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Practical Information

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In order to make the most of your stay, it is important to be well prepared. In addition to providing information on local customs, this chapter is intended to help you plan your trip.

ENTRANCE FORMALITIES

Make sure you bring all the necessary papers to enter and exit the country. Though requirements are not very strict, you will need certain documents to travel in the Dominican Republic. You should therefore keep your important papers safe at all times.

Embassies and consulates

Canada

30 Avenida Máximo Gomez
(809) 685-1136
(809) 682-2691

United States

At the corner of Calle Cesar Nicolas Pension and Calle Leopold Navarro
(809) 541-2171

Dominican Embassies Abroad

United States

1715 22nd St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, U.S.A.
(202) 332-6280

Tourist Offices

These offices exist to help travellers plan their trips to the Dominican Republic. Their personnel can answer questions and provide you with brochures.

Canada

2080 Crescent,
Montreal, Quebec
H3G 2V8
(514) 499-1918, (514) 499-1393

or

74 Front St. E., Unit 53,
Market Square,
Toronto, Ontario,
M5E 1B8
(416) 361-2126
or 1-888-494-5050, (416) 361-2130

United States

136 East 57th Street, Suite 803,
New York, N.Y., 10022
(212) 588-1012/13/14
(212) 588-1015

or

2355 Salzedo St., Suite 307, Coral Gables
Miami, Fla., 33134
(305) 444-4592, (305) 444-4845

Money and Banking

The country's currency is the peso. Bills are available in 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5 peso denominations; coins come in 50, 25 and 5 centavo pieces (100 centavos = 1 peso).

Banks are open Monday to Friday, from 8:30am to 3pm. They can be found in all large and medium-sized cities. Most can exchange US dollars, while fewer deal in other foreign currencies. In certain small villages and on holidays, it is impossible to change money. It is best to carry some cash with you at all times.

Cash advances from your credit card are easy to obtain. Most large banks offer this service. You can also withdraw money using your credit card from automatic teller machines, which are found mostly in Santo Domingo and in a few larger towns. However, it is difficult.

Climate

There are two seasons in the Dominican Republic: the cool season (from November to April) and the rainy season (from May to October). The cool season is the most pleasant, as the heat is less stifling, the rain less frequent and the humidity lower. Temperatures hover around 29°C during the day and dip to about 19°C at night. During the rainy season, the showers are heavy, but short, so it is still possible to travel. Rain is most frequent from May to mid-June. In the rainy season, the average temperature is 31°C during the day and 22°C at night. The number of hours of daylight remains fairly constant throughout the year. Hurricanes, though rare, occur during the rainy season.

Safety and Security

Although the Dominican Republic is not a dangerous country, it has its share of thieves, particularly in the resort towns and in Santo Domingo. Keep in mind that to the majority of people in the country, some of your possessions (things like cameras, leather suitcases, video cameras, and jewellery) represent a great deal of money. A degree of caution can help avoid problems. For example, do not wear too much jewellery, keep your electronic equipment in a nondescript shoulder bag slung across your chest, and avoid revealing the contents of your wallet when paying for something. Be doubly careful at night, and stay away from dark s

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