Essential Guide for Travelers to the Dominican Republic

Upon your arrival at the airport, you will need to purchase a tourist card which has a cost of (USD 10.00) or optionally 10 euros, unless you are from Argentina, Chile, South Korea, Ecuador, Israel, Japan, Peru, or Uruguay.

The tourist card allows a visitor to stay up to 30 days. Those who want to stay longer will pay a fee when leaving.

There are some airline and travel agency that has included the tourist card you should investigate with your airline or travel agent if you have included the tourist card.

Those who wish can get the tourist card in advance online on the official page of the Dominican Republic government.

All foreign and Dominican passengers entering or departing the Dominican Republic on commercial flights must complete the free electronic entry and exit, you can do it in the official site the Dominican Republic government:

Electronic Ticket portal for entering and leaving the Dominican Republic

President of the Dominican Republic

The current President of the Dominican Republic is Luis Abinader, who has been President for one term in the last election on 16 August 2020 won with 62% of the votes.

The biggest project of President Luis Abinader has been investing in the education of the country.

He built more than 24,000 thousand classrooms throughout the country of the Dominican Republic so far he continues to build more classrooms.

A bit of geography of the Dominican Republic

The island is divided between two sovereign countries, The Republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic is the second largest island in the Caribbean with 76,192 square kilometers.

The territory of the Dominican Republic is 48,445 square-kilometer and the rest of the territory belongs to Haiti.

In the Dominican Republic Spanish is the first language but many people speak English, French, and German.

In Haiti speak Creole which is similar to the French language and many people speak English too.

Religion of the Dominican Republic

There are many different religions in the Dominican Republic, which have been growing and changing. Historically, Catholicism predominates as a religious practice from across the country.

In modern days, the Protestants and the non-Christian groups, Buddhists, Jews, and Muslims, have grown up in the population but the Protestants is the second most professed religion in the Dominican Republic.

The most professed religion is Roman Catholicism. It has an estimated about 60% of the population.

During the Decade of 1820s, the Protestants migrated to the Dominican Republic from the United States of America. West Indian Protestants arrived at the end of the 19th in the county by the Decade of 1920s, were established organizations Protestant it long of all the country.

Climate and Weather in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic boasts a tropical climate that is characterized by warm temperatures and relatively consistent weather throughout the year. However, it's essential to note the variations in climate across different regions and seasons.


  • Dry Season (November to April): This period is considered the peak tourist season due to the pleasant weather. Days are typically sunny, and rainfall is minimal, making it an ideal time for beach activities and outdoor adventures.

  • Wet Season (May to October): The wet season brings higher humidity levels and an increased chance of rain, particularly in the afternoons. Although rainfall occurs more frequently, it often doesn't last all day and doesn't necessarily disrupt plans entirely. This season is known for lush landscapes and vibrant greenery.

Regional Variances:

  • Coastal Regions: Coastal areas generally experience slightly warmer temperatures than inland regions. Coastal breezes offer relief from the heat, making beachside activities enjoyable year-round.

  • Mountainous Areas: The interior mountain ranges, such as the Cordillera Central, often have cooler temperatures compared to coastal regions, especially at higher altitudes. Hiking and exploring these areas may require packing warmer clothing due to the cooler climate.

Hurricane Season:

  • The Caribbean hurricane season officially runs from June to November. While the Dominican Republic is occasionally affected by hurricanes or tropical storms during this period, the likelihood of a direct hit is relatively low. It's advisable for travelers to stay updated on weather forecasts and heed any warnings issued by local authorities during this time. Understanding the climate and seasonal variations in the Dominican Republic can significantly impact travel plans, ensuring visitors choose the most suitable time for their preferred activities and experiences.

Cultural Highlights in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a vibrant tapestry of cultural heritage, boasting a rich blend of influences from its indigenous Taíno roots, Spanish colonial history, and African heritage. Visitors to this captivating country can immerse themselves in a myriad of cultural experiences:

Music and Dance:

  • Merengue: This lively and infectious dance form is considered the national dance of the Dominican Republic. Its upbeat rhythms and energetic movements captivate both locals and visitors alike.
  • Bachata: Originating from the rural areas, bachata is a romantic and sensual dance accompanied by guitar-driven melodies. Its popularity has soared globally, and visitors often have the chance to learn the steps from locals or witness live performances.

