Hello, fellow travelers! If you’re planning your next trip and you’re from the United States, looking to visit the Dominican Republic, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll let you in on the requirements for traveling to the Dominican Republic from the United States.

But before we dive into the details, here’s some important information…

Some little tidbits you might find interesting

If you’re planning to travel to the Dominican Republic from the United States, we’ve got you covered with a comprehensive travel guide featuring essential information about this beautiful Caribbean destination. From its stunning beaches to its rich culture, the Dominican Republic offers an unforgettable experience. Below, you’ll find important facts about the country:

The Dominican Republic covers an approximate area of 48,442 square kilometers, making it the second-largest nation in the Caribbean. Furthermore, the Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, its only neighboring country.

With a population of approximately 10 million people, the Dominican Republic is one of the most populous countries in the Caribbean.

When you plan to travel to the Dominican Republic from the United States, keep in mind that the official language is Spanish, but in tourist areas, it’s common to find people who speak English. Additionally, due to the high Haitian migration to the Dominican Republic, you may encounter Haitian nationals who speak Creole.

The official currency in this stunning Caribbean destination is the Dominican peso (DOP). It’s also common for U.S. dollars to be accepted in tourist areas, but it’s recommended to have Dominican pesos for a better exchange rate. While you can find various currency exchange offices at the airports, make sure to check the daily exchange rate to avoid receiving a lower amount than expected. Avoid using informal currency exchange agents you may come across, especially in tourist areas, at all costs.

The Dominican Republic boasts a tropical climate with pleasant temperatures throughout the year, although for people coming from cold climates, the temperatures can be sweltering, especially during the summer. Staying well-hydrated is strongly recommended. The rainy season typically runs from May to November, while the dry season spans from December to April.

In 2022, the Dominican Republic’s tourism industry reached a historic milestone, welcoming 7.16 million foreign tourists who generated approximately $8 billion in revenue (around 7.464 billion euros). This achievement marks an unprecedented record for the country’s tourism sector.

Now, let’s take a closer look…

Requirements for traveling to the Dominican Republic from the United States

If you’re thinking of traveling to the Dominican Republic from the United States, you’ll be pleased to know that you DO NOT NEED TO APPLY FOR A VISA. The majority of visitors coming to the Dominican Republic do not require a visa to enter the country.

You can check the complete list of countries that DO NOT REQUIRE A VISA to enter the Dominican Republic by clicking here.

Furthermore, individuals with a valid tourist visa or permanent residence from the Schengen Area, the United States of America, Canada, or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland do not require a visa to enter Dominican territory for tourism purposes.

Documents required for traveling to the Dominican Republic from the United States:

  • Passport: Officially, you must have a passport with a validity of at least 6 months from the date of entry into the country. However, it’s always advisable to travel with a passport with a longer validity to avoid any issues with immigration officers upon entry to the country.
  • Tourist Card: This is an entry fee that the Dominican government charges to foreign tourists. This card allows you to stay in the country for a maximum period of 30 days, and the cost for this card is included in the airfare, so you won’t need to go through any additional procedures as long as you enter the country by air.
  • Round-trip airline ticket.
  • Complete the E-Ticket: The E-Ticket is a digital form that you need to fill out as a tourist upon entering and leaving the country, and we recommend doing so at least 72 hours before your arrival. When you complete the form, you’ll receive a QR code that you should save by taking a screenshot or printing it out and have it ready for when it’s requested. You can complete the Dominican E-Ticket by clicking here.
  • Address in the Dominican Republic: This can be the address of the hotel or apartment where you’ll be staying, at least during the initial days.
  • Proof of sufficient financial solvency to cover expenses for the entire stay in the country. Officially, there is no specific information provided about this, but as in other countries, it’s always advisable to carry cash or at least a bank statement that demonstrates your ability to cover expenses during your stay.

