moving from canada 2008

rick99

New member
Nov 7, 2007
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Happy New Year, I have been sitting on the sidelines looking at the DR for over a year now, and will be making a commitment to check it out seriously in February. I have liquidated all holdings in Vancouver, and will be living on a fixed income in the DR (and hopefully buying a decent home/condo in the future). I am wondering if anyone has shipped household possessions from Vancouver. I have some nice stuff in my apartment (moved from a large house), but am wondering if I should be getting rid of my furniture/etc. or planning to ship to DR.....anyone experienced in this??? I speak only English, but want to blend and establish relationships in the DR (I am divorced for two years). Last question is comparing Punta Cana vs Caberete/Sousa .... I know that Punta Cana is more expensive; what I want to know is where is it safer and more comfortable for someone like me. This is my first post. Any comments or replies will be appreciated. rick
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
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Hummmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Good luck.
Two different worlds.

Punta Cana is a beautiful, beautiful place. It is not for everyone, unless you are among the truly wealth. It is also extremely limiting... in that there is not a whole lot of things to do there...beach, booze, and babes (some of them anyway) can tire after a while.
You are at the end of the country and hours, literally hours, from most things cultural or entertaining (even La Romana is a good haul from there)....

The North Coast. A den of iniquity for ex-pats...well, sort of anyway...
Much closer to a major metropolitan area (Santiago, about an hour and a quarter away) and neighboring villages (Sos?a, Puerto Plata, Gaspar Hernandez) offer more variety of things to do. And each is different.
A lot depends on what you want out of your retirement or your stay here...

Go for what you need to do, not what we think you should do...
 

drmc

New member
Jun 10, 2007
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Cabarete/Sosua is a lot more interesting. More to do, more variety, a nice mix of the resort/beach stuff and local stuff ...I dont live there, but I go there whenever I can. If I could live there, I would.
 

rick99

New member
Nov 7, 2007
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Thank you Hillbilly and drmc. I have read many many articles here on DR1 (and recognize you Hillbilly). I am really a beach guy, but want a fairly nice place to live as well (but it certainly does not have to be ocean front...I have some money, but need to use it to live on as well). I have spent many hours studying the real estate articles and websites as well. I think I will check out the North Coast most seriously. I have also noticed the great advice of rent first, buy later. However, I have done this in Vancouver the past three years, and now cannot afford much of a place. Is there rapid inflation on the North coast (I heard that Punta Cana has greatly increased in price). I appreciate your input. rick
 

rick99

New member
Nov 7, 2007
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gottcha and appreciate the advice. I will check it out first, then decide.
I have another question that I would appreciate an answer on. Are mosquitoes a problem on all parts of the island, or are some areas drier and more bug free??
rick
 

jojo2130

New member
May 30, 2005
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My perspective

hi, I am impressed that Hillbilly mentioned Gaspar Hernandez.

Now this is MY take and ONLY my take after being here for 2.5 years.
I would NEVER live in Cabarete or Sosua. The "bad " Dominicans and Haitians go there from all over the country just looking for expats and tourists to either take advantage of or worse. Especially Newbies.

Out here in the "Sticks" the people are real. Its Normal life and youa re not far from the "Vida Loca" if you want it. We have great friends and super neighbours and although at first look you wouldnt believe it, there are a few VERY nice parts to GH. We have a Brand new modern Supermarket and not far from beaches.

We are 1/2 Between Cabarete / Sosua and Rio San Juan .

We really enjoy living here because we do not have to be constantly looking over our shoulders or fending off salesman. Prices are less than the tourist towns as are homes and real estate.

Life is quiet and normal......... I couldn;t deal with the hubub of the tourist centers..... when I go there i want out. Its plastic and does not represent DR reality in MY humble opinion .........

AS long as you keep a low profile and treat people with respect in this country you will rarely have a problem.
 

