Dominican Republic Travel
Beauty on a Historic Scale. Surrounded by a spectacular mountain range, Puerto Plata offers a wide variety of historic sites, great resorts and challenging golf. Santo Domingo, the oldest settlement in the Western Hemisphere, is rich in history. East of Santo Domingo lies trendy La Romana, home to international polo matches and world-class championship golf as well as Punta Cana, which offers an unparalled stretch of pearl white sand Caribbean beaches including Bavaro Beach, home to some of the finest resorts and restaurants on the island.
This lush, sprawling nation that shares the island of Hispaniola (Columbus’ first stop in the New World) with Haiti, is definitely one of the Caribbean’s most versitile playgrounds. Travelers with a taste for adventure can, among other things, hike Pico Duarte, the highest peak in the Caribbean, or raft the clear waters of the Yaque del Norte River.
Diving? There’s some of the best you’ll find anywhere, including freshwater cave diving in the Dominican Inland Sea. Golfers can test their skills on 23 of the most challenging and beautiful golf courses in the Caribbean. And, with its all-around value pricing, this is a top family vacation destination with a wealth of special kids programs and play areas at virtually every resort, plus many new family attractions such as the National Aquarium in Santo Domingo, Columbus Water Park in Puerto Plata and Manati Park in Bavaro.
Dominican Republic Info
Official Language: Spanish, but English is widely spoken, especially in the tourist areas and major resorts.
Government: Representative Democracy
Temperature: Average annual temperature in the high 70′s Fahrenheit (26 C)
Rainfall: Approximately 60 inches annually
Miscellaneous: The second largest nation in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola an is roughly the size of Maryland (US). It is larger than the Bahamas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, all of the Virgin Islands and the entire French West Indies put together. The Dominican Republic is generally regarded as very safe with crimes against tourists rarely reported. Water is considered reasonably safe to drink at the major resorts, but bottled water is always the safest bet.
Transportation: To rent a car, you will need a valid driver`s license from your country as well as a major credit card for a deposit. Driving is on the right side of the road. Only governement regulated taxis are authorized to pick up from hotels. Taxis are unmetered, so bargaining on fares for your ride or by the hour is always a possibility.
Official Currency: Dominican peso (RD$), but the dollar is widely accepted and preferred. Currency exchange offices are available at the airports as well as the major resorts and shopping areas. Travelers checks and major credit cards are widely accepted.
Entry Requirements: US & Canadian citizens must have a valid passport. U.K., Australian & New Zealand travelers will need a valid passport. The purchase of a $10 tourist card is required upon arrival which must be presented to the proper immigration authorities when you leave. A $10 departure tax must be paid by all foreign visitors as well.
Airports: International flights arrive either at the Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo, La Union International Airport in Puerto Plata or the Punta Cana International Airport.
Gambling: Gaming is legal for ages 18+ including roulette, blackjack, slot machines, craps, poker, horse-racing & baccarat.
Drinking Age: 18 is also the legal drinking age in the Dominican Republic
Electricity: The electrical outlets run the same current as North America (110 volts).