DYD Tour Observations
Reception to our free discovery tours of the north coast of the Dominican Republic have been very positive and humbling. We love this little tropical hole in the world and so many others that have come on the tours have expressed similar feelings. We thought we would share a few of their comments and give you an opportunity to talk directly with them about what they saw with their own eyes. Maybe, by connecting with some of them you will find it a bit easier to decide whether the north coast of the Dominican Republic might work for you. If so, enter your contact information in the form at the end of this page and we will forward it to other DYD Tour participants that have volunteered to share their experience with you.
My husband and I finally took the leap and landed in the DR mid September from VA. After watching all of Barrys videos for about a year, over and over, it sounded too good to be true. We were given the tour we expected, and more! Barry, Lianne and Johnny were so hospitable, it really reflected the culture they have completely embraced as ALL the people are the same. We can say in the 10 days we stayed, every day was a new adventure of colors, flavors and sounds. We came back with so much more information by taking the DR Escapes tour than we could have gleaned in a year on our own! We are so excited to go back, we have enrolled in a local community college Spanish class to be better prepared to immerse ourselves in the Carribbean Latino culture! The weather was glorious, the food incredible and the company was perfectly matched to what we were looking for! Thank you Barry and company, going on the DR escape tour is priceless!!
Leslie & John
Cabrera was the first of our multi-country tour in our quest to diversify our assets outside of the U.S. Barry and the DR Escapes team did an amazing job educating us on various real estate investment opportunities in the Cabrera area. They also took the time to show us beaches, restaurants, and other areas of interest. Thanks for a an interesting, informative, and fun experience in Cabrera!
Derek & Chyrell, Florida, USA
I had been in contact with Barry for almost 8 months prior to our trip and we had several conversations discussing DR and current events taking place in the world today. I really appreciated the time Barry took to discuss these things even though he didn’t know me from the other 100’s of people who contact him weekly. When we arrived in DR we met up with Johnny and he graciously spent the next several days driving with us all around Cabrera. Our main goals were to:
– See the land/properties available
– Meet locals and other expats
– View the abundance organic food sources
– Open a local bank account
– Evaluate the infrastructure for electricity, water, Internet services, etc.
With the expertise help of Johnny we were able to do all this and more in only a couple of days. This would have taken us weeks or more to attempt on our own. Everything we did was at our discretion and Johnny offered his help in anyway possible. We were so thankful for all Johnny’s help that at the end of our trip I tried giving him a tip for his time and effort and he refused to take it. That says a lot about the character of these gentlemen and how they do business.
We were also truly impressed with the unity we saw between expats and locals in DR. Barry and Johnny live what they preach.
Community and relationships are everything in DR. People truly take the time to get to know each other and spend time together. If you treat people well and show respect, they will do the same to you. But, if you go around with an elitist “1st World” attitude you will be sadly disappointed. If that scares you, then maybe it’s not the right place for you. Yes, it’s far different from the way things are done in the States these days. Experiencing this firsthand was one of the most important aspects we observed because we wanted to see if it really existed beyond what DR Escapes videos would show. I can truly say that if you want to exist in a place where real community and relationships exist & where friends (or strangers) will help you with anything you need, then the area in and around Cabrera may be the place for you. I look forward to returning again in the near future and would love to eventually bring my family to live there.
My time in the Dominican Republic with both Barry and Johnny has been life changing. Apart from a short cruise, I had never left the country prior to coming to the Dominican Republic with a friend to hang out with Barry and Johnny. Also, previously I had studied very little of the Spanish language. Initially, I was a little apprehensive due to not being able to speak the language well. Those apprehensions faded quickly after observing the culture and wide-spread friendliness of the people in and outside of Cabrera. What also made a big difference was the overwhelming kindness, generosity, and unselfishness that DR Escapes demonstrated to me and my friend while we were in the Dominican Republic. Barry, Johnny, and multiple friends were available 24/7 to provide suggestions when advice was needed, knowledgeable and informed answers for all our questions, but still allowed me and my friend the freedom to adventure through the country however we saw fit. In the short time span that I was with Barry and Johnny I had come to the conclusion that the Dominican Republic was certainly a place that I would enjoy calling home and am thoroughly grateful for all the new friends I made while in the Dominican Republic and the hospitality shown by DR Escapes. My gratitude cannot be fully expressed.
My experience in Dominican Republic with the DRescapes crew was very eye opening and helpful. They showed me a life that I didn’t think was possible these days. They were very knowledgeable about the country and told it like it is, and explaining how smart it is to have a plan B in case of a collapse of the economy. I was very pleased with my time I spent there and will be making it my second home or maybe my first home in time. Just see for yourself and I know u wont be disappointed.
Cole S., Alberta, Canada
Hola from Scandinavia! It’s been a great pleasure talking to Barry about DR and the options one might have if wanting to escape, at least part-time. Barry is a person with passion for life in the tropics. However he has a realistic approach to being an expat and what it means to adapt smoothly to a society that is not the one you grew up in. Our family has not yet set up a date to participate to a DYD-tour, and yet we have received a package full of comprehensive info. We appreciate you taking taking your precious time to chat with us and hope to visit all of The Crew soon!
I started working on moving a business to the Dominican Republic about a year ago. I ran into many of the common problems associated with relocating out of country. What about residency. What Lawyer do you use? What licenses and permits are required? What about health and vehicle insurance? Etc… What Barry says was true for Me. I learned more in 4 days than I had in the previous year. He put me in contact with attorneys that left me confident that I would be able to operate well within the law in the DR. If I had run across Barry a year earlier it would have saved me quite a bit of time and money.
This is written to you Barry and Liane with special emphasis towards Jose, Louis, Claude and Marie Josee, Johnny, Willie, Dr. Brea and so many others. We (Sandy and I ) have talked and talked about this trip almost every day to reinforce our memories of that time we would not forget that experience. You took us on a beaches tour one day; we visited Playa Preciosa . Sandy and I agree, our time with you was precious.
Your attention and consideration were and are beyond compare.
Sandy and I have discussed the apparent and obvious differences of the respective cultures, the cooperation of people living their life, the idea of community, the obvious lack of duress and stress, the fresh foods (wow, the foods are supreme). Yes, we were on “vacation”, so to speak, but not really…
Just a touch of background about Sandy and I. We are from the Appalachian region of North Carolina.
The mountainous area of this region has a “hard-scrabble” reputation. There is a phrase here that is still commonly used: “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without “. Not saying that technology is not good, nor that there are not better ways to do things. However, the dependence on one’s capabilities and self-sustainability should not be dismissed as unimportant. This is something both Sandy and I appreciated from early on about the DR and as Sandy and I have both seen it seems to be a common trait of both cultures.
We were not really on vacation….
I first came to the Dominican Republic of the year 2011. I had been reading about “Medical Tourism” for some time as he needed some dental work. I looked for some opportunities in the DR and stumbled upon Puerto Plata and a dentist who had a good reputation. This reputation consisted of contacting others who had been there, and I contacted them via email. This experience turned out quite well. I visited this dentist three times in three days. Imagine that! In the United States (unless it was an emergency), that visit would have been once a month for three months. Long story short: It cost us quite a bit less money, I had better service, and the Dr. did not use mercury amalgam. BTW he spoke quite good English. Good for me, as I cannot understand the ‘rapid-fire espanole’.
“He wanted to go back to the DR… for more dental work? No, because He liked to be there”.
Sandy came with me the next time. This time we were on vacation. Sandy could not believe the beauty of the land and the ocean. People were nice to us (this is not usual were we live, unfortunately). We loved the food, we were learning: ‘yo comprendo un poco espanol’. (but we were learning and were considering a move.
