Supported by

Why Is Everyone Going to the Dominican Republic?

The country is a rare pandemic success story, with recent visitor numbers far surpassing those of most other Caribbean destinations. Easy entry rules are a draw, but some residents are uneasy.

  • Share full article

dominican republic tourism news

By Heather Murphy

Some had come for the beach, some had come for the sun, others had picked it because, at the time, the Covid numbers seemed reasonable. Many had chosen it over resort destinations because getting there seemed easy. Still others liked the idea of not having to take a test to enter the country.

Together, they made up around 25 of the mostly American, Canadian and British guests enjoying the “Preferred Club” adults-only pool at Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana on a recent weekend, even as Omicron drove coronavirus cases to record highs in the Dominican Republic.

The pool, which is roughly 10 lounge chairs wide, offered a peaceful retreat from the boisterous main pool, which snakes out from the buffet to the sandy stretch of coastline the resort shares with around 90 other all-inclusives.

In the Preferred area, a teacher from Chicago quietly read a book as new resort friends from Michigan and Ontario chatted about whether the woman hanging out on her room’s private terrace about three lounge chairs away, was quarantining. They were pretty certain she was, given that she had not left her room for days. This was a bummer. So, too, was the fact that at least three other Preferred guests had tested positive since they’d arrived.

Still, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

They, along with all the other visitors who filled the majority of Punta Cana’s roughly 42,000 hotel rooms that January weekend, were part of what many consider a rare pandemic tourism success story. In December the Dominican Republic drew 700,000 visitors from abroad, more than it had attracted not only before the pandemic, but in any single month ever, according to the Ministry of Tourism. That pushed 2021 totals to nearly five million visitors, more than any other country in the Caribbean. In December, some financial analysts calculated that the country was having its best year economically in 30 years.

And Punta Cana isn’t the only getaway that’s booming in the Dominican Republic. Las Terrenas, a small seaside town that tends to attract a crowd that despises all-inclusives, has exploded in popularity during the pandemic.

The Dominican Republic’s visitor figures have to do, in part, with its unconventional strategy for gaining a competitive advantage. Unlike most Caribbean beach destinations, the country doesn’t require proof of vaccination, a Covid test or quarantine for most incoming travelers. Instead, authorities have chosen to manage Covid by pushing vaccination and mask wearing among those who interact with tourists. Nearly 100 percent of the 174,000 people who work in the tourism sector are vaccinated, according to the Ministry of Tourism. And though all-inclusive resorts require only a reservation to enter, many banks, government institutions and some shopping malls require proof of vaccination or a recent P.C.R. test.

“We knew it was a risk and we wanted to take it,” Jacqueline Mora, the deputy minister of tourism, said in a recent phone interview. The strategy has worked, she added, noting that the country estimates that it earned around $5.7 billion from tourism last year while maintaining a Covid death rate lower not only than Mexico, the other major beach destination to take a similarly lax approach to entry, but also many far more restrictive countries, including the United States.

Until recently, few pushed back. But as Omicron has driven Covid rates up by several hundred percent in the Dominican Republic (now categorized as Level 4, or “very high” risk, on the C.D.C.’s rating system), infecting many vaccinated people, long-simmering resentments about letting tourists get away with so much have surfaced among some doctors, politicians and resort employees.

In early January, more than a dozen lawmakers endorsed a proposal, supported by the president of the Colegio Médico, the Dominican Republic’s largest association of doctors, urging President Luis Abinader to require recent tests and proof of vaccination from visitors. The resolution calls the current policy “discriminatory,” given that “Dominican residents have to carry a vaccination card or recent negative P.C.R. test, while visitors don’t face the same requirements to enter Dominican territory.” On Jan. 31, the government is requiring banks, shopping centers, restaurants and other public transport to ask for proof that customers have been boosted. Airports and all-inclusive resorts will not be affected.

In Punta Cana, off with the masks

Australia had been their first pick, but the borders there were still closed to visitors, said Michael Rogers, 28, an event planner from London, who was celebrating a belated honeymoon in Punta Cana.

“We’re the guinea pigs for our family. If we don’t get it,” he said, referring to Omicron, “they’ll all go on holidays.”

Behind him, people were checking into Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana. In 2021, nearly half of the foreign tourists who went to the Dominican Republic stayed in Punta Cana, at places like Dreams or the Iberostar Grand Bávaro on popular Playa Bávaro. Each one of the area’s 90 or so all-inclusive resorts is a bit different: Some are fratty party hubs, others are minimalist wonders. Some serve stale rolls. Some serve towers of fresh ceviche. Some cater to Americans, who made up nearly 60 percent of all visitors to the Dominican Republic last year. Others court Europeans, Latin Americans and Canadians who made up most of the other 40 percent.

The 500-room Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana falls somewhere in the middle in terms of price and Tripadvisor ratings. On a recent Friday, staff members scanned visitors’ temperatures upon arrival and offered spritzes of hand sanitizer along with a glass of champagne. By check-in, many guests were no longer wearing their plane masks, but it was nearly impossible to find a staff member who was letting their nose peek out. This was the first hint that guests and employees follow different rules.

This generally works for the guests.

“We’ve been dealing with it for two years straight and sometimes you just want to throw in the towel and live a little,” said Cara McQueeney, 27, a mental health worker from Concord, N.H., as she and her boyfriend awaited their final beachside dinner. She was not trying to be careless; she’d been avoiding buffets. But she was glad that she didn’t have to wear a mask.