Dolores1

DR1
May 3, 2000
8,216
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www.
Check out Santo Domingo, too. Your income will enable you to vacation at the resorts, to get your quota of beach. Santo Domingo has more to offer to single people.
 

whirleybird

Silver
Feb 27, 2006
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Are mosquitoes a problem on all parts of the island, or are some areas drier and more bug free??
rick

When we first visited and then moved to DR I was eaten alive by mosquitos as they seem to love me for some reason but, to be honest, I have always found I get more badly bitten when in town, i.e. Sosua/ Cabarete than when I am up here at our finca outside Sabaneta. After 12 months I felt I was becoming immune to their thirst but, having returned to the UK for 5 weeks, they seemed to attack me again on my return. My honest opinion is steer clear of anywhere which may retain stagnant water (their favourite breeding ground) and also the river area at dusk and dawn.
 

tee

Bronze
Sep 14, 2007
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Rick,

Take my advice, put whatever belongings you have into a storage unit in Vancouver, then come down here. As others have said, see what you can live with and live without. Believe me, I have experience in shipping a container from Vancouver. I crammed everything I owned into a 20ft container and had it shipped here to the D.R. 3 years ago. It was supposed to take 8 weeks, but the shipping company went bankrupt whilst the container was on its way. Ok, you can put this down to bad luck, but I would hate for it to happen to anybody else. The container got lost, but it was eventually found 12 weeks after it left my place in the Okanagan valley, but it was still in Canada, sitting in the port of Halifax. I was also informed that due to the fact that the container had been sitting in the port over its designated quota of days, that there was also a charge for each extra day...and as you can imagine, the bill was quite high. Well, the company I paid $10,000 US to ship my container did not do a thing about it, and luckily the insurance company took over and paid for everything. I recieved my container about 8 weeks later, thankfully all in one piece. I was also one of the lucky guys as the Dominican authorities had not helped themselves to any of my belongings once it arrived.
So if I were you, come down here first and leave your stuff in Vancouver for the time being.
I live on the north coast as there are definitely more activities up here. The south is beautiful, but I believe that the north is better. As far as crime is concerned, things have beeen a bit rough up here, but it is getting better. If you are unsure, then rent a place first. I am a real estate agent and would be happy to help you out...just send me a p.m.
Whatever you do, good luck!
 

DrChrisHE

On Probation!
Jul 23, 2006
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Excellent comments...do heed them!

As for mosquitos...I understand that the mountains have fewer at the HIGHEST elevation but if you're a beach guy that makes your walk down pretty rough! Avoiding areas of stagnant water during rainy season is hard. I will say that the golf courses DON'T make things easier with the water obstacles so you might keep that in mind.

I agree with HB...Punta Cana is isolating in many ways. When you say "beach guy" do you like surf? If so, then Cabarete/Sosua would be my choice. You can still get deals in Juan Dolio but I'd rent before buying ANYWHERE here. The advantage of Juan Dolio is its proximity to the Cap without the crowds. The re-furbished beaches (what survived the H Dean, TS Noel and TS Olga this year) are lovely but JD itself is not super loud and 'happening every night. Still, we have access to the Cap, SPM and La Romana.

Make sure you are up-to-date on all your immunizations plus Hep A & B & Typhoid. IF you decide on Punta Cana, you should know that WHO recommends Malaria prophylaxis for this area and the Haitian boarder, but NOT for the rest of the DR.
 

rick99

New member
Nov 7, 2007
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Thank you everyone for all the great advice!! I am looking forward to a trip in early February. I will be seeking more information on Gaspar Hernandez as it sounds appealing. After reading the forums, Sosua sounds like a fun place to visit; but I like the appeal of a more peaceful environment. Oh yeah, one more thing I was wondering. I have read all about getting a driver's license, but need to know one important item...is the written test also available in English? I do want to learn Spanish, but this will take some time. So basically, what is the easiest way for a Canadian to get a license? thanks again........rick