Then, we came back to ‘vacation’ five more times averaging once every six months. We could not wait to get back to the DR.
One day I was home and just a wee bit sick of a respiratory problem. I didn’t want to focus on books and paper articles (I read a lot, or have read a lot).
So, why did we say we were not on vacation? Because we wanted a better life and we were looking for something better, better for us that is. What did we see? Did we see more TV channels, more digital experience, more WI-Fi ? No, we saw more life, more living of life. We saw more passion, more care as a possibility in the DR. Mostly, we saw an opportunity to live. TO LIVE!
We had ruled out several countries: Bryan had been to Guatemala, had looked at Ireland, been in Mexico. We had both looked at other countries…. Israel, Greece…….. wow, and no. Panama, Bolivia, Costa Rica, no way.
Bryan and I had never considered an island nation. We were wary of the notion of not being able to be comfortable with the notion of nowhere else to go.
Now we laugh. If we lived in Columbia, were would we be able to go? So, what’s the difference? Except, except, except that we might have the freedom to grow food, have water, and live life and have love, friends and people who care.
There have too many changes in Columbia, Panama and others. Sustainability and stability seem to go hand-in-hand.
BTW, a ‘law’ has been passed in this NC state, just as an example:
Growing your Local Food Business in North Carolina. Getting Started
Business and tax issues are important to any farm and food business, no matter how small-scale.
“One must understand whether it is necessary to register a business with a state or municipality and how and when to pay the required income, sales, and property taxes…..
this section introduces resources that are available to assist in navigating these requirements.”
So much for the “liberty gardens” of our parents generation.
When Bryan was home for a few days with his respiratory problems, he was biding time and looking at the internet for more information on the Dominican Republic. That’s the day he found the scoundrel, Barry, at DREscapes. Sandy was coming home from a temporary job for a mutual friend in the oil business…
Bryan: “Sandy, you gotta see this!… This guy does Tours along the North Coast of the Dominican Republic. That’s just the area we have been wanting to see!”. “Look at all of these videos and articles!”
“He thinks like we do”. “we oughta sign up with this guy”. But, we were both cautious, too many times we had seen “too good to be true”.
We stayed in one of our favorite places near Cofresi for four nights. Then we were to meet Barry at Puerto Plata airport and continued our stay in the DR. We met Barry at the airport in Puerto Plata. Only now, we were trusting Barry to do what he said he would do and what we said we would do… no contract, just trust. Not the Gringo style heh? Just trust and a mutual word of promise and voluntary agreement.
Barry did not let us down. And to this day I pray that we did not let Barry down in his expectations.
So, Sandy and I shook hands with Barry, climbed into his Toyota and headed South and East along the “Interstate 5”. I believe I can speak for Sandy when I say that our hearts were high. Barry had arranged for us a place to stay. Indeed, it turned out to be quite a nice accommodation. It was reasonable in price, clean, well appointed and comfortable. We settled in knowing that we had a dinner date with Barry and Liane. Though a bit tired from that days activities, we were all to happy to take victuals with out new acquaintances. What a nice ice breaker, what a nice (exceptional) meal. What congeniality. We will never forget that day.
I have been scared out of my skivvies in several places, Tel Aviv for one, at two o’clock in the morning. Customs and passports were a nightmare if only because of the long lines and having no clue of the language. Mexico City was not so conducive to entry either, though I arrived by bus. None of those places (and more) scared me more than Chicago or NYC or L.A. (Do not leave the hotel…) Those days are long gone. Who likes to be abused? Who likes to be bullied? Who cares to be scared for nothing? Sadly, this is now common.
I am tired. Need I say more.
This culture, the culture of my hearth and home has no raison d’être, n’est pas? The feigns and offenses and feints and obfuscations are now effete. Who might not see these untruths that one might be assailed with on a daily basis? There is no representative of truthful media, is there? No.
So, would you care to know about our experiences in the DR with Barry?
We have seen chocolate made from the cacao, it’s delicious, best chocolate we’ve ever had. The accommodations were excellent, the weather was great, met many very nice people, (short note here, so many people were people we wanted to get to know better, we enjoyed their company and conversation so much). The beef was superlative, as was the chicken, and fish. The vegetables were so fresh and natural, not to mention delicious. If you like food, this country is great. Barry took us just about anywhere we cared to go. Always accommodating our wants, desires and needs.
We cannot speak highly enough of our experiences with Barry, Liane and the others mentioned previously (and others not mentioned).
Is this what you need to know?
I’m sorry, but our feelings run much deeper. And, strangely, difficult to express in words. You have to see it to believe it.
But you wanna know what?
“It ain’t what ya get…. I’ts what ya give”.
In my opinion, this culture has an open heart to people who want to live and let live. Passion is to see in the musica and grace. It’s just too easy to see, unless your heart is hard. If so, maybe this is not the place for you.
I’ll not bore anyone with abstract ideas (or ideologies) of what I believe or think. As Barry has said, not any one place is for everybody.
I was surprised… I never intended to chose the DR. It chose me. Come to the DR, meet Barry, meet people who live love and laugh. Decide for yourself.
I am reminded of an old musical from the musical Broadway ‘Cabaret’… (Cabrera)
“Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome!
Fremde, etranger, stranger.
Gluklich zu sehen, je suis enchante,
Happy to see you, bleibe, reste, stay.
Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome
Im Cabrera, au Cabrera, to Cabrera!”
O.K., so I changed Cabaret to Cabrera….
Sandy and Bryan
Hello, everyone, my name is Evan. I’m 20 years old and I’m from Wisconsin. Back in March, I took the DR Escapes tour, and I want to give a brief testimonial of my time there. Previously, I had never been outside the country and was not well traveled. So, the idea of traveling to the Dominican to meet Barry, whom I’d never met, was somewhat intimidating, to say the least. However, I did have the testimony of my parents who had taken the Tour in December 2013.
Being well aware of the political climate of my country, Barry’s videos and articles convinced me of the advantages of having an escape route. After visiting and witnessing the DR firsthand, I now wish to make it my place of residence. I’ve read the other testimonials on Barry’s website, and can attest to the claims of the Dominican’s beauty, tranquility, wonderful climate, and it’s welcoming people. However, I would like to focus on my time spent with Barry, and his mission in his community. My interests are in farming, agriculture, and a simple lifestyle. Therefore, during the tour, Barry made a point to tailor our tour to explore those options. I learned from Barry the value of a second language, the importance of being proactive in every area of life, and that to succeed all I need are the connections I already have. I’m sure Barry would be surprised how much this trip impacted my life.
For anyone who is considering taking a tour of the DR, even if you discover it is not the right place for you, it will be an unforgettable experience. It’s true, the DR is not the only option for strategic relocation. However, what impressed me was the fact that Barry is committed to providing this service for anyone who is willing to take action for the sake of themselves and their family. When this opportunity is no longer available, you may wish you would have taken advantage of it.
Thanks again, Barry and Liane, for all that you have done for me.
What a Pleasant Surprise…
I have been aware, for a long time as to the many changes that were in effect in the States and quite a few things that were to come. In September of 2013, I had crossed paths with the DRescapes web site last year after watching a video that I had come across. What instantly appealed to me before watching the video was something in its title…….? Something to do with the Dominican Republic. I had visited the DR many times over the years and found it to be a fascinating place to visit, and take my stress breaks, from my fast paced stressed out life on the East Coast of the U.S.A.
I really came to love the DR. Its beautiful people, diverse and very tasty culinary dishes, along with the beautiful energy that always seemed to reach out and touch me during my many stays, were always something for me to look forward to. But I never really thought about living there, on a full time basis, for many reasons.
