Dominican Republic shares the Hispaniola Island with Haiti; this island is located in the middle of the Caribbean Sea; so temperatures and weather are comfortable all year round, itís a perfect windsurfing holidayís destination. Cabarete is located on the Northern coast of the Dominican Republic, and itís one of the World top windsurfing destinations. A relaxed and informal atmosphere, beautiful palm fringed beaches, and some top class, consistent wind conditions, make this a fantastic place for windsurfing. Watersports lovers will find that holiday in the Dominican Republic is perfect for practice swimming, scuba diving, windsurfing, snorkelling and kitesurfing. Also mountain sports are popular there; you can practice biking, horseback riding, hiking and several day mountain treks.
The Dominican monetary unit is the peso, indicated by the symbol RD$. The peso is not available outside the Dominican Republic. Banco Popular, Banco Progreso, Banco de Reservas, Banco Leůn and Scotiabank all have ATMs that accept most foreign debit cards. Visa and MasterCard are accepted widely (Amex a little less so), especially in areas frequented by tourists. Some businesses add a surcharge for credit card purchases (typically 16%). Travelerís cheques are accepted by some banks. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take travelerís cheques in US Dollars.
Except in the central mountains, temperatures don’t vary much in the Dominican Republic, averaging a summery 81ºF (28ºC) to 87ºF (31ºC) in most places for much of the year. Tropical humidity can make the temperatures feel higher, though sea breezes help mitigate the effect. The rainy season is May to October, though in Samaná and on the north coast it can last until December. August and September constitute hurricane season. The main foreign tourist seasons are December to February and July to August and Semana Santa (the week before Easter). Expect higher prices and more crowded beaches at these times – Semana Santa is especially busy. February has great weather and you can enjoy Carnaval and the whales in Samaná. November is good, too – you will miss the whales but catch baseball season.
Vaccinations for tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended. Bilharzias (schistosomiasis) are endemic; avoid swimming and paddling in fresh water. Outbreaks of dengue fever occur in the area. Rabies may be present. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay.
UK / EU passport holders: A full 10 year passport valid until at least 6 months after date of return. Tourist entry card required. This can be bought on arrival for US $10 or arranged in advance with the Dominican Republic Consulate at a cost of £8. Other passport holders: Please check with Dominican Republic Consulate (0891 600 260).