Dominican Republic, Caribbean - Tullys Travel
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Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic is the second largest and most diverse Caribbean country, situated just two hours south of Miami, less than four hours from New York and eight hours from most European cities. Known for our warm and hospitable people, Dominican Republic is a destination like no other, featuring astounding nature, intriguing history and rich culture.

Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea on the south, our lush tropical island paradise boasts nearly 1,000 miles (1,609 km) of coastline, 250 miles (402 km) of the world’s top beaches, magnificent resorts and hotels, and a variety of sports, recreation and entertainment options. Here you can dance to the pulse pounding thrill of the merengue, renew in our luxurious and diverse accommodations, explore ancient relics of centuries past, delight in delicious Dominican gastronomy or enjoy ecotourism adventures in our magnificent national parks, mountain ranges, rivers, and beaches.

Information & Facts


The Dominican Republic is surrounded by over 1, 600 km (1, 000 miles) of coastline on its north, east, and southern borders, and the climate is tropical. Noontime temperatures range from 27°C to 32°C (80°F to 90°F ), and can fall to 18°C and 23°C (64°F to 73°F) during the winter. Because we are in the tropics, it is hard to say if and when there is a rainy season. Rains are usually short lasting.

The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and extends to November 30. In the Dominican Republic, these are the summer and early fall seasons when the weather is sunny and humid, with some cloudiness and occasional rain showers in the late afternoon or at night. Historically, most hurricanes have occurred in the month of September. But chances of one hitting are slim, and if it does occur, resort staff is trained in handling these situations, and resort buildings today are equipped to withstand hurricane force. You should also take note that the Dominican Republic is a large country–this means that while one coast may be affected, another may be completely unscathed by a storm.


The country code is +1. There are three area codes: 809, 829, and 849.

Like its infrastructure, the DR’s telecommunications services are among the most wide-ranging and advanced in the Caribbean, from local cellular phone service to Internet access options. The two largest and most ubiquitous communications providers in the country are Claro and Orange.


Even though times are changing and becoming more informal, it is best to err on the side of formal rather than informal. Use the formal form of “you” (usted) when you don’t know the person well. Gentlemen can be referred to as Don or Señor (Mr.) and ladies as Doña or Señora (Mrs.).

At the same time, informality is common and acceptable because Dominicans are very open and sociable people. The term amigo (friend) and hermano (brother) are frequently used. Don’t be surprised if you are referred to as mi amor (my love) or cariño (dear) in the street or in local businesses–that’s just how Dominicans communicate.


Electricity in the Dominican Republic operates at 110 volts. This means that visitors coming from the United States and Canada will not need adapters, and can plug in directly into electric outlets. Travelers coming from Europe or other regions operating at 220 volts, however, will need to bring adapters and converters. While the larger resorts keep a few handy at the front desk, it is best to bring your own to avoid disappointment.

Major resorts have generators to cope with any street power outages. If staying outside of resort areas, in a small hotel, or in the countryside, keep in mind that there can be frequent power irregularities and surges. This means you should protect your electronic appliances, unless they have a built-in surge protector.

Getting Around

The Dominican Republic’s public transportation system is surprisingly modern and extensive. Dominicans are constantly on the road–visiting family in the countryside, conducting business, or shuffling to school. Taxis are ubiquitous, Uber is available in three major cities–Santo Domingo, Santiago, and Puerto Plata–and there’s always a form of bus service, big or small, going to any town or city you want to explore. Aside from being the most affordable way to travel, public transportation is a great way to glimpse every day life in the DR, and is guaranteed to be a memorable experience.


Tap water is not safe to drink from the tap, and do not ingest it from the shower. Purchase bottled water at all times for drinking. Hotels often provide a couple of free bottles a day for each room, or have purified bottled water with dispenser available for guest use. Local colmados or corner stores, and supermarkets also sell plenty of water.

Tourist zones and cities are equipped for modern medical care, with private hospitals, clinics, and qualified personnel for all age patients.

For emergencies, including an ambulance, firefighters, and police, dial 911. You can also first contact the CESTUR office in your area–the Specialized Tourist Security Corp, trained and assigned specifically to assist visitors. If you are the victim of a crime, CESTUR officers will help file a report and seek any other assistance as needed.


The official language of the Dominican Republic is Spanish. And like many of its Latin counterparts, Dominicans have their own accent, colloquialisms, and idioms. They are particularly famous for being incredibly fast speakers, projecting words a mile a minute. They abbreviate, skip syllables, and don’t pronounce certain letters–such as the plural “s” (for example, they say La Terrena when referring to Las Terrenas).

Not knowing Spanish, however, is not a problem: English is widely spoken in the tourist areas. Tour guides and hotel staff across multiple regions are also well versed in multiple languages, including Italian, French, German, and Russian, among others.


The local currency is the Dominican peso (RD$). The daily rate fluctuates depending on the day and the location of exchange.

Keep these numbers in mind as a general guideline:

RD$100 = US$2

RD$500 = US$10

RD$1, 000 = US$20

United States dollars and Euros can be readily exchanged in banks, or in authorized exchange offices around the country. Some exchange offices also accept the following currencies: Canadian dollar, Swiss franc, Danish krone, British pound, Japanese yen, Scottish pound, Swedish krona, and Norwegian krone.

ATMs are widely available from a variety of established banks, including Scotiabank and Banco Popular. They are safe to use for withdrawals in the local currency. They also provide the best exchange rates. Choose an indoor location and stick to daytime use. The Spanish word for ATM is cajero. For help in determining the amount you want to withdraw, download and use a free handy app like XE.

ATMs from Banco Popular, Banco BHD León, Banco Progreso, and Scotiabank accept North American bank cards, and offer an English or Spanish language menu. As a tip, you will often find ATM machines in airports, supermarkets, major resorts, and shopping malls.

Passport Visa

Most visitors arriving to the Dominican Republic–including those from the United States, Canada,  United Kingdom, the European Union, Mexico, many South American countries,  Central America,  Japan, Israel (see the full list of countries here)–only need a passport with a minimum validity of the duration of their stay to enter the country. The cost of the 30-day tourist card previously paid separately, is now included in the airline ticket.

The Dominican Republic issues tourist, business, work, student, and residency visas. Tourist visas can be issued for one or several entries and can be extended to 60 days.  Any person, regardless of their nationality, can visit Dominican Republic if they are a legal resident or, if they have one of the following valid visas in their passport: United States, Canada, United Kingdom or Schengen. Travelers who do not have a passport or visa from countries listed above will need to apply for a visa. To issue a visa the passport needs to have a validity of at least six (6) months. More information here.

See this list for citizens who need to request a Tourist Visa at Dominican consulates abroad.

The departure tax is US$20. It is already included in your airline ticket fare.


The Dominican Republic continues to be one of the countries with the lowest crime rates in the region. Common sense rules, however, and it’s best to take precautions just as you would when visiting any new country or large city in the world. Don’t flash your valuables, such as smartphones and cameras–use them discreetly when you are away from tourist areas. Leave the jewellery at home, dress simply, and don’t wander down isolated streets during the day or night.


The local time zone is Eastern Caribbean Time (GMT-0400). The Dominican Republic does not observe daylight savings time.


Restaurant bills automatically include a 10% service charge–apart from the 18% sales tax that you will see listed as ITBIS. It is customary and good practice, however, to leave an additional 10% to ensure the server receives a tip.

Taxis do not receive gratuity, but if you feel you received exceptional service or had a specific situation in which the driver helped, feel free to reward the service.

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