Electric power supply
Updated June 2015
Santo Domingo and Punta Cana
Voltage, Frequency, Plug Types
The standard power supply in the Dominican Republic operates at 110 volts / 60 Hz, being compatible with North America.
The wall sockets are generally like in the US: "Type A" or "Type B" which has the additional grounded pin. You may find some hotels that have installed the Swiss 3-pin model: "Type J", but they would, undoubtedly, provide adapters to allow North American plugs to be used.
- Type A
- Type B
- Type J
If you are travelling from Europe or countries in other continents where the sockets are different, it is advisable to take a travel adapter with you to enable you to use your electrical devices once you arrive in the Dominican Republic.
Most small, modern devices (cameras, mobile phones, laptops, shavers) allow a range from 110v to 220v, and therefore are safe to use anywhere. Check carefully the voltage stamped on the device before plugging it into the socket.
For equipment that does not specify the lower voltages, coming from an area where the current is 220/240v, you would need a voltage converter. However, most hotels, even those that don't have them fitted permanently in the rooms, lend hair-dryers, and irons on request; so you should leave yours at home.
Smaller hotels, i.e. of lower category, are famous for the scarcity of electrical sockets available in the rooms. If you plan on travelling with various electrical and electronic gadgets it might be a good idea to take a power strip with several outlets and a reasonably long cable. This will get around the habit of hotels of placing sockets in inaccessible places (so that guests don't use excessive electricity...). An even better solution is to buy something like the small "Belkin 3-Outlet Mini Travel Swivel Charger Surge Protector with Dual USB Ports", which will allow you to charge your phones, tablets, etc.
If you are planning a longer trip and stay at rural accommodation, bear in mind that the supply may be unstable and computers may need a voltage stabilizer.
Nowadays, most travelling appliances accept a wide range of voltages, from 110 volts to 240 volts, therefore, being adaptable to most countries' supply.
Bear in mind that the stated voltages stamped on the devices (or their chargers) are average voltages. You will read that US voltage is 110v, but it can be anything between 95v and 130v. Similarly, the 220v of Europe is in fact a range between 200v and 240v.
Make sure that you understand the implications if you are tempted to buy a voltage converter in order to use a device with a voltage that falls outside the ranges mentioned above. If you make a mistake you destroy the equipment. You need to work out the relationship between the voltage and the wattage of the device you plan to use with the converter. My advice: leave it at home!
Another important factor is the frequency in the country that you visit. This is usually either 50hz or 60 Hz. Most modern, small devices work well with either. However, if they have a motor (e.g. a hairdryer) the wrong lower frequency can lead to disaster: equipment destruction or even fire, immediate or delayed!
If you are tempted to buy DVDs abroad make sure that they are encoded for the region where you intend to see them (usually, back home), or they will not work properly, if at all. The Dominican Republic is in Region 4 (as is Australasia) , while the USA and Canada are in Region 1; and Europe in Region 2.
There are, however, “region free” DVD players on the market: something to think about next time you buy one!