My move to Bavaro - some thoughts

tjmurray

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Aug 11, 2006
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After living in Santo Domingo for four years, I decided to make a move to the Cortecito area of B?varo about a month ago on August 1st. I write in a journal and these are some of my thoughts about the move, contrasting the capital and the east coast from MY point of view. Everyone will see things different, but this has been my experience.

The negatives...

-No friends :( I’ll break out my violin. Obviously, I left family and friends in the capital and I’m the newbie here so I’m just starting to meet some people around town. In the capital, I was so used to having several different options of things to do almost every night without even looking for them, and now my cell phone is silent. For the time being, the change is kinda nice, but I do miss getting out with friends on a regular basis.

-No transportation. I sold off much of what I owned in the capital which included my car. People will tell you it’s a nightmare to live in B?varo without your own transport but in all honesty, I’m doing ok. I’m fortunate enough to have two supermarkets, pharmacy, gym, restaurants, bars, etc, all in walking distance from my home. At night things can get a bit complicated because the taxis are much more expensive than in the capital. I opt for motos when necessary.

Not having my own transport is only hurting because it's very difficult to get to Macao Beach to surf on public transport: two buses and then a mile and a half walk. I love to surf and the surf school up there is even holding my board for me. So, maybe I’ll get a moped some day soon or try and hop in with someone who drives up there regularly. If you know someone, let me know :)

-Lack of infrastructure. Like so many parts of this country, the government spends no money on infrastructure. What bugs me, since I walk everywhere, is the lack of street light and sidewalks. The only sidewalks you find in B?varo are right in front of the resorts because they are privately owned and the resort tends to their sidewalks. In the rest of B?varo, you have to either walk through grassy paths on the side of the road or in the street itself. And of course, at night, the street is normally pitch black. I love walking to places on the beach, but I’m not too fond of walking anywhere on the street.

The positives...


-Living expense. I live in an 1,800 sq. ft 2 bedroom, 2 story penthouse, fully furnished, with two balconies, sun deck, huge pool and the beach is a 5 minute walk away. I pay US$300 less than I did for a small two bedroom in Santo Domingo. I also rent out the downstairs room to vacationers. My price to rent for a week is almost for what I pay a month for the apartment. I plan to not only live rent free, but make money; as I already did this month. I’m getting at least 2 requests a day for the room and I just started advertising 3 weeks ago.

B?varo is empty and they keep building more: don’t ask me why. With empty apartments come desperate owners who are willing to negotiate. The only task is getting in touch with the owner and not the management company; you’ll get nowhere with them.

-Opportunities. This is the first place in the Dominican Republic where I’ve seen true tourism. I mean thousands of tourists coming in on buses, out on tours, etc. Walking down the beach, there are countless visitors shelling out cash to take a boat tour, banana boat, party boat, wind surf, canopy ride, having their picture taken, getting married, etc. It’s really impressive and there’s some money moving here. So far, my business is doing very well and I’ve made contacts for commissions on tours, transport and even short term rentals for other apartment owners in the area. I just see so much possibility here.

-Diversity. I love meeting people from different places. People that can bring different ideas, different ideals or trains of thought to the table. When I do meet people in Bavaro, not tourists, they are from all over the world. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was hanging out on the beach with a group of about 7 people. They were from: Chile, Argentina, Canada, Serbia, Sweden, United States and France. I love the diversity, and conversing with new people here has been incredibly interesting.

-Quality of life. My quality of life has improved ten fold in B?varo compared to Santo Domingo. I used to waste hours of my life in traffic jams and just those hundred little errands you seemingly have to run a day in the capital, but never quite get them all done. I left traffic jams and aggressive people three and a half hours out west. I’m fortunate enough to work from home full time and I spend the day working in a bathing suit. My laundry at the end of the week, better yet month, has bee nil :)

I used to eat and run in the capital. Now, I literally eat on my balcony, and when I’m finished, I sit back for 10 minutes and relax. My ex-girlfriend says I look like an old man in my 20’s doing that but I really enjoy it. I also spend every afternoon at the beach with my dog and watch the sunsets swimming. I’ve traded the treadmill, which I hate, for running miles on the beach. Open space (park, beach, etc) is what I truly missed having in Santo Domingo. Now, I have infinite amounts. This alone has added great purpose to my day to day.
 
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mido

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May 18, 2002
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Very nice review of Bavaro Punta Cana!
That is almost exactly what I feel about the area.
The only thing I disagree with is the CAR, if you don't have transportation it can be quite difficult sometimes to get where you want.
Let's say you have a friend who lives in a gated community, and they don't let 'motoconchos' pass at the gate, you find yourself walking quite a distance sometimes. Just one example.
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
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Parts of your note sound exactly like Chirimoya and Auntie Clara a couple of years ago!!
Santo Domingo Traffice was perhaps the prime cause of their biddine farewell to the capi.

And it seems that you do have a bull by the horns in terms of possible income producers. Very well done, I'd say.

Enjoy.

