Welcome to Dominican Republic!

This is the most visited destination in the Caribbean’s. It is with endless white sandy beaches, palm trees, range of holiday resorts from Ultra exclusive to budget travellers. It was a first part of the region to be discovered by Christopher Columbus, and still the capital Santa Domingo makes the natural starting point for many visitors with colonial era churches and fortresses. Dominican Republic has a reputation for a quality break for a reasonable price. The region in Punta Cana on the east coast is particularly offering golf courses, all-inclusive and fun in the sun trapping. This is a country blending with life and music. People love rum and passion for baseball. Making up one half of Hispaniola, which shares with Haiti in the west and is one of the most geographically diverse parts of the Caribbean, showcasing everything from tropical rainforests and alpine ranges to mangrove swamps and semi desert.

Famous with mountain bikers, windsurfers, hikers, climbers and even whale watchers as well. Whether you are here for the beaches, music, country side or culture Dominican Republic is in full swing a force to be reckoned with.

QUICK FACTS

Official Name:Dominican Republic
Capital:Santo Domingo
Location:The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean country that occupies the eastern two-thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. The western one-third of Hispaniola is occupied by the country of Haiti. To the north lies the North Atlantic Ocean, while the Caribbean Sea lies to the south.
Goverment:Unitary presidential republic
Dialing Code:+1
Time Zone:GMT -04.00
Climate Weather:Tropical
Population:10.01 million
Land Area:48,442 km2
Official Language:Spanish
Currency:Dominican Peso (RD $)
Foreign Currency Accepted:USD ($), EUR (€)
Entry requirement:EU citizens including Indonesian citizens (total of 99 countries) can obtain a tourist card upon arrival. Tourist card may purchase online prior to arrival (10US$ for 30 days). Argentina, Japan, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Israel, South Korea, Uruguay do not require a visa or tourist card up to 90 days.

All visitors must hold a passport with at least two blank pages valid for at least 06 months beyond the date of your arrival. If your passport does not meet these requirements, you will be denied entry.

Health Tips:All travellers should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and sexual exposure to Zika virus during and after the trip.

General information

The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean country. As part of the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic has the North Atlantic Ocean lying to its north and the Caribbean Sea to its south. It’s situated on the island of Hispaniola and occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island while Haiti occupies the western third. Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation by area (after Cuba) at 48,445 square kilometers (18,705 sq mi), and 3rd by population with approximately 10 million people, of which around three million live in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, the capital city. Set on the most geographically diverse Caribbean island, it boasts alpine wilderness, tropical rainforests and mangrove swamps, cultivated savannahs, vast desert expanses and everything in between. The Dominican Republic is the most visited tourist destination in the Caribbean, and the country’s image as a sun-blessed playground is merited – you can happily spend your days on sandy beaches framed by crystal-clear waters and lofty palm trees and fill your nights with merengue and dark rum. The opportunities for ecotourism and adventure travel are staggering: if you were so inclined, in a single week you could scale a 150m waterfall on a rope, mountain bike along remote dirt tracks, ride the best windsurfing waves in the hemisphere, trek to the top of a 3000m mountain and head out in a fishing boat to marvel at the humpback whales crashing about in the bay of Samaná.

Be mindful :  The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June to November. In the Caribbean, this frequently coincides with heavy rains, which may cause flash floods and landslides. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the US National Hurricane Centre and follow the advice of local authorities and your tour operator. and people-friendly city in the Caribbean.

Time deference

GMT -04:00

Compare to Indonesia, Dominican Republic is 11:00 hours ahead of Indonesia.
That means when it is 08:00 am in Santo Domingo, it is 07.00 pm in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Compare to France, Dominican Republic is 6:00 hours ahead of France.
That means when it is 9:00 am in Paris France, it is 03:00 pm in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Please note that Daylight Saving Time (DST) / Summer Time is taken into account for the calculation of hour difference.

When to visit

High season (Mid Dec-Feb)
July to August are also high season. Many tourists visit Dominican Republic. There are even larger crowds around Christmas and New Year’s Eve in December and Carnival in February, warm weather

Shoulder season (Mar-Jul)
The best time to visit is during the “calm dry season” between March and mid-July, when the weather is relatively dry and rainfalls are usually limited to short partially showers, mostly during night time or very early morning.

