One of the most important questions for any tourist is what currency and money in the Dominican Republic. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know as a traveler about to travel to the Dominican Republic. There will be tips on how to save money, what currency to take with you, where to change and what money to pay.

Table of contents

Currency and money in the Dominican Republic

Let’s start with the main information about the local money of the Dominican Republic: the exchange rate, denominations of banknotes and coins, and a brief history.

money in the dominican republic
All banknotes of the Dominican peso. The only banknote not shown in the photo is the 2000 peso note, but it is less common.

General facts about the currency of the Dominican Republic

  • The national currency in Dominicana is the Dominican peso.
  • The exchange rate of the peso to the US dollar as of the beginning of 2023 is: 1 dollar is 57 pesos.
  • 1 peso is equal to 100 centavos. But the centavo is no longer found in calculations; the smallest coin in circulation is 1 peso.
  • The following denominations are considered payment means in the Dominican Republic:
    • Banknotes: 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 pesos. The most popular ones that you need to have everywhere and always are 50 and 100 pesos. Small change is really needed in this country
    • Coins: 1, 5, 10, 25 pesos.
  • The peso designation on price tags: DOP or RD$, sometimes they can abbreviate and just leave $, don’t be afraid, it’s normal.
currency in dominicana all about money
This is the prices in a large hypermarket in Santo Domingo. Don’t be afraid, this is not $58 for a kilogram of peppers, but only 58 pesos for a pound of peppers. Weight is always in pounds (0.45 kg) here.

What currency and money is currently in use in the Dominican Republic?

The official and national currency in Dominicana has been the Dominican peso since 1947. From 1905 to 1937, the United States dollar was the only official currency. From 1937 to 1947, both the U.S. dollar and the peso were in circulation.

Interesting to note: the peso was a exact copy of the U.S. dollar from 1947 to 1961. From 1961, the peso has had its own design, which has undergone minor changes until today.

Due to the close history with the U.S. dollar and the high inflation and instability of the peso in the country, it is common in the Dominican Republic to be able to pay with both dollars and pesos. Often, even local residents prefer to receive payment in dollars, as they perceive them to be more stable. It is worth noting that the exchange rate between the two currencies is not fixed and can vary.

coins in dominicana
This is what iron pesos look like. In the photo are 5 and 10 pesos. There are also 25 and 1 pesos.

It is possible to pay with dollars for:

  • taxi
  • hotels
  • restaurants
  • Almost in any grocery store, but it is better to clarify in advance. There will be a separate article about stores in the guidebook.
  • for excursions
  • For car rental and toll roads. Read all about car rental and personal experience at the link.
  • At the gas station.
  • For entrance to the attractions of the Dominican Republic.

In general, if you come here with dollars, you can fully live without exchanging them for pesos.

Interesting fact:

During the entire time in the Dominican Republic, we were unable to pay with dollars, even at an unfavorable exchange rate, in only one place: at the entrance to the Eagle Bay National Park. They refused to accept dollars there. However, in other parks and municipal structures, they always took them without any problems. A list and description of the most amazing attractions of the country.

Where can I exchange currency for pesos?

Currency can be exchanged at either a bank or a private exchange office, which can be found in tourist areas. As a rule, if it is not a super touristy place, the exchange rates are generally the same everywhere.

The Dominican peso is the currency and money
This is what an exchange office at the airport looks like. I do not recommend exchanging currency here, as the exchange rate is worse than in the tourist zone for tourists.

There are no exchange fees anywhere.

Please note: in order to exchange money in Dominicana at a bank, a passport is required and you will be given a receipt which you should keep if you plan to exchange any remaining pesos back later. Without it, they will not be able to exchange the currency for you.

The most popular bank in the Dominican Republic, which can be found in almost every city, is Popular banco Dominicana (blue logo). Here, you can do all the necessary operations without the risk of being cheated. Each branch is guarded by an armed security guard:). You can read about safety in a separate article.

In private exchange offices, no one asks for a passport and the entire exchange takes 30 seconds. Fraud and deception in this field are minimized here.

Important to know:

In the Dominican Republic, you can easily exchange US and Canadian dollars, as well as the currencies of Latin American countries for pesos at any exchange point. However, I do not recommend coming here with euros. Euros are not popular here and the exchange rate is often very poor.

Bank cards, terminal machines in shops, and ATMs.

Let’s start with the end.

  • You can withdraw money in Dominicana at ATMs. However, we recommend using only ATMs located at banks.
    • There are many scams involving skimming devices in the country. These devices allow thieves to obtain your card information when you insert your card and enter your PIN code.
  • Payment by card in stores.

You definitely won’t be able to pay with a card: on the market, in taxis, for excursions, in small stores, in souvenir shops, and so on.

Currency and money in the Dominican Republic: tips and tricks

Here are some recommendations and useful tips that will help you save a little or make the difficult life of a traveler easier.

  • Come to the Dominican Republic only with dollars. Do not take euros with you. You can exchange them here, but often the Euro exchange rate is extremely unfavorable. And sometimes even it is just equal to a dollar.
  • When you pay with dollars, you will always be given change in pesos. And at not the best exchange rate.
  • Always pay for small purchases in pesos and have them with you, it is much more profitable.
all about money in dominicana
The exchange rate for currency in Punta Cana is 500m from the beach. The exchange rate is normal for both dollars and euros. You can exchange here.
The exchange rate of the Dominican peso
This photo was taken on the same day as the previous one, only on the beach, where there are many tourists. Notice that the dollar rate is no longer 57 pesos, but 54. And euros are accepted at the same rate as dollars. Be careful!
  • Very often, if you pay in dollars and the change is less than half a dollar, they may simply not give it to you. And when you pay in pesos, the change is up to the peso 🙂
  • When planning a trip to the Dominican Republic, exchange a couple of hundred dollars for small bills at home, such as 1-5-10 dollars. It will greatly help with calculations and bargaining for excursions, taxis, and many other places.

A story from the last trip

It is about the recommendation that you always have small pesos for small purchases. We drive to the airport and return home. I don’t have a peso in my pocket anymore.

The road is tolled and the fare is 60 pesos. The dollar exchange rate is 57 pesos. I give 1 dollar, he shows that this is not enough. I give another one, and the change was 30 pesos instead of the required 54. And it’s useless to argue here, if you don’t like it – pay in pesos.

Finally, officially by law, it is forbidden to export pesos from the country. But in practice, no one checks this and you will always be able to export money from the Dominican Republic, a few coins or bills if you collect them.

In conclusion: currency and money in the Dominican Republic and everything a tourist needs to know is contained in this article. From the basics: we fly here with dollars, be sure to have small dollars with you, always keep small pesos in your pocket for paying for small purchases, and carefully choose ATMs for withdrawing cash.

Have a good exchange rate in the Dominican Republic!

Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Dominican Republic

  • Flights at the best prices with discounts
  • Car rental in Dominican (cheaper – only by bus):
  • Hotels and apartments all over the country: Booking
  • Vacation packages:
    • Expedia – best deals from Europe.
    • CheapOair – cheap packages from all US cities.
  • Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
    • GYG – more than 150 tours (whales tours)
  • Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
  • eSIM virtual sim card with internet in Dominican
  • Taxi and transfers from Dominican airports: Intui.Travel