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Dominican Republic | Travel Information

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

Visitors are allowed to bring in two litres of alcohol, 200 cigarettes and gifts valued up to US$1000.

For more information call the customs department (Dirección General de Aduanas) at 809/547-7070.

Also see the section in General Info: Illegal items.

Importing animals
To import dogs or cats you must supply the Department of Animal Health with a health certificate issued within 15 days of arrival, as well as a rabies vaccination certificate showing inoculation within 30 days prior to arrival. For dogs you must also show a certificate indicating distemper, lectopirosis, hepatitis and parvo-virus inoculation within 30 days of arrival. Animals that don't meet these guidelines will be quarantined 8-30 days, depending on the country of origin.

For complete details and information regarding other animal species contact the Dirección General de Ganadaria at 809/532-2858.

Upon departure you will also need to obtain a health certificate (valid for 72 hours) from the Office of Animal Health for entering your next port of call. For more information call 809/542-0132.

There are seven international airports in the Dominican Republic. Flights arrive at Las Americas International Airport (airport code SDQ) in Santo Domingo, International Gregorio Luperon Airport (airport code POP) in Puerto Plata, the Punta Cana International Airport (airport code PUJ), the International La Romana Casa De Campo Airport (airport code LRM) in La Romana, Maria Montez International Airport (airport code BRX) in Barahona and two smaller airports in Santiago and Herrera.

Flying time from New York is approximately three hours, from Miami less than two hours and from San Juan, Puerto Rico, only 45 minutes.

Airlines that service the Dominican Republic include Air Caraïbes (tel 549-0404), Air Europa (tel 683-8020 or 683-8033), Air France (tel 686-8432), Aeropostal (tel 566-1382), American Airlines/American Eagle (tel 542-5151 or 541-7393), Aserca (tel 563-5300), Avianca, Condor (tel 49-0/180 5 707202, Germany), Continental Airlines (tel 562-6688 or 541-2000), Copa Airlines (tel 472-2672 or 472-2233), Cubana de Aviación (tel 227-2040), Dominair/Aerolíneas Dominicanas (tel 567-1195), Iberia (tel 508-0288), LAN (tel 305/670 9999, Miami, US) Lauda Air (tel 43-0/820 320 321, Austria), LTU International Airways (tel 586-4075), Martinair Holland (tel 020 - 60 11 767, Holland), Northwest Airlines, Sky King (tel 649/941-3136, Turks & Caicos) and Spirit Airlines (tel 381-4111).

Note: The phone numbers listed above are local access numbers unless otherwise stated.

The Dominican Republic has a number of cruise ship ports, including Barahona, Cayo Levantado, La Romana, Manzanillo, Puerto Plata, Samana, San Pedro de Macoris and Santo Domingo.

Cruise lines that call on the Dominican Republic include Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Hapag-Lloyd, Majestic Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Silversea Cruises and Swan Hellenic.

Roads are generally in fair to poor condition. Watch out for erratic drivers and pedestrians who step out into traffic. Driving at night is not recommended due to poor lighting and signage, as well as cars missing headlights and tail lights. Accidents are common. Should you be in an accident, police will likely detain you, whether or not you are at fault, until it has been investigated. In such a circumstance you should contact your nearest embassy. There have been reports of police officers or others posing as police officers demanding immediate payment for traffic fines. An alternative to renting a car is to hire a professional driver.

There are plenty of car rental agencies on the island. To rent a car you must be at least 21 years old and you will need an international driver's license or your valid driver's license from home.

Driving is on the right. Seat belts are required by law and motorcyclists must wear helmets. Drinking and driving is illegal.

CAR RENTALS (country code 809)
La Romana: Honda Rent A Car, 556-3835

Puerto Plata: Honda Rent A Car, 586-1444; National/Alamo Car Rental, 233-8163; Ramos Rent Car, 970-2430

Santiago: Adventure Rent a Car, 612-5494; American International Rent A Car, 687-0505; Honda Rent A Car, 233-8179 and 575-7900; La Frontera Rent A Car, 612-3126; Meta Rent A Car, 583-6767; Monumental Rent-A-Car, 226-3160; National/Alamo Car Rental, 583-5543; World Rent Car, 241-7373

