One of the necessities of living in the Dominican Republic is a cell phone. Few homes have the good old hardwired phone that we grew up with in the States so pretty much everyone, including kids, has a cell phone here. You have a choice of either using your phone from the States of buying a new one here. Either way you are probably going to visit a cell phone shop. One of shops I’ve worked with quite a bit is Energy Cell in La Vega, Republica Dominicana.
There is quite a variety of quality of phones available here. Cell phones can be picked up for a little as a quiniento or about $15 USD with the usual low end price being about 1500 pesos and the high end going over 16 mill (16 thousand pesos) for a blackberry or iPhone (at the Claro Store). The phones come prepared to be used here in the D.R so all you need to do is buy a provider chip, buy some minutes and you are ready to go.
If you want to pick up a little higher quality phone (which really helps with all the text messaging you will be doing here) and yet not get stuck on an 18 month long contract your best bet is to pick one up used. You can often find relatively recent iPhones and Blackberries a small percentage of the new price at phone shops. (more…)