Festivals and Celebrations:

  • Carnival: The Dominican Carnival, celebrated in February, is a vibrant and colorful extravaganza featuring parades, music, and elaborate costumes. Each region puts its unique spin on the festivities, but the exuberance and liveliness remain constant.
  • Semana Santa (Holy Week): This religious celebration leading up to Easter is observed with processions, ceremonies, and religious events throughout the country. The week-long activities offer a profound insight into Dominican religious customs and traditions.


  • Traditional Delicacies: Indulge in the tantalizing flavors of Dominican cuisine, which reflects a blend of Spanish, African, and indigenous influences. Sample dishes such as "mangu" (mashed plantains), "sancocho" (hearty stew), and "pastelón" (a layered meat and plantain dish) for an authentic taste of the local fare.

Arts and Crafts:

  • Amber Mining: The Dominican Republic is renowned for its amber. Visitors can explore museums and workshops to learn about the extraction process and admire intricate amber jewelry crafted by local artisans.
  • Local Handicrafts: Artisans across the country create beautiful handicrafts, including pottery, ceramics, woven baskets, and intricate wood carvings, providing visitors with unique souvenirs and gifts.

Cultural Etiquette:

  • Greeting Customs: Politeness and warmth are valued in Dominican culture. It's customary to greet people with a handshake or a kiss on the cheek, even upon first meeting.
  • Respect for Elders: Respecting elders is an integral part of Dominican culture. Visitors are encouraged to show deference and courtesy towards older individuals. Exploring the cultural highlights of the Dominican Republic offers visitors a deeper understanding of its diverse heritage, fostering connections and appreciation for the country's traditions and customs.

Health and Safety Tips for Travelers

1. Vaccinations and Health Precautions:

  • Vaccinations: Ensure you're up-to-date on routine vaccinations. Consider additional vaccinations for diseases like hepatitis A, typhoid, and others recommended by health authorities based on your travel plans.
  • Food and Water: Drink bottled water and avoid consuming tap water. Be cautious with street food and ensure it's freshly prepared and served hot to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses.

2. Sun Safety:

  • Sun Protection: The Caribbean sun can be intense. Pack and regularly apply sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and stay hydrated to prevent sunburn and dehydration.

3. Medical Facilities and Insurance:

  • Travel Insurance: Consider obtaining comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies and repatriation in case of serious illness or injury.
  • Medical Services: Identify nearby medical facilities and hospitals in the area you're visiting. The quality of healthcare can vary, so it's advisable to be prepared.

Transportation in the Dominican Republic

1. Public Transportation:

  • Guaguas and Carros Públicos: These are shared vans or minibusses, and they are the primary mode of public transport between towns and cities. They're affordable but may not always follow fixed schedules. Confirm the destination with the driver before boarding.

2. Taxis and Ridesharing:

  • Taxis: Taxis are available in most urban areas and can be hailed on the street or booked through apps like Ensure they use a meter or negotiate the fare beforehand.
  • Ridesharing Apps: Services like Uber are available in certain cities, providing a convenient and often cheaper alternative to traditional taxis.

3. Car Rentals:

  • Renting a Car: Renting a car allows for more flexibility, especially when exploring rural or remote areas. International driving permits may be required, so check local regulations before renting.

4. Intercity Travel:

  • Buses: Long-distance buses operate between major cities and towns, offering a comfortable and relatively affordable mode of transportation. Companies like Caribe Tours and Metro serve popular routes.
  • Domestic Flights: Domestic flights connect major cities and tourist destinations, providing a quicker alternative for covering long distances.

5. Motorbikes and Scooters:

  • Motorbike Taxis: Commonly known as "motoconchos," these are popular for short trips within towns or neighborhoods. Negotiate the fare before the ride.
  • Renting Motorbikes or Scooters: Some tourists opt to rent motorbikes or scooters for personal use, especially in beach towns or tourist areas. Exercise caution and ensure you're comfortable riding in local traffic conditions.

6. Road Conditions and Driving Tips:

  • Road Conditions: Roads in urban areas are generally well-maintained, but rural roads may be less developed. Exercise caution, especially during rainy seasons when roads can become impassable.
  • Driving Tips: Drive defensively, be aware of local driving habits, and adhere to traffic rules. Be cautious of pedestrians, motorbikes, and erratic driving behaviors.

