• 16+ years
    • 12-15 years
    • 2-11 years
    • 0-23 months

Welcome to Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Holidays to the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, but there the resemblance ends. The Dominican Republic offers package holidays at a number of quality resorts.

We at Horizon Direct Holidays recommend all inclusive holidays to the Dominican Republic for anyone wanting a luxury Caribbean break on a budget.

The ultimate Dominican Republic experience

The Republic is a relative latecomer to the Caribbean package holidays scene, and there are still vast tracts of unspoilt wilderness to explore. The most popular destination in the Caribbean, it combines fun-filled resorts with history, culture and eco-friendly tourism.

Children of all ages, and adults alike, will be amazed as the terrain varies from tropical rainforests and mangrove swamps to mountains and savannas, accompanied by a palm-fringed coastline of tropical beaches and calm waters. It has some of the best historical sites in the Caribbean, varying from early cave dwellings to the oldest European settlement in the New World, at Santo Domingo.

When to go

The Dominican Republic enjoys year-round sunshine, although those with particularly young children prefer to avoid the period between June to August, when humidity levels and temperatures sky-rocket.

The peak season is December to February, although cheap family holidays are still available at this time. For the best value, travel between March and May.

Where to stay

The best beaches and family package holidays are in the south-east, at resorts like Bavaro, Punta Cana and Juan Dolio. Here, you can enjoy a boat ride through the mangrove swamps to visit prehistoric caves, or take advantage of the wide selection of water sports at Playa Dorada. The Samana Peninsula offers palm-fringed seclusion and the chance to see humpback whales at play.

Cabarete, on the north coast, is the island's most playful resort and the best place for water sports. A popular choice for cheap holidays with the teens, activities include kite-boarding, windsurfing and board surfing. Alternatively there's horse-riding, mountain biking and hikes into the beautiful interior. At night, families can enjoy the lively bars and restaurants.

Playa Cofresi

Those with young families enjoy all inclusive holidays at Cofresi, which boasts a beautiful sweeping bay with a mountain backdrop. A purpose-built resort, it is perfect for relaxing on the beach, with a wide range of water sports. At the Ocean World Waterpark, youngsters can watch the dolphins play at the world's largest dolphinarium.

We at Horizon Direct Holidays have package holidays in the Dominican Republic to suit every type of traveller. Honeymooners and families alike can take advantage of our cheap holidays.

Information & Facts

Climate

Hot with tropical temperatures all year with coastal areas being warmer than central regions. There are two rainy seasons; the heaviest is from May to August and the other is from November to December. Hurricanes may sometimes occur during these periods.

Required clothing: 

Lightweight fabrics are best suited to the tropical temperatures. Waterproofs are essential during the rainy seasons.

 

Getting Around

Air: 

Servicios Aéreos Profesionales (www.sapair.com) runs regular flights between Santo Domingo, Santiago, Samaná, Punta Cana and Puerto Plata. Planes may also be chartered.

Road: 

There is a reasonable network of roads, including the Sanchez Highway running westwards from Santo Domingo to Elias Pina on the Haitian frontier; the Mella Highway extending eastwards from Santo Domingo to Higuey in the southeast and the Duarte Highway running north and west from Santo Domingo to Santiago and to Monte Cristi on the northwest coast.

The new Autopista del Coral motorway links Santo Domingo with Punta Cana and La Romana. Driving from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana now takes around 2 hours, whilst from Santo Domingo to La Romana is 30 minutes.

Side of road: 

Right

 

Road quality: 

Not all roads in the Dominican Republic are all-weather and 4-wheel drive vehicles are recommended for wet weather. Checkpoints near military installations are ubiquitous, though no serious difficulties have been reported (those near the Haitian border are most likely to be sensitive). Keep doors and windows locked at all times. Driving at night is not recommended because of poor lighting and and signage.

Car hire: 

There are several car hire companies in Santo Domingo. The minimum age for car hire is 25. A credit card is required for car hire transactions. Insurance is compulsory.

 
Taxi: 

Travellers are advised to hire tourist taxis or radio taxis that can be arranged in advance. Avoid unmarked taxis.

Regulations: 

The speed limit is up to 60kph (38mph) in cities and 80-100kph (50-63mph) on motorways. Seat belts are legally required to be worn.

Documentation: 

A national or International Driving Permit is accepted, but is only valid for 90 days.

Getting around towns and cities: 

Santo Domingo has flat-fare bus and minibus services, and an estimated 7, 000 share-taxis called Carro de Conchos. These operate a 24-hour service in Santo Domingo, Santiago and Puerto Plata. Hotel taxis are also available. In old Santo Domingo, the streets are narrow with blind corners, so care should be taken, particularly as Dominican drivers have a tendency to use their horns rather than their brakes. Horse-drawn carriages are available for hire in tourist areas for tours around parks and plazas.

 

Health

 
Title Special precautions
Diphtheria

Yes

Hepatitis A

Yes

Malaria

Sometimes*

Rabies

Sometimes

Tetanus

Yes

Typhoid

Yes

Yellow Fever

No

 

* Malaria risk exists throughout the year, especially in the western provinces and in La Altagracia province. Risk in other areas is low to negligible.

Health insurance (to include emergency repatriation) is strongly recommended. Medical care is limited and variable in quality. An emergency service is available in Santo Domingo.

Food and drink: 

All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated and sterilisation should be considered essential. Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Milk is pasteurised. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled.

Other risks: 

Vaccinations for tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended. Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is endemic; avoid swimming and paddling in fresh water. Outbreaks of dengue fever occur in the area. Rabies may be present. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.

 

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