How Much Will it Cost to Vacation in the Dominican Republic?

Financial planning is important for an enjoyable trip

Photo credit: © Olga Chernetskaya |

Before setting out for your tropical island getaway to the Dominican Republic, take some time to plan your vacation finances and expenses.

Knowing how much you will spend while on vacation in the Dominican Republic can be extremely helpful when planning your budget. Travelers may not find this to be the most enjoyable part of planning their trip, but it is one of the most necessary aspects. Costs will vary according to every traveler's needs, but everyone can expect to spend money on certain things like accommodations, food, taxes, and tours.


The price of your accommodations will vary according to several different criteria: the time of year you travel, the type of lodging you choose, and the region of the Dominican Republic where you stay. All hotels and resorts add an 11 percent government tax and a 10 percent service charge to the final bill, and these charges do not include gratuities.

Some areas of the island have more expensive facilities than others. Santo Domingo is home to most of the island's pricey resorts and hotels, while areas like Samana are known for their inexpensive and budget accommodations. Vacationers staying in this areas of the island can pay as little as $50 (USD) per night, in comparison to a luxury hotel in Santo Domingo which can cost as much as $300(USD) or more a night.

Some vacationers may be taken aback by the high prices of luxury hotels, but as the saying goes: You get what you pay for. Some of the cheaper budget hotel rooms may not have air conditioning or may include only a bed. Higher priced hotels are usually of good quality and may provide amenities that budget hotels do not.

Choosing an all-inclusive hotel or resort may save many vacationers money on their whole trip. These hotels offer package deals that include many aspects of a vacation on one bill.

Also, the time of year during which you plan to vacation can greatly influence the cost of you hotel. During the high season, when most vacationers visit the island, hotel and resort prices are highest. The high season is generally during the winter, from November to April. Budget travelers may want to take into consideration that during the low season accommodations can be reduced as much as 50 percent.


Everyone has to eat. So when planning a vacation to the Dominican Republic, consider the cost of meals - and the restaurants' 10 percent service charge - as a necessary part of your budget.

A multitude of restaurants and vendors are located around the island, and tourists can choose from many types of cuisine. The cost of food in the Dominican Republic varies by restaurant. Travelers looking to spend as little as possible on food can find a meal for as low as $5 (USD). For around this price you can find familiar foods like pizza or a deli sandwich -- as well as more intriguing options favored by local residents.  

Travelers with more expensive tastes can visit any of the island's exquisite fine dining establishments. These fancy restaurants serve international dishes and items like steak and lobster. Patrons of these deluxe restaurants can anticipate spending at least $35 (USD) for a meal.

Vacationers who tastes lie somewhere in the middle can find moderately priced restaurants almost anywhere on the island. A meal at one of these restaurants generally ranges between $8 (USD) and $25 (USD).

Daily Expenses

What vacation would be complete without a little sight seeing, In order to explore the island, vacationers need to find the method of transportation that best fits their budget and traveling needs.

Buses are the most inexpensive way to tour the island. There is frequent bus service throughout the Dominican Republic, and the general fare for the metro's buses is about $3(USD). Travelers can also travel between major cities. The fare from Santo Domingo to Puerto Plata is about $6(USD).

Taxi cabs are a popular way to get around. The government regulates cab fares, and the minimum cost in Santo Domingo is around $4(USD). Taxis are unmetered, and travelers should determine the price of the ride with the driver before getting into the car. To hire a taxi with unlimited stops will cost about $10(USD) per hour with a minimum of a two hour ride.

The most expensive method of travel is by rental car. Travelers must put down a $200(USD) deposit, which can be paid in cash or by credit card. The average rate for renting a car on the island is $70(USD) or more per day, depending on the kind of vehicle you get and if you choose to get insurance. The daily costs are lower if you rent by the week.

Tourists can also get around the island by air. Some aircraft providers offer charter planes, sightseeing, and excursions around the island. There is service between several of the country's major cities, including Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata. A trip on a plane or helicopter costs about $60(USD).

Visitors interested in seeing the island's attractions or participating in local celebrations should remember that these things cost extra. The Dominican Republic has a number of zoos, museums, and night clubs that are popular with vacationers, but the cost of entry will vary from place to place. If you are interested in a particular site, call ahead to find out the price of admission.


Cigars, artwork, and jewelry are among the most popular souvenir items in the Dominican Republic. Bargaining and haggling is popular among street vendors and shop owners on the island, and they can be very tenacious when trying to persuade you to purchase their merchandise. Of course, the price of all items vary, so budget the correct amount of money for your particular tastes.

When purchasing items on the island take into consideration that you may have to pay extra on certain things when going through customs in your home country. Travelers should contact customs to find out which items can be returned duty-free and which are taxed.


Vacationers are charged a $20 (USD) departure tax when leaving the island in addition to the $10 (USD) tourist card that needs to be purchased upon arrival. The departure tax may be included in the price of your ticket to the island -- consult your airline to be sure.

Hotels and restaurants are allowed to add a 10 percent service charge to your final bill; this is in addition to the and the mandatory 16 percent government sales tax. When budgeting your vacation to the Dominican Republic, consider these additional costs when estimating the overall cost of your trip.

Taking the time to plan your vacation finances can alleviate many unexpected monetary stresses, allowing you to relax and enjoy your time in the Dominican Republic.


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