What to do in the Dominican Republic

Undoubtedly, the Dominican Republic is one of the most beloved destinations in the Caribbean and around the world.

When we think of this country, the first image that comes to mind is a typical Caribbean scene: long stretches of white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters in shades of blue and turquoise, surrounded by tall coconut palm trees. The pleasant climate and the hospitality and joy of its people are standout features. However, beyond its beautiful beaches, this country has much more to offer. It boasts stunning landscapes, from majestic mountains to lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and dunes. Its cities and towns are also charming and full of typical charm.

The Dominican Republic offers a variety of wonderful and diverse tourist areas, and the best part is that they are all relatively close to each other, allowing you to enjoy multiple experiences in a short amount of time.

If you’re traveling to the Dominican Republic from the United States, in this article, we’ll show you the top tourist destinations in the Dominican Republic that you should explore:

Punta Cana and Bávaro

In the eastern part of the Dominican Republic, you’ll find a place that hosts the island’s most famous beaches. These beaches are vast, endless stretches of fine white sand, adorned with millions of coconut palms. Additionally, an impressive coral reef barrier runs along the entire coast, creating calm and crystal-clear waters.

This place boasts excellent hotel infrastructure and is highly popular among tourists from all around the world, making it the most visited area in the Caribbean. Punta Cana International Airport is situated about 20 kilometers from the hotels and tourist resorts.

Punta Cana is considered one of the top tourist destinations in the Dominican Republic, offering approximately 50 kilometers of stunning beaches and excellent hotel infrastructure. It’s also home to Punta Cana International Airport, conveniently located around 20 kilometers from the hotels, resorts, and a wide variety of sports activities, from sailing to top-notch golf courses in the Caribbean. It’s also a place where you can savor delicious seafood by the seaside.

Situated at the easternmost tip of the island, precisely where the Atlantic and the Caribbean meet, Punta Cana has long been a favorite among European tourists and hosts some of the most prestigious resorts in the Caribbean. A UNESCO report has recognized Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana as one of the best in the world, awarding it with over 20 Blue Flag certificates.

Visit the following article to discover what to do in Punta Cana for FREE in 2023

Santo Domingo and the Colonial City

The capital of the Dominican Republic, founded on August 4, 1496, by Bartolomé Colón on the eastern bank of the Ozama River, is known as the first city founded in the Americas. It is located on the south coast of the island, bathed by the waters of the Caribbean Sea. In its historic center lies the ‘Colonial City,’ which houses more than 300 historical museums. This place is worth visiting to appreciate its museums, monuments, and houses built during the colonization period.

In the Colonial City, visitors can explore the first cathedral built in the Americas, the Alcázar de Colón (the former residence of Don Diego Colón, son of Christopher Columbus), the Dominican Monastery, and the House of Bastidas, among other historic sites. Santo Domingo is a fascinating blend where the history of the continent’s colonization intertwines with the passion of merengue rhythms.

Despite its current status as a tourist hub with excellent hotel infrastructure and numerous commercial attractions, it has not lost its essence of rich history and all sorts of adventures. It is a living museum, an adventure book under the sun, a cultural and political center of the country. The ‘capital of the Americas,’ as it proudly calls itself, has a wealth of wonders to showcase.

Visit the following article to discover what to do for FREE in Santo Domingo

Puerto Plata, Sosua and Cabarete

Puerto Plata is a coastal city located on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, affectionately known as the ‘Bride of the Atlantic.’ This town is known for its charming Victorian-style houses. To the north, it is bordered by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, while to the south, the majestic Isabel de Torres mountain rises, which can be reached at its peak by a cable car, from where you can see the impressive statue of Christ the Redeemer.

In the past, Puerto Plata served as a refuge for pirates and privateers, adding a touch of history to this picturesque city. Today, it has become the most important artisan center in the Dominican Republic, especially known for its famous amber mines, being the world’s largest producer of this resin. Its significance is such that filmmaker Steven Spielberg chose this city to recreate an amber mine in the movie ‘Jurassic Park.’

