Dominican Republic: Is This the Perfect Caribbean?
It’s the perfect Caribbean getaway. It’s got warm weather year-round, blue skies and tropical sunshine. It’s got endless beaches. It’s got clear Caribbean water. It’s got palm trees. It’s got little cafes and bars painted in rainbow colors. It’s got the laid-back, relaxed, easy-going lifestyle.
About the only thing this perfect Caribbean destination doesn’t have is sticker shock property prices.
You can buy a condo close to the beach for less than $100,000 in this location. Or you can splurge and get a dream home for a fraction of the cost on other Caribbean islands…
You don’t have to take my word for it. Today, we’re inviting you to visit Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic on a custom chill weekend. Read on to find out how you can reserve your place…
Why Choose This Caribbean Island?
The Dominican Republic is a great location for a second-home. Here are some of the reasons why:
- It’s quick and easy to get to. Flights take 2 hours 10 minutes from Miami, 3 hours 35 from Atlanta, and 3 hours 41 from New York. Low-cost airlines like Spirit and JetBlue help keep fares low.
- It’s got great beach weather. Temperatures along the coast hover in the 80s year-round.
- The Dominican Republic offers powder beaches and crystalline Caribbean Sea, and much, much more. A central mountain range forms the country’s backbone. It’s home to the Caribbean’s highest peak, Pico Duarte. The island’s landscape includes waterfalls, mountains, valleys, forest, and lakes. In Santo Domingo, the capital city, you’ll see colonial buildings, and ancient forts.
- It’s easy to become a resident here.
- The economy is strong. The estimated growth rate for 2010 is 7.8%. Traditionally it focused on agriculture - the export of sugar, tobacco and coffee. Today, the big earners are tourism and Free Trade Zones.
- Property prices are still affordable in the Dominican Republic compared to other Caribbean locations.
So Why Is This Spot so Affordable?
The Dominican Republic was a popular vacation spot for Europeans for many years. It wasn’t as well-known to North Americans. But that’s changing.
In 2002, for the first time, the Dominican Republic saw more North American tourists than Europeans. That’s still the case today. Most travelers fly to Punta Cana. Tourist arrivals at the airport increased from 395,000 in 1996 to just over 2 million in 2010. It’s now the country’s busiest airport. Tourists come to Punta Cana to relax in big all-inclusive hotels. There are more in Punta Cana than anywhere else in the country. They line the white-sand beaches. They crowd out any genuine local flavor.
It’s not just the airport that showed massive growth. When it came to property development, Punta Cana pulled out all the stops.
It centered on the coast around Cap Cana. Cap Cana is seven minutes from the airport. Big-name resort and residential developments moved in. Swarms of international investors followed.
Cap Cana became the Dominican Republic’s hottest boom zone. It specialized in luxury real estate. But in recent years the frenzy has slowed down. Property prices started to fall. Some properties now change hands for fifty cents on the dollar compared to the boom years. Some developers scaled back big projects or shelved them indefinitely.
While the Cap Cana market overheated, development in Las Terrenas carried on at a measured pace. No triple golf courses, multimillion dollar condos, or mammoth resorts taking over entire beaches. Today, it’s a proper Caribbean beach town, with a European touch, and some low-priced property gems.
The Quintessential Caribbean
Las Terrenas is my favorite spot in the Dominican Republic. (You can see it on this map here.) It’s a true getaway, with golden sands, bright blue sea, and graceful coconut palms. There’s plenty of space to spread out and relax on the gorgeous beaches. It’s a good spot for snorkeling, swimming, and soaking up the tropical sun…
Thirty years ago, this was a rustic fishing village. Twenty-two years ago, it didn’t have electricity. But it did have a distinctive Caribbean charm that drew increasing numbers of Italian and French expats. Today, this little beach town combines a Caribbean feel and flavor with European style and elegance.
The town’s hotels are small and family-run rather than big-brand chains. The stores, in shades of tropical orange, ice-cream pink and lemon yellow, are a mix of art galleries, small grocery stores, a French bakery and an Italian deli. You won’t see high rises or sprawling malls in Las Terrenas…
The little fishing huts on the beach are now chic eateries
You’ll enjoy eating out here. The tiny wooden buildings lining the beach look quirky. But step inside and you’re in gourmet heaven. You might find a local bar serving chilled beer, fresh shrimp and lobster….or a fancy place with snowy napkins, soft music and candles.
