What to know about the Dominican Republic

What to know about the Dominican Republic

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC TIPS

Capital and main Cities
The City of Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic is made up of 32 provinces and 154 municipalities
Azua
Baoruco
Barahona
Dajabón
Distrito Nacional
Duarte
El Seibo
Elías Piña
Espaillat
Hato Mayor
Hermanas Mirabal
Independencia
La Altagracia
La Romana
La Vega
María Trinidad Sánchez
Monseñor Nouel
Montecristi
Monte Plata
Pedernales
Peravia
Puerto Plata
Samaná
San Cristóbal
San José de Ocoa
San Juan
San Pedro de Macorís
Sánchez Ramírez
Santiago
Santiago Rodríguez
Santo Domingo
Valverde
The capital Santo Domingo is the most populous city: including the various municipalities in which it is divided (in two different provinces) in its metropolitan area reside about 3 million inhabitants.
It is located on the south coast of the central region of Dominican Republic.
Other important cities in the country are: Santiago de los Caballeros, Los Alcarrizos, Higuey, and La Vega.


Language

Spanish


Climate

The Dominican Republic has a tropical rainforest climate in the coastal and lowland areas. Due to its diverse topography, Dominican Republic's climate shows considerable variation over short distances and is the most varied of all the Antilles. The annual average temperature is 25 °C (77 °F). At higher elevations the temperature averages 18 °C (64.4 °F) while near sea level the average temperature is 28 °C (82.4 °F). Low temperatures of 0 °C (32 °F) are possible in the mountains while high temperatures of 40 °C (104 °F) are possible in protected valleys. January and February are the coolest months of the year while August is the hottest month. Snowfall can be seen in rare occasions on the summit of Pico Duarte.
The wet season along the northern coast lasts from November through January. Elsewhere the wet season stretches from May through November, with May being the wettest month. Average annual rainfall is 1,500 millimetres (59.1 in) countrywide, with individual locations in the Valle de Neiba seeing averages as low as 350 millimetres (13.8 in) while the Cordillera Oriental averages 2,740 millimetres (107.9 in). The driest part of the country lies in the west.
Tropical cyclones strike the Dominican Republic every couple of years, with 65% of the impacts along the southern coast. Hurricanes are most likely between August and October. The last major hurricane that struck the country was Hurricane Georges in 1998.


Geography

The Dominican Republic is situated on the eastern part of the second largest island in the Greater Antilles, Hispaniola. It shares the island roughly at a 2:1 ratio with Haiti. The country's area is reported variously as 48,442 km2 (18,704 sq mi) (by the embassy in the United States)[4] and 48,730 km2 (18,815 sq mi), making it the second largest country in the Antilles, after Cuba. The Dominican Republic's capital and largest metropolitan area Santo Domingo is on the southern coast.
There are many small offshore islands and cays that are part of the Dominican territory. The two largest islands near shore are Saona, in the southeast, and Beata, in the southwest. To the north, at distances of 100–200 kilometres (62–124 mi), are three extensive, largely submerged banks, which geographically are a southeast continuation of the Bahamas: Navidad Bank, Silver Bank, and Mouchoir Bank. Navidad Bank and Silver Bank have been officially claimed by the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic has four important mountain ranges. The most northerly is the Cordillera Septentrional ("Northern Mountain Range"), which extends from the northwestern coastal town of Monte Cristi, near the Haitian border, to the Samaná Peninsula in the east, running parallel to the Atlantic coast. The highest range in the Dominican Republic – indeed, in the whole of the West Indies – is the Cordillera Central ("Central Mountain Range"). It gradually bends southwards and finishes near the town of Azua, on the Caribbean coast.


Currency

The Dominican peso (abbreviated $ or RD$; ISO 4217 code is "DOP") is the national currency, with the United States dollar, the Euro, the Canadian dollar and the Swiss franc also accepted at most tourist sites. The exchange rate to the U.S. dollar, liberalized by 1985, stood at 2.70 pesos per dollar in August 1986, 14.00 pesos in 1993, and 16.00 pesos in 2000. As of September 2018 the rate was 50.08 pesos per dollar.


Health Care & Medical Insurrance

Life expectancy in the Dominican Republic was 71 years for men and 77 years for women in 2016.
In 2007 the Dominican Republic had a birth rate of 22.91 per 1000 and a death rate of 5.32 per 1000. Youth in the Dominican Republic is the healthiest age group.

There are three tiers of healthcare in the country:

  • Subsidized regime, which is financed by the government for unemployed, poor, disabled and indigent people.
  • Contributive regime, which is financed by workers and employers
  • Contributive subsidized regime, which is financed by independent workers, technical workers, and self-employed people, but subsidized by the state

Even those for whom care is supposedly provided may have to pay for medical supplies.
Government expenditure on healthcare is about $180 per person per year, slightly more than half the average for the Latin American and Caribbean region.


Migratory Regulations

Visitors should possess a valid passport, not due to expire at date of departure, together with the corresponding entry visa or Tourist Card (valid 30 days).
The tourist card is a tax rate charged by the country of the Dominican Republic to its visitors, it has legal basis in Law 199-67, which establishes that the acquisition of this card is a requirement for entry into the national territory, for purposes of tourist, without the need for a Consular Visa.
From April 25, 2018, the Tourist Card is included in all air tickets issued outside of the Dominican Republic.


Official Commemorations

January 1: New Year Day
January 6: Day of Kings (Dia de Reyes)
January 21: Our Lady of Altagracia
January 26: Duarte's Birthday
February 27: Independence Day
March 25: Good Friday (varies each year)
May 1: Labor Day
May 26: Corpus Christi (varies each year)
August 16: Restoration Day
September 24: Our Lady of Mercy (Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes)
November 6: Constitution Day
December 25: Christmas Day


Opening hours for commercial activities

From 8:30 or 9:00am to 12:30pm and from 01:30pm to 05:30pm.


Voltage

Household and general electrical service is delivered at 110 volts alternating at 60 Hz. Electrically powered items from the United States work with no modifications.


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