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U.S. Issues Travel Advisory Update For The Dominican Republic

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The Dominican Republic is one of the most popular destinations to vacation to, especially for American travelers, and the U.S. State Department has just updated its travel advisory for the country.

Given its proximity to the U.S. mainland, it's a no-brainer to check out this beautiful Caribbean destination.

It's often at the top of travelers' lists for a beach getaway due to its pristine beaches, blue waters, and immaculate resorts along the coastline.

flowers on a cliffside in dominican republic

Unfortunately, there have been negative headlines that don't paint a rosy picture of the Dominican Republic in recent years. This is primarily due to volatile political conflict situations and a rising crime rate.

This week, the U.S. government provided a travel advisory update for the country's current outlook.

Here is what travelers should be aware of before visiting the Dominican Republic any time soon:

Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

The U.S. Issues travel advisories based on 4 levels:

tourists walking in santo domingo
  • Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions
  • Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution
  • Level 3 – Reconsider Travel
  • Level 4 – Do Not Travel

As of this week, the U.S. listed the Dominican as Level 2. This is mainly due to an increased level of crime.

There are 3 main airports travelers use to reach their final destination – Punta Cana (PUJ), Santiago (STI), and Santo Domingo (SDQ).

The U.S. states the uptick in crime is all over the country, so travelers should beware of their surroundings everywhere.

The U.S. states the uptick in crime is all over the country, so travelers should beware of their surroundings everywhere.

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female tourists walking in dominican republic

Widespread drug use, easily accessible weapons, and an unreliable judicial system to prosecute criminals has formed a breeding ground for crime in this country.

There have been reports of violent crime, not limited to murder, assaults, and armed robberies. The good news is there has been a much-improved system put into place to help safeguard tourists.

The tourist police corps have been trained to be present to handle issues directly impacting travelers.

An emergency call system with the same phone number as the U.S. (911) is accessible in main areas.

dominican republic  police patch

It is advised to avoid traveling alone in major cities, such as Santo Domingo, but resort areas typically have a higher police presence to ward off criminal activity.

Will My Dream Vacation Be Affected?

It is estimated between 80-90% of United States travelers find themselves in Punta Cana for their Dominican Republic getaway.

And who can blame them?! Not to say there aren't amazing places outside of Punta Cana, but it is the shining star of this country.

beach in punta cana

With world-class resorts, restaurants, breathtaking beaches, and even a new theme park for the whole family to enjoy, Punta Cana can't be missed!

Those looking to book a trip to this wildly popular destination should not be deterred by the recent travel advisory.

While there is definitely uncertainty with the country's constantly seesawing crime rates, Punta Cana has generally stayed safe for quite some time.

There's little reason to believe that will change as Dominican officials ensure resort areas are heavily patrolled by trained officers. The last thing a heavily trafficked tourist area wants is a bad reputation.

pool at resort in dominican republic

So, whether you have a trip booked already or plan to book a summer trip soon, this region of the Dominican Republic remains a safe haven to have the time of your life.

Recommendations From The U.S. State Department

While a majority of travelers leave the Dominican Republic saying they had the best trip ever, if you were to find yourself in a dangerous situation, there are some things to keep in mind.

The State Department suggests never resisting any type of robbery attempt and never flashing signs of valuables, as you never know who might be watching.

department of state building

If you are unfamiliar with a certain area, don't hesitate to ask local tour guides and resort workers for advice regarding safety and security.

It's always wise to follow the Department of State on social media to view security reports for the country you are visiting.

Lastly, it's a simple process to enroll in the Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP) to stay up to date on local threats and be able to be found in an emergency situation.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Sunday 18th of June 2023

There is certainly a spike in crime in the DR in places outside tourist area. One must be cautious.

However, I confuse why the write choose to add that this is primarily due to volátile political conflict situations.

The DR has a stable political system.