Note: All United States citizens are required to have a valid passport to re-enter the United States.
**All visitors must purchase a USD$10 Dominican Republic Tourist Card upon arrival (cash only).**
Size / Population: 100,000 people live in the 1,100 acre area of Punta Cana (PUJ) on the east coast of the Dominican Republic.
Political Status: The Dominican Republic is a democratic republic.
Language: Spanish. Some English is spoken in resorts, but it will be handy to learn some key Spanish phrases.
Currency: The Dominican Republic Peso. U.S. dollars are widely accepted, and vendors may give you a better deal if you bargain with dollars. There are ATMs, and credit cards are accepted at many retail shops, although you’ll probably get a better deal with cash.
Electricity: 110 volts, same as U.S.
Time Zone: Atlantic Standard Time (one hour ahead of New York); Daylight Saving Time is not observed.
Communication: To dial Punta Cana from the U.S direct dial 1 + 809 + the 7-digit local number. When calling the U.S. you can make calls from your hotel; however, this is usually expensive. A more affordable route is using a local call center. Internet service is widely available at most resorts. Check with your cell phone provider for international coverage.
Drinking Water: Ask at the resort if the water is purified. Even then it's a good idea to stick to boiled water only (ok for tea and coffee) or bottled water. Definitely keep to bottled water outside the resorts.
Transportation: Taxis are readily available. Visitors can also rent cars or scooters. Drivers must be 21-25 years old (varies by rental company) and must be in possession of a valid U.S. driver’s license and major credit card and must purchase a $12 local license.
Local Customs: The legal drinking / gambling age is 18. Tipping: generally 15-20% in restaurants; bellmen: $1 per bag; housecleaning staff: $1-$2 per day.
Getting Married: U.S. citizens can legally get married in Punta Cana. Please contact a Vacation Express representative for details on resorts offering special wedding packages and to discuss your particular wedding requirements. Our experienced group department will be happy to assist with travel arrangements for all attendees.
The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in the Dominican Republic. Please check with the Dominican Republic tourism department or wedding coordinator at your resort for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in the Dominican Republic. Church weddings can be arranged but have more stringent requirements than the civil service, and your wedding coordinator can assist with details. All information below is subject to change without notice.
Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents:
• Original and two copies of official birth certificate
• A valid, non-expired passport
• An Affidavit that provides proof of Single Status translated by an official translator into Spanish at the Dominican Consulate where the document was issued. Forms must be notarized. You must send (or bring) both the original form in English and two of the translated forms. The cost is US$100 per legalization and US$40 per translation (only the translated copies need to be legalized and stamped and paid for).
• Divorce or death certificate if applicable
• Original and copies of the official identification of two witnesses
Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree (Decree Absolute) or a certified death certificate translated by an official translator into Spanish at the Dominican Consulate where the document was issued. If divorced, a waiting period of 10 months from date of divorce applies before either party can remarry.
Waiting Period/Residency Requirement: The bride/groom must send copies of all documents above to the Oficialia del Estado Civil (City Clerk) preferably six months in advance and request a judge at least one month in advance prior to the wedding date in order to apply for a marriage license. There is no official residency requirement.
Witnesses: You must have two witnesses over the age 18 with official identification credentials.
Fees: License fee is approximately US$455. If wedding is being planned through a hotel, fees may vary. Consult your wedding coordinator for the most current information.
Spanish Phrases Everyone Should Know
- ¿Cuánto cuesta? How much is it? (As you're pointing at an item)
¿Donde estoy? Where am I?
¿Cómo se dice ... ? How do you say ... ? (Followed by the word you wish to learn)
¡Muchas gracias! Thank you!
Con permiso. Excuse me. (As you are trying to get by someone)
Por favor ... Please ...
No hablo español. ¿Hablas inglés? I don't speak Spanish. Do you speak English?
¿Dónde está ... ? Where is ...
No, gracias. No, thanks.
Passenger Information with regards to rights under the Canadian Air Passenger Protection Regulations: SOR/2019-150
If you are travelling to or from a Canadian airport and are denied boarding or your baggage is lost or damaged, you may be entitled to certain standards of treatment and compensation under the Canadian Air Passenger Protection Regulations. For more information about your passenger rights please contact your operating airline or visit the website of the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA).