What’s the best currency to bring?|
You will find its most convenient to bring US dollars. You will get a better rate if you exchange your foreign currency abroad. This is so because the dollar is an extremely competitive currency here, not so European and Asian currencies that are in less demand. Most stores and restaurants in tourist areas will accept US$ as well as the local currency, the Dominican peso shown as RD$.
Should I cash my Canadian dollars into US dollars?
Yes, if you want to get the maximum exchange rate.
The US dollar is currently trading at 34+ pesos = US$1. The Central Bank posts Monday to Friday exchange rates), for Central Bank quotes on exchange rates for the day.
What about other currencies?
If your original currency is not the US dollar, you would be best off changing your currency into US$ cash or traveler’s checks in US dollars before leaving home. There are no service fees for exchanging money in the DR but you will simply get a poorer rate than if you changed money at home.
If you have not had time to change your money abroad, you can do so in Dominican banks. Currencies of the United States, Canada and the European Union are exchanged by most banks and in most large hotels. The better rate for foreign exchange can be had at exchange houses rather than banks and hotels.
How much cash should I bring?
When traveling, avoid carrying a lot of cash, especially in the big cities. This is valid anywhere in the world and is why it’s best to use travelers checks and credit cards.
The amount of cash you bring will depend on what you plan to purchase. You may need ready cash for minor expenses and to purchase souvenirs from small vendors. Most other purchases can be made with credit cards or travel checks. There also is a large network of automatic teller machines in many bank branches and public places throughout the nation, especially in tourist destinations. You can withdraw money from your account at home or get a cash advance on your credit card, but remember, it will only be dispensed in Dominican pesos.
Also remember that the money change facilities in most resort areas will not give you dollars for your travelers checks… only pesos. Therefore, bring some US cash with you.
Note that the US$20 departure tax is usually included in the tour operator or airline fare for traveler's convenience.
For immediate funds upon arrival in the DR, you can change some money at the airport Banco de Reservas booth, open 24 hours.