The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island of La Hispaniola, which it shares with Haiti, and is the second largest country in the Caribbean, comprising an area of 48,442 square kilometers (29,948 square miles). It is bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean and on the south by the Caribbean Sea. Approximately nine million people live in the Dominican Republic. Spanish is the official language of the Dominican Republic although English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas and large cities. Traffic sign are in Spanish, although menus in tourist regions are usually also available in English.
As with the rest of the Caribbean, the most common weather forecast is partly sunny with a chance of a shower lasting 10 minutes or less, most likely in the late afternoon. The temperatures usually fluctuate from a high of33oC (91oF) in August a chilly 17oC (62oF) on winter mornings. Temperatures between summer and winter usually fluctuate less than ten degree.
Electricity appliances run on 110 volts/60 cycles, just as in the United States.
The Dominican Republic posses a modern airport system, comfortable and efficient, composed of six airports located throughout the national geography for domestic and international flights. Cap Cana is only ten minutes away from the Punta Cana international airport, the most active airport in the Dominican Republic and third in the Caribbean with direct flights from Europe (Frankfurt, Paris, London, Spain, Berlin) Latin America (Panama, Caracas, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile), United States (Miami, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Washigton D.C.) and Canada (Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Winnipeg, Calgary).
For ground transportation you can either rent car upon your arrival at the airport or use taxi service that can be provide by hour or day.
The country has one of the most sophisticated telecommunications system in Latin America. When at Cap Cana you can visit the Orange Shop located at Las Canas comercial area.
If you are planning to visit the Dominican Republic you should take into consideration that most of nationalities require a valid passport. Citizens and legal residents from the, Canada, Spain, Mexico, and Venezuela, among other countries, need to purchase a tourist card (US$10) for a stay of up to 30 days, and an additional US $ 10 for up to 90 days stays these tourist cards can be purchase at the airport upon your arrival.
Sales and service taxes all services provided such as restaurants and hotels collect by law a 26% of their published prices, 16% for the sales tax and 10% service charge. Is customary to tip an additional 10% for satisfactory service in restaurants.
Businesses typically operate from 9:00am to 5:00pm five days a week. Shops open on weekdays at 9:00am and usually stay open until 7:00pm on weeknights and until 2:00pm on Saturdays. Major stores remain open until 10:00pm and on Sunday will close at around 8:00pm. Government offices, as well as foreign consulates and embassies, open at 8am and close at 2:00pm Monday through Friday.