In the videos I noticed Barry and others, placed a lot of emphasis on the simple and basic needs of people, such as clean healthy food, water and a safe place to live. Those elements were always at the top of my list of needs, when it came down to the basic ingredients for living a quality life.
Although I was familiar with Santo Domingo, I knew nothing about the agricultural regions of the DR. In the video, DRescapes was making me an offer that I couldn’t refuse. I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about some things, but I was willing to give it a try, by going on down and take Barry up on His offer, to visit and meet the DRescapes family.
I arrived in Puerto Plata the first week of April of 2014, to be met by Barry at the airport. After a nice relaxing drive through the country side, we arrived at the town of Cabrera, a very clean and quiet community, with some really great people, about an hour or so, from Puerto Plata. Over a period of a week, I was introduced to many members of the DRescapes family along with many of the local folk, through Barry. And I have to be honest when I say that I was thoroughly impressed to find that Barry and the DRescapes family seemed authentic and genuine. During my short stay, I had a chance to relax and unwind with the help of Barry and His Beautiful wife, Liane. They invited me out on a daily basis to meet and enjoy the company of their close friends like Willie Acosta and His beautiful Family.
I also discovered a new sport (Rum Surfing) while attending a birthday beach party in honor of a member of the Acosta family. Rum Surfing is something I’ve never seen before. And from what I saw, some folks take it very seriously. It goes like this; A Rum Surfer fills up a glass of Rum and attempts to swim frolic and or play in the surf without spilling the Rum out of the glass (plastic cup). There were three contestants; Barry along with two other men. The other men were clearly experienced and well adapted, but after about 20 minutes in the mostly moderate surf, they called it quits, all without spilling one drop of Rum.
But Barry really stood out because he went out and endured two successful 30 minute rounds of Rum Surfing, all without spilling a drop. At some point in the day, I guess Barry was thinking of breaking some sort of record I wasn’t aware of because after a 60 minute break he went back in the water, for a third time, with his cup filled to the brim and tried to outdo himself. Barry attempted a one armed backstroke while holding Rum in the other hand and out of nowhere a wave came along and wiped out his chance for the day, at a perfect score of 10. But I had to give Him a 9.5 out of 10 for the effort. I guess it’s like Bowling, there are many excellent Bowlers out there, but rarely does anyone Bowl a perfect 300 game. Better luck next time, Barry!
Overall the DRescapes family, Cabrera and the community as well as the people of Cabrera, did not disappoint. In fact, I enjoyed my experience so much, that I came back 5 weeks later, with a plan to live in the region permanently. DRescapes and Cabrera is a great place to be, with lots of wonderful people. I would recommend it to anyone.
How do you describe an experience in a way where the recipient comes away with the understanding of what you are attempting to explain? This is the paradox we find ourselves in. Wanting to convey what we just experienced over the last two weeks without leaving anything out. Well here goes…
Folks, Barry & Liane Soloman happen to be two of the finest individuals we have ever met. Extending heartfelt courtesy to strangers as if you were long lost friends in a way which leaves you feeling as though you have come home after an extended absence only to be greeted as if you left yesterday. They bent over backwards to make us feel welcome, knowing we were like scared puppy dogs, only to emerge informed, energized and excited about relocating to a wonderful place. These people are the real deal through and through. We were stunned by their hospitality and willingness to inform, help and guide us through the gauntlet of moving out of the United States to a safe harbor, where we can weather the upcoming storm that is forming on the horizon. The clock is ticking and the window of opportunity will not be open forever. Please check this country out! Let Barry show it to you in a way you will not regret. He did for us and we are forever grateful.
Barry provided an extreme amount of time, energy and focus helping us understand the Dominican culture and their ways. The Dominican people are from a by-gone era where people smile, wave and say hello which makes you want to become a part of their culture. People there are largely economically disadvantaged, but do not under-estimate their sense of dignity, pride, happiness and a willingness to please. I have never said “hola” so many times in my life; I felt like I was running for office, and they were actually content that we were there. The pace was “laid-back”, unlike living in the US where we have become like fire ants on a hot sidewalk. These people know how to enjoy life and they take it as it comes, one day at a time. They smile! I mean they all smile as soon as you smile at them! Happiness and contentment must be woven into their DNA. We Americans hardly know what to do with that. We have been hoodwinked, lied to, misled, tricked, coerced, and manipulated in so many ways we have lost our inner peace to a point where most of us are selfish, empty, sad and miserable. What a total shame. This is not life. Life should not be this way. Something is wrong with us, it is “time for a cool change”…….let’s leave that old baggage behind in America and embrace something new and fresh. We have decided enough is enough. We only hope to re-discover that special something that we all have to offer each other. That special something is loving kindness and it is free to all who want to embrace it. Hope you will join us!
How about…palm trees swaying in the breeze, aqua blue and green water that is absolutely pristine and clear, white sand beaches, so many different kinds of trees, plants and living things you cannot see enough of it. Bananas, avocados, coconuts, oranges, limes, mangos, and passion fruit growing on the tree, bougainvillea, beautiful grasses, date palm, fan palm, every palm imaginable. Gorgeous mountain lands fertile with grassfed livestock that is world class and plentiful. Water from mountain streams which are gravity fed. Seafood that is to die for, marlin, tuna, sea bass, parrotfish, flounder, grouper, shrimp, lobster, oysters and the list goes on. The most delicious tender grass fed beef you will ever taste. The purest, richest chocolates and coffees ever grown; wonderful yogurt, cheeses, peanuts and almonds. All organic food, with no pesticides, no hormones, and absolutely no GMOs; fresh, plentiful and available on a daily basis at about half the cost or less than in the states. Yes it is all true! It is real!
We travelled from Cabrera to the west to Cabarete where they hold the World Championship Kitesurfing competition. Accommodations there are top notch, along with endless restaurants serving the finest in food, wine and drinks par excellence. Did someone say “Third World Country?” Really? Are you serious? Yeah, I am serious. We also travelled further to Sosua which is another town with all the fine dining and additional things you may need when missing the modern American conveniences. Then we travelled east of Cabrera to the coastal city of Las Terrenas through a breathtaking mountain pass down into the city where we bought lemon roasted chicken, bananas and a “bread of sugar” pineapple, and ate on a beautiful beach under the palms. Felt guilty for a millisecond, pinched ourselves, and said “We can do this?”…for how much a month? Really, we can do this? As they say in Washington…Yes We Can.
It matters not your age, politics, or your religion, the only thing that matters is that you find a place where you can be free like we used to be before all the constricting changes began and we lost our freedoms while we were too busy pursuing the mirage called The American Dream. Relocate that dream and make it your reality, with safety, peace, friends, food, and water in an absolutely beautiful place out of harm’s way.
The Dominican Republic is that place, Barry is the guy, so pack your bags and leave your baggage behind. The window will not stay open forever, and who knows you may rediscover yourself again in the process. Thank you Barry, we have Discovered Our Destination!
Ben & Connie – Austin, Texas
We returned from our first DR Tour a few days ago. Even though it cut into our hoarded escape resources, it was the absolute best thing we did. The Tour is all, and so much more than, Barry describes. The North Coast people, land, and culture drew our tired, oppression-weary souls as nothing we could have imagined. Even as well-informed as we felt we were, and being out-of-the-box thinkers as a whole, to physically step outside the box, far removed from the influences that bombard our minds and bodies incessantly, was an unexpected shock. But it was when we stepped back INSIDE the box that the greatest shock wave of reality hit. Even “well-informed” people are numb- and often mis-informed. There is a time for thoughtful consideration. That time is gone. Do not hesitate, do not vacillate. Just get out.
