General Information (FAQ)

Dominican Republic :
Capital : Santo-Domingo
Language : Spanish
Superficy : 48 442 sq.km


Time zone :
Dominican Republic time is 4 hours behind UTC/GMT
About 4300 miles from London and 9 hours of flight
About 1564 miles from New-York and 4 hours of flight


Phone :
From other countries to D.R : 00 1 809 + 7 numbers
From D.R to other countries: 011 +number of your country + local number without 0
Local call :
Land line to cell phone :  dial 1 before the number you want to reach
Cell phone to cell phone : direct phone number (10 numbers)


Internet :
Available in every hotels and bars, but not always for free

Taxes Arrival/Departure :
Individual travellers will have to pay 10 USD  when entering, to obtain the obligatory tourist card, which allows you to stay 30 days and that must be retained and returned to customs when leaving.
A further tax of 20 USD will be payable on departure.
Those taxes can be paid ONLY in US dollars


Customs :
When arriving, you can bring maximum 10.000 usd cash per person.
When leaving, one can bring back : 1 liter of alcohol, 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes and 1000 USD of various purchases.
Drugs and weapons are of course completely prohibited.
There is no specific agreement between Dominican Republic and other countries; therefore it’s the Dominican law that will be used in case of any problems.


Water :
You are strongly advised not to drink tap water, unless it has been boiled (for tea or coffee...). Purified water in bottles can be bought everywhere, ice cubes are generally made from bottled water.

Electricity : 110 W same as United States

Currency :
The local currency is the : Dominican Peso (RDS).
There are bills of 2000, 1000, 500, 200, 50 and 20 pesos, coins of 25, 10, 5 and 1 pesos and cents (centavos). Sometimes the exact change is not returned in the centavos. In this case, you will be offered candies together with a great smile !
Most of the resorts and local businesses accept USD and Euros for their transactions but not always at the best rate. There are cash machines in almost every hotel, which will give you Dominican pesos only. You must spend all your pesos in the country before leaving as it will not be possible to exchange them outside Dominican Republic
.

Taxes ans Tips :
In the restaurant, bar and hotel, the prices are without taxes, so they will add 18% for taxes + 10% for service.
For taxi drivers, delivery guys, … you can leave from 10 to 50 pesos each time. The tipping should be given according to the satisfaction with the work done


Weather Averages :
The weather is warm year-round, with average temperatures between 73 and 87 degrees Fahrenheit Hotest month is June, coldest is January.
The water is always between 78 and 83 degrees Fahrenheit, hotest month is August
The Dominican Republic experiences some of the effects of the Atlantic hurricane season, which lasts from June to November, but don’t worry all the hotels are built to resist hurricane season.
The probability that precipitation will be observed at this location varies throughout the year. They usually won’t last more than 10 to 15 minutes and more often during the night.  Most rainfall (rainy season) is seen in May, June, August, September, October and November.


Sun and protection :
Sunscreen lotion can be bought in hotels, pharmacy or supermarkets, but please USE IT !
Sunglasses and cap are highly recommended.
Mosquitoes repellent will be more than useful during the late afternoon and the evening and also if you go on excursions inside the country.


Pets
To bring your dog a veterinarian certificate issued for rabbies and distemper in the past 30 days of the travel date is required. At the airport in the DR you should ask for the animal control person (Sanidad Animal) in the customs area. He will examine your certificate and fill out an official entry form or permission for which you will pay less than US$10.
Only very few hotels are pets friendly.


Renting a car :
The speed limits are : 50 mph on the motorway, 35 mph on the average roads and 25 mph downtown
Driving can be dangerous, especially at night, as the lighting is very poor.
Distance between Santo Domingo and Punta Cana = 130 miles (2h30 hours with the new highway)


Interesting facts :
Pico Duarte: the highest mountain in the Caribbean (over 10150 fts).
Lago Enriquillo: the lowest lake in the Caribbean (135 feets bellow sea level), this salted lake of 265 km ² is also one of the most important reserves for American crocodiles.

Dominican National Holidays :
Some holidays falling midweek are observed on the closest Monday.
January 21 : Our Lady of Altagracia
January 26 : Duarte's birthday
February 27 : Independence Day
Celebrates variable : Corpus Christi Day
July : Merengue's Festival
August 16 : Restoration Day
September 24 : Our-lady of the mercy
October 12 : celebrates of Christophe Colomb
November 1st : celebrates Innocent Saints
November 6 : Constitution Day
And of course common bank holidays: new year, Epiphany, Easter, Labour Day, Christmas Day.


The Carnival :
It dates from the Spanish conquest, and it is celebrated throughout February everywhere in the country, and ends on February 27, the Independence Day.
Best known is the carnival of La Vega with its horned devils (diablos cojuelos), who are frightening character, catching people in the crowd and threatening to punich them with its "veijga", a kind of big blugeon.
On August 16, a carnival also takes place in La Vega to celebrate the restoration of the republic.
Since 2008 there is also a Carnaval in Punta Cana, becoming more famous every year.


Some useful key words in Spanish:
Hello (in the morning) : buenos dias or buenas
Hello (in the afternoon) : buenas tardes
Good night : buenas noches
How are you ? : Como estas ?
Very well, thank you : Muy bien, gracias
Please : Por favor
Thank you very much : muchas gracias
No, thanks : NO, gracias
I would like a beer : Quiero una cerveza
The bill please : La cuenta, por favor
How much is it ? : cuanto costa ?
I don't understand : No entiendo
My name is Mike, and yours? : Me llamo Mike, y tu ?
Where are the shops ? : Donde están las tiendas ?
Change : Cambio
Cash machines : cajero automatico
The bank : el banco
Call me a cab, please : Llamame un taxi por favor
Goodbye : Adios
1 uno, 2 dos, 3 tres, 4 cuatro, 5 cinco, 6 seis, 7 siete, 8 ocho, 9 nueve, 10 diez,
11 once, 12 doce, 13 trece, 14 catorce, 15 quince, 16 dieciseis, 17 diecisiete, 18 dieciocho, 19 diecinueve, 20 vente, ...

For food, music, souvenirs,  and more : go and see our Specialties page with all the local products.