Samaná, Dominican Republic

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Sandy Beaches And Eclectic Expats: Welcome To Samaná

Reviewed by Lief Simon

Lief Simon is the managing editor of Global Property Advisor, Simon Letter, and Offshore Living Letter. He has purchased more than 45 properties, investing in 23 different countries around the world.

Aerial drone view of the paradise beach with palm trees and blue water of Atlantic ocean at sunset, Las Terrenas, Samana, Dominican Republic
Adobe Stock/

The Samaná Peninsula managed to stay undiscovered throughout the boom years of the resort towns until 2006. Finally, cruise ships found the small harbor town of Samaná on the tip of the peninsula.

The development that inevitably followed this huge influx of tourism spread inward from the coast until it finally reached Las Terrenas.

Now Samaná is a shell of a town that only comes alive when a ship is in port. Las Terrenas, on the other hand, is still ahead of the development curve, managing to take advantage of the benefits of development without succumbing to short-cuts like Samaná town did.

The once-village Las Terrenas has just this year really come into its own, now boasting a trifecta of recent improvements that make it the best choice for retirement in the region.

Cost Of Living In Samaná

While it offers many amenities that other Latin American destinations don’t, don’t make the mistake of thinking that living here will be at all like living back home. It won’t.

And, if you’re up for an adventure, want to get your hands a little dirty, but still like some imported wine and cheese at the end of the day, then this is the perfect spot for you.

A couple can enjoy the lifestyle here for less than 50,838 Dominican pesos per month.

Las Terrenas, on the Samaná Peninsula, offers the best lifestyle in the Dominican Republic.

What sets Las Terrenas apart in the DR—and from any other beach town in the region—is its sophisticated lifestyle. The French settled Las Terrenas generations ago, and their mark is clear. People greet each other with kisses on both cheeks, signs are in French, and baguette is de rigueur.

Monthly Budget For A Couple

ExpenseMonthly CostNotes
RentDOP 19,636
GasN/AIncluded with electricity.
ElectricityDOP 4,145
WaterN/AIncluded with electricity.
TelephoneN/AIncluded with cable TV.
InternetN/AIncluded with cable TV.
Cable TVDOP 3,927
GroceriesDOP 12,000
EntertainmentDOP 10,690
TotalDOP 50,398

Click here for currency conversion at today’s exchange rate.

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Infrastructure In Samaná

The lack of infrastructure that greeted the intrepid expats that first found Las Terrenas is a thing of the past.

The most significant change to the region came in 2009 with the Samaná-Santo Domingo highway.

It used to take anywhere from four to six hours to drive to Las Terrenas from the capital, depending on the condition of the meandering dirt road.

Now though, the drive is a pleasant two hours on a smooth four-lane highway.

With improved access, costs came down in Las Terrenas as goods were easier to bring into town.

In the five years since the advent of the Samaná-Santo Domingo highway, new businesses offering varied services and products have come to Las Terrenas, giving residents more choice and more competitive prices.

The easy trip to capital city Santo Domingo means you’re never too far from a real city and its shopping, museums, theaters, and stadiums.

Santo Domingo used to be home to the only nearby international airport. The opening of El Catey airport in Las Terrenas changed that with regular flights to Canada and the U.S. East Coast, offering plenty of national flights too.

Another of the most recent First World improvements for Las Terrenas was the opening of its brand new hospital Centro Galeno Integral—full service and complete with ICU. This place does it all.

Climate In Samaná

Samaná boasts miles of sandy beaches and balmy temperatures, with a yearly tropical maritime climate. The weather is fairly consistent all year, with an average temperature of 86°F.

The hot and humid season lasts from May to October. And, during the day, temperatures can reach 95°F.

From November to March, temperatures in Samaná during the evening are around 68°F.

Little rain falls around the area, primarily because of the mostly flat landscape, a combination of savanna and mountains.

Expats In Samaná, Dominican Republic

Once a hamlet and still unknown to North Americans, Las Terrenas, Samaná, was founded by Europeans looking for a Caribbean getaway in the 1970s.

It’s now a vibrant international community with residents hailing from all over the globe, including French, German, Polish, Swiss, Italian, Dutch, and British expats.

The eclectic population means you can find exotic imports from Europe in the supermarkets, freshly made Swiss cheese and German sausage at the local shops, excellent international restaurants, and an active and mixed group of folks to welcome you to their well-established community.

The Dominican Republic - FAQs

Is The Dominican Republic An Accesible Country?

The Dominican Republic is easily accessible country in the Caribbean Sea. Especially from the East Coast of the United States, and offers competitive residency options.

On the other hand, despite the established expat communities and the products and services they provide, this is a Third World country with Third World hassles and frustrations. It’s also a Caribbean island in the hurricane zone.

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