Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic and, at the same time, the oldest European city in the Americas.
The old city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
You can quickly explore the island in short trips without much planning. There are incredible sand dunes within an hour’s drive, most of the time desserted.
There are amazingly beautiful waterfalls also within an hour’s drive (Salto de Socoa, Saltos de Jima). Go there on a weekday and you will be the only one there – it’s a magical experience!
Dominicus and Bayahibe and their beautiful white sand beaches are less than 2 hours away and you can keep walking East into the National Park until you are the only one in the beach.
Warnings & Dangers in Santo Domingo
OVERALL RISK : HIGH
Overall, Santo Domingo 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 : MEDIUM
As for pickpocketing, it is not as big of a concern in Santo Domingo, 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 : MEDIUM
There has been a Zika outbreak in Santo Domingo and the rest of the Dominican Republic, so remain protected from mosquito bites at all times. It isn't rampaging right now, but the remain of the virus still exist. Another natural disaster threatening this city are the hurricances.
MUGGING RISK : HIGH
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.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
The risks of terrorist attacks in Santo Domingo 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 : HIGH
There is a high risk of getting scammed in Santo Domingo. 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 : HIGH
Many women have traveled to Santo Domingo 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.
So... How Safe Is Santo Domingo Really?
Santo Domingo, though gorgeous, isn’s a safe city to travel to.
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.
As for the worse areas, Cristo Rey, Los Praditos, Villa Mella, San Carlos, etc. are the neighborhoods that can have more of a ghetto feel to them, therefore they can be perceived as dangerous.
That said, most of the city is unsafe, you can get mugged practically anywhere.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s not safe to wear flashy clothing or jewelry if you’re a pedestrian, you will attract the attention of muggers.
The bad and good qualification is more a matter of perception.
Depending on the day and time some of the “bad” neighborhoods are safer than the “good” ones.
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.
- Visas - No tourist visa is required to enter Santo Domingo, 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, contact your nearest Dominican Republic embassy for further details.
- Currency - Dominican peso is the official currency in Santo Domingo. ATMs can be found throughout the country and credit cards are widely accepted in most tourism-related establishments.
- Weather - Santo Domingo 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. The island is prone to hurricanes especially during June 1 to November 30.
- Airports - Las Américas International Airport is an international airport located in Punta Caucedo, near Santo Domingo and Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we advise getting travel insurance when traveling to Santo Domingo, because it would cover not only medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.
Santo Domingo Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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