Is The Dominican Republic Safe? An American Perspective

When coming to the Dominican Republic, most people want to know one thing  is it safe? There have been a few stories of foreigners having problems here. Because of these isolated incidences the country has earned a bit of a reputation, along with many Latin American countries. When I first came here a year ago, my parents were worried. Ok, my mom was worried. My dad was cool with the whole adventure. My mom worried that I would be the victim of violence, that I would have a run in with the wrong people. After spending nearly a year here, I can offer some perspective on safety in the Dominican Republic.

First and foremost, while on resort properties, and during transfers to and from the resort, visitors can expect the utmost safety and security. The Dominican Republic is not Mexico. There are no reports of armed gunmen creating checkpoints and such in the DR. So, for all the travelers visiting the country to go to a resort, rest assured. While on resort property security is tight.

I have traveled all over the country. I live in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. I have visited Santiago and Bonao numerous times. I have been to Boca Chica, Cotui, and Puerto Plata (Sosua.) The fact is that in every location I have visited, the locals themselves were very security conscious. What we Westerners take for granted, such as parking a car in a parking lot at night, or leaving a door open while someone is in the house, many Dominicans are not comfortable with here. The people of the Dominican Republic are nice, friendly people. However, due to the economic conditions here, there are some bad apples. This is the same as in any American city.

I would treat going out and about in the country the same as in any big American city. Avoid being flashy. Don’t count money in public. Stick to proven routes. When going out at night take a trustworthy taxi, or use a transportation company. The taxi drivers usually have a card with their number on it. Call the same taxi to pick you up when you are ready to return your room or hotel.

There is no need to fret over your security in the Dominican Republic. I have been here for almost a year and I feel as safe as I did while living in Baltimore and Miami. Yes, bad things do happen. But, violence against tourists is not a major problem in the DR. Use common sense, and you should be OK.