Puerto Plata International Airport is just a few minutes from the city, contributing to its growth and tourism development in recent years, making it one of the main attractions for tourists looking to enjoy the beauty of the northern coast of the Dominican Republic.

Visit the following article to discover what to do in Puerto Plata – 2023 Activity Guide

Boca Chica and Juan Dolio

In the southeastern part of the Dominican Republic, you’ll find two charming coastal towns: Boca Chica, just 40 minutes from Santo Domingo, and Juan Dolio, about 55 minutes away. These towns have a special characteristic as they offer small squares, restaurants, nightlife venues, casinos, and beautiful white sandy beaches, particularly Boca Chica Beach. They are ideal places for those who want to spend time by the sea while still being close to authentic Dominican life.

Moreover, these localities are conveniently located a short distance from Santo Domingo International Airport. Juan Dolio is home to two renowned golf courses, the Metro Country Club and Guavaberry, and offers a selection of prominent hotels like Coral Costa Caribe, Emotions by Hodelpa, and Embassy Suites. Its beach is famous for its excellent beachfront apartment complexes, where you can enjoy calm waters and white sands.

La Romana, Bayahibe and Dominicus

The tourist destination of La Romana – Bayahibe is located approximately 115 kilometers east of the capital city of Santo Domingo, right on the beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea. This area can be accessed by air through two modern international airports, and a third airport is scheduled to open on December 15, 2000.

La Romana – Bayahibe boasts around 3,000 luxury rooms, offering an exclusive atmosphere surrounded by exquisite natural beauty. In the La Romana area, you’ll find three outstanding golf courses considered among the best in the world. In addition to that, there are stunning beaches, various water activities, shooting ranges, restaurants, and a wide range of facilities to enjoy during your stay.

Samaná and Las Terrenas

This is a peninsula located in the northeastern part of the island, about 245 km from Santo Domingo, known for its richness in marble and for having the highest concentration of coconut palms per square meter in the world. Along its roads, you can admire countless majestic landscapes with stunning views of mountains next to beautiful white sandy beaches.

The Samaná Bay is internationally renowned for being the gathering place of over 3,000 humpback whales each year in a beautiful mating ritual. Visitors can get very close to the whales and capture photos of this amazing spectacle. The main center of the peninsula is Santa Bárbara, which used to be a fishing village and has now transformed into a tourist destination with a magnificent port and an international airport.

One of the most famous places on the peninsula is «Las Terrenas,» a beautiful area with endless beaches and pristine landscapes. To reach the Samaná Peninsula from Puerto Plata, you can take a coastal road lined with palm trees, and you’ll discover one of the most beautiful corners the Dominican Republic has to offer. The virtually untouched beaches provide a complete escape amidst a landscape of exotic wildflowers for visitors, while enjoying the song of bird species similar to blackbirds but with the curious name «chinchulines.

The best time to travel to the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic, with its stunning natural beauty, white sandy beaches, and year-round warm weather, is a dream destination for many travelers. One of the advantages of this Caribbean paradise is that you can visit it at any time of the year and enjoy its unique charms. Here we’ll show you why traveling to the Dominican Republic from the United States is an exceptional choice in all seasons.

Winter (December – February): If you’re looking to escape the cold winter, the Dominican Republic is the perfect destination for you. During these months, the country enjoys mild and pleasant temperatures, with highs ranging from 26°C to 29°C. It’s a popular season for tourists, so you can enjoy outdoor activities, water sports, and marvel at the marine life in the warm waters of the Caribbean.

Spring (March – May): Spring is an ideal time to visit the Dominican Republic, as the weather remains warm and less humid compared to the summer. It’s a perfect season for exploring the island’s lush nature, hiking in the mountains, or simply relaxing on its famous beaches. Additionally, you can enjoy local events and festivals that highlight the rich Dominican culture.