HB
 

tjmurray

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Aug 11, 2006
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Very nice review of Bavaro Punta Cana!
That is almost exactly what I feel about the area.
The only thing I disagree with is the CAR, if you don't have transportation it can be quite difficult sometimes to get where you want.
Let's say you have a friend who lives in a gated community, and they don't let 'motoconchos' pass at the gate, you find yourself walking quite a distance sometimes. Just one example.

As I had mentioned in this post, this is how I feel up to this point. I'm sure other situations will come up where I miss having a car, like a date :), but for now I am fine without one. Only not getting to Macao is killing me because the waves are huge right now :(
 

ExtremeR

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Mar 22, 2006
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Hey TJ, which was the main reason you move East? Economic reasons? Job? or just wanted a change of scenery?
 

Robert

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Nice write up TJ. What about a bike?

Santo Domingo traffic isn't that bad, I only spent an hour and 20 mins going from Hospiten to La Sirena on Winston Churchill yesterday at around 6pm. If I had walked, I would have only saved 40 mins :)
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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Welcome to the 'hood!
We go to Macao quite a lot these days to feed Chirimoyito's surf addiction, so next time we can coordinate and give you a ride there.
Have you been to PhotoBar? That's within walking or cycling distance and sounds like a good place for hanging out and meeting people, and if you can persuade a friend with transport to join you, Punta Cava in Punta Cana Village gets quite lively too.
 

tjmurray

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Aug 11, 2006
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Hey TJ, which was the main reason you move East? Economic reasons? Job? or just wanted a change of scenery?

I was getting completely sick of the capital and I felt that my quality of life had gone way down. Once I felt that way, I preferred to leave and try something new. I experienced Santo Domingo; it was time to move on.

The great price I got on my apartment was a big reason and being closer to my business partner was another. Up until this point, I have many more opportunities for income than in the capital and I've succeeded in deleting what is normally the biggest expense in someone's life: a living expense (rent, mortgage, etc.)
 

tjmurray

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Aug 11, 2006
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Nice write up TJ. What about a bike?

Santo Domingo traffic isn't that bad, I only spent an hour and 20 mins going from Hospiten to La Sirena on Winston Churchill yesterday at around 6pm. If I had walked, I would have only saved 40 mins :)

A good bike will cost me as much as a normal pasola (moped). And in all honesty, even riding a bike to Macao is a hike.

So, I'm in the market for a pasola once I have a few things straightened out
 

tjmurray

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Aug 11, 2006
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Welcome to the 'hood!
We go to Macao quite a lot these days to feed Chirimoyito's surf addiction, so next time we can coordinate and give you a ride there.
Have you been to PhotoBar? That's within walking or cycling distance and sounds like a good place for hanging out and meeting people, and if you can persuade a friend with transport to join you, Punta Cava in Punta Cana Village gets quite lively too.

Yeah! I would love a ride! Please let me know when you go.

I went to Photo Bar which is a 5 minute walk from my house two weeks ago and had a blast. The place was packed because of the long weekend. I'm actually pretty lucky to have lots of places within walking distance.
 
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Feb 7, 2007
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Why did you sell the car? You could have moved to Bavaro with the car, things would be much easier for you. It's not like you moved to a different island so had to sell the car ... I am just curious
 

maurmcgee

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Dec 9, 2005
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What a great post, I really enjoyed reading it. I am always interested in hearing the experiences of expats as it has been my desire for about 10 yrs to become one and will probably happen for at least part of the year in 2012. My question, what kind of a deal can you get on a nice two bdrm for a period of say 5-6 mos (January-May). I am sure the deals are much better if you are there year round, but for now, that is not an option for us. My husband and I will be taking early retirement due to health issues so will have the freedom (except for kids still in university) to try out a few places.
 

Lucille

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Jan 14, 2007
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tj:
Great report ...
thank you and I wish you the best in the East Coast...
I enjoy your posts very much....;).
 

ExtremeR

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Mar 22, 2006
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Why did you sell the car? You could have moved to Bavaro with the car, things would be much easier for you. It's not like you moved to a different island so had to sell the car ... I am just curious

That's another interrogant I have. I would never live in Santo Domingo let alone PC without a car.
 
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suarezn

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Feb 3, 2002
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...and to add to the car comments, buying a Passola or Motorcycle nowadays doesn't make much sense as they are almost as expensive as an older car. You're much better off putting up a little bit more money and getting yourself an old Toyota Camry, Honda Accord or smaller car which you should be able to get for around 150k pesos
 

pedrochemical

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Aug 22, 2008
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You can get a new passola for 30k pesos - quite a nice one.

And for 150K pesos you can get an older but quite nice car.
 

augustus

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Dec 19, 2007
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Bikes are too dangerous, stick to any 4 wheel vehicle, with metal around you to protect your precious body parts......Reason - lost a love one and too many friends, not counting injuries..........I have a cousin with a 188 thousad dollar doctor bill and if he were in DR, I'm pretty sure he would have nubbs for arms and no hands, but luckily, he has use of every thing, with a few minor glitches.....I teasingly call him the 188,000 Dollar Man .......I just care.. that's all..............
 
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