Tap water in the Dominican Republic is not recommended for drinking. While it is generally fine for brushing your teeth, we do not recommend you ingest tap water for any reason. For drinking purposes, we recommend bottled water. Any ice or water
served to guests at the hotels should be purified.
Please remember that the sun and UV Rays in the Dominican Republic is probably much stronger than at home and while Vitamin D has a number of benefits, there are also risks associated with unprotected exposure to the sun. We recommend you always
protect yourself and your skin by using sunscreen and re-applying after entering the water. While making your selection, please ensure to pick a sunscreen with plenty of protection.
Stay HYDRATED! Apart from the UV rays that can affect your skin, long periods of sun exposure without the sufficient intake of water can lead to sunstroke or heatstroke. This is when your body temperature rises quickly and your body’s cooling system
fails or is overwhelmed due to excess heat. Symptoms can include nausea, dizziness, faintness, weakness and vomiting. Sunstroke can often be confused for food poisoning if you are not familiar with the symptoms. To avoid this, drink plenty of water
throughout the day.
Visiting a Clinic/Hospital:
There are two private hospitals/clinics in Punta Cana. In the event that you have a medical emergency or need to see a doctor, your hotel will refer you to one of these clinics. Please be aware that you will not be attended to before providing a
credit card as a deposit. Even if your insurance policy from back home covers you outside of your country, you will most likely have to pay out of pocket for all treatment received and then file a claim upon return for reimbursement.
Most doctors do speak some English however if you are in need of an interpreter, please request one. If you have travelled with a Tour Operator, please make sure to contact their local staff so that they can also send someone to assist you.
Vaccination is a great way to make sure your vacation doesn’t take a bad turn. The most common preventable issues in the Dominican Republic is Hepatitis A which mat be transmitted by contaminated food or water
The U.S. State Department recommends you schedule an appointment with your doctor 4-6 weeks before your trip. They also have a list of recommended vaccinations to discuss with your physician depending on the length of your trip and what activities you plan on doing.
While some might see purchasing travel insurance as an additional cost that you may not need to use, our in destination experience has taught us that purchasing travel insurance is the smart decision. It is true that more times than not, you will
not need to use the travel insurance you purchased but ask yourself:
What happens when an unforeseen emergency occurs?
Would your regular health insurance cover you abroad in the event of an injury or illness?
Furthermore, what if you needed an emergency evacuation to get back home?
Would you be able to cover the cost out of pocket?
Sometimes, spending a little more at the time of booking can save you more than you could imagine. What about your trip being interrupted by an emergency back home? Or lost luggage? These are all important things to consider. Tours DR cannot make
any decisions for you however we strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance if you able to.
A vacation is an investment and we would hate to see any of our valued customers lose out on their hard earned money. Almost all Vacation providers have an option to purchase travel insurance, if not, you can check with your credit card company,
your travel agent or Blue Cross.
What you Should know about Immigration and Airport Arrival
To enter the Dominican Republic, you must have your passport with you valid at the time of entry and departure. You should double check before departure to ensure that your passport does not expire throughout the duration of your trip. Attempting
to enter the country on expired or invalid documents (eg. Driver’s license, enhanced ID card) will result in immediate deportation back to your country of origin.
All visitors to the Dominican Republic are required to purchase a Tourist Card upon arrival to the country. The cost of this Tourist Card is $10 USD. Some charter
airlines will include the Tourist Card in the cost of the flight and distribute the cards before landing. Most commercial airlines coming from the United States do not include the tourist card and for this reason we recommend having enough cash
on you to cover the cost for you and each one of your family members. If you wish to pre-purchase your tourist card, you can contact your local Dominican Embassy or Consulate prior to your trip.
Arriving at the Punta Cana Airport can be a little hectic with so many international flights landing at the same time. Please do not be alarmed at luggage handlers who attempt to load your bags on to a cart, they all work for tips so they are eager
to quickly help you. This service is of course optional, if you do not want a luggage handler, you can simply decline their assistance.