Summer (June – August): Summer brings higher temperatures and increased humidity to the Dominican Republic, but it’s also the perfect season for those who love the sun and the sea. The beaches are in their prime, offering opportunities for diving, snorkeling, and other water activities. Additionally, it’s the ideal time to savor delicious local dishes, tropical fruits, and refreshing Caribbean beverages. Keep in mind that during this time, the hurricane season is active in the Caribbean Sea, so you might encounter constant bad weather or even beach closures due to storms.

Fall (September – November): Autumn is a quiet season in the Dominican Republic, with fewer tourists and more attractive prices. While it is the rainy season, there’s no need to worry as the rains are usually brief and followed by bright sunshine. This time is perfect for exploring the country’s natural beauty, such as waterfalls and national parks, and for enjoying authentic Dominican hospitality without the crowds.

What to eat in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is not only known for its stunning beaches and tropical landscapes but also for its rich and diverse cuisine that delights even the most discerning palates. Dominican food is a fusion of indigenous, Spanish, and African influences, making it a unique and flavorful culinary experience. Here, we present some authentic dishes and flavors that you shouldn’t miss during your visit to this beautiful Caribbean country.

Mangú: A typical Dominican breakfast that consists of mashed green plantains boiled, accompanied by fried red onions, cheese, and salami. It’s a hearty and delicious dish that will give you the energy to start the day.

La Bandera: Considered the national dish of the Dominican Republic, La Bandera is a combination of white rice, red beans, stewed meat, and avocado salad. It’s a delicious combination that represents the colors of the Dominican flag.

Sancocho: A thick and comforting stew that combines various types of meats (chicken, pork, beef) with yuca, plantains, corn, and other ingredients. It’s a perfect dish to enjoy on cooler days and is very popular at family gatherings and festivities.

Moro de guandules: A dish of rice mixed with guandules (pigeon peas or green peas), cooked with various spices, and accompanied by pork, chicken, or fish. It’s a combination of flavors that will make you go back for more.

Pescado con coco: A delicious preparation of fresh fish cooked with a rich coconut sauce, spices, and vegetables. It’s a typical dish from coastal areas and a treat for seafood lovers.

Pastelón: A dish similar to lasagna, but instead of pasta, ripe plantains are used. Layers of plantains are alternated with ground meat and cheese, then baked until golden and bubbly.

Typical Sweets: You can’t leave the Dominican Republic without trying its delicious sweets. The most popular ones include dulce de leche, coconut candy, suspiros (meringues), habichuelas con dulce (sweet beans), and sweets made from sweet potato and yuca.

Tropical Fruits: The Dominican Republic is blessed with a wide variety of fresh and delicious tropical fruits. Don’t miss trying mango, pineapple, papaya, coconut, guava, and passion fruit (chinola), among others.

Get ready for a flavor festival as you savor authentic Dominican cuisine! Local restaurants as well as street food vendors will offer you an unforgettable culinary experience and make you fall even more in love with this beautiful Caribbean country.

Transportation Options in the Dominican Republic

In the Dominican Republic, there are various transportation options to get around within cities and between different regions of the country. Some of the most common options are:

  • Uber: The Dominican Republic has Uber support in major cities such as Santo Domingo, Punta Cana-Bávaro, Santiago de los Caballeros, Puerto Plata, San Pedro de Macorís, Santo Domingo, San Francisco de Macorís, La Vega, and La Romana. WARNING: Be cautious with Uber requests when leaving or entering hotels and airports, as there have been some altercations between union drivers in recent years.
  • Guaguas: Public transportation vehicles similar to minibuses or vans, popular and economical for getting around within cities and to nearby locations.
  • Motoconchos: Motorcycles or scooters used as taxis in urban and rural areas. They are a quick and economical alternative for getting around within cities, especially in areas with heavy traffic
  • Taxis: A convenient option for getting around within cities and tourist areas. They can be found in major cities and at airports. It’s important to negotiate the price or ensure that the meter is running.
  • Carros públicos: Shared vehicles that follow predefined routes for intercity transportation between cities and towns
  • Car Rental: Ideal for greater flexibility and autonomy in your travel. There are car rental agencies available in cities and airports, although it’s essential to consider road conditions and local driving regulations.
  • Metro: In Santo Domingo, there is an efficient and fast metro system that connects various areas of the city.

