Is Las Terrenas safe? Crime, discrimination?
Difficult question and perhaps nobody can give you the answer on that. In general Las Terrenas is a safe area. But let me ask you some questions: is it safe in Belgium Brussel airport? Is it safe in Paris? Is it safe in a school in USA?
Safety is always a complicated issue. A person can travel around the world safe if he or she uses common sense. So also in or around Las Terrenas.
And yes, there are horror stories in the internet and in the hotels. Like everywhere. And yes, when leaving the resorts at the gate they warn you that you will get robbed, that you will get shot and that you will get murdered outside from their hotel…. I can’t change that they will tell you that. Just experience the feel of freedom there is in and around Las Terrenas town. You will be surprised.
Couple of weeks ago somebody from USA said to me “Tony, DR is unsafe. Just 2 people got shot inside a school!” The true: since 2012 there where more then 620 shoot outs in schools in the USA !!!
Everywhere in the world, every part has area’s where one would not feel comfortable. Common sense is very important. Here in the DR , but also in every other part from the world. This means: leave no valuables unattended, dont wear flashy articles, dont show off with your money. Keep it in your pocket.
Always difficult to explain… crime. Yes there is crime. Like everywhere in the world. Feeling safe is something else. I feel safe. Safer then in my original country. Is there discrimination or any tension between Dominican and foreigners: NO. They are warm and helpful people. They respect us as residents and tourists.
Always use common sense: do not leave valuable things alone or out of sight on the beach or in whatever other place.
The Police force: we have tourist police, national police and traffic police in Las Terrenas. All with different tasks and uniforms. The police station is in center town and has english speaking assistance.
Schools in Las Terrenas
Las has Terrenas has a variety of schools to offer. Local and international schools.
- The international Las Terrenas School: from 3-8 years old. Divided over several groups. Bilingual english and spanish.
- Ecole Francais: this larger school uses the French education system.
- Isla school at Playa Bonita
What type of insurances you have in the DR?
There are several good insurance companies and offices located in Las Terrenas. One can insure here whatever you are used to in your own country: car, motor, scooter, home, health, liability. Homes can be insured without any problem for flooding, hurricanes, and other disasters. Humano (https://humano.com.do/)Universal (https://www.arsuniversal.com.do)
Also, with office in Las Terrenas: Estefanis at +1 (829) 333-9045
What does a cleaning lady or gardner costing?
Employees are compared to the USA or Europe extremely cheap here. Below a small overview.
- gardener who in general can do your garden, pool cleaning and some small things around the house 8000-9000 pesos per month. Around 170-190 usd per month. Full time is 6 days a week from monday till saturday 8-5 with 1,5 hr lunch time.
- a cleaning lady has the same. They often do cooking as well and watch over children. If you use them only half days or 1 day per week then it would be around 800 pesos per day, around 17 usd.
- Evening watchman are a bit more expensive. Think around 230-240 usd per month, 7 nights a week.
The Dominican Republic has labor law. At the end of the year the 13th month and when one stops you need to pay a so called “liquidacion”. Las Terrenas has a labor office.
Electricity and water?
There are 2 companies managing electricity in and around Las Terrenas: Luz y Fuerza and Progreso de Limon. Both have same prices per kw, around 15 pesos / 0,32 usd per kwh.
Few blackouts and good quality compared to the rest from the country. To give you an indication: a 3 bedroom home with a pool does around 6000 pesos / 130 usd and a 2 bedroom apartment for around 2000 pesos / 45 usd per month.
Water in Samana and Las Terrenas: still not potable. Safe to use for shower, teeth and cook. For drinking only use the 5 gallon bottles at 1 usd each. There is a city water system but not everybody is connected. Sometimes owners are connected to the project water or have a private well.
Mail and Amazon and Ebay in Las Terrenas?
Forget about the national post service. Does not work! There are several services in Las Terrenas which handle packages. You can order in fact everything you want for example per eBay or Amazon and ship it to Las Terrenas. CPS Las Terrenas is one from these offices. Mailbox in the Plaza rosada is another and similar office.
Can you buy or rent a scooter, car or atv?
Going through town Las Terrenas you will notice that there are many places where they rent scooters, atv’s (quads), buggies and cars. Even since a short while mountainbikes (at Luis in de Calle Carmen). When you rent something, whatever, good advice is take pictures how it looks when you start. So you never have any discussion.
Rental prices for a car around 50-60 usd per day, atv’s and buggies bit the same. Scooters around 25 usd per day.
Of course ask about the insurance!
Buying or importing a car: cars older then 5 years is not allowed to import. Also, importing a car can give headaches if you do not know how to handle this. There are many very good car dealers in the DR. Take a look at the largest car and motor website in the DR at SuperCarros. Remember, everything is negotiable.
Internet and cell phone services?
internet services: now, 2017, on a very good level. Several wireless providers like Silkglobal and HotSpot. If a property has access to a fixed telephone line you can also do Claro tv and internet. works perfect.
There are also the small internet boxes from Claro and Orange. Not perfect…
TV-services: depends where you are you could hook up to local cable at 11 usd per month. If not SKY TV satellite system starts at 25 usd per month. Or just take a fast internet connection with Netflix.
Mobile phone service: Claro and Orange are the largest ones in the country. Both also have now 4g speed data packages.
Fiber optics is starting to come into Las Terrenas as well now.
International airports to come to Las Terrenas?
The get to Samana and or Las Terrenas by international flights there are several options:
- international airport El Catey (AZS) at around 20 minutes drive from Las Terrenas.
- international airport Las Americas (SDQ) at Santo Domingo is at 1,5 hr drive over a new highway. With toll Total around 1000 pesos).
- Punta Cana airport (PUJ) is at around 4 hrs drive from Las Terrenas. In general to far for driving.
- Puerto Plata airport (POP) is also a long drive, at 3 hrs.
The famous motoconchos: cheapest way to go around in Las Terrenas are these guys on there motors. They bring you from one part to another part in town on a low budget. 25 – 50 pesos. They do also shopping, delivery, etc. The moto easy fits 2 persons.
Bus transport: on a daily basis busses go up and down from Las Terrenas to Santo Domingo. Around 10 usd. These are comfortable larger busses.
Then the guaguas: these can be open pickup cars or small mini busses. They often go from one village to another village. Cheap and easy. When you see one, just raise your hand and they stop.
Grosseries and online orders?
There are 2 large supermarkets in Las Terrenas: the brand new (which is part from the largest supermarket chain in the Dominican Republic, “La Sirena” and Supermercado Lindo, a very nice and good French supermarket. Besides that of course many smaller local “colmados” and fruit shops.s flight.
Both supermarkets are also open on sundays. Both have home delivery.
Komida is a new app in Las Terrenas. With this app you can order food, drinks, medicals from pharmacies and other services. With home delivery. Works perfect.