Spanish is the Dominican Republic’s dominant language, but locals commonly use several English, African, and even Taino expressions.
The Dominican peso (RD$) may be the Dominican Republic’s official currency, but US dollars are also commonly accepted, especially at all-inclusive resorts and popular tourism zones. United States visitors can reconvert up to 30 percent of their exchanged currency back into dollars upon leaving the Dominican Republic as long as they show their original receipts. All currency exchanges must be performed through Central Bank-approved hotels and banks. Traveler’s checks in US dollars and all major credit cards are also commonly accepted throughout the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic observes Atlantic Standard Time, four hours behind GMT, throughout the year. As the Dominican Republic does not observe Daylight Saving Time, the country is on the same time as the eastern United States between late March and late October.
Type B plug sockets and 110-120V electricity are used throughout most of the Dominican Republic, the same settings used in the United States and Canada. Visitors from most other countries should bring plug adaptors and transformers to safely use their own electrical appliances.
The Dominican Republic’s dialing code is +1, while its area code is 809. Visitors can purchase Comunicards enabling them to make long-distance calls from any touch-tone telephone in the country. These Comunicards are produced by the Verizon-owned CODETEL, the Dominican Republic’s main telecommunications company. The Dominican Republic also has a 3G network, good cell phone coverage along most of its coast, and rapidly growing numbers of internet cafés. Cell phone coverage is more sporadic in rural and inland areas.
Punta Cana International Airport and Las Américas International Airport both boast duty-free shops. All Dominican Republic visitors over 16 years of age may import a liter of liquor, two opened perfume bottles for personal use, and gifts worth up to US$100 without incurring customs duty. Drugs, animal products, and horticultural and agricultural products are banned imports.
Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo: +1-809-221-4660 or http://www.godominicanrepublic.com/rd/?lang=en&idioma=1.
Consulates in Dominican Republic:
US Consulate, Santo Domingo: +1-809-221-2171 United Kingdom Consulate, Santo Domingo: +1-809-540-3132 Canadian Consulate, Santo Domingo: +1-809-685-1136 French Consulate, Santo Domingo: +1-809-689-2161 Mexican Consulate, Santo Domingo: +1-809-565-2744 German Consulate, Santo Domingo: +1-809-565-8811 Brazilian Consulate, Santo Domingo: +1-809-532-0668
Emergency services: 911