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Dominican Republic Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Dominican Republic in 2023

Dominican Republic Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Dominican Republic in 2023

Welcome to Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic serves well when we talk about tourist destinations. Punta Cana, Bavaro Beach, and Santo Domingo are some of the best places in the Caribbean to enjoy a paradisiac vacation. If the white sand and turquoise ocean are not enough, it will be the Dominican culture that will make you fall in love with this country.

In this ultimate Dominican Republic travel guide, we will share some travel tips to explore the tourist areas and everything you need to know about how to enter the Dominican Republic hassle-free.

Document Checklist for the Dominican Republic

  • eTicket.

  • Valid passport (for six months beyond the length of stay).

  • Sufficient funds.

  • Return airline ticket.

Essential Dominican Republic Travel Information

  • Currency - Dominican Peso (DOP). $1 is equivalent to approx. DOP 54,05. You can travel with US dollars and exchange them there for Dominican pesos.

  • Daily budget for 1 person - A daily budget of around DOP 6,215 ($115).

  • Languages - Spanish.

  • Socket type - Types A, B, and C, 120V supply voltage and 60Hz.

  • Time zone - Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) -04:00.

  • Top 3 cities to visit - Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, and Puerto Plata.

  • Top 3 landmarks/monuments - The Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo, La Aurora Cigar Factory, and Pico Duarte.

Visa Information for the Dominican Republic

Beautiful beaches, palm trees and tropical rainforests: the Dominican Republic is a beautiful cinematographic scenario to go on vacation. The Dominican government makes it easy for this dream to come true, since visitors don’t even need a visa to stay within 30 days in the territory.

Travelers need a passport and an eTicket to meet the entry requirements. In the airport, you will get a Tourist Card. Then, it’s time to enjoy the day trips in this tropical destination.

eTicket explained

Countries have had to develop health measures since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. With so many tourists visiting the Dominican Republic, local authorities created a simple travel document to track the visitors easily.

The Dominican Republic eTicket is the digital form required by multiple institutions to enter or leave the territory. It combines the Traveler’s Health Affidavit, Customs Declaration, and International Embarkations in just one single document.

Typical Costs and Budget for the Dominican Republic

A basic guide to what you'll spend daily traveling through the Dominican Republic on a decent budget. Daily spending - Around DOP 6,215 ($115) per person/per day on a budget vacation. This includes:

  • Meals - DOP 1,729 ($32).

  • Transport - DOP 287 ($5.32).

  • Hotel - DOP 7,836 ($145) for two people.

A trip for two for one week will cost, on average, DOP 86,908 ($1,608).

Visiting the Dominican Republic: Transport and Best Ways to Travel Around

The Dominican Republic is not an extensive country, so you can explore a lot. Santo Domingo and Santiago are the major hubs for public transport, so it’s easy to choose bus travel to go from these main cities to other places. You can buy the tickets through the Caribe Tours website.

Car rental is also a possibility, but not a cheap one. You must also be prepared to face the Dominican city's congested and unregulated streets. Renting a good four-wheel drive is the best option to explore the coast and mountains. Besides the price and road conditions, this is the most convenient and comfortable travel option if you’re going from town to town.

In the cities, you won’t find public buses. You can use guaguas (minivans), publicos (cars for public transportation), taxis, and Uber. The guaguas and publicos are shared, just like a bus, and you will often find them crowded. For private transport, you can opt for a taxi or Uber.

Travel Safety in the Dominican Republic

Cities like Punta Cana can look like a paradise, but you must exercise increased caution in the Dominican Republic. The violent crime rate is high; even in tourist areas, you can be a victim of petty theft. The advice is to avoid walking in the streets at night and using expensive jewelry. Also, you should opt to use ATMs in hotels, shopping centers, or other controlled areas.

Weather in the Dominican Republic

No one wants to travel with the whole family to a gorgeous beach and be locked in a hotel room. That’s why it is so important to check the usual weather conditions.

The Dominican Republic is in the center of the Caribbean hurricane belt. You may want to avoid traveling during the hurricane season, going from June to November, with the stormiest months usually being August and September.

The temperatures in the country are always pleasant; the difference is that it gets hotter during the wet season, which runs from May to November. But don’t worry, even in the wet season, you will find hot weather and plenty of sunny days. The temperatures during the day are around 30°C (86°F).

