7 Fascinating Facts about the Dominican Peso

Last updated on March 6th, 2024 at 10:28 pm

  << Honduran Lempira Guide: 5 Surprising Facts About Honduran Money>> Philippine Currency Guide: History, Exchange Rate, and Transfers

Dominican Republic currency: cashier counting bills

If you’ve traveled to or lived in the Dominican Republic, you’ve probably enjoyed tostones, danced the merengue, and paid for your goods with the official currency of the Dominican Republic, the Dominican peso (DOP).

This Caribbean nation on the island of Hispaniola has a long and storied history — something that’s reflected in its national currency, too. Learn more about the current value of the Dominican Republic’s currency as well as interesting facts about its meaning and history.

The Dominican Republic’s currency exchange rates

The Dominican peso is issued by the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic (or the Banco Central de la República Dominicana). It’s available in coin denominations of 1, 5, 10, and 25. The peso is also available in banknote denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, and 2,000.

Like the U.S. dollar, the Dominican peso is divided into 100 cents, or centavos. While the exchange rates between currencies fluctuate daily, the exchange rates for Dominican pesos tend to favor foreign currency.

As of June 2022:

  • 1 DOP is equal to 0.018 U.S. dollars (USD).
  • 1 DOP is equal to 0.023 Canadian dollars (CAD).
  • 1 DOP is equal to 0.017 Swiss francs (CHF).
  • 1 DOP is equal to 1 Philippine peso (PHP).

If you’re planning on exchanging your money into Dominican pesos, make sure you check exchange rates beforehand.

Search “DOP to USD,” “EUR to DOP,” or any currency pair to see the real-time currency exchange rate. Alternatively, the Remitly app will give you a competitive daily exchange rate right on your mobile device.

Dominican Republic currency: Peso 101

Dominican Republic currency: front and back shot of a Dominican Republic coin

Whether you need to send or exchange DOP or just want to learn more about this Caribbean currency, check out these fascinating facts about Dominican money.

1. Pesos are the best way to pay.

Many hotels and other tourist areas post their prices in American dollars, which means those businesses will happily accept USD instead of pesos. But locals recommend converting your money and using pesos anyway. Prices in USD tend to be inflated, so you’ll usually get a better deal if you pay in pesos.

You can change your money after you arrive in the Dominican Republic by visiting a bank or using an ATM.

Don’t worry, if you don’t spend all of your pesos, you can exchange them at any bank before you leave the island.

2. The Dominican Republic once used dollars.

When the Dominican Republic gained its independence in 1844, it initially issued a peso. After that, it added a second currency, the franco. But in 1904, the Dominican Republic began using the U.S. dollar at a rate of 5 pesos to 1 USD.

In 1937, the Dominican Republic introduced the peso oro, which means “golden weight.” It continued to be the Dominican Republic‘s currency alongside the dollar for another 10 years.

At first, the peso oro was fixed to a gold standard. It was later tied to the American dollar instead.

Since 1963, the Dominican peso has been a fiat currency, like most currencies in the modern world.

Today, the currency has been renamed the peso dominicano rather than the peso oro. It uses the same symbol as the American dollar ($).

3. One bill features a historic building.

The 1,000 Dominican peso bill has a picture of the Alcázar de Colón, a building with a connection to Columbus.

Columbus’ first and second settlements in the Dominican Republic were eventually abandoned or destroyed. But his third settlement, Santo Domingo, is now the capital of the Dominican Republic. Columbus’ son, Diego Colón, built the historic mansion that’s now featured on the 1,000 peso banknote when he served as governor of Hispaniola.

The mansion is now a museum that houses an important collection of late Medieval and Renaissance art, including a variety of famous tapestries. It forms part of the Ciudad Colonial, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

4. The 50-peso banknote depicts the oldest cathedral in the Americas.

Close up shot of Dominican Republic bills

The 50-peso banknote depicts the Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Menor, which was built between 1514 and 1541. It’s the first Christian church—and the oldest church—in the Western Hemisphere. It’s also one of the few examples of Gothic architecture in the New World.

Like the Alcázar de Colón, the Basilica is located in the Ciudad Colonial.

5. Three founding fathers grace the 100-peso bill.

After the Dominican Republic gained its independence from Spain, it almost immediately fell under Haitian control in 1822. Many patriots longed for an independent Dominican Republic, so they founded a secret society called La Trinitaria to overthrow Haitian rule. Among the leaders of La Trinitaria were Juan Pablo Duarte, Ramón Matías Mella Castillo, and Francisco del Rosario Sánchez.

These three men secretly worked to undermine Haitian rule and were finally successful in 1844, when the Dominican Republic gained its independence. Two of these men were later exiled, as Spain once again took the reins of the Dominican government. The nation finally regained its independence from Spain in 1865.

Today, Dominicans give these three revolutionaries the highest honors, considering them the republic’s founding fathers. Their faces are on the 100-peso banknote, and they are buried together in the Altar de la Patria, or Altar of the Fatherland.

6. The 200-peso banknote honors resistance fighters.

Dominican Republic bills and coins

From 1930 to 1961, the Dominican Republic was ruled by the dictator Rafael Trujillo, who was famous for oppressing anyone who dared to criticize his regime.

Four sisters—Patria, Minerva, María Teresa, and Dedé Mirabal—dared to oppose Trujillo. They distributed pamphlets criticizing Trujillo’s leadership and stockpiled weapons for an uprising against him. When Trujillo had three of the sisters assassinated, they became a symbol of the resistance as martyrs.

Today, the sisters appear on the front of the 200 Dominican peso bill, with a monument in their honor featured on the back.

7. The Dominican peso is the backdrop to this country’s thriving economy.

Did you know that the Dominican Republic has one of the largest GDPs in the Caribbean? Not only does this gorgeous island have a bustling tourist economy, but it also exports key goods like sugar cane, bananas, and cigars.

The Dominican Republic mostly trades with the United States and enjoys the benefits of operating in a free-trade zone.

Sending money to the Dominican Republic

Do you live away from la isla but need to send money back to your friends and family? Remitly is a secure money transfer app with low fees and lots of options for banks and cash pickup or delivery in the Dominican Republic.