Law season (Aug-Dec)
Hurricane season June to December (impacting the east), but aside from storms it’s beautiful. Temperatures don’t vary much (mountains an exception). There is nothing much to do.

Money and currency

US$1 = 36.48 Dominican Peso (RD$) (currency rate can be varied depending the day you search)
Euro€1 = 53.87 (Dominican Peso RD$)
(Dominican Peso) RD$1 = IDR 283.38

The official currency of the country is the Dominican Peso (DOP). Its symbol is $ with RD$ used when distinction from other pesos. Each peso is divided into 100 centavos (“cents”), for which the ¢ symbol is used. Bank notes $50, $100, $200, $500, $1000, $2000 Coins $1, $5, $10, $25

However, because Punta Cana is a hot spot for international tourism most shops, hotels, excursion companies and restaurants accept US dollars and Euros. In fact, many visitors go about their trips without ever using any other currency than the US dollar. You can bring the money in cash and exchanging it at the desk of the hotel or at the bank or exchange houses located in Punta Cana, rather than exchanging through your credit or debit card. US dollars and travelers’ cheques are easily exchanged. But of course, you can also use ATM machines located at most hotels and throughout Punta Cana.

Take great care when withdrawing cash at an ATM. Credit card cloning and identity theft are common. It’s generally much safer to use cash. Travelers should bring plenty of small dollar bills in order to leave tips and exchange small amounts of cash. Almost all of the major Punta Cana hotels and resorts will accept American Express, Diner’s Club, Airline Rewards, and other cards.

Visa and Mastercard are accepted almost everywhere. It will be important to remember, however, that some shops and small restaurants may only accept cash as a form of payment. Try not to exchange your money into the largest bill (2,000) for many small businesses refuse to accept them. This is because the 2,000 pesos bill is the most forged bill in the Dominican Republic.

Electricity

The standard power supply in the Dominican Republic operates at 110 volts/60Hz being compatible in North America. If you are travelling from Europe or countries in other continents where the sockets are different, it is advisable to take a travel adapter with you to enable you to use your electrical devices one you arrive. Most small modern devices (cameras, mobile phones, laptops, shavers) allow range from 110v to 220v and therefore are safe to use anywhere.

Check carefully the voltage stamped on the device before plugging it in to the sockets. If the frequency in the Dominican Republic (60 Hz) differs from the one in your country, it is not advised to use your appliances. But if there is no voltage difference, you could (at your own risk) try to use the appliance for a short time.

 

Telephone and how to call

Dominican Republic country code is +1. There are three area codes in the Dominican Republic: 809, 829, 849 in order of popularity. To call anywhere inside the country you will need to use one of these area codes followed by a seven-digit phone number. Claro and Orange (France Telecom) are the largest service providers in the country.

After arriving in the Dominican Republic, it would be a good idea to get a calling card, Claro’s Comunicard and Tricom’s calling card being the most popular. More and more hotels are making WiFi service a standard amenity.

Visa requirement

EU citizens including (99 countries) can obtain a tourist card upon arrival Tourist card may purchase online prior to arrival (10US$ for 30 days) Argentina, Japan, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Israel, South Korea, Uruguay do not require a visa or tourist card up to 90 days. Tourist cards are initially valid for a 30-day stay (exclusively for touristic purposes) but can be extended by paying for an extension when you leave the country.

If you overstay this initial 30-day period, you’ll have to pay a surcharge when you leave the country. If you’re planning to stay for longer than 30 days, seek advice from a local lawyer or contact the local Immigration authorities. Failure to request an extension will result in a surcharge at the airport upon departure. The surcharges can range from approximately $55 USD for one month to as high as $1,555 USD for 10 years.

Vaccines and Travel insurance

Check before traveling to ensure your medical insurance provides coverage overseas or obtain supplemental travel insurance. Most health care providers in the Dominican Republic only accept cash payments and these payments often must be made prior to treatment and or before the patient’s hospital discharge.