Santo Domingo: Ada Rent a Car, 685-7515; American International Rent A Car, 687-0505; C&C Service Car Rental, 549-1771; Cachimán Rent A Car, 732-5375; Centro Automotríz Cachimán, 732-5375; DC&K Easy Rent A Car, 598-6951; Dollar Rent A Car, 221-7368; Hertz, 221-5333; Highway, 273-2020; Honda Rent A Car, 567-1015; Jhon's Auto Rent Car, 549-0394; Joshua Rent-A-Car, 273-5103; Latinos Rent A Car, 549-8181; Master Rent A Car, 549-0126; Meta Rent a Car, 687-8884; Mc Auto Rent A Car, 688-6518; National/Alamo Car Rental, 567-2661; Neón Rent A Car, 549-2970; Orión Rent a Car, 699-2323; Oscar Rent a Car, 273-1714; Ozavi Rent A Car, 598-2000; Padilla Rent A car, 549-2750; Payless Car Rental, 565-6669; P Mer Rent A Car, 549-9593; Soriano Rent A Car, 591-2875; Thrifty Car Rental, 689-9000; Very Well Rent Car, 549-8273

There are a variety of taxis in the Dominican Republic. It is recommended that tourists stick with tourist taxis or radio taxis that are arranged in advance.

Tourist taxis are modern Hyundai minivans or cars. They cost more than regular taxis, but they are more reliable and safer. City taxis are usually older Japanese cars. Avoid unmarked street taxis as there have been reports of many tourists being assaulted or robbed in them, particularly in Santo Domingo.

Motorcycle taxis, called moto conchos, are not recommended as they are often involved in accidents.

There are no taxi meters. Fixed rates are posted at hotels and the airport, however, you should still confirm the fare with the driver prior to departure. If hiring a taxi by the hour, confirm the start time prior to departure. Ensure you carry notes in small denominations, such as RD$5, RD$10 and RD$20 pesos, because drivers often don't have change. If you order a radio taxi the fare is negotiated over the phone.

Barahona: Sindicato De Transporte Taxista Aeropuerto, 524-3003; Sindicato De Transporte Taxi (Sindtrataxi), 524-3003

Bonao: Asociación De Choferes Nuevo Renacer, 525-7775

Higüey: Asociación Taxis Turísticos Sitrat, 554-1200

La Romana: Sindicato De Taxi Turístico De Bayahibe (Sichotubared), 833-0059

Nagua: Transporte Turístico Taxi Nagua, 584-2279
Puerto Plata: Sindicato de Taxistas del Atlántico, 320-0234; Taxi Costambar (Sindicato de Choferes del Transporte Turístico y Afines de Puerto Plata/SICHOTUAFI), 586-5335 or 320-0220; Tecni Taxi, 320-7621

Punta Cana: Asociación De Taxistas Turísticos De La Zona Beron, 455-1002, 455-1222 and 466-1133

Santiago: Apolo Taxi, 276-5547; Tecni Taxi, 971-8181

Santo Domingo: Asociación De Taxistas Plaza Del Ecuador, 412-1842 and 620-3707; Asociación de Taxista Turístico del Hotel Couyart, 689-2332; Federación Nacional de Taxistas, 563-3254; Sindicato De Taxistas Parqueo Hotel Jaragua, 221-1328; Sindicato Unido Terminal Metro Taxi, 476-0727; Tecni Taxi, 567-2010

San Francisco de Macorís: Tecni Taxi, 588-4455 and 725-1444

Sosúa: Sindicatos Chóferes Gregorio Luperón, 571-2797 and 571-4099

Public transportation generally consists of minivans and/or panel trucks calledguaguas (pronounced gwa-gwas) and multi-passenger taxis, known as públicos, which are marked with a white seal on their front door. Public transportation is not recommended due to crowding and pickpockets.

Private bus companies, such as Metro (tel 566-7126, Santo Domingo), Terra Bus (tel 530-8584, Santo Domingo; 587-5071, Santiago) and Caribe Tours (tel 524-2313, Barahona; 586-4544, Puerto Plata; 538-2229, Samaná; 576-0790, Santiago; 221-4422, Santo Domingo; 531-3808, Sosúa) provide good service between cities. These larger buses are usually modern, comfortable and safe.

Flying between certain cities may be preferable to the long driving distances, which can be up to five hours or more. The national airline, Air Santo Domingo (tel 549-1005, Santo Domingo; 586-0391, Puerto Plata; 959-2473, Punta Cana), offers daily flights to the country's main airports.

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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