If you’re dreaming of white sandy beaches and a lush, tropical landscape, head to the Dominican Republic for the trip of a lifetime. As the top destination in the Caribbean, the island is the perfect getaway for couples, families, and friends. Whether you’re in the mood for relaxation, adventure, or a great party, the Dominican Republic offers something for everyone. Pack a bag, grab your passport, and get your tickets today!
Method 1 Method 1 of 5:Flights and Accommodations Download Article
Go during December through early March for the best weather. It’s summer all the time in the Dominican Republic, but the weather gets hot and rainy during the months of April through October. Plan your trip for the winter months to enjoy warm, sunny weather and clear skies. It’s the perfect escape after weeks of cold weather!
- Check the weather predictions for the dates you plan to visit so you know what to expect.
Search for flights to international airports in the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is a big island, so pick an airport in the region you plan to visit. The country has 8 international airports located mostly near coastal cities. Use your favorite travel site for the best deals.
- If your destination is near the capital Santo Domingo in the south, fly to the Las Américas International Airport (SDQ) or La Isabela International Airport (JBQ).
- If you’re flying to a destination near La Romana in the south, set your destination for La Romana International Airport (LRM).
- To go to Punta Cana in the southeast, choose Gregorio Luperón International Airport (POP).
- To travel near Samanȧ in the north, pick a flight to El Catey International Airport (AZS).
- For Santiago in the north, fly to Cibao International Airport (STI).
Purchase a plane ticket 6 to 12 weeks in advance for the best price. Fly out on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday for the cheapest fare, and book your flight on Tuesday around 3:00 p.m. EST for the best deal. Follow the directions on the website you’re using to complete your booking. Enter your payment information, then approve the purchase. Print or save your travel itinerary so you can easily access it.
- Watch for hidden fees when you book your ticket. Sometimes cheap airfare isn’t worth it because of added fees.
- Your airplane tickets will include a $10USD tourist tax, also called a tourist card, if you’re from certain countries. If you stay longer than 30 days, expect to pay another fee when you leave, which is calculated based on how long you stay.
Pick an all-inclusive resort if you just want to relax or party. Resorts are common in the Dominican Republic and are a great option for your island getaway. Enjoy the lush surroundings, as well as amenities like swimming pools, lazy rivers, and hot tubs, without leaving the safety of your hotel. Choose a resort that offers what your traveling party is most interested in, whether that’s all-night parties, captivating ocean views, or family-friendly fun.
- All-inclusive resorts usually offer food, drinks, pools, hot tubs, beach access, and activities for free. You can enjoy the resort’s restaurants, bars, and parties at no additional cost, in most cases.
Book a regular hotel room if you want to explore the island. The Dominican Republic offers beaches, rainforests, and mountains for the adventurous traveler. Additionally, the island has a rich history and culture. For an immersive experience, pick a traditional hotel that’s near the sites you plan to visit.
- You may be able to book your plane tickets and hotel accommodations in a bundle.
Check-in for your flight 24 hours before you go to the airport. Don’t wait until you arrive at the airport to check-in. Save yourself some stress (and possibly get a better seat) by doing online check-in with your airline. Print your boarding pass or download it to your phone.
- Consider downloading your airline’s app, if they have one, even if it’s just for the duration of your trip. This will make it easier to check-in and get updates on your flight.
Arrive at the airport 3 hours before your flight so you have time for security. You probably know that navigating the airport can be stressful, so give yourself enough time to do it without rushing. Be sure to arrive a few hours before your flight leaves. If you have a lot of time left before your flight boards, check out the airport shops, grab a snack, or relax with a good book.
- If you’re flying on a holiday, add an extra hour in case the airport is busy.
Check your bags at the airline desk if you have any. Since you’re flying internationally, you’re probably bringing luggage. Print yourself a luggage tag at your airline’s kiosk, then take the bag to the airline counter. Hand your bag to the attendant and wait as they weigh it. Pay any extra fees that your airline charges, if any.
- Customs requirements limit how many cigarettes, cigars, alcoholic beverages, and gifts you can bring into the country. You can bring up to 20 packs of cigarettes, 25 cigars, 200 grams of loose tobacco, and 3 liters of alcohol. Additionally, you can bring up to $500 in gifts every 3 months.
- Checked bag fees vary by airline, so check with your carrier.
- You might pay your standard checked bag fee at the kiosk or when you hand your bag to the attendant.
Method 2 Method 2 of 5:Cruise Stops Download Article
Choose the cruise port you want to visit. The Dominican Republic boasts 5 cruise terminals along the island’s long coastline, so you have several options. Decide what you want to do or see on the island before you book your cruise, since you won’t have time to travel far inland while your cruise is docked. Pick the terminal that’s closest to the part of the island you want to visit.
