The Dominican Republic is not only a famous tourist destination but is also getting increasingly popular as a base for digital nomads.
Stable political conditions, good infrastructure, perfect climate, endless adventures, gorgeous beaches, and the best price-value ratio in the Caribbean are just some of the advantages the Dominican Republic can offer digital nomads.
But where to go when you want to set up a home base for a few months? Which cities and regions are best for remote working and Dominican Republic digital nomad life? What prices can you expect when living for a couple of weeks or months in the Dominican Republic?
In this ultimate digital nomad Dominican Republic guide we’re answering all your questions and more, and sharing all the details about the Dominican Republic’s best digital nomad hubs: Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, Cabarete, and Las Terrenas.
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Dominican Republic Digital Nomad
Why the Dominican Republic?
The Dominican Republic is one of the best countries in the Caribbean for digital nomads, as it offers the perfect mix of nature, infrastructure, affordable prices, and welcoming people.
The Dominican Republic is mainly known for its all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana, but there is so much more to explore, especially when you are diving deeper into the country and leaving the high-tourist areas.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to stay in ramshackle guesthouses or remote villages without internet to live the digital nomad Dominican Republic life.
Areas like the Samaná peninsula or the North Coast offer the perfect combination of tourist infrastructure and off-the-beaten-path adventures for your days off, and can be a perfect addition to any Dominican Republic itinerary.
Furthermore, driving distances in the Dominican Republic are pretty short. Even though they are spread throughout the entire country, all digital nomad hubs presented in this guide are just a 3-4-hour (bus) ride from Santo Domingo away.
This means that no matter where you choose to base yourself as a digital nomad, you’ll always be close to the best things to do in the Dominican Republic, the international airport, and all that Santo Domingo has to offer.
Dominican Republic Visas
The Dominican Republic is also a pretty easy country to visit, as citizens of most American (incl. North, Central and South America) and European countries can enter visa-free.
The mandatory 10 USD tourist card is included in your international flight ticket and the only requirement right now is to fill out a digital e-ticket, which is free of charge as well.
All tourists get a 30-day approval, which can be extended to up to 120 days. The extension can be done online by submitting some additional documents such as a bank statement to prove sufficient funds, a medical certificate from a local doctor, a copy of your passport and your return flight ticket.
The fee for a stay from 31 up to 90 days is currently 2500 DOP (approx. 45 USD) and for up to 120 days is 4000 DOP (approx. 70 USD).
If you’d like to stay legally in the country for more than 120 days, you officially have to apply for a pretty difficult residency. It is much easier to have a quick getaway to Puerto Rico, Colombia, or any other nearby country and get a new tourist visa when you come back.
There are no restrictions on how many tourist visas you can get per year.
Dominican Republic Remote Work Visa
There is currently no specific Dominican Republic remote work visa, nor news of any specific Dominican Republic digital nomad visa in the works.
Given that several other Caribbean nations have begun introducing digital nomad visas since the start of the pandemic, hopefully the Dominican Republic soon follows suit.
You might read about the “Work in Nature” digital nomad visa online regarding a Dominican Republic remote work visa.
However, this is a bit of fake news – the “Work in Nature” visa is actually a new digital nomad visa for the country of Dominica, a smaller island nation in the eastern Caribbean. No relation to the Dominican Republic!
Cost of Living in the Dominican Republic
In general, especially by European or North American standards, the cost of living in the Dominican Republic is considered to be relatively cheap.
This makes the Dominican Republic an accessible location for digital nomads with all different careers and income levels. This is perfect for those digital nomads starting their own businesses, and teaching English online in DR is a terrific option for someone looking to become a digital nomad.
A Dominican Republic digital nomad can live pretty well with 1000 USD per month here.
Especially for Caribbean countries, the Dominican Republic is considered one of the more budget-friendly destinations. However, your budget might not get you as far as it would in other digital nomad destinations in places like Colombia, Peru, or some Central American or Southeast Asian countries.
Keep reading below for a more detailed breakdown of some of the most important items in your digital nomad budget, and how to save money where you can!
