Plan an amazing trip to Dominican Republic
If you're dreaming of sandy beaches and sunny weather then the Dominican Republic is your next stop! Surrounded by the Carribean sea, this fascinating country shares an island with Haiti and has more to offer than just seaside resorts and impressive hotels. Discover an untamed nature with lush forests and rugged mountains, plenty of hiking trails and a rich Creole culture. The capital of Santo Domingo boasts a unique colonial and architectural heritage. Add to that a splash of rum and some Latino music and you will discover a city buzzing with energy, where locals and tourists dance to the music and share their zest for life!
Best time to go to Dominican Republic
The best time to travel to the Dominican Republic is during the dry season, from December to April . It hardly ever rains and temperatures are enjoyable. February is our favourite month with Santo Domingo's bright and colourful carnival celebrations.
What to see and what to do in Dominican Republic
Answers to your most frequently asked questions
A valid passport is required to enter the territory. You will also need to pay $10 for a tourist card that will allow you to stay in the country for 30 days. If you're planning on staying more than 3 months then you will need to apply for a visa.
Before you leave make sure that your vaccines are up to date and if not, a DTP vaccine (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis) is stongly recommended. It's also a wise idea to check in with your GP, especially if you're planning to visit the country's more remote areas. Avoid tap water and ice cubes while you're on holiday in the Dominican Republic and drink only from bottled water.
Dominican cuisine is rich and tasty, drawing influence from Creole, African, French and Spanish culture.
Try some “Mangu” for breakfast, a delicious dish of mashed plaintain bananas. For lunch you'll be able to taste a shrimp stew, a pescado con coco or a pica pollo (fried chicken). If you're really hungy you can also order the local's favorite dish, the “Bandera”, a full plate of rice, beans and meat.
Don't forget to try the country's national dish: Sancocho ! This delicious stew is served in some restaurants but usually needs to be ordered in advance. Dominican's have a sweet tooth and there are plenty of tasty desserts to enjoy, including coconut cream, cakes and rice pudding. Exotic fruits are also a delight. Mango, passion fruit and guava fruit make delicious snacks and great smoothies. Rum is usually the base of all Carribean cocktails but you can also enjoy local beers and imported wines from Argentina and Chili.
There are all sorts of souvenirs to bring back from your holiday :
Cigars are definitely an excellent idea but remember to purchase them in official stores and with the label “hecho a mano” (hand made).
The country is also known for producing beautiful amber and larimar jewelry. Commonly known as the “stone of love”, these beautiful blue-green stones come from volcanic rock. You'll find the best bargains in Barahona, close to the larimar stone mines.
Traditional trinkets include ceramic figurines and decorated shells. Rum and coffee are also better and cheaper than in Europe, but only if you purchase them from the corner stores (colmados) or directly from the factory. And of course, don't forget to bring back some Creole tunes, local music by local artists like Antony Santos or Toedoro Reyes. A last piece of advice: barter! Whatever you buy, haggling is local custom in this country.
Dominican Republic is renowned for its fantastic nightlife. Locals have a reputation for always being in a festive mood and there are plenty of places to party. Tourists usually flock to Punta Cana to party in the city's best bars and clubs. Santo Domingo however, is livelier and more diverse with a number of wine bars, beer bars, pubs, clubs and casinos to choose from. Alcohol is only served to adults over 18 and most bars and clubs forbid entry to minors, even accompanied by an adult.
Dominican Republic is a dream destination and attracts tourists looking for beach weather. The coast is home to plenty of seaside resorts, miles of sandy beaches and crystal clear water. Relax in the sun, go swimming or snorkeling in the sea or even learn how to surf. Head down south towards the Pedernales peninsula (Bay of the Eagles) and Bahia de Las Aguilas beach to discover a wilder side of nature with impressive cliffs and turquoise blue seas. Discover the best beaches in the Dominican Republic and see where they are on our special map: an exclusive selection of the 15 most beautiful beaches in the country!
Renting a car is one of the best ways of visiting the island as the road network is reliable and connects most major cities. The main roads are mostly scenic routes that lead from one tourist attraction to another and are generally in good condition. In remote areas of the country however, roads are damaged and sometimes non-existent. Always remember to hire a car with a GPS and avoid driving at night.
The Dominican Republic has a low level of insecurity compared to neighbouring countries. People are quite hospitable and welcoming, although there still a few cases of petty crime and robbery in main tourist areas. We recommend not to carry valuables or large sums of money on you, especially in the evening. Also beware of local scams such as currency exchange cheats and fake taxis.
What would the Dominican Republic be without its carnivals? These events characterise the lives of Dominicans who love to party. The Vegano festival is the first celebration of the year and starts early February, with parties taking places every Sunday. The second festival is mid-August with main parties taking place in Vega and where tradition requires everyone to dress up as a devil. There is also a festival to celebrate the famous dance called Merengue. This event takes place in Santo Domingo near the end of July and brings together the best dancers in the world.
Power sockets are different in the Dominican Republic so remember to bring a universal plug adapter. As for internet and wifi, you can get a connection in most hotels but it will most likely cost extra. You can also find cyber cafés in some cities.
If you want to make an international call, remember to use the correct country code before dialling. Dont forget to check costs with your phone operator before leaving. If you're phone is unlocked you can buy a SIM card on the island and receive calls from abroad.
- The Dominican Republic is a great holiday destination with many “all-inclusive” options at a reasonable price,
- Plenty of beautiful hikes and scenic routes that are often overlooked by tourists,
- Lots of places to observe wildlife, including Los Haitises National Park and Lake Enriquillo where you can meet crocodiles and flamingos.
- "All inclusive" hotels attract mass tourism that can bother some people,
- If you're hiring a car, driving can prove to be somewhat difficult with poor roads and dangerous drivers,
- Scams and petty crime are common in touristic areas.