The Dominican Republic is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with Haiti, making Hispaniola one of only two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two sovereign states. The Dominican Republic is the second-largest nation in the Antilles by area (after Cuba) at 48,671 square kilometers (18,792 sq mi), and third-largest by population, with approximately 10.8 million people (2020 est.), of whom approximately 3.3 million live in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, the capital city. The official language of the country is Spanish.
Golf – Renowned for having the most magnificent golf courses in the Caribbean region, and Latin America, the Dominican Republic is the undisputed leader of golf in the tropics. At least seven of the DR’s courses have consistently topped Golf Week Magazine’s Top 50 courses in the Caribbean and Mexico.
Surfing + Kite Surfing – A top Caribbean destination for wind sports, the DR is ground zero for surfing, kitesurfing, and windsurfing. Cabarete’s steady trade winds have earned the beach town its professional kitesurfing reputation, active with certified schools and instructors.
Deep Sea Fishing – Recognized fishing destinations in the DR include Bayahíbe, a village founded by fishermen in the 19th century, as well as Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, and Samaná, all of which offer sports fishing with the possibility of hooking marlin, barracuda, and dorado or mahi mahi, among others. Freshwater river fishing is popular in La Romana, and in Río San Juan, to catch snooker or wahoo. Reef trolling and deep sea fishing opportunities abound along the reefs of Cabarete and Sosúa.
Hiking – Being the second largest territory in the Caribbean, and the most diverse in topography, means a plethora of hiking opportunities. Our national parks offer the perfect setting to start. Hike the Cotubanamá National Park, and hear the history of the Tainos as you pass along their caves. Explore Los Haitises National Park on land, a rarely visited part of this natural gem. For more challenge, Jarabacoa is home to the roof of the DR and of the Caribbean region: 3,087-meter (10,128-ft) high Pico Duarte.
Mountain Biking – Hilly towns, mountainous villages, and protected parks provide ample opportunity for mountain biking. In Cabarete, adventure outfitters can take riders on multiple trails of varying difficulty inside El Choco National Park, including an intense 50-meter (31-mile) endurance challenge. The central mountainous region’s winding, traffic-free roads line plantations–from Jarabacoa to Constanza–and are ideal to explore on mountain bike, with rivers and waterfalls for cooling off along the way. Bayahíbe’s Cotubanamá National Park, ideally close to the town’s white sand beaches, is as mystical as it gets, with paths leading towards spring water-filled caves.
Scuba Diving – In addition to discovering exceptional beaches along the DR’s thousand-mile long coastline, you’ll soon realize that the DR’s underwater world—a handful of which is protected as a national park—is equally fascinating, revealing features such as coral reefs, caves, remains of galleons, shipwrecks, and a world of multicolored marine life. Explore 40-meter (131-foot) wall dives off the islands of Catalina and Saona, spot turtles and eagle rays off the remote Playa Frontón in Las Galeras, or snorkel amid colorful fish at Cayo Arena.
Zip Lines – Gushing rivers, high altitudes, and tropical rainforests overlooking coastlines: ziplining takes on new meaning in the DR. At Samaná you’ll find the longest run in the country, with an integrated brake system—you can glide in pairs and flip upside-down at 122 meters (400 feet) above the verdant hills of El Valle. The beach is less than ten minutes away when you’re ready to cool down. Ziplining is all the rage in the hilly Puerto Plata province, from Megatrucks’ two-mile course on a private ranch, to the off-the-beaten track Yasica Adventures’ 10-platform run. Punta Cana’s adventure parks are no less adventurous—brace the longest zipline in that area at Scape Park, and take a dip in the fresh water blue hole afterwards.
National Parks – The Dominican Republic’s diverse topography and varying climates combine to create the perfect environment for over 6,000 species of thriving flora and fauna, including a high number of endemic species. In Bayahíbe, Cotubanamá National Park stretches from land—where you can spot the national, endemic Bayahíbe Rose—to the marine jewels of Saona and Catalina islands offshore, teeming with marine life. The largest of all national parks, and part of the DR’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Jaragua National Park includes beach, lagoons, dry forests and cays. Nearby, the Sierra de Bahoruco is the only cloud forest in the Caribbean. Among the most visited parks in the country is also its most stunning: Los Haitises National Park, toured mainly by boat to view its towering rock mounts rising out of the water. In one of the most remote, pristine areas of the country, Valle Nuevo National Park astounds with its dense pine tree forests and frosty mornings.
The newest addition to our luxury villas portfolio is, without a doubt, the most special home in Casa de Campo. Tropical outdoor and indoor gardens define large, but intimate, sitting spaces designed for memorable moments with friends and family.
Yes, everyone is required to present a valid passport to enter the Dominican Republic. When traveling to the island it’s important to travel with the details of your accommodation including the address of the villa. This is required for the Customs and Immigration forms.
Visas are not needed by U.S., Canadian, Irish, Australian, New Zealand, or British citizens for visits of less than 90 days.
Atlantic Standard Time is observed year-round. Between November and March, when it’s noon in New York and Miami, it’s 1pm in Santo Domingo. However, during U.S. daylight saving time, it’s the same time in the Dominican Republic and the U.S. East Coast.
Just before you leave home, check with your country’s Customs or Foreign Affairs department for the latest guidelines including information on items that are not allowed to be brought into your home country, since the rules are subject to change and often contain some surprising oddities.
U.S. Citizens: For specifics on what you can bring back and the corresponding fees, download the invaluable free pamphlet Know Before You Go online at www.cbp.gov (click on “Travel,” and then click on “Know Before You Go”), or contact the U.S. Customs & Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20229 (tel. 877/287-8667), and request the pamphlet.
The Dominican Peso, the Dominican currency, is approximately RD$ 50 pesos for US$ 1 dollar. (January 2019). Most ATM Machines accept US and European debit card. The ATM machine only offer RD$ Dominican Pesos. Visa, MasterCard & Amex are accepted most everywhere on the island.
Please call your bank prior to departure in order to tell them your dates of travels so they don’t block the use of your card credit card.
Electricity is 110 volts, same as in the USA but is very expensive. Power is four times more than in the United States or Europe per kilowatt. Please be mindful when you leave your room, to turn off the lights and the air conditionings units. We always ask the villa staff to turn off the air conditioning units when you are not in the bedrooms during the daytime. When you go to bed, or leave the villa at night, please turn as many lights as possible.
All restaurants and hotels add a 10% service charge by law to your check. Most people usually add 10% to 15% more, especially if the service has been good.
The average temperature is 77°F (25°C). August is the warmest month and January the coolest month, although, even then, it’s warm enough to swim.
January 1 New Year’s Day; January 6 Epiphany/Three Kings Day; January 21 Our Lady of Altagracia; January 26 Duarte Day; February 27 Independence Day Carnival; March/April Maundy Thursday, Holiday Friday, Easter Sunday; April 14 Pan-American Day; May 1 Labor Day; July 16 Foundation of Sociedad la Trinitaria; August 16 Restoration Day; September 24 Our Lady of Mercedes; October 12 Columbus Day; October 24 United Nations Day; November 1 All Saints’ Day; and December 25 Christmas.