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  1. #1
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    Default Buying pesos in Charlotte

    Wherever I have traveled before, I just withdrew local currency at a bank ATM on arrival. Never had an issue.

    I'm headed to the DR in June for a study abroad and my program is advising me to have pesos in hand on arrival, and preferably do not get them at the airport exchange.

    I guess maybe the admins think we will get jumped at a local ATM or something? But why not get it at the US airport?

    Any Charlotte area DR people know where to get them locally? Most places don't even know where the DR is, nevermind getting anything other than Mexican pesos. [Or is this whole thing really just gringo paranoia?]

    Thanks !

    jabuti

  2. #2
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    You don't need them on arrival, even the taxis accept US Dollars, what airport are you flying into and where do you have to go? [So we can tell you how much it should cost you in US $$, more or less]

    I've used ATMs for decades in DR, just be sure to use one that's physically attached to a bank. Watch around you the same way you would in Charlotte.

    AE

  3. #3
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    Will be flying into STI. Best case scenario is a pickup from the organizers. If the plane is late [and mine is ALWAYS LATE], we get to taxi it to PUCMM area.

    I'm also trying to figure out what kind of sort of time frame it will take to get through the customs and what not at STI during a weekday evening?

    Thanks for your help!

  4. #4
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    Jabuti,
    Are you talking about Charlotte, NC? There use to be a Dominican restaurant on W.T.Harris Blvd. - least Dominicans use to go there.
    Customs are one of the worst in Santiago. Most of the times they check everything throughly, but will leave you alone if you don't have new, high priced electronics still in the box.
    Anyway, you don't really need pesos, US$ will be fine anywhere. Just have few 10, 5, 1 dollar bills for tips when needed. Usually cabdrivers are playing the "I don't have any change" game.. I wouldn't exchange money on the airport, the rate is bad, wait until you get into the city "Cambios" have the best rates.
    Have you been in the DR before?

    The Hun

  5. #5
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    Jabuti: I suppose you are coming for some sort of Summer Study program at PUCMM???
    If you want, send me a PM with your flight info, and perhaps I can sort of guide you into the city and get you settled.

    I really do not know who is advising you to buy pesos before you leave the states!! Has to be someone who is not too smart. A friend of ours just told us that the exchange rate they were offered in the States was like 30:1, and here, at banks and exchamge houses it is over 37.50:1....go figure.

    You got good advice: a small packet of $5s and $1s will work wonders. Just figure that $10 is equal to 375 pesos, so $15.oo should be enough to get into town.

    Send me a PM and we can talk a bit more..

    HB

  6. #6
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    Default I'll just buy them at the airport

    HB: Indeed I am. Despite the side-eyed looks and the people who think DR = Haiti or Ciudad Juarez. Yikes.

    Now this is where it sounds bogus to me. If the exchange rate is somewhere in the 35:1 ratio, and I convert $50 USD to start out as suggested by the progam, xe.com says that will be about 1800 DOP. Do I really want to get 1800 DOP worth of small bills??

    The Hun: thanks for the tips. I have not been to that one, but have been to Punta Cana on South a few times. This is my first time to the DR, and it will be for 6 weeks. I have a feeling it will be a bit like living in midtown Atlanta again.

    -jabuti

  7. #7
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    Jabuti, do yourself a humongous favor and take Hillbilly up on his offer - he's truly the godfather of Santiago and the university, and an offer like that only comes once in a lifetime. Don't pass it up. The man knows his stuff - and is a professor at the university. Contacts, contacts, contacts. Plus he's a nice guy!

    AE

  8. #8
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    Our program is supposed to meet us 25 locas at the airport and take us to our host families. As I am but a shy lady, perhaps I could have the honor of meeting the Ambassador of Santiago once I am settled in? He does seem like a lovely guy, and always answers my insepid DR 101 questions.

    HB - What do you teach? I didn't know that!

  9. #9
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    PM is your friend...like I said...

    If they are meeting you, not to worry. You won't need anything until the following day.
    then you go to a Banco de Cambio or to Banco Popular (at least to start)...after you are here a week you can
    learn about the best places to exchange money.

    Actually, money goes like water nowadays. Diesel is now over $5 a gallon, a small frozen yogurt is over $2,00. A small pizza with pepperoni is $5.30 at Macao Grill...good value for here. If you can believe it, Limes are now RD$10 each!!! And scarce.. They cost more than plantains!

    HB

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabuti View Post
    HB: Indeed I am. Despite the side-eyed looks and the people who think DR = Haiti or Ciudad Juarez. Yikes.

    Now this is where it sounds bogus to me. If the exchange rate is somewhere in the 35:1 ratio, and I convert $50 USD to start out as suggested by the progam, xe.com says that will be about 1800 DOP. Do I really want to get 1800 DOP worth of small bills??

    The Hun: thanks for the tips. I have not been to that one, but have been to Punta Cana on South a few times. This is my first time to the DR, and it will be for 6 weeks. I have a feeling it will be a bit like living in midtown Atlanta again.

    -jabuti
    Don't buy money at the airport! They'll cheat you out of about $40.00 USD.

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