What are the entry requirements for visiting the Dominican Republic?
Most foreign visitors must have a passport and purchase a Tourist card at the airport for $10.00 USD when they arrive. Citizens of certain countries may need a visa. To confirm your individual situation, it is best to contact the Dominican Republic Embassy or Consulate in your country.
How long am I allowed to stay as a visitor?
Each country usually has an individual agreement with the Dominican Republic on this issue, and the necessary documents. Generally, most individuals are permitted to stay 60-90 days with a Tourist card or visa.
Are there any fees for my arrival or departure?
As mentioned before, for those requiring a Tourist card, that is purchased on arrival at the airport for $10.00 USD presently. There is a $20.00 USD departure tax that must be paid prior to leaving. Some airlines include this tax in their ticket prices. It’s wise to check with your airline.
Do I need a return flight ticket?
All non-residents should purchase a round trip ticket to indicate that they intend to depart the country.
Which airport should I choose for my arrival?
The most convenient airport is the Gregorio Luperon International Airport (POP) which is a quick 10 minute drive from Infiniti Blu. Another possibility is the Santiago Airport (STI) which provides additional options. It is a longer 1.5 hour drive from the property.
What type of currency should I bring?
The local currency is the Dominican Republic Peso (RD$).
U.S. dollars are the most easily exchangeable; however British Pounds, Euros, Canadian dollars, and others can be exchanged for pesos at the applicable daily rate. Currency exchange and banking transactions are available at a number of local banks within walking distance of Infiniti Blu. The exchange rate at present is approximately $44.90 RD per $1.00 USD.
Banco Santa Cruz
Banco De Reservas
Banco BHD León
What is the best time to visit Sosua?
Sosua is a year round vacation destination, so anytime is a good time. The majority of visitors from North America and Europe come to the area from December through April seeking a warm tropical break from the cold environments in their countries during that time of the year. During the summer months, visitors are mainly from European countries.
What is the local time zone of the Dominican Republic?
The entire country lies in the Atlantic Standard Time zone (AST) which is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT/UTC) minus 4 hours. The country does not follow any Daylight Savings time shift. Therefore in the spring and summer when the east coast of North America is on Daylight Savings Time (EDT), the time is the same. During the fall and winter when that area reverts back to Eastern Standard Time (EST), it is one hour later in the Dominican Republic than it is there.
What is the weather like?
The Dominican Republic has 27 climate zones so weather can vary from desert-like conditions to rain forest conditions. The Dominican Republic is in the Caribbean, so temperatures are generally quite warm throughout the country all year round. Some have even called the weather here “the endless summer‘”.
Can I bring my pet?
Yes, there are procedures that are fairly straight forward for the transport of dogs and cats into the country. Birds require a quarantine period and are not recommended for shorter stays. Pets are generally allowed at Infiniti Blu, however there are some guidelines regarding containment and walking in common areas.
Can I make international phone calls?
The phone system here is similar to the ones in the US or Canada. If you cannot phone from your hotel/resort, you will generally be able to phone from communications centers that are in town. There is also internet service available.
What is the electricity/voltage in the Dominican Republic?
Generally the electricity operates at 110 volts (like in North America) but voltage irregularities are quite common here – sometimes providing less, sometimes providing surges of far more. For this reason, expensive appliances and computers should have surge protection if they are going to be used here. Appliances from countries that use more voltage, 220 volts for example, will generally require converters or adapters.
Is tipping expected?
Tipping is not required and many of the services offered, such as food & beverages at a restaurant, include a service charge of 10% in the price of the items, or this charge is added onto your final bill.
What is the legal age to drink alcohol and gamble?
Both the legal drinking and gambling age in the Dominican Republic is 18 years old.
What is the policy on drugs?
The Dominican Republic can be quite relax on many things compared to North America or Europe, but drugs are certainly not one of them. It is strongly advised that you do not bring in, buy, sell, or consume illicit drugs in the Dominican Republic. Over the counter and prescription drugs should be in containers that are clearly labeled to avoid any possible problems.
