Is Dominican Republic Safe? Travel Advisory 2023

Is Dominican Republic Safe

Nestled in the Atlantic Ocean, the Dominican Republic is set between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, providing a tropical oasis for travelers to experience some of the world’s best beaches, fabulous resorts, and plenty of recreation and entertainment opportunities.

However, visiting the Dominican Republic is sometimes not all about exploring a tropical paradise. When travelers are not careful, they can fall victim to a violent crime or island scam.

As of February 1, 2023, the U.S. Department of State lists the Dominican Republic as a Level 2 warning, where travelers should exercise increased caution due to violent crime, such as armed robbery, sexual assault, or homicide.

Suggested: Mexico Travel Advisory 2023

Which Areas of the Dominican Republic are Dangerous for Tourists?

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Over the years, a professional tourist police corps, the institution of a 911 system, and many resources available in resort areas have made it safer for tourists to visit most resort areas. Still, it is vital to remain careful when considering travel into urban areas.

High-crime areas in the capital city of Santa Domingo include Arroyo Hondo, Cristo Ray, Gazcue, Naco, and Villa Argrola. These areas are best avoided due to the high theft rate, muggings, and murder.

La Duarte, a street in Santa Domingo, is very crowded and chaotic, making this one of the riskier streets to visit.

Important Safety Tips When Traveling to the Dominican Republic

Here are a few tips to help travelers keep themselves safe when visiting the Dominican Republic:

  • Read the Department of State’s warning before planning a trip.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program for alerts and to make it easier to locate a traveler in an emergency.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Avoid walking alone, especially at night.
  • Do not leave bags unattended, especially at the beach.
  • Do not leave drinks unattended.
  • If mugged, hand items over; do not risk further injury.
  • Avoid displaying signs of wealth.
  • Follow the advice of resort and tour guides.
  • Stay at your resort unless traveling with a guided tour booked at your resort.
  • Prepare a contingency plan in case of an emergency.
Dominican Republic Ends All Remaining COVID Restrictions Permanently

LATEST UPDATES / NEWS from the Dominican Republic:

April 21 – Dominican Republic breaks records for tourists arrivals in the first quarter 

The Dominican Republic has continued its hot start to 2022, setting another record for the first three months of the year.

The Caribbean hotspot attracted 2,076,171 visitors in the first quarter, setting a new record.

According to David Collado, the Dominican Republic’s tourism minister, that was 11% more than the previous high for 2019, including a hot March with 740,324 air arrivals, a 10% increase over 2019.

The Dominican Republic also reported 280,247 cruise passengers in March.

The numbers are “never seen before,” Collado said.

March 17 – The PGA Tour Corales Puntacana Tournament confirms the Dominican Republic as a golf destination.

Grupo Puntacana has announced the 6th edition of the Corales Puntacana Championship PGA Tour event, which will take place at the Corales golf course from March 20 to 26, 2023.

The sporting event includes $3.8 million in prize money good for 300 FedExCup points, the highest in Dominican sports history, with the participation of 120 players from 20 nations and five continents.

“The Corales Puntacana Championship has become a flagship event for Puntacana Resort & Club. It fills us with joy and pride to continue the tradition of celebrating a unique sporting event in the country, which also promotes the Dominican Republic and Punta Cana worldwide as a leading golf destination in the Caribbean,” said Francesca Rainieri, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Grupo Puntacana.

February 20- The International Health And Wellness Tourism Congress returns will be held in Dominican Republic in November

The “VI International Health and Wellness Tourism Congress,” which will take place on November 1 and 2, this year, at the JW Marriott Hotel in Santo Domingo, was announced by Dr. Alejandro Cambiaso, president of the Dominican Association of Health Tourism (ADTS), and Amelia Reyes Mora, president of AF Stategic Communication.

“The activity features important conferences and panels with renowned national and international speakers, aimed at the top players of the sector, such as health centers, dentistry, clinical and pharmaceutical laboratories, hotels, insurers, banks, investment funds, investment, airlines, medical facilitators, government, transportation, legal advisors, accreditors, among others,” said Dr. Alejandro Cambiaso.

“This international congress constitutes a platform for multi-sector integration, innovation, networking, business development, and investment opportunities, and public-private synergies at a local and international level,” expressed Amelia Reyes Mora.

Most Common Tourist Traps and Scams in the Dominican Republic

Millions of tourists visit the Dominican Republic every year. Unfortunately, though the idea is to experience a peaceful beach vacation, many criminals are waiting for an unknowing tourist to fall victim to one of their many scams.

One of the most common scams is the airport taxi scam, where the taxi that takes travelers to their resort from the airport does not turn on the meter and, regardless of the distance, can charge excessive amounts of money for the short drive. It is best to book ground transportation through a travel agency, tour company, or resort.

City taxis work the same way as airport taxis, where they tend to charge too much for the trip and expect the unknowing traveler to pay the fee.

Similarly, the Uber scam is one where the driver claims the app is not working correctly, and the passenger must pay cash for the ride, and the fee far exceeds what the cost through the app would have been.

Finally, the camera scam is where a local will hand a tourist their camera and ask them to take a photo. Then, when the camera is handed back, they drop it, blaming the traveler and insisting they pay for the damages.

The best thing to do in this situation is not to accept anything handed to you, and if something is set in your hand, place it on the ground and continue walking.

FAQs About Safe Travel to Dominican Republic

Is Punta Cana Safe to Visit?

Punta Cana is one of the safest places to visit in the Dominican Republic and is one of the most highly visited areas, with many safe and secure resorts.

Additionally, the presence of the Tourism Police is relatively high in this area of the Dominican Republic.

Is It Safe to Stay at a Resort in the Dominican Republic?

One of the safest places tourists can stay when visiting the Dominican Republic is at their resorts. Most resorts employ private security, and the Tourism Police make frequent visits to the resorts.

When staying at the resort, the risk of falling victim to criminal activity or assault is far lower than when exploring public attractions, nearby neighborhoods, or city centers.