The Dominican Republic, the most geographically diverse country in the Caribbean, presents the visitor with tropical rainforest, alpine mountain ranges, mangrove swamps and even desert areas. These gifts of nature allow for excellent adventure sports and ecotourism offers, and mountain bikers, trekking fans and water sports enthusiasts in particular will find plenty to do here. The Dominican Republic – that heady mix of Caribbean rhythms, American influences and European ancestry – is defined by its passionate love of baseball as well as its somewhat faded colonial past. But while most international tourists simply vacation here in resort hotels on the palm-fringed beaches of the north and east coasts, the country has much more to offer. The Zona Colonial of the capital Santo Domingo, for example, offers many architectural delights and is a good starting point for visitors interested in culture. You have to love loud music, because rousing merengue and bachata music can be heard all over Santo Domingo. See other countries in North America on mathgeneral.
Arriving by plane
Air France (AF) connects Germany, Austria and Switzerland via Paris with Santo Domingo; Iberia (IB) flies from Frankfurt/M. via Madrid. Condor (DE) flies from Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Munich to Punta Cana and from Frankfurt via Santo Domingo to Puerto Plata. Edelweiss Air (WK) flies from Zurich to Punta Cana. Eurowings Discover (4Y) flies from Munich to Punta Cana.
Note on arrival by plane
Airline tickets purchased in the Dominican Republic are heavily taxed.
Frankfurt/M. – Santo Domingo: 10 hours 20 minutes (non-stop) and from 13 hours (with stopover). Each with a stopover: Zurich – Santo Domingo: from 12 hours 20 minutes; Vienna – Santo Domingo: from 12 hrs 40 mins (journey times vary depending on the length of the stops).
The airport tax for outbound passengers is approximately €17.50 (US$20) per person, depending on length of stay. Transit passengers and children under the age of two are exempt. Most airlines include this tax in the fare.
Arrival by car
Toll: There are toll roads on the island. The toll can be paid either in cash or via the Paso Rápido electronic payment system. Long-distance buses: The bus company Caribe Tours connects the Dominican Republic with Haiti.
Arrival by ship
Ports served by cruise ships from Europe and the US include La Romana, Punta Cana, Samaná, Amber Cove, Santo Domingo and Catalina Island.
AIDA is calling at La Romana on its world cruise that starts in Hamburg. In addition, shipping companies such as Costa, TUI Cruises, Holland America Line and Phoenix dock in the Dominican Republic on their cruises from various European countries.
Ferries del Caribe ferries connect Santo Domingo with San Juan on Puerto Rico several times a week (journey time: approx. 13 hours).
Traveling by plane
SAP offers charter connections between all domestic airports. Small planes can be rented.
Traveling by car/bus
The road network on the island is well developed. The Sanchez Highway runs west from Santo Domingo to Elias Piñas on the Haiti border, the Mella Highway from Santo Domingo to Higüey in the southeast, the Duarte Highway from Santo Domingo north to Santiago and on to Montecristi on the northwest coast. A highway connects Santo Domingo with Punta Cana and Bayahibe/La Romana. There may be controls near the military bases; However, difficulties are not to be expected. Stricter controls are common near the border with Haiti. Toll: There are toll roads on the island. The toll can be paid either in cash or via the Paso Rápido electronic payment system.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
About half of the road network is paved; above all, these are roads in the tourist centers and their connecting roads. Less traveled routes, on the other hand, are in rather poor condition and travelers should opt for a four-wheel drive vehicle, especially during the rainy season.
Well-known car rental companies have branches in major cities, at airports and in hotels. Drivers must be at least 21 years old (often varies by vehicle category) and have held a driver’s license for at least two years. A young driver fee may apply to drivers under the age of 25. Some car rental companies only rent up to a maximum age of 65 years. When renting, make sure that the vehicle is adequately insured against theft. Local insurance companies are not liable for theft.
Taxis are widely available in cities and airports and are mostly in good condition. Inexpensive shared taxis are available in Santo Domingo, Santiago and La Vega, among others. In many parts of the island, so-called carritos or publicos operate on the main roads, which are often overcrowded. Motorbike taxis, so-called motoconchos, are also available for short distances in town.
Most car rental companies and some hotels also rent mopeds and scooters. Bicycles can also be rented in the cities.
Caribe Tours, Metro Tours and Terra Bus long-distance buses are inexpensive, reliable and air-conditioned. Seats must be booked in advance. All larger towns are approached from the capital.
Traffic regulations: – Traffic on the right. – Alcohol limit: 0.5 ‰. – Telephoning at the wheel is only permitted with a hands-free system. – Children under the age of 8 may only be transported in passenger cars in the back seat. – Helmets are compulsory for motorcyclists, passengers may only ride in a sidecar. Speed limits: – in built-up areas: 35 km/h; – extra-urban: 60 km/h; – on motorways: 100 km/h.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of vehicle damage: Tel. +49 (89) 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (89) 76 76 76.
The national driver’s license is sufficient for a stay of up to 90 days. However, it is recommended that you also carry your international driver’s license with you.
Traveling in the city
Santo Domingo, Santiago and Puerto Plata: There are regular and minibuses as well as shared or motorbike taxis available in the cities. Santo Domingo also has a metro line that runs 14.5 kilometers from Villa Mella in the north of the city to La Feria in the south.