Dominican Republic : Safety by CityDominican Republic - safety as a country
Punta Cana refers to the area on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic.
With its stunning beaches and all-inclusive resorts, this Caribbean destination attracts visitors from around the world.
The safety of the tourists, as well as its residents, is a major concern for hotels which are very well protected.
Major resort areas are Bávaro and Uvero Alto with a perfect beach area.
The airport which can be found in the area makes access easy.
The peak season in Punta Cana lasts from December to April when the prices of travel and accommodation extremely increase.
Warnings & Dangers in Punta Cana
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
The Dominican Republic’s economy is based on tourism, so safety is a major concern for hotel owners. That is why hotels and resorts are very well guarded, as well as the beach area. Some health hazards like sunburns and mosquito-borne diseases are the major risks when in Punta Cana. Females should never travel alone there.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
When you go on a tour, make sure you have not left your luggage on the tour bus, even if the driver convinces you that it is safe to leave it there. All taxis have standard rates, but it is better to determine the price in advance. The public transportation in the Dominican Republic is characterized by irregular bus schedules, crowded and unsafe vehicles. In case you want to drive, be aware of the fact that the drivers weave from lane to lane and rarely signal. Drink driving is common which leads to numerous road accidents.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : MEDIUM
It can be said that chances for pickpocket-related risk in the Dominican Republic are medium since there might be thieves in public transport and crowds. Within your resort, you can feel safe but when you decide to go outside the resort area, you should keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of your surroundings.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
The Dominican Republic is prone to many natural hazards, such as hurricanes which happen from June to November. Earthquakes are also frequent. In case of an earthquake, the Dominican Government authorities, fire-fighters, and police will provide help to you, so refer to them. You should be aware of wild animals and protect yourself against infectious mosquitoes with the Zika Virus.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
The risks of being seriously assaulted, like being mugged or kidnapped, in the Dominican Republic are medium, and you should not be worried as long as you avoid visiting dangerous zones.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
When it comes to terrorism risk, you can relax. The Dominican Republic is a very safe country. However, terrorist risks cannot be predicted or ruled out, since the global threat exists.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
The Dominican Republic is a touristic place and tourists attract the scammers. They will try to fool you to get money from you, so pay attention to the strange-looking people around ATMs, groups of teenagers and people who want to help you with your luggage.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Women should never travel to Punta Cana alone since there is a great risk of being assaulted. There are dangerous neighborhoods that need to be avoided.
So... How Safe Is Punta Cana Really?
The Dominican Republic is a desirable destination for many tourists around the globe and many people spend their dream journey without any issues.
However, criminal acts, like bag-snatching and pick-pocketing and even some violent crime, might destroy your trip and spoil the impression.
There have been reports that foreigners have been pickpocketed during the daytime while walking in residential districts, so take particular care in remote areas, especially at night.
A very little precaution will lower the risks of being assaulted.
How Does Punta Cana Compare?
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- Visas - If you need information about the entry requirements to the Dominican Republic, you need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country. All visitors need a tourist card which can be obtained from the Embassy of the Dominican Republic or at the airport when you arrive, to enter the Dominican Republic. The tourist card is valid for 30 days. It can be extended by paying for an extension when you leave the country.
- Currency - The official currency of the Dominican Republic is the Dominican peso. You can easily exchange money at banks or official exchange offices and do not try to exchange it on the street no matter how better the exchange rate is. It is advised to exchange only small amounts of money at a time to avoid any inconveniences. Be very watchful when withdrawing cash at an ATM. There might be some places that accept US dollars, Euros, Canadian dollars, British pounds, but it is a bit cheaper to pay in Dominican pesos.
- Weather - The tropical climate is the constant weather and an average temperature of 26°C makes Punta Cana a perfect destination all year round. The hottest season is from April to November, while from December to March evening temperatures are around 20°C. This is the area where very little rainfalls.
- Airports - Punta Cana International Airport offers flights to and from many large cities in the world. It has numerous facilities as well as air conditioning. It is one of the busiest and best-connected airports in the region. Another airport that can be used as an alternative when coming to Punta Cana is the Aeropuerto Internacional de Las Américas, located in Santo Domingo.
- Travel Insurance - Since there are risks of wild animals and mosquitoes with the Zika virus, travel insurance is a must when coming to the Dominican Republic. Do not risk, because medical issues might happen to you here. The crime rate is also high, so make sure that your insurance covers luggage theft as well.
Punta Cana Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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16 Reviews on Punta Cana
Is this true?
