Travel Information

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Want to make a difference?

Help Dominican children by bring extra school supplies on on your next trip. Items such as pens & pencils, lined paper, bound notebooks, rulers, folders, markers, and crayons are always in short supply and are always greatly appreciated. Donations can be made through Integracion Juvenil, a local charity devoted to helping at risk youth living on the North Coast.

Entry Requirements

US and Canadian citizens will need a valid passport or an original birth certificate along with a valid photo-bearing official document (driver's license or voter's registration). Minors may enter with their passport or an original birth certificate. A tourist card ($10.00 U.S.) must be purchased prior to arrival to the country at select Dominican consulates, at airline counters abroad, or at the airport upon arrival. Citizens of other countries should contact their closest Dominican Consulate or with the Dominican Tourism Office.

Getting Around

Numerous forms of transportation are available to help visitors navigate around the city of Puerto Plata and explore other regions of the Dominican Republic. Small motorcycles called motoconchos are common on the city streets and, for a fee of about $5 R.D. ($10 R.D. at night), will take visitors to the destination of their choice - hold on tight! Taxis are also another alternative, albeit much more expensive. For visitors travelling between Puerto Plata and Sosua, public cars (publicos) and mini-van buses (guaguas) are available throughout the day for about $15 R.D.  For those who wish to visit Santiago and Santo Domingo (about 1 hour and 4 hours, respectively) the Metro Tour Company features a fleet of large, comfortable, buses. A similar service is offered by Caribe Tours for travelers who wish to visit La Vega and Samana (about 2 hours and 3 hours, respectively). Visitors seeking to explore the North Coast and surrounding provinces at their own pace may want to consider a Rental Car. To visit other attractions, travelers may wish to contact a local tour company.

Money/Business Guide

Government offices, as well as foreign consulates and embassies, open at 8:00 am and close at 2 pm, Monday through Friday. Some offices stay open for meetings by appointment until later in the afternoon. Businesses typically work from 9 to 5 pm, five days a week. Shops open on weekdays at 9 am and usually stay open until 7 pm. Major stores remain open on Saturdays and Sunday, some through 2 pm.

Siesta

The Latin tradition of a long lunch, which is the major meal of the day, is generally observed, and many shops and businesses still close from 12:30 to 2:30 pm.

Currency

Foreign currency can be changed into Dominican pesos at exchange booths at airports, major hotels, commercial banks, or local "cambios." Banking hours are 8:30 to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. Some banking branches remain open through 9 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Airport booths remain open to service all incoming flights, up to 24 hours if necessary. Travelers checks and major credit cards are widely accepted. Cash advances are available at some commercial banks. Check currency exchange rates and print a portable "cheat sheet" for your trip.

Holidays

Stores, banks, and most businesses close on:

January 1, "New Year's Day"

January 21, "Our Lady of Altagracia Day"

February 27, "Independence Day"

September 24, "Our Lady of Mercedes Day"

December 25, "Christmas Day"

The following holidays will be celebrated on the closest Monday to the actual date:

January 6, "Epiphany"

January 26;"Juan Pablo Duarte's Birthday"

May 1, "Labor Day"

August 16, "Dominican Restoration Day"

November 6, "Constitution Day"

Please note that "Good Friday" and "Corpus Christi Day" do not have fixed dates.


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