Fun Facts About Life in the Dominican Republic

Fun Facts About Life in the Dominican Republic

If you’re in the process of getting ready to move abroad, you’re liking feeling a unique mix of excitement and exhilaration. Embracing expatriate life is a big decision, and settling down in paradise is cause for celebration all around. For nearly 30 years, Casa Linda has welcomed adventurers to the Dominican’s sunny shores and helped them find their perfect house in their island home. From custom villas designed to meet your every need to a safe and exclusive community that makes it easy to find your next adventure, life with Casa Linda is simple. Below, we’ve covered 10 fun facts about the Dominican Republic. Read on and learn what life is like on this beautiful island paradise.

1. Meet the Crown Jewel of the Caribbean

The Dominican Republic is frequently referred to as the “Crown Jewel of the Caribbean” and for good reason. Beyond the endless miles of natural beauty, the Dominican also boasts the strongest economy and infrastructure in Latin America and is the most visited nation in the Caribbean. Each year, the island welcomes approximately 5 million guests to its shores!

2. Beach Lover’s Paradise

If you can’t wait to spend your retirement soaking up the sun and getting sand beneath your toes, you’re in luck! The DR is home to over 200 beaches, and 800 miles of coastline just waiting to be explored.

3. Unbeatable Weather

Snowy days and cold weather be gone! The DR gets over 300 days of sun each year, and the northern end of the island, where Casa Linda is located, is sheltered during hurricane season giving you extra peace of mind.

retire in the dominican republic

4. Easily Accessible

Due to the Dominican’s vast popularity among tourists and expats alike, the island has multiple airports and receives direct flights from over 26 countries, 64 cities, and 90 different airports across North America and Europe. This is particularly advantageous for those looking to relocate permanently, as it makes visiting friends and family back home a breeze!

5. Currency and Language

The official currency of the DR is Pesos, but US dollars are used frequently as well. Similarly, the official language of the Dominican is Spanish, but due to the island having a large expat community, English is increasingly common as well.

6. State of the Art Healthcare

A lesser-known fact about the DR is that it is home to an exceptional healthcare system that is both highly affordable and reliable. The island has several world-class hospitals and medical facilities, as well as highly skilled medical professionals that offer treatment in both English and Spanish.

7. Island Time is Real

If you’re used to punctuality, you may have to adjust your expectations if you plan on staying in the DR for the long term. Dominicans are notoriously easygoing and work on their own time schedule…which is notoriously late. This laid-back nature is simply all part of the life tranquilo!

8. Delicious Exports

Are you a fan of coffee, chocolate, cigars, or rum? You’re in luck! These are some of the Dominican’s biggest exports, meaning they’re readily available to you on the island.

9. Friendliness

Dominicans are known to be incredibly kind and welcoming, making it easy for outside visitors to settle in and feel at home.

10. Thriving Expat Community

If you’re worried about feeling out of place when first landing in the Dominican, you have no need to be concerned. With plenty of fellow expatriates on the island, you’ll have no problem finding new friends to relate to and build a new community with.

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Christmas Traditions in the Dominican Republic

Christmas Traditions in the Dominican Republic

Christmas Traditions

in the Dominican Republic

How do people in a tropical country celebrate Christmas?  There’s no snow, no cold – just swaying palms and sunshine!

Christmas is a continuous celebration of life and family.  Family members living abroad venture home to the DR loaded with gifts. Celebrating begins in October and one party follows another.  Read to discover what makes a traditional Dominican Christmas.

Dominicans Love Christmas!

Puerto Plata at Christmas

 

 La Noche Buena (Christmas Eve)

Christmas dinner Dominican Republic

The Good Night” is the largest family event of the season with a feast of food and extensive family gatherings.  A very Catholic country, many Dominicans attend Christmas Eve Mass at midnight called La Misa del Gallo  or “Roosters Mass”.  This is part of the belief that a rooster crowed at midnight when Jesus was born.

Christmas Eve dinner is called “La Cena del 24” or “La Cena Navideña”.  It consists of a traditional meal of roast pork “puerco asado”, rice with pigeon peas, pasteles en hojas (wrap of banana leaves filled with pork and “Russian” potato salad made with beetroot.  Telera is the name for a baguette-shaped soft bread that is only eaten at Christmas time.

 

 

moro de guanddules con coco

Check out the recipe for
Moro de Guandules con Coco (Rice, Pigeon Peas and Coconut)

 

 

 

 

 

Charamicos

charamicos

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without these hand-craften wooden stars, trees, balls and animals.  You can find these beautiful creations for sale on almost every street corner.  Usually a set of white lights are strung through to provide night time sparkle.  As you travel through the country you’ll see them on front porches, city streets and town squares.

