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Your Handy Guide to the Dominican Republic

Luring you in with its powder-white shores, the Dominican Republic will have you captivated from the moment you land.

It’s an island holidaymakers dream about, where the sea is as clear as the sky and the rum is on tap. Swinging from hammocks during the day and stargazing at night, luxury is at arm’s length.

More than just idyllic beaches, the Dominican boasts beautiful mountain backdrops, lush jungle surroundings and dramatic waterfalls, making this holiday hotspot one of nature’s best-kept secrets.

Before you fall head over heels for this Caribbean delight – and trust us you will – here’s everything you need to know about the Dominican Republic.

Do I need a visa on my holiday to the Dominican Republic?

As with most countries, a visa is required before you can head off and enjoy the wonders on offer. But don’t worry – whether you’re flying to Punta Cana or Puerto Plata, you can grab yourself a 30-day tourist card from customs or the immigration desk.

These tourist cards cost $10, and can also be purchased online before you travel, the 30 days will start from the moment you enter the Dominican.

Keep a spare $20 handy for your departure tax, which by Dominican law must be paid before you leave. Some airlines will include this in the cost of your ticket, so be sure to check this before you fly.

Are any vaccinations required before entering the Dominican?

We recommend checking with your doctor if you require any vaccinations at least 4 to 6 weeks before you’re due to travel. A health professional will then assess you based on your medical history, planned activities and pre-existing problems in order to work out what vaccinations you need.

For anymore advice on this, visit the Foreign Travel Advice.

Dominican Peso or US Dollars?

dominican republic

The official currency is the Dominican Peso, however, popular tourist areas such as Punta Cana will accept US Dollars in most shops, restaurants, and even when purchasing excursions.

In fact, most holidaymakers spend their entire trip using only dollars, while others choose to take a mix of both currencies just in case they end up going further afield. Don’t forget your departure tax needs to be paid in dollars, so it’s best to keep it handy.

ATM machines, official banks and most hotels will allow you to withdraw both currencies or change money over, if you need to that is.

300 days of glorious sunshine

With a flight time of just over nine hours, Dominican Republic boasts a dry tropical climate – so it’s safe to say you’ll need your factor 50 here.

Renowned for its 300 days of sunshine, this Caribbean island makes for a great winter warmer. The Dominican is often referred to as ‘the endless summer’ with sun-drenched beaches all year round. Temperatures soar over 30°C in peak months, and rarely drop below 25°C, even in the winter.

Despite being further afield, it makes for a great holiday with the family or that special someone. Escape the wet British weather and spend Christmas sipping cocktails out of coconuts and topping up your tan.

North vs South

The north of the Dominican is notorious for its watersport fanatics and those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of a normal holiday resort. It’s where the heart of the Caribbean lies, a cultural maze, accessorised with some of the world’s best beaches.

You’ll find the south is an All Inclusive paradise, boasting a seafront lined with luxurious hotels and strips of bars and restaurants. You’re close to all the holiday hotspots here, and just moments away from exciting excursions and a lively nightlife.

A handful of exciting excursions

Whether you enjoy spending your days lounging around a pool or prefer to explore what the island has to offer, The Dominican Republic has a range of exclusive activities for you to sink your teeth into.

It doesn’t matter if you’re staying north or south, these exciting day trips will allow you to learn about the islands fascinating heritage, as well as witnessing some of the most breathtaking views, all in one go.

Isla Catalina

If spending the day on a secluded desert island sounds like your idea of perfection, Isla Catalina is the ideal choice.

Enjoy beach barbecues with the family, spend the day snorkelling through enchanted coral reefs and watch monkeys swing through the mangroves.

This little slice of paradise is only a quick boat ride away from La Romana’s old harbour, making it a great tanning spot.

Monster truck safari

Adventure seekers, this one’s for you! Forget the 4×4 and climb into an 8×8 jeep, so big you’ll need ladders to get up.

Head into the wilderness and experience some of the Dominican’s rare creatures hiding away in the trees. Then, it’s time to plough through rushing rivers and stop at cascading waterfalls.

Don’t forget to check out the legendary sugar cane plantations on your off-road adventure either. And with so many regional delights at your feet, there’s so much to sample – like the freshly ground coffee – a must-try during your time on the island.

But no visit would be complete without visiting the native villages. Get to know the locals as they share old folk tales about life on the island.

Los Haitises National Park

If you want a change of scenery, head to Los Haitises National Park, a mountain range full of wild forests, mangroves, secluded caves and hidden beaches.

Full of mystery, you’ll manoeuvre through canals passing exotic wildlife and jungle-like greenery. Don’t forget to bring your camera either – after all, you won’t want to miss those Instagram-worthy views of San Lorenzo Bay.

Once you’re done, head on land where enchanted caves that were once inhabited by Taino Indians await. Then, enjoy a spot of lunch by the waterfall, before enjoying a deep tissue massage with the Yanigua Spa on hand.

Now you’ve got all the facts, check out our amazing Dominican Republic packages and begin your Caribbean adventure today.

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