Dominican 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 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. 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 : MEDIUM
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 : MEDIUM
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 : LOW
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 : LOW
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 : MEDIUM
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 : LOW
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 : MEDIUM
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 : MEDIUM
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?
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.
- 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 www.doyouneedvisa.com 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.