Dealing with Covid feels more reasonable in the Dominican Republic, said Gaelle Berthault, 45, later that weekend. She, her husband and 9-year-old son had moved to Santo Domingo from Brittany early in the pandemic because they were so fed up with the restrictions they faced at the time in France, she said while sitting on the porch of a turquoise cabana in Las Terrenas on the country’s northern coast. She resented having to carry a government-issued permission slip on her walks, which she had to limit to one a day.

“It felt like war time,” she said.

Since she found a new job in Santo Domingo, she feels freer. On the weekends, her family explores coastal towns like Las Terrenas, where her son might spend the morning splashing in the pool of a boutique hotel before venturing to a beach. In Santo Domingo, public buses sometimes require proof of vaccination, but she has never taken one.

A challenging time

The arrival of the virus had come at a terrible time for the Dominican Republic’s tourism industry. In March 2020, when the World Health Organization upgraded the epidemic to a pandemic, the country had just recovered from a different crisis. In 2019, 10 American tourists had died there, several mysteriously passing away in their sleep. Ultimately, the F.B.I. deemed that the incidents weren’t connected, but it was not good publicity. Visitor numbers fell by 9 percent, according to Ms. Mora. And then, just as they bounced back, the pandemic shuttered its borders.

For the 174,000 people who work directly in the tourism sector it was a challenging time. Though the government gave them money, a number of workers, including a maid, butler, server and concierge, calculated that they took home one quarter to one half of what they normally made.

When the country opened back up to tourists in July 2020, authorities briefly required visitors to show the results of a recent test. Then in August, President Abinader, who has a long history in the tourism industry, took office. The strategy began to revolve around making entry as easy as possible. Through last April, the country offered to cover the costs of medical care, lodging and flight changes, should guests fall sick with Covid. The airport did continue testing some visitors randomly, a policy that continues, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

To this day, most other Caribbean nations require proof of vaccination, test results and, in some cases, quarantine, and they also may restrict hotel bookings to 30 or 50 percent capacity to mitigate viral spread, according to Michael Lowery, the executive vice president of consumer business for Apple Leisure Group, which owns Dreams resorts and, a vacation booking platform used by millions. He said that the Dominican Republic has been one of the two most popular destinations for his company during the pandemic — behind Mexico — because travelers don’t want to deal with restrictions and because resorts fill up their rooms, keeping prices reasonable.

“They’ve done a good job of keeping their borders open and allowing 100 percent occupancy in all the resorts,” he said.

Large groups, even bigger than before, began to flock to the Dominican Republic, said TJ Murray, the owner of Punta Cana Tours , a booking site.

Couples who might not have considered the Dominican Republic previously for a destination wedding began to see it as a sure thing for guests traveling from across the world, said Jennifer Collado, the owner of a wedding and events agency based in Punta Cana.

The turnaround

By August 2021, about a year after the Dominican Republic reopened to tourism, you might have noticed something intriguing if you happened to be looking at’s flight trends. For more than a month, destinations in just one country consistently displayed green, meaning they had generated more search interest than they had two years earlier: the Dominican Republic.

September, November and December were good months for the country. Tourism numbers surpassed prepandemic levels, and coronavirus case counts stayed low, typically hovering between 100 and 300 daily. But then Omicron hit. On Jan. 12, a record 7,439 people tested positive in the Dominican Republic, far more than any other day during the pandemic. On Dec. 29, the country also reported eight Covid-related deaths, more than it had seen in a single day in months.

“The hospitals are full; children, old people, everyone, sick with Covid,” said Dr. Senén Caba, the president of the Colegio Médico.

He blamed the government’s lax entry policy for the suffering. Though people who work in the tourism sector may be largely young, healthy and vaccinated, they can still transmit the virus to family members and others. (Only 54 percent of the population overall is fully vaccinated.)

According to the tourism ministry the spike is not a reason to adjust the country’s approach.

“Omicron is everywhere,” and testing requirements offer countries little more than the illusion of security, Ms. Mora said. Willie Walsh, the director general of the International Air Transport Association, a trade organization representing nearly 300 airlines, echoed this argument in a recent statement.

Asked if interacting with potentially contagious visitors all day made him nervous, Maiken Mercedes, a server at Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana, said, “What gives me fear is not the virus, it’s not making money for my family.” Other employees in the hospitality industry also expressed concerns that more restrictions would mean fewer guests.

But there has to be a way to encourage responsible tourism, said Ivan Lorenzo, a senator for the Dominican province of Elías Piña, which shares a border with Haiti.

“We cannot rationalize the human losses with what we generate economically,” he said.

Neither he nor several hospitality workers interviewed were convinced that requiring tests would derail the country’s growth. In fact, some found the suggestion that the lax policy is what’s drawing people to the Dominican Republic insulting.

The dreaded end-of-vacation test

No matter how much they try not to think about the coronavirus, at the end of the day, visitors have to think about it because the United States, Canada and many other countries require a test to re-enter.

For Kelly Lynn Gasper, 57, a behavioral health nurse from Oakley, Mich., the possibility was particularly nerve-wracking because early in her one-week visit with her 18-year-old daughter to Punta Cana, she’d started to feel like she was coming down with something. She took two rapid tests she’d brought and tested positive twice, she said.

Ms. Gasper was conflicted about how to proceed, but ultimately opted not to spend her whole vacation in her room, instead upping her mask wearing and avoiding indoor spaces. As her daughter, Caitlyn Gasper, who’d already had Omicron back home, pointed out, other people were probably positive around her, but didn’t know it, so why should she be penalized for testing positive?

Much to her relief, Ms. Gasper tested negative that morning at the resort clinic. The results had come so fast — within a couple of minutes, instead of the 15 that is more typical — she had wondered about their accuracy.

