Dominican Republic Vacation Tips

Dominican Republic Vacation Tips
The Dominican Republic offers travelers the opportunity to explore a diverse ecological area in the midst of rich cultural and historical surroundings. Visitors can explore El Choco National Park, the slopes of Loma De La Viuda or even El Malecon in Santo Domingo. But before departure, there are a few things worth considering.

Before Departure

Research and prepare yourself before traveling. Remember that winter is the busiest, most expensive time to visit. Additionally, hurricanes are most likely to arrive between June and November. Second, buy a phrasebook and learn a few lines of Spanish--it is considered rude not to at least try. Third, protect yourself from malaria by taking some form of prophylaxis. Chloroquine is recommended, but dosages should be started prior to departure. Dengue fever, for which there is no prophylaxis, is also common. Protect yourself against mosquitoes. Consider being vaccinated for Typhoid and Hepitits A and B. Update inoculations, such as tetanus, if necessary. Those spending extended time in rural areas should consider a rabies vaccination as well. Understand, however, a rabies vaccination only gives the victim more time to be treated and should not be considered a preventitive.

U.S. Department of State
Dominican Republic Information
2201 C Street NW
Washington DC 20520
(202) 647-4000
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1103.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dominican Republic Information
1600 Clifton Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30333
(888) 232-6348

Upon Arrival

Use your head while traveling as you would in any foreign surroundings. On the simplest level, when touring any religious areas shorts, mini skirts and halter tops are unacceptable. While touring, avoid the very common wild dog packs that roam the streets. Also, avoid tap water like the plague. Even locals boil their water if they can not afford to purchase bottled water, which is readily available. Changing gears, even in many areas of Santo Domingo, street lights do not exist. As a result, petty crime does sometimes occur. Be aware of where you are walking after dark, especially if you are alone as muggings do occur. More importantly, HIV rates are high in the Dominican Republic. If you are single and sexually active use protection.

Around the Country

Extend your vacation a few days to explore the islands many sights in greater detail. The Dominican Republic has many historical and natural sights to visit. First inhabited by the Taino people, there are many areas of the country where tourists can view petroglyphs. Jaragua National Park, in the far southwest, is the largest of many national parks in the country and its caves house many examples of Taino art. Reached by Christopher Columbrs in 1492, the Dominican Republic was the site of the first permanent European settlement in the New World. Visitors can explore the ruins of one of the earliest settlements at the Parque Historico la Isabela in the northwest. Also, the Ciudad Colonial zone of Santo Domingo, a UNESCO site, should not be missed. Lastly, outdoor lovers have many options, including national parks and conservation areas. Ecological zones vary from lush tropical forests to desert cactus to high mountain plateaus.

Article Written By Mike Biscoe

Mike Biscoe has been writing since 2009. Focusing on travel, sports and entertainment topics, he has credits in various online publications including LIVESTRONG.COM and Trails. He often writes articles covering uncommon travel destinations from firsthand experience. Biscoe holds a Certificate of Completion in acting from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.

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