The Dominican Republic is known as a hothouse of baseball and the training grounds for hundreds of big league players. But, as savvy Caribbean vacationers know, there’s a whole lot more to this country than baseball.
The D.R. is one of the more affordable destinations in the Caribbean Sea and one of the most dazzling. It could be a mistake to overlook it in favor of a higher-profile island vacation spot.
There are seductive sand beaches with plenty of accommodation options, including regular hotels as well as all-in-one resorts. There’s a lively entertainment scene with island drinks, dancing and local music and culture.
There’s history and architecture. For those who want to get off the beaten path, there are rain forests, mango swamps, sugar plantations, challenging mountains and charming villages.
Visitors can hike, bike, kayak, snorkel and windsurf, or they can spend relaxing days just enjoying the plentiful beaches. So, just what does it cost to make a trek to this tropical retreat?
Your price will depend on where you stay, what you eat and how many adventures you treat yourself to. Look through these planning suggestions for expense guidelines and travel tips for your Dominican holiday.
Average Trip to the Dominican Republic Cost in 2023
A one-week trip to the Dominican Republic for two people will cost around $3,300:
- Average Accommodation Cost: $125 per night
- Average Flight Cost: $600 per person
- Food, Drink & Activities: $75 per person, per day
- Transportation: $250 total
- Total Cost: $3,300
Compared to many other Caribbean destinations, a D.R. vacation is quite reasonable. At this price, you can stay in nice but not luxurious hotels, eat many of your meals in restaurants and sample several extra-cost activities during your stay.
It would be easy to spend a lot more or a bit less. An alternative that some people choose is to pass the week at an all-inclusive resort in one of the beach communities.
Most of these run between $1,000 and $2,000 per person. In addition to your room, these include meals and some activities. The least expensive times to visit the country are in September and October and again in January through March.
The busiest times are in December and in the summer, not only because of tourists but also due to Dominican expatriates coming back from the U.S. to visit family.
Be aware that June through November is hurricane season, with the greatest chance of storms in August through October. The temperature is always warm, but the best combination of good weather and low cost is to be had in February and March.
Dominican Republic Trip Cost: Average by Item
According to a survey of 400 hotels, the average nightly room cost is $108 and the median is $85. In the popular tourist areas such as Punta Cana, the prices could be a bit higher, as much as $150 or more.
Nationwide, mid-range hotel rooms average $114 and luxury rooms are in the $200-$300 range. The most popular tourist destinations are beach cities such as Punta Cana, Puerto Plata and La Romana.
These communities have accommodations that are luxurious by any standards, with hotels and restaurants as nice as you’ll find anywhere.
There are many resorts in these towns with all-inclusive options, running about $1,000-$2,000 per person. You don’t have to leave the resort if you don’t want, and some people just stay there all week.
If you’re looking for sun, sand and good food and drink, it’s all on site. Most people, however, will want to take some excursions and see more aspects of the country.
Flight costs vary widely, and bargains frequently pop up. Sometimes, tickets can be had for $200-$300, but these may not go when and where you want.
Skyscanner recently found prices around $300, but you’re more like to spend $500-$600 per seat traveling from the Northeast or the Midwest and as much as $1,000 flying from the West Coast.
If you’re traveling from the Southeast, you might find tickets in the $200-$300 range and super-bargains as low as $100 or less. The cheapest time to travel is August through October, but that’s also the height of hurricane season.
The most expensive months are March though June. The main Dominican port of entry is Punta Cana.
It’s not only the busiest airport in the D.R. but also the second-busiest in the entire Caribbean. Additionally, there are plenty of flights into Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata and Santiago.
Food, Drink & Activity Costs
It’s been reported that visitors to the Dominican Republic typically spend around $40 a day for food. A cost of $5-$10 is normal for food from a street vendor or local café.
In the tourist meccas, dinner at nice restaurants will cost $20-$40. A couple of charges are added to your bill. There’s an 8 percent Value Added Tax and a 10 percent tip.
Sometimes the tax is included in the price; you can ask the server if you’re not sure. If you’re pleased with the service, you might add another 5-10 percent to the tip, but it’s not required.
If you’re enjoying your included meal at an all-inclusive resort, a tip is not necessarily expected, but if you’re happy with the service, you can contribute a small gift.
Dominican food is an eclectic mix of Spanish, African and native Taino cuisine. A trip to the D.R. isn’t complete without a sampling of mofongo, which is a feast of mashed plantains, garlic and pork crackling.
Another must-try local choice is sancocho, a satisfying meat and vegetable stew. You can top off your meal with dulce de leche, “candy from milk,” a caramelized concoction produced by slowly heating milk and sugar.
If you enjoy a drink, you probably already know about Presidente beer. The Dominican Republic also boasts several rums, including Brugal, Barcelo and Bermudez. Tourists aged 18 and older may legally consume alcoholic beverages.
It doesn’t cost anything extra to enjoy the tropical weather, the beaches and the sights, smells and sounds of the Dominican Republic.
