Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic is a popular destination for travelers looking for a relaxing and sunny tropical vacation. The beautiful beaches, friendly locals, delicious food, and laid-back atmosphere is very inviting and pleasant.
Some visitors find the experience so enjoyable, they sometimes entertain the idea of relocating. The cost of living in their home country versus the Dominican Republic can be a very motivating and persuasive factor in their decision-making process.
The biggest monthly expense for most people is housing, be it rent or mortgage. You can find inexpensive housing just about anywhere in Punta Cana, and those with more disposable income can live very comfortably.
The average cost of an apartment can be anywhere from $377 to $931, depending on the size and location. The low end of $377 being a one bedroom unit in a less desirable area, while the high end may be a 3 bedroom unit in an upscale area.
The average cost for utilities is $64 for one person in a very small unit and $106 for two people in a mid-sized unit. Internet service is about $33 a month. Prepaid cell phone service is available for unlocked phones, and the average cost is about 20 cents per minute.
The going rates for housing are typically higher in tourist areas, with neighboring communities offering cheaper options.
Whether you’re cooking at home or dining out, shopping outside the tourist areas will get you more value for your dollar. Much of the staples that people buy regularly in grocery stores are inexpensive; items such as eggs, bread, chicken, and potatoes.
Imported items such as certain cheeses, meats, and beer can be very expensive, especially in tourist areas. As Punta Cana is a major vacation destination, they import all sorts of international products. Try to shop outside the tourist areas and look for local brands if you’re on a budget.
Household items, like food, are usually less expensive if you purchase local brands. You will be able to find many different imported brands at slightly higher prices than you’re used to paying.
Items such as deodorant, shampoo, and lotion will be available in both local and imported brands, so you can try something new or stick to what you know works well.
Quality health care is available in Punta Cana and is generally less expensive than countries like the United States. There are private hospitals that provide first-rate care and the full range of medical services typically found in first world countries.
Private clinics are also available for minor issues. Although medical services are much cheaper in Punta Cana, and the Dominican Republic, most expatriates carry health insurance while living in the country.
The cost of monthly policy premiums can be anywhere between $30 and $100 per month.
Public transportation is inexpensive, albeit a bit sketchy. There are buses and taxis available, but they don’t run at certain hours and some follow set routes, while others wait in designated areas. Purchasing a vehicle may be more convenient but costly in the long run.
It’s safer to buy a new car, as used vehicles are sometimes tampered with, as far as mileage and history. Automobile insurance is generally cheaper, but the process of going through an accident claim can take many months, and you may wind up paying more out of pocket, in addition to your regular payments.
While there are many comparable costs of living in Punta Cana with countries like the United States or Canada, such as food and clothing, other more substantial monthly costs are much less, and you will definitely get more bang for your buck in Punta Cana.