Hello – We just returned from the DR, with one week on our own vacationing in Samana and one week in Cabrera. We had a private tour with Barry for 3 days and he went out his way to make time for us in his schedule as well as made it possible for us to meet other expats and his DR family. We truly appreciated this time that he, and those who have already made the move, made for us. A special thanks to Tal, who spent an entire afternoon with us at his beautiful property to help us get a feel for the place. The climate, beaches, food (breakfast at Vivero Flor Cafe/Pizza at Chicos/Steak at Babunuco), friendliness of the people is exactly as described.
The insights that I would like to leave with anyone considering a visit is:
1) if you have family members not yet in the same mind frame of a full scale move, do plan a true vacation in the DR to ease them into the culture/food/people. There are different reasons for purchasing in the DR, whether it be an escape location, investment, or a vacation house.
2) renting a car at the airport and driving to other areas of the island is just fine if you have experience in other countries with “flow” driving
3) if you are planning to look at real estate, look at the area through Google Maps first so that you can get your bearings as you tour the different properties. It’s a small area, but the terrain, elevation, lots of options can get confusing.
4) the next time we go, we will definitely rent a house in Cabrera through Barry versus staying at the hotel. It will be a much better value and experience. We thoroughly enjoyed this trip, and Barry, Liane and the DR family’s involvement is a big factor in our continuing to look at Cabrera. It is a place where we can see ourselves living a quality life.
Hunter & Sherry
It’s hard to find a starting point to describe my experiences with Barry and ALL of the DR Escapes Family. I have read all the comments from other groups that have been posted and have found that I identify and agree with everything that has been written. The DR Escapes family is absolutely wonderful. The small town of Cabrera and the surrounding countryside is stunningly beautiful. The food is fantastic and the local people are as friendly, warm and accepting as they come.
My adventure began when Barry picked me and my traveling companion (Jimmy) up at the Puerto Plata airport. Little did we know what lay ahead in the days to come? As many have written in the comments, we too traveled the north coast from Puerto Plata in the West to Nagua in the East and inland through the farms, hills and dirt back roads of this island nation of the Dominican Republic. I’ve always thought Texas was God’s Country, but that was before I visited Cabrera. Fertile land, abundant water, food growing everywhere you look, and of course, happy people. What is there not to like? Another huge observance was that the government does not appear to be overly intrusive into the day to day lives of its citizens. We passed by the Cabrera Police Station many times during the week and each time we were greeted with Hola! and waving hands from the police officers. You won’t see that back home in Texas (whose motto is “The Friendship State”).
I would like to thank Barry and his wife Liane, Willy and his family, Richard and his wife Judy, Claude and his wife Marie Josie, T Lamont and his family, Troy (Jeamette and Derek) from Colorado, Denise (and her big smile), Johnny, Tim Stephens and all the Staff at La Catalina, Juan Alberto (Babunuco Cigars), Ana (at the little restaurant beside the new Malecon. The Parrot Fish is fantastic) and anyone else that I might have missed. You ALL made my discovery tour a truly memorable event. I can hardly wait for a return trip to again be amongst this wonderful group (family) of human beings.
Barry Thanks again for all you are doing for all of us. Hope to see all of you again soon!!
We came to Cabrera, Dominican Republic and stayed for two weeks from late June to early July. We came with our whole family along with my daughter in law and our grandson. The below comments will be as honest as I can be. I want to say first of all that Barry and his team showed us a view of Cabrera that would have been hard to see if we came in from the cold as a regular tourist. Everything that he said he would do before we came was fully complied with. He would get an A in truth in advertising. Although we were tourists living in a rented house, we got a taste of what it would be like if we moved there. In addition to getting to know what it would be like to shop there for food, going out to restaurants and buying everyday necessities, we really got to know what counts the most in a country: the people. We developed warm friendship with Barry and Liane, Johnny, John, Denise, Willie and his family. We were provided with a driver par excellence, Milano who is just a great guy (my grandson had a special relationship with him).
Regarding food all I can say is that I was impressed. Other than two very bad days of the flu, my stomach was in great shape. Although I’m not a heavy meat and dairy eater, I found the quality of both excellent. Even though we stayed in the house for two weeks, we only had breakfast there and ate out the rest of the meals. So because most restaurants, like over here, don’t provide the most variety of vegetables, our dominant food was meat, fish, rice and plantain. All the meat we had, whether it was beef, pork or chicken tasted very fresh as though the animal was alive the same day or at the most the day before. The fish was outstanding and of course like the meet very fresh, probably caught the same day. I never had sea bass taste so good at such a reasonable price ($2‐3 a pound).
It didn’t matter where we ate; the food was always great. It could be that the food, because it is not contaminated with GMO or hormones, installed in my gut lots of good bacteria which protected the lining. As an example after a bout of two days of flu I had an immense appetite. No matter how much I ate and stuffed myself, I would not get a bloating feeling or acid reflux (unlike in the states). Oh by the way I had one of the best pizzas ever in Cabrera which pleasantly surprised me. Also I want to mention the delicious smoked crab that Barry took us to eat.
Boy I was dreaming of having that and cream cheese with Liane’s wonderful bagels. Regarding the restaurants I really loved the slow pace between ordering your food and receiving it. It bugged the hell with some, but I liked it. It makes eating out more of a social event where you can talk and bond with friends before you eat (just don’t go there starving). I loved the idea of bringing your own rum if you wanted to. There’s no manager there who will deny you the right and no corkage fees. You just bring your own rum or if you want to you can buy the restaurant’s. It’s as simple as that.
Being from southern California one of the things that disappointed me in Cabrera was the lack of variety of vegetables and grains. To be fair, however, California is a Mecca of fruit and vegetable variety. The climate in California is so varied that you can almost grow anything there. And coming from an urban area means that everything, if you can afford it, is at your fingertips. So Cabrera, like any rural area in the world, has a lot less than in an urban area in southern California. But what it does have is so much better than what you get at my city in terms of freshness and health. There’s always a give and take in life. Barry explained to me that if you drive a half hour into Sosua, two hours to Puerto Plata or three hours to Santiago, you will be able to get pretty much anything that you want. And since time in slow pace Cabrera takes on a different meaning than fast paced southern California, big deal if it takes longer. Also being a tourist I wasn’t in tune with the times that fresh vegetables are delivered so it’s possible that once I live there I will be able to obtain a lot more without driving too far.
In conclusion on the food question I didn’t agree with the typical Dominican diet that I experienced myself, heavy on animal products and starch with an over intake of sugar. They seem to put sugar in everything. However, once we move there we will just eat to how we are accustomed. We will have the freedom to eat how we want to eat.
There’s nothing much to say except beauty, beauty and more beauty. The beaches were phenomenal with bluish‐greenish water as were the off roads and rivers. My main activity would definitely be hiking and swimming when we decide to live there. I never once got tired of seeing lush green vegetation everywhere one went. I hardly scratched the surface. I can imagine feeling like a child again exploring new roads and new vistas walking or in a jeep.
One thing that hits you most is that there is not much presence of the state. You don’t see that many cops over there. And the few you see act just like any ordinary public employee without any in‐your‐face demeanor. You just feel like you can just say hello and have a chat. You just don’t see any threatening cops walking down the street with their huge batons or guns with the swagger typical of those in the US. Everything seems to be in order regardless even though you may see the occasional goofball driving down the street at night without their lights. There are no security cameras anywhere in the street except in banks so you don’t have the feeling of always being watched. You even have the freedom to wear your seat belts or not (I do because of safety concerns) so the nanny state is definitely not present. You are treated like an adult and not some child that has to be scolded by the law if you don’t behave.
