Is the Dominican Republic safe?

is the Dominican Republic safe?

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.

As a young, blonde, white woman, I can tell you I feel totally safe walking around the town and beach in the daytime. In general, the worst you have to deal with is a few wolf whistles and enthusiastic waves, along with the offers for moto taxis every couple of blocks.

At night, I don’t usually go out on my own, but I know many women who do and are completely fine. The advice is to avoid walking along a dark stretch of the beach at night alone.

There are night guards littered all over town, outside banks and restaurants and all along the beach. There’s no shortage of security guards in general, here.

At eXtreme hotel, we have Santos, our super friendly and sometimes evangelistic night guard, who is there to keep you safe. And, sometimes to give you your room key if you arrive late at night.

We also have a strict no-guest policy and sign-in sheet that means no one on the property is unaccounted for.

The main danger for men and women alike is being pickpocketed at night on the beach. Stumbling drunk Westerners coming out of clubs are prime targets, so keep your wits about you.

One tip I would give to help you feel a little more at home in Cabarete is to learn a few greetings in Spanish. Here, the culture is to say ‘Hey, what’s up?’ to pretty much everyone you pass on the street.

You can join in with this and feel less awkward by learning to say a confident Hola, como estas? or even test out the local Dominican greeting, que lo que? You can respond Todo bien (all good) or Tranquilo (everything’s calm).

If you master the basics of street greeting, it’ll help you feel more involved and safe, less like an observer.

The Dominican Republic in general is a safe country for tourists. Basic common sense is most often plenty to keep your vacation scare-free. Exercise special caution on the road between towns, and know that driving at night is not recommended.

Cabarete in particular is a very safe place for your adventure vacation. Health-wise, we are not in a malaria danger zone, and we can surf without fear of shark attacks!

Cabarete is well-patrolled and motivated to keep you safe, happy and having a great time!

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