Understandably, lots of people are concerned about whether the Dominican Republic is a safe place to visit for tourists.
The answer to the title question is mostly, yes.
Where you go on the island will determine how careful and on guard you need to be. Big cities, as everywhere, have higher crime rates in general. You should take extra travelling abroad precautions with money and valuables when visiting cities. Hold your bags close and don’t go down any dark alleys.
Cabarete is a very safe place to holiday. It has a friendly community of expats and locals who mostly will try and help you out.
As an example, we ran out of gas on our moto the other night in Cabarete. Within thirty seconds, several locals had offered to ‘tow’ us to the petrol station nearby.
As we found out, this involves a Dominican riding his moto behind you, with his foot on your moto, pushing you along your way. Slightly scary and wobbly, yes, but very sweet of the guy. He didn’t even ask for a tip, he just smiled and waved at us as he sped off in the other direction.
Thinking about it, it makes total sense for the Cabarete community to treat tourists generously. The local economy relies heavily on tourism, this applies as much to the expat restaurant owner as to the Dominican motoconcho driver.
Imagine how bad for business it would be if Cabarete gained a reputation for being an unsafe, unfriendly destination?
As awkward as it is to feel like a patron in a place, your vacation money is supporting the town and it’s no secret.