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The Dominican Republic – tips For First Time Visitors

First Time Dominican Republic

Just over 9 hours from London and only 2 hours south of Miami is the beautiful Caribbean country of the Dominican Republic. It lies on the eastern, Spanish speaking side of the island of Hispaniola, the second-largest island in the Caribbean. The size of the island makes it one of the most diverse, from its mountains and rainforests to some of the world’s top beaches.

As well as the beautifully varied landscape there is also a wide range of places to stay from remote eco-lodges to the luxurious Punta Cana all inclusive resorts.

Punta Cana Resorts

So, if this is your first trip to the Dominican Republic, apart from the tropical beaches and crystal clear water, what else should you expect. What are the tips to make your first trip as perfect as possible?

Entry Requirements

UK tourists do not need a visa and you can stay up to 60 days as a tourist but longer than 30 days does involve paying an extension fee when you leave the country. There was a requirement to pay for a tourist card on arrival but from April 2018 this tax is now included in your airfare.

For the latest information visit the UK Government’s foreign advice website.

Health And Safety

The hepatitis A vaccine is recommended and it’s always good to keep your tetanus up to date wherever you are travelling. If you are exploring the more rustic areas away from the main allinclusive resorts the typhoid vaccination may be worth considering.

When it comes to crime just use your common sense, I think we have all been guilty of dropping our guard a little when we are on holiday. The usual applies, don’t flash the cash and wear expensive jewellery or walk home drunk through the dodgier side of town,

In general, the Dominican Republic is friendly and the vast majority of visits to the country are trouble-free.

Money

The official currency is the Dominican peso but the US dollar is widely accepted. If you staying in one of the main resorts then just taking US dollars will be fine but if you intend to explore then having a small number of pesos would be useful.

However, as we are all aware, the exchange rate for UK travellers is not that great at the moment (2019), whatever the currency. We find that a credit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee gives you the best exchange rates whether you are paying in dollars or pesos.

Best Time To Visit The Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Sea

Like Florida, the Dominican Republic gets busy with us Brits during the summer months, July and August. However, the island lies is in the centre of the Caribbean’s hurricane belt with peak storm season being August and September.

The Dominican Republic is a perfect destination for a winter break and to escape the grey skies of the UK. The island’s temperature is still in the high 20’s and it is the driest time of year. This time of year is their ‘high’ season and is also popular with Americans getting away from their harsh winter, so the resorts can be busier and more expensive.

A good time to visit is late Spring, after the high season and the US Spring Break but before the start of the Summer and the hurricane season.

Where To Stay

The Clear Water Of The Dominican Republic

As mentioned, the range of accommodation varies from guest houses, intimate eco-lodges to large luxury all-inclusive resorts. The larger resorts are mainly centred around the popular, yet still beautiful east coast.

The north coast is popular with the more adventurous traveller with resorts such as Cabarete, a mecca for surfers, windsurfers and kitesurfers. The area is also popular with hikers due to its breathtaking scenery, The resorts tend to be smaller and there are more intimate hotels and guest houses to choose from.

The south coast has some of the larger cities including the country’s capital city, Santo Domingo. If you are willing to drive you will discover untouched beaches, beautiful countryside and the spectacular beauty of the National Park.

Relax And Enjoy

Dominican Republic Sunset

Above all, the Dominican Republic is a perfect destination for the first time traveller to the Caribbean. With plenty of direct flights from the UK and a range of travel companies to choose from it won’t be long before you’ll be relaxing on the tropical white sand beaches and soaking up that Caribbean sun.

*Collaborative Post

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