Travel Tuesday: Dominican Republic (Part I)

Dominican RepublicThe Dominican Republic has long been the biggest tourist draw in the Caribbean, capable of captivating even the most seasoned international travellers. With its world-class golf courses, fascinating cities and stunning natural scenery, it’s a destination that’s almost impossible to visit only once. If you’ve just booked your first flight to Santo Domingo, take a look at this helpful introduction to your tropical island getaway.

Required travel documents
To enter the Dominican Republic, you will need a passport that’s valid for the duration of your stay in the country. You’ll also need to buy a Tourist Card, which costs €10 for a 30 day stay. You can choose to extend the length of your stay by paying a fee proportional to the length of time you plan to remain in the country. Your travel package will often include this charge within the cost of the holiday, but check beforehand to be sure. Alternatively, you can also buy your Tourist card directly online.

The currency used in the Dominican Republic is the Dominican peso, represented by the symbol $. Many businesses within resorts will accept euros, but stick to pesos outside the resorts, as foreign currency is not widely accepted. It’s recommended that you use cash wherever possible – you may incur extensive fees for withdrawing money internationally. Only exchange currency at banks and official exchange offices, or casas de cambio.

Spanish is the official language, but the actual dialogue mainly takes place in Dominican Spanish, which has its own distinct phraseology and intonation. The expatriate community tends to occupy specific areas of the country, and in these pockets English and German are also widely spoken.

The Dominican Republic has a typically tropical Caribbean climate, with temperatures ranging from 19-23°C in winter and 25-27°C in summer. The only time travellers may wish to avoid is hurricane season, which starts in mid-June and can last until November, with heavy downpours and flash floods. It’s still possible to visit during these months, but it’s worth checking the weather forecast regularly.

Getting around
There are various methods of transport available to you when trying to get around the country. Renting a car can be expensive since the cost of fuel in the country is relatively high. ‘Gua-guas,’ a loose network of vans that function as collective taxis across the island, offer the authentic Dominican experience – at the cost of a comfortable trip, with vans often filled well beyond capacity. Many travellers choose to hire a driver for the duration of their stay, using chartered light aircraft or yachts for visits to other islands.

If you’ve been charmed by the Dominican Republic and are considering buying a second home in the country for annual holidays, talk to Engel & Völkers. We can give you all the information you need to make an informed decision and help you find your ideal property investment, both abroad and at home. Visit our website for more information.

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