- You can cruise to Santo Domingo, La Romana, or Punta Cana in the south. If you want to visit the north of the island, cruise to Samanȧ or Puerto Plata.
Search available cruise dates on your favorite travel website. Enter the dates when you want to travel and hit search. Then, scroll through the results to see what cruises are available. Focus on the cruises that are docking where you want to visit.
- Typically it’s best to enter a range of dates for your vacation when looking for cruises. Then, pick from the cruises that are closest to the dates you want to visit.
- Some dates and destinations may not be available during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Book your island excursions before you go on your cruise. Have the most fun possible on your trip by planning your adventure ahead of time. Search excursions on your favorite travel website or through your cruise company. Select the excursions that interest you, then pay the necessary fees. Save a copy of your travel itinerary as a reminder of your booking.
- Popular excursions include activities like parasailing, snorkeling, buggy rides along the island, catamaran (boat) tours, speed boat rides, scooter tours around historic cities, walking tours, and trips to private islands.
- Some cruises also allow you to book your excursions during your cruise. However, some excursions may not be available.
Pay your tourist tax, also called a tourist card, when you arrive on land. The Dominican Republic charges international travelers a small fee to enter the country. Typically, this fee is $10USD. Bring a method of payment with you as you debark the ship so you’re ready to pay.
- You don’t need to pay the tourist tax if you’re from Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, Ecuador, Japan, South Korea, or Israel.
Method 3 Method 3 of 5:Visas, Passports, Insurance, and Vaccines Download Article
Apply for a tourist visa if you’re not from one of the 108 exempt countries. Check if visas are required for people who travel from your country. If you need a visa, submit an online application, a visa application letter with your reason for traveling, a 4 by 5 cm (1.6 by 2.0 in) photograph, a passport, a photocopy of your residency card (if your country has one), a letter of guarantee that your medical needs are covered, medical certification that you’re healthy, copies of past visas, and proof of your travel plans. Additionally, show proof that you have money, a job, land, a business, or a vehicle in your home country. Expect a response in 5 to 10 business days.
- Exempt countries include places like the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the European Union, as well as most South American and Central American countries. Many Asian, African, and Eastern European Countries are also exempt. Additionally, you can enter without a visa if you’re carrying an up-to-date visa from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., or the Schengen Region.
- You can find a list of countries that require a visa here: https://dgii.gov.do/sobreTarjetaTurista/Paginas/default.aspx
- Proof of travel plans include your hotel reservations or an invitation letter to visit someone, as well as a plane ticket or cruise ship booking.
- If you’re a minor, you’ll need permission from your parents.
- Apply for a visa here: http://consuladord.com/en/formulario.aspx
Make sure your passport is valid for your stay. All international travelers need a passport, so check the expiration date on yours. If your passport is expired or you don’t have one, renew your passport or apply for one. Pack your passport in your carry-on bag so it’s easily accessible.
- If you’re from Canada, you may be required to have a passport that’s valid for at least 6 months after you plan to leave.
- Bring a photocopy of your passport just in case you lose yours or it gets confiscated.
Buy travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and health care. Purchase your policy through your insurance provider or the travel booking site you’re using. For health insurance, pick a policy that pays the healthcare provider directly so you don’t have to pay up front and get reimbursed. Even if you have regular health insurance, it likely won’t pay for care you receive in the Dominican Republic.
- If you’re traveling to rural areas of the island, get a policy that includes medical evacuation insurance. In the event that you get hurt or sick in a remote area, this type of policy will pay to transport you to a high-quality hospital for care.
Get the recommended vaccinations before your trip. Don’t worry too much about getting sick on your trip. To be on the safe side, follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) vaccine recommendations. Bring documentation of your vaccinations with you in case you need them. Visit your doctor to make sure you’re up-to-date on the following vaccinations:
- Routine vaccinations: All travelers should be up-to-date on routine vaccinations for measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, varicella (chickenpox), polio, and flu.
- Measles: Babies aged 6 months to 11 months require 1 dose, babies aged 1-year-old up to adults who have documentation of a prior dose need 1 dose, babies aged 1-year-old up to adults who don’t have documentation of prior vaccination require 2 doses.
- Hepatitis A: Check with your doctor to see if you need this vaccine, as you can catch hepatitis A from food and drinks in the Dominican Republic.
- Typhoid: The CDC recommends this vaccine for all travelers since you can catch typhoid from food and drinks.
- Malaria: Ask your doctor if they recommend a malaria vaccine, as mosquitoes in the Dominican Republic can carry it.
