The Dominican Republic is a beautiful country in the Caribbean that is popular with tourists for its sun-kissed beaches and beautiful mountain ranges. Situated next to Haiti, the Dominican Republic offers visitors a taste of just about everything anyone would want. Want a nature hike through mountain terrain? Or a buggy ride in semi-desert dunes?
The Dominican Republic offers it all. It is important if you are traveling to this tropical paradise to understand something about the country, its people, and its culture. Here are seven things that you should know about the Dominican Republic.
Dominicans Are Kind And Welcoming
Dominicans are very hospitable people and family remains a very important social unit. They also like to have a good time so if you have some Dominican friends, chances are that you will get asked out to a party or a night out and the hospitality of the people extends into their homes so don’t be surprised if you are invited for dinner or lunch.
Try not to decline as it is considered rude to turn down an invitation to someone’s house. Understanding the kind and hospitable nature of Dominicans will help you interact better with the people and a good stay in the country.
Under the Dominican laws, you can only get Dominican Pesos in the country. What this means is that you have to convert US dollars and other currencies to Dominican pesos when you arrive. There are also restrictions on how much money you can reconvert back to US dollars if you have any Pesos left over after your stay.
Under Dominican law, you can only reconvert 30% of the Pesos back to dollars. However, there are establishments that accept US dollars so it pays to ask in advance.
Certain countries are exempted from visas and if you are from any one of those countries, you are fortunate that your visit will be even easier. These countries include Israel, Argentina, and Ecuador among others.
American and British citizens don’t need a visa but they are required to pay a fee on entry. This fee is normally loaded into the airfare price and remitted to the government later by the airline or travel agency.
Although most Dominicans are professional and punctual, you may encounter instances where meetings don’t start on time or people arrive late for a meeting. Don’t fret over it. The concept of time in the Dominican Republic is a little elastic so keep that in mind when you are scheduling meetings and other related activities.
Allow for a little lag in the start and end of events to accommodate for this. That being said, this is unlikely to happen, especially in professional settings.
Music is Huge in the Country
The Dominican Republic is huge on music, a factor that brings most Dominicans together. In a club or a party, you will notice that most Dominicans will hit the dance floor as soon as a popular tune is played. Do feel free to join in and savor the delights of Dominican music.
If you are a music lover traveling to the Dominican Republic, you might never want to leave this beautiful island.
Dressing Matters Too
Dominicans are very sharp dressers and how you dress can be used as a gauge about your character. With this in mind, remember to dress properly when attending events such as church services, weddings and other functions. Avoid showing up with a t-shirt and jeans to formal events as that may give the hosts a bad impression of you.
Buy Drinking Water
Like many other developing countries, the Dominican Republic faces infrastructure challenges and one of those is the provision of clean drinking water. Water from taps may not be completely purified so avoid drinking it unless you are sure that the source is safe.
While the water is fine for all other purposes, it is wise to drink bottled water which is widely available throughout the country.