Safety in the Dominican Republic

By Moraima Capellán Pichardo

Kite Beach - Cabarete - Safety in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is the most-traveled destination in the Caribbean and tourism is a massive part of the local economy and culture. When you chose to visit us, your safety in the Dominican Republic is of the utmost importance.

It’s natural to be cautious when traveling abroad, in fact, it is necessary. Due to recent reports of the deaths of Americans while visiting the Dominican Republic, many would-be travelers are concerned about the safety in the Dominican Republic.

What are the facts? The NY Times has reported the deaths of six American travelers, dating as far back to June 2018. The recent deaths that occurred this year are reportedly under investigation. The uproar and sharing of misinformation on social media has even caused the government to hire crisis management specialists to establish “reaction protocols” for this kind of publicity.

Before you #cancel the D.R. from your travel plans consider the following:

Business Insider spoke with an intelligence analyst and reported that the recent deaths are isolated incidents and not the result of violent crime. The murder rate in the Dominican Republic is not only lower than some US cities but also on the decline. Crimes against tourists are usually non-violent in nature and most commonly as petty theft for purses and electronics.

The U.S. Department of State classifies the D.R. as a Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution out of 4 rankings. As of this publication, there are no current travel alerts. For context, Mexico, Italy, Germany and Belgium are all labeled Level 2.

Most of the recent deaths have occurred in Punta Cana resorts. Punta Cana is the largest travel destination on the island. The D.R. sees more than 6 million visitors per year and Statistica reports that Punta Cana welcomed 4.9 million in 2018.

The Ministry of Tourism is aiming for more growth and expansion outside of the typical beachside resort. Go Dominican Republic , a campaign department run by the Ministry of Tourism, reports that “80 percent of all visits to Dominican Republic’s protected areas are by foreigners, proving that visitors are increasingly looking to explore beyond their hotel.” Protected areas include national parks such as the Armando Bermudez National Park, where the highest mountain in the caribbean is located.

CESTUR is the National Tourism Police, designated to…well tourists. They are present most major cities, including Cabarete, where The Yoga Loft is located. They are easily spotted by the navy blue pants, white shirt and cap with the words CESTUR. If you ever encounter any problem, or have any questions while out about town, a CESTUR officer will be able to help you. They can be reached through a toll-free line: 1809-200-3500.

Dominican Republic Beach - Safety in the Dominican Republic

Precautions at the Yoga Loft to ensure safety

The Dominican Republic is not a small as it seems. It’s important to note that Punta Cana is only one of many travel destinations within the D.R.. The Yoga Loft and the eXtreme Collective are located in Cabarete, Puerto Plata on the north coast. As an eco yoga shala focused on sustainability we offer a different experience then the average luxury resort. With that said, the Yoga Loft is located on the grounds of the eXtreme Hotel and we take great care to keep our guests safe:

  1. 24 HR security & Surveillance Cameras
  2. Our security gates have been designed by a NAVY seal
  3. Our “no guests” policy is to ensure that every visitor is accounted for and signed in with reception
  4. Our reception team is available to help with any problems/concerns and to plan any excursions/outings. Check in with us for our best local tips.

Best practices to be safe in the Dominican Republic

  1. Avoid walking alone on any dark path and at night at the beach
  2. Keep valuable belongings in your room and/or safe including passports, extra credit cards, electronics and jewelry
  3. Do not leave drinks and/or food unattended and avoid accepting drinks from strangers
  4. Always carry an ID, not necessarily your passport but maybe a driver’s license that can identify you
  5. Let those closest to you know your plans and whereabouts. You can share your location with family and friends using your smartphone before heading out.

These precautions can apply to anywhere in the world. The Dominican Republic is a developing country, as such, it is important to use common sense. But to label the entire country as unsafe is unfair. Consider the millions of visitors that enjoy their stay with us each year.