About Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic as well as the most modern metropolis in the Caribbean. It is the cultural, political, financial, industrial, and commercial center of the country. Over the last few years, it has also become a popular medical tourism center that has contributed to the country’s medical tourism average income of US$265 million in 2018. short waiting times, qualified doctors trained in the best medical schools, affordable treatments, modern technology, and medical centers with international standards are some of the reason why the city is very popular among tourists. Cosmetic and plastic surgery along with cardiology are some of the most sought-after procedures in the city.
Santo Domingo is home to the Colonial City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that consists of colonial buildings turned into hotels, museums, shops, and cafes. On the outskirts of Colonial City is Marcado Modelo, shopping heaven filled with small shops that offer local crafts, specialties, and souvenirs. Tourists who want to enjoy picturesque views can visit Playa Najayo or Playa Juan Dolio, two popular beaches with sparkling blue waters and breath-taking sunsets. For those who want to immerse in Santo Domingo’s nature, Jardín Botánico Nacional de Santo Domingo is the best place to go. It is the largest botanical gardens in the Caribbean with native plants and hundreds of different kinds of orchids.
International tourists will likely arrive in Las Américas International Airport, which serves flights to many cities around the world. The airport serves a mix of airlines, including Delta, Emirates, American Airlines, and JetBlue. Taxis are available, but they tend to be expensive and tourists need to watch out for taxi cheats. Buses and Santo Domingo Metro are the most affordable mode of transports. Another affordable option is Públicos, however, it can get a bit confusing for first-timers.
Nationals of 107 countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, and Schengen countries can enter the Dominican Republic without a visa. Other nationals, such as China, India, and Russia, must obtain a visa prior to their visit and the visa is valid for 60 days.
With a tropical climate, the city enjoys warm and humid weather all year round. There are two main seasons: wet and dry. The wet season is from May to November and the temperatures range from 22 - 31 °C. Expect to experience a lot of heavy rain during this season. The dry season is from December to April and the temperatures range from 19 - 29 °C. Avoid the city from August to October since it’s the hurricane season.
- Local Currency: The Dominican Peso is the local currency (RD$). US$ 1 equals approximately RD$ 51.2.
- Money & Payments: ATMs can easily be found around the city. Credit cards are accepted in some business, usually with an added surcharge. Tipping is not expected, except for tour guides.
- Local Language: Spanish is the official language and English is not widely spoken. However, there will be people who speak English in tourism areas.
- Local Culture and Religion: Roman Catholicism is the largest religion in the city.
- Public holidays: Good Friday, Independence Day, and Christmas are two of the most celebrated holidays.