Kris Milavec, 59, of Concord Township, Ohio, did not share Ms. Gasper’s skepticism, because earlier that day her husband and one other member of her group of nearly 20 had quickly tested positive and were now stuck in their rooms.

As to whether it was worth it, given that her husband, an anesthesiologist who was expected back at the hospital, was apparently stuck abroad, Ms. Milavec paused.

“I don’t think it was worth it,” she said as the rest of the group posed for poolside photos in their matching white outfits.

Enzo Conte, the owner of a software company in Quebec, would also prefer not to get Omicron. But if he’s going to get it, he said, it might as well be while he’s staying at a beachside villa in the Dominican Republic. Since early December, he has been alternately vacationing and working remotely from Las Terrenas.

Should he test positive, he said, “I’ll just stay a little longer.”

Hogla Enecia Pérez contributed research from Santo Domingo.

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook . And sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to receive expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places for a Changed World for 2022.

Heather Murphy is a reporter on the Travel desk. She welcomes tips, questions and complaints about traveling during the pandemic. More about Heather Murphy

  • Tour Operators
  • Destinations
  • Hotels & Resorts
  • Agent Feedback
  • Deals & Incentives
  • On Location
  • Industry Experts
  • Sphere – HomeBased
  • Digital Editions
  • Subscribe today!

dominican republic tourism news

  • Hotels and Resorts
  • Types of Travel
  • Subscribe Now

dominican republic tourism news

Dominican Republic reaches record-breaking 10 million visitors in 2023

Post date: Jan 2 2024

Date: Jan 2 2024

By: Travelweek

PUNTA CANA — The Dominican Republic reached a significant milestone over the holidays: its 10 millionth visitor of the year.

The unprecedented milestone was reached on Dec. 26, 2023, with tourist Ariana Guilak receiving a special welcome by Minister of Tourism David Collado at the Punta Cana International Airport. Guilak arrived on a flight from the United States, which is the Dominican Republic’s number one market.

dominican republic tourism news

According to Minister Collado, the country welcomed 7,863,542 tourists by air and 2,168,209 cruise passengers by sea in 2023.

“Reaching 10 million tourists between air and cruise ships is a fact that should fill the entire country with pride, regardless of political flags, since each of these visitors are friends of the country who contribute to development, employment to the countryside, to construction and the entire productive apparatus of the country continuing to grow,” said Minister Collado.

Dominican Republic reaches record-breaking 10 million visitors in 2023

Tourist Ariana Guilak was honoured at a special ceremony at Punta Cana airport

The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism (MITUR) also presented figures of tourism’s economic impact this year, which included more than 620,000 direct jobs and an estimated generation of foreign exchange of more than 11 billion dollars. Figures also showed that the Dominican Republic is the country that has grown the most in tourist arrivals in the Caribbean region from 2019 to date, going from 6.4 million visitors to more than 10 million, and that it’s been recognized by various international organizations as the number one country in terms of post-COVID tourism recovery.

To mark the 10 million milestone, activities were also carried out at Las Américas International airport in Santo Domingo, the Cibao International airport in Santiago, as well as at Amber Cove and Taino Bay cruise ports in Puerto Plata.

For more information go to .

Travel Week Logo

Tags: Dominican Republic, Lead Story

dominican republic tourism news

Your browser is not supported for this experience. We recommend using Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari.


cuadro azul 50 x 50

  • Privacy Policy

Download travel resources & information

Travel Ideas

Get travel inspiration ideas in your inbox!

Dominican Republic Has It All

Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea on the south, our lush tropical island paradise boasts nearly 1,000 miles (1,609 km) of coastline, 250 miles (402 km) of the world’s top beaches, magnificent resorts and hotels, and a variety of sports, recreation and entertainment options. Here you can dance to the pulse pounding thrill of the merengue, renew in our luxurious and diverse accommodations , explore ancient relics of centuries past, delight in delicious Dominican gastronomy or enjoy ecotourism adventures in our magnificent national parks, mountain ranges, rivers, and beaches.

Get eTicket

Traveling to Dominican Republic?

The electronic ticket is a digital form required by multiple institutions for entering or leaving Dominican Republic. Get ready for travel and get yours today!

Know Before You Go

Getting here: air & sea travel, getting around: travel between regions, places to stay & accommodations, frequently asked questions, choose your passion, entertainment & events, water sports, adventure activities, outdoor recreation & sports, natural attractions, cultural attractions & sightseeing, family friendly activities, dining & nightlife, film industry, dominican republic, discover all that we have, over 2000 beaches, many of which remain uncrowded and undeveloped - line the caribbean and the atlantic coastlines, ranging from a brilliant white to a handful of black sand stretching southwest., bahía de las águilas.

Recognized as the most beautiful beach in the Dominican Republic, this diamond-white stretch runs a whopping five miles, boasting…

Bahía de Luperón

Beige-colored beach with large rocks and swimmable area. Tourists will often stop by before or after a visit to the close by historic…

The scenic fishing town of Bayahíbe is an attraction in and of itself, lucky to boast multiple beaches on its coastline, including…

Known for its beautiful white-sand beach, Cabo Rojo gets its name from the area’s bauxite presence and resulting dark rust-colored dirt…

The smallest of the islands off the shore of Bayahíbe, Catalinita sits in the Catuano Channel, popular for its crystal clear waters…

The Dominican Republic is blessed with the Caribbean’s highest mountain ranges, tucked in the heart of the country, where you’ll find the lushest landscapes and coolest temperatures.

Altos de chavón amphitheater.

