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Language: Spanish | Currency: Peso (DOP) | Local time: UTC -4:00 | Avg. Flight time: 9 hours
Officially, the Dominican Republic is home to eight international airports, although nearly half of all foreign tourists arrive into Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) on charter flights. Santo Domingo’s Las Americas International Airport (SDQ) is the second busiest in the country, while Puerto Plata’s Gregorio Luperón International Airport (POP) provides a gateway to the popular resorts of Playa Dorada and the Costa Dorada.
Other towns with airports include Santiago (STI), La Romana (LRM), Barahona (BRX) and Samaná (AZS), so you should have no problem finding the ideal landing strip for your stay.
If you’re arriving into Santo Domingo (SDQ) and connecting to an internal flight, bear in mind that the journey to La Isabela International Airport (JBQ), the hub for most domestic flights in the Dominican Republic, takes at least an hour by road. It’s an all-too-easily overlooked detail that has tripped up many an independent traveller to the island. Give yourself plenty of extra time to transfer between flights and double-check your airport codes before booking.
While the lion’s share of British tourists touch down in the Dominican Republic on a package holiday that combines flights with accommodation, independent travellers will find several airlines offering direct flights to the Dominican Republic from London.
British Airways and TUI Airways both operate direct flights from London Gatwick (LGW) into Punta Cana (PUJ), while Thomas Cook Airlines runs some of the cheapest flights to the Dominican Republic from London Heathrow (LHR) via Germany, in partnership with Lufthansa.
You don’t need to be based in London to find cheap flights to the Dominican Republic. Thomas Cook Airlines and TUI Airways both offer direct routes to Punta Cana from Manchester (MAN) on a weekly basis, providing a route straight to the Caribbean. Thomas Cook also operates direct flights from Birmingham (BHX) to Punta Cana, making it easy to reach the Dominican Republic from the Midlands.
Bag the cheapest flights to the Dominican Republic by booking well in advance or set up an email alert for special deals. It’s worth it.
All travellers need a tourist card to enter the Dominican Republic. These can be purchased on arrival at the airport for US$10 or the equivalent in euros, so be sure to bring a small stash of either currency.
A tourist card entitles you to 30 days in the country, but if you want to stay longer, you can pay for an extension at the airport. There is also a departure tax of US$20 per passenger, which many tour companies include in the price of package deals.