Cabrera Expats Head To Santiago For A Day Of Shopping

Carnival Is Coming - Santiago Shopping TripContinuing on our day trip down to Santiago for shopping, we stop over at one of my favorite little roadside restaurants filled with mountain bikers and catch a glimpse at a couple of the locals in costume promoting the upcoming Carnival in the town of La Vega.  We get to check out the downhill portion of our trip as we head into Santiago for our first stop at La Sirena.  This is one of the grocery store chains in the Dominican Republic, very similar to say a Publix or a Kroger mega store in the US.

La Sirena Supermarket

La Sirena Supermarket

As you will see as we roam the isles of La Sirena, the selection is just as you would expect at most American larger supermarkets, with the exception that you will probably find a little larger selection of European food products which are brought in to service the sizable European expat community.

In this first video (Part 2) we continue up the mountain through some small farming communities and stop over for a quick lunch at a roadside restaurant.  On the day we were here, a bunch of mountain bikers had peddled there way up the mountain and were catching lunch at the same cliffside restaurant.

While at the restaurant we noticed a few of the locals in their Carnival costumes to cheer on the mountain bikers and to remind visitors of the upcoming major Carnival in La Vega.  If the weather holds and we get a break in our tour schedule we will try to get down to the Carnival for some filming and to take pictures of the many colorful Carnival costumes.


In Part 3 of our video series we head on down the mountain and into the large city of Santiago for a little shopping.  Our first stop is at the La Sirena supermarket.  You will notice that it is very similar to a typical Publix or Kroger megastore with practically anything you would expect from a large grocery store.  We especially appreciate the large selection of European cheeses and other European products that are a little less common in America.

Along the way we also take a quick peek at what Liane calls the Chinese Gardens which is a beautiful landscape along the road down the mountain.  I think you will agree that the views are pretty incredible.


In our final video in the next post we will visit one of the large bigbox stores, Price Smart and also take a quick look at a store that is very similar to an upscale Bed, Bath and Beyond.  There is no shortage of expat friendly places to shop in these larger cities like Santiago….. but for a peaceful place to live….. give me Cabrera please.

Don January 30, 2015 at 8:27 pm

Hi Barry. Seeing the local stores makes me wonder – how is currency used in the DR? Mainly cash, or is there a certain amount of plastic used?

Barry January 30, 2015 at 9:43 pm

Varies widely in the nation. in the country towns its by far cash or bartering. In the major cities you’ll see plastic but not anywhere close to the percentages that you would in Europe Canada and of course the king of plastic the US. Keep in mind the debt per citizen is now first Canada with about 43,000 per citizen. Remember that is in Canadian dollars. US dropped considerably over the last few years and is hovering in the low thirties. Mind you it’s not that the average plastic wielding person has gotten wiser it’s the fact that their just tapped out maxed out if you will. Currently in the DR the debt per person averages around 2200 dollars when converted to US. That last sentence says it all. Banks here are very different and don’t just hand out cards to everyone. Hope this answers your comment.

john February 1, 2015 at 2:31 pm

I am so looking forward to those trips when we move to Cabrera god willing.Great videos and very informative .Regards jbon

Barry February 2, 2015 at 4:02 am

You’re not the only one.

Kalin February 1, 2015 at 7:16 pm

Nice practical and informative vids, Barry. We really appreciate the exhibits of everyday living there that you provide for us, rather than merely the entertainments available for tourists. So far as I’ve been able to find, you’re the only one that does that in any country and it’s valuable. See you in March.

Barry February 2, 2015 at 4:02 am

Thanks appreciate hearing from you.

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