Requirements. Guests will need a valid passport and a Dominican
visitor's visa for both entry and exit, normally purchased for US$10.00
at the airport upon arrival (valid for 90 days or an additional US $ 10
for extended time). Keep your visitor's visa in a safe place preferably
with your passport, as you will need to produce it, along with a departure
tax of U.S.$20, before boarding the return flight home. In the event that
your visitor's visa is lost before departure, a new one will need to be
purchased at the airport for U.S.$10. In this case, a total of U.S.$30
would be needed to depart the country, including a time delay for purchase
of the replacement.
So don't lose it! Insurance SAS highly recommends that all guests obtain travel insurance with international coverage prior to departure from your home country. The policy chosen should be carefully reviewed to gain a thorough understanding of specific coverage, standard premiums, and the payment process in the instance that a guest requires medical attention while travelling abroad. SAS Travel and Tours suggests obtaining a policy through a service that caters specifically to the needs of international travelers and students.
Telephone/Fax/Email/Voce Mail. Please be aware that most long-distance phone cards from North America and Europe, even from major carriers, do not work in the Dominican Republic.
There are phone centers in Santo Domingo and throughout the country where you can make international calls (including collect calls) and send faxes, and phone cards that can be purchased to make both local and long-distance calls from public or private phones. Some hotels offer phone and fax services.
There are also Internet cafés where you can send and receive E-mails. For emergency purposes, you can leave the SAS numbers with relatives: (809) 788-9116 or fax: (809) 596-2987. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, for the student support email@example.com.
Electricity is 110 volts/60 cycles, the same as the U.S. and Canada; no converters are needed, but a surge control is recommended for sensitive electronic equipment like computers. Some hotels have a 220-volt receptacle for European appliances.
The Dominican Republic has a variety of climatic zones or microclimates: humid, dry, tropical jungle, savannah, and forest. The coastal zone is blessed with warm tropical climate, while temperatures are cooler in the central region and cooler yet at higher altitudes. The year round average is 24 degrees C (77 degrees F), with a greater average temperature difference from night to day than between winter and summer.
Throughout the mountain region, however, especially in the winter months from December to April, temperatures drops dramatically, sometimes falling below 0 degrees C (32 degrees F) in Constanza, Valle Nuevo, and on Pico Duarte. The rainy months are May, November, and sometimes December, depending on the part of the country you are in. For our trips we suggest that you plan for hot sun, rain, and some cool temperatures at night.
Medical and Safety Concerns:
Most medical and safety concerns in the Dominican Republic can be avoided by taking a few simple precautions. Since ingestion of contaminated water and overexposure to the sun are the most common potential health risks, guests should drink only bottled water and should always protect themselves with a sunblock of minimum 15 SPF.
Guests should also bring mosquito repellent to protect against bites and possible subsequent illness. Although vaccinations are not required for entry to the Dominican Republic, concerned guests should consult their personal physician or check with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) for information on suggested vaccinations and other health-related precautions. Additional safety concerns are addressed by the Dominican Embassy in the U.S. (www.domrep.org) or by the Bureau of Consular Affairs (www.travel.state.gov). If you take special medications or use a medical inhaler, please be sure to not only bring enough for the trip, but also extras (pack them in your carry-on luggage just in case!).
There are both public and private medical facilities in the Dominican Republic. By U.S. standards, public hospitals tend to be overcrowded and understaffed. SAS suggests that any medical concerns be brought to the more modern private clinics that boast staff and conditions comparable to U.S. hospitals.
Drinking Water. Do not drink the tap water! Native Dominicans don't do so, either. Bottled water is available everywhere. The water we use on our trips is either bottled, filtered or mountain spring water. Ice in beverages throughout the country is processed from filtered water in commercial establishments, and therefore safe to enjoy. Even most street vendors used bottled water, but to ensure your highest security, we discourage your from taking a chance. To allow yourself to adjust to different food and water, and to avoid getting sick, don't further tax your system by exhausting yourself the first day or by drinking too much alcohol! Please do, however, drink lots of bottled or filtered water to ensure that you do not become dehydrated in the tropical temperatures.
Currency. Guests should have at least U.S.$30 in cash to cover entry and exit requirements.
SAS suggests that all other currency be withdrawn as needed from Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), which are readily available in all parts of the country. In fact, we recommend that you bring two ATM cards or credit cards, one for normal use and one kept in a safe place in case of emergency, should yours be lost or stolen. You may withdraw up to RD$5,000 per day on your ATM card.
Select any of the programs in 30 Provinces at Dominican Republic: Volunteer In The DR, Internship Program, Mini-Venture, Summer Escapes, Humanitarian Trips, SAS English Teaching, Job opportunity, and embark on the most meaningful volunteer abroad program offering opportunities of Dominican cultural immersion with breathtaking journeys to mystic and exotic lands of the Caribbean. In the last 12 months, approximately 500 volunteers have joined our programs