to Stay in Touch.
Low cost calling card:
from your hotel.
hotel room has a phone and you plan to make long-distance calls from
let reception (the front desk) know when you register. Even
you have an open credit card with the hotel, some will not free up your
room line for long-distance calling unless you specifically request it.
person that performs this function might not be immediately available
to open your line
so don't wait until you are ready to make a call to have this done.
Hotel charges for
direct dial international long-distance can be much more expensive than
If you happen to
be visiting a local business or home, the current rates for
calling the USA from the Dominican Republic are US$0.37-44/min.
depending on the
time of day, US$0.15/min. to call a Dominican cellular phone or to
from Boca Chica.
your local carrier prior to heading to the Dominican
local access numbers. For example, AT&T has a toll-free number
that can be
called from anywhere in the Dominican Republic and once connected, you
your regular calling card number. This is still an expensive option but
than calling direct. Expect to
pay more than US$1/minute.
(the lowest cost method).
cards can be used to initiate international calls from
within the Dominican
Republic. These can be significantly cheaper than
using the calling card from your major carrier back
Below are the
best deals I've found. Note that there is a $2
service charge for card orders under $40, but they are still the best
been able to find (Buy them now over the Internet, receive your PIN by
careful when purchasing calling cards not listed on this
page. Many, if not most cards, have hidden charges such as
connect fees, minimum call times, monthly maintenance fees,
etc. Also be aware of the billing increment and note that
per-minute costs vary significantly depending on the country from which
the call is initiated. Few vendors or even their distributor
representatives know the details of the cards they sell, making it a
problem. A 1-minute call can actually end up costing several
Calling the Dominican Republic
Below is the easiest and cheapest way for frequent calls to the
Dominican Republic from any country, directly from your land-line or cell phone. It's free to try it (get a free 5-minute call):
In every tourist area and in major metropolitan areas, you will find
multiple calling centers. They typically charge between
US$0.25-$35/minute to call the United States. You enter the calling
center and sit down at any unoccupied cubicle. The phone in the cubicle
will generally have special dialing instructions. Most will ask you to
lift the receiver and press a special button on the phone, then dial
your number normally. After your call, walk over to the receptionist,
tell her your cubicle number, she will pull up your calls and charges
on her terminal, and tell you how much you owe. Most of these places
also double as a cash exchange (cambio) and will exchange small amounts
of foreign currency, usually at very good rates. Note that at some
calling centers, it can take several minutes for calls that you make,
to become available at the terminal of the receptionist.
You can rent a cell phone from Codetel at the Santo Domingo airport or
at their main offices in Santo Domingo. At the airport, go upstairs
after exiting the customs area. You can obtain up-to-date information
or reserve yours by calling 800-353-8271 or 809-220-1111. A major
credit card is required.
cellulars are also available at the Costa Lunga Hotel in Boca Chica and
can be delivered to your hotel and picked back up at the end of your
trip for noextra charge.
will be provided a cellular phone with AC and DC battery chargers,
complete and activated with your own private phone number. Rental costs
about US$1.25/day. Outgoing calls are billed at US$1/minute for calls
anywhere within the Dominican Republic and US$0.50/minute plus
long-distance charges for international calls. Incoming calls are
billed at US$1/minute.
a Cellular - Delivered to your hotel.
will rent you a cellular phone for US$5/day. It comes with a
private phone number for receiving calls (free) and calling cards are
used for outgoing calls. Calling cards are available
throughout Boca Chica at colmados, pharmacies, grocery stores,
etc. Click on the link above, call 809-292-7287 (Milagros,
Spanish), 905-252-5166 (Jeff, English), or E-mail at BocaChicaTelco@BocaChicaBeach.net.
The rental price includes the preprogrammed phone, AC charger, delivery
and pickup. Phone cards are available in a variety of
only with YOUR cellular.
Phones that are compatible with the analog system used throughout the
United States (800 Mhz AMPS/NAMPS) can be used in the
Dominican Republic for outgoing calls, even if they are not activated
for use in the Dominican Republic. Calling cards are widely sold at
pharmacies, colmados (small convenient stores), and Codetel calling
centers under the name ComuniCard. Just follow the instructions on the
back of the card, which are in both English and Spanish.