You can also choose the dry season, from December to April, to avoid humidity. During this period, you will enjoy cooler temperatures, but always around 25°C (77°F).

Popular Cities and Towns to Visit in the Dominican Republic

Major cities or small beach towns? Most tourists can have a hard time choosing which places to visit with so many beautiful spots in the Dominican Republic. Here are some cities to include in your itinerary:

  • Punta Cana - One of the most popular beach destinations in the Caribbean, Punta Cana (Cap Cana) is a breathtaking landscape to relax in and it also counts with amazing resort areas.

  • Santo Domingo - The capital is the country’s largest city. Full of history, it is the oldest European settlement in the Americas. You can enjoy many shopping malls, cafes, and restaurants.

  • Samaná - This historical city was Christopher Columbus's last stop in the New World before returning to Spain. It’s a great place to observe humpback whales.

  • Sosúa - A beach destination to enjoy calm waters, reef structures, and diving among a wide variety of fish.

  • Puerto Plata - This city offers panoramic views, fantastic beaches, and activities to entertain the entire family.

Vacation: Must Do and See in the Dominican Republic

Many tourists that visit the Dominican Republic fall in love with the beautiful landscapes and amazing Dominican people. Don’t miss these remarkable sights on your trip:

  1. Walk in the cobbled streets of the Ciudad Colonial in Santo Domingo.

  2. Visit Los Haitises National Park to see the diverse species of the mangrove swamps.

  3. Spot whales on the Samaná Peninsula.

  4. Explore the fantastic Damajagua Waterfalls in Puerto Plata.

  5. Enjoy a relaxing day by the ocean in Bávaro Beach Punta Cana.

Typical Dominican Republic Food to Try

  • La Bandera Dominicana (Dominican flag) - This traditional dish has three essential ingredients: white rice, red beans, and stewed meat (chicken or beef). Usually, it is served with side dishes such as avocado, “tostones” (flattened fried plantain), green salad with tomato, or cooked eggplant stew.

  • Mangú - This breakfast dish is made of mashed green plantains. It consists of boiling or stewing the plantains in salted water, then mashing them with a bit of oil or butter and a trickle of water.

  • Mofongo - This dish is a legacy of African roots. The delicious recipe is made by mashing fried plantains, garlic, and pork rind in a mortar, forming a dough that is then shaped into small balls, and served in a bowl.

Vaccine Information for the Dominican Republic

It's important to know what routine vaccines and COVID-19 measures are required to enter the Dominican Republic before traveling. We recommend you check out the CDC website for further information about all vaccine requirements and any recommended guidance or medicine lists.

Regarding health, some other tips are to use repellent to avoid mosquito bites and possible dengue fever. Also, try avoiding tap water and always prefer bottled water.

The Resort Experience in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is known for its white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, but also its incredible resorts. Punta Cana is the main city to enjoy this experience, thanks to its amazing structure and all-inclusives. So prepare yourself for days on the beach wearing your best flip-flops.

You can find resorts at a reasonable price; the key is to search and adjust expectations. To pay a little less, you can look for a 3-Star resort, maybe without an ocean view. It’s important to consider the style of the resort too: some places include family activities while others are a paradise for young people to party.

The food is also part of the experience. Maybe you can find lower prices but with only decent food included. If you prioritize good gastronomy, invest in resorts with good restaurants and bars.

You may think the language barrier will be an obstacle to your vacation since the local language is Spanish. But the resorts are well-prepared to receive tourists, and it won’t be a problem to communicate in English. Pack your bags and enjoy!

Fun Facts about the Dominican Republic

Here are some fun facts about the Dominican Republic that will help you to know a little more about the country’s culture before the trip!

  1. The Island of Hispaniola was the first permanent European settlement in the Americas. Christopher Columbus landed on the island during his first voyage to the New World, back in 1492.

  2. Baseball is the most popular sport in the Dominican Republic. There are over 100 Dominican players in American professional baseball leagues.

  3. Merengue, the fast-paced rhythmic music and dance, is from the Dominican Republic.

  4. The Dominican Republic’s land is exceptionally preserved. 25% of the territory consists ofnational parks, reserves, and sanctuaries.

  5. The Cuban Revolution scenes of The Godfather Part II film were actually filmed at the Presidential Palace in Santo Domingo.

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