Housing in the Dominican Republic
Depending on how long you are going to stay and if you are visiting multiple regions in the country, you can either get away with short-term stays (guesthouses, hotels, resorts, hostels – there are all kinds of accommodation in the Dominican Republic) or long-term rentals for 2 or 3 months.
Prices for housing vary widely depending on both location and style of housing. A long-term apartment in Santo Domingo in a good location, 1-bedroom could cost about 500 USD per month.
If you’re looking for something beachfront, such as an apartment on the north coast, for example in Las Terrenas or Cabarete you can expect to pay 100 USD per night or 1000 USD per month and up.
Short-term accommodation prices are more variable. Here are some examples of nightly rates:
- One night in a hostel: 15 USD per person
- One night in a single or double room in a decent apartment, well-rated guesthouse, or family-owned hotel (not beachfront): 50 USD per room
- One night in an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana: 150 USD or more in a double room
Make sure to check out the money-saving tips for digital nomads in the Dominican Republic below – you’ll find more about the best ways to secure housing depending on how long you plan to stay.
Getting Around In the Dominican Republic
Same as with housing, the costs of getting around for digital nomads in the Dominican Republic depend on your lifestyle, and your level of comfort navigating public transportation. If you are mainly using public transport, you can live in the country incredibly cheaply.
For example, a ride on public transport (metro, shared taxi, or bus) in Santo Domingo costs just 0.40 USD per ride!
Taxis outside of the tourist areas aren’t that expensive either, especially as you can find Uber in Santo Domingo, Santiago, and Punta Cana.
Renting a car has become pretty expensive since the start of the pandemic, but it is still doable if you are a digital nomad with a bit of a higher budget.
Long-distance bus travel between cities is quite affordable as well – for example from Santo Domingo to Puerto Plata by bus costs just around 8 USD. Plus, being such a small country, distance is never too far or bus rides too long.
Bars and Restaurants in the Dominican Republic
The prices you will pay in bars and restaurants can be extremely variable depending on the location. When living in the Dominican Republic as a digital nomad, you can eat pretty cheaply in local places and food stalls if you’re on a budget.
You’ll also find plenty of international restaurants where you’ll find more style, but it is more expensive.
A typical Dominican breakfast at a local establishment could cost 2-4 USD per plate or lunch from 3-4 USD per plate. Dinner at more stylish restaurants could cost around 10-15 USD per plate.
Similarly, a mixed drink or beer at a local bar will cost 2-3 USD, whereas the same mixed drink or beer at a nice beachfront bar will cost around 4-6 USD.
Groceries in the Dominican Republic
The prices of groceries can be explained pretty simply: everything which is produced locally is pretty cheap, imported goods are quite expensive.
This means local or generic items are your best bet if you’re on a budget – stay away from recognizable brands that need to be imported!
There aren’t many large outdoor markets in the Dominican Republic, but there are large international-style supermarkets in basically every city, such as Las Terrenas, Sosua, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, and La Romana.
Here are some examples of prices for groceries:
· Local pasta: 30 DOP (approx. 0.50 USD)
· Imported brand pasta: 90 DOP (approx. 1.60 USD)
· Local rice: 35 DOP (approx. 0.50 USD)
· Imported brand rice: 100 DOP (approx. 1.80 USD)
· Local beer (small bottle): 75 DOP (approx. 1.30 USD)
· Local high-quality rum (700ml): 1000 DOP (approx. 18 USD)
See the difference between local and imported prices? Choosing local options will help you stretch your budget significantly as a digital nomad in the Dominican Republic.
Utilities in the Dominican Republic
Depending on if you stay short- or long-term, you might have to pay some utilities such as gas, electricity, or internet.
While gas is pretty cheap and electricity mainly depends on your use of air-conditioning, the most important utility will be the internet. Depending on your usage requirements, I’d recommend you to skip installing landline internet (it might take ages until it is installed) and exclusively use mobile internet.
