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Dominican Republic - Frequently Asked Questions
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Dominican Republic | Frequently Asked Questions

General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.

What is the population?
The population was estimated at 7,998,766 in 1998.

How big is the country/island?
The Dominican Republic has a total area of 18,815 sq miles, which includes 18,680 sq miles of land and 135 sq miles of water.

Can I drink the tap water?
Drinking bottled water is recommended to avoid contracting gastrointestinal viruses.

What are the best things to buy here?
Duty-free zones in Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata sell cameras, watches, liquor, cigarettes and more. Your purchases will be delivered to you at the airport prior to your departure.

For souvenirs with local flavor look for amber and larimar (a light blue semi-precious stone) jewellery, mahogany woodcarvings, Carnival masks, paintings, Dominican rum and coffee, Oscar de la Renta creations, Dominican cigars and Haitian art.

What are the main industries?
The main industries are tourism, sugar processing, ferronickel and gold mining, textiles, cement, coffee and tobacco.

What native dishes should I try?
Local dishes include la bandera (white rice, beans, meat, vegetables and green plantain fritters, known as fritos verdes), sancocho prieto (a stew made with seven different local meats), mondongo (tripe and entrails stew), Samana's pescado con coco (fish with coconut sauce), sopa de pollo (chicken and rice soup), chivo de Azua (a goat dish from Azua), chivo liniero (a goat dish from the northwestern region), catibias (cassava flour fritters stuffed with meat), pipian (goat's offal stew), locrio (the Dominican version of Spanish paella), and ropa vieja (seasoned fried beef served with rice and salad).

Can I use my calling card from here?
AT&T: Service is available from pay phones and/or select hotels for calls to the US only using AT&T Calling Cards, AT&T Corporate Cards, American Express, Diners Club, Discover/NOVUS, MasterCard and Visa. Dial 1-800-872-2881 + area code + local number and follow the voice prompts. Dial 11-22 for a Spanish-speaking operator.

BT: no service available

Canada Direct: Service is available from public pay phones with calling cards from Bell, MTS, Aliant, SaskTel and Telus. Dial 1-800-333-0111 to reach a Canadian operator directly.

MCI MinutePass: Dial 1-800-888-8000 and follow the voice prompts. Dial 11-22 for a Spanish-speaking operator.

Sprint: Dial 1-800-751-7877 and follow the voice prompts. Service may not be available from pay phones.

For more information see the section in General Info: Telecommunications.

How should I dress to go out?
Locals take pride in their appearance. Smart casual light cotton or linen clothing is appropriate. It is unacceptable to wear shorts, halter tops and mini skirts in church. Casually elegant is appropriate for evening venues.

Can I use my hair dryer and electric shaver?
Electricity is 110-120 AC, 60 Hz, which is similar to North America. Power outages occur, so you may want to use a surge protector for sensitive electronics.

How much should I tip?
Some hotels and restaurants automatically add a 10% service charge to the bill. If service was particularly good you may wish to add an additional 5-10%. Tip hotel maids $1 per day; porters at least RD$10 per bag; and taxi drivers 10%.

Disclaimer: Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All information should be verified prior to travel.

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