(*Update February 2015: There are new bank notes in circulation since the last October. Here how the new notes look like. The US Dollar is now around 44-45 DOP)
Currency Name: Dominican Peso
Currency Code: DOP
Being Punta Cana located in the beautiful Dominican Republic, the local official currency is the Dominican Peso (DOP). Its value fluctuates between 39-44 pesos per USD and 48-53 pesos per Euro. However, as Punta Cana is a hot spot for international tourism, you will find that USD (most of all) and EURO are commonly accepted almost everywhere. Most banks exchange Dollars, Euros and Traveler’s cheques, and can process cash advances on credit and debit cards. Don’t forget to bring proper identification, such as a driver’s licence or passport. Canadians should get USD before they leave unless they like giving money away as the exchange rate you get will be low and you will lose money.
The exchange rate is usually better here in Punta Cana, so we recommend to change your USD directly here by using ATM machines (DO NOT do it at your hotel or at the airport as they will give you as very poor rate. Use the locals money exchange or banks. If you stay on the resort area USD will be fine almost everywhere, if you want to adventure off resort you will be better to keep with you some pesos. You can use ATM to get DOP as well as USD on resort. (Please DO NOTE that outside the resort area most of the local ATM machines disburse only pesos. You should be also aware that some banks have a limit to the amount of money you can withdraw in a day or in a single transaction and that they usually charge a 5$ user fee for any of them).
Almost all the major Punta Cana hotels and resorts will accept American Express, Diner’s Club, Airline Rewards and other cards. Visa and Mastercard are accepted almost everywhere. It would be important to remember, however, that some shops and restaurants may only accept cash as a form of payment.
– What’s the best currency to use? US Dollars usually is the easiest and most versatile form of money and will give you much more buying power locally.
– DO let your bank KNOW you will be travelling here or they will put a hold on your cards fearing fraud.
– Before travelling MAKE SURE you have a minimum amount of USD for entry/departures taxes: at the airport they don’t take anything else but USD (maybe DOP in some circumstances). The entry fee is 10$ per person; the exit one is 20$ p/person.
– When you travel here the best thing to do is to take the LEAST AMOUNT of dollars, (just entrance and exit fee) and small bills for tipping, than just use the ATMs. This way you do not have to worry about travelling with lots of cash and you can get money if and when you need it.
– Make sure you always order in small bills of whatever currency you take, for tips and also because many small businesses have trouble with large denominations: most places will claim they don’t have enough change to give back and refuse to accept them. Grab as many 1$ and 2$ notes as you can for tips. Specially 1$ bills are extremely popular for tipping.
– Although any currency can be changed into pesos, it should be noted that is NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE to exchange pesos back into your original currency. We recommend exchanging only small amounts of money at a time to avoid any inconveniences.
– Check always the exchange rate before travelling. Knowing the exchange rate from your currency or USD to Dominican Pesos (DOP) will help you to compare the prices and avoid any bad surprise. In this way you will be more clear at the moment of paying for the souvenirs, excursions or even a lunch or dinner in a restaurant outside the resort area.