If you’ve traveled to or lived in the Dominican Republic, you know about the island’s rich and diverse culture. You’ve probably enjoyed tostones, danced a merengue, and paid for your goods with the Dominican peso (DOP). This Caribbean nation on the island of Hispaniola has a long and storied history—and that’s reflected in its currency, too.
The Dominican peso is divided into 100 centavos, and at the time of writing, its exchange rate is .0017 USD per DOP.
It’s issued by the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic, and is available in denominations of 1, 5, 10, and 25 pesos, in coins; and 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, and 2000 pesos, in banknotes.
Whether you need to send or exchange DOP or just want to learn more about this Caribbean currency, check out these fascinating facts.
The Dominican Peso 101
Pesos Are the Best Way to Pay.
Many hotels and other tourist services post prices in American dollars, and they’ll happily accept USD. But locals recommend changing your money and using pesos anyway. Prices in USD are inflated, and you’ll usually get a better deal if you pay in pesos.
You can change your money after you arrive by going to a bank or using an ATM. Don’t worry if you don’t spend it all—you can exchange it back to another currency at any bank before you leave.
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 US dollar, at a rate of five pesos to the dollar.
In 1937, the Dominican Republic introduced the peso oro, which means “golden weight.” It continued to be used alongside the dollar for ten more years. At first, the peso oro was fixed to a gold standard; later, it was pegged to the American dollar. Since 1963, it’s 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 sign as the American dollar, $.
One Bill Depicts 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 were eventually abandoned or destroyed, but his third settlement, Santo Domingo, is the capital of the Dominican Republic to this day. His son, Diego Colón, built the historic mansion now featured on the banknote when he was governor of Hispaniola.
The mansion is now a museum, housing an important collection of late Medieval and Renaissance art, including a variety of famous tapestries. It forms part of the Ciudad Colonial, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It Shows the Oldest Cathedral in the Americas.
The 50-peso banknote depicts the Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Menor, which was built from 1514 to 1541, making it the first Christian church in the Western Hemisphere. It’s one of the few examples of Gothic architecture in the New World.
Like the Alcázar de Colón, it’s located in the Ciudad Colonial.
Three Founding Fathers Grace the One Hundred-Peso Bill.
After the Dominican Republic gained its independence from Spain, it almost immediately fell under Haitian control. Many patriots longed for an independent Dominican Republic, founding 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 them were later exiled, as others took the reins of the Dominican government.
Today, however, they are given the highest honors as 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.
Domincian Pesos Honor Resistance Fighters.
From 1930 to 1961, the Dominican Republic was ruled by the dictator Rafael Trujillo. He was known for oppressing any critics of his regime.
Four sisters, Patria, Minerva, María Teresa, and Dedé Mirabal, dared to oppose him. They distributed pamphlets criticizing Trujillo and stockpiled weapons for an uprising against him. When three of the sisters were assassinated, they became a symbol of resistance.
Today, the sisters appear on the front of the 200 Dominican peso bill, and a monument in their honor is featured on the back.
Dominican Peso Exchange Rates
If you’re planning to exchange Dominican pesos, our in-depth guide to exchange rates offers helpful tips. You’ll want to check online for the current mid-market exchange rate and make sure that you’re getting the best deal.
Ssearch “DOP to USD,” “EUR to DOP,” or any currency pair you want. Alternatively, our Remitly app will give our competitive daily exchange rate right on your phone.
Sending Money to the Dominican Republic
Do you live away from la isla? Do you want to send money to the Dominican Republic? Look for a money transfer service with low fees, a safe user experience, and lots of options for banks and cash pickup or delivery in the Dominican Republic.
Our secure app is a good option; trusted by over 3 million people, Remitly makes it easy to send money to the Dominican Republic from overseas. You can even have the money delivered by Caribe Express. See here for details.