Is Punta Cana Safe To Visit? Travel Advisory 2024

Is Punta Cana Safe To Visit? Travel Advisory 2024

One of the Caribbean’s safest travel destinations is Punta Cana. Violent crimes are essentially nonexistent, and the crime rate is low. All travelers should exercise caution, but it is enough to exercise the same measures they exercise back home.


February 5, 2024: Punta Cana: A budget-friendly paradise on US News & World Report’s top beach vacation list

Punta Cana’s renowned beaches have been featured in US News & World Report’s list of “26 Affordable Beach Vacations for Travelers on a Budget.” This curated list highlights scenic beach destinations worldwide that provide value for budget-conscious travelers. The region offers seasonal deals, including low-season discounts and free stays for children during the summer. Even in the winter, Punta Cana maintains affordability, with several all-inclusive properties advertising rates under $300 per night for two people.

Areas to avoid

In Punta Cana, exercise caution in most areas of the Veron and Friusa neighborhoods.

Even though there are safer pockets in these areas, the crime rate is slightly higher there.

Steer clear of isolated areas, such as the beach, at night. Remain on the resort property. If you follow this, your trip shouldn’t present any difficulties.

Additionally, some frequent disturbances and incidents could turn violent in the border regions between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, especially in Dajabón. As a result, the security situation there is extremely unpredictable. Here, emergency services are frequently unavailable. 

Common Scams

  • Photography deception – a prevalent scam in Punta Cana involves locals asking you to take their picture. They hand you their camera, and as you return it, they deliberately drop it, accusing you of breaking it and demanding payment.
  • Taxi fare manipulation – be cautious when taking taxis in Punta Cana; always request the driver to use the meter. If not, you may end up paying significantly more for your trip.
  • ATM assistance fraud – at cash machines in Punta Cana, someone might offer to help you avoid local bank fees. However, their true motive is to use a card skimmer to scan your debit or credit card and observe you entering your PIN, allowing them to later empty your account.
  • Bar swindle – friendly individuals may strike up a conversation and lead you to believe in mutual interests. They’ll suggest going for a drink at a nearby bar, where they have a partnership. After a few rounds, you’ll be shocked to find yourself paying 5-10 times more than expected.
  • The bird trick – while strolling through Punta Cana, someone might throw a white substance on your shoulder, making you think it’s bird droppings. A “helpful” local offers to clean you up but seizes the opportunity to pickpocket you during the process.

Official Travel Advisories

U.S. Travel Advisory – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

The country is better equipped to police violent crimes like armed robberies, homicides, and sexual assaults because of the establishment of a professional tourist police corps, the installation of a 911 emergency line, and the concentration of resources in resort areas. However, the widespread availability of firearms, the use and trafficking of illegal drugs, and a deficient criminal justice system contribute to the high overall rate of criminality.

Canada Travel Advisory

Petty criminal activities such as pickpocketing and bag snatching are common all across the nation. Thieves frequently target tourists. Holiday seasons typically see an increase in crime. Those events take place at beaches, resorts, airports, bus terminals, and on public transportation.

Safety Tips for Punta Cana 

  • Keep your cash discreet – If you choose to venture outside your hotel and explore Punta Cana, be cautious about displaying your money openly.
  • Steer clear of public transportation – public transport in Punta Cana, such as buses and “guaguas,” is often unreliable and crowded.
  • Opt for taxis – It’s advisable to use taxis when traveling around Punta Cana. They are more comfortable and reasonably priced.
  • Exercise caution with moto conchos – while moto conchos (moto taxis) are a popular and entertaining mode of transportation in Punta Cana, using them increases the risk of accidents compared to taxis.
  • Avoid large gatherings – when exploring beyond your all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, stay away from large crowds, as they can be potential hotspots for pickpocketing.
  • Stay away from poorly lit areas – Certain areas outside tourist spots may lack proper lighting and be less secure. Stick to well-populated areas with other tourists for safety.