Understanding the transportation options available in the Dominican Republic can significantly enhance your travel experience, allowing you to explore various destinations efficiently and comfortably.

Popular Destinations and Activities in the Dominican Republic

1. Punta Cana:

  • Beach Paradise: Punta Cana is renowned for its pristine beaches with crystal-clear waters and luxurious, all-inclusive resorts. Visitors can indulge in water sports like snorkeling, scuba diving, and catamaran tours.

2. Santo Domingo:

  • Historical Capital: Explore the historic charm of the capital city, Santo Domingo, home to the UNESCO-listed Colonial Zone. Visit landmarks like the Alcázar de Colón and the first cathedral of the Americas, offering insights into the country's colonial past.

3. Puerto Plata:

  • Amber Coast: Known as the Amber Coast, Puerto Plata offers golden beaches and a picturesque landscape. Ride the cable car to the top of Mount Isabel de Torres for breathtaking views or visit Ocean World for marine life encounters.

4. Samaná Peninsula:

  • Whale Watching: Samaná is a hotspot for whale watching from January to March, as humpback whales migrate to the area. The peninsula also boasts stunning beaches, waterfalls like El Limón, and the Los Haitises National Park.

5. La Romana and Bayahibe:

  • Cultural Treasures: Explore the cultural richness of La Romana and nearby Bayahibe. Visit Altos de Chavón, a replica of a Mediterranean village, and enjoy excursions to Saona Island for its white sand beaches and turquoise waters.

6. Adventure and Nature:

  • Jarabacoa and Constanza: These mountainous regions offer opportunities for hiking, river rafting in the Yaque del Norte River, and exploring the breathtaking landscapes of the Cordillera Central.

7. Golfing and Outdoor Activities:

  • Golf Courses: The Dominican Republic is a golfing haven with numerous world-class courses, especially in Punta Cana and La Romana, attracting golf enthusiasts from around the globe.

8. Ecotourism and National Parks:

  • National Parks: Discover the country's diverse ecosystems in places like Los Haitises National Park or Sierra de Bahoruco National Park, ideal for birdwatching, hiking, and exploring unique flora and fauna.

9. Cultural Immersion:

  • Local Markets and Festivals: Experience the vibrant culture by visiting local markets, attending festivals, and trying traditional foods like "mofongo" or "mangu" to savor the local flavors. From stunning beaches to historical sites, natural wonders, and adventurous activities, the Dominican Republic offers a diverse array of experiences that cater to various interests, ensuring a memorable and fulfilling visit for every traveler.

Currency and Money Matters in the Dominican Republic

1. Currency:

  • Dominican Peso (DOP): The official currency of the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Peso. Symbolized as "RD$" or "DOP," it's denoted in coins (pesos) and bills (pesos or pesos dominicanos).

2. Exchange Rate and Conversion:

  • Exchange Rate: The exchange rate fluctuates and can be checked at banks, exchange offices, or online currency converters. Major tourist areas may also accept U.S. dollars, but having local currency is recommended for smaller purchases.

3. ATMs and Banking:

  • ATMs: ATMs are widely available in urban areas and tourist spots, accepting major international credit and debit cards. Notify your bank of your travel plans to avoid any issues with card usage abroad.
  • Banking Hours: Banks typically operate from Monday to Friday, with shorter hours on Saturdays and closed on Sundays. Some branches in tourist areas may have extended hours.

4. Payment Methods:

  • Credit Cards: Major credit cards like Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants, and larger establishments. However, smaller businesses might prefer cash payments.
  • Traveler's Checks: While not as commonly used nowadays, some locations might accept traveler's checks. Ensure they are in U.S. dollars or can be easily exchanged.

5. Tipping and Service Charges:

  • Tipping: Tipping is customary in the Dominican Republic. A service charge may already be included in bills at restaurants (usually around 10%). Additionally, tipping hotel staff, guides, and drivers is appreciated for good service.

6. Budgeting and Costs:

  • Cost of Living: The cost of living can vary, with tourist areas often having higher prices than local neighborhoods. Budget according to your planned activities, accommodations, and dining preferences. Understanding the currency, available payment methods, and local banking practices can help travelers effectively manage their finances and navigate transactions during their stay in the Dominican Republic.