Dream Caribbean Travel

Getting To Know The Dominican Republic

Adventure Is Out There.

“The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.”
― Samuel Johnson

Adventure is out there.

Getting To Know The Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic, also known as the Dominican or DR is second only to Cuba as the largest Caribbean Island doubling as its own country.  Part of the Greater Antilles Archipelago the DR occupies two thirds of the Hispaniola Island and Haiti, the other one-third, Haiti to the Left and the Dominican Republic to the right.

Known for its breathtaking beaches, diverse culture and colorful history the DR has something for every type of traveler.

Between the Dominicans northern Atlantic lapped shore to its southern Caribbean coast, there are about 250 miles of beach and 18 Nation Parks to explore.  Expect to fall in love.

*Hint: The best way to make sure you have the best Dominican Republic Vacation is to utilize a Travel Agent.

Adventure is out there.

Getting To Know The Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Culture And Customs

A little knowledge about Dominican customs and culture will go a long way to being cordial to the natives as well as allowing you to be able to move about outside of your resort with ease.


Spanish is the official language in the Dominican.

Although, staying in Punta Cana or any other tourist packed location, many locals speak English. It will go a long way to learn a few of the basics though.

There are 3 Spanish greetings to remember when traveling to the DR.  Saying, Buenos Dias meaning good morning, Buenas Tardes meaning, good afternoon and Buenas Noches meaning, good evening is customary and good etiquette when meeting someone or entering an establishment. It is a friendly hello, just as you would practice here in the states.  You are thought rude if you do not abide by this custom.

*Downloading a translation app on your phone may be beneficial.

Adventure is out there.

Getting To Know The Dominican Republic

Mid-day Siesta

Dominicans usually shut down between the hours of 12pm and 2pm for lunch and a nap.  In the major tourist zones, you may not witness this as much but don’t be surprised if there is a lull in your activities during this time.


Dominicans usually shut down between the hours of 12pm and 2pm for lunch and a nap.  In the major tourist zones, you may not witness this as much but don’t be surprised if there is a lull in your activities during this time.

Meals & Drinks

When staying at an all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic, expect to tip a couple of dollars for breakfast and lunch while usually, since dinners are more of an affair, plan on leaving a $5.00 tip or more if you like.  Make sure you don’t forget to tip for room service as well.  For your alcoholic beverages, with every trip to the bar $1 or $2 dollars is average. Not per drink, per trip.

Luggage & House Keeping

You will also want to tip the person that helps you with your luggage at your Dominican resort, a couple of dollars.  

When you tip your turn down service, leave a few dollars on the night stand with a note stating it is for them.  They may need this note to prove that the cash was intended for them to take. 

Keep in mind that the house keepers change every couple of days so if you leave an amount just at the end of your stay, this will not go to all of the house keepers that have given great service throughout your stay.


On excursions, once your tour is completed, it is customary for you to tip them for a job well done; around $5.00 or so.  Some of these tour guides can make or break an excursion; I’ve witnessed it.  Most of the time, they keep you entertained and you may feel like tipping more if they really made your experience a memorable one; in a good way.


If you are eating outside of the resort at a restaurant, tipping 10% of your tab is considered fair in the Dominican Republic, or more if the service was outstanding.  Be aware that some places already add 10% to the tab so, just make sure to check for the words, “propina or “servico”.

Adventure is out there.

Getting To Know The Dominican Republic

Frequently Asked Questions

When Is The Best Time To Visit The Dominican Republic?

Many snow birds like to escape to the warm sandy beaches of the Dominican Republic during their winter breaks and holidays.  That being said, peak tourist season in the DR is December through late March to early April with December and January holding the heftier price tags. 

If these are the months you wish to travel for your Dominican Republic vacation, make sure to reach out to your travel agent early as to ensure your table is held at your favorite resort.

If you are looking for a deal, the most inexpensive times to visit the DR are around the months of August through October.  These months are the cheapest because they coincide with peak of hurricane season. 

Although hurricane season runs from June through October, historically August and September and even October have proven to be the bearer of the majority of these storms.

What's The Weather Like In The Dominican Republic?

The DR has a tropical climate year-round but differs slightly depending on your location.

Puerto Plata in the north, cooler months tend to be December through April with lows at 64 degrees Fahrenheit and highs at 85 degrees Fahrenheit.  May and November, I guess you could consider Spring and Fall with lows at 66 degrees (F) and highs hovering around 88 degrees (F) while the Summer months, or hottest months are June through October with lows at 68 degrees (F) and highs at 91 degrees Fahrenheit.

The northern part of the Dominican Republic also sees more rain than other DR destinations. Puerto Plata’s driest months are June through September at an average of 7 days a month while October through May can see as much as 15 days of rain per month. WOW!

Punta Cana, the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic, which is the most visited has relatively uniformed weather with lows around 71 degrees Fahrenheit and the highest temperatures reaching 87/

88 degrees Fahrenheit.  Now, this does not mean it doesn’t get muggy in Punta Cana because it can feel much warmer than 88 degrees when it’s humid, usually between the months of May to October.

The rainiest months in Punta Cana are October through December with upwards of 12 days of rain per month while February through April average only 7 rainy days.

As discussed above, June through October is hurricane season with the majority of these storms taking place in August and September.

Adventure is out there.

Getting To Know The Dominican Republic

What Is The Currency In The Dominican Republic?

The currency utilized in the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Peso or DOP.  Although, the rates fluctuate, usually it hovers around 45 to 53 Dominican Pesos per $1 US Dollar or USD.

Since Puerto Plata in the north and Punta Cana in the east are hot tourist zones, many of the shops, restaurants, resorts and tour companies accept US Dollars but it defiantly couldn’t hurt to have a few Dominican Pesos in your pocket.

You are able to exchange your currency at your resort, exchange houses near your hotel or a bank but I opt for the resort.

As with any time you travel, please do not forget to inform your credit card company of your intended travel destination and dates.  This is so that your credit card company does not red flag your account while you are visiting the Dominican Republic, preventing you from using your card.

How Far Is The Dominican Republic?

The Dominican Republic is located less than 4 hours from New York and only 2 hours south of Miami.  Boasting 7… yep, a whopping 7 international airports the DR hosts hundreds of flights from all over the world. 

Below are the 2 Dominican International Airports that serve the beach destinations I am going to cover for you.

  • Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ)

    Ideal for stays in any part of the Punta Cana area, including Bavaro, Cabeza de Toro, Cap Cana, and Uvero Alto.

  • Gregorio Luperon International Airport (POP)

    Located in Puerto Plata. Ideal for stays in Puerto Plata, Cabarete, Sosua, and locations on the north coast.

Is The Dominican Republic Safe?

Couples and families alike have been traveling to the Dominican Republic for decades.  Something like 6 million tourists flock to vacation on DR’s beaches every year. Those are amazing numbers especially since August and September have real low numbers due to hurricanes.

Crime is high in the Dominican. Pit pocketing and muggings happen even in tourist hot spots and night time is sketchy to say the least.  If you are staying at your resort, enjoying your beach time and leaving your hotel only for excursions, you should have no problem. 

As I mentioned above, DR receives 6 million tourists every year.  Just use your head, show respect for the locals and stay within the resort unless you are leaving for a chaperoned and reputable tour.

Be sure to talk to your travel professional regarding safe tours.

Coming Soon: Punta Cana & Puerto Plata

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