Is the review in this page correct about the place?
Would you recommend as a couple with 2 kids to go visit there for a vacation?
Hello, Thanks for your words. Was concerned about safety, granddaughter wanted to go to Nickelodeon. Only if there is one somewhere else.
Why somewhere else? GO. It is one of the safest places in LatinAmerica. Jesus, I hear things like this here in NY from people that live in freaking NYC. NYC is 50 times more dangerous, and people walk carelessly there. Punta Cana, on the other hand, is full of private businesses with private housing, with private security on top of public security where anything bad that could happen would be bad PR. GO. If you don’t believe me, just pull up Punta Cana’s statistics and compare them to any city you want.
Yes of course my parents and families are there right now on vacation and my cousin went there for his Honeymoon, I’m Guyanese Indian from Guyana my ex is from Dominica Republic, next year we coming to visit again 👍😀
Me and my family stayed for about a week and went around the city we saw nothing happen only a little bit of rain in the morning but that is it
Just returned Wednesday from a family wedding week in Punta Cana. We had a 3 mo. old, an 18 mo old, 3 year old and 7 year old in the group.
To my knowledge none of the children had health problems. Two adults (including groom) had intestinal problems that lasted only 24 hrs and 2 older females (including myself) developed severe rash, itching, burning, raw skin patches, low grade fevers, higher blood pressure and needed to seek Urgent Care when returned to US.
The symptoms began on the 3 rd day there for each of us (different days) and got worse each day. We were put on strong anitibiotics, prednezone, Prescription strentgh allergy meds and over the counter and prescription ointment for sores, open sores.
The rash was the worst anywhere your sweat glands were most active.
I did not go into the ocean until the 3rd day, and the reddish seaweed with the little bulbs on the end were everywhere.
Not sure if that was the problem. To date no one else in the party of 30+ has reported problems. Never went off resort property.
I had a similar issue in another location that was near the ocean. I was told that I like came into contact with a contaminated surface and given the area of the rash, the bacteria was likely within the sheets. I can’t remember what it was called but it cleared up after a few days. Punta Cana was fine for me though, I recently got back and had no issues with a rash whilst staying.
I am to the party every day.
Fantastic vacay destination
I had a wonderful experience in Punta Cana.
I rented an Airbnb about 200 yards from the water. The people were friendly and I felt safe the whole time I was there. The people are so friendly and helpful.
I’m not sure what they base their information on, but the description above is inaccurate. I spent 7 days there and would go back in a heartbeat.
I wouldn’t stay at a resort, but a private home near the beach is wonderful. I never got sick, didn’t drink the water and ate at the restaurants on the water.
i’ve been to punta cana three times and stayed at different resorts and felt safe (bavaro) there were armed guards at the entry points and leaving points.i spent most of my time within the resort,the food was good,the staff were friendly,the rooms were kept clean and had a small frig that had liquor and soft drinks i took a boat trip to an area where i was able to snorkle and was able to see a shark and sting ray in a cage.the staff aboard the boat were alert and attentive to those of us that snorkled. i’m going back very soon.overall rating 4.5.
VERY GOOD, also, Not Dangerous at all
There is no place safer than Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. I am a Data Scientist, dominican-american. I visit Punta Cana almost once a year. Even if you wander off from your hotel/resort, you will be fine. Why?
1-Because the area has 414 hotels/resorts:
An example would be Punta Cana Group’s Foundation, this foundation not only makes sure there is private security starting from far away from anything they own, they also create schools, employ, and pay college tuition for thousands of kids around the edges of Punta Cana, that might not have much money. Keep in mind: this is only one hotel group, there are 414 hotels/resorts in Punta Cana protecting their interests.
2-Because the area has residentials of people that are high middle class up to the wealthiest in the country:
If you wander off from your resort only miles out, say 30 minutes out, the security is pretty much the same. Yes, the streets are “public”, but they are also kind of not. You see, Punta Cana City, or Punta Cana “Downtown”, or any of those names they’ve come up with, is completely full of private residences. Most of these residences are on planned communities that maybe only 8% of all Dominicans could ever afford to live in. Because of this, each little community has private security. And each of these private securities are at least 15 armed private guards going around, doing turns, stopping people.