I liked the creative use of public spaces for night life. No need to have an expensive liquor license if you want to open up a place to drink. No need to rip off young people with ridiculously expensive western style clubs who want to have a good time on Saturday night. Just use existing car washes for karaoke and dancing. It’s really great. Since they’re only used in the daytime, make use of them at night. It’s a great rationing of public space. Again as I mentioned above people are free to bring their own rum to the car washes. You just feel so free and
you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to have a good time.
Two recommendations to make to people considering visiting or moving to the north coast. If you’re fair complexion be sure to have lots of sun blocking lotion applied on you especially when you go to the beach. The sun is very very strong there. I have an olive complexion and I got really burned just being in the ocean for 45 minutes. Or you can wear fast drying shirts for the ocean. I also highly recommend learning Spanish if you are going to live there. You can get by without it but you miss out on developing good friendships with the locals. Spanish is probably the easiest language to learn. I know that if I lived there, within a few months my somewhat good Spanish would change to fluent.
In conclusion I personally could live there, notwithstanding the differences in climate, culture, variety of food and infrastructure. As I said before there’s a give and take in any place that you want to live compared to the US. But the positives outweigh the negatives and even the negatives will improve in the future. Your stress level will go way down, nature will beautify you, the beaches will stimulate you and the people will warm you up.
I can’t say enough about our trip and encounter with the DR Escapes team!!! WOW – if a picture paints a thousand words it would take a novel to describe the views at every turn which remain vividly impressed on my memory forever, the oceans, mountains, the people the culture! ( We come from I believe, the 10th largest city in the USA.
It only takes a few minutes being around anyone from this crew to feel right at home. The atmosphere of this little piece of paradise makes me think of the reference to Eden. Numerous Incredible beaches only minutes away.
Playa Diamante and a quiet cliff side beach I believe that is referred to as Cabo Viejo Frances are my favorites. One of the most spectacular secluded beaches I have ever seen. It even has a fresh water mountain runoff stream shower that pours out onto the beach. It’s great to risne off the salt and feel refreshed.
Barry and Liane make you feel like family and you quickly get a sense of belonging to the community as you meet the shop keepers, restaurant owners who are all like your neighbors.
Cabrera was by far the town we liked best. My wife & I rented a motorcycle and rode about 40 miles cross country through all the little towns and villages east from Rio San Juan. Cabrera was hands down the best! It feels like home except without Walmarts, ice cream, restaurants and a gas station on every corner. ( who really needs them?)
I could write a book about our visit but will keep it to this…. Cabrera, Barry, Liane and the DR Escapes team were all amazing and the tour was eye opening and refreshing to say the least! If this has the least little appeal to you at all, you owe it to yourself to get here and see it for yourself. It’s simple, wonderful and peaceful paradise. We are planning our return…………..
Paul & Elizabeth
I visited the Dominican Republic for the 1st time with my boyfriend a few weeks ago. My only other time out of the US was vacationing in Mexico and the Bahamas. Our DR trip was a completely different experience.
I have to admit, I was very fearful at first. Several friends had told me that it was a dangerous, unsafe country. They had plenty of stories about foreigners being robbed while they were just walking down the street. I was also worried about all the violence I had read about.
But my experience in the DR was wonderful. Not once did I feel like I was in any danger. My friends obviously had never been to Cabrera. I met several expats and they were all so welcoming and made me feel right at home. I also met some of the locals and they were the warmest, friendliest people. It was nothing like the stories I had heard.
The driving seemed a little crazy at first, but I got used to it after only a few days. I don’t think I’m ready to jump behind the wheel quite yet though. Lol.
I really enjoyed the Villa that we stayed in the first 3 nights. Claude and MarieJose treated us like family. We also stayed at the Hotel Catalina for a night. It is a beautiful place but we really missed our friends at the Villa.
One thing I noticed was that no one stayed inside much. Everyone was always outdoors, not sitting inside in front of a television and missing out on life. I enjoyed checking out the local food joints and visiting the town square. Karaoke night at the car wash was a lot of fun and beating Barry in a game of pool at the pool hall was fun too 🙂 Ok, I guess accidentally knocking in the 8 ball is not really getting beat. It was a fun night.
I finally was able to see the beautiful piece of property that we bought. The beaches are so beautiful and I can’t wait to go back and spend more time there, hopefully sooner rather than later. The whole place is a Caribbean paradise. I can definitely see myself living there.
I just want to say thank you so, so much to all the people and wonderful new friends that made me feel so welcome. Thank you MarieJose, Claude, Barry and Liane and Shawn, Kelly, Micah and Jonah. I hope to see all of you again soon.
Thanks to everyone who made me feel so at home.
Originally I had planned on joining the April group tour to experience the northern coast, but as luck would have it, the day of my departure the airline ended up canceling my flight along with hundreds of others. With thousands of travelers having to reschedule, I was not going to be able to make this tour.
When I talked to Barry I mentioned that I was interested in doing the group tour, but my schedule would not permit me to rebook until June. Barry asked if I had time the following week. When I said yes, the next week was available, Barry said to go ahead and book the flight and he would work with me individually. I was amazed that Barry and the DREscapes folks made themselves available to do all the group activities and more with just one person.
For someone new to this environment it made it easier that I was picked up at the Puerto Plata airport for the ride to Cabrera, in addition to the extensive traveling that we did along the coast and in the hill country.
What a unique opportunity to tour the many magnificent beaches, the hill country, much of the northern coast and the local Cabrera area. I was able to experience the exceptional food, great restaurants and wonderful people over the next several days.
The coastal area weather was great the whole time. It is interesting how many of the building designs take advantage of the continuous sea breezes that are part of the area.
Another great part of my stay was the conversations I had, to share and receive new insights on a variety of subjects.
I liked my visit so much that I am planning a return trip to the area this summer to explore in even more detail the potential to relocate to the DR.
The DYD tour was my first time to visit the Dominican Republic. I’ve traveled the world through my military job and it’s hard to put into words how unique the DR is. Everything Barry says about the country is accurate. I must have said “hola” 200 times and the smiles and warm friendly atmosphere are felt immediately. I actually had to set my complimentary rum and coke down to hand the customs officer my passport at the airport. That was the first smile of many…and also the first rum 🙂
Barry helped set me up in a villa near town for $40 per night. This was a nice, modern, two story villa with everything I needed including wifi. My lodging for the 5 day trip came to $160 total. Unbelievable!
But don’t expect to spend much time in the room. I spent most of my time doing the tour during the day and socializing with the locals and the expats every evening. I think it’s safe to say I have at least 20 new friends in the DR. Willie and his family are great and I’ve never felt more welcomed. After only a few minutes (and a few Brugals) I felt like I could call them true friends. You could search the world over and not find better people.
I knew from other’s experiences that most of the visitors and expats would be on the same page with respect to the current state of the world. We were in almost universal agreement on the threats facing us all with the impending monetary collapse and the slow destruction of our access to a healthy lifestyle. It’s refreshing to be able to speak freely with others who are awake. The network of like-minded friends that I came away with made the whole trip worth it all by itself.
I never thought relocating to another country was an option for me. I really didn’t think I had the funds to make it work. After seeing it with my own eyes I now see how possible it is for me to live a happy “quality” life with far less money than I imagined.
In a nutshell, words aren’t really sufficient to describe this place. It has to be experienced. Thank you Barry, Liane, Willie. You’re doing a good thing here. It’s so much more than real estate. You are opening up your world to those of us who are looking for an answer. And I know it will come back to all of you 10 fold.
Our stay, our tour, the fellowship with all the people you introduced to us was awesome. We would, without a shadow of a doubt, recommend DR ESCAPES TO EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!Your sincerity, kindness, being so informative and honest on all subjects was so enlightening and educational. Also presenting both sides of a picture!
There is no way a person(s) could have seen the areas you took us to and not get lost or be lost. We experienced the lifestyle that works for us, the peace, serenity, love, la familia,. It was like being at home, but better.