- Rabies: The CDC recommends this vaccine if you’re doing outdoor activities or are spending a lot of time in the Dominican Republic. It may sound odd, but the island has a lot of stray dogs and cats that can carry rabies.
Method 4 Method 4 of 5:What to Bring Download Article
Carry a photo ID and proof of a return trip at all times for immigration checks. You probably won’t need to worry about this, but keep your documents within easy reach just in case. Be prepared to show local officials your proof of identity and a photocopy of your flight or cruise details. You may be subject to an immigration check as you travel the country.
- You might carry your valid driver’s license, national ID card, or military ID card with you.
- Bring photocopies of your travel plans so you can keep the originals in a safe place.
- When you enter the country, a government official will take your photo and fingerprints since you’re a foreign national. This makes it easier for them to identify you.
Pack a swimsuit, day clothes, evening outfits, and hiking clothes. You’re probably excited about the sunny beaches and lush terrain in the Dominican Republic, but you’ll need more than shorts and bathing suits. It’s part of island culture to dress up when going out, so plan to look nice during excursions into the city or nights on the town. Additionally, bring beach clothes for swimming and lounging on the sand. If you’re hiking, bring pants and long-sleeved shirts that will protect you against mosquitos and wildlife.
- For the most part, it’s not acceptable to wear your swimwear into shops and restaurants.
- Shorts aren’t culturally appropriate in the city of Santo Domingo or at important cultural sites, so make sure you have pants, a dress, or a skirt for these destinations.
Bring mosquito repellant to help prevent malaria. Try not to worry, but mosquitos in the Dominican Republic can transmit malaria. Prevent mosquito bites by carrying your insect repellant at all times. Spray yourself daily and reapply the repellant as directed if you’re spending a long time outside.
- If you’re going to be camping outdoors, bring a mosquito net to cover yourself. You might also get a tent treated with permethrin, which repels mosquitoes.
- If you’re hiking a lot, try wearing clothes or shoes treated with permethrin to help deter mosquitos from landing on you.
Exchange your currency for Dominican Pesos (RD$) on arrival. Carry cash in your country’s currency so you can convert it when you get to the Dominican Republic. Visit a conversion desk at the airport or a local bank, and expect to pay a small fee. Generally, you can’t get RD$ outside of the Dominican Republic, so you’ll have to wait until you get there.
- The exchange rates change daily, so the fee for your transaction will vary.
- Some tourist attractions, including restaurants and shops, will accept U.S. dollars or Euros. However, they usually charge a fee.
Method 5 Method 5 of 5:COVID-19 Policies Download Article
Check the current COVID-19 protocols before your trip. You may be worried about how COVID-19 is going to affect your trip, so put your mind at ease by reviewing the most up-to-date information about it. Fortunately, the Dominican Republic posts updates every time they make a change to their policies. Review these policies so you can provide necessary documentation and can adapt your activities plan, if necessary.
- Go here to find the most up-to-date information: https://www.godominicanrepublic.com/newsroom/coronavirus/
- For instance, as of September 2020, public pools are closed across the country, so you won’t be able to swim at your hotel or resort.
- There may be an overnight curfew in some areas. This may limit how late you can stay out at restaurants, bars, and other fun activities. However, you’ll still be able to travel to and from the airport during these times.
Bring proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test from the last 5 days. The Dominican Republic is doing everything possible to protect their citizens and travelers from contracting COVID-19. Visit your doctor or a COVID-19 testing center to take a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test in the days before your trip. Carry a copy of your negative test results with you to show government officials when you arrive.
- If you don’t have test results with you, a government official will do a rapid test when you arrive in the Dominican Republic. This test is free to you and takes about 10 minutes, though you may need to wait in line.
- Children 5-years-old and younger are exempt from this requirement.
Sign a Traveler’s Health Affidavit regarding COVID-19 when you arrive. Take the form from an official waiting at the airport or cruise terminal. Review the information on the form, then certify that you’ve not had symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 72 hours. Additionally, provide your contact information for the next 30 days.
- This form is part of the Dominican Republic’s COVID-19 protection protocols.
- The United States government advises against travelling to the Dominican Republic due to COVID-19 and a high crime rate as of September 2020. Check the travel advisories before you go to make sure it’s safe for you to visit. Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Bring mosquito repellent and protective clothing to protect you against mosquito bites. Since mosquitoes in the Dominican Republic can carry malaria and dengue fever, prevention is important. Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Check weather forecasts and be prepared to change your plans during hurricane season, which starts on June 1 and continues through November 1. Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- The U.S. Department of State warns travelers not to wear luxury items while traveling around the Dominican Republic because robbery is a concern. Thanks! Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0