Designed like a Grecian amphitheater, this breathtaking 5,000-seat open-air facility hosts concerts and performances from major…

Anamuya Ziplines

Punta Cana is home to the very first zipline built in the DR, and it’s built to suit all daredevils, new or experienced. Runners…

Avenida de la Marina

The scenic, two-kilometer (1.2 mile) long waterfront boulevard lining Samaná Bay wins over every photographer’s eye. Also known as the…

Barahona City

The city of Barahona is a primarily industrial town, important for its port access and commercial activities, which include sugar…

Boca de Yuma

Less than an hour south of Punta Cana, Boca de Yuma offers a daytime escape to a scenic Dominican fishing village. Boasting panoramic…

Renowned for having the most magnificent golf courses in the Caribbean region, and Latin America, the Dominican Republic is the undisputed leader of golf in the tropics.

Bella vista golf club.

Short and flat, the course was built for the executives of the large Falconbridge mining company in the city of Bonao. It was designed…

Cabeza de Toro Golf Club

One of two courses located within the Catalonia Bávaro Resort in Punta Cana, Alberto Sola designed the Cabeza de Toro Golf Club as a…

Caribe Golf Club

Part of the Catalonia Bávaro Resort, Alberto Sola and Jack Corrie designed the 18-hole Caribe Golf Club. Open from October to June…

Cayacoa Golf Club

Built in 1989 and designed by Jack Corrie, Cayacoa Golf Club is located just 25 minutes northwest of Santo Domingo, yet remains a…

Cocotal Golf & Country Club

Designed by six-time Spanish Champion, Pepe Gancedo, who has designed more than 18 golf courses throughout Spain, some rated among the…

Art + Culture

Known as the cradle of the americas, the dominican republic is full of iconic sights across its cities and provinces., alcázar de colón.

One of the most popular museums in the Colonial City is also its most impressive in architecture. Completed around 1512, this Gothic…

Bartolo Colón Stadium

Located in the small town of Altamira, birthplace of Major League player Bartolo Colón, the professional player built this stadium and…

Basílica Nuestra Señora De La Altagracia

Located in Higüey and inaugurated in 1971, this cathedral is one of the most important religious sites in the Dominican Republic. It…

Bonao Carnival

Each February, in celebration of Carnival, Bonao features its own unique characters parading to the beat of the carnival drums on…

Cabral is best known for its colorful carnival at the end of Easter, when the Cachúa characters dress in bat-like costumes and unfold…

10 Adventurous Things to Do

The Dominican Republic is full of incredible destinations that not many people know of. It's also a country with a diverse and colourful culture.

Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Horseback riding, paragliding, mountain biking.

We've detected unusual activity from your computer network

To continue, please click the box below to let us know you're not a robot.

Why did this happen?

Please make sure your browser supports JavaScript and cookies and that you are not blocking them from loading. For more information you can review our Terms of Service and Cookie Policy .

For inquiries related to this message please contact our support team and provide the reference ID below.


Since 1997, DR1 has been covering the Dominican Republic in English. A site overhaul had long been due. Here is the beta version of the first phase of the new DR1. We have upgraded the website with user-friendly software to serve our community better. We have kept the up-to-date content. Now it is your turn to give the new DR1 a test run!

We are tough-skinned. Go ahead and tell us what we are doing right, wrong, and what we need to change asap or work on next. Tell us what you would like to see less or more of, and what we shouldn’t change!

Imagine we have bought a new house for DR1. The house comes with:

  • New server that ensures DR1 can handle peaks in traffic
  • New DR1 Forums
  • Improved Search
  • New DR1 Calendar
  • DR1 News and DR1 Calendar are integrated into the DR1 Forums
  • New DR1 Wiki for frequently asked topics
  • New Trending Topics emails

We now need to furnish the house. It is YOUR DR1! We invite you to collaborate in adding valuable content. What content or services should we add? Check out the new resources, but get creative, too. You can contribute and play a key role in helping people connect, enjoy and be productive in the Dominican Republic.

Dolores Vicioso, founder

Write to [email protected]

Security Alert May 17, 2024

Worldwide caution, update may 10, 2024, information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.

  • Travel Advisories |
  • Contact Us |
  • MyTravelGov |

Find U.S. Embassies & Consulates, congressional liaison, special issuance agency, u.s. passports, international travel, intercountry adoption, international parental child abduction, records and authentications, popular links, travel advisories, mytravelgov, stay connected, legal resources, legal information, info for u.s. law enforcement, replace or certify documents.

Share this page:

Dominican Republic Travel Advisory

Travel advisory june 18, 2024, dominican republic - level 2: exercise increased caution.

Reissued after periodic review without changes.

Exercise increased caution in the Dominican Republic due to crime.

Country Summary:  Violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide, and sexual assault, is a concern throughout the Dominican Republic. The development of a professional tourist police corps, institution of a 911 system in many parts of the country, and a concentration of resources in resort areas means these tend to be better policed than urban areas like Santo Domingo. The wide availability of weapons, the use and trade of illicit drugs, and a weak criminal justice system contribute to the high level of criminality on the broader scale.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to the Dominican Republic.

If you decide to travel to the Dominican Republic:

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Follow the advice of resort and tour operators regarding local safety and security concerns.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter .
  • Review the Country Security Report for the Dominican Republic.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations.  Review the Traveler’s Checklist .
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for u.s. citizens, dominican republic map, search for travel advisories, external link.

You are about to leave for an external website that is not maintained by the U.S. Department of State.

Links to external websites are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as an endorsement by the U.S. Department of State of the views or products contained therein. If you wish to remain on, click the "cancel" message.

