What to bring to the DR?


New member
Feb 14, 2006
Moving to the DR - Sosua/Puerto Plata area. What to bring? Washing machine, refrigerator, car - or buy them there? Are appliances very expensive? Where do you buy them? Shoes - if one has a narrow foot, should one bring shoes? How does one get mail? How does one set up a mailbox in Miami? Where does one bank/transfer money? Where do you buy a water heater - gas or electric? Where do you buy pool supplies and are they costly? I would like to correspond with someone from the US who is currently making the DR their home that might have the time and courtesy to help me with a few of these questions and more. Also what is the tax/duty on household items new or antique and how is it calculated? Where does one buy fresh fruit and vegetables. Well, that's a start!


Oct 21, 2002
Wow! I'd suggest you start by doing a lot of reading on these boards. Let me start with the easy one - fruit & vegetables you buy at the supermarket (supermercado), or at the fruit & vegetable market (usually referred to as the mercado), or at many roadstands next to the road.

The principle is to buy here, rather than bring stuff. Read as much as you can about importing a vehicle or importing household goods. There are many threads on the board dealing with those two issues. The duties are what the customs agent decides that the duties should be.

There are many banks to bank at. Again, use the search function on the board and search and read what already has been posted.

One buys pool supplies at the pool store in Sosua or in Puerto Plata.

You can set up a mailbox here through Business Mail or EPS. An EPS office is in Sosua and both of these are in Puerto Plata.

Water heaters can be bought at a hardware store (Fereteria). Things like water heaters and washing machines are a little more expensive than in the US. I would say that many of us have simpler appliances than what we had in the US.

Shoes? Many places but not really much on the North Coast. Closest for this is Santiago.


I made the 300,000th post!
Jun 1, 2005
vevy said:
Moving to the DR - Sosua/Puerto Plata area. What to bring? Washing machine, refrigerator, car - or buy them there? Are appliances very expensive? Where do you buy them?
I just bought a washing machine, a fridge and a stove. The washing machine - a Dominican one, mind you - was 6,000 RD. The stove - not the countertop kind but a full size one with an oven and storage space below was 7500 RD. The refrigerator, also full size, was 14500 RD. They were purchased at a place called Juan Muebles. When you consider the time, money and hassles involved in bringing your own things here, I think it's cheaper to buy them here. Plus, there are some appliances and electronics that won't work in the DR because of the power issue.

vevy said:
Where does one bank/transfer money?
There are several banks here where you can open an account such as Banco Popular, Republic Bank and Scotiabank. Depending on which bank you go to, you may or may not need documentation such as reference letters, etc. All I've ever been asked for was my ID but some DR1 member have basically had to give up their first born just to open an account. When you arrive, you should not have a hard time finding a suitable bank - they are literally everywhere.

vevy said:
Where do you buy pool supplies and are they costly?
If you are going to be in the POP area, you can contact Colin at 809-449-1819 which is his business cell. He has all kinds of pool supplies, powders, etc, and will deliever them to you. I don't know the exact prices but I am certain they will be reasonable - I have known Colin since I moved here last June and will vouch for his integrity even if he is from England. ;)

vevy said:
Where does one buy fresh fruit and vegetables.
Almost anywhere! In addition to an open market in POP, there are always peddlers hauling their produce up and down the streets in wheelbarrows. They have really good produce and the prices are unbelievably cheap. The going rate for 6 bananas from one vendor is 12RD, one good sized avocado is 10 RD and a bushel of lettuce is 15 RD.

Hope this helps!


Retired Ussername
Jan 9, 2002
If you come to the DR with patience, you'll lose it.

If you come to the DR without patience, you'll gain it.
Jan 5, 2006
I suggest that you take an exploratory trip to DR. Go to the stores and see what's available, and if it suits your needs and meets your expectations. After that you can decide what your best course of action is.

Personally, I did that, and found that the appliances that we wanted were much more costly in DR. We decided to buy them in the US and ship them using a company that does door to door moving, so that we knew the total cost, including duties up front. I really advice against shipping them using any other method, as you leave yourself at the mercy of the customs agency if you don't know the duty rates up front.