Well known for off-the-beaten-path excursions, rich culture, endless amenities and year-round perfect climate, Dominican Republic is a place like no other. Easily accessible via a direct flight from most major airports, it offers hiking trails to undiscovered beaches, all inclusive beachfront resorts and world-class golf courses, as well as historical and cultural sights. And when you start planning your Dominican Republic getaway, you can rest assured: the Dominican Republic is safe.
Let this article guide you through what is happening across the Dominican Republic, what the government is saying, how it has affected tourism and advice for staying safe in the Dominican Republic in 2019.
Dominican Republic safety: the statistics
Some good info to know about Dominican Republic travel safety:
- The Dominican Republic continues to be one of the countries with the lowest crime rates in the region.
- Barceló Bávaro Grand Resort, owned and operated by global hotel brand Barceló Hotel Group, has a global track record of safety and service, having revolutionized the quality and standards of all-inclusive properties around the world. Barceló Hotel Group’s other Dominican Republic properties, including the all-inclusive Occidental Punta Cana, the all inclusive Occidental Caribe, El Embajador, a Royal Hideaway Hotel and Barceló Santo Domingo all abide by those standards.
- In a recent list of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world compiled by the Citizens’ Council for Public Security, you will not find a single Dominican city. To get an idea, the city with the lowest index in this list, New Orleans, in the United States, has 36.87 homicides per 100 thousand. By contrast, the Dominican capital city of Santo Domingo stands at 8.66 per 100 thousand inhabitants – four times lower than New Orleans.
Is the Dominican Republic safe right now?
The Dominican Republic is safer than ever for travelers. The recent development of a professional tourist police corps, institution of a 911 system in many parts of the country, and a concentration of resources in resort areas, have all greatly decreased crime in the Dominican Republic. Additionally, in 2019, The Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Tourism has introduced new safety measures, including:
- Inspecting hotels more often;
- Requiring hotels to post emergency contact information in every guest room;
- Adding more monitoring measures to medical facilities located inside hotels;
- Opening an emergency tourist center.
What the U.S. government says about Dominican Republic safety
The U.S. State Department has not raised the threat level for the country in 2019 in recent months. The “exercise increased caution” level was issued in April 2019. For comparison, this is the same level of countries such as Spain and France.
Dominican Republic travel advice: what to do before your next Dominican Republic vacation
So you’ve realized that the Dominican Republic is safe and you want to plan an unforgettable vacation to the country. What’s the next step? Whenever you travel abroad it is always smart to have your ducks in a row before ever leaving your home. Here are a few Dominican Republic travel tips for your next vacation:
- Leave your travel itinerary and contact information with friends and family
- See your doctor before you leave to ensure you are in good health to travel
- Check medical insurance to ensure you are covered during your trip
- Make a list of relevant hospitals and U.S. Embassies in the area
- Register your travels with the U.S. Department of State here
These are precautionary measures which should be taken whenever you travel, not just when traveling to the Dominican Republic.
How to stay safe in the Dominican Republic: top tips
So what can we do to ensure we stay safe in the Dominican Republic? Here are a few Dominican Republic safety tips:
- If Driving – Avoid isolated roads and use toll roads when possible.
- When venturing out of the hotel – Areas to avoid in the Dominican Republic normally include those outside of well occupied tourist zones. However, areas which are deemed safe by either the government or hotels are also OK to enjoy.
- At nighttime – Stay in well-lit tourist areas at night.
- Money – Take money out of ATMs in well-lit tourist areas, from well-known national banks.
- Jewelry – Don’t wear fancy jewelry out.
- Nightlife – If you go out, keep your drink in your hand at all times.
- Taxis – Never hail a taxi. Let the hotel order you a taxi or call one yourself from a reputable taxi service.
- Scams – Never hand your passport or money to a police officer as they have been known to extort money from tourists. Ask for the officer’s name, badge and patrol car number, as well as a copy of the written fine which is payable at a later date.
- USE COMMON SENSE – If you use common sense, just as you would in any other destination, you will have a truly wonderful vacation in the Dominican Republic!
If you’ve found this article interesting and helpful as a potential traveler to the Caribbean, then you may also want to take a look at our article Is Cancun safe in 2019!