You can walk to cafes, restaurants, the beach, stores, supermarkets, and nightclubs in Las Terrenas. Or you can try one of the crazy motorcycle taxis that whizz past, loaded with goods and passengers.
Outside the town, you’ll discover beaches that run for miles, including Playa Coson.
Playa Coson is a sweeping stretch of deserted beach, palms, and aquamarine ocean. You won’t have to guard your spot here…you can have a whole chunk of the sand to yourself.
The beach at Playa Coson
Luxury Living magazine voted Playa Coson one of their top 10 "Beaches to live on in Paradise". The island’s most expensive hotel sits in the hills overlooking Playa Coson. This area also attracts wealthy, discreet owners, seeking peace and privacy.
Off the Beaten Track
Las Terrenas was tough to get to. Two years back, a new road opened, connecting Las Terrenas with Santo Domingo. It cut the drive time to Santo Domingo to just over two hours. But the last part of the journey…a mere 12 miles…took at least 45 minutes.
It took that long because it involved a steep climb into the hills, on a curving, narrow road. The road was in bad shape. It had no street lighting. It had no barriers. The sheer hills dropped down to panoramic views of Samana Bay and the peninsula on clear days. But it wasn’t a comfortable drive. You wouldn’t want to try it in heavy rain or in the dark. And it was very, very slow.
The new Atlantic Boulevard road cuts the drive time to Las Terrenas
But a new highway opened in October 2011. It cuts out the mountain route. It also cuts the drive time from Santo Domingo to an hour and 45 minutes. That will make Las Terrenas more popular as a weekend and vacation spot for locals.
It will help bring in more foreign tourists, too. The new road places Las Terrenas only 20 minutes from El Catey airport. El Catey receives direct flights from the US, Canada and the UK.
For now, Las Terrenas remains low-key, charming…and affordable. It’s also a place where you can generate strong rental yields.
Own Here From $95,000
Sample properties currently for sale in Las Terrenas include:
- A one-bed, one-bath condo with quality finishes in a small complex with a pool and social area close to downtown Las Terrenas for $95,000.
- A three-bed, two-bath condo steps from the beach for $149,000. An outside terrace overlooks the community pool and social area.
- A two-bed two-bath house close to shopping, dining and the beach for $185,000.
- A two-bed, two-bath condo close to a gorgeous beach and dining from $150,000.
- Luxury homes from $295,000.
You’ll see the best properties on this custom chill weekend. And you’ll get the lowdown on Las Terrenas…the upsides of living and buying here…price history and rental income potential…from your host, local real estate agent Toni Green.
Toni relocated to Las Terrenas from the UK seven years ago with her young family. She came on vacation, fell in love with the area, and decided to start a new life in this Caribbean town. Once you spend some time here, you’ll understand why.
That’s why Toni is inviting you to sample the Las Terrenas lifestyle…check out the best properties…and (of course) spend some time soaking up the sun on the beach…on a Las Terrenas custom chill weekend.
A Chill Weekend You Can’t Afford to Miss
If you’d like to try on Las Terrenas for size and see if it fits, contact Toni here to get started.
Toni’s got a mix of listings… from modest condos and townhomes to luxury beach homes. She’s got something to suit most buyers –and most budgets.
Toni will discuss with you what you’re looking for, send you sample listings, and arrange a customized schedule that’s tailor-made for you.
The chill weekend will give you a taste of Las Terrenas’ chic Caribbean living. You’ll really get a feel for what it’s like to live here. And remember, you’ll only see the properties that interest you.
You’ll truly relax in this amazing Caribbean setting. You’ll explore the town, and the surrounding area… see the nicest beaches…get a feel for this unique setting…and check out a range of properties with prices and styles to suit your budget. You’ll see what you want to see, at your pace…
P.S. Here’s what fellow readers Jason and Mildred had to say about their chill weekend trip: "...we just wanted to let you know what an amazing time we had. Not only did we fall in love with Las Terrenas, but the real estate opportunities were incredible and Toni and her team were absolutely phenomenal! It was one of our most memorable experiences… we are purchasing a beachfront condo…."