Useful Information for the Traveler

Useful Information  for the Traveler

Useful Information for the Traveler
As of May 1, 2012 citizens of all nationalities will be required to enter Dominican Republic with a VALID PASSPORT. To travel to the Dominican Republic, many people will need a Visa. Others, however, may be from countries who have signed agreements with the Dominican Republic so that they only need a Tourist Card. This, of course, only applies to visitors who are tourists.
A Tourist Card is a US $10 tax on incoming tourists that can be purchased at the airport when you arrive. The Dominican Law covering visas is Law No. 875.
To obtain more information or see an updated list of requirements for entry into Dominican territory, visit:
Because it is located in the Caribbean, weather in the Dominican Republic is excellent year-round. During the summer, the temperature can range from 90 F (32 C) at mid-day to 70 F (23 C) in the morning. Temperatures hover around 65 F (19 C) in the winter. In the high mountainous areas of Jarabacoa and Constanza, the weather is cooler and has gone as low as 41 F (5 C). Because of climate change, it is no longer possible to deliniate a specific rainy period. It can rain at any time of year, but usually just for short periods in the afternoon and evening. The warmest months are June, July, August and September. 
The Dominican Republic has an excellent reputation for its varied and flavorful food. There are luxurious restaurants with gourmet menus as well as more casual ones with Creole food, a very local style. You will also find Oriental, Mexican, Mediterranean, Italian restaurants, as well as those with light or vegetarian food, pizzerias, and fast food.
If you would like a drink or entertainment after dinner, the bars and cafes in most cities are open and serve drinks until 2:00 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays.
2017 Holidays (Non Business Days)