If you have purchased your vacation through a Tour Operator, chances are you either have transportation to and from your hotel included or you were given the option to purchase a transfer. Once you have your bags and pass through customs, you should
enter the Tour Operator’s arrival hall and look for the logo of your Tour Operator on one of the television screens. Please read your travel documents carefully to find out which booth or company you should be looking for at the airport.
Other companies will quickly try to sell you transportation if you don’t already have yours booked and if you do, you don’t want to pay twice. There are also plenty of taxis ready and waiting to take you to your hotel. If you choose this option,
make sure you have agreed on the price before getting in the taxi, this will avoid any misunderstandings. Some may be negotiable but there are fixed rates based on the location of your hotel, ranging from $28.00 USD to over $50.00 USD depending
where you are staying.
A typical Dominican diet consists of mostly rice, beans and meat (chicken or pork). Here they call this “La Bandera Dominicana” (The Dominican Flag). This will probably be available at the buffet of your hotel during lunch and dinner however there
will also be a large selection of items that are not typical to the Dominican Republic. If you are looking to try another local specialty, look out for Sancocho, a traditional Dominican stew that consists of three types of meat: Chicken, beef and
pork along with other delicious root vegetables.
Fresh fruit is also a large part of Dominican agriculture and lucky for you, should be readily available at r your buffet. Look for fresh pineapple, passion fruit, papaya, coconut, and mango (if it’s in season). Please do keep in mind that raw fruit
is a source of fiber so if you are not used to eating raw fruit at home, this could mean a few extra trips to the bathroom. Oftentimes people may think they have eaten something that did not sit right, but if you are not accustomed to raw fruit
as a part of your diet, this could be the reason.
Another highlight of your resort could be the delicious Piña Coladas and other fruity drinks at the all-inclusive bar. One thing to keep in mind is that these drinks are made with coconut milk; coconut milk is a natural laxative so too many of these
could mean extra time in bathroom as well.
While drinking alcohol in the hot sun, remember to always stay hydrated and vary between cocktails and plenty of water. Remember, dehydration can appear to be food poisoning with many of the similar symptoms.
What you Should know about Currency, Credit Cards & Security Boxes
The local currency in the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Peso (DOP) however US dollars and Euros are widely accepted. Canadian dollars may be accepted by most providers as well however at a lower rate. It is not necessary to change your currency
into pesos however if you still wish to do so, it can be done at the airport or at the hotel reception desk. Please note that they will offer you a much lower exchange rate than you will see online as they all take a percentage. If you do pay a
local vendor in dollars, it is quite possible that they return change to you in Dominican Pesos. We recommend not changing or holding on to Dominican Pesos as it may be hard for you to change them back to your local currency before your departure.
You check the current conversion rate of the DOP here.
Tips/gratuities can be left in the currency of your choice. Tipping is of course at your discretion.
All hotels and tour companies should accept major credit cards however small souvenir shops or local restaurants may not.
Safety Deposit Box:
The Dominican Republic is an extremely safe destination however it is always best to take precaution. For example, it is not necessary to have your passport, credit cards, jewelry or large amounts of cash on you when going to the beach or on a tour.
All hotels in should provide the option of a safety deposit box in your hotel room. Tours DR strongly advises that you make use of this service. In the event of a loss of any valuable items, your hotel will not take any responsibility for anything
left outside of the safety deposit box. We also recommend that you do not leave any valuables unattended at the pool or on the beach.
The Dominican Republic has tropical weather which means you can expect some fantastic days averaging around the mid 80° F. The dry season in the DR is between March and mid July so you can expect even more sun in paradise.
Throughout the Atlantic, the official hurricane season spans from June 1st until November 30th. However, peak season for threats to the Punta Cana area is only September/October.
For a more detailed look at weather in Punta Cana and the DR click here.