Santo Domingo Favorite Tips by marielexoteria Top 5 Page for this destination
Santo Domingo Favorites: 30 reviews and 30 photos
Favorite thing: The airport is the place where you get the first and last impression of a city/country, and of course you want to spend the least amount of time possible there as well as having a smooth check in and out - at least I do! So here I share my little guide on how to spend less time there and more time enjoying your vacation.
(1) Make the line to buy the tourist card and have your passport and your 10US handy (or the exact money if you're more than one person). Do check with your airline if they include this in their flight fare because some do. The airlines who include the card will most likely give it on the plane, prior to landing. You can also buy the tourist card at the nearest Dominican embassy (contact them to double check this info). Those with a residency permit do NOT need to pay for this tourist card.
(2) All non Dominicans must fill in the blue Migration form (one per person) and every head of family must fill in the Customs form (Edit Apr 2009 one per family).
Edit Apr 2009: if you have Dominican residency then fill in the white embarkation form (the one on picture 3).
(3) Hand in the blue form, the tourist card and your passport at passport control.
(4) After picking up your baggage, there's some other guy in Customs to whom you give the white form.
(1) After checking in, take off your belt, shoes and anything that might make the machine beep at the security check. Also remember to take out your laptop and/or the bag with the liquid items, if applicable, from your carry-on bag.
(2) Make sure you have the 20US departure tax handy (or exact money if you're more than one person). Again, do check with your airline/travel agent in case the tax is included in your airfare.
(3) Fill in (again) the blue Migration form (if you're a resident then the white embarkation form). I was told to fill in another white form called International embarkation-disembarkation card but Mr. Sweden didn't have to, although other tourists did fill it in.
(4) Give it together with the passport and the departure tax (IF they ask for it, sometimes they don't. This tax is supposedly paid by everyone but I've never paid it and Mr. Sweden didn't either). If you overstayed the tourist card (only "good" for up to 29 days), you might have to pay a small fine. I say might because Mr. Sweden overstayed his for 3 days and nobody asked him for any money. The fine prices are available here but let them ask for the money. Do NOT pay more than the specified price, which is printed in big signs at the airport.
Of course I don't have to say "be there on time for the check-in process" and what not.
Translation of the Customs form
1) Name: last names, first and middle names
2) birth date (day/month/year)
3) Passport number
4) Number or relatives traveling with you
5) Airline and flight number
6) Address in Dominican Republic
7) Purpose of your trip (business, pleasure, other - specify)
8) Residency country
9) How long are you planning to stay in Dominican Republic? (only for non residents)
10) I bring any kind of electrodomestic/household item (yes/no)
11) I bring fruits, vegetables or any other agricultural product (yes/no)
12) I bring more than US$10,000 (in any currency or negotiable monetary document) (yes/no)
13) I bring articles for gifts or business (as in sell them) (yes/no)
If yes, write the total value in US$
Sugar cane plants at the Botanical Garden
Favorite thing: Dominicans like enjoying a glass of sugar cane juice on a hot day. Not only is it delicious but it helps cleanse the kidneys. Before there used to be a lot of sellers selling the juice in tricycles but as of Feb 2008 I only saw one at El Malecón but the juice can be bought at the big supermarkets.
When I was a child I also used to eat sugar cane with my friends. You peel it (we left that to the adults), then you take a bite, chew it and suck the juice and then you spit it out. What can't be eaten plus the skin is taken to make paper - or at least it was then, so nothing from the sugar cane was wasted.
Sugar cane was a big deal for us during the colonial times and at one point we produced sugar for export. Now, as far as I know, we only produce it for internal consumption.
The beautiful moon
Favorite thing: We had the opportunity to see a lunar eclipse while we were there and it was nice because where we live we can rarely see any space fenomena. My pictures aren't the best so I combined this tip with a better one from ESA. The eclipse took place on Feb 20 and the pictures were taken between 9 and 10pm.
Favorite thing: Besides comfortable shoes and clothing and a water bottle (or 2), a good map of the Old Town is good to have if you want to know where you walked by or information in general. A good one can be found at Colonial Zone. They have a printable version and the one on the link, where you can click on the numbers to find out about the places.
Framboyán (photo from el-bohio.com)
Favorite thing: There are trees and flowers in Santo Domingo that I haven't seen anywhere else I've been, like the "framboyán". My mom has a "green hand" and has orchids that are in blossom all year round (give me your secret!!!!!!).
While walking around Santo Domingo, take a little time to enjoy the green and the colors of the trees around you. And if you really want to visit a place devoted to plants, then go to the Botanical Gardens (see my separate tip on it).
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