 

 

El Angelito (“The Little Angel”)

The Christmas gift exchange is called Un Angelito and is a little like a Secret Santa exchange.  Everyone writes their name on a small piece of paper and then names are drawn .  Whomever you choose is your Angelito and you give them a little gift. You are their personal angel.

 

 

Aguinaldos

Aguinaldos

Music is always a backdrop to Dominican life, but at Christmas Dominicans take it to an extra fun level.  An “Aguinaldo” is a group of family or friends who go from house to house singing with  infectious, joyful happiness.  More and more people join in – creating a street festival with dancing and hot drinks.  Informal, community parties are a staple of island life.  Dominicans are very warm, social and inviting.

 

 

Flores de Pascua (Christmas Flowers)

Poinsettia

You may recognize these red flowers as poinsettias.  They are grown locally here and become large trees!  Sold in pots along the sides of the road, these traditional Christmas plants are given to friends and family as a long tradition.

 

 

Fuegos Artificiales (Fireworks)

fireworks in the dominican republic

Christmas is celebrated with a bang and atmospheric displays of color.  Fireworks are a big part of Christmas and New Year’s.  Larger cities will do professional shows, but it’s common for individual families or groups to create their own beautiful lightshow.

 

 

 

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Settle Into Island Living In Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Settle Into Island Living In Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Tranquil oceans, endless sandy beaches, and beauty as far as the eye can see. It’s no wonder that the Dominican Republic is widely known as the crown jewel of the Caribbean, attracting countless visitors each year, with plenty choosing to stay for the long term. For nearly 30 years, Casa Linda has welcomed homebuyers looking to escape the grasp of winter and embrace a life full of relaxation and adventure. Located on the gorgeous northern end of the island, our community features everything you need to settle down and enjoy tropical living. From stunning villas to a private beach club and no shortage of activities to take part in, the DR has everything you’ve always dreamed of and more! Learn more about life on the island, including the many activities available below!

cabarete villas dominican republic

Welcome to Beautiful Cabarete!

Known for soaring temperatures (28 degrees Celsius on average) all year round, as well as being sheltered against hurricane season, the Puerto Plata province of the Dominican is home to the beautiful town of Cabarete. Located just 11 miles (18km) away from the international airport, Cabarete is easily accessible and offers a serene haven to those looking to escape the wintertime blues for good. With world-famous beaches and breathtaking views around every corner, the northern end of the island is an incredible place to call home.

Plenty of Ways To Enjoy

Are you the kind of retiree or couple that likes to stay busy? Worried that you’ll get bored of sitting on the beach? No need to fear, the Dominican Republic is full of opportunities to explore! From taking in local rum distilleries or coffee factories to wandering through the many historical developments or taking part in popular sports like deep-sea fishing and more, you’ll always find something to keep yourself active. Whether you’re looking to pack your days full of adventure or lounge in the sun with your favorite drink in hand, Cabarete’s many attractions are sure to delight and surprise!

Luxurious Island Living

Settling into your new home abroad can feel daunting, but with Casa Linda, finding the perfect fit is our breeze. Our floor plans make it easy to find a layout that’s suited to your needs, and with plenty of opportunities to customize, your dream home is closer than you think! From installing luxurious infinity pools to sprawling gardens, guest houses, and more, creating the perfect space is simple with our team of builders. With prices starting as low as $179,600 USD, there’s never been a better time to buy in the Dominican!

Learn more about purchasing your dream home abroad today by contacting our team now!

Stay and Play In Cabarete: Discover Your Next Caribbean Vacation With Casa Linda

Stay and Play In Cabarete: Discover Your Next Caribbean Vacation With Casa Linda

Dreaming of a tropical escape? Known for endless white beaches, long sunny days, and perfect weather all year round, the Dominican Republic is the perfect getaway for those looking to avoid the chill of winter and soak up some fun! Located on the north end of the island, Cabarete is an ideal location for travellers who love to be active, take in the local culture, and relax. No matter your style of vacation, Cabarete truly has fun in the sun for everyone to enjoy! Learn more about this perfect slice of paradise, including the perks of renting a villa with Casa Linda below!

Discover The Wonders Of Island Life!

