The U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic has issued new safety recommendations for American travelers.
While generally safe for visitors, the Caribbean nation has seen a spike in violent crime lately, which has prompted several countries to publish new travel warnings.
As a result, U.S. citizens are urged to maintain situation awareness and exercise increased precautions while vacationing in the Dominican Republic.
Here’s everything travelers have to know about rising crime rates in the Dominican Republic and how to stay safe:
U.S. Updates Travel Warning Following Murder Of American Boy
Despite being one of the fastest-growing Caribbean destinations for travel since the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, recent high-profile criminal cases have caused alarm among travelers.
Last week, a 9-year-old U.S. citizen from New York was fatally shot by an armed gang of robbers who targeted the victim and his father shortly after they had landed at Cibao International Airport.
Even though crime rarely affects tourists directly, the fact that an innocent traveler lost his life was enough for U.S. officials to update travel safety guidance for visitors headed to the Dominican Republic.
Consequently, the U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic posted new safety guidelines for American travelers, which urges them to be more cautious when traveling to the island nation.
The tropical island is currently under a Level 2 travel advisory as per the U.S. Department of State, meaning that while generally safe, crime, even of a violent nature, may affect travelers.
According to the U.S. Depart of State, crime rates remain high in certain parts of the country – especially large urban areas – and although unlikely, violent crime, such as mugging, kidnapping, and even murder, remains possible.
Factors such as the widespread availability of firearms as well as proliferating drug trafficking are linked to the country’s security situation.
“Violent crime, including armed robbery, homicides, and sexual crimes, are a reason for concern in all of the Dominican Republic,” the U.S. Embassy said in an official statement.
The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Haiti, a country with which the Dominican Republic shares over a 200-mile-long border, is another cause for concern. Certain armed gangs and drug traffickers have been known to cross the Dominican border, as a result of which travelers are being warned to avoid bordering areas.
Both the United States and international organizations like the U.N. are closely following the situation, which is not expected to affect resort hotspots like Punta Cana for the time being.
Follow These Tips To Stay Safe On Your Next Dominican Republic Holiday
In spite of the alarming tone of the recent U.S. and Canadian travel warnings, visitors can look forward to a pleasant and safe stay in the Dominican Republic, especially if they are sure to follow essential safety tips.
One of the most important recommendations being issued to American travelers is to avoid flaunting valuables in public, such as watches, designer clothing, or high-end mobile devices. Such objects are often the target of pickpockets and other criminals and are best left in the safety box of your resort.
Another valuable tip is to be aware of one’s surroundings, opting to stay close to the safety of resort areas such as those of Punta Cana, Samaná, or Puerto Plata.
Travelers are also urged to sign up to the STEP registry, which enables U.S. officials to notify American visitors of dangerous situations or natural catastrophes.
Lastly, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest safety information found on the U.S. Department of State’s website and social media before traveling to the Dominican Republic.
Plan Your Next Dominican Republic Vacation:
Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!
Choose From Thousands of Dominican Republic Hotels, Resorts and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
↓ Join the community ↓
Subscribe to our Latest Posts
Enter your email address to subscribe to Dominican Republic Sun’s latest breaking news affecting travelers, straight to your inbox.