  • - January 1: New Year’s Celebration
  • - January 6: The Three Kings’s Day
  • - January 21: Our Lady of Altagracia’s Day
  • - January 26: Juan Pablo Duarte’s Day
  • - February 27: Independence Day
  • - April 14: Good Friday -Religious Celebration (Easter)
  • - May 1: Labor Day (Moved to May 5th)
  • - June 15: Corpus Christi Day
  • - August 16: Restoration of Independence Day
  • - September 24: Las Mercedes’s Day
  • - November 6: Constitution Day (moved to November 10th)
  • - December 25: Christmas Day
In the Dominican Republic, electric plugs are 110 volts, like those in the United States and Canada. Because of this, Europeans and visitors from some countries in South America will have to bring a power adapter.
Overseas Dominican Embassies
Opening Times
Most businesses open their doors at 8:00 or 9:00 AM until 6:00 PM on business days and until 1:00 PM on Saturdays.  Large shopping centers in the cities usually close at 9:00 PM and open on Sundays from 9:00 AM until 6:00 PM. In smaller towns and many tourist destinations, shops close at 6:00 PM Restaurants usually remain open and serve food until midnight, Sunday to Thursday, and until 2:00 AM on Friday, Saturday and holidays. However, there are some within tourism establishments that remain open 24 hours a day.
Money, Cards and Banks
The Dominican currency is the Dominican peso. It comes in denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 25 peso coins and in 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000 and 2,000 notes. Dollars and euros can be exchanged in banks and authorized exchange offices across the country.
There are restrictions on bringing more than US$10,000 in cash into the country and any amount over this value should be declared on the customs form. It is prohibited to leave the Dominican Republic with more than $10,000 US dollars or the equivalent in cash.
If you need cash, it is more convenient to take it out of a bank. They are normally open from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM In large business centers, some bank branches are open until 7:00 PM.
Passports, tourist card and visa
Citizens and residents of the United States, Canada and the majority of European countries can enter the country with a 30 day tourist card, which can be bought when you enter the country for US $10. Any person, no matter what their nationality, may come into the Dominican Republic with a tourist card if they have any of the following valid visas in their passport: United States, Canada, United Kingdom or the European Union (Schengen). If you wish to extend your tourist card to 90 days, you will need to pay UD$20 (RD$800) to immigration. when you leave the country. The exit tax is US$20.00, but this is usually included in the airline ticket.
To see a list of the countries which require a visa to enter the Dominican Republic, visit any of these Web sites:
Restaurant bills already include a ten percent tip.  It is customary to give an additional ten percent for good service. Most people do not tip taxis, however you are welcome to if you feel so inclined.
Smoking restrictions
The same restrictions apply as in the United States. In most restaurants and clubs, smoking is not allowed.
The Dominican people like to dress elegantly, and they love to wear en vogue pieces. Depending on the occasion, they tend to dress either casually or formally. Around hotels and resorts, it is suitable to wear light clothing such as shirts, t-shirts, shorts, swimwear or dresses.
In December and January, when the nights are cooler, you may need a light jacket or coat as the temperature drops at night and into the early hours of the morning.
If you are going to be in the mountains, you should bring coats and be prepared for temperatures as low as 41 F (5 C), especially in Constanza and Jarabacoa.
Inter-country Transport
There's a large network of roads connecting towns and tourist destinations around the country. You can easily access beautiful areas such as the luscious green landscape along the Santo Domingo-Santiago-Puerto Plata motorway, the spectacular panoramic views of the sea and mountains along the route towards Barahona, or the interesting new route through the Los Hiaitises National Park hills leading to the Samaná Peninsula and the North Coast.
The following land and air transportation options can help you travel around the Dominican Republic:
Land Transportation
Car Rental
l Various companies, including international rental companies such as National, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Europecar, Hertz and Dollar offer their services at the main airports, tourist destinations and towns. It's best to rent a vehicle to visit the destinations and attractions that are located along the Northern coast, or also on the Samaná peninsula. This goes for traveling around the variety of beaches in Punta Cana and La Romana as well. For more information, contact the National Association of Rental Cars at
Taxis can be found at airports and hotels and can also be arranged in advance. They are listed in the telephone directory. Taxis are safe and reliable option in Santo Domingo as well as in many inland towns.
Santo Domingo Subway
The new modern Metro service began in 2009 from the municipality of Santo Domingo Norte up to the La Feria sector. It crosses the Máximo Gómez Avenue going south and circles around in an east-west direction along the Correa y Cidrón avenue, passing via the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, USAD. The route passes by many important buildings and ends at the Center of Heroes (La Feria) where the National Congress, the Town Hall of Santo Domingo and various government offices are located. A subway card costs RD$30 with recharge starting at RD$20, the value of each trip
Metro Buses, Caribe Tours, Terra Bus and Bávaro Express
It is not difficult to travel between different regions of the country. There are several private transportion companies that can take you in comfortable modern busses. The Metro Buses and Caribe Tours cost less than US$10 for trips of up to 140 miles.
Bávaro Express leaves several times a day serving the Eastern regions including Bávaro, Punta Cana and other nearby areas. Make sure that you take a coat, as these buses tend to keep their air-conditioning at its lowest point.
Terra Bus is a Dominican company that offers transport services on buses between Santo Domingo and Puerto Príncipe. For more information, call 809-530-9796.
OMSA Buses
These are large buses that travel along the main roads of Santo Domingo and Santiago, from 7:00 a.m. until 9 p.m. The price of the ticket ranges between RD$25 and RD$50 depending on whether or not it has air conditioning.
Similarly, there are other smaller buses called “guaguas” (bus) or “voladoras” (fliers), that travel scheduled routes and circulate around the main streets and avenues, stopping when the passenger asks. The price for longer trips does not go over RD$35.
Public cars or “conchos” (speedsters)
“Concho cars,” are very similar to the “guaguas,” because they travel specific routes and stop at points requested by the passengers, for an average price of RD$35. You can find these in the capital as well as towns and villages. However, if you take a "carrera," the price will be negotiable.
“Motoconcho” (Speed Bikes)
Motorcycles, frequently used in the Dominican Republic, are great for traveling relatively short distances. The cost should be agreed on beforehand, but should not be over RD$100 for a long trip.
Air Transportation
In Punta Cana, helicopters are a quick and comfortable way of getting to know the area and its 32 miles of beaches. There are helicopter companies that fly to Santo Domingo and other destinations, connecting different cities and tourist points.
Domestic flights
There are local companies that fly scheduled flights to and from Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana and Samaná. Air Century offers two flights per day to Punta Cana and from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo to the La Isabela International Airport (AILI).  For more information, please visit
Aerodomca offers daily flights from AILI to the area of Portillo in Samaná.  Once a day it stops at the International Airport de las Américas (AILA). For more information, please visit
Takeoff offers flights from AILI to Punta Cana (PUJ), as well as from this area to Puerto Plata (POP), and from Punta Cana to Samaná- Arroyo Barril (ABA). For more information, please visit
The official language is Spanish. 
Common phrases & expressions
1. Greetings and courtesy expressions

Excuse me
Forgive me
Good morning
Good afternoon
Good evening 
How are you?
I am fine, thank you
I am sorry
I am grateful
Thank you
You're welcome