You can buy so-called “Paqueticos” which are currently at approx. 2.50 USD for 10 GB (valid for 5 days) with the provider Altice. Viva and Claro are also viable options, prices are usually pretty similar.
Most pre-booked apartments or other accommodations will already have internet installed, hence the mobile internet is more kind of a backup option.
Weather in the Dominican Republic
The weather in the Dominican Republic is perfectly predictable – you are traveling to the Caribbean, where the sun is always shining.
Indeed, the Dominican Republic is a year-round warm destination, as it is always hot (between 75°F and 90°F) and almost always sunny.
The only difference between seasons is the amount of rain. The rainy season is May to November, but even during the rainy season, there are hardly any days without sunshine.
During the rainy season, you’ll find a mix between heavy showers (usually for 15-20 minutes) and sunshine, while in the dry season those showers occur less frequently.
Digital Nomad Destinations in the Dominican Republic
When coming to the Dominican Republic, there are 4 particular areas you’ll likely want to consider as a digital nomad: Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, Cabarete, and Las Terrenas.
Check out more detailed information about each of these digital nomad Dominican Republic destinations in our breakdowns below.
No matter where you choose to stay as a Dominican Republic digital nomad you’ll find so much to offer.
Punta Cana for Digital Nomads
Punta Cana might be many visitors’ first city of choice for digital nomad Dominican Republic life due to the excellent flight connections from all over the world, but it isn’t necessarily the best digital nomad hub in the Dominican Republic.
Especially if you are looking for authentic experiences of the country, Punta Cana is too touristy and it is more difficult to get to know like-minded people.
However, Punta Cana has the best infrastructure in the Dominican Republic, is super safe and perfect if you are just coming for a few days to the country.
If you are traveling with a higher budget, you can rent an Airbnb close to Punta Canas’ most beautiful beaches – ideally in the Corales area – and enjoy an easy-going “workation.”
As there are no proper coworking spaces in Punta Cana nor a lot of coffee shops catering to digital nomads, Punta Cana is particularly suitable if you are used to working from your accommodation anyway, being it a resort, guesthouse, or Airbnb.
Santo Domingo for Digital Nomads
Santo Domingo is the best digital nomad hub in the Dominican Republic if you love the bustling city life and would like to immerse yourself into the local culture as much as possible.
Santo Domingo is not only a melting pot of all the different societies and ethnic backgrounds living in the city, but also home to many entrepreneurs, a social working class, and many tech-affine Dominicans.
This is a great place to come for networking with other digital nomads, world travelers, and local entrepreneurs.
Don’t think about traveling without a good VPN (Virtual Private Network). Using a VPN while connecting to the internet is an easy way to keep your personal information safe from hackers and trackers. We’ve used NordVPN for years and couldn’t recommend it more – it’s a must for safety online, at home or abroad.
If you choose to stay in Santo Domingo, your best bet is to base yourself in the historic Colonial Zone. There are plenty of different accommodations ranging anywhere from 10 to 1000 USD, and the Mochila co-working space is perfect to get some work done – and meet other digital nomads.
You have not only the biggest choice of accommodation in the Zona Colonial but also literally everything within walking distance, including some of the most amazing things to do in Santo Domingo.
Furthermore, you can find coffee shops, additional co-working spaces, art galleries, supermarkets, plenty of accommodation, local life, street food, bars, restaurants, and nightlife – everything within walking distance in the area. And the best thing: the Dominicans love their Zona Colonial as well, hence it is very likely that you can make friends and meet international and local people likewise.
Cabarete for Digital Nomads
If you are not a city buff but prefer the beach, Cabarete is the first choice for digital nomads in the Dominican Republic. It offers the perfect mix of a beach vibe, plenty of international short- and long-term visitors, and isn’t over-touristed.
Plus, Cabarete offers adventures in nature close by and the necessary infrastructure in terms of bars, restaurants, plenty of (very reasonable priced) accommodation, decent internet, and public working spaces such as coffee shops and co-working spaces. It’s an ideal digital nomad town.