Our Hotel accommodations were superb, to say the least. People need to experience the experience! There are no words that I can think of to describe our experience, on how glorious it was.
A thank you is not enough to say what we got to embrace!
Kathy & Paul
Our time in the DR, let me just give a bit of back history, Troy sits in front of a computer all day for work so he has an opportunity to search different sites, we have been trying to look at different options simply because we know that we can’t sustain ourselves here. He started talking to me about DR in the midst of my crazy traveling work schedule I basically had been traveling since September with a few weeks at home and gone again sometimes up to 3 weeks at a time. I could not even imagine going anywhere else much less think about living in another country. Even before we came I had been gone 12 days, home 30 hours, and hopped on a plane to DR. As we landed in Santiago I said to Troy “This is an adventure. We are getting off this plane in another country meeting a guy we don’t know and going to a place we have no idea where it is and we can’t even speak the language”. There was Barry, all smiles, as we walked out of the baggage claim. We brought our 15 year old with us. He was wearing a beanie, yes in 80 degree weather, and he is 6’2” so Barry knew it was us he was supposed to meet.
The beauty of the country is unmatched in any country I have been in. I may not have traveled as much as some, but more than most, and DR is beautiful. The mountains, the beaches are breathtaking. But all of that beauty aside, it is the people that make this country so near and dear to my heart.
Barry is a wonderful, gracious host, who has not a care of time schedule. When we asked to have a day at the beach and could not get a car he dropped us off, picked us up, not being put out at all. Liane, his beautiful wife (aka Mouse) is precious, thoughtful, kind, generous. As well as all the people we had the honor of meeting while in Cabrera, Tal who just moved there, Johnny and his wife, Willi and his beautiful family, Mariejosie and Claude who will make your side hurt from laughing so hard. Barry also made us feel that when we do move to Cabrera that we have a support system to help us figure out what to do and how to do it. Barry has set up a way to help with each aspect of settling in from buying property to where to get your furniture or a car.
Aside from all the people Barry introduced us to, it was the people of Cabrera that we enjoyed the hugs the welcoming smiles. We walked to dinner as a family one night. I felt so safe even though we stuck out as the tourist gringos. People smiled said hello. We cannot wait to return. Our son wants to live there, he has that adventuresome spirit. So for us as a family it is not a matter of if but when we move.
Troy, Jeamette, and Derek
It is with deep gratitude and appreciation that Barb and I write you this note. Our recent visit with all the DR Escapes folks exceeded our expectations! We have been very blessed over many past years to have vacationed to many islands but the DR north coast is amazingly unique with the beautiful beaches, magnificent mountains, aqua ocean waters, exceptional local fruits and vegetables and, of course, the most friendly caring locals we have ever met.
The time and planning you put into your DR Escape tour is truly an exceptional gift you have given as it has given us both a unique inside view of the north coast and all that it has to offer as we move towards our future years and the new opportunities we now have found to allocate and preserve the assets which we have worked so many years to obtain.
Your patience and knowledge were invaluable to us as we could have never accomplished as much on our own in just four short days! We are very much looking forward to our next trip to the DR to reconnect with all the many locals and x-pats you introduced us to. We are in love with the piece of land you and Dr. Brea helped us purchase and, once again, we could have never managed this transaction from a great distance without the knowledge and trust you and Dr. Brea brought to the table! Tell your lovely wife that we loved her fresh bagels and homemade banana nut bread….wow, what a treat!
Until our next journey to Cabrera my friends, take care and stay in close touch.
Mitchell and Barb
My husband and I had the opportunity to spend the week of thanksgiving holiday 2012 in the Dominican Republic, and boy, what a great visit that was. Good food/drinks, great people and not to mention the sites.
My husband has been interested in getting another passport for quite some time, in light of everything that is happening here in the US. Since I have dual citizenship from my country Trinidad, we thought we could get him a passport from there, but it turned out he had to live in Trinidad for some period of time before that was possible and since I didn’t want to move back home, getting a passport from there was no longer an option.
When he came across the DRESCAPES website, he was intrigued by what Barry was saying about the DR and the possibilities that were available. Benounce to me, he decided to plan this trip to visit Barry. Just before thanksgiving 2012 he says to me we are going to the DR on vacation. I was abit taken back because I knew nothing about this place, and suddenly we were going to visit some stranger. I started my own research into the DR and began mentioning to the people I worked with. All I got from them was I needed to be careful, there’s a lot of crime and I shouldn’t leave the resort. (I was abit scared after hearing those comments). The day before our trip, I said to my husband, are you sure about this? We don’t know these people and we are heading into new territory. Should I be scared? He reassured me and said he has been in touch with Barry and he seems to be reliable, well informed and legitimate.
We arrived in Puerta Plata and were greeted by Barry and Willie. Needless to say, I felt at ease the moment I met Barry, what a truly genuine person he is. We also met some other folks that were visiting the DR for the same reasons we were. It was amazing that we all hit it off right away. We were all interested in the same thing (a better way of life).
Our trip to the hotel was quite a scenic one. We were able to enjoy the ocean views, see animals roaming freely eating healthy green grass and the lush plantations on either side of the road. The people seemed so carefree. It felt like I was in another world. How could this beautiful place be so close and yet so far?
After driving through all the little towns and watching the people of the DR do their thing, we arrived at hotel La Catalina in Cabrera. Wow! The hotel was beautiful and the view from the rooms (no words to describe) – I certainly didn’t wake up to anything like this living in Trinidad.
We had breakfast every morning at the hotel and boy; it was good, fresh island fruit and fruit juices. They grew their own vegetables right there at the hotel – how we miss that!!! We ate lunches and dinners at the local restaurants – what amazing foods and the prices are unbelievable. Barry made sure we saw it all, the wonderful beaches, mountains, restaurants, the farmers market, and met with the locals. I even had a manicure/pedicure for $20.00 (what a deal).
We ate at the local carwash on Thanksgiving Day and need I say more, the food was great. We didn’t spend the entire day cooking and eating and then crashing in front of the television like most Americans do. We hang out with the locals and watched them play dominos.
For me, having traveled most of the Caribbean islands, I must say, the DR is by far the most beautiful place I have seen, not to mention the friendliness of the people. We can’t say enough about Barry and his team for putting this together and trying to help so many people.
Our trip was so organized and well planned out. They made it so easy for us to make the decision to move here some day. Everything that was mentioned about the DR on the website was so much more than I expected. At no point did we feel threatened or unsafe.
What amazes us the most is the quality of life you could have in the DR. We observed the life that Barry and Liane have, and it is so stress and worry free and relaxing – I want that too, life is too short. Being able to eat healthy delicious food with no pesticides/chemicals, water without fluoride, and clean air to breathe!!!! No stress. We live a very hectic life here in the US, we both work at a hospital and it is so crazy all the time. Finding the DR, I think is a godsend. We all just want to live simpler lives and to cut back on all the meaningless things that we accumulate.
To all the folks out there, if you are looking for a new beginning/lifestyle and are uncertain about the future (like we are), please, get in touch with Barry, he is truly a man with a wealth of knowledge and genuinely wants to help all.
My husband hasn’t gotten a DR passport yet, but together with the people we met on our trip, we are in the process of closing on our parcel of land – we will be neighbors soon!!! “To a new beginning.”
To Barry, your beautiful wife Liane, Willie, (Willie’s father-in-law), Denise and all the wonderful people on the DRESCAPE Tours – thank you for what you are doing to help the rest of us and for showing us what life can be like…
With peace and gratitude
Ruby and Brent
As police officer with 7 years experience I undertook my journey to Cabrera with a lot of skepticism, doubts and questions. A main area of concern I had was the security of a family within a developing county. I hope my brief review of my time in Cabrera will give you a better understanding of this small, family oriented community.