Ready to experience the Caribbean in all its glory? Cabarete is easily accessible from Puerto Plata airport and serviced by many North American and European airlines like WestJet, Delta, Jet Blue, KLM, and more. As one of the safest destinations in the Caribbean Islands, visitors can rest easy knowing that their time in the sun will be worry-free, especially when booking a villa in a 24-hr gated community like Casa Linda. Like other areas nestled on the northern end of the island, Cabarete is sheltered during hurricane season meaning that endless days of sunshine and warm weather await you.                                                                                                                   

dominican republic vacation rentals

Adventure Around Every Corner

Hoping to stay active, even while on vacation? We have you covered! Casa Linda’s many excursions and activities make it easy to get the most out of your time in the Dominican, with there being something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking to pack your days full of exploration or lounge in the sun, Cabarete’s many attractions and shorelines cater to your every whim.

Plan With Confidence

At Casa Linda, we know that the last thing you want to worry about when planning your vacation is whether or not you’ll have fun! Our team of travel planners and activity experts make it easy to plan a custom trip that meets your needs and guarantees that everyone is set up for a memorable time. From newlyweds to families looking to keep the whole crew occupied, we’ll make sure your time in the Dominican is unforgettable!

dominican republic vacation villas

Enjoy The Luxury Of Your Own Villa

Turn your next vacation into the ultimate getaway by renting your own private villa! Avoid crowded resorts and hotels, and allow yourself to unwind in a beautiful villa that serves as your home away from home. Located just 15 minutes away from the airport and 5-10 minutes away from Sousa and Cabarete beach, Casa Linda’s villas offers guests privacy and comfort. In addition to 24-hr security and support, each of our villas comes equipped the following:

  • Quality linens and sheets
  • Fully stocked kitchen with all appliances and BBQ
  • Queen or king-sized bed in every air-conditioned bedroom
  • Lots of onsite amenities like restaurant, store, walking trail and sports facilities
  • Your own private pool and relaxing covered terrace/yard

What are you waiting for! Book your next fun in the sun holiday by contacting Casa Linda now!

How To Smoke A Dominican Cigar

How To Smoke A Dominican Cigar

 

Dominican Cigars

How To Smoke Them…

Interested in having an essential and authentic Dominican experience but new to the cigar world? Cigars are a primary Dominican craftsman product and are world-renowned for their bold, earthy flavors and creamy sweetness. However, too many beginners can become cigar-shy knowing that there are aficionados out there with the knowledge and the know-how to do everything the best way, from cutting to lighting and smoking away. Even if you have never smoked a cigar before and don’t really know how, don’t worry! We have our essential how-to guide to get the most out of your relaxing cigar experience.

 Pick a cigar. Obviously this is step one. If you don’t know what kind of cigar to go for, start by asking for one with mild flavour and a light wrapper. The lightness of the wrapper affects the nicotine levels in the cigar and lighter ones can help prevent nicotine sickness which is nausea caused by smoking. Starting with the classics is also a good idea. Arturo Fuente, La Flor Dominicana and other local favorites are easy to find and always satisfy. Remember that each cigar has its own unique flavor profile and composition so don’t feel obliged to buy a whole box right off the bat. Purchase a few different individual cigars to try out and see which ones resonate most with you.

 

Pick a place. Of course, once it is time to smoke the cigar, you need to find somewhere to do it. Some cigars can burn for 3 hours so be sure to go somewhere you are allowed to be for awhile and ensure you are aware of their smoking-friendly policy. Try to avoid family places to prevent second-hand smoke affecting young children and others. Lastly, make sure it is somewhere comfortable: a nice lounger chair or something to that effect where you can sit for awhile and not need to interrupt your smoking experience. Having something to look at doesn’t hurt too – half the appeal of smoking cigars is the quiet contemplation that comes from taking a long smoke break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

 

Use a match (or two). Or at the very most, a butane lighter. But avoid using a Zippo because of the chance that you could contaminate the cigar with foreign substances from it. You don’t want to ruin a possibly premium cigar by lighting it the wrong way. The very best strategy is to use two matches, both struck at the same time, and hold it to the end of the cigar before putting it in your mouth and taking the first preliminary puffs. Once the wrapper rim starts to glow at the end, the cigar is fully lit and you can safely discard the matches.

 

Get something to drink. You simply cannot smoke a cigar without also having something to drink and no, water doesn’t cut it. Whether it is soda, whisky or a cup of coffee, the drink will enhance the taste of the cigar and vice versa, giving you a new appreciation for both.