You are about to visit:

Tensions and desperation are growing on the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic

DAJABÓN, Dominican Republic — As the crisis in Haiti spirals deeper into chaos, the neighboring Dominican Republic is bracing for more migrants arriving amid ongoing tensions between the two countries.

The border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic has been closed for days as violence in Haiti dramatically escalated following a mass prison break in Port-au-Prince . But on Thursday and Friday, Haitians were allowed into a farmer’s market in the border town of Dajabón, which has a population of 25,000 and is about 120 miles from the Haitian capital.

Under the watchful eye of border guards, hundreds of Haitians rushed into the market to buy whatever food they could carry with what little money they had, as temperatures exceeded 95 degrees. Men hurriedly pushed wheelbarrows full of corn, eggs and drinking water. Women carried buckets of supplies on their heads. 

It was so crowded that on Friday one woman was badly injured when she fell off a bridge into the brush below. Bystanders said she lost her balance in the stampede to get food.

Meanwhile, a robust security presence is visible, with troops manning checkpoints and razor wire topping border fences. And each day, bus after bus is seen deporting Haitians who were in the Dominican Republic illegally.  

Security fence in the border town of Dajabón

There has long been friction between Haitians and Dominicans along this part of the border. The Dajabón River, also known as the Massacre River in reference to Spanish settlers who killed French buccaneers in the 1720s , divides the countries and has long been the source of a dispute that continues to this day.

The current violence in Haiti , where militias and armed groups have taken over the streets of the capital, is the culmination of a crisis that has been growing for more than a year. In response, Dominican President Luis Abinader has increased patrols along the border over concerns of a Haitian migrant influx. He is also building a 108 mile-long wall. 

“Either we all fight together to save Haiti or we fight on our own to protect the Dominican Republic,” Abinader told the United Nations Security Council last month.

Haitians allowed into a farmer’s market in the border town of Dajabón Thursday return with food.

Across the border from Dajabón in Quanaminthe, Haiti, dozens of people gathered awaiting supplies. The largely rural area is far removed from the raging violence in Port-au-Prince. Instead, extreme hunger is the more pressing issue here. The United Nations estimates that nearly 1 million people in Haiti are on the brink of famine.  

Elena Franck, 40, crossed into the Dominican Republic with two of her teenage children to sell shoes at the market and gather whatever food they could bring home. Her husband died three years ago from heart disease and her family was growing increasingly more desperate. Her 14- and 16-year-old girls skipped school, hoping to help her sell more sneakers at the Dajabón stand. 

“We don’t have work,” Franck said. “We don’t have a president. We have nothing.” 

Elena Franck, a 40-year-old widow, with her two teenage daughters.

Quality of life is notably better in the Dominican Republic , which relies on a robust tourism economy. The roots of this contrast wind through corruption and stretch back to French-controlled slavery in colonial-era Haiti . 

White House National Security Communications adviser John Kirby said Thursday the U.S. was considering temporarily housing Haitian migrants at Guantanamo Bay, like it has done before. He added that the U.S. is not seeing a large increase of migrants from Haiti so far.

The president of Guyana, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, said Friday that a group of Caribbean nations, international partners and Haitian stakeholders, known as CARICOM, have reached an agreement for a political transition council. The agreement includes the resignation of Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who remains in Puerto Rico, as well as “a pact for a peaceful transition of power, continuity of governance, an action plan for near-term security and the road to free and fair elections,” according to a statement from the group .

Many in Haiti view the CARICOM plan to create a transitional presidential council of local leaders with skepticism. Militia leader Jimmy “Barbeque” Chérizier and influential Haitian politician Jean-Charles Moïse are among those who oppose CARICOM's plan, with Moïse putting forth his plan to instead instate a three-person political council that would include the rebel who ousted the president of Haiti in 2004.

More on the crisis in Haiti

  • Elon Musk and right-wing influencers use ‘cannibal’ claims to smear Haitian migrants amid crisis
  • Terrified mother hiding in Haitian church with her children fights starvation
  • What to know about the crisis of violence, politics and hunger engulfing Haiti
  • In Haiti, a police officer-turned-gangster is trying to seize control of the country

A multinational security force — led by Kenya but largely funded by the U.S. — appears to be on hold. 

“We have a lot more work to do to get this multinational security support mission up and running on the ground to assist the Haitian National Police,” Kirby said.

A Haitian woman in the Dajabon open market

At least 200 Americans who are trapped in Haiti have registered with the State Department as the escalating violence has shuttered the country’s airports and border crossings. 

Uncertainty over the future is debilitating. In Dajabón on Thursday, Waniou Janvier, 47, said he was looking for any money he could find in order to make his way back to Cap-Haitian, Haiti, to retrieve documents. In English, he said he was from Miami but when he recently visited family in Haiti, a gang overtook his bus, leaving him with no passport and no way out.

“They took my stuff,” he said. “My documents. My bags. My phones. My money that I had in my pocket.”

His only possessions now: the clothes on his back and a decades-old transcript from Miami Edison High School that he hoped would serve as some sort of identification.

“The situation in Haiti right now is terrible,” he said.

dominican republic tourism news

Gabe Gutierrez is a senior White House correspondent for NBC News.

dominican republic tourism news

Erika Angulo is a coordinating producer for NBC News. Her award-winning work includes coverage of the U.S.-Mexico border, the Chilean miners' rescue and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

U.S. warns tourists to ‘exercise increased caution’ in this popular destination due to rising crime

  • Updated: Jun. 22, 2024, 3:12 p.m. |
  • Published: Jun. 22, 2024, 8:30 a.m.

