To facilitate your trip to Dominican Republic, I have written 10 practical tips that I recommend to keep in mind before traveling here. It´s practical and very smart tips based on my own experiences after visiting the country myself and seen everything with my own eyes. I have written this post to help you have a great experience when traveling to Dominican Republic 🙂
10 PRACTICAL TIPS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE TRAVELING TO DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Traveling to Dominican Republic is an incredible experience with amazingly white sandy beaches, a lot of activities to do for all ages and an island that is bigger than I could ever imagine. I traveled for two weeks and discovered different cities and lived in different areas of the island. I really enjoyed the real Dominican life and to see how the people are living here.
There are a few things that you need to know before you go here but also while staying here, if you want most out of your visit. That’s why I’ve collected my 10 best practical and smart tips in this post that I want to share and I hope it will help you.
10 Practical Tips You Need to Know Before Traveling To Dominican Republic:
You need a visa to enter the Dominican Republic. If you don´t have a visa before traveling to Dominican Republic, you don´t have to worry. You can get one on arrival at the airport when you have landed. I traveled with a swedish charter travel agency named Tui and got a visa when I booked the ticket but I know it cost 10 US dollars for the visa that you can pay when you arrive at the passport control.
2. Dominican Pesos
In Dominican Republic you pay with Dominican pesos in cash everywhere, however, you can pay with credit card in almost all stores such as grocery store, clothing store, souvenir shops, restaurants, etc. The best thing is that US dollars apply everywhere in the country as a currency to pay with, which is very practical! Be sure to have small amount of dollars aswell. However, you get a really bad exchange rate if you pay with dollars so for your own sake it’s best to always try to have Dominican pesos to pay with.
1 US dollar is about 48 Dominican pesos (February 2018). So I made a review and counted 20 US dollars as 200 SEK, which is 1000 Dominican pesos (20 Euro).
500 Dominican pesos I counted as 100 SEK (10 Euros).
There are ATM machines everywhere and are easy to find so you don´t need to worry about that. BUT, you must know that it is only possible to take out Dominican pesos from all ATM machines. It’s NOT possible to get US dollars at all. My tip is to figure out how much money in Dominican pesos you want to withdraw.
3. The water
Don´t drink tap water in the Dominican Republic. Always buy water on a bottle!
4. Electricity outlets
The Electricity outlets are not the same as in Sweden. As Swedish, you need an adapter when traveling to the Dominican Republic. This is how the electricity outlet looks in the Dominican Republic.
5. Local people
The Dominican people here love being social and happy to talk. They want contact and are not afraid to come and have a chat with you, even if you don´t want to. They are just friendly, that’s how they are.The good thing is that they leave you as soon as you say no thanks or don´t want them to talk to you.
Many taxis have taximeter but they don´t use it. My tip is to ask the hotel reception, airport or any other independent part to hear what it costs for you to your final destination, so you won´t be fooled when you jump into the taxi.
Before you enter the taxi, ask for a taximeter, otherwise you should bargain on a price BEFORE you enter the taxi. Usually fixed prices applies here. From Punta Cana airport to my hotel in Bavaria beach I paid 30 US dollars, equivalent to 1500 Dominican pesos.
From my hotel in Punta Cana that was located in the Bavaro beach area to Punta Cana “downtown” I paid 20 US dollars, equivalent to 1000 Dominican pesos. Likewise, from the same hotel in Punta Cana to the bus station in Punta Cana I paid 10 US dollars, equivalent to 500 Dominican pesos. ”Fixed prices”.
7. Be careful
This was the first trip I honestly felt a bit uncomfortable and worried about how it would be here for me. As a solo female traveller, I’m never worried otherwise, but to Santo Domingo, the capital of Dominican Republic, I was because didn´t know how it would be there. In Punta Cana, I was very protected in a huge resort hotel, as well as on the Samana peninsula.
In Santo Domingo I lived in a small hotel in town, in the Zone Colonial which is a tourist area that I recommend staying at and strolling around if you go to the capital. Although there are many other tourists here, you should be extra careful and alert about your belongings. No matter where you are on the island you shouldn´t go into dark alleys you don´t know.
The traffic is a complete chaos, especially inside the cities so be careful if you rent a car. Take all the extra insurances when you are here, because it may be necessary if you choose to rent a car. I have seen a lot of traffic around the world, and Dominican Republic is among the top 3 worst countries to drive in according to me. If you can, I recommend taking a taxi around where you are and take the bus if you want to to go to other cities.
I also got the tip of a local resident in the Dominican Republic to be careful when driving a car, because Dominicans are purposly driving right into you because they see you are foreign and may not really speak for yourself in case of a police investigation. They are looking for your money and therefore want to blame the accident on you with purpose.
What also can be good to know, that my local friend told me is that if you get into a car accident or crash, both parties are put in jail until the crash is solved. Because it has been so many accidents before where people haven´t resolve the issues so the police have chosen to do it in this way until both parties agree. So please, be careful!
Yes, there is a lot of mosquitos at the Dominican Republic, so I recommend you to bring protection for mosquitos when you traveling to the Dominican Republic!
When you are at the Dominican Republic you have to be aware that everything takes time and is very slow. To get your food takes time, the traffic takes time, people don´t move, everything is a little bit slower here. That´s how the mentality is. Are you a stressed person, this is gonna be a challenge for you when you visit this island.
I wish you a pleasant stay in Dominican Reublic and I hope my travel tips will help you! 🙂