How Safe Is Dominican Republic for Travel?

Dominican Republic
Safety Index:

Dominican Republic FlagDominican Republic : Safety by City

The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean country taking up the eastern two-thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, while the western one-third of Hispaniola is in the country of Haiti.

This country boasts two coastlines: the one on the north along the North Atlantic Ocean, and the one on the south, stretching along the Caribbean Sea.

The Dominican Republic is the right place for any real adventurists because it offers a rather diverse ecosystem made up of tropical rainforests, vast deserts, alpine ranges, and even swamps.

This place is a paradise for both nature lovers and fans of outdoor activities such as trekking, mountain biking or any water sport, really.

Now, as for the coastlines, you can expect luxurious resorts, as well as cheaper hostels and accommodation right next to exotic bars, restaurants with delicious food and refreshing tropical drinks and numerous little shops.

Stray away from the coastline and you will encounter remarkable colonial architecture in the country’s capital Santo Domingo.

Also waiting for you are sugar plantations, picturesque villages and mountain retreats in Jarabacoa and Constanza.

Warnings & Dangers in Dominican Republic

Overall Risk


Overall, Dominican Republic is safe to visit, though it has many dangers and is ridden with crime. You should be aware that tourist hotspots, restaurants, shops and public transportation are places where most thefts and pickpocketing occur, and that violent crime exists on the streets, too.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Transportation is not too safe, especially at night. Avoid public transport whenever you can, since this is where robberies and pickpocketing takes place. Always call a reliable taxi instead of hailing one on the streets.

Pickpockets Risk


As for pickpocketing, it is not as big of a concern in the Dominican Republic as the violent crime but you should exercise caution and keep your money and your valuables elsewhere, like in hidden pockets of your clothes and never ever keep all of your money in the same place.

Natural Disasters Risk


There has been a Zika outbreak in the Dominican Republic, so remain protected from mosquito bites at all times. Apart from this, Dominican Republic is susceptible to hurricanes and earthquakes.

Mugging Risk


There have been cases of mugging and even kidnappings which usually involve criminals targeting a foreigner, taking them hostage and driving them to the nearest ATM to withdraw everything from their bank account. Be careful in the cities of Santo Domingo, María Trinidad Sánchez, Santiago, Santo Domingo Province and Valverde, as there have been reports of kidnappings there.

Terrorism Risk


The risks of terrorist attacks in Dominican Republic are low, but since they shouldn't be ruled out, it is important that you remain vigilant at all times and aware of your surroundings.

Scams Risk


There is a high risk of getting scammed in Dominican Republic. Be wary of weird people around ATMs or anyone trying to distract you. Taxi drivers might try to trick you into paying more, giving you wrongful information about the price of the ride.

Women Travelers Risk


Many women have traveled to Dominican Republic and had nothing but great time. However, this country isn't the safest in terms of females traveling solo since there have been reports of women being attacked or shamed, so be careful, especially at night and apply precaution measures at all times and avoid dark and empty streets and locations

So... How Safe Is Dominican Republic Really?

The Dominican Republic is somewhat safe to visit, and you should keep that in mind when planning your trip to this country.

It is ridden with both petty crime and violent crime.

You might encounter criminals impersonating police officials, making taxis or private vehicles stop and then robbing the travelers at gunpoint.

Keep in mind that you should simply avoid moving along this country at night when the situation is particularly bad.

There is also the common occurrence of motorcyclists swooping in at a red light and reaching into your vehicle, stealing whatever they can, so either keep your windows up or put a stronghold on your purse or bag.

Another form of crime dangerous for tourists are the break-ins, even in the luxurious all-inclusive resorts: people have reported having their rooms broke into, including the safes.

Others have been sexually assaulted at their resorts after having a spiked drink.

There have also been cases of criminals impersonating repairmen and maintenance staff entering rooms and then assaulting or even killing tourists.

Be wary of taxi drivers and avoid unmarked taxis, which may try to scam riders, usually with the assistance of other criminals, getting into your car and robbing you or making you withdraw all your money from the nearest ATM.

Useful Information

  • Visas - No tourist visa is required to enter Dominican Republic, for any stays shorter than 30 days. Make sure your passport is valid at the time of entry. If you are not sure about your visa status, visit which will let you know whether or not you need visa based on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
  • Currency - Dominican peso is the official currency in Dominican Republic. ATMs can be found throughout the country and credit cards are widely accepted in most tourism-related establishments.
  • Weather - The Dominican Republic has a tropical climate, characterized by hot weather during the entire year, with two seasons in winter, a dry and a rainy season lasting from late April to October along the eastern and southern coasts. The northern coast, exposed to the trade winds, experiences rainy weather throughout the year with less rainfall from June to September.
  • Airports - Punta Cana International Airport is the busiest airport in the Dominican Republic and, at the same time, the second busiest airport in the Caribbean. It is located in La Altagracia Province.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we advise getting travel insurance when traveling to Dominican Republic, because it would cover not only medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Dominican Republic Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 25° C
Feb 25° C
Mar 25° C
Apr 26° C
May 27° C
Jun 27° C
Jul 28° C
Aug 28° C
Sep 28° C
Oct 27° C
Nov 27° C
Dec 26° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Where to Next?

15 Reviews on Dominican Republic

  1. B
    Billy Bob says:

    Corrupt policing.

