What to Know Before Traveling to Punta Cana

Punta Cana is a popular destination for golf, weddings, Spring Break, and family trips.

Punta Cana is a popular destination for golf, weddings, Spring Break, and family trips.

Punta Cana is a resort town located in the La Altagracia province on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic. The region is home to approximately 50,000 residents and is a popular destination for tourism. Punta Cana International Airport is denoted (PUJ).

What is the official language?

Spanish is the official language of the Dominican Republic.

What is the official currency?

The Dominican Peso (denoted as DOP, or RD$) is the official currency in the Dominican Republic.

What side of the road is driven on?

Driving in the Dominican Republic is on the right side of the road.

Is a passport required?

Yes, a valid passport is required to enter and exit the Dominican Republic.

Is Punta Cana safe?

There is a "high level of criminality" in the Dominican Republic, according to the U.S. Department of State. Robbery is the most common type of crime. The Bureau of Diplomatic Security indicates that most robberies occur when the victim is on foot, especially at night.

The Dept. of State also cautions to "Avoid renting vehicles or driving unless familiar with the local traffic laws and customs." 

Additional travel information is provided by the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs.

Do children traveling with a single parent need permission from the other?

Foreign children who are traveling to the Dominican Republic with one parent do not require the permission of the other parent, according to the La Dirección General de Migración de la República Dominicana website

There is confusion around this topic because the rules are different for minors who are Dominican residents, foreigners with a Dominican residence, former-Dominican residents who were adopted, and other special circumstances. Parents should research this topic carefully before booking travel.

Is the water safe to drink?

No, tap water is not safe to drink in the Dominican Republic (this includes ice cubes). Bottled water and beverages are considered to be safe.

What is the time zone?

Punta Cana observes Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4). Daylight Saving Time is not observed.

What is the weather like?

Punta Cana has a tropical climate summarized as “hot and humid.” February is the coldest month: High temperatures are around 82°F and the evening temperature is around 71°F. August is the hottest month: Daytime temperatures are around 87°F and evening temperatures are around 77°F. 

The Atlantic hurricane season is between June and November, but statistically speaking, the likelihood of a hurricane hitting Punta Cana is greatest in August and September.

What is the drinking age?

The legal drinking age in the Dominican Republic is 18 years old.

Are there sharks?

There are many kinds of sharks in the waters surrounding the Dominican Republic, however, shark attacks are incredibly rare.

What type of electrical current is used?

Punta Cana uses 110V electric current. Most U.S. appliances, which are rated for 120V, will work on 110V current.

Are there Zika-carrying mosquitoes in Punta Cana?

Zika cases have been reported in the Dominican Republic, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but no outbreaks are currently reported. The CDC provides Zika travel information as well as special precautions for pregnant women.