Can I rent a vehicle?
Yes, there are a variety of rental agencies to choose from at the airport or in Sosua. You can find more information in the yellow pages. To rent a car; you need your passport and driver’s license. As a permanent resident you would need a local driver’s license which is easy to obtain. There are also local taxis and busses that can provide transportation should you desire not to drive.
What medical facilities are in the area?
In the Sosua/ Cabarete area the Servi-Med center is available 24 hours a day for emergency medical assistance. A well equipped private clinic with an excellent reputation, Clinica Bournigal is located in Puerto Plata 30 minutes away. Other excellent medical services are available in Santiago about 1.5 hours drive from Sosua. A private nationwide ambulance service Movi-Med operates in the area for emergency transportation needs.
- Servi-Med (Sosua/ Cabarete): 809-571-2903
- Centro Medico Cabarete (Sosua/ Cabarete): 809-571-4696
- Clinica Bournigal (Puerto Plata): 809-586-2342
- Hospital Metropolitano de Santiago (HOMS) (Santiago): 829-947-2222
- Clínica Corominas (Santiago): 809-580-1171
- Clínica Unión Medica (Santiago): 809-241-0328
- Movi-Med Ambulance: 809-200-0911
Is medical insurance available?
Yes. There are reputable professionals in the area that can provide information about global health insurance policies for coverage both in the country and elsewhere throughout the world including the U.S.
What are the bilingual educational options in the area?
Schools in Sosua range from free public schools, to private institutions teaching an U.S. curriculum in English. Classes in private schools are normally taught in English but are bilingual and usually attended by children of many nationalities. Students must meet a certain level of English fluency for entrance. Tuition varies considerably with the maximum between $2100-$5300 USD per academic year depending on the age of the student. Additional charges may apply for lunches, uniforms, books, and materials.
Schools that are accredited by the Dominican Ministry of Education offer certificates that are valid for entrance to Dominican, European, and U.S. universities. However, those planning to obtain a higher education in the U.S. may wish to attend to a school that has been accredited by the U.S. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Those interested in studying in Europe should consider a school where the International Baccalaureate curriculum is used. Only the International School of Sosua is accredited by SACS.
- International School of Sosua: website: www.issosua.com Phone: 809-571-3271
- The Learning Center: email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone:809-571-0478
- Garden Kids: website: www.garden-kids.org Phone:809-571-2857
Is Sosua safe?
Yes, but there can be dangerous areas like in every town, city, and country in the world. International statistics have shown that many other areas of the world in the Caribbean, U.S. and Europe have crime statistics that exceed those in the Dominican Republic. Poverty is a predominant cause of criminal activity throughout the world. Common sense goes a long way in contributing to your safety. This means not leaving valuables unattended, wearing flashy articles, visibly displaying large quantities of cash and avoiding more isolated areas especially at night.
Residency & Citizenship
What are the requirements for relocating to the Dominican Republic?
The first step is to obtain temporary residency that is valid for one year. At the end of that first year, a second procedure will convert that to permanent residency status which will be renewable every two years. The associated procedures are handled by lawyers in the country. For further information please look at our law firm’s web site www.rvhblaw.com.
Are vaccinations required to move to the Dominican Republic?
Presently, there are no necessary vaccinations prior to moving to the area.
Do I need to speak/ understand Spanish?
You can get by without any Spanish or very little Spanish since there are many people working in the tourism related businesses whether Dominican or foreign understand some English, and possibly other languages such as German, French, Italian, etc. Usually with a little kind effort from both parties, you will get by just fine. Learning a few key words and phrases can be fun. It can also provide extra enjoyment in your experience by providing a better opportunity to communicate with local people. Dominicans definitely appreciate those who make an attempt to speak their language and are generally helpful in assisting with your efforts.
For more formalized Spanish language education there are good language schools in Sosua:
IIC Spanish Language School – www.edase.com/E_L02A_IIC_Sosua.htm
I Language DR Institute of Languages –www.ilangdr.com