Language: Spanish is the official language, but English is spoken in the main tourist centers.
Currency: The currency is the Peso (DOP), divided into 100 centavos. Many of the hotels and restaurants in the main tourist destinations display their prices in US dollars as well as in Pesos. The peso cannot be exchanged outside of the Dominican Republic.
Time: Local time is GMT -4.
Electricity: Electrical current is 110 volts, 60 Hz. American-style two-pin flat blade plugs are standard.
Communications: The international access code for the Dominican Republic is +1, in common with the US, Canada and most of the Caribbean, followed by 809 or 829. The outgoing code is 011 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 01144 for the United Kingdom); the outgoing code is not required for calling North America.
Climate: The Dominican Republic is hot and tropical, with little seasonal variation in temperatures, which average about 77°F (25°C). October to April being the rainy season on the north coast, while May to November is the wettest month in the south of the country. Cooler temperatures and less humidity are generally experienced between November and April. Hurricanes occur on average once every two years on the island, most striking the south of the country and most happening in August and September.
Tipping: Hotels and restaurants generally include a 10% service charge as well as tax, but additional tips should be given for good service. For other services including taxi drivers, tipping is discretionary depending on the service provided.
Getting Around: The Dominican Republic is serviced by large buses, as well as minibuses, which are cheaper than taxis but can be very crowded. Taxis are plentiful and radio-taxis usually respond quickly, with helpful and accommodating drivers who are used to dealing with tourists. Fares must be negotiated before leaving. Another option is a publico, or multi-passenger taxi; fares depend on length of trip. Motoconchos are motorcylces that take you from place to place for a few pesos, although you are safer taking taxis or publicos.