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Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic covers the eastern two-thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. The capital city is Santo Domingo, located on the south coast of the island. Tourist facilities vary according to price and location. Spanish is the official language. Though English is widely spoken in major cities and tourist areas, it is much less common outside these areas.
Read the Department of State Background Notes on the Dominican Republic for additional information.

Dominican Republic

   
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 COUNTRY OVERVIEW
Country Name: Dominican Republic
Continent: Caribbean
Capital City: Santo Domingo
Boundary Countries:

Haiti

Recommended Hospitals in Capital:

Santiago:  Hospital Metropolitano de Santiago
Santo Domingo: Centro de Medicina Bavaro:  Hospiten Bavaro
Puerto Plata: Centro Medico Bournigal, Servi-Med
Avanzada Abel Gonzalez, Hospiten Santo Domingo

Main Cities:

Santo Domingo, Santiago, Bonao, Pedernales, La Romana, San Cristobal, Barahona, La Vega, Puerta Plata, San Francisco de Marcoris, Higüey, San Pedro de Marcoris

Country Size: 48,730 sq km
Population: 9,365,818

 

COUNTRY GENERAL INFORMATION
Language:

Spanish

Currency: Dominican Peso (DOP)
Predominant Religions:

Roman Catholic 95% other 5%

National Holidays: Independence Day, 27 February (1844)
Economic Status:

Although the economy continues to grow at a respectable rate, high unemployment and inflation remain important challenges. The country suffers from marked income inequality; the poorest half of the population receives less than one-fifth of GNP, while the richest 10% enjoys nearly 40% of national income.

Security:

Army, Navy, Air Force

US Presence:
U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo
Av. Republica de Colombia # 57
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Phone: (809) 567-7775
Document Requirements:

All Americans traveling by air outside of the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States.  This requirement will be extended to sea travel (except closed loop cruises), including ferry service, by the summer of 2009.  Until then, U.S. citizens traveling by sea must have government-issued photo identification and a document showing their U.S. citizenship (for example, a birth certificate or certificate of nationalization), or other WHTI compliant document such as a passport card for entry or re-entry to the U.S.  Sea travelers should also check with their cruise line and countries of destination for any foreign entry requirements.  

Applications for the U.S. Passport Card are now being accepted and have been in full production since July 2008.The card may not be used to travel by air and is available only to U.S. citizens. Further information on the Passport Card and upcoming changes to U.S. passport policy can be found on our web site.   We strongly encourage all American citizen travelers to apply for a U.S. passport well in advance of anticipated travel.  American citizens can visit travel.state.gov or call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778) for information on how to apply for their passports.

For information concerning entry and exit requirements, travelers may contact the Embassy of the Dominican Republic at 1715 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20008, tel. (202) 332-6280.  There are also Dominican consulates in Boston, Chicago (Northfield, IL), Mayaguez, Miami, New Orleans, New York, and San Juan.  Visit the Embassy of the Dominican Republic web site for the most current visa information.

VISAS:   Visitors who do not obtain a Dominican visa prior to entry must purchase a tourist card upon arrival to enter the country.  Tourist cards cost ten U.S. dollars, which must be paid in U.S. currency.  Tourist cards may be purchased at the Dominican Embassy in Washington or Dominican Consulates prior to arrival, as well as at Dominican airports at the time of entry.  Tourist cards normally permit a legal stay of up to 60 days.  Visitors who would like to extend their time in the Dominican Republic should visit the Migration Department in Santo Domingo and request an extension.  Failure to request an extension will subject the visitor to a surcharge at the airport upon departure. 

TRAVEL OF CHILDREN AND EXIT REQUIREMENTS:   Strict exit requirements apply to minors under 18 years of age (of any nationality) who are residents in the Dominican Republic.  Such children traveling alone, without one parent, or with anyone other than the parent(s), must present written authorization from a parent or legal guardian.  This authorization must be in Spanish, and it must be notarized at a Dominican consulate in the United States or notarized and then certified at the Dominican Attorney General’s office (Procuraduria de la Republica) if done in the Dominican Republic.  Though not a requirement for non-resident minors (in the Dominican Republic), the U.S. Embassy recommends that any minor traveling to the Dominican Republic without one or both parents have a notarized document from the parent(s).  In addition to clarifying the reason for travel, this will facilitate departure from the Dominican Republic.

Dominican regulations governing the travel of children in the Dominican Republic can be found in Spanish on the Dirección General de Migración web site.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.

Major Airports:

Airports:  33, Airports w/paved runways:  14

Puerto Plata – Gregorio Luperón International Airport (POP/MDPP)
Perto Plata Airport, Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Tel: +1 809 586-0408, +1 809-586-0107, +1 809 586-0175
Fax: +1 809 586-0311, +1 809 586-0387
E-mail: r.heinrichs@aerodom.com
Customs, hours:  24 hours

Servicing Airlines:
Risks and Precautions:

American citizens should be aware that foreign tourists are often considered attractive targets for criminal activity, and should maintain a low profile to avoid becoming victims of violence or crime. In dealing with local police,U.S.citizens should be aware that the standard of professionalism might vary. Police attempts to solicit bribes have been reported, as have incidents of police using excessive force.

Mortality Statistics:

Infant MR total:  44.46 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:  TOTAL 66.6 years (male 64.28/female 69.04)

Immunization Indicators:

Required: None
Recommended: Hep A & B, Rabies, Malaria, Typhoid
Boosters: MMR, DPT

Infectious Disease Concerns:

Dengue is endemic to the Dominican Republic. Since October 2004, there have been several reported cases of malaria in areas frequented by U.S. and European tourists including La Altagracia Province, the eastern most province in which many beach resorts are located. Malaria risk is significantly higher for travelers who go on some of the excursions to the countryside offered by many resorts.

Overall Quality of Medical Services:

Medical care is limited, especially outside Santo Domingo, and the quality of care varies widely among facilities. There is an emergency 911 service within Santo Domingo, but its reliability is questionable. Outside the capital, emergency services range from extremely limited to nonexistent. Blood supplies at both public and private hospitals are often limited. Many medical facilities throughout the country do not have staff members who speak or understand English. A private nationwide ambulance service, ProMed, operates in Santo Domingo, Santiago, Puerto Plata and La Romana. Tap water is unsafe to drink and should be avoided.Bottled water and beverages are safe.

Providers in Network:
Direct Payment: 20
Referrals: 17
View Network Providers
Recent Medical Threats/ Concerns/Warnings:

Cutaneous larval migrans is a risk for travelers with exposures on beaches and leptospirosis is common in many areas and poses a risk to travelers engaged in recreational freshwater activities.  Such activities may include whitewater rafting, kayaking, adventure racing, or hiking. Endemic leptospirosis is reported in Jamaica. Travelers to regions in Jamaica can reduce their risk to leptospirosis by avoiding activities which expose them to contaminated fresh surface water. Outbreaks of ciguatera poisoning, which results from eating toxin-containing reef fish, have occurred on many islands.

Endemic foci of histoplasmosis are found on many Caribbean islands, and outbreaks have occurred in travelers.

Communications Info:

Country Calling Code:  1 + local number (no International Code)
Internet Country Code:  .do

 



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