Zika virus: Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. women who are pregnant should avoid Dominican Republic. All travelers should strictly follow steps to prevent mosquito bites and sexual exposure to Zika virus during and after the trip.

Tap Water: Tap water is unsafe to drink. Bottled water and beverages are considered safe. You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel. When travelling overseas it is important to take out travel insurance. An emergency abroad can be extremely expensive.

How to go to Dominican Republic

Indonesia to Dominican Republic

Distance Between Jakarta, Indonesia to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is 17,971 Kilo Meters There are very few non-stop flights from Jakarta to Santo Domingo. Therefore, you’ll have to take connecting flights. In such cases, flight time depend on the stopover destination specified by your airline or the one you choose while booking your ticket. Flight time from Jakarta to Santo Domingo is 27 hours 50 minutes. Airlines operated from Indonesia to Dominican Republic Garuda Indonesia, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Emirates

France to Dominican Republic

Distance Between Paris, France & Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic is 7169 Kilo Meters Flights operated by major airlines departing from Paris arrive at Las Americas Airport. Santo Domingo has 1 international airport and 1 medium airports. Non-stop flight time from Paris to Santo Domingo is around 10 hours to 13 hours depending the airlines you choose. Fastest one-stop flight between Paris and Santo Domingo close to 14 hours. However, some airlines could take as long as 38 hours based on the stopover destination and waiting duration. Airlines operated from Paris to Dominican Republic Air France, Air Caraibes, Corsairfly, Turkish airlines, Vietnam Airlines

Transportation in Dominican Republic

The inter-country infrastructure is well developed with most towns. There are five main highways (DR-1, DR-2, DR-3, DR-4, DR-5) and are in good condition and connecting biggest cities and tourist centres. In the Dominican Republic, you will come across many different types of public transportation such as: buses, caro publicos, guaguas, the metro and motoconchos. The Santo Domingo Metro is the first mass transit system in the country.

Carro Publicos

Carro Publicos are another form of transportation that you see on a local level. They are public taxis that run along specific routes. As a passenger, you buy a spot in the carro publico and share the carro publico with other passengers.

Guaguas

Guaguas are minivans or minibuses. Like publicos, they generally travel along a set route but they have predetermined stops. They also carry more passengers and at times, can get quite crowded. Guaguas normally have a guy who hangs on the side of the door and yells his destination at people along the street.

Motoconchos

Motoconchos are motorbikes that are used as taxis and are more popular in small towns than they are in the capital city. Basically, you just climb onto the motorcycle behind the driver and tell him where you want to go. They usually only travel short distances and are inexpensive, however, many people consider them to be unsafe as their accident rate is high as compared to taxis.

Buses

The Dominican Republic’s bus companies provide an excellent, inexpensive service over much of the country. Lines at the stations move quickly, there’s plenty of room for luggage on the vehicles and – aside from the quality of the movies screened on cross-country rides – trips are relatively pleasant and hassle-free.

Taxis

If you appreciate comfort, taxis are definitely one of the best options for transport in Dominican Republic. The comfort, however, comes at a cost with rates significantly higher when compared to the public transportation. Since the taxis do not have meters, the fares are fixed and depend on the distance covered to your destination.

Helicopters

Helicopters are mostly used in the area of Punta Cana, as they are a quick and comfortable way of travelling. It’s a great way to see Punta Cana’s landscape and the 32 miles of beaches.

Special food and drinks

If you take all your meals at an all-inclusive hotel, you will get little sense of how Dominicans eat and drink; the bland “international” buffet fare and watered-down daiquiris on offer at these resorts just can’t compete with the delicious, no-nonsense, high-quality cooking at the many mom-and-pop restaurants, or the rum drinks on offer just outside the compound walls.

Dominicans call their cuisine comida criolla and it’s a blend of Spanish, African and Taino elements, with interesting regional variants across the island. Dishes usually include rice and beans –either red beans or the tiny black peas. Dominican desserts are good but extremely sweet; the best of the many types are Thedulces con coco, made with molasses and coconut shavings. Tropical fruits. bananas, papaya and pineapple and mangoes are the most popular. Eating out can be extremely cheap in the Dominican Republic, provided you stick to the modest-looking local establishments, many of which serve outstanding food.

