll find plenty of opportunities for teaching no matter what part of the country you go to. My personal favorite was Santiago because to me it was the perfect size, the people were great and very accepting (just like everywhere else there), and it's still relatively close to some nice beaches. Also, there are fewer tourists there, so the experience is much more authentic. But in all reality, no matter where you go I think you'll love it. It's such a beautiful country and culture, I don't know how you could not fall in love with it! Good luck!
 

rellosk

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Mar 18, 2002
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superdave83 said:
My personal favorite was Santiago because to me it was the perfect size, the people were great and very accepting (just like everywhere else there), and it's still relatively close to some nice beaches.
What's the closet beach from Santiago. I didn't realize Santiago was anywhere near any water (lake, river, or ocean).
 

AZB

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rellosk said:
What's the closet beach from Santiago. I didn't realize Santiago was anywhere near any water (lake, river, or ocean).
Santiago is not just traffic jams and hardware stores. there are some fine rivers and presas (artificial lakes / dams) near by. If you drive up to Janico, you will run into a very beautiful river with clean water. There is even a river in Sabana Iglesia and a presa as well. many santiagueros go there to fish and swim. Driving time is less than about 30 mins to sabana iglesia and a bit more for janico. I, actually, prefer rivers to a beach. Rives have fresh water (not salty) no sand and no huge crowds if you know the right place (secret places). Jarabacoa is about 45 mins to an hour from santiago. Sosua is about 1 1/2 hrs if you drive like a senior citizen.
AZB
 

Robert

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AZB said:
Santiago is not just traffic jams and hardware stores. there are some fine rivers and presas (artificial lakes / dams) near by. If you drive up to Janico, you will run into a very beautiful river with clean water. There is even a river in Sabana Iglesia and a presa as well. many santiagueros go there to fish and swim. Driving time is less than about 30 mins to sabana iglesia and a bit more for janico. I, actually, prefer rivers to a beach. Rives have fresh water (not salty) no sand and no huge crowds if you know the right place (secret places). Jarabacoa is about 45 mins to an hour from santiago. Sosua is about 1 1/2 hrs if you drive like a senior citizen.
AZB

Secret places.... spill the beans...
 

AZB

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Robert said:
Secret places.... spill the beans...
Ok, I would be willing to take a few healthy folks to a secret waterfall. We must go there in a SUV and everyone must be able to walk rough terrain (climbing rocks and dip in water to reach the waterfall. The fall itself is simply worth the travel and hike. The view will take your breath away. The terrain is rough, one slip of a foot and you will break every bone in your body. I have done it several times without incident. So no drinking alcohol before the hike. The hike is about 20-40 mins depending on folks. the last time I had done it was about 3 years ago. I hope not too many people have discovered the place by now.
Let me know if some folks are willing to take on this adventure. the water is clean and tastes better than bottle water.
AZB
 

Escott

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rellosk said:
What's the closet beach from Santiago. I didn't realize Santiago was anywhere near any water (lake, river, or ocean).
It takes me about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to AZB's house from Sosua. He lives right off the road that goes over the mountain midway between Sosua and Puerto Plata which is the fasted way to go. If he wasn't located so close to the mountain road you would add 15-20 minutes to Sosua Beach from Santiago.

I have made it in 45 minutes with no traffic early in the morning although I dented Cris Colon and Roberts head going over bumps and this was before the road was washed away by rains and big sections of the road are missing. They dozed off a farmers property so cars can continue through.

Not a good road for most people to go on at night. It doesn't bother me to drive it at night as long as I am not too tired.

Escott
 

Escott

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AZB said:
Ok, I would be willing to take a few healthy folks to a secret waterfall. We must go there in a SUV and everyone must be able to walk rough terrain (climbing rocks and dip in water to reach the waterfall. The fall itself is simply worth the travel and hike. The view will take your breath away. The terrain is rough, one slip of a foot and you will break every bone in your body. I have done it several times without incident. So no drinking alcohol before the hike. The hike is about 20-40 mins depending on folks. the last time I had done it was about 3 years ago. I hope not too many people have discovered the place by now.
Let me know if some folks are willing to take on this adventure. the water is clean and tastes better than bottle water.
AZB
So when are you taking us to this place NOT in Santiago? I volunteer Roberts SUV. It doesn't have enough scratches yet!

Escott
 

AZB

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Escott said:
So when are you taking us to this place NOT in Santiago? I volunteer Roberts SUV. It doesn't have enough scratches yet!

