Travel & Destination Information

The information contained herein is intended to provide data about the Dominican Republic (D.R.) and assist in preparing you for your trip to the D.R. We recommend that you fly in a few days prior to the commencement of the convention to take advantage of what this jewel of an island and its people have to offer.

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ISD Convention at Caliente Caribe ResortThe Dominican Republic is the second largest island in the Caribbean, occupying  48,482 square kilometers, and making up the eastern two thirds of the island of Hispaniola with the country of Haiti comprising the western third.

An array of white sands and clear, clean waters awaits your arrival. Two thirds of the Dominican Republic coastline is home to some of the most pristine beaches in the world.  The beaches of Dominican Republic offer distinct characteristics that prompts visitors to explore each island beach just to witness the unique personality that each one holds.

Caliente Caribe resort sits right along the ocean waters of the Atlantic on the northern coast in a town called Cabrera. Just 25 minutes away is the town of Cabarete, World Class Windsurfing and Kite-boarding Capital of the World.

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GETTING THERE

Three airports serve the areas closest to the resort.

  • Gregorio Luperón International Airport serving Puerto Plata (POP) – 1.5 hrs* Best airport for those flying in from the U.S.
  • Las Américas International Airport serving the capital city of Santo Domingo (SDQ) – 2.5 hrs
  • La Isabela Airport in Samana (AZS) – approx. 1 hr *Best airport for those flying in from Canada.

Be sure to check out our airline partners page for discounted rates prior to booking your flight.

ISD Flight Information *American airlines flying into the DR include:
American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Northwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines and US Airways.

*United States based airlines that fly from Canada:
American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines and US Airways.

*Charter flights from Canada
Air Canada (Puerto Plata & Samaná); Air Transat (Puerto Plata & Samaná); Sunwing      (Puerto Plata, Samaná & Santo Domingo); Thomas Cook/Sky Services (Puerto Plata &    Samaná).

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PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS
Passport Requirements for ISD Passports are required for all American citizens when re-entering the United States. Canadians flying directly to the DR may enter with an original birth certificates and 2 photo identifications (driver’s license and health insurance card.)

TOURIST CARD
Be prepare to purchase a Tourist Card for $10 (USD), per person entering the D.R. from the U.S., exact CASH ONLY. This tourist card is good for up to a two week stay in the D.R. Please secure this card prior to standing in the immigration line. NO coins or other currency, including Dominican pesos, credit cards or travelers checks, are acceptable.

Upon arrival and after passing through Immigration, you will have one part of the card returned to you. This second part must be presented to Immigration when you depart the Dominican Republic. Please note, if you lose this portion of your Tourist Card during your visit, you will be required to purchase a new Tourist Card for $10 (USD) prior to passing through Immigration. There is also a $20 (USD) Departure Tax due before leaving the Airport. Having the exact amount of money in US dollars will save you time and trouble. You will be provided a receipt for this payment and this must be presented (usually at the gate) before getting on your departing flight.

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MONEY
The Dominican Pesos (RD) is the national currency. We recommend that you have a few pesos available to pay for things in which other currency is not accepted (i.e., highway toll booths and the like). American and Canadian dollars, euros and major credit cards are welcome in many of the tourist, larger resort/hotel areas and businesses. You may, however, find a surcharge in some cases for the use of a credit card. US dollars are the most easily exchangeable foreign currency into the local Dominican Republic currency.  Most of the larger country’s currencies can be exchanged in tourism destinations all over the Dominican Republic. In general, the best rates of exchange are offered by the banks and independent money exchanges. They usually only differ between a Peso or two ISD Travel & Destination Informationper unit of foreign currency between them. Airports, hotels/resorts, restaurants, and other businesses tend to offer a slightly lower rate of exchange for the convenience provided in exchanging your currency.

TAXES & TIPPING
There is a 16% sales tax (ITBIS) businesses charge for the sale of their products and/or services. Business establishments, can also add a 10% service charge. Some include this tax and any service charges in their prices and some do not, so it would be wise to ask before making your purchase. Often times, the 10% service charge added to your bill is not provided to the service member who rendered the service. So, if you feel the service you received deserves extra recognition, don’t hesitate to reward the person as hourly wages are relatively low and it is greatly appreciated.

A 10% tip is customary for services rendered at restaurants. At the end of the program, give the head service person the cash tip for themselves and for the additional service people who may have provided you service throughout your stay. For baggage handlers at airports, taxi drivers, hotel cleaning staff, etc., use your own discretion based on the service they provided you.

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GETTING AROUND
Getting Around at ISDMany of the major rental car companies have an office located at the airport, but hiring a car and driver or taking a taxi are additional options for getting around.  Use only the taxis in the tourist system: the taxis outside the airport and at the resorts. If you go out, keep the taxi company’s card and call the same taxi company to pick you up. The taxis are not metered, so always negotiate the fare before you get into the cab.

Attendees who purchased an airport transfer via an authorized ISD travel agent, will be picked up and returned to the airport of choice by the local bus tour company we have secured. The airport transfer from POP is provided complimentary to those who purchase a Six (6) days/ Five (5) nights resort stay convention package.

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HEALTH 
It is highly recommended that you secure travel medical insurance prior to traveling into the country and confirm with the insurance carrier that the policy covers the Dominican Republic and emergency expenses such as emergency medical evacuation. Because the majority of healthcare providers (HCP) and hospitals in the D.R. require payment in advance and medical evacuations can be costly, it is best to inquire if your insurance carrier will make payment on your behalf, directly to the HCP/ hospital or if you will be reimbursed for payments made for the medical expenses.

Visitors to the island may be a little more vulnerable to getting sick due to the stress and excitement inherent in the traveling process. Changes in time zone, climate, your usual diet, and over-indulgence in alcohol and sun; can tend to leave one a bit more vulnerable to getting sick than you would normally be. The most common complaints are upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, and sun-related fever. It is wise to ease your body into things slowly upon arrival. Avoid over indulgence in anything. If you do feel symptoms during your visit, ensure you get plenty of rest and drink lots of water. This will allow your body to maintain the energy it needs to fight off sickness. The most common complaints are not serious. With lots of rest and water and over-the-counter remedies for your symptoms (available at most supermarkets and pharmacies), most people will feel better within a couple of days.

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RESPONSIBLE TOURISM
Responsible tourism means more than obeying rules of social etiquette and being on your best behavior. A responsible tourist is a culturally aware tourist: one who is willing to adapt to and respect local customs and traditions. One who does not litter and picks up after him/herself. One who refrains from uprooting plants, flowers and coral. One who is conservative when using water and electricity…resources so precious in the D.R.

Don’t forget to extend the courtesy of asking before taking photographs of people and be mindful of the fact that your camera might cost more than the person’s yearly wage.

Dominican Republic Puerto PlataResponsible tourism means going the extra mile to give back to the country you are visiting (i.e., speaking a little Spanish – even just ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ – is respectful and demonstrates a willingness to adapt to the local culture). Please be mindful that the Dominican Republic is a developing country where life can be hard and very little is taken for granted. Think twice before haggling for an hour over the price of a mango or a bunch of bananas. Paying a tourist price is not necessarily a bad thing, if it is for the benefit of the local economy…this includes the street vendors and hawkers in the market who are normally the last to see the financial rewards of the all-inclusive, mass tourism so prevalent in the Dominican Republic.