Dominican Republic

The U.S. State Department reissued its travel advisory for the Dominican Republic, telling tourists to "exercise increased caution." Canva

  • Katherine Rodriguez | NJ Advance Media for

The U.S. State Department reissued its travel advisory for the Dominican Republic, telling tourists to “exercise increased caution” due to the country’s increasing level of crime.

The Level 2 advisory was reissued due to increased crime in the area, “including armed robbery, homicide and sexual assault,” according to the State Department.

However, the advisory also noted that the country’s addition of tourist police and better 911-like system means that resort areas are likely to be patrolled more than big cities, such as Santo Domingo.

“The wide availability of weapons, the use and trade of illicit drugs, and a weak criminal justice system contribute to the high level of criminality on the broader scale,” according to the updated advisory.

A Level 2 advisory does not mean travel should be avoided to the area. What it does mean is that you should take the following precautions before traveling to the Dominican Republic:

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Follow the advice of resort and tour operators regarding local safety and security concerns.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist .

You can read more about the travel advisory for the Dominican Republic here .

Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to .

Katherine Rodriguez can be reached at [email protected] . Have a tip? Tell us at .

If you purchase a product or register for an account through a link on our site, we may receive compensation. By using this site, you consent to our User Agreement and agree that your clicks, interactions, and personal information may be collected, recorded, and/or stored by us and social media and other third-party partners in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Choose your language

Site logo

Welcome to the Dominican Republic

Your caribbean paradise

Plan your holiday to the Dominican Republic

Beaches & Islands

Set Sail for Saona Island

Festivals & Events

Party like a Dominican at Santo Domingo Carnival


How to do Puerto Plata beyond the resorts

Dominican culture and customs: know before you go

Street vendor in Constanza

Photo: Mikkel Ulriksen

Looking for some cool things to do?

Things to do in santo domingo.

Looking for some cool things to do in Santo Domingo?

A Guide to Santo Domingo Nightlife

The best things to do in Santo Domingo after dark,

A Pocket Guide to Samaná

Step into the outstanding Peninsula of Samana Dominican Republic, and

Go surfing in the Dominican Republic

Everything you need to know about surfing on the north

Baseball in the Dominican Republic

Find out why baseball is such a big deal in

Cotubanamá National Park (Parque del Este)

One of the top day-trips from Punta Cana, the Cotubanamá

Sea, Salt and Whalesong: Waiting for the Whales in Samaná

Samaná is one of the best places in the world

Explore Cueva de las Maravillas – the Cave of Wonders

Just outside La Romana, the Cueva de las Maravillas cave

Carnival in Santo Domingo is a once in a lifetime

Get Lost in the Wilderness of Monte Cristi National Park

Get the basic information for your trip to Monte Cristi,

How to See the Whales in Samaná Bay

If you're in the Dominican Republic between January 15 - March 25, try to make the trek north to see the whales in Samaná. After all, they've come some 3000 miles to see you.

Humpback whale breaching in Samaná Bay

Photo: Kit Korzun /

Winter activities and tips!

Find adventure in Jarabacoa

Juan Dolio Beach

Explore bayahibe.

Once a sleepy fishing village, Bayahibe is home to stunning

Lined with palm trees and exclusive accommodation, Juan Dolio is

Find Adventure in Jarabacoa

The mountainside destination of Jarabacoa is the hub of the

City Guide: Cabarete

Cabarete is a mecca for surfers and kitesurfers, but there’s

Travel to the Dominican Republic for less

Need the lowdown on airports, flights, when to go and how to find the cheapest deals? From reservation to relaxation, here’s our guide to getting to the Dominican Republic.

Airplanes at Punta Cana International Airport

Photo: Balifilm /

Our Instagram

@visitdrnow, subscribe to our newsletter.

Get more travel inspiration, tips and exclusive offers sent straight to your inbox

I would like to get Visit Dominican Republic newsletters in my inbox

Paradise for Your Inbox

Sunny beach with families swimming.

Subscribe to our newsletter for the best monthly stories and insider guides about the Dominican Republic!

UN Tourism | Bringing the world closer

Share this content.

  • Share this article on facebook
  • Share this article on twitter
  • Share this article on linkedin

Dominican Republic Among UNWTO Members Reporting Strong Tourism Rebound

UNWTO has warmly welcomed the first data on summer arrivals from its Member States.

As international travel returns in many parts of the world, several Members are starting to report strong numbers both for arrivals and tourist spending. This is in spite of the fact the sector continues to face a number of challenges, among them the ongoing pandemic, rising interest rates and cost of living levels, and heightened economic and geopolitical uncertainty.

From the Dominican Republic, Minister of Tourism David Collado, has advised UNWTO of record arrival numbers for April, May, June and July. Notably, arrivals in July were 24% higher than in 2019, putting the country on course for its best year on record, including in terms of sales taxes and income generation. In response, UNWTO has sent its congratulations to the Minister and commends the Dominican Republic for its strong and ongoing support for tourism. UNWTO also notes the invaluable contribution of the private sector, as exemplified by the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES), which is currently celebrating its 60th anniversary.

This growth comes even as destinations across the Dominican Republic continue to miss tourists from Russia and Ukraine, two historically strong source markets. In recognition of its leading status as a resilient destination, the Dominican Republic was the focus of the first UNWTO Investment Guidelines publication, released at the start of 2022. Developed alongside the Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic and the national Export and Investment Center (PRODOMINICANA), the new guide provides key insights for investors, with the aim of boosting foreign direct investment in the Caribbean destination.

