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Expat Exchange - 7 Tips for Living in Puerto Plata 2024
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7 Tips for Living in Puerto Plata

By Betsy Burlingame

Abreu & Associates Immigration Services
Abreu & Associates Immigration Services

Summary: Advice for people moving to Puerto Plata or thinking about moving there.

This is a must read if you're moving to Puerto Plata or thinking about moving there.

Living in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic as an expat or digital nomad can be an exciting adventure. This vibrant city offers a unique blend of rich history, stunning natural beauty, and a lively cultural scene. However, to make the most of your experience, it's important to be prepared and understand the local customs and lifestyle. Here are seven key tips to help you navigate life in Puerto Plata.

1. Learn the Language

While English is spoken in many tourist areas, learning Spanish will greatly enhance your experience in Puerto Plata. Not only will it make daily tasks easier, but it will also allow you to connect with locals on a deeper level. Consider taking Spanish classes or using language learning apps to help you get started.

2. Understand the Cost of Living

Puerto Plata is generally more affordable than many other Caribbean destinations. However, it's important to understand the cost of living and budget accordingly. This includes rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, and entertainment. Keep in mind that while some things may be cheaper, imported goods can be quite expensive.

3. Explore the Local Cuisine

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the local culture is through food. Puerto Plata offers a variety of delicious local dishes, such as sancocho, mofongo, and pescado frito. Be sure to visit local restaurants like Mares Restaurant & Lounge and El Bergantin, both known for their excellent seafood and stunning ocean views.

4. Get to Know the Neighborhoods

Puerto Plata is made up of several neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm. The historic center, El Centro, is known for its beautiful Victorian architecture and vibrant street life. Meanwhile, Costambar is a popular expat area with a beautiful beach and a variety of restaurants and shops. Take the time to explore these neighborhoods and find the one that suits your lifestyle and preferences.

5. Embrace the Local Culture

The Dominican Republic is known for its warm, friendly people and vibrant culture. Embrace this by participating in local festivals, learning to dance merengue or bachata, or simply spending time with locals. This will not only enrich your experience but also help you feel more at home in Puerto Plata.

6. Stay Safe

Like any city, Puerto Plata has areas that are safer than others. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night, and take precautions when necessary. This might include avoiding certain areas, not displaying valuable items in public, and using trusted transportation methods. It's also a good idea to have the contact information for the local police and your country's embassy on hand.

7. Get Involved

One of the best ways to feel at home in a new city is to get involved in the community. This could be through volunteering, joining a local club or organization, or participating in community events. Research groups that align with your interests and get involved. This will not only help you make new friends but also give you a deeper understanding of the local culture and community.

Living in Puerto Plata as an expat or digital nomad can be a rewarding and enriching experience. By following these tips, you'll be well-prepared to make the most of your time in this beautiful city.

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Fun, easy and effective language courses designed by language experts. Learn 41 languages from your native language. Anytime, anywhere, on any device. 50 topics to prepare you for the most common situations. 36 vocabulary builders to install words fast. 41 real conversations to give you fluency.

Mondly by PearsonMondly by Pearson

Fun, easy and effective language courses designed by language experts. Learn 41 languages from your native language. Anytime, anywhere, on any device. 50 topics to prepare you for the most common situations. 36 vocabulary builders to install words fast. 41 real conversations to give you fluency.
Learn More

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


Abreu & Associates Immigration Services
Abreu & Associates Immigration Services

Abreu & Associates Immigration Services
Abreu & Associates Immigration Services

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