Savour the flavor. Don’t rush while you are smoking. The slow burn of the cigar is its appeal so don’t feel like you need to be huffing and puffing along on it. In fact, in case you don’t know it, most people do not inhale cigar smoke but simply fill their mouth with it, tasting the complex flavors of the tobacco mixture before breathing it out. Inhaling can affect your enjoyment of the cigar and cause a coughing fit.

 

Adopt the “tranquilo” frame of mind. Similarly, not rushing means consciously adopting the classic Dominican state of mind. Relax and be present with your smoking experience, abandoning your worries for the moment and enjoying whatever view you decided on.

 

When you’re done, you’re done. It may only be that you have smoked half the cigar and that’s fine. A cigar is not really something you can wrap up to light and smoke again later. Once it is finished, that is the end of that cigar’s life. Let it burn out in the ashtray or gently tap it out but avoid crushing the cigar to snuff it out which might ruin its wrapper and is disrespectful to the craft. Remember that each cigar is hand-rolled, after all!

 

Freshen up after. Recognize that not everyone will appreciate your new-found habit or the oaky taste of a smooth smoke. When you’re done, be sure to rinse your mouth out, use mouthwash or chew some gum to clear up your palette, especially before you intend to plant a kiss on someone!

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Golf on the North Coast of Dominican Republic

Golf on the North Coast of Dominican Republic

 

Golf

on the North Coast of Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is known as one of the best places in the world to tee off, and the North Coast has its own share of incredible, interesting courses.  One day enjoy stunning ocean views while you play, the next swing across incredible tropical valley vistas. There is enough challenge and diversity for every golfer, and price tags that will make you smile.

 

Playa Dorada Golf Course

 

PLAYA DORADA GOLF COURSE

Playa Dorada Golf Course

Opened in 1976, this beautiful creation by legendary architect Robert Trent Jones Sr is located in the popular Playa Dorada resort complex in Puerto Plata, providing easy accessibility and numerous accommodation and package options.

Playa Dorada Golf Course offers five holes with sea-views, including one directly adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean. The relatively flat course is known for its outstanding conditioning and exceptional greens. . Fairways are wide with little rough, and greens are generous, featuring water hazards and strategically placed bunkers to spice things up. It’s an ideal vacation resort course that can be enjoyed by all golfers, yet one that still offers challenges. With a location just 15 minutes’ drive from Puerto Plata airport, golfers can play on the day they arrive or before they leave.

  • Holes: 18
  • Par: 72; Yardage: 6,765
  • Slope: 134; Rating: 73.6

 

 

LOS MANGOS GOLF COURSE

Golfers play among tropical fruit trees at the golf course located five minutes from Puerto Plata city. Los Mangos, which opened in 1986 and was remodeled in 2001, is a nine-hole golf course measuring 3,300 yards. Par is 35. Elevated greens can make the golf course tricky. An example is hole No. 3, where the green can’t be seen from the tee. The par 4s are short, but the par 3s are a true test.

In the summer, players even enjoy eating mangoes as they play. An executive course, it is easy to play two straight rounds using the different tees.  This course is located in the Costambar residential development, ten minutes from the city of Puerto Plata.

Holes: 9; Par: 32;

Yardage: 2,225

 

 

LAS AROMAS GOLF CLUB

Santiago city golf course with panoramic views of Santiago, the Cibao Valley and the Yaque del Norte River. It was designed by Pete Dye during the same period when he completed his masterpiece the “Teeth of the Dog” in La Romana. With ascents and large inclines to challenge golfers, it has four par-3 holes, two par 5 holes, and 12 par 4 holes. Although it is a fairly short course, its narrow fairways, small greens and many traps along with the 135 slope rating make it one of the hardest in the country.

Holes: 18; Par: 70:

Yardage: 6,001

 

 

JARABACOA GOLF CLUB

Nestled between spectacularly beautiful mountain ranges, the Jarabacoa Golf Club is most unique in that it is the only mountain golf course located in the Antilles.  The lush vegetation on this course makes playing a special pleasure, each hole showing off its delightful display of indigenous tropical plants and trees, such as Pinus occidentalis and Creole pine.  Local folklore says that Robert T. Jones helped design the course on a napkin.

The surprising slopes on some holes and interesting features on others increase the fun and challenge of playing here.  Carved out of the Cordillera Central Mountain Range with beautiful vistas on every hole, the Jarabacoa Golf Club’s nine holes cover a distance of 2911 yards with two par 3, five par 4, and two par 5 holes on 43 acres.  The inclinations and slopes, which adapt so perfectly to the terrain, offer different challenges to golfers of all abilities.

Holes: 9; Par: 36;

Yardage: 2,911

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