Table Of Contents
Disclaimer – This is largely a review of Zona Colonial, I did check out some areas outside of that but will largely be focused there as it’s definitely the best spot for Digital Nomads
- The 5 Quick Scores – An Overview Of The City
- Where I Stayed
- My Favorite Place To Work From
- What I Ate
- What I Drank / Nightlife
- Exercise / Outdoors
The 5 Quick Scores
- Internet Speed – 4/5
- I ran about 10 wifi speed tests while on the island, here are the findings
- Avg. Download Speed = 33.66 MBPS
- Avg. Upload Speed = 14.03 MBPS
- Avg. Latency = 112.75 MS*
- Ease Of Connecting & Making Friends – 3/5
- This isn’t the biggest spot to find other travelers in the island, but there are still plenty of other travelers around, and the Dominican people are really easy to make friends with.
- Nightlife – 4/5
- Admittedly I was here during COVID so it may even be better, but there are quite a few bars and nightclubs scattered about. The big reason I give this a 4 out of 5 is because on weekend nights the streets are covered with people and bands, and you can drink alcohol out in the open, so you can walk around openly drinking and checking out the awesome city.
- Places To Work From – 4.5/5
- There are a lot of great places to work from here, and I sat at multiple places for hours working without any issues More details on this below.
- Affordability – 3/5
- For the Zona Colonial specifically, this is a pretty expensive spot, but it can be done cheaply.
Where I Stayed
- OVERALL – 4.5/5
- Affordability – 4/5 – Super affordable, at the time of writing this, it’s ~$30 for a shared dorm room & ~$45 for a private room
- Wifi – 4.5/5 – The wifi near the lobby was quite quick, I was able to have multiple video calls without any problems. The issue is that if you leave from near the lobby it gets very bad as I think they only have 1 router. Below are the results from a couple speed tests I ran while I was there
- Avg. Download Speed = 95.849 MBPS
- Avg. Upload Speed = 10.319 MBPS
- Avg. Latency = 75 MS
- Sense Of Community – 5/5 – The staff is super cool and there are a lot of other single / nomadic folks here that are easy to connect with.
- Location – 4/5 – a little north, but still super close to all the cool parts of Zona Colonial
- Cleanliness – 4/5 – The lobby had a bit of a weird smell, likely just due to it being a bit older building (and the dogs) but overall pretty damn clean
Gran Hotel Europa – If You Have A Couple Extra Bucks
- OVERALL – 4/5
- Affordability – 2.5/5 – Definitely a bit pricier ~$100 for a private room with 1 bed however, I was able to find a deal for ~$70 on Booking.com
- Wifi – 4.5/5 – This was the fastest and most stable wifi I found in all of Dominican Republic, here’s the list of all my wifi tests while there, if you’re curious.
- Avg. Download Speed = 102.38 MBPS
- Avg. Upload Speed = 46.56 MBPS
- Avg. Latency = 56 MS
- Sense Of Community – 2/5 – The staff is friendly, but the feel is a bit more professional and not as close as something like Island Life or any other hostel. Not even a bar here.
- Location – 4/5 – quite close to all the cool parts of Zona Colonial
- Cleanliness – 5/5 – Super clean, and beautiful place! Lot’s of awesome art (see below)
My Favorite Places To Work From
- OVERALL – 4/5 – I do love this place, but it is definitely expensive for anything beyond a coffee. They are in an incredible spot and they know it haha.
- Wifi – 3/5 – The wifi definitely isn’t fast enough to have any video calls, but I was able to do everything else without any issues.
- Download Speed = 5.5 MBPS
- Upload Speed = 1.2 MBPS
- Avg. Latency = 54 MS
- Service & Friendliness – 5/5 – The staff was super attentive and friendly. They were also totally cool with me camping out and working from there (my recommendation would be to work inside, as the outside fills up quite quickly, and you may be costing them some money by holding those tables up)
- Location / Ambiance – 5/5 – This is located right by a plaza, at the end of the strip of shops. I love sitting at cafes that are located in these old colonial plazas, some of my favorite spots to post up at in Latin America & the Caribbean.
- OVERALL – 4/5 – Killer spot, and they had plenty of space and were totally cool with me working there for what ended up being about a 6 hour stretch haha.
- Wifi – 4/5 – This was the fastest wifi I got at any cafe in Dominican Republic
- Download Speed = 22.7 MBPS
- Upload Speed = 10.2 MBPS
- Avg. Latency = 58 MS
- Service & Friendliness – 5/5 – The staff was super attentive and friendly. They were also totally cool with me camping out and working from there. The owners were very nice too, and super well travelled.
- Location / Ambiance – 4.5/5 – The ambiance is killer, I do have to say the location isn’t as prime as Cafe Conde. But as I mentioned, I’m partial to colonial plazas, so take that into consideration haha.
- Getting There & Leaving
- Admittedly I rented a car, and the driving is a bit lawless but not super tough to get a handle of
- Buses to run pretty often, and can easily be found through a Google search
- Getting Around
- Local taxi’s literally tried to charge us 6x what Uber charged us. Now you could talk down this price a bit, and I get not wanting to support a massive international company, but I doubt you (or even a Dominican) would get the same prices for a taxi as you would an Uber, so just be aware of that.
What I Ate
Not So Healthy Food – I loved the Dulce De Leche, not too tough to find at markets.
Healthier Food – The cerdo asado (grilled pork) and pollo asado (grilled chicken, fun fact they actually call white westerners pollo’s as well, so if someone says that around you, now you know why).
This stuff is incredible. It comes with steamed Yucca, got I loved that stuff. Admittedly the Yucca wasn’t super fresh at the spot I ate it at in Las Galeras. The meat isn’t usually ready until later in the night, probabaly around 8 or 9, but damn it’s worth the wait. Usually there will be a group of Dominicans hanging out with the cook listening to Bachata and relaxing, it’s a good time.
What I Drank / Nightlife
- Easy Drinking Rum & Easy To Find – Brugal Leyenda ~$30 USD per bottle
- This was definitely one of my favorite rums, it’s quite sweet and easy to find
- Awesome Rum, A Bit Harder To Find – Don Miguel – Homenaje – Roble Frances Tostado Medio ~ $100 USD per bottle
- I couldn’t find any websites in english mentioning this rum, but below is a photo of it. I found this at a supermarket near the end of my trip, but you may be able to find it at Sugar Cane – La Casa Del Ron
- Parque Colon – I actually loved drinking and walking around this park, and along the walking road that comes out of this park. In Dominican Republic, you can walk around city streets with a drink without any problems, so honestly I took advantage of that (as you can’t do that in most spots in the US).
- Sugar Cane – La Casa Del Ron – Long line to get in lots of awesome rums, pretty cool more chill spot.
- Templo Lounge – Admittedly I didn’t go here but it looked like it was really popping off especially later in the night.
Exercise / Outdoors
Nature – Los Tres Ojos
Pretty killer spot, it feels like you’re really deep in the jungle but it’s tucked away in the middle of the city. Only like 5 bucks to get in.
Exercise – Parque Del Este
This is actually located right next door to Los Tres Ojos, and has any type of exercise you can think of, basketball, tennis, I think there was even ice hokey! I’m not sure how easy it is to access the indoor facilities, but even for a place to jog, it’s a really big, beautiful park