If I say to you “Dominican Republic”, the first image that comes to your mind will probably be that of a crystal-clear and white sand beach, like the one on this picture, taken in Punta Cana. This is so because it is the most popular destination of that country, located on the Antilles archipelago, but by no means its only one. For example, Santo Domingo, the capital, has a lot to offer…, but you should know how much you’re going to need to pay for that.
That’s why, in this post, I’m going to tell you how much money you’ll need for a trip to the Dominican Republic.
The official currency of the Dominican Republic is the Dominican peso (symbol: $; ISO code: DOP). The first national banknotes that were issued were of RD$1, RD$5 and RD$10. They were designed by the American Bank Note Company in 1947 and were similar to American dollars as regards size and characteristics.
Nowadays, these are the denominations of banknotes: RD$20, RD$50, RD$50, RD$100, RD$200, RD$500, RD$1,000 and RD$2,000; and the coins: RD$1, RD$5, RD$10 and RD$25.
How much will I pay for…
Now that you know which coins and which banknotes are in circulation in the Dominican Republic, I’ll tell you the price of each service that you’ll need during your trip.*
You’ve got a wide range of means of transportation in the Dominican Republic: car, taxi, motoconcho, even ferry. This is what you’ll have to pay for…
- Renting a small car for a day: 3,000 Dominican pesos, the equivalent to 65 US dollars or 60 euros. You can rent one at companies like Hertz, Avis, National or Alamo. In order to drive, you should be at least 21 years old and have held a driving licence for at least two years.
- A litre of unleaded petrol: 50 Dominican pesos, equivalent to 1 US dollar or 1 euro. You should bear in mind that petrol stations usually close at 6 p.m., but there are some which are open 24 hours a day.
- A single ticket for public transport: 50 Dominican pesos, equivalent to 1 US dollar or 1 euro. The most recommended mode of transport to move around the country is the bus, with companies such as Metro Bus and Caribe Tours.
- A taxi from Las Américas International Airport to downtown Santo Domingo – the trip is about 45 minutes long: 2,240 Dominican pesos, equivalent to 50 US dollars or 44 euros.
Eating and drinking
Whether or not you are particular about food, in the Dominican Republic, you won’t have any problem making your choice among a great variety of dishes, e.g.: locrio, tostones, asopao and mangú. When it comes to drinks, you should definitely try local rum before leaving the country, and the batida, a kind of milkshake made with fruits, water and a lot of sugar. This is what you’ll have to pay for…
- A menu in a burger joint: 300 Dominican pesos, equivalent to 6 US dollars or 6 euros.
- Eating at an average restaurant: 900 Dominican pesos, equivalent to 19 US dollars or 18 euros.
- Dining at an average restaurant: 1,000 Dominican pesos, equivalent to 22 US dollars or 20 euros.
- The main national dish, sancocho, at a restaurant: 200 Dominican pesos, equivalent to 4 US dollars or 4 euros. It is made with beef, cassava, potatoes and plantains, among other ingredients.
- A beer in a pub: 190 Dominican pesos, equivalent to 4 US dollars or less than 4 euros.
- A coffee at a coffee shop: 125 Dominican pesos, equivalent to 3 US dollars or 2.5 euros.
Accommodation choices in this Caribbean nation are limitless, it all depends on your budget. These are the average prices of…
- A twin room in an average hotel, breakfast included: 4,300 Dominican pesos, equivalent to 95 US dollars or 88 euros.
- Renting a two-room flat in an average area in Santo Domingo: 22,400 Dominican pesos, equivalent to 480 US dollars or more or less 445 euros, unfurnished; 36,000 Dominican pesos, that is 777 US dollars or 720 euros, furnished.
Fiesta and Dominican Republic are two expressions that seem to be interlinked when we look at Punta Cana, a place to which many escape the hustle and bustle of big cities in search of sun, beaches and all inclusive packages. Besides resorts, there are other ways of recreation and entertainment. This is what you’ll have to pay for…
- A ticket to the movies: 250 Dominican pesos, equivalent to 5 US dollars or 5 euros.
- A drink at a bar or nightclub: 450 Dominican pesos, equivalent to 10 US dollars or more or less 9 euros.
- A ticket to a big museum, like the Museo de Arte Moderno or the Museo Bellapart: 150 Dominican pesos, equivalent to 3 US dollars or more or less 3 euros.
- A newspaper like the Listín Diario: 25 Dominican pesos, equivalent to 0.5 US dollars or 0.5 euros.
Lastly, and as a summary, I’ll say that the approximate total budget per person and day, provided that you move around in a rental car and that you participate in some of the leisure activities mentioned above, would be approximately 6,465 Dominican pesos (140 US dollars or 129 euros). If you move around in public transport, with a round trip included, the budget drops to 5,065 Dominican pesos (109 US dollars or 100 euros).
Where to exchange currency in the Dominican Republic
Global Exchange is present in the Dominican Republic since 2006. Nowadays, it has branches at the Punta Cana International Airport, the Cibao International Airport (in Santiago de los Caballeros) and in 19 hotels located in the tourist areas of Bayahibe and Bávaro, as well as in the shopping centre Palma Real. Altogether, it makes 39 branches in 25 Workplaces with 221 employees. You can find more about its services on its website.
If you’re planning a trip to the Dominican Republic and would like to exchange your currency for Dominican pesos before getting there, I recommend you to visit Global Exchange. With more than 260 branches in 21 countries, this Company is your best partner for currency exchange transactions.
*Rates taken as reference are based in Santo Domingo as of January 2016.