Escott
Yup, not in santiago but very far far away from sosua ;). I am willing to take a group of folks there on any weekend. Escott can come along as long as he doesn't bring the intentions of pushing me off the cliff. the place is at the beginning of bonao, very close to badpiece's friend's finca. I can get you all there in 45 mins from santiago. No drinking allowed if you will walk to the waterfall. If you only want to dip in the river, you can do whatever you want. It used to be a very quiet place about 3 years ago. I hope the place did,'t get a new road leading right up to the river. Most people go to river on maci-pedro (spelling???) but we make a turn and go somewhere else. Oppppsssss, I am almost giving away my secret place.
So give me PMs and lets do it. It will be worth it.
AZB
 

Escott

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AZB said:
Yup, not in santiago but very far far away from sosua ;). I am willing to take a group of folks there on any weekend. Escott can come along as long as he doesn't bring the intentions of pushing me off the cliff. the place is at the beginning of bonao, very close to badpiece's friend's finca. I can get you all there in 45 mins from santiago. No drinking allowed if you will walk to the waterfall. If you only want to dip in the river, you can do whatever you want. It used to be a very quiet place about 3 years ago. I hope the place did,'t get a new road leading right up to the river. Most people go to river on maci-pedro (spelling???) but we make a turn and go somewhere else. Oppppsssss, I am almost giving away my secret place.
So give me PMs and lets do it. It will be worth it.
AZB
I won't push you off the cliff unless you get mean and nasty. Try not to eat the birds at the landfill for breakfast the morning we go. Maybe that is what makes you so mean sometimes. You ought to change your diet if it is.

Escott
 

Mirador

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Not so secret....

about a three or kilometer walk from where the river Jima leaves the side of the mountain. By the way, I set up a 'peaje' (a toll booth) for tourist on the way. Count me in! The walk is slippery dangerous (my son Alan had a very bad fall on the flat rock in front of the falls), bring some good deck soled sneakers along...
 
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AZB said:
Ok, I would be willing to take a few healthy folks to a secret waterfall. We must go there in a SUV and everyone must be able to walk rough terrain (climbing rocks and dip in water to reach the waterfall. The fall itself is simply worth the travel and hike. The view will take your breath away. The terrain is rough, one slip of a foot and you will break every bone in your body. I have done it several times without incident. So no drinking alcohol before the hike. The hike is about 20-40 mins depending on folks. the last time I had done it was about 3 years ago. I hope not too many people have discovered the place by now.
Let me know if some folks are willing to take on this adventure. the water is clean and tastes better than bottle water.
AZB
What if you drink when you get to the waterfall? No leaving until the alcohol is out of your system? ;)
 

AZB

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Mirador said:
about a three or kilometer walk from where the river Jima leaves the side of the mountain. By the way, I set up a 'peaje' (a toll booth) for tourist on the way. Count me in! The walk is slippery dangerous (my son Alan had a very bad fall on the flat rock in front of the falls), bring some good deck soled sneakers along...
Yes, sneakers with rubber sole, with jagged finish. The rocks are always wet and rain falls everyday for a few minutes. One slip onto a pointy rock, and the fun will end for everyone. Not to mention, who the hell will carry that injured person to the car?
 

NALs

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Jan 20, 2003
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AZB said:
Yup, not in santiago but very far far away from sosua ;). I am willing to take a group of folks there on any weekend. Escott can come along as long as he doesn't bring the intentions of pushing me off the cliff. the place is at the beginning of bonao, very close to badpiece's friend's finca. I can get you all there in 45 mins from santiago. No drinking allowed if you will walk to the waterfall. If you only want to dip in the river, you can do whatever you want. It used to be a very quiet place about 3 years ago. I hope the place did,'t get a new road leading right up to the river. Most people go to river on maci-pedro (spelling???) but we make a turn and go somewhere else. Oppppsssss, I am almost giving away my secret place.
So give me PMs and lets do it. It will be worth it.
AZB
In the Bonao area there is the extremely popular Rio Masipedro. If that's the place you are referring to, then oh boy, are you in for a big surprise in terms of "the secret spot being discovered". However, I'm sure that is not the spot you are posting about, because Masipedro has been popular for more than 3 years.
 

AZB

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Nal0whs said:
In the Bonao area there is the extremely popular Rio Masipedro. If that's the place you are referring to, then oh boy, are you in for a big surprise in terms of "the secret spot being discovered". However, I'm sure that is not the spot you are posting about, because Masipedro has been popular for more than 3 years.
Nope, thats not the spot. If you go there, chances are you will be stuck there and won't be able to move your car out till 6pm. I would never go there, its a chopo bazar.
We will go to a place near by.
AZB