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.

 

• Geography

 

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.

 

• Population

 

The nation’s population is approximately 9 million inhabitants. Near to 3 million people live in Santo Domingo, the Capital City.

 

• Language

 

Spanish is the official language and English is widely spoken. On tourist areas you can also find some knowledge of French, Italian and German.

 

• Currency

 

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.

 

• Weather

 

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

 

• Religion

 

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.

 

• Government

 

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.

 

    • Artwork

     

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

Excuse me
Forgive me
Good morning
Good afternoon
Good evening 
Hello
How are you?
I am fine, thank you
I am sorry
I am grateful
No
Please
Thank you
You're welcome
Yes

Discúlpeme
Perdóneme
Buenos días
Buenas tardes
Buenas noches
Hola
¿Cómo está usted?
Estoy bien, gracias
Lo siento
Estoy agradecido
No
Por favor
Gracias
De nada
Si

 

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?
¿A dónde 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
¿A dónde están los baños?
¿A dónde 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 wakeup 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

    • Tips

     

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.

 

    • Health

     

- 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: doctorvillage@aol.com

 

    -Hospiten Bávaro

     

    Hospital | Carretera Verón Punta Cana, próximo al cruce. | Tel.: 809-686-1414

 

    - Centro Médico Puntacana

     

    Hospital

    Av. España, Bávaro | Tel.: 809-552-1506

 

• Note:

 

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

 

www.godominicanrepublic.com/rd

www.dominicanaonline.org

 

 

For general information about the Dominican Republic and

Punta Cana - Bávaro, you may access the following websites:

 

www.dominicanaonline.org