Welcome to the tranquil and wonderful small fishing town of Bayahibe. You have already booked your vacation or right now you are thinking to spend your annual quality time here, that’s great! In this section we are going to tell you almost everything a tourist wants or has to know about his future holiday location.
We show you how you can get on the island, get around and explain you more about the transport options on land, on water or in the air. The fact that the Dominican Republic, your future holiday destination, is a foreign country whose currency is the Dominican Pesos ($RD), you need to change your home currency to the local one. We help you to find Exchange offices, tell you what to look for and what to beware of. Of course you can also exchange money in one of the banks. We will explain you where they are located and what service they offer to their clients.
Maybe you have heard or read something about the safety in the Dominican Republic, but is this all true and how will it be in real? Also for this matter we wrote you an article with useful information and some normal ´do and don`t`.
We are going to explain you more about the presence of so many chicken and of course the more important roosters in the country and why they are extremely important for some of the natives. There is also a part of the history, the pros and cons of cock fights and their popularity to find in the article.
In our News section we keep you up to date with the latest changes, sensations and information about Bayahibe, the Dominican Republic and many more.
After arriving in the Dominican Republic, either by plane or by cruise ship you can choose amongst different transportation options.
There are Taxis available 24/7 at the airports. It is also possible to book the transfer online and in advance. A one way Taxi/ transfer costs approx. $35 from La Romana airport, $120 from Punta Cana and $110 from Santo Domingo. Some hotels even offer their guests a pickup service. You can take taxis also in every town and city, here it is good to know the distance, so that you don’ t pay too much.
The most common public transport options are the huge and comfy coaches, Sachem and Caribe Tours drive frequently between major cities. They are air conditioned, play movies and can carry all your luggage easily. The smaller versions are the minivans, called Guaguas. They will take you further into smaller towns and villages. They are not really comfortable, however, they are the cheapest option to go from A to B. In Bayahibe is the Guagua station at the bus parking lot between main road and beach. But they are also driving through town and you can jump on and hop off wherever you want.
For short trips there are motoconchos (motorbike-taxis) available at every corner. If you want to be totally independent you can rent a car, which you mostly can book online before you arrive. Pick up and drop off stations from various rental companies are at the airports and in the cities. The road network is reasonable and it exists a highway from Santo Domingo via La Romana to Punta Cana and to Santiago. The conditions are mostly good, except for the occasional pot hole and speed bumper here and there. Like in every other country there are rules, however they are not strictly followed by many drivers, so take extra care when you are on the road here.
Before you start your holiday in the Dominican Republic you should consider your options regarding paying and getting money in the foreign currency. The official currency in the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Peso $RD, however, they mostly also accept the American Dollar $USD. Especially in touristic areas you can pay, e.g. your hotel or restaurant bill or in some of the bigger supermarkets, with debit or credit card, but don`t expect this possibility everywhere. Moreover, it could be that you have to pay fees when using your debit or credit card abroad. Therefore you should always have some cash with you.
You can already exchange money before your holiday starts at a bank in your country. Please note that the exchange ranges and fees in our home country may be significant higher than in the target country.
The other alternative is to bring money in your currency and exchange it into Dominican Pesos in the Dominican Republic. When you arrive by plane, you might need instantly local currency to pay a taxi, bus or rental car. Therefore there are already exchange offices at the airport. Same applies to the cruise ship ports.
Exchange offices can be found everywhere, even in smaller towns. They are easily to find as they have signs with the current main currency rates in front. The daily exchange rates can vary depending on the international rate.
In general we recommend to compare the rates of the different exchange offices, as these can diversify as well. Sometimes you need an ID to get your money changed, so don`t forget to take your passport with you.
Globalization makes it easy to travel the world these days and it is no problem anymore to pay and withdraw money, no matter where you are and what currency is used. Although the Dominican Republic is still registered as a third world country you will see that the technologies are enough developed to meet international standards, especially in touristic areas.
The local currency in the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Pesos $RD, whereas mostly the American Dollar $USD is also excepted.
With a debit or credit card and a pincode you can withdraw money from every ATM, but expect to pay a fee of about 200 Pesos/4 USD. The maximum amount you can receive at once is 10000 RP/180 USD. The daily or weekly limit depends on the individual conditions of your bank.
Please notice, that the money will only be dispensed in Pesos and you might have to inform your card provider about the dates you are in the Dominican Republic as they will block your card for fraudulent use.
Especially in small villages, like Bayahibe, it can happen that the ATMs are empty as they don`t get filled frequently. In this case you have the opportunity to go to a bank and withdraw money at the counter by showing your debit or credit card and a valid ID. You should consider that the fees here are higher, up to 8 USD.
The biggest banks in the Dominican Republic are Banco Popular, Scotiabank, Banco BHD Leon, BanReserva and Banco Central. All of them provide counter service and 24/7 available cash machines with more or less equal fees.
In Bayahibe is a Banco BHD Leon located on the main road, with its ATM outside and another ATM at the supermarket. Some resorts, like Viva Wyndham Dominicus provide a cash machine on site.
Despite many negative comments, we claim that the Dominican Republic is in general a safe country and for that a good holiday destination. Of course, there are exceptions when tourists have to be more careful as usual, but think about your hometown… in every city you have areas which you should avoid. When you travel to the Dominican Republic you have to be aware of that you appear as a rich person, what is not wrong regarding the life many Dominicans live and yours, even if you don’t feel rich back home. So, don’t be worried, just stick to these general rules.
There are the occasional pickpockets in the touristic areas and in places with lots of people. So be aware that you keep your purse and belongings close to you. We recommend that you don’t wear your best jewelry or expensive watches when you go out. Please do not show your money too obvious when you pay and keep it in different places on you, or even better, don’t take too much money with you.
If you rent a car, make sure you don’t leave anything of value in the car when you go and explore the country. Break-ins into rental cars happen every now and then. Women should be prepared to get some compliments they are not used to. It is in the culture of the Dominican men to be quite offensive, and sometimes it appears that they are rude, loud and reckless but at the end they are harmless.
Other than that, it is like in every other country. You should not walk around in suspicious neighborhoods or during nighttime in dark and lonely places. Just use your common sense and take no unnecessary risk than you will have a great vacation in the Dominican Republic.
If you want to spend your holidays in the Dominican Republic don't wonder about the crowing roosters, which you can see and especially hear everywhere. Roosters play a huge role in the life and tradition of Dominicans. On the one hand, they need the roosters to bread their beloved pica pollo, a traditional chicken meal. On the other hand, they use them as gladiators in the arena. These cockfights are seen as sports and social events. The sport of cockfighting has a long history and was once popular all over the world. Already 4600 years ago the first known fights were taken in India. The historical records show the popularity in countries like Egypt, the United States, France, Italy, Great Britain and many more. In the USA and Europe, except of France and Italy, cockfights are prohibited since the 19th century. Not only the Dominican Republic is still very active in organising cockfights.
Dominican rooster owners take very well care of their animals, they feed them with special food and some of them get even better treated than family members. It takes 2 years until a young rooster is ready for its first and sometimes also its last fight. The cockfights are held in small arenas, which are mostly located in smaller villages or at the outskirts of towns, except the biggest in the capital Santo Domingo. The roosters get prepared for the fights before they go into the arena, where they fight until the bitterly end, whilst the viewer cheer them and bet, sometimes huge amounts of money on their favourite. For some of the rooster owners it is not only a passion, it is their occupation and they depend on that income.
It is quite a controversial topic with two different views, for and against cockfights. Whatever is your opinion you will make friends on both sides.