Dominican Republic Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Santo Domingo tourist information, Dominican Republic food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Santo Domingo. Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Dominican Republic Travel Guide

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Full country name: Dominican Republic
Area: 48,670 sq km
Population: 9,79 million (July 2010 est.)
Capital City: Santo Domingo
Language: Spanish
Religion: Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%
Government: Democratic republic
Time Zone: UTC-4
Dialling Code: 1 809
Electricity: 110V 60 Hz
Weights & measures: The metric system is the legal standard, but US and Spanish weights are widely used in commercial transactions.

Money & Costs:
Currency: Dominican peso (DOP)
Average yearly salary: USD 8,300

Budget: $5-10
Mid-range: $10-30
High: $35+
Budget: $20-60
Mid-range: $60-160
High: $300+

Geography: The Dominican Republic is situated on the Island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean region. The country shares the island with a much smaller neighbor – Haiti, and is the second largest country of the Caribbean nation after Cuba. The Dominican Republic has one of the most beautiful and diverse terrains in the Caribbean. The country offers a long coastline of gorgeous beaches and a collection of four mountain ranges, with Pico Duarte being the tallest mountain peak in the Caribbean.

Climate: The Dominican Republic has a tropical climate with warm days throughout the year. The average yearly temperature is 25 C (77 F). At mountainous regions, the temperature averages to 18 C (64,4 F), whereas in the coastal region it rises to 28 C (82,4 F). Rainfall is very seasonal. On the north coast, the wet season lasts from November till January. Elsewhere, it stretches from May till November (May is the wettest month). The southern part of the country does quite often experience hurricanes during August and October. The best time to visit the Dominican Republic is November - December.

Recommended clothing: Lightweight summer clothes are recommended throughout the year. Light jacket or a sweater may be needed for cooler evenings. If you are planning to visit the mountainous regions, pack some warmer clothes. When visiting a church, or attending a religious ceremony, dress conservatively. Women should cover up their heads, and men should not wear shorts and remove their hats before entering the church, as a sign of respect.

Social conventions: Beachwear is not acceptable anywhere else except in resorts and at pools. In many areas, people tend to dress up for the evenings when going to have dinner at a fancier restaurant or for any other social occasion.

Health: Health insurance is strongly recommended, since medical care facilities are limited and often of a bad quality. An emergency service is available only in Santo Domingo. The risk of Malaria exists throughout the year, especially in the western provinces. Mosquito repellents are essential.

Food & Drink: Dominican cuisine is a mixture of Spanish, Taino and African cuisines. The food is quite similar to what can be found in other Latin American countries. There are thousands of great restaurants all over the country. Not only Dominican delights can be found in the country; there are also various restaurants offering Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern and other international dishes. Lunch is generally the largest and the most important meal of the day, which usually consists of rice, meat, beans and salad. La Bandera is the most popular lunch dish. Sancocho is a stew made of seven different meats. Tap water is not safe to drink in Dominica. It should be boiled or sterilized in any other way before drinking. The national drink of The Dominican Republic is rum. The most famous local Dominican bear is Presidente.

Public Holidays:
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Jan 6 Epiphany
Jan 21 Altagracia Day
Jan 26 Duarte Day
Feb 27 Independence Day
Varies between March 22 & April 25 Good Friday
May 1 Labor Day
Aug 16 Restoration of Independence
Sep 24 Day of Our Lady of Las Mercedes
Nov 1 All Saints' Day
Dec 25 Christmas

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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