Driver’s License for the Dominican Republic

During the first 30 days of your stay, you can drive with your foreign driver’s license from your country of residence. However, it’s advisable to have the foreign driver’s license to avoid potential unnecessary issues. Driving in the Dominican Republic can be somewhat challenging, so it’s essential to take extra precautions and use the car only when necessary.

What to Pack for Your Trip to the Dominican Republic

Recommended attire in the Dominican Republic varies depending on the region, season, and planned activities. It’s advisable to wear light and cool clothing, such as t-shirts, shorts, and dresses, due to the warm weather. Protect your skin from the intense sun with hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. For the beach, bring swimwear and lightweight garments. In religious places, wear modest clothing. For tourism and hikes, opt for casual and comfortable clothing. Carry a lightweight jacket for cooler evenings. Use comfortable and breathable footwear. Formal attire is optional for elegant events. During the rainy season, bring a raincoat or umbrella. Dress code is usually relaxed and casual, but be respectful of local customs and adapt your attire based on the activities and places you visit.

Keep these tips in mind during your trip to the Dominican Republic

Travel Insurance

While not mandatory, it is highly advisable to have travel insurance, especially in a situation where the Spanish Social Security does not have an agreement with the Dominican Republic’s Social Security. For this reason, we strongly recommend that before your trip to the country, you acquire comprehensive insurance that includes medical coverage to ensure your peace of mind.

Vaccinations

At the moment, there are no mandatory vaccinations required for entry into the country. However, it is advised to have common vaccinations (such as pertussis, hepatitis B, MMR, tetanus, and diphtheria), and it would also be recommended to have the hepatitis A vaccine. To obtain it, simply visit an international vaccination center, where you will receive the necessary information properly.

Traveling with Pets

Before traveling with your pet, contact the airline to get updated information on transportation and costs. Make sure you have a health certificate issued by a veterinarian, confirming their good condition and rabies vaccination. Upon arrival in the Dominican Republic, present the documents to the animal control official and complete the entry permit form. By meeting these requirements, you can safely travel with your pet to the Dominican Republic.

Safety

Tourist safety in the Dominican Republic can vary by region and specific circumstances, but overall, the country is considered relatively safe for visitors. The Dominican Republic is a popular tourist destination with a large number of

Some general tips for staying safe in the Dominican Republic include:

  • Staying in recommended tourist areas and avoiding isolated or unfamiliar areas, especially at night.
  • Using safe and authorized public transportation or reliable transportation services.
  • Keeping an eye on your belongings and avoiding displaying valuable items in crowded places.
  • Not leaving valuables unattended on the beach or in public spaces.
  • Exercising caution when using ATMs and avoiding doing so in remote or unsafe locations.
  • Respecting local laws and customs and not engaging in illegal or dangerous activities.

Power outlets

In the Dominican Republic, the most common power outlets are type A and B.

Type A: Type A outlets are the most common in the Dominican Republic. They have two parallel flat pins and do not have a grounding connection. They are similar to the plug system used in the United States and Canada.

Type B: This type of plug is characterized by having two parallel flat pins and a third round pin that acts as a grounding connection.

It’s important to note that the electrical voltage in the Dominican Republic is 110-120 volts, and the frequency is 60 Hz. If your electrical devices are designed to operate within that range, you won’t need a voltage converter. However, if your devices use a different voltage, you will need a plug adapter and possibly a voltage converter to use them without issues.

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