Dominican Republic Travel Info


NEW PASSPORT RULES
Updated June 2007
NEW SECURITY MEASURES
FOR CARRY ON BAGS
All travelers to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Central & South America are now required to have a passport or other secure, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States.

This is a change from prior travel requirements and will affect all United States citizens not currently possessing valid passports who are entering the United States from countries within the Western Hemisphere.
Click Here for more information.



Pulsating Rythmns of Merengue, Bachata & Salsa define the heartbeat of the Domincan Republic. A latin life style, warm Caribbean waters & fun in the sun are what you can expect. Your destination airport will most likely be in Puerto Plata (Airport Code: POP). A number of airlines from the US, Canada & Europe fly there Becoming more and more popular as a destination, naturally questions arise. This FAQ is here to provide some of the most important answers to those questions.
Just click the Buttons below to jump to the relevant section.
Travel Documents Electricity Phone & Net Health Transportation Weather Food Currency What's Included
About Sosúa   Map of DR   About Cabarete
 
Travel Documents:
Documentation:
As of January 23, 2007, American residents traveling by air between the United States and the Dominican Republic or any other Caribbean destination will be required to present one of the following documents:
  • Valid Passport
  • Air NEXUS Card
  • U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document
  • Alien Registration Card, Form I-551
For further information visit the
US Department of State website.


Canadians can click Canadian Passport FAQ for Canadian passport questions and answers.


Immigration:
Before entering the country at ports or airports, visitors are required to fill out embarkation/disembarkation forms. These must be filled out before entering the immigration line where a photo ID or passport must be presented.
Prior to immigration, a tourist card must also be purchased.

Tourist Card:
Prior to entering the immigration line visitors are required to purchase a Tourist Card. It is essential that visitors have $10 US (ten US dollars) for each member of their party with which to pay this tax. No coins or other currency, including Dominican pesos, can be used. In addition, ATMs are usually found only outside the immigration area making it nearly impossible for visitors to get cash upon arrival. Travelers checks and credit cards are also not accepted.
Tourist Cards are available at booths near the immigration lines. While only one half of the document will be taken upon entry into the country, the other half will be taken upon departure. Therefore, it is imperative that visitors put this second half in a safe place for the duration of their trip. The Tourist Card is good for up to 15 days.

Canadian Embassy:
The Canadian Embassy is located at Capitan Eugenio de Marchena, No. 39, La, Esprilla, Santo Domingo. The telephone number is 809- 685-1136. Travelers may also seek assistance at the Canadian Consulate in Puerto Plata at Virginia E. Ortea, Edificio Isabel de Torres, Suite 311-C. The telephone number is 809-586-5761.

U.S. Embassy:
The U.S. Embassy is located at the U.S. Consular Section at the corner of Calle César Nicolás Pensón and Avenida Máximo Gómez. (Located across from the National Theater.) Offices are open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but U.S. citizens must arrive prior to 7:30 a.m. for assistance. (809) 221-2171
ELECTRICITY
Current is essentially the same as US: 110 volts/50 cycles (US is 60 cycles). Converters are not needed for US-made appliances. Some properties also provide 220 volts. Now, Electricity in the Dominican Republic is part of the adventure. The public supply is notoriously unstable.
Therefore MOST properties (and each and every property offered by Sunny Villa Holidays) provide a backup system which is usually a diesel powered generator that kicks in automatically when city power goes off. Don't worry...it is actually part of the experience.
INTERNET & TELEPHONE - OVERSEAS CALLS
You will find a multitude of Telephone & Internet Cafés everywhere. Telephone calls to the US & Canada are quite cheap. So are calls to Europe. Orange will rent you a cell phone and the rates from that phone to the US are the same as local calls. For that matter your US or Canadian based cell should work, but check with your provider before you leave for current info and rates.
The Internet, is as mentioned, on every street corner and rates are good. Shop around. aDSL has been in the DR for years and many of the higher end properties offer it. The Area Code for the Dominican Republic is: 809
GROUND TRANSPORTATION
Like the electricity, getting around in the DR is part of the experience. From city to city, the bus service is excellent. For shorter distances, such as from the airport to your villa, taxis are the way to go. Negotiate the price beforehand. Getting around town by taxis is great as well. For the adventurous, a Moto Concho (Motorcycle Taxi - room for 2 passengers usually, but I have seen 3, plus groceries, plus baby, plus driver!) is fun. It is just a few pesos, depending on distance and number of passengers. Look for a license on the front of the Moto and beware of ones without it.
Car rental can be done, and we work with a very good local company in Sosúa BUT make sure that you realize that there are many traffic rules in the DR but only one that is adhered to and that is: YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN. Take nothing for granted, even stop lights or driving on the correct side of the road. The roads are in poor shape and pot holes are a way of life. The horn is an invaluable tool and is used to make your presence obvious. Use it!
We do not recommend driving yourself...taxis are better.
WEATHER
Yes, it is another gorgeous day in paradise! The Domican Republic enjoys typical Caribbean weather. That means in the 80's to 90's (27 - 33 celcius) during the day and "plummeting" to the mid 70's (mid 20's celcius) at night. There is only a 10 degree difference between the winter months and summer months. You might want a light sweater for evenings if you go during the winter months. You are more likely to get some tropical showers during May/June & Sept/Oct than in other months.
It is very hot during the summer months. Hurricanes usually give the DR a miss. The Dominican Republic is very casual. Save your dressy clothes and leave your ties at home. Expensive jewelry is not appropriate.
HEALTH
Firstly, the tap water is not for drinking. It is usually fine for cooking and brushing your teeth, however you know your stomach better than we do. If it is sensitive, then be careful. Bottled water is cheap and to be found everywhere. Of course, since you are in the tropics, you must make sure you drink PLENTY of it. Carry a bottle with you and Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! We recommend that you purchase health and travel insurance for any vacation you take. There are clinics in all towns and you will probably be able to find a doctor that speaks your language, whether it be English, French or even German. Payment is required upon treatment. There are well stocked Drug Stores called Farmacia everywhere as well.
Sun Screen & Mosquito Repellant Are Musts...Bring some or buy them there and use them!
FOOD & BEVERAGES
If you are longing for a good steak, a spiny lobster or some fresh fish, you are in the right place. There are restaurants for every taste and budget. Supermarkets with imported and local fare are in every town. Although you can get pretty much any beer you want, you should go for the REAL Dominican experience: Presidente. Wine is an import and therefore costs a bit more. You will of course want to sample some of the fine Dominican rums, most of which never are exported. Try one of our favorites, Barceló Añejo Ron Superior. You might care to try Mamajuana which is a concoction of herbs and bark steeped in rum and honey. it is purported to be 'Good For a Man's Vigor' and to stimulate romantic feelings in women. Actually, it just tastes good.
Cigars are one of the DRs prides. Some will say that there are Dominican cigars that give the best Cubans a run for the money. You will actually be able to make your own comparison as you can buy both there... Just don't bring any Cuban cigars back to the US.
CURRENCY
US $ are accepted almost everywhere. Most stores including grocery stores and other shops in tourist areas accept credit cards. The Domincan Peso is the local currency. Check today's rate now
WHAT'S INCLUDED?
It is almost easier to tell you what's NOT included:.
  • Your airfare
  • Your food & drink
  • Excursions
  • Tips
  • Insurance
More information can be found on the specific property's page or by asking us.
All information on this page is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.