8 Cities Where Most Foreigners Live In The Dominican Republic


The Dominican Republic is recognized as one of the most important tourist spots in the Caribbean, but many foreigners decide to live here for various reasons, either because they fall in love with the country or because the cost of living is very low in relation to other countries.

Most foreigners living in the Dominican Republic tend to be concentrated in certain areas, These areas are generally those popular with tourists, expatriates, or individuals involved in specific industries (such as mining, renewable energy, or free zones).

Here are some of the more common places where foreigners might reside:

  1. Santo Domingo: As the capital city, Santo Domingo has a diverse population and offers numerous amenities, such as shopping centers, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Many expatriates and foreign workers live here.
  2. Punta Cana/Bávaro: Known for its beaches and all-inclusive resorts, Punta Cana and the adjacent Bávaro area attract a lot of foreign residents, particularly those in the tourism industry.
  3. Sosúa & Cabarete: Located on the north coast, these towns are popular among European and North American expatriates. Sosúa has a significant community of German and Jewish expatriates, while Cabarete is popular for water sports like kiteboarding and windsurfing.
  4. Puerto Plata: Another north coast city, Puerto Plata is known for its beautiful beaches and the Amber Museum. It has a relatively sizable foreign population.
  5. Las Terrenas & Samaná: Also on the north coast but in the Samaná Peninsula, these areas have beautiful beaches and are especially popular among French expatriates.
  6. Santiago: The second-largest city in the country is an industrial and agricultural hub. While not as popular among foreigners as Santo Domingo, it does have a foreign population consisting mainly of people involved in business and education.
  7. La Romana: Known for the Casa de Campo resort and its proximity to Bayahibe, this city also has a community of foreigners.
  8. Jarabacoa and Constanza: These mountainous areas in the center of the country are popular for eco-tourism and outdoor activities. They attract different types of expatriates looking for cooler climates and outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking.

Which nationalities are most represented among foreigners?

You see, the Dominican Republic has long been a melting pot of sorts, attracting people from various corners of the world. It’s like a colorful tapestry of cultures, especially in places bustling with expats.

Now, if we talk about who’s really making their home there, Americans and Canadians are quite visible. Many of them are drawn by the tropical climate, beautiful beaches, and relatively affordable cost of living.

Some are retirees looking to enjoy their golden years, while others are digital nomads and entrepreneurs setting up shop under the palm trees.

Then you have Europeans, particularly from countries like France, Germany, and Italy. French folks, for example, have found a particular affinity for places like Las Terrenas and Samaná.

These areas almost feel like little corners of France in the Caribbean, complete with French bakeries and bistros.

Spaniards are also well-represented, often because of historical and linguistic ties. Some are involved in business ventures, while others are there for tourism-related jobs or retirement.

Of course, we can’t forget the Haitians, who share the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic.

While their presence is sometimes a subject of political and social tension, they make up a significant portion of the foreign population, often involved in labor-intensive sectors like agriculture and construction.

Latin Americans from countries like Venezuela and Colombia have also made the Dominican Republic their home, especially given the socio-political turmoil in their native lands.

They often bring with them a rich tapestry of cultural influences that further enrich the Dominican social fabric.

So, it’s a pretty eclectic mix, and each group brings its own unique flair to the Dominican Republic, making it the diverse and vibrant place that it is.

What attracts foreigners to specific regions or cities in the Dominican Republic?

You know, people are drawn to different places in the Dominican Republic for a myriad of reasons, and it’s fascinating how diverse those attractions can be.

Let’s start with the capital, Santo Domingo, it’s a hub of activity, political, economic, you name it. So, naturally, you have a good number of professionals and business folks who settle there.

It’s a city where you can attend a gallery opening one night and hit a trendy bar the next. Plus, all the amenities you could ever want are just a stone’s throw away.

There’s an element of convenience and urban sophistication that many foreigners find appealing.

But then you go to Punta Cana and Bávaro, and it’s a whole different vibe. It’s all about that quintessential Caribbean beach life.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to live where people usually vacation, right? These areas are magnets for those in the hospitality industry, as well as retirees and people who can work remotely while enjoying a permanent vacation vibe.

On the other hand, if you head north to places like Sosúa and Cabarete, you’ll find communities that have a very laid-back, almost bohemian feel.

The expats there are often into water sports, and outdoor activities, or are just looking to escape the hustle and bustle.

Cabarete is like a mecca for kiteboarders and windsurfers, if you’re into that sort of thing, it’s pretty much paradise.

Now, if you’re more the mountainous, cooler-climate type, Jarabacoa and Constanza offer a stark contrast to the beaches and palm trees.

These are places where you can literally and metaphorically cool down, it’s more of an eco-conscious crowd that settles there, people who enjoy hiking, farming, and the serenity of nature.

And let’s not forget about the French influence in places like Las Terrenas and Samaná, these areas have a unique European charm, from the food to the architecture.

Many French expats are pulled towards that familiarity, so it’s like a slice of France under the Caribbean sun.

What are the safety levels like in areas with high concentrations of foreigners?

Generally speaking, areas with a high concentration of foreigners are fairly safe, especially during the day.

These areas are often frequented by tourists as well, so there’s usually a visible police presence or private security.

Think about places like Punta Cana and Bávaro, which thrive on tourism. It’s in everyone’s interest to keep those areas safe and inviting.

But, of course, like any place, the Dominican Republic has its pockets where caution is advised. Even in expat havens like Sosúa and Cabarete, it’s wise to keep your wits about you.

Nighttime can be a different story, and it’s generally advisable to avoid dimly lit areas or places that seem sketchy. Word to the wise: always listen to local advice about where to go and what to avoid.

Santo Domingo, the capital, is an interesting case. It’s a big city, so you’ve got neighborhoods that range from upscale and well-policed to others where you might not want to wander around after dark.

The expats and well-to-do locals often live in gated communities or buildings with security services, and that tends to be the norm for those who can afford it.

In more rural or less touristy areas, safety can be a mixed bag. On one hand, communities are often close-knit, and crime rates can be lower.

On the other hand, being an unfamiliar face could make you stand out, and not always in the best way, so being aware of your surroundings and making connections with locals can go a long way in keeping you safe.

And let’s not forget, that safety isn’t just about crime, healthcare access is also a concern, especially in more remote areas, many foreigners opt to live within a reasonable distance of a hospital or clinic, just in case.

So, while no place is ever 100% safe, the key takeaway is that the Dominican Republic offers a variety of living experiences with varying degrees of safety. A lot of it comes down to common sense, staying aware, and taking local advice seriously.

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