Is Dominican Republic Safe To Visit? Travel Advisory 2024

Is Dominican Republic Safe To Visit? Travel Advisory 2024

The Dominican Republic is generally a safe place to visit and the great majority of trips to the nation happen without incident. It’s crucial to stay in safer neighborhoods like the Zona Colonial due to the high crime rate in some parts of Santo Domingo, which includes opportunistic crimes like pickpocketing and bag snatching.

LATEST NEWS from DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

February 12 – The Dominican Republic and the US embassy reach an agreement to ensure visitors’ safety

According to a cooperation agreement with the American Embassy in the nation, security has been given top priority, stated David Collado, Minister of Tourism.

The memorandum lists visitor safety and hotel staff training as top priorities.

The document establishes procedures for situations involving foreigners in the nation and formalizes the assurance of safety for American tourists traveling there. U.S. foreign visitors made up 47% of the total since last year, which contributed to a 22% increase in tourism.

Official Travel Advisories

U.S. Travel Advisory

U.S. Travel Advisory for the Dominican Republic is at Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution. Crime that includes homicide, sexual assault, and armed robbery is an issue in the Dominican Republic. Resort areas are typically better monitored than urban areas like Santo Domingo because of the establishment of professional tourism police corps, the setting up of a 911 system in many parts of the nation, and the concentration of resources in these areas. 

Canada Travel Advisory

The greatest threat to tourists is opportunistic crime, which accounts for the majority of incidents. All across the nation, criminal activities such as pickpocketing and bag snatching are common. Thieves frequently target tourists. Holiday seasons typically see an increase in crime.

Incidents happen mostly at resorts, beaches, airports, bus terminals, and on public transit.

Areas to avoid

Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo, Zona Colonial

Although there is a high rate of crime in the Dominican Republic, it is mostly concentrated in localities and places that few tourists visit.

Santo Domingo’s capital city has several high-crime neighborhoods, including Arroyo Hondo, Naco, Gazcue, Cristo Rey, and Villa Agricola. There have been violent crimes like muggings, theft, and even murder. Always turn over your belongings if asked. 

Common Scams

Exercise caution around charming Latino men who target solo female travelers or small groups. They may employ flattery and persistence to swindle you out of money, alcohol, meals, and nightlife expenses, or even persuade you into marriage and taking them back to your home country.

Refrain from engaging with strangers and refrain from bringing them to your accommodation to minimize the risk of falling prey to scams.

Remain vigilant regarding camera-related scams while traveling. Locals might request you taking a photo and then demand payment for alleged damages when their camera “accidentally” drops.

Exercise caution when using taxis in the Dominican Republic. Negotiate fares and maintain awareness to avoid falling victim to scams and being overcharged.

Safety Tips for Dominican Republic 

  • Never leave valuable belongings in plain sight. Ensure that your suitcases are locked when leaving your hostel or hotel.
  • Resist the urge to give money to street children, as it perpetuates begging.
  • In this Caribbean island, cases of dengue fever, Zika, and chikungunya virus have been reported, especially during the rainy/hurricane season (May, September, October, and November). Protect yourself by using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and trousers, and sleeping under a mosquito net.
  • Opt for licensed taxis rather than unregistered ones. Look for a taxi with a visible sign on its roof indicating the name of the taxi company.
  • Always wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle.
  • Refrain from displaying flashy jewelry while walking on the streets, as it can attract the attention of thieves, often on motorbikes.
  • Avoid using your phone while on the street. If you need to make a call or check a map, step into a café or restaurant before taking out your phone.