When Barry and good friend of his picked me up in Puerto Plata my first thought was, “What the heck am I doing flying to this new county, trusting a man I’ve only skyped and emailed with to shuttle me all over the north part of the island.” In all honesty there was a small risk but I weighed it with what I believed to be true about Barry from my conversations with him. Most importantly was that I believed Barry to be an honest person who genuinely cares about others. At worst, I thought I would not be losing anything other than getting to experience new people and a new county for a week.
With each passing day I saw Barry, his friends and the local people of Cabrera and how they interacted with each other. And what proved to be the biggest impact were their relationships with each other. Cabrera is a strong community because of the people that are there. I told family back home I felt as if I had stepped back in time to the 1930’s and 1940’s and experienced what it was like to have lived in the US during those times. The sense of community that is thriving there is because of the focus on each other and helping your neighbor. Sure, the land is blessed with fertile soil and there are fruit trees hanging ripe, and an abundance of many other natural resources but the most important part I saw was the true sense of community.
In part, I believe Barry has thrived in Cabrera because he has invested in the people and the community. One of the best judges of character is how others speak of and treat you. The amount of times locals in Cabrera spoke to me of how Barry has helped them and invested in their community were numerous.
Some of you may be having doubt about safety, and criminality within a developing country but I ask you to think out side of the box for a moment. Think of your current community and neighborhood and ask your self when was the last time you saw a newspaper heading, radio announcement, or the evening news of someone being assaulted, robbed, raped or beaten. Many times in the States we let ourselves slip into an illusion of safety and comfort. Look back over the past year and see how close crime has come to your county, your neighborhood and your family. Have you convinced yourself that “it” could never happen to you? How confident are you with your neighbor’s one street over to help you when “crap hits the fan”. Wait, how about your neighbors next door. Will they be there when you need them? I can honestly say at no point was I concerned for my safety. In fact, I would prefer my mother live in a community like Cabrera as opposed to her current city.
Let me give an example from my community, which is a very wealthy place to live. Most households have six digit incomes, luxury cars are everywhere but there is no true sense of a community. I go into many a household during the course of my job and many of these times are for domestic calls. The parents have lost their children and they throw money at them to pacify them, they look to the schools to give them guidance, yet kids are turning to substance abuse at an amazing rate. Kids in my “wealthy community” as young as middle school are turning to hard drugs to pacify that empty hole within and many also are turning to alternative families-gangs. These observations are not reflective of all families but of many. It is possible to raise a good family within this environment and many do but when there is a crisis what type of community do you want your family to ride out the storm?
You may ask why am I talking about the problems of a wealthy community within our first world country? Well, it’s because strong families make strong communities and when a crisis hits where do I want my family. A community where I know my neighbor will help. Where will we be best able to ride out the storm? In a community where families are lost, communities are held together by HOA’s and ones importance is judged by the vehicle they drive? Or would we prefer to ride out the storm in a community where ones character is judged by the amount of time he has invested in his family and his community.
However, let me say, if a neighbor drying clothes on a clothes wire offends you, if someone growing fruits and vegetables in their front yard is below your status-Cabrera may not be for you. But if you’re looking for a community that is self sufficient in meeting its physical needs and a place that that will give you 10-fold of what you invest in it; then maybe you should think outside the norm for a bit and take a trip. The best understanding comes from first hand experience.
The love and genuine kindness I experienced from complete strangers in Cabrera was truly amazing. I’m already planning my return trip with family. I hope to see you there.
Fear can be addictive and it is hard not to let your self be caught within its destructive cycle. Be open to the truth and look for options.
I was fortunate enough to have been invited to go along with a friend to go to the Dominican Republic. He turned my wife and I on to DRESCAPES, after reviewing the site, we became very interested, we had no intention of purchasing property, we were excited to see all of what the site had written about. So off we went!
We arrived near midnight, Willie was kind enough to drive and pick us up late at night. We arrived in our wonderful rooms late, we could not see a thing. The rooms were nice, very well worth the $100.00.
We woke up the next morning, we could not believe our eyes, we were in paradise. We could see the ocean, swimming pool, and the fruit hanging from the trees as had been written about. The temperature was comfortable and we were very excited.
We had arrived a day early (why not), Barry came down, we spent some time together talking and then he took us out for a nice lunch in town, the food was wonderful and so were the people. The next morning, there were a total now of 7 people from all around the country. We all hit it off right away and had a wonderful time for the entire time we were there. What amazed me the most was the like mindedness of the people. Everyone was into their health (except for the lunchtime El Presidente Beer), everyone was into Silver and understood what is going on with the eventual collapse of the Dollar. It was wonderful to be around other people we could talk with who didn’t think we were full of crap.
The tours are everything they are written about. You will see a diverse part of the country side, the beaches are well kept, clean and practically deserted. The people are friendly, everything is inexpensive and the food is fresh. Barry is very zealous, and, his wonderful team and their families go out of their way to make sure you are comfortable and well informed.
We ended up buying a property, almost everyone did, or intended to. It was a no brainer really. There was no sales pitch, just a lot of enthusiasm from Barry about this hidden little gem on our planet and, we are grateful to have this opportunity come into our lives.
Bill and Sherrie
I was fortunate to be able to track down DR Escape’s website since it was only on SGT Report one day, and then disappeared, I contacted SGT and he sent me the link, and luckily I was able to make the tour in Mid-November 2012.
Being a former military man, I had spent time in the Tropics and have always had a strong desire to live in the tropics, and the Caribbean in particular. Seeing the writing on the wall here in the US, I inquired about coming down for the tour, and inadvertently made reservations to the wrong airport in the DR….This is where the story starts:
Barry promptly called me and informed me Willy would make the 3 hour trek (through the mountains, in the dark) and pick up our group of 3 for the tour. We arrived and had a whirl-wind packed tour…got to see private beaches, went to markets, got to meet many locals, attorneys, bankers, politicians, and “new family”. The people were extremely friendly, and willing to assist us in anyway they could. It is not an exaggeration, that you will see more in 4 days, than you would in months. My assessment is that rightly so, parts of DR get a Bad Rap for Crime, however, in a country of 10 Million People that goes with the big City Territory. The area we were fortunate enough to be in (Cabrera) has 34,000 people, a farming community if you will, with lots of beaches, great coast lines, mountains, and abundant fruit and vegetables (no pesticides), with fresh water coming out of the mountains! This does not take into account the Chicken, & Seafood. Speaking of seafood, we were standing outside of a restaurant and a local shrimper (on his bicycle), was selling 16-20 Size (per pound) freshly netted Shrimp for $3.50 per pound! What a deal!
Having been around the world a couple of times, it was surreal that Barry and his Troupe worked long and hard, day after day, to ensure our large group of 7 viewed as much of the DR as we could to ensure we had ample information, to “make an informed decision”. I was delighted to see the country, get to mingle with the locals, and not spend time in some resort, in short, not once did I feel unsafe, or threatened by the people or environment, and thought to myself, “I could live here”!.
Back to the story……When not on the tour, we spent time in town eating with the locals, indulging in the local beverage of passion fruit and Brugal, and on a particular evening, we were graciously invited to dinner (with Willy’s immediate family friends, our tour guides, and other DR Tour Escapees) (past and present), enjoying grilled chicken, fresh avocado, potatoes, pork steaks, El Presidente (Cerveza’s), and Excellent Dominican (hand rolled) cigars! Additionally, we even had an opportunity to see a newly built home, of excellent quality that was recently constructed. The home was breath taking to say the least.
