Government offices: 8'00 a.m. to 3'00 p.m. Monday through Friday
Private Offices and banks: 8'00 a.m. to 5'00 p.m. Monday through Friday
8'00 a.m. to 2'00 p.m. Saturday
Shops: 9'00 a.m. to 7'00 p.m. Monday through Friday
9'00 a.m. to 2'00 p.m. Saturday
Malls: Remain open on Saturday and Sunday to 9'00 p.m.
LUNCH TIME: 12'30 p.m. to 2'30 p.m.
JANUARY 1 New Year's Day
JANUARY 6 Epiphany
JANUARY 21 Our Lady of Altagracia Day
FEBRUARY 27 Independence Day
SEPTEMBER 24 Our Lady of Mercedes Day
DECEMBER 25 Christmas Day
Holidays celebrated on the closest monday to the date are:
January 26 Juan Pablo Duarte's Birthday
May 1 Labor Day
August 16 Dominican Restoration Day
November 6 Constitution Day
100 centavos make up one Dominican Republic Peso (peso), with notes in
denominations of peso 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10. Coins are in denominations of 1 and 5.
The peso is not available for exchange outside the Dominican Republic.
USA, Canadian and European currencies may be exchanged for local currency.
On departure, up to 30 per cent of the exchanged currency can be reconverted
into US Dollars at any bank, provided original receipts are shown. All
exchange must be done through dealers officially approved by the Central
MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and Visa are all accepted in
shops, hotels and restaurants, while traveller’s cheques are accepted by
some banks. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are
advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars.
Hotels and restaurants collect 22% above published prices: 12% sales tax and
10% service charge.
It is costumary to tip an additional 10% for good service in restaurants.
There are regular flights between Santo Domingo, Santiago, Samaná, Punta
Cana and Puerto Plata by Aerolineas Santo Domingo.
Cheap and efficient air-conditioned bus and coach services run from the
capital to other major towns, alternatively there are several multinational
car hire companies in Santo Domingo.
Santo Domingo has flat-fare bus and minibus services, and an estimated 7000
share-taxis called "Carro de Conchos". These operate a 24-hour service, stop
on demand but charge higher fares. Horse-drawn carriages are available for
rent in most cities for tours around parks and plazas.
There is a reasonable network of roads on the island, although not all roads
in the Dominican Republic are all weather, four-wheel-drive vehicles are
recommended for wet weather. Checkpoints near military installations are
commonplace, though no serious difficulties have been reported (those near
the Haitian border are most likely to be sensitive).
Major car rental companies have airport and city locations, such as AVIS, DOLLAR, MC Auto and others. A valid driver's license and major credit card are required to rent a car for up to 90 days.
DOMESTIC TRAVEL TIMES
Two companies, Metro Tours and Caribe Tours provide a good transportation
between Santo Domingo and major cities:
Santo Domingo to Puerto Plata 3 hours
Boca Chica Beach ½ hour
Juan Dolio Beach 1 hour
La Romana 2 hours
Punta Cana 3½hours
Samana 3½ hours
Barahona 3 hours
Though the country is 90% Roman Catholic, there are many Christian
denominations, including Anglican, Baptist, Evangelical, Seventh Day
Adventist, and Mormon. English Services are held in some churches of the
capital city. There is a synagogue which holds a weekly service on Friday
CELLULAR PHONES AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
CODETEL, a Verizon subsidiary is the biggest company of the Dominican Republic.
France Telecom (Orange) and Centennial Corporation are the succesful
newcomers to the Dominican Telecommunications market. Cellular phones
services are provided by those companies.
PHONE AREA CODE
Dominican Republic area codes are 809 and 829.
Appliances run on 110 volts/60 cycles.