Holidays in Dominican Republic
Literally 15 years ago, a vacation in the Dominican Republic for Russians was the ultimate dream, but now you won’t surprise anyone with a trip to the other end of the planet for the sake of the tropical sun, smiling girls and incendiary rumba rhythms. You can go here, running away from the harsh winter to the gentle sea, or you can feel the history of the colonization of Central America, and go around all the museums and attractions that still remember the pioneer Columbus and other legendary characters.
Pros and Cons of the Dominican Republic
- Unique climate, clean beaches and sea
- You can visit almost all year round
- A large number of “colonial” attractions
- Relatively low prices for accommodation and recreation
- Rich sightseeing tours
- Friendly and helpful locals
- Very long flight across the Atlantic
- Language barrier – you will have to bring a Spanish phrase book with you
- Some areas have high crime rates
- Before traveling, you need to get several vaccinations against tropical diseases
According to toppharmacyschools.org, the climate of the republic belongs to a typical tropical zone with a strong influence of the trade winds, which determine the seasonality of the year. From July to October, inclusive, heavy rains fall on the Haitian country, while the air temperature remains very high, which scares away most tourists. In the rest of the months, the Dominican Republic is warm, with relative humidity reaching 80%, and rains can occur even in the middle of December, when the country officially has a “drought” season.
How to get to the Dominican Republic
The only acceptable way to get to the Dominican Republic from Russia is by flying across the Atlantic Ocean from Moscow or St. Petersburg with a layover in Europe or the USA. There are no direct flights from Russia today, the reason for this is the huge distance between the countries. An alternative option for residents of the Far East is a flight to Seoul, Shanghai or Hong Kong, and from there on a direct charter flight to Santo Domingo. But this option will be even more expensive and longer, taking into account the expectations. The minimum flight time via Germany or Spain is 12 hours.
The issue of transport can seriously spoil the rest in the Dominican Republic, as it is perhaps the main problem for tourists. There are not many buses, and even on weekdays they are crowded with locals. The fare in them costs from 5 pesos.
Municipal buses in cities are very similar to our “accordions”, but they are more expensive, because they are considered a more comfortable way to travel. One trip from 15 pesos.
The metro is only in Santo Domingo, and today connects only a few blocks. The passage through the turnstiles is standard, by cards. It will cost from 30 pesos.
Taxi is quite popular among tourists, but drivers in any city are a special caste of people who try to cash in on any passenger. It is useless to bargain with them, there is no taximeter in any car. The minimum cost is 50 pesos.
Renting a car or moped is possible if you know exactly where to relax in the Dominican Republic, but rental prices vary, often without any explanation. The rules for obtaining keys are standard: age from 25 years, driving experience of at least 3 years and the presence of all necessary marks in the insurance policy in case of an accident.
The official currency in the country is the Dominican peso, DOP. 1 peso contains 100 centavos.
Most large hotels, shopping centers and restaurants accept both national money and US dollars – many years of cooperation with travel agencies from the United States has affected. A number of shops and even markets duplicate price tags in two currencies.
It is best to pay in cash, dishonest sellers can “cheat” with bank cards. There are ATMs in almost every hotel from 3 or more stars, but they give out only pesos, and in a strictly limited number of banknotes.
It is worth changing money immediately, at the branch of any bank at the airport terminal. Any financial institution in the Dominican Republic operates 5 days a week from 8:00 to 15:00.
If you are looking for an exotic gastronomic getaway, the Dominican Republic will offer you such a variety of dishes from seemingly familiar European products that you will involuntarily want to go around all the national cafes in search of your favorite recipe.
- Mangu – no, this is not a variant of the name of the fruit, but mashed bananas with cheese, ham and a whole bunch of seasonings from herbs that grow on the island.
- Cueso frito – there is a hint in the name, this is the name of a deep-fried appetizer. Most often – cheese slices of different thicknesses.
- Arroz con Pollo is a dinner dish, and again made of cheese, which is rubbed onto a plate, and a baked chicken leg is placed on top of the shavings.
- Sancocho – someone will say that this is a stew, and someone will say that it is a thick soup. Both will be right, because the meat dish is very satisfying due to rice and rich broth.
- La bandera is a kind of roast, where the main component is green bananas, which are fried in oil until crispy. Red beans, specially prepared rice and onions are used as a side dish.
- Puerco en puya – roasted pork. Like any dish where the word “puerco” is present, pork is the main ingredient here.
Frequently asked Questions
What is the classification of hotels in the Dominican Republic? Is there a difference from the European system? What do our tourists need to know?
Officially, there is no difference, with the exception that the status of “stardom” is formal, and it is appointed by the hotel owners themselves. As a rule, hotels from 3 stars and above work on an all-inclusive basis: with breakfast, lunch, dinner and a free bar with local alcohol – rum, cocktails and beer. But domestic moments can cause trouble. Power outlets 120 V/60 Hz, US plugs – adapter required. Power outages are a constant problem even for expensive resorts. Most of the guest complexes in the Dominican Republic are small buildings with a maximum of 4 floors. They do not like skyscrapers here, preferring not to disturb the natural look of tropical nature.
Can a vacation in the Dominican Republic be dangerous, and where to call in case of emergency?
Depends what you mean by that. In the resort regions, tourist areas are trying to protect from street crime, but in the interior of the country the situation with crime and the risk of robberies remains tense, in part, because of migrants from neighboring Haiti. In the jungle, spiders and poisonous snakes are the main danger to humans. Therefore, it is not recommended to refuse a guide, even if you are confident in your abilities and have transport. The single emergency number is 911. But keep in mind that there are hospitals with a hospital only in large cities, and some types of surgery are performed only in Santo Domingo. All risks must be specified in the insurance policy.
What is the best time of the year to visit the Dominican Republic?
It is easier to answer when it is better not to go to the Dominican Republic. From May to July it is very hot here, and given the high humidity, it will be difficult for people with problematic pressure in the resorts. From August to early November, tsunamis and hurricanes often hit Haiti with consequences in the form of floods. Well, from December to April, a particularly pleasant vacation awaits you. The Dominican Republic is especially good during these months.
Is it possible to roam in the Dominican Republic, or is it better to buy a local SIM card immediately upon arrival?
Of course, it is better to immediately use national operators, there are only three of them in the Caribbean country: Orange, Claro and Viva. You can buy cards only upon presentation of a passport in communication salons. Offers from street sellers should be politely refused, most often they sell inactive numbers.