Travel Tips

5 min read

Punta Cana Entry Essentials: Is a Passport Your Ticket in 2024?

Ready to swap your usual view for Punta Cana's crystal shores? Before you pack, let's talk passports – your ticket to that tropical escape. Don't let paperwork woes clip your wings!

Tobi Miles
May 28, 2022

The Dominican Republic is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and that’s especially true of Punta Cana. White sand beaches, unmatched cuisine, gorgeous hotels, and a vibrant culture are what Punta Cana is known for. So, do you need a passport to go to Punta Cana?

You need a passport to go to Punta Cana as a U.S. citizen. The Dominican Republic requires travelers to present a valid ID, passport, and planned exit date upon entry to Punta Cana. Travelers must pay a $10 tourist fee when visiting Punta Cana and will have to get a visa if the stay will be longer than 30 days.

A visa costs $160-$190 depending on whether you are visiting Punta Cana as a tourist or on business. You will also have to pay another $20 exit fee when you leave the Dominican Republic to return to your origin country.

You may also want to explore transportation expenses, like a transfer from the airport to Iberostar using one of the most trustworthy companies around.

Now follow along as we explore everything that you need to enter Punta Cana and enjoy your vacation.

Is Punta Cana Open?

Punta Cana is currently open to international tourists from throughout the world. Travel restrictions only lasted from March-July in 2020 and have been over for nearly 2 years as of 2022. The Dominican Republic slowly relaxed entry requirements to get into Punta Cana since then.

Credit: Bruno Ismael Silva Alves

As of 2022, Punta Cana is as open as it ever was and there are no strict requirements regarding COVID. The Dominican Republic had one of the shortest periods of travel restriction. You can safely travel to Punta Cana as long as you have the proper documentation and can legally leave your country.

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Punta Cana

Requirements For U.S. Citizens

United States citizens are required to purchase a tourist card to enter Punta Cana. A tourist card costs $10 when you enter Punta Cana and is essentially just a small tax. You will spend a total of $30 in tourist fees after the $20 exit charge when you leave Punta Cana.

A valid government-issued ID and passport are both required for U.S. citizens in Punta Cana. Make sure that you have a blank page in your passport booklet for a new stamp when you visit the Dominican Republic. There are no health and vaccine entry requirements for U.S. citizens in Punta Cana.

What Documents Do I Need to Travel to Punta Cana?

You need to bring your passport and valid ID to travel to Punta Cana. The Dominican Republic will only accept your passport if it won’t expire during your time there. Otherwise, you will need to renew your passport before you visit Punta Cana.

Credit: Shutterstock

The Dominican Republic requires that you present your return ticket before you can enter Punta Cana. This is to ensure that you aren’t going to try to stay past 30 days without paying for a visa. They will accept your return ticket without extra fees as long as it is within 30 days of your entry date.

Travelers must also present a travel voucher to gain entry to the Dominican Republic. Accepted travel vouchers include flight and hotel vouchers that indicate valid travel.

Do You Need a Visa to go to Punta Cana?

You don’ need a visa to go to Punta Cana if you visit for business or as a tourist. Punta Cana requires that you obtain a visa if you stay for longer than 30 days. Visa-exempt countries such as France, Belize, Argentina, Israel, and Taiwan are the exception to this rule.

Visitors from these countries don’t need a visa for a long-term stay in Punta Cana. Travelers from over a dozen visa-exempt countries can visit Punta Cana without a visa. Check to see if you are from a visa-exempt country before you apply for a visa if you plan to stay for over a month.

A visa costs $190 if you visit Punta Cana for work and $160 if you visit as a non-immigrant tourist. However, prices are subject to change depending on the circumstances so it’s important to inquire in advance.

Credit: Preto Perola

Entry Requirements For Punta Cana COVID

The Dominican Republic no longer has strict entry requirements regarding COVID. Punta Cana had strict entry requirements regarding COVID compared to other destinations until February 2022All travelers had to take a COVID test with negative test results 24 hours before they fly to Punta Cana.