Those 2 points I made, and I have not yet mentioned something important: the province’s police. There is a consortium of companies that PAY the Police to literally have way more resources than any other Police Station in the country. Do you have any idea what would happen if a half-rich or rich kid from Punta Cana’s families suddenly gets hurt, or more intense, disappears? Or maybe, do you have any idea of what would happen if the directives of all these tourism companies start losing money because of bad PR because tourists in their city are getting robbed? Ho ho ho, that is not happening. To put it simply, these robbers would be *hunted*, the same way you hunt a deer. Here are the statistics of the police http://www.oscrd.gob.do/. You won’t find Punta Cana on the statistics, because it is so low.
So, is it safe? It is definitely safer than NY, where I life, and I live in Scarsdale, which is supposed to be one of the safest neighborhoods near the city.
Now, I’d like to make a comment on something grammyS said, that she/he had to wait until going to the US to go to urgent care. I’d like to start saying, if it is urgent, why didn’t you visit a hospital in Punta Cana? Next is, was it because you think dominican Doctors are bad? Because to that I’d say, most Dominican Doctors graduate college in DR and go to their Residency (specialty) training in the US. Why? Because of how incredibly competitive it is to match in DR (not a lot of open seats every year for ANY specialty). So, you basically have a US trained Doctor in PC, specially in PC, where the Doctors are kids that come from rich families, that could afford to send their kid to study medicine in the Capital or in Santiago (because there are no Med Schools in Punta Cana), and that after that had to sent their kids to the US to do their residency program after passing the USMLE Step 1. Then, they go back to DR. I know this because I brother graduated Med School, and is now doing his Urology residency here. It was surprising to me, that I went out to eat with him and his friends, and ALL his friends were the same one he studied medicine with in DR. They explained it was EASIER to get into a residency program in the US than to try your luck in DRs matching system because of the lack of seats. Also, a cousin of mine (lives in Florida), had a son. His son has these allergies, and Pediatrics in Florida didn’t want to give him medicine. Not because they didn’t really want to, but because it was not completely necessary, and specialists in the US are afraid of lawsuits like crazy, to the point of practicing defensive medicine. So my cousing simply took a flight to our country, and visited a Pediatrics specialist. Boom, in 1 days the kid stopped coughing. The Ped told my cousin that those same meds are 13 times more expensive in the US, if a US Ped would have the balls to give them to a kid (and he knows because the Ped he visited in DR did his specialty in: Florida). LMAO.
Anyways, guys, are you sick? Just go to the Doc and stop the prejudice. Do you want to see something more than your resort? Go, nothing’s gonna happen to you, SPECIALLY in Punta Cana.
I love your review and reply! I am going with a group of 14 adults from Western Pennsylvania. The group I’m traveling with is much more “bougie” than I. I like to get out of the compound (resort) and wonder into the local communities while on vacation. Everyone is worried I’m going to wonder off and become a “statistic”, or a victim of a crime. Literally my boss said the only reason they’re coming is to keep an eye on me 😂
I’ll be sure to show them your review! I don’t like to travel to stay by the pool the entire time! I want to experience the culture!!
Hi would you say its safe for a woman to travel there on her own
Hello Michaela yeah it is safe for women to travel here on her own 🙂
Very nice area
Coco Bongo Punta Cana, Macao beach and the Caroles golf course are just 3 great places to visit and go to while here. There are plenty more, plus nice hotels and restaurants with great food. Try the La Yola restaurant, you’ll thank me later ;)!
We’ve vacationed here five times already, it’s that good! I’m the type that won’t come back to a location unless I liked everything and Punta Cana checked all the boxes, from the locals to the staff and the myriad of resorts and hotels.
We generally tip very well and if your budget allows, please do so, they will be more than happy to reward you with even better service and tips on how to get the most out of your trip. The first time we got there we didn’t leave the resort and to be honest, we didn’t feel like we missed on something. We read, had daily massages, sunbathed like there was no tomorrow and drank all the cocktails we wanted.
Downtown Punta Cana you will find a lot of stores that sell anything from delicacies to memorabilia.
We booked our trip to surrounding areas online before, experience taught me that hotel staff tend to recommend tour operators that they get along with/know better which means you don’t always get the best deal.
The Philippines, for example, is not the best place to leave your resort and explore as you might 1. Get in trouble 2. End up losing precious time as there’s not very much to see around, depending where you’re staying.
Just to touch on a hot subject: several years ago there were some incidents regarding some tourist deaths but nothing was confirmed. No location is as bad as the media reports it, things are usually blown out of proportion.
Punta Cana is a resort town that I would label both as fun and entertaining. It’s a great destination regardless if you’re traveling solo or with your family. If this is your first time traveling there I would start with the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino complex, their services are off the charts.