Buenos días
Buenas tardes
Buenas noches
¿Cómo está usted?
Estoy bien, gracias
Lo siento
Estoy agradecido
Por favor
De nada

2. About the language

I don’t speak Spanish
I don’t understand
Just a little
Can you speak slower?
Can you say it in English?
Can you repeat it? 
Does anybody speak English?
I can’t believe it
I can’t remember

No hablo español
No entiendo
Sólo un poco
¿Puede hablar más despacio?
¿Puede decirlo en inglés?
¿Puede repetirlo?
¿Hay alguien que hable inglés?
No puedo creerlo
No puedo recordar

3. Orientation

I am lost
I am looking for this address
Could you help me?
How can I do?
How far is it?
Is it near?
How long it takes?
Is this a one way street?
Where is the colonial town?
Where is the cathedral?

Estoy perdido
Estoy buscando esta dirección
¿Podría ayudarme?
¿Cómo puedo hacer?
¿Qué tan lejos está?
¿Está cerca?
¿Cuánto tiempo toma?
¿Es calle de una vía?
¿Adónde está la ciudad colonial?
¿Adónde está la catedral?

4. Emergencies

Please, help me
Please, call a doctor
I am diabetic
I have had an accident
Please, hurry up
Please, call for an ambulance
This is an emergency
Where is the nearest hospital?
Where is the nearest phone?
I need to reach the police station
I have been robbed
I have lost my passport
I need to call the hotel
I left the car keys inside

Por favor, ayúdeme
Por favor, llame a un doctor
Soy diabético
He tenido un accidente
Por favor, apúrese
Por favor, pida una ambulancia
Esto es una emergencia
¿Adónde está el hospital más cercano?
¿Adónde está el teléfono más cercano?
Necesito llegar a la estación de policía
Me han robado
He perdido mi pasaporte
Necesito llamar al hotel
He dejado las llaves dentro del carro

5. Airports

This is a business trip
I come for my holidays
I come to visit a friend
I love this country
I have nothing to declare
Just my personal belongings
Where are the restrooms?
Where is the exit door?
I need a wheelchair

Este es un viaje de negocios
Vengo de vacaciones
Vengo a visitar un amigo
Me encanta este país
No tengo nada que declarar
Solamente mis artículos personales
¿Adónde están los baños?
¿Adónde está la salida?
Necesito una silla de ruedas

6. Hotel

This hotel is paradise
I have a reservation
I prefer a non smoking room
Do you have a room with ocean view?
Please, show me another room
I need a wake up call
Is there a safe deposit box?
There is no hot water
I need a clean towel
Is there any message for me?
Can you recommend me a good restaurant?
Can you call a taxi for me?

Este hotel es un paraíso
Tengo una reservación
Prefiero una habitación para no fumadores
¿Tiene habitación con vista al mar?
Por favor, muéstreme otra habitación
Necesito una llamada despertadora
¿Tiene caja de seguridad?
No hay agua caliente
Necesito una toalla limpia
¿Algún mensaje para mí?
¿Me puede recomendar un buen restaurante?
¿Podría pedir un taxi para mí?

7. At the stores

My size is 8.
Do you have it in black?
It is too big for me
Is there another brand?
Where are the fitting rooms?
I need to try another size
Do you open on Sundays?
Do you have another store?
Do you accept credit card?

Mi talla es ocho
¿Lo tiene en negro?
Es muy grande para mi
¿Tiene de otra marca?
¿Dónde están los probadores?
Necesito probarme otra talla
¿Abren los domingos?
¿Tienen otra tienda?
¿Aceptan ustedes tarjeta de crédito?

8. Restaurant

I have a reservation for two people
Waiter, please
What is your specialty?
What do you recommend?
What kind of fish do you have?
I’d like to see the menu
I’d like to see the wine list, please
I’d like a cold beer
This is not what I ordered
I’d like some dessert
One coffee and one tea
Check, please
We will pay separately
The food was wonderful
You may keep the change

Tengo una reservación para dos personas
Camarero, por favor
¿Cuál es su especialidad?
¿Qué usted recomienda?
¿Qué clase de pescado tiene?
Me gustaría ver el menú
¿Podría ver la carta de vinos, por favor?
Me gustaría una cerveza fría
Esto no fue lo que ordené
Me gustaría un postre
Un café y un té
La cuenta, por favor
Pagaremos por separado
La comida estuvo maravillosa
Puede quedarse con el cambio


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