The Dominican Republic is in the heart of the Caribbean, located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of Haiti. Discovered by Columbus in 1492, it features over 1,200 kilometers of coastline, and has become the largest Caribbean tourist destination for North Americans and Europeans. Gorgeous white sand beaches with azure waters, magnificent waterfalls and rivers, stunning mountain ranges and exotic wildlife are just part of the Dominican Republic’s appeal. One night listening to the seductive beat of the Merengue, as well leering at the mesmerizing young booties shaking on the dance floor, and it can give the tamest tourist a sweaty brow and bulging crotch in minutes.
The island fulfills our sports requirements effortless, and definitely on the cheap. The north island has casinos and championship golf courses. The Robert Trent Jones in the Playa Dorada complex and the Playa Grande course are two of the best, and very affordable. The Playa Grande course has been compared to the Pebble Beach course for its beauty and challenging layout. The coast will fill your days with it’s fabulous relaxing beaches, and diverse selection of activities, which including snorkeling, scuba, horseback riding, jeep and 4 wheel tours, sailing, white water rafting, casinos, dancing and dining.
A tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation, between 65 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit; seasonal variation in rainfall. August is unbearably hot, so is the DR bootie. October to May is the rainy season of the north, and May to October in the south; buy an umbrella, these are monsoon rains lasting half a day sometimes.
The Dominican Republic Photo Gallery
Entry Requirements :
All visitors are required to have a valid passport, if you’re stay exceeds 30 days. Your passport must be valid at least 6 months prior to entry. As soon as you arrive at the airport, you have to purchase a $10 tourist visa, good for 90 days, which is bought at the office to the right of the passports area. If you bring a lot of electronic toys, expect an extortion tax attempt. Bring some cheap perfume of something, if the customs inspector is female you can bribe her in exchange. Go to the local Dollar Store and buy some fake bling bling. Customs usually ignores you, but occasionally will rifle thru all your stuff. Tips for baggage carrying is $1 per. Grab some pesos here at the airport.
Expect insane extortion rates for the first quote of $40-50 American. Negotiate in pesos only, feel free to walk from one to another. Here’s and approximate rate for fares from the airport.
To Boca Chica = 300 pesos (30 minute ride)
To Santo Domingo = 500 pesos
Santo Domingo to Boca Chica = 400 pesos
Cabbie will try and steer you to his favorite hotel to stay for a commission, tell him you have on already. Write down the name of your hotel and hand it to him so he doesn’t get lost on the way. The most popular way to get around town in Boca Chica is the Motoconcho, or Motor-Taxi. These are 100-125cc motorcycles used for short distances, usually 8 blocks or less. The cost is fixed at D$10US$0.59) per person per stop.
Money Matters :
Credit cards and traveler’s checks will get you by in Santo Domingo but aren’t much use in rural areas. They love taxes down here 23% for a good night’s sleep. Restaurant bills collect 8% VAT and a 10% service charge. The dollar is so strong down here right now at 40X 1 peso, few years ago it was 16X1. The only thing you should pay for in US dollars is the hotel. Pass on restaurants or anyone asking for dollars. The exchange rate fluctuates wildly, sometimes 25% from day to day. Be patient, change a few at the airport ATM, and ask the first American you find for the best spot. For the current exchange rate: ( http://www.oanda.com )