Long story short, the time spent was sensational, genuine, and informative, I even got a hair cut for $2.50 from an excellent barber (now top that!!!) There are lots more details and I have just hit the highlights. I could go on and on, but you will have to experience it for yourself.
Oh, I forgot to mention that all in the group (but one), purchased acreage (from a parcel) and will be building new homes, and we will be neighbors here in “Our Tropical Paradise” on Gringo Ridge….for that new beginning, and opportunity, I would like to thank Barry, Willie, and all of those behind the scenes that willingly assisted us….In my mind, our most valuable commodity in this world is time. The DR Staff willingly shared theirs to help those wanting to have a new home, and “sit this one out”, while things unravel here in the US. I am delighted to have gone to the DR with an open mind, and realizing, that the DR is not the US, but then again….The US is not really the US we all grew-up in…..
I just returned from the DR myself and spent a lot of quality time with Barry and the DR Tour family, and I can certainly say without any hesitation that all facets of my experience while there completely exceeded my expectations!
Personally, with over 20 years of of following trends, I have appreciated the solutions-oriented approach that Barry and DR Escapes provides. So, making the recent trip to the DR to explore it as part of a complete plan made perfect sense to me. I am thankful to my brother that he told me about DR Escapes not long ago upon seeing one of Barry’s articles on SGT.
What I discovered while on my DR Escapes tour was as close to a complete solution as I could have ever imagined. In fact, while there for 4 days and since my return, I’ve personally already begun taking very simple, relatively-easy steps to make the DR my 3rd leg of the stool for myself and my family. I’m already now sleeping better at night!
Having a trusted network of friends and associates, especially during difficult times, is in my opinion perhaps the greatest and most important element that Barry and DR Escapes provides. It’s an already-established, very strong and impressive network to say the least. This network includes other folks whom have already made this transition to the DR from other lands, local professionals such as attorneys, town officials, tradesmen, and a whole host of other great connections.
Barry introduced me to literally dozens of these individuals while I was on the tour, so it became very evident to me of the tremendous value already established over the 16 years that Barry has been in the country, and specifically the Cabrera region of the north coast.
This network which Barry has forged has eliminated any concerns I initially had when contemplating the DR as being part of my own plan. Let’s face it, when considering a “foreign land”, it can be a rather daunting exercise.
I must say though that the most gratifying, fulfilling aspect of my “discovery” was the local people, and the love and genuine kindness I experienced from them. This very important aspect made everything else flow in a beautiful way. It just made everything feel right.
I could go on and on about all the other important elements, such as the beautiful diverse countryside, abundant natural food and water supply, modern communications network, lovely climate, etc, etc, but I’ll leave at least some of it for any of you that are traveling a similar path, and are looking for your own 3rd leg to the stool.
And, by the way, I think you’ll be more than pleasantly surprised at the abundance of options available in the DR for those whom need to continue generating income, as many of us are not yet able to retire. For instance, being in the real estate industry for over 25 years, I was honestly surprised and amazed to discover, with Barry’s assistance, the ripe opportunities for real estate purchase, including from an investment angle.
In closing, and given the current global landscape, I would encourage anyone to move quickly and decisively in seeking out your own plan. If it includes the DR, then I’d say there’s a very good chance we’ll be seeing one another soon!
Kevin S., Florida
Firstly, I was just blown away by the scenery and the beauty of the area. It is the nicest place I have ever seen. I spent a few days in the capital after and I saw a quote from Christopher Columbus (who made the DR his home) and he said “the most beautiful land that human eyes have ever sighted” – and he was referring to Santo Domingo. I wonder what he would have said if he saw Cabrera ;).
Then the food is what I really enjoyed. All my stomach issues were gone within the first day. It is amazing, and I have to say freaked me out to see how different my body reacted to real food. As well I stayed in a house with 4 cats and had no allergies when my cat allergies are quite severe. I don’t know if this sounds believable, but this was my experience. Barry even said he wasn’t surprised as he had heard that from many others.
I’ll just say lastly that the best part of the experience were the people and the network that Barry has put together. The people are genuine,honest and sincere. Barry’s partner Julian (Wili) was so friendly and helpful I cannot even begin to describe it – he even made sure that I was taken care of by some of his friends is Santo Domingo when I went there, and he took the trip with me. We also had a nice get together at Barry’s with several locals as well as expats, and it was a great time. The main feeling I had was I had found like minded people. Obviously the expats would likely have similar thoughts as they went this way, but also the locals in Cabrera really understood the things that were important, and I just thought these are the types of people I would like to associate with.
Another incident that comes to mind, is many of the people do not have much, but one man who we passed every day and of course gave our greetings to, flagged down Barry and gave him 2 fresh Avocados as they were coming into season and wanted to share his wealth. Anyone that thinks these people would be violent really is coming from a place of ignorance and is dead wrong.
So to me this became more than just an escape plan, but somewhere I would prefer to be – period. It is a real place, with real food, real beauty, real people and real freedom. I urge anyone who is truly serious about looking at options to take a look at Cabrera. It may not be right for you, but honestly I wouldn’t be able to understand that. My experience was life changing.
I could go on and on and I just spent a few days there.
I’m writing to thank you guys for not only great advice on real estate in the DR, but also a great vacation. The discover your destination tour was unbelievable. We actually learned more about the D.R. in 4 days with you and Julian than we could of in 6 months by ourselves. Anyone coming to Cabrera has to hook up with this or you’re missing out on a lot. We could not believe what you guys have done all for just covering the cost of fuel. Fuel that we would have needed anyway if attempted this on our own.
The Hotel (La Catalina) you arranged for me was great, and getting me to and from the airport, fantastic. Introducing me to your families and the BBQ Great. I truly thank you.
Showing me different areas on the island, cities like Cabarete, Sousa and Santiago. You were very informative, which allowed me to make the right decision as far as location goes. Cabrera had the right feel, friendly people, beautiful beaches and best of all, not too crowded. I really value your advice it was so spot on I can’t thank you both enough. I’ve already mentioned you both to several friends and family members. Some have been to the Dominican Republic before but were staying in the all-inclusive resorts. You both were right again when staying in these traps you are totally clueless in understanding how beautiful is actually is.
I’m excited thinking about my next visit. Our land that we bought is more than we dreamed we could have ever gotten for the price you and Julian negotiated. Looking forward to when I can spend winters in the DR, with friends like you guys. Correction with family like you guys.
Mike, Ontario, Canada
We had the whole week with Barry – he took off work specifically for our visit – and was able to extensively experience the Dominican way of life and view the properties we had interest in. Barry worked effectively and efficiently to accommodate all the needs and requests we had. In addition, he and his wife Liane were incredibly kind, hospitable and helpful to us while we adjusted to the change of lifestyle.
I would like to write this testimonial for/to Barry Soloman and Julian “Willie” Acosta. My wife and I are planning to retire this year. We had been doing research and decided on Central America (Costa Rica, Equator, Nicaragua) or the Caribbean (Dominican Republic, Dominica, Barbados, Puerto Rico). We checked around and planned to start with Costa Rica, but after talking with Barry we decided to scrap those plans and come to the Dominican Republic. We felt that we had made a connection even before we arrived. Barry helped plan the trip, giving us loads of advice on where to stay and even picked us up from Santiago (a 4 hour trip). He showed us the sites as we travelled to Cabrera. He settled us in our hotel and met us for dinner the first night to plan our visit. During the week, he took us 65 miles north and 65 miles south from Cabrera, so that we not only saw the town that we eventually would settle in, but the island and the culture. Their discover your destination tour is a must do if you really want to experience the real deal. He took us into his family. We saw some properties, but the focus of his interaction, was to see if the Dominican Republic would be a good fit for us. We did find a beautiful piece of land.