About Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is the Caribbean's most geographically diverse country, showcasing everything from tropical rainforests and alpine ranges to mangrove swamps and desert expanses. Original settlers of the island were known as “Tainos” who had settled there since 600 AD. Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1492 which, he named Hispaniola in honors of his King. The Dominican Republic consists of a range of highland and lowland areas, offshore islands, rivers and lakes.
The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two thirds of Hispaniola Island, considered the second largest island in the Caribbean and shared with Haiti. It’s the second largest island on the Caribbean and comprises an area of 18,712 square miles. It is bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean and on the south by the Caribbean Sea, between Cuba and Puerto Rico.
The nation’s population is approximately 9 million inhabitants. Near to 3 million people live in Santo Domingo, the Capital City.
Spanish is the official language and English is widely spoken. On tourist areas you can also find some knowledge of French, Italian and German.
The Dominican currency is the Dominican Peso (RD$). 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. You can find out the exchange rate at www.xe.com/ucc. Major credit cards and travelers' checks are accepted at many of the country's tourist locations. 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.
The Dominican Republic enjoys a tropical climate year-round. Depending on your location, a typical day could have full sun or a combination of sun and clouds. Its average annual temperatures range from 66° to 93° F (19° to 34° C). The coldest season is between November and April, and the hottest season is between May and October.
• Time Zone
Local time is Caribbean Eastern Time (GMT -0400). In the winter it is an hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the United States. The Dominican Republic does not practice daylight savings time, as is customarily done in the United States.
• Phone Code:
International Access code 809 / 829 / 849
In the Dominican Republic, freedom of religion is guaranteed and protected under the constitution. Roman Catholicism is the predominant religious group (95%), but there are also minority adherents to such other Christian denominations as Episcopalian, Baptist, Protestant, Seventh Day Adventists and Mormonism.
The Dominican Republic's political structure is based on democratic principles. Every four years the country elects its president, vice president and legislators.
• Water and Electricity
Water Population has access to tap water, nevertheless is better not to consume water of the faucet, please drink purified and bottled water. Electricity 100-120V/60Hz North-American plugs.
• Dominican Cuisine
Our “criolla” cuisine mixes the flavors of delicious Spanish, hearty Taino, and spicy African cuisines. Most cities have a diverse culinary offer and a full variety of restaurants; fast-food chains to international and ethnic restaurants, complete our gastronomic landscape. Chefs around the country benefit from seasonings and flavors that define our food style.
The Dominican “criolla” cuisine is rich in meat, rice, beans, vegetables and stews. Local dishes include, “La Bandera”- a combination of white rice, red beans, fried plantains, and meat; “Sancocho”, a savory stew made of five meats, served with rice and vegetables; and ‘Mangú”, mashed ripe plantains served with onions. Seafood and fresh fish are very popular in the island. Exotic tropical fruits like tangerines, mangoes, papayas, guanabanas, guavas and many others are available in every corner.
In addition to their rich culinary history, Dominicans also demonstrate their unmistakable heritage through art. The island is filled with many different types of bright and colorful artwork. Jewelry made out of amber, bone, horn and coconut husk can be found at local markets and shops, where the native Taíno influence can still be seen. In addition to jewelry, Dominican artists also use clay, porcelain, hemp, and guano to make both decorative and religious figurines.
• Dominican expressions and common phrases
1. Greetings and courtesy expressions
2. About the language
I don’t speak Spanish
No hablo español
I am lost
Please, help me
Por favor, ayúdeme
This is a business trip
Este es un viaje de negocios
This hotel is paradise
Este hotel es un paraíso
7. At the stores
My size is 8.
Mi talla es ocho
I have a reservation for two people
Tengo una reservación para dos personas
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.
- In order to travel to the Dominican Republic, you will not need any vaccination outside of those normally required for Europe and North America.
In order to ensure that you make the most of your vacation:
- Even if the day is cloudy, use sun block, as the Caribbean sun is very strong.
- When you eat and drink, do so in moderation.
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking water or liquids.
- If you feel unwell, visit a doctor. At the tourist centers and in all cities there are health centers with modern medical services and most hotels have medical dispensaries with qualified personnel.
In Bávaro-Punta Cana you can go directly to:
- Puntacana Doctors
Medical Services in Puntacana Village | Boulevard 1ro. De Noviembre #303, Edificio Las Arenas, Local 1 B, Punta Cana (frente al Banco Popular) | Tel.: 809-959-4002 | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hospital | Carretera Verón Punta Cana, próximo al cruce. | Tel.: 809-686-1414
- Centro Médico Puntacana
Av. España, Bávaro | Tel.: 809-552-1506
Please have with you your International Insurance and your Passport as any credit card and cash as well.
If you want to read more about the Dominican Republic, please go to
For general information about the Dominican Republic and
Punta Cana - Bávaro, you may access the following websites: