The Dominican Republic is a generally safe country for tourists : most tourists stay in hotels and resorts on the East side of the island, where the only major risk is getting a bad sunburn.
Dominican people are very friendly, tourists are very welcome (representing c. 20% of the country’s GDP), and most visitors travel unharmed. but on the other hand don’t let negligence ruin your trip. Stay alert and be aware.
It is advised to travel with tour guides when going to remote locations.
In 2018, 6.5 million visitors flocked to the Dominican Republic’s coastline. Approximately 2.3 million out of six were Americans (from the USA), as confirmed recently by the Dominican Chamber of Commerce and the DR’s National Statistics Office. And per the Ministry of Tourism, surveys completed by tourists reveal that 90 percent said they would vacation again in the DR.
Punta Cana is the primary destination of choice and what most tourists know as the Dominican Republic. Beyond Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic counts popular resort towns such as Puerto Plata, Cabarete, the Samaná Peninsula, and mountainous Jarabacoa.
From all-inclusive to boutique hotels and eco-lodges, there are 80,256 hotel rooms countrywide.
Punta Cana alone has over 100 hotels.
The reality is that the Dominican Republic remains one of the most beautiful and safest vacation destinations in the Caribbean.
I feel way safer here than I do in the USA or Europe, where a shooter could appear at any moment in any space, in church, at the mall or at the movies.
The Dominican Republic is a huge country
The Dominican Republic is the second largest country in the Caribbean after Cuba.
Yet many Americans still think Punta Cana is the entire DR.
Understandably, it’s the most marketed and successful all inclusive resort region in the Caribbean, and it’s one offering the most attractive range of price points in terms of all inclusive packages. It even has the busiest airport in all of Latin America, despite being a privately-run facility.
Dalia Susana, Assistant General Manager of Clave Verde Lodge in the scenic hills of Samana, shared this:
“We need to change the perspective of traveling to the Dominican Republic. […] The DR has beautiful beaches, mountains, rivers, people, hiking trails. There is a small but growing network of sustainable hotels and always existing family owned businesses. I encourage people to come to the DR on a small scale, come to smaller boutique family owned hotels, seek out those that are passionate about what they do and the environment, explore the towns you visit, eat local, spend time with the people… .”
I’ve yet to hear anyone who came here and saw the DR for themselves away from gated walls, and regretted their trip. I remember how a friend of mine put it in his message after returning home from a visit to Santo Domingo: “Wow! I understand now why you live here! What a place, what a people, what energy!”