You’ll find plenty of high-end dining in the major cities and the resort towns, generally featuring an array of authentic international cuisine including French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indian and Basque. Dominican coffee is among the best in the world. Grown in the heights of the Cordillera Central mountain range. Jugo de naranja, fresh orange juice squeezed as and when you order it, is another omnipresent Dominican morning drink and makes for a good reason to get up. There are several Dominican beer brands, but by far the best and most popular is Presidente. Also popular are the very good, inexpensive local rums, Brugal, Barceló and Bermúdez.

 

Places to go and things to do

 

Zona Colonial

The Zona Colonial is the historic heart of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. This square mile of pretty streets and shady squares contains some of the oldest colonial buildings in the Western Hemisphere, including the cathedral.

Costa del Coco

The “Coconut Coast”, with its reef-protected white beaches and placid waters, is the country’s undisputed tourist mecca. Some 40 miles (64 km) of uninterrupted beach sweeps up the southeastern tip of the country, the endless vistas of sea, sand and coconut trees broken only by clusters of low-level hotels and villas.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo, the oldest city in the New World, lovingly preserves the jewels of its rich history and culture. Top on the list of the city’s treasures is the historic Colonial City (Zona Colonial), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with cobblestone streets, stunning Spanish Colonial architecture, and excellent restaurants. Perhaps the most significant site here is the First Cathedral of America, the oldest existing cathedral in the Americas. Also worthwhile is the Museum of the Royal Houses

Constanza and the Dominican Alps

The cool uplands of the country’s interior are a world apart, barely 80-km away from the tropical heat of Santo Domingo. Dominated by the towering Cordillera Central, the mountain range that forms the island’s spine, the central region is a nature-lover’s paradise of protected national parks, streams and valleys.

Santiago

Santiago de los Caballeros (Santiago of the Gentlemen) is the Dominican Republic’s second-largest city. From its founding in 1495 by the 30 Spanish noblemen (caballeros), this busy metropolis has considered itself wealthier and harder-working than the capital.

Eastern National park

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Eastern National Park (Parque Nacional del Este) is a prime habitat for hundreds of species of plants and animals, including 112 species of birds. The reserve also encompasses one of the Caribbean’s largest marine parks with an immense coral reef system. Four species of sea turtles as well as manatees, bottlenose dolphins, and numerous species of fish live in its tropical waters.

Punta Cana

Punta Cana, on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic, is one of the most popular tourist areas on the island. Packed with resorts, this large town is known for its beautiful beaches (palm-lined Bavaro is a favorite) and world-class golf courses. Its public beach is a popular surfing spot. An airstrip with regular flights and charters flies pleasure-seekers to Punta Cana from around the world.

Samana Peninsula & Samana Bay

Studded with islets and fringed by palm-lined beaches, the waters of the humid Samaná Bay (Bahía Samaná) are a haven for marine animals. One of the biggest draws here are the humpback whales that calve here during January and February. This lush peninsula also encompasses popular Parque Nacional Los Haïtises, an ecological wonderland of jungle-covered islands, translucent waters, and thick mangrove forests.

Jarabacoa

An emerging eco-tourism destination, Jarabacoa lies in the spectacular Cordillera Central, (Central Mountains) a landscape of sweeping pine forests, rivers, waterfalls, and the highest peaks in the Caribbean. The Dominican Republic’s only whitewater river, Río Yaque del Norte, offers gentle rapids for rafters.

Lake Enriquillo

Lake Enriquillo (Lago Enriquillo) is the lowest point and largest saltwater lake in the Antilles. Flamingos and iguanas are found in abundance here, and an island in the center of Lago Enriquillo, Parque Nacional Isla Cabritos, has one of the largest wild reserves of American Crocodiles. The park is home to over 106 species of flora and 62 species of bird ranging from the Hispaniolan Parrot to the White-crowned Pigeon.

Fun Fun Cave

Adventure in the Dominican Republic can be found in the tropical forests at the underground tunnels of Fun Fun Cave. Set in Los Haitises National Park, these landmark tunnels wind 65 feet below ground and provide one of the best ways to explore in the region