    Tell us what to do when the police shake us down for money and threat to take us to jail if we don’t pay them?? That has happened to me and many people I know.

    1. P
      Peter Braun says:

      It’s true that the Police in DR is way underpaid.

      For this cause they won’t miss an opportunity to get some extra cash, but only for minor violations, mainly traffic violations and that’s only if you tell them first to give you a break (which is not common in the USA) to avoid your US license from being confiscated as a guarantee that you will appear in court before leaving the DR.

      However, the police do not force anyone to give them money; they may imply it by letting you know the inconveniences associated with breaking the law. The most obvious phrase they use is something like: “we haven had any breakfast today” or “can you cooperate with something ($$) for the sodas?” or any others along this line, but they don’t force anyone.

      if you are wise you will give them five bucks ($5) or even ten. I have done it in order to continue my way. That’s it.

      I wish I could do that for a traffic violation here in the USA. Oh, I can tell you that they are very friendly and respectful of tourists or foreigners on vacation.

      Now, if you intent to give them a hard time, they’ll act as any police officer here in the USA to enforce the law.

      Most of the time I’ve been there, I end up breaking the traffic law because people are very careless and don’t respect the traffic lights or patterns, they cut you off easily and sometimes you’re compelled to do that yourself; traffic is very bad, you have to forget that you are driving with civilized drivers next to you. Be careful while driving.

      1. R
        Richard Burkholder says:

        The most obvious phrase they use is something like: “we haven had any breakfast today” or “can you cooperate with something ($$) for the sodas?” or any others along this line, but they don’t force anyone.

        Precisely my experience in a rural encounter. Thanks for posting it here. Actually a very friendly encounter. And you’re right — it’s a big chunk of what they have to live on. $5 or $10 goes a long way to help. It won’t kill you.

  2. I did have a very bad experience in DR.. I 14 year old street kid tried to stab me because I refuse to give him money.

    It was like 5 PM in the middle of one of the busiest streets in Santo Domingo. People also overprice everything at restaurants and at the beach. They think that tourists are stupid!

    I rented an Airbnb condo in front of Parque mirador (their central park) and a few blocks from Venezuela and other Embassies, Yet, one night in that building, a Guy that lives there killed with gunshot a Mugger who enter into the facility that night.

    The food is very good and the people are friendly, but I won’t come back. The Government in that country is the first narco cartel…

    I feel sorry for Dominicans. They do have an amazingly beautiful country!~ But they have awful law enforcement and government.

  3. Its Great and Really Dangerous

    I go there every three month for a week. True, the police will hold you up. So give them $10. Its true the are two prices for anything – the Dominican price and the tourist price – so get the price straight in advance.
    Follow these rules religiously:1. Never get drunk in public. You’re finished if you do. 2. Don’t go on any beach at night – you could get hurt. 3. Don’t leave a public areas to go some place not public with any stranger – no matter what you are promised.
    Enjoy sitting under a palm tree at the beach sipping a drink. Enjoy warm breezy weather every day. Swim in the forested waterfalls. Ride horses thru the trees. Feed potatoes to the wild iguanas.
    Lay in the sun at your hotel pool. Have a great meal at a reasonable price (not on the beach).
    Enjoy the friendly vibes of the general population. Walk down El Conde mall in Santo Domingo.
    Hasta la vista

    1. A
      Annette says:

      DR is as safe as you make it .

      This is very good advice. I go stay 6 months every year to punta Cana ,I stay in an apartment. In the 10 or so years I’ve been doing this (I’m a single white female) I’ve had no problems as I follow these same guideline he’s written about .If you do travel around by car. Have extra police money separate from your hidden other money. That way they don’t take every cent you have because they will.

    2. N
      Nicole Darda says:

      Question- we’re going to punta Cana next May- you mentioned not to get drunk in public, does this include the resort we’re staying at? Our resort is gated, do you think that will help make us safer? I’m starting to rethink this and maybe book our honeymoon somewhere else…

  4. A
    Anonymous says:

    Go at least once. Never return.

    Went down there last year. The locals are friendly. Don’t get too drunk unless you can handle yourself. Keep your wits about you and you’ll be fine. Foxxy in Santo Domingo is a right laugh.
    Ultimately for Santo Domingo at least, its a city of sin. Keep that in mind and you should be fine.

    1. Watch out

      Don’t go you will return with a head

  5. T
    Tim Yhan says:

    I am going to the Dominican for over 20 years and never had any problems of course in puerto Plata, I feel safe in dominican I also have lots of Dominican police friends, there’s no place on the planet is safe so why all you idiots out there are taking shit about Dominican, why not talk about the USA where crime is happening every second, I am tired of hearing you people talk negative things about beautiful Dominican.

    1. P
      Pat Miller says:

      Amen and I live in the US

    2. R
      Richie L says:

      Safer than NYC

      I agree with you 100%. I go to Santo Domingo DR every 3-4 months and I haven’t heard one gun shot. On the other hand, I hear gunshots at least once a month in Harlem NY where I have my business.

  6. T
    Tony Rayjack says:

    I like to go

    I like to go with my family there, is something I need to do for all of us to be safer

  7. I will not go

    It’s very unsafe and unsecure

Rated 3.47 / 5 based on 15 user reviews.

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