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SANTO DOMINGO TRAVEL GUIDE - PLAN YOUR VACATION IN SANTO DOMINGO

Six reasons why you should travel to Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo is the commercial center of the Dominican Republic, where travelers will find themselves immersed in culture and tradition. It is a city lined with impressive modern architecture, interspersed with colonial design. It also provides access to some of the best beaches on the island. Discover more about this desirable vacation destination with the Santo Domingo Travel Guide. Rich with history, Santo Domingo is the oldest European settlement, and home to the first church, stronghold and street in the Americas. The Colonial Zone is a UNESCO World Heritage Site packed with 16th century Spanish Colonial buildings. The city has unbeatable weather, sunny and warm year-round with temperatures that reach an average of 86 °F.Retaining a truly authentic charm, the city is bustling with street vendors and daily markets where you can buy everything from fresh vegetables and flowers to handmade crafts. Santo Domingo has a thriving nightlife scene, with Latin dance clubs, cocktail bars and lounges, where there is never any shortage of entertainment. Those seeking a refuge from the bustle of the city can visit the Botanical Garden, or take a day-trip to some of the world’s most beautiful, serene beaches only a short drive away. It is a cultural wonderland where locals are proudly in touch with their heritage and the city is dotted with museums, theaters, galleries and many fantastic restaurants that serve up local cuisine. - Where is Santo Domingo?Santo Domingo is the capital of Dominican Republic and the oldest permanent city established by Europeans in the Western Hemisphere. It is situated on the southeast coast of the island of Hispaniola, astride the Ozama River which empties into the Caribbean Sea at the city’s harbor. - What is the best season for a vacation in Santo Domingo?Santo Domingo enjoys a nice, comfortable tropical climate year-round. The best time to visit is between December and March when there is less humidity and enjoyable temperatures averaging the mid-80s. If you are looking to experience some of the city's fantastic annual events and festivals, consider taking a trip sometime between April and July.

Practical Information

A vacation to Santo Domingo offers a laid-back slice of Caribbean life full of lazy days on the beach. nights spent dancing away to bachata and getting lost for hours on cobblestone streets during captivating cultural expeditions. Before walking along pristine shores and dining at unique restaurants, it’s important to have the correct Santo Domingo travel information. Here’s the lowdown on visa and entry documents, insurance requirements, money management, communication, health and packing tips.
  • WHAT DOCUMENTATION DO I NEED TO TRAVEL TO SANTO DOMINGO?
    All travelers require a passport and tourist card to enter the country except citizens of Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, South Korea, Israel, Iceland, Japan, Peru, Liechtenstein, and Uruguay. On arrival, visitors are guided to an immigration area where they must purchase a tourist card, which is valid for 30 days. To extend tourist cards applications must be made at least two weeks in advance at the Dirección General de Migración before the original card expires.
  • DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE IF TRAVELING TO SANTO DOMINGO?
    Obtaining comprehensive travel insurance to cover medical emergencies, potential loss or theft is highly recommended. Health care in Santo Domingo is good but can be expensive without the right coverage. Many doctors and hospitals expect payment in cash, regardless of travel-health insurance.Before going on vacation, make sure insurance policies cover potentially hazardous activities such as scuba diving, motorcycling and trekking, to name a few.
  • IS IT DANGEROUS FOR MY HEALTH TO VISIT SANTO DOMINGO?
    From a medical point of view, it is safe to go to Santo Domingo if basic health precautions are followed. It is advisable to get vaccinated against typhoid fever and hepatitis A and B, as well as to take your malaria pill prescriptions to reduce the risk of infection. Diseases such as dysentery or hepatitis can be contracted during travel, although this usually only occurs when food or water is consumed.
  • HOW DO YOU PAY IN SANTO DOMINGO?
    The Dominican Republic’s currency is the Dominican Peso, although Dollars and Euros are sometimes accepted in densely populated tourist areas. The best and safest way to manage to money is to withdraw pesos from ATMs commonly found in supermarkets, shopping malls and petrol stations. Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted as are travelers cheques, although market vendors prefer cash. "
  • WHAT ARE THE TIMEZONES IN SANTO DOMINGO?
    Santo Domingo follows the Atlantic Time Zone, UTC-04:00.
  • WHAT LANGUAGE IS SPOKEN IN SANTO DOMINGO?
    Most people speak Dominican Spanish, similar sounding to Coastal Caribbean Spanish, but with strong West African language influences. Haitian Creole is also one of the indigenous spoken languages. Due to refugees and their descendants who fled from the Chinese Revolution, there is a population of Chinese speakers. English is predominantly used in popular tourist areas.
  • WHAT SHOULD I PACK WHEN TRAVELING TO SANTO DOMINGO?
    Santo Domingo has a hot Caribbean climate so interchangeable, lightweight clothing made from breathable fabric such as cotton or linen is most practical. Shoe-wise it's best to pack a pair of beach sandals, walking, and formal shoes. While most vacationers enjoy spending time outdoors or on the beach, it's advisable for women to pack a cocktail dress and for men to take along slacks and a formal shirt in order take part in all of Santo Domingo’s vibrant nightlife offerings. To repel mosquitoes and fleas, take a strong bug repellent and reliable itch relief ointment, as a well as a sunscreen with a high SPF to guard against sunburn. As with traveling to any foreign country, a simple phrase book or smartphone language app is recommended to communicate in situations where English isn't spoken.