In fact, Cabarete should have – together with Santo Domingo because of its sheer size – the most digital nomads in the Dominican Republic. The combination of beach, nature, and the relaxed vibe is just too appealing.
The several yoga studios (for even an absolute beginner in yoga to enjoy!) and the strip of bars and restaurants right at the beach in the center of Cabarete are the perfect places to hang out after a day of work – the beachfront location, low prices, and relaxed vibe are unbeatable.
Cabarete has every kind of accommodation for every type of budget, and you can’t go wrong, whatever you choose.
Las Terrenas for Digital Nomads
If you want to have it a little bit quieter but still want to enjoy the beach and stunning nature, Las Terrenas is a good alternative option – or an additional destination if you want to visit both.
Las Terrenas is located on the Samaná peninsula, which is famous for its pristine beaches, stunning waterfalls, and endless coconut groves.
Las Terrenas doesn’t have a lot of official co-working spaces (right now Comun Co-Work is the only one), but the plenty of relaxed restaurants, beachfront coffee shops, or even bars are inviting to work if you don’t need a super quiet surrounding.
Thanks to the large expat community, but also to the open-minded locals, it is easy to connect to the people living in Las Terrenas – great for digital nomads.
When you are looking for a place to stay in Las Terrenas, try to stay close to the town center and the main beaches Playa Poppy or Playa Las Ballenas, as this is where most things are happening and where you can find all the infrastructure and amenities you need for a remote working stay on the Samaná peninsula in the Dominican Republic.
Don’t head out on your adventure without comprehensive travel insurance! Good travel insurance will cover lost or stolen gear, medical emergencies, delayed or canceled flights, and much more. Check out the policies available from World Nomads (the best value and most flexible travel insurance out there!) or compare plans using Aardy.
Money-Saving Tips for the Dominican Republic
Ask Before You Buy
A lot of places in the Dominican Republic don’t have menus or price lists. Ask for the price before you buy something – it doesn’t matter if it’s in a bar, with a local fruit vendor, or at the beach.
Prices can vary widely from place to place, so this is important!
If you have the choice between a local bar and an international bar, choose the local bar. Not only might you have more authentic experiences, but you also will pay considerably less. Of course, this money-saving tip applies to when you are going for a drink, a meal, or anything in between.
Get Your Accommodation Beforehand
While it may not be the case when traveling in other countries, you hardly save any money in the Dominican Republic if you try to get your accommodation on the spot.
Book your accommodations before your trip if you can, and save money and time.
Get Your Apartment On the Spot
An exception to the rule above is when you want to move for a very long time to the Dominican Republic! If you are looking for an apartment for 3 months or more, you will get considerably cheaper prices when you search on spot or through local Facebook groups.
Ask For Happy Hours
If you love to have an after-work drink, always ask if the place you have chosen has a happy hour. They aren’t always displayed prominently, and as a lot of bars have a 2×1 special during certain hours, you can save considerably.
What to Pack for the Dominican Republic
If you are visiting or moving to the Dominican Republic, there isn’t anything special that you have to bring. Thanks to the hot weather year-round, you won’t even need a sweater as long as you don’t visit the mountainous areas.
Maybe bring one if you’re planning to take a lot of long-distance buses – their air-condition usually is on full blast!
If you need any specific medicine or tech gadgets like computers or camera equipment, you’re better off bringing them from your home country.
Specific items in these categories can be hard to find sometimes in the Dominican Republic. Dominicans order tons of stuff at Amazon for this reason – typical supermarkets and malls just have limited supply, particularly if you are looking for anything super special.
Interested in being a digital nomad in the Dominican Republic? Let us know in the comments if you have any questions about digital nomad Dominican Republic life!
About the Author
Chris from Punta Cana Travel Blog
After traveling through all parts of the world, Chris is living in this beautiful and underrated country since 2015. Chris knows all the pristine beaches and secluded waterfalls you can explore in Punta Cana and across the Dominican Republic. If you’d like to know more about guest author Chris and his second home country, the Dominican Republic, check out his website, Punta Cana Travel Blog, or follow Punta Cana Travel Blog on Instagram.