This rule applied to all travelers whether they were vaccinated or not. Officials in Punta Cana leave COVID precautions up to the induvial now, but they still encourage safe travel. Both the CDC and WHO suggest that you are fully vaccinated when you travel between countries.

They also encourage you to wear a mask on the flight, and some airlines may require that as well. Despite the lax rules in Punta Cana, they still discourage you from traveling if you have COVID symptoms.

Related Read: Do You Tip at All-Inclusive Resorts?

Do You Need a Real ID to go to Punta Cana?

You won’t need a Real ID to go to Punta Cana until 2023. All U.S. travelers will need a Real ID when they fly domestically and internationally. A standard state-issued driver’s license is enough to get into Punta Cana as of 2022.

Do You Need to be Vaccinated to go to Punta Cana?

You don’t need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to go to Punta Cana. The vaccine mandate for flights to the Dominican Republic was lifted in April 2022. However, you can contract several ailments as a tourist in Punta Cana, so it is important to be up to date on several other vaccines.

The CDC and WHO recommend that you are vaccinated against meningitis, yellow fever, cholera, typhoid, and chickenpox. Shingles, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and influenza are also possibilities in Punta Cana so it is wise to get vaccinated. The Dominican Republic doesn’t officially require any particular vaccines for travelers.

Can I Take My Dog to Punta Cana?

You can take your dog to Punta Cana, but there are travel feees. Costs vary based on the airline that you take to get to Punta Cana. However, you can only bring your dog to Punta Cana if it has been inspected by a certified veterinarian in the last 30 days.

Credit: Javier Brosch

Bring a certificate that names you as the owner of the dog. Make sure that your dog is up to date on its rabies shots because there are stray dogs with rabies in Punta Cana. You will be denied entry with your dog if it isn’t up to date on rabies shots.

They also require your dog to be microchipped for tracking purposes in the event of an emergency. It costs as little as $125 and as much as $1,000 to fly internationally with a dog depending on the airline. Call your airline in advance to make sure that they don’t have specific requirements for your dog besides Punta Cana’s requirements.

Can You Get Into Punta Cana With an Enhanced License?

You cannot currently get into Punta Cana with an Enhanced Driver’s License. An Enhanced Driver’s License is only a valid passport alternative when you go to Canada, Bermuda, the Caribbean, or Mexico. The main appeal of an Enhanced Driver’s License is that you can typically receive one within 2-3 weeks of your application.

Some travelers wrongly apply for an EDL for a last-minute trip to the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana doesn’t currently accept an Enhanced Driver’s License as a valid form of ID. Passport applications can take up to 5 weeks to process, so it’s important to apply for yours in advance of your trip.

Simply pay the “Expedite” fee to speed up your passport application process. It typically costs $60 and is worth the cost when your trip to the Dominican Republic is coming up soon. Don’t apply for an EDL as an alternative to a passport because Punta Cana won’t accept it.

Can You go to Punta Cana With a Birth Certificate?

You cannot get into Punta Cana with only a birth certificate. That is not enough identification for an adult, but it is valid for children under 16. All that children require is a passport and a copy of their birth certificate to enter Punta Cana.

The birth certificate must be signed, sealed, and stamped to be considered valid. This rule exists to prove a parent’s relationship with their child when traveling. A passport is just as important as a birth certificate for a child, and it typically costs $135.

Can I Take a Boat to Punta Cana?

You can take a boat to Punta Cana, and it is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the world. Travelers on a cruise ship still must provide a valid government-issued ID or driver’s license. A passport is still required when you travel to Punta Cana by sea.

Credit: Romolo Tavani

All travelers must still pay the $10 tourist entry fee even when traveling by cruise ship. Boat travel is no different than air travel when it comes to visiting Punta Cana. You will still be required to provide proof of your exit date and hotel reservation.

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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