The Dominican Republic will also host the 118th session of the UNWTO Executive Council in the first quarter of 2023.

Related Links

  • Download the news release in PDF
  • UNWTO Regional Department for the Americas
  • International Tourism Consolidates Strong Recovery Amidst Growing Challenges
  • Tourism Doing Business Investing in Dominican Republic

Related Content

Un tourism: putting communities at the centre of touris..., un tourism members promote investment and education as ..., amadeus & un tourism joint report reveals tourism in th..., un tourism international forum – quintana roo “tourism ....

  • Caribbean Travel Advisor
  • Advertising

antigua pickleball

The Caribbean’s Best Pickleball Resorts Are in Antigua (And They’re All-Inclusive)

caribbean island tiny food

Travelers Keep Flocking to the US Virgin Islands 

New boutique hotels like the Pink Palm. Private-island destinations like Lovango. A transformed Charlotte Amalie. A reborn Frenchman’s Reef.  The US Virgin Islands was already the biggest success story of the post-pandemic era in the Caribbean. Now, it’s rising to […]

plein soleil

Tourism Is Heating Up in Martinique 

casa de campo

Dominican Republic on Track for 11 Million Total Visitors 

relaxing hotels

UK Visitors Are Flocking to the Turks and Caicos Islands As Airlift Grows 

caribe hilton

Caribbean Travel Marketplace Kicks Off in Puerto Rico 

st maarten testing vaccinated

St Maarten Is Making Travel Easier for Vaccinated Visitors 

Jamaica Tourism Conference

Jamaica Is Creating a New Tourism Development Zone

st kitts tourism cmo

St Kitts Tourism Authority Names Chief Marketing Officer 

grand cayman los angeles photo of sunset

A New Way to Fly from Los Angeles to Grand Cayman 

dominican republic tourism soaring

Dominican Republic Keeps Up Soaring Tourism Arrivals 

nevis tourism

Nevis Tourism Has a New CEO

St Croix American Airlines Flights

The Buccaneer Resort Is Still a St Croix Legend

martinique academy

Academy to Honor Legendary Martinique Film Director 

Cayman islands waives pre-testing for visitors.

ritz cayman visitors

The Cayman Islands has waived testing for visitors.  “Pre-arrival Covid-19 testing is no longer required to enter the Cayman Islands,” the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism announced in a statement.  In a major change to the destination’s travel protocols, the […]

Curacao Hotels Are Starting to Top Pre-Pandemic Levels 

all-inclusive sandals curacao

Hotels in Curacao are starting to outperform their pre-pandemic occupancy levels, according to new data from the Curacao Hotel and Tourism Association.  Last month, the island’s large hotels had occupancy of 66.4 percent, a 2.3 percent increase over the same […]

A New Caribbean “Guide” for Coral Reef Restoration

bonaire tax

Healthy coral reefs aren’t just essential for the Caribbean ecosystem — they’re also vital for the Caribbean tourism economy.  That’s the impetus behind a major new guide for coral reef restoration specifically aimed at the Caribbean tourism industry.  The new “Guide,” […]

American Airlines Adds Antigua Flights as Demand at “All-Time High”

aruba antigua millennials

It’s been one of the hottest destinations in the Caribbean amid the pandemic and now Antigua and Barbuda is set for even more airlift with demand at an “all-time high.” American Airlines has announced it will be increasing its flights […]

Cayman Islands to Host High-Level Caribbean Tourism, Aviation Meetings

cayman islands tourism reopening plan

The Cayman Islands will be playing host to a pair of high-profile Caribbean gatherings in September.  The Caribbean Tourism Organization will be holding its Business Meetings from Sept. 12-15 in Cayman, the first major in-person event program for the CTO […]

Another New CEO for Bermuda Tourism 

bermuda tourism ceo beach rocks

The Bermuda Tourism Authority has a new interim chief executive officer, following the unexpected departure of former CEO Charles Jeffers.  “We thank Charles for his contributions to Bermuda during a very difficult period for the country and the world at […]

Bahamas Waiving Testing for Fully Vaccinated Travelers 

beach resorts world bahamas bimini

The Bahamas is waiving testing for fully vaccinated travelers, the country announced.  The move comes as The Bahamas has also eliminated its Bahamas Travel Health Visa for all travelers.  Fully vaccinated travelers will no longer have to submit to pre-travel […]

Caribbean Tourism Leaders Urge Hurricane Preparedness 


The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the Caribbean Tourism Organization are urging the region’s tourism sector to step up its preparations for the 2022 hurricane season.  This year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season began June 1 and technically runs through Nov. […]

Jamaica Is Looking to “Re-Imagine” Its Local Tourism Industry 

jamaica local industry

80 percent of the value of tourism experiences worldwide are driven by small and medium-sized businesses.  But less than 20 percent of the returns go to that sector, according to Jamaica Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.  That’s why Bartlett is leading […]

How US Virgin Islands Tourism Survived the Pandemic

st thomas us virgin islands hotel

The pandemic has had a devastating effect on the tourism industry at large, and on the cruise business in particular. As a region largely dependent on the cruise business, the Caribbean took an incredible economic hit. The U.S. Virgin Islands […]

Trinidad and Tobago Removes Travel Application Requirement 

tobago caribbean

Trinidad and Tobago is no longer requiring travelers to complete its TTravel Pass application form.  All travelers must still present proof of a negative PCR or antigen test result within 48 hours of entry into Trinidad and Tobago.  The move […]

Aruba, Bahamas, USVI Leading Caribbean Tourism Renaissance

aruba bahamas usvi tourism

Aruba, The Bahamas and the US Virgin Islands are among the Caribbean destinations leading the region’s tourism renaissance.  Indeed, the Caribbean’s tourism industry is bouncing back in a big way, with some destinations approaching or even exceeding record visitor arrival […]

Sign up for Caribbean Journal's free newsletter for a daily dose of beaches, hotels, rum and the best Caribbean travel information on the net.

