Samana, Dominican Republic Island of Hispaņola
For Reservations Email: SamanaIslandHostel@gmail.com
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
About Visiting the Dominican Republic
WHAT IS NEEDED TO ENTER THE COUNTRY? VISA?
You need a passport to enter the country.
At the airport in Dominican Republic they issue a temporary visitor's visa for $20.
IS THERE ANYTHING I SHOULD KNOW TO AVOID GETTING SICK WITH "TRAVELER'S DIARRHEA?"
Don't eat raw salads anywhere. Always asked for COOKED salads. It is not a good idea to eat RAW salads because vegetables, such as lettuce, cabbage, and celery, though washed, are not soaked in anything to destroy any bacteria; therefore, salmonella can be a real threat
Always carry good bottled water
with you wherever you go. A five-gallon jug of spring water can be
purchased for around $1 U.S. Many guests bring a water bottle with
a straw in the cover with a shoulder strap for carrying with them.
WHAT ABOUT MEDICAL TREATMENT IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC?
There are clinics and hospitals in the Dominican Republic in most towns for emergency care, and for treatment of simple things (such as bacterial infections, parasites, and the flu). Blood analysis and x-rays are available.
For treating severe diseases or medical problems, most people go to Santo Domingo or Santiago. There are some good doctors, dentists, optometrists, chiropractors, and clinics there and in other places. It is not difficult to find out about these when the need arises. There are brothers that are medical doctors, dentists, optometrists, etc. The Branch Office is always very helpful.
MEDICATIONS: If you have medications, it
would be a good idea to bring enough with you for your stay.
WHAT KIND OF CLOTHING SHOULD I BRING?
If you visit the mountains in Jarabacoa, you will need a sweater or a jacket, warm pajamas, etc. (December through March). In warmer areas such as Samana, bring lightweight, cool clothing. Perma-press clothing is perfect as ironing is often a problem due to low voltage or power outages.
RAINWEAR: Lightweight rain coats/capes that you can fold and put in your bag are practical for the sudden unexpected showers that may come. Small fold-up umbrellas are practical.
SHOES: Territories in many places, such
as Samana, are rocky and hilly. Often one has to cross over streams
and rivers to get to a house. Good walking shoes are best.
Comfort rather than fashion is the key! PLAIN white/black walking shoes,
Sprints, Keds, etc. or plain leather tennis shoes are acceptable and
perfect for the rocky, and often muddy, field service terrain.
DO I NEED TO RENT A CAR OR MOTORBIKE TO VISIT DR?
Motor bikes and scooters are fine for country places and small towns, but are not recommended for other larger towns and cities. Most places in the Dominican Republic have excellent transportation using "conchos" (4 passenger 4-wheel covered wagon pulled by a motorcycle) and gua-guas (trucks and minivans).
CAR RENTALS: Mitsubishi Jeep or Suzuki Tracker Jeep, etc. for around $50-65 U.S. per day in the town of Samana.
Many friends prefer to rent a car for safety reasons. In most towns there are pretty good local bus systems (gua-guas, mini-buses, etc.) for transportation. So having a car is not always a necessity.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I TIP?
For restaurants, it is customary to tip 10% - the percentages added to the bill in restaurants and hotels are for government taxes, not the tip.
Hotel maids/housekeepers: $1.50 U.S. or $50 pesos a day or more, depending on services rendered.
Transportation: For private chauffeuring, depending on the services rendered ad the time chauffeur must wait for delays, etc., 10-20% is a fair amount to tip. For just simple normal regular taxi service, 10% is acceptable. For trips of several hours: $20 to $30 US.
Because the Dominican Republic is a "third world country," work is scarce
and salaries are low. For this reason, most persons depend on their
tips to support their families.
WHAT ABOUT MY DRIVERS LICENSE?
licenses from other countries are accepted in the Dominican Republic.
Once residency is obtained, a Dominican license must be obtained.
ARE THERE ATM MACHINES? CAN I USE VISA/MASTERCARD?
Yes. ATM machines can be foud in most towns throughout the country. If a town is small and very isolated, then one might have to go to a nearer larger town. However, generally, visitors to the country do not have a problem finding and ATM machine.
WHAT ABOUT MAIL SERVICE/UPS/FEDERAL EXPRESS?
Mail service in the Dominican Republic is not the best. It can take anywhere from two weeks to six months for a letter or package to arrive. It would be better to send your postcards the first few days you are here. In recent years, Internet connection has been made possible in most places, and it has become the principle way of communicating with persons outside the country.
IS THERE HOT WATER IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC?
places, NO, due to low voltage in the country.
news is that Samana Island Hostel does have hot water most of
the time. However, when there are electrical outages from the
town, we are automatically powered by an inverter system. During
that time, there is no hot water. This does not happen very
frequently, but it does happen.
WHAT ABOUT HAIR DRYERS AND IRONS?
If you stay somewhere where there is an inverter, these cannot be used at all unless the person has a special electrical setup for this. The good news, again, is the Samana Island Hostel does have special sockets in each bathroom - not connected to the inverter system - for hair dryers. During electrical outages, however, these are not functional.
If you have any questions that you would like to see answered on this page, please kindly send them to:
Updated January 2016