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the Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

General Information

Location

Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two‑thirds of the large island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Republic of Haiti, and is the second largest country in the Caribbean. Comprising an area of 19,279 square miles, the country has a population of 10.1 million and enjoys sunny tropical weather year‑round.

Documentation

For most visitors, a valid passport along with a USD 10 Tourist Card (available at the airport or online) is required to enter the country. Any person, regardless of their nationality, can enter with a Tourist Card if they are a legal resident or if they have one of the following valid visas in their passport: United States, Canada, United Kingdom or Schengen. For more information, visit www.DGII.gov.do.

Language

Spanish is the official language; however, you'll be surprised by the fact that the majority of employees in hotels and tourist destinations speak relatively good English, French, German and Italian.

Shopping

In the main cities and vacation resorts, numerous commercial plazas can be found that sell internationally known brands, as well as local designers and products. The main Dominican products that can be purchased throughout the country include amber, Larimar, ceramic dolls, chocolate, coffee, rum, macadamia nuts, cigars, Taino ceramics, Merengue music and more. The Dominican Republic has free trade agreements with the United States and Europe, evidenced by the wide range of international stores and brands. Some of the most popular shopping malls are the Acrópolis, Blue Mall, Bella Vista Mall, Sambil, Agora Mall and others. In the beach resort areas shopping you can find multiple local crafts stores but also boutiques with jewerly and international brands.

Gastronomy and Nightlife

Dominican Republic boasts the greatest number of restaurants in the Caribbean and Central America. In the beach areas, resorts provide an array of dining options, while specialty restaurants include the multi‑faceted culinary influences from Spain, France and many other corners of the world.
World‑class gambling and nightlife can be found at most resorts, as well as the local discos, bars and cafes.

Historic Sites

Located within the capital city of Santo Domingo is the first city of the Americas, also known as the Colonial City. Due to its cultural and historical value, the Colonial City was recognized by UNESCO and declared a World Heritage Site in 1990. Here, visitors can explore preserved buildings dating back to the early 1500s, many of which are now museums, including the Alcazar de Colon, Ozama Fort and the Palace of the Spanish Court.

Regions of Interest

Dominican Republic consists of 5 key regions for tourism and business initiatives: ‑ Punta Cana/Bavaro ‑ La Romana/Bayahibe ‑ Santo Domingo/Juan Dolio/Boca Chica ‑ Puerto Plata/Cabarete/Cabrera/Sosua ‑ Samana/Las Terrenas/Las Galeras