Current instructions say to dial 311 with your cellular phone, enter
the calling card number, and then dial the number you wish to call.
Calls to the USA cost about US$0.85/minute.
that analog cell phones have the ability to use either the A or B
carrier. Make sure you know how to select the B type carrier on your
phone. For example, on a Motorola Startac, FCN * is used to select the
carrier type. Most phones will allow a preference such as AB, which
means if an A type signal is encountered, use it, else use the B
signal. HOME usually means use only the carrier type to which you
subscribe. Codetel is the B carrier. If your phone is using the A type
system by default, when you try to make your call, you will get a
message from the other phone company, TriCom, indicating that your
phone has not been activated, and you will not be able to make your
Many new phones are both digital and analog (800 Mhz
AMPS/NAMPS). I found that some digital phones are programmed
so that when "analog only" is selected as an option, you cannot select
between carriers A and B and the default carrier type is not even
solve this, program your phone with a fake second number, and give a
bogus system id and type. When you switch to the second
number (RCL-# on my Motorola StarTac), you will then be able to switch
between Analog carrier types A and B (RCL-* on my Motorola
StarTac). If you plan on using a digital cellular that has
analog capability, I suggest you make sure you are able to switch to
carrier type B analog. If not, stop by one of the cellular
stores and give them this information. They should be able to
help you out.
and Outgoing with YOUR cellular.
Another option is to have your USA analog compatible phone (800 Mhz
AMPS/NAMPS) activated in the Dominican Republic. For about US$50,
either of the cellular phone companies (Codetel or TriCom) will
activate your cellular phone for use on their system. Almost all
cellular phones have an option called "dual nam", which simply means it
can be programmed to use two different phone numbers. You can select
whichever you want to be current so your phone will still work when you
bring it back home, as long as you know how to select your home number
this option, you have to take your phone to a Codetel or TriCom calling
center. Every major tourist town I have visited has a calling center by
one or both of these companies They will either program it
for you on the spot, which will take up to 30 minutes, or more than
likely, they you will have to leave it for a day or two. The phone will
get sent out to a main office where it will be programmed and returned,
or perhaps you will just have to wait until a specialist is available
to program your phone. Your phone will be programmed with a local
Dominican Republic phone number on its second "nam". On the simplest
plan, there is no monthly fee, incoming calls will be free, and
outgoing calls must be made using a calling card, which can be used
manually each time, or cards can be "loaded" into your account at the
time they are bought by following the instructions on the back of the
card. TriCom sells the Amigo card and Codetel sells the ComuniCard.
Both are widely sold at pharmacies, colmados (small convenience
stores), and their respective calling centers.
you elect this option, your card must be used for outgoing calls at
least once every 60 days, or your phone will become inactivated and you
will lose your personal phone number. Of course, each company has a
variety of call plans available.
Codetel on the web at www.Codetel.net.do.
See TriCom on the web at www.TriCom.net
or contact Ana Catalina Garcia, Gerente de Toll, Mercadeo at
types of portable phones.
Note that there are many different types of cellular phone systems.
Most of Europe uses one system, there are new digital systems, etc. For
the most part, unless your phone works using the USA analog system, it
generally cannot be used in the Dominican Republic however, some of
those phones have been known to work just fine in certain parts of the
Dominican Republic. There are currently a variety of digital,
alternative, and even roaming phone services being implemented in the
Dominican Republic, but most of these services are not yet widespread,
so one cannot say for sure whether any particular phone will or will
not work in the Dominican Republic in any specific area. You
can be sure however, that if it works in the USA with the analog
carriers (800 Mhz AMPS/NAMPS), it will work in the Dominican
For those that subscribe to Skytel, service is available in the major
metropolitan areas of the Dominican Republic, including Boca Chica
(Santo Domingo). As of this writing. you must pay a small monthly fee
to have this international paging service available as an option.
Before you travel, you call an 800 number and indicate what
international destinations you will be traveling to and the dates that
you will be there. Your pages can be forwarded to the Dominican
Republic and Skytel voice-mail can be accessed via a long-distance call
from the Dominican Republic. Contact your Skytel representative for
If you have specific information about cellular phone use, services, or
ideas about staying in touch while in the Dominican Republic, please
so we can include this information.
somebody to know you are calling from the Domincan Republic?