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What are the entry requirements for visiting the Dominican Republic?
Most foreign visitors must have a passport and purchase a Tourist card at the airport for $10.00 USD when they arrive. Citizens of certain countries may need a visa. To confirm your individual situation, it is best to contact the Dominican Republic Embassy or Consulate in your country.
How long am I allowed to stay as a visitor?
Each country usually has an individual agreement with the Dominican Republic on this issue, and the necessary documents. Generally, most individuals are permitted to stay 60-90 days with a Tourist card or visa.
Are there any fees for my arrival or departure?
As mentioned before, for those requiring a Tourist card, that is purchased on arrival at the airport for $10.00 USD presently. There is a $20.00 USD departure tax that must be paid prior to leaving. Some airlines include this tax in their ticket prices. It’s wise to check with your airline.
Do I need a return flight ticket?
All non-residents should purchase a round trip ticket to indicate that they intend to depart the country.
What type of currency should I bring?
The local currency is the Dominican Republic Peso or RD. U.S. dollars are the most easily exchangeable; however British Pounds, Euros, Canadian dollars, and others can be exchanged for pesos at the applicable daily rate. Currency exchange and banking transactions are available at a number of local banks within walking distance.
What is the local time zone of the Dominican Republic?
The entire country lies in the Atlantic Standard Time zone (AST) which is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT/UTC) minus 4 hours. The country does not follow any Daylight Savings time shift. Therefore in the spring and summer when the east coast of North America is on Daylight Savings Time (EDT), the time is the same. During the fall and winter when that area reverts back to Eastern Standard Time (EST), it is one hour later in the Dominican Republic than it is there.
What are the requirements for longer stays or relocating to the Dominican Republic?
For those who intend to stay longer than is allowed by their Tourist card or visa, residency status should be obtained through the Immigration Authority in the Capital of Santo Domingo. The first step is to obtain temporary residency that is valid for one year. At the end of that first year, a second procedure will convert that to permanent residency status which will be renewable every four years. The associated procedures are handled by lawyers in the country.
Is medical insurance available?
Yes. There are reputable professionals in the area that can provide information about global health insurance policies for coverage both in the country and elsewhere throughout the world including the U.S.
Are vaccinations required to move to the Dominican Republic?
Presently, there are no necessary vaccinations prior to moving to the Dominican Republic.
Can I bring my pet to the Dominican Republic?
Yes, there are procedures that are fairly straight forward for the transport of dogs and cats into the country. Birds require a quarantine period and are not recommended for shorter stays. Pets are generally allowed, however there are some guidelines regarding containment and walking in common areas.
Do I need to speak/understand Spanish?
You can get by without since many people working in the tourism related businesses whether Dominican or foreign understand some English, and possibly other languages such as German, French, Italian, etc. Usually with a little kind effort on the part of both parties, you will get by just fine. Learning a few key words and phrases can be fun. It can also provide extra enjoyment in your experience by providing a better opportunity to communicate with local people. Dominicans definitely appreciate those who make an attempt to speak their language and are generally helpful in assisting with your efforts.
What are the bilingual educational options in the area?
Schools in the Dominican Republic range from free public schools, to private institutions teaching a U.S. curriculum in English. Classes in private schools are normally taught in English but are bilingual and usually attended by children of many nationalities. Students must meet a certain level of English fluency for entrance. Tuition varies considerably with the maximum between $2100-$5300 USD per academic year depending on the age of the student. Additional charges may apply for lunches, uniforms, books, and materials.
Schools that are accredited by the Dominican Ministry of Education offer certificates that are valid for entrance to Dominican, European, and U.S. universities. However, those planning to attend higher education in the U.S. may wish to attend a school that has been accredited by the U.S. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Those interested in studying in Europe should consider a school where the International Baccalaureate curriculum is used.
Is the Dominican Republic safe?
Yes, but there can be dangerous areas in every town, city, and country in the world. International statistics have shown that many other areas of the world in the Caribbean, U.S. and Europe have crime statistics that exceed those in the Dominican Republic. Poverty is a predominant cause of criminal activity throughout the world. Common sense goes a long way in contributing to your safety. This means not leaving valuables unattended, wearing flashy articles, visibly displaying large quantities of cash and avoiding more isolated areas especially at night.
What activities are available in the area?
Ocean swells can be much larger in the winter months of December through March creating bigger waves, a larger shore break and stronger undertow. The summer months tend to have smaller swells resulting in calmer and safer ocean conditions. Many water sport activities can be enjoyed or arranged right from those beaches; snorkeling, sailing, water skiing, body boarding, wind surfing, ocean kayaking and others.
Glass Bottom Boat
Boat tours are available in the area to allow the entire family to view the underwater habitat through the crystal clear water.
Many opportunities enjoy kayaking the gorgeous tropical coastline when conditions allow.
A short walk from any Hotel, are excellent dive centers. Please visit web sites for additional information.
Surfing and Boogie Boarding
Most of the traditional surfing and boogie boarding is enjoyable in the Dominican Republic.
One of the kite boarding capitals of the world is Cabarete Beach. Cabarete is a 15 minute drive from Sosua. Kite boarding is an exciting sport which requires the proper training and is available right there on the beach.
Wakeboarding and Water Skiing
These activities are available on rivers and ocean areas where the conditions have been deemed safe for these sports.
Riding the local trails and beaches can be a pleasurable activity for the entire family. Many of the operators Creole horses are known for their tame good nature.
Mountain biking and bike rentals are easy to arrange. The Dominican Republic is a paradise for this activity due to its miles of dirt tracks and mule trails.
Golfing enthusiasts have a number of available options. The Dominican Republic is known for a large varity of Golf courses.
The Damajagua area is located 30 km to the west and has an area consisting of 27 waterfalls ranging from .5 to 15 meters in height. A 30 minute hike will take you to the first of the waterfalls you may climb. The ability to proceed from there is dependent upon one’s skill and fitness level. It is advisable to arrange your trip to the area with a tour operator.
From late January through March of each year, thousands of North Atlantic Humpback Whales migrate to the Samana Bay region of the North Coast of the Dominican Republic. Boat tour operators will take you out into the bay to get as close as is safe to watch these incredible large marine mammals frolic in the sea. Despite their size, Humpbacks are one of the most active and acrobatic of the whale species.
How is the communication system in the Dominican Republic?
Cellular phones in the Dominican Republic operate on international GSM standard.
What is the electricity voltage in the Dominican Republic?
Generally, the electricity operates at 110 volts like in North America. However, voltage irregularities are quite common sometimes providing less or surges of far more. It is recommended to use surge protectors or voltage regulators for expensive electronics and computers. Most residences provide both 110 and 220 volts with two independently operating 400 KW power plants with full voltage regulation.
Can I rent a vehicle in the Dominican Republic?
Yes, there are a variety of rental agencies to choose from at the airport or in the City. You can find more information in the “Yellow Pages”. To rent a car; you need your passport, and driver’s license. As a permanent resident you would need a local driver’s license which is easy to obtain. There are also local taxis and busses that can provide transportation should you desire not to drive.
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