11 U.S. Tourists Have Died in the Dominican Republic in 2019. Should You Cancel Your Trip?

T he State Department confirmed to TIME that 46-year-old Denver resident, Khalid Adkins, died in the Dominican Republic on June 25, raising the number of U.S. tourist deaths in the Caribbean country in 2019 to 11.

Amid the headlines about tourist deaths, Delta Airlines announced it would allow passengers with tickets to Punta Cana, where at least three U.S. tourists have died––to cancel or reschedule their flights “due to recent events.”

Delta passengers who purchased tickets to Punta Cana airport before June 21 have until Aug. 15 to reschedule their flights to any date on or before Nov. 20, without being charged a change fee.

Passengers who choose to cancel their flights entirely have a year from the booking date to use the credits.

Last week, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino announced it would be removing liquor dispensers from all guest rooms at the Punta Cana location, along with other safety measures. In a statement, the hotel clarified that it was doing this based on “guest feedback” and to “enhance safety moving forward,” not due to reports that some U.S. tourist deaths may have been caused by tainted alcohol. Neither U.S. nor Dominican officials have confirmed reports that authorities were investigating tainted alcohol.

According to Hard Rock, in addition to removing the liquor dispensers, all alcohol on the property will be brand-name and sourced from the U.S. except speciality drinks from the Dominican Republic, including Presidente beer.

Additionally, Hard Rock’s Punta Cana location will hire a U.S.-based healthcare facility and will contract a U.S.-based 3rd party testing lab to inspect and test all food and beverages.

The headlines about American tourists dying and have fueled speculation among travelers that the Caribbean country is an unsafe destination for travelers.

Safety concerns began to arise in May, when three seemingly healthy American tourists suddenly died in the same resort within the same week. The FBI has confirmed that it is assisting Dominican police with the investigations. The State Department said there has been no evidence of foul play and no sign that the deaths are connected.

Despite the tragic headlines, safety experts are cautioning travelers not to rush to conclusions. The connections, they say, are not immediately apparent and safety experts in particular say that the country is no more dangerous than it was before. “It’s not an overly dangerous place,” Matthew Bradley, a former CIA agent and current Regional Security Director of International SOS, a travel security company, tells TIME. “I would still consider the Dominican Republic a safe place to go.”

According to the State Department, last year 13 U.S. citizens died while traveling to the Dominican Republic. The number was 17 in 2017. More than 2.7 million U.S. tourists visited the island in 2017, making the island the fourth most popular travel destination for Americans.

In a statement, a State Department spokesperson tells TIME that there has not been an increase in the reported deaths of American tourist in the Dominican Republic.

“We have not seen an uptick in the number of U.S. citizen deaths reported to the Department,” the statement said.

But for those millions of travelers with trips booked, police and resort officials are asking the public to wait for conclusions from investigations before making assumptions — and denying there is anything nefarious at play.

11 American tourists have died in the Dominican Republic this year

This year there have been multiple high-profile cases involving American tourists dying while staying in the Dominican Republic. Seven deaths have been attributed to tourists becoming ill and dying of health related issues.

Khalid Adkins

According to the GoFundMe page started by his sister-in-law, Marla Strick, Adkins traveled to the Dominican Republic with his daughter last week when he suddenly became sick. During his flight back to Colorado on Sunday, Adkins became ill on the plane, vomiting, and was forced to go to a hospital in Santo Domingo.

Strick confirmed Adkins died on Tuesday and his family is raising funds to cover cost for him to return home. As of Thursday, the fundraiser has raised $21,903 out of it’s $20,000 goal.

“We need to get his body home anything helps please!!,” Strick posted. “We really want to know what happened! We just want to get his body home to hopefully get some answers.”

Jerry Curan

Curran, 78, died on Jan . 26 just days after traveling to the DR with his wife, according to NBC affiliate WKYC .

The family is suspicious about the death after Curran threw up and was unresponsive shortly after he and his wife had dinner the night they arrived, WKYC reports.

He was staying at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana.

“We want to find out what happened and why did he die,” Kellie Brown told WKYC.

Jerry Curran’s death certificate says he died Saturday January 26, but his family isn’t sure. — First Coast News (@FCN2go) June 14, 2019

Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle

In April, the bodies of New York City couple Orlando Moore, 40, and Portia Ravenelle, 52, were found after being reported missing for weeks. Dominican authorities confirmed that the couple died in a car accident in Santo Domingo.

Orlando Moore and his girlfriend, Portia Ravenelle, were supposed to return from the Dominican Republic on March 27. Police confirmed the couple checked out of their hotel, but family members say neither made it on the flight back home. — NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) April 9, 2019

Robert Wallace

Relatives of Wallace, 67, told Fox News that he had died after visiting the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Resort in Punta Cana. His niece Chloe Arnold told Fox that on April 11, Wallace fell ill after having a Scotch from his hotel room’s mini bar. After being checked by a hotel doctor on April 13, Wallace was sent to the hospital where he died on April 14.

Arnold described her uncle as an avid traveler in good health. His obituary says he passed “unexpectedly while vacationing in the Dominican Republic.”

Arnold told Fox that Dominican authorities have not yet confirmed her uncle’s cause of death.

“We have so many questions,” she said. “We don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

Robert Wallace died three days after falