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U.S. Warns Americans Not To Drink The Tap Water In These 5 Popular Destinations

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It's not often we give Spanish lessons here at Travel Off Path, but travelers will most certainly need to learn the phrase “una botella de agua por favor.”

The U.S. State Department has active warnings for popular countries regarding water quality. There's nothing worse than taking a nice vacation only to get sick from contaminated food, or water, in this case.

tayrona national park Colombia

Americans went through a travel frenzy this year and it seems that will carry on to 2024. Some of the most popular vacation destinations don't have clean tap water.

Some vacation spots are fully prepped with filtered water for guests, but it depends on where you go. Your best bet is to stick with bottled water, regardless.

Here is why the U.S. is warning American travelers to avoid tap water in these 5 popular destinations:

Indonesia (Bali)

First off, implying you should ask your server for “una botella de agua por favor” in Indonesia would be bad travel advice. So, let's hold off on that.

Many locals speak enough English to get by. Otherwise, it's best to use a translation app or good ol' fashioned pantomiming. We've all played an impromptu game of Charades in our travels, right?

temple in bali and gorgeous sky

Indonesia is a stunning country in Southeast Asia, but most travelers know it for its famous island – Bali. In fact, it was noted as the best island in all of Asia by travelers.

Hordes of travelers flock here each year to party their pants off and enjoy an astounding cultural getaway nestled among gorgeous beaches.

Like anywhere else, going out to eat is always a fun time on trips. This country just isn't equipped to ingest tap water.

The U.S. State Dept. advises to specifically request bottled water when ordering.


vintage car in havana cuba

Feel free to use your free Spanish lesson from here on out, starting with the timeless country of Cuba. A Caribbean paradise just a stone's throw away from Florida, you still have to jump through hoops to be able to visit as an American.

Politics have gotten in the way of making this island Americans' favorite stomping grounds. Once you're cleared with the checklist of requirements, you will enter what seems like a time capsule 50 to 60 years ago with vintage cars and historical, vibrant architecture everywhere you turn.

Those looking to relax and enjoy a cocktail may opt for the island's famous Cuba Libres. However, it's a risk to ingest the ice cubes and an even bigger risk to down tap water.

charming street of trinidad Cuba

It's best to find out if a filtration system is used or else you may be in for a long night!


Colombia is such a diverse destination for travelers with immaculate cities and wondrous natural attractions.

Americans have been flocking to Medellin to work remotely as a digital nomad, but there is far more to explore than this affordable hotspot.

The U.S. advisory did not mention major cities, such as Medellin, Bogota or Cali, as places to avoid tap water.

However, rural areas were highlighted to avoid ice and tap water. Exploring waterfalls and gorgeous beaches are the only water sources you'll want to remember on your trip.

view of a street in Colombia

Dominican Republic

The D.R. is a top 3 favorite destination for U.S. travelers. Punta Cana continues to see an influx of travelers enjoying all-inclusive resorts set along incredible beaches.

Beyond the vacation hotspot of Punta Cana, the major cities of Santiago and Santo Domingo have been trending as well.

No matter the destination, travelers are advised to only drink bottled beverages during their trip as restaurants can sometimes use contaminated tap water to make ice.

la romana beach in dominican republic


Mexico is a favorite international destination for Americans to take a vacation. In particular, there is no more popular spot than Cancun.

Unfortunately, such a wonderful country as Mexico is not always safe to ingest water. As one of the best foodie destinations in the world, travelers will have to be extra vigilant with what's on the table.

bellas artes building in Mexico City

Whether Mexico City, Cancun, Los Cabos, or anywhere in between, many restaurants serve ice made of tap water, even in their delicious margaritas.

Resorts are more likely to be safe, but it's always best to make sure before you end up curled up with a bucket during your vacay.

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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.

Rick Miklic

Friday 15th of December 2023

Thailand should also be on the list..


Thursday 14th of December 2023

Everyone Visiting the Domincan Republic should Know Not to Drink the Tap Water the Locals Don't Even Drink it.

Told you something

Thursday 14th of December 2023

I don’t recommend drinking tap water in Michigan Arizona Tennessee Arkansas Alabama Louisiana Texas Kansas Nebraska and many other states.


Tuesday 19th of December 2023

@Told you something, I've been to all those states and never had a problem. You may want to see a doctor about your problem.


Tuesday 19th of December 2023

@Told you something, what's wrong with Tennessee


Saturday 16th of December 2023

@Told you something, U forgot to mention, New York New York on the list.

Smarter than told you something

Saturday 16th of December 2023

@Told you something, you obviously have never traveled in your life.

Karen D

Thursday 14th of December 2023

Loved the DR. It was a friendly beautiful place. That being said they are incredibly poor and don't have the infrastructure they need.


Saturday 16th of December 2023

@Karen D, The Dominican Republic, has a great concentration of rich people. Just don't drink the tap water no one that travels ever does.


Wednesday 13th of December 2023

Dominican Republic has the absolute worse water in the world! and the water also smell horribly! Must be one of the dirtiest places i've ever seen to.


Saturday 16th of December 2023

@NoDR!, you must have stayed at the cheapest place possible. The DR has an incredible amount of amenities.


Friday 15th of December 2023

@NoDR!, what happened to you in DR. Wherever happened I'm sorry. It's not bad. Give be another chance.


Thursday 14th of December 2023

@NoDR!,Your accommodation in DR must have been under a Bridge. Very curious to know where did you stay during your trip?


Thursday 14th of December 2023

@NoDR!, don’t go back !