However, you’re missing out on a lot of what the country has to offer if you don’t opt for some of the cost-added recreational activities. Are you interested in learning more about the country via museums and guided tours?
Is sightseeing such as cruises and whale-watching your thing? Or does your idea of vacationing include active sports such as snorkeling, water skiing and paragliding?
All of these choices are easy to find. Many visitors will average around $30-$40 a day for special vacation opportunities they might not find at home.
Some recent cost estimates include:
- Water skiing at $24
- All-day snorkeling for $32
- Paragliding for $60
- A horseback excursion for $38
- Whale-watching day trip at $65
If you want to learn a bit more about the D.R., there are museums and guided day tours. Each major tourist destination has its unique set of offerings.
- Santo Domingo is the home of the first European settlement in the Western Hemisphere. There are colonial buildings, including Alcazar de Colon, a museum that was once the home of Christopher Columbus’s son Diego.
- Punta Cana, the tourist haven of all-inclusive resorts, offers snorkeling, zip-lining and swimming with dolphins in addition to sun and sand. You can spend an entire day in Bavaro Adventure Park.
- The Samana Peninsula has quiet beaches and lush landscapes. El Limon waterfall seldom disappoints. From December to March, thousands of whales mate and give birth in Samana Bay.
- The north coast town of Puerto Plata offers Playa Dorada beach as well as a museum of amber collections and cable-car rides up Mt. Isabel de Torres.
- Another north coast locale, Caberete, is a headquarters for water sports such a kitesurfing, windsurfing and paddle boarding.
- On the south coast, La Romana boasts a recreated 16th-century village and also offers trips to the clear waters of Catalina Island.
Public transportation is readily available. You might spend about $7 a day traveling around one city or $18 for a trip between cities. If you use a taxi, make sure it’s driven by a licensed driver.
They wear the license around their neck and may have a uniform. Negotiate the price before you get in. Consider adding a small percentage to the fare as a tip. Rental cars are available for those who want to explore on their own.
Kayak reports fess of $40-$50 per day. Gas is around $5-$6 per gallon. Highways between the major cities are in good shape, but rural roads may be rough.
People are generally friendly, especially in the countryside, but you need to be alert for trouble in the cities. Drive with the windows closed and the door locked to avoid theft by motorcyclists at spotlights.
Driving at night is not advised. Lighting is poor, intersections are sometimes without signs or lights and there may even be unattended animals in the streets.
Things to Consider
Here are a few things you should know before you pack your sandals and sunscreen for a week in the Dominican Republic:
- The American dollar is widely accepted in tourist areas. In fact, many vendors prefer U.S. greenbacks. Prices are often listed in dollars as well as Dominican pesos.
- Dominicans respect their churches and religious sites, and you should, too. Dress nicely there and avoid shorts.
- When you shop for souvenirs, negotiate. Set an upper limit on what you’re willing to pay.
- In addition to sunscreen, pack broad-spectrum antibiotics, anti-diarrheals and mosquito repellent. You probably won’t get dysentery or dengue fever, but it’s a threat to be aware of.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it worth going to Dominican Republic for a week?
A long weekend is doable if you stick to one major destination such as Punta Cana. However, you need to stay a week for the full Dominican experience.
How safe is Dominican Republic to visit?
The U.S. State Deportment has issued a Level 2 travel advisory. That doesn’t discourage travel but recommends that you exercise increased caution because of crime. Use common-sense measures such as traveling in groups and avoiding unlit areas at night.
Is it safe to go to an all inclusive resort in Dominican Republic?
These are the safest places you can stay in the D.R. Most employ private security agents, and the Tourism Police stop by frequently.
What can you not bring into Dominican Republic?
Animal products and agricultural products may not be brought into the country. And, of course, don’t bring any illegal drugs.
What vaccinations do I need for Dominican Republic?
You should be up-to-date on routine vaccinations. CDC recommendations for further vaccinations depend on where you go and what you do.
Those to consider are hepatitis A and B, typhoid, diphtheria and rabies. In some cases, yellow fever and cholera vaccinations may be recommended. Consult your physician if you’re not sure.
What should I be careful of in Dominican Republic?
Avoid traveling alone, especially at night. Don’t leave drinks unattended. Don’t leave bags unattended at the beach.
Does anyone speak English in Dominican Republic?
In the tourist areas, you can almost always find someone who speaks English. Outside of that, only a small percentage of Dominicans are English speakers. If you know even a little Spanish, don’t be afraid to try it out. People will appreciate your effort and work with you to communicate.
So, What Is the Average Cost for a Dominican Republic Trip?
For a seven-day trip for two, average expenses will be:
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost||$125 per night|
|✈️ Average Flight Cost||$600 per person|
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities||$75 per person, per day|
|🚕 Transportation||$250 total|
|💲 Total Cost||$3,300|
You can have a full and comfortable sampling of the Dominican experience at this price. If you choose the convenience of an all-inclusive resort, you may find yourself spending one to several thousand more.
Either of these choices will provide a memorable vacation at a reasonable price compared to similar vacations in other Caribbean destinations. So, with so much to see and do, what are you waiting for — book your trip today!