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 the 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 the 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 is medium, and you should not be worried as long as you avoid visiting dangerous zones.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
When it comes to the 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 in order 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 which 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 precautions will lower the risks of being assaulted.
- 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.Tourist card is valid for a 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 which accept US dollars, Euros, Canadian dollars, British pounds, but it is a bit cheaper to pay in Dominican pesos.
- Weather - The tropical climate with the constant weather and an average temperature of 26°C makes Punta Cana 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 rain falls.
- 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 which 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 Zika virus, the travel insurance is a must when coming to the Dominican Republic. Do not risk, considering the fact that medical issues might happen to you here. Crime rate is also high, so make sure that your insurance covers the luggage theft as well.