Republica Dominicana

FAQ

Is the Dominican Republic safe?
Yes, but as there can be dangerous areas in every town, city, and country in the world, it is the same for the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is a developing nation in many respects and many of its citizens are very poor. Poverty is the predominant cause of criminal activity everywhere in the world. The crime rate in the Dominican Republic is relatively low and criminal activity is generally petty theft. If you use common sense, you are unlikely to be a target of such crimes. This means putting valuables in room/hotel safes (when available), not leaving your things unattended, avoiding unpopulated areas (especially at night), and not wearing flashy articles, or carrying a lot of money on your person.

What is the legal age to drink alcohol and gamble?
Both the legal drinking and gambling age in the Dominican Republic is 18 years old. The Dominican Republic does not generally enforce these laws very strictly except in the larger cities.

What kind of clothing should I bring?
Due to the Dominican Republic's warm, tropical climate, you do not need a lot if you are visiting one of the coastal destinations! Lightweight material shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, bathing suits and sandals are the standard - certainly for during the day. Light pants and jackets are recommended for the evenings, or if you'll be visiting the mountains, especially in the winter months where the temperatures can cool down at night. As the norm for vacation destinations, people tend to dress a little less casually to go out for dinner or to bars, clubs or casinos. Higher end resorts, restaurants and bars, may have a dress code with more specific requirements. Dominicans tend to dress more formally than North Americans. If you are spending time in a larger city, it is recommended to have a nice set of clothing for going out in the evening. A light rain jacket (and/or umbrella) is useful to have in the event of rain showers.

Is it safe to drink the water in the Dominican Republic?
Drinking purified bottled water is definitely recommended and is available everywhere in the Dominican Republic. Hotels and restaurants use purified water to clean and cook their food, and purified water is used to make ice. It is not recommended that you drink tap water or you could risk becoming sick. For those with a sensitive stomach, it is best to avoid tap water even for brushing your teeth.

Is Internet available in the Dominican?
Internet cafes can be found in most tourist destinations in the Dominican Republic. In addition, many of the larger hotels offer Internet access on site, and some of these offer rooms with high-speed DSL Internet connection for laptops.

What is the time in the Dominican Republic?
The Dominican Republic is situated in the Atlantic Standard Time zone but does not follow Daylight Savings Time. This means the Dominican Republic is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the Autumn/Winter (one hour ahead of New York and Toronto) and is the same as Eastern Standard Time in the Spring/Summer (same as New York or Toronto). The Dominican Republic is 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (UTC/GMT -4).

Will I get sick in the Dominican Republic?
Travelers are always going to be a little more vulnerable to getting sick due to the stress and excitement inherent in the traveling process. Once you add a change in time zone and climate, changes to your usual diet, and over-indulgence in alcohol and sun, the likelihood for vulnerability to becoming sick increases. The most common complaints in tropical countries like the Dominican Republic are upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, and sun-related fever. The best thing to do on arrival is to ease your body into things slowly. Precaution is the key. Avoid overindulgence and introduce changes into your regular routine as gradually as possible. Stay hydrated, use sunscreen and wash your hands constantly. If you do feel symptoms during your visit, ensure you get plenty of rest and drink lots of water. The most common complaints are non-serious, so with plenty of rest and water along with over-the-counter remedies for your symptoms (available at most supermarkets and pharmacies in the country), most people are well again within a couple of days.

When is hurricane season?
Officially the Caribbean hurricane season runs from the beginning of June till the end of November. Historically most tropical storm/hurricane activity in the Dominican Republic's part of the Caribbean has taken place in the months of August and September.

How long am I allowed to stay in the Dominican Republic?
Each country has an individual agreement with the Dominican Republic in terms of how long you can stay, whether you need certain documentation to do so, etc. Generally, most people are allowed to stay for up to 60 days with a Tourist Card or Visa. Because these agreements can change from time to time, it is best to check with the Dominican Republic Consulate or Embassy for the most up-to-date information on this.

Are there any fees I need to pay on arrival/departure?
There is a US $10 Tourist Card fee some people will have to pay on entry and a US $20 Departure Tax that must be paid before leaving the Dominican Republic.
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