The Dominican Republic (DR) is quintessential Caribbean. This island nation is all about the sand, the sun, and the fun.
And, best of all, it’s all available for bargain prices compared with other popular Caribbean destinations.
Christopher Columbus established La Hispaniola as the predominant land in the New World. Five hundred years later, we’d say this is still the best place to base yourself to explore the Caribbean islands and to sail the Caribbean Sea.
Thinking more specifically, here are my top five reasons for choosing the DR:
#1: Ease Of Access…
The DR has seven international airports: Las Américas (SDQ); Punta Cana (PUJ); Gregorio Luperón (POP) in Puerto Plata; La Romana (LRM); Cibao (STI) in Santiago de los Caballeros; Samaná El Catey (AZS); La Isabela (JBQ) in El Higüero, North Santo Domingo; and María Montez (BRX) Baharona.
All major U.S. and many of the low-cost airlines fly here. Latin American carriers and major European airlines offer direct service, as well.
You can also arrive by cruise ship. The island has 10 major and several smaller ports of call.
#2: Cost Of Living…
DR immigration law sets the minimum required retirement income at US$1,500/person. Add another US$250 for your spouse. In fact, you could live well on less.
#3: Life’s A Beach…
If you dream of living on (or near) the beach, then the DR could be the perfect destination for you. With over 800 miles of options for where to stake your umbrella and towel, the challenge isn’t finding an idyllic beach… it’s choosing among them.
Backing up these beautiful beaches and crystal clear turquoise waters are lush forests, mountains, waterfalls, and national parks. This is an outdoors enthusiast’s playground.
#4: Investors, Entrepreneurs, And Retirees Are Welcome…
Immigration laws make it easy to become a permanent resident and start a business.
Tax-friendly incentives support entrepreneurship, especially if your field is telecommunications, infrastructure, renewable energy, agribusiness, call centers, software development, manufacturing, or tourism.
Law 158-01 provides 10 years of tax exemptions if you qualify. Start a boutique hotel, dive shop, or any business that attracts and supports tourism business, and you can save on VAT, real estate transfer fees, property taxes, import duties, and more.
#5: The Food…
No, all Caribbean food is not the same. Many of the ingredients commonly used in DR cuisine are the same as those used in other island countries—including rice, beans, meat, fish, tropical fruits, and plantains—but the end result can be surprisingly different.
This is to do with all the influence in all aspects of DR culture, including its food, from Spain, Italy, France, Germany, West Africa, United States, and even some Eastern European countries.
Dominicans have drawn on that rich diversity to create signature dishes.
Sancocho is common throughout the Caribbean and Central America. This soup is hearty and healthy.
It’s also considered the King of Dominican Foods, a complete meal in one pot. The deluxe version is sancocho de siete carnes with seven different types of meat from four different animals. It’s all mixed together with root vegetables, corn on the cob, and plantain. The result is a thick, rich, tasty, meaty stew.
Likewise, mangú—also known as Los Tres Golpes (The Three Strikes)—is a uniquely Dominican dish made from mashed plantains and served with fried eggs, fried salami, and fried cheese. Usually a breakfast dish, it can show up on the dinner table too.
Morir soñando (to die dreaming) is another uniquely Dominican concoction. This drink is a blend of evaporated milk, sugar, vanilla, and orange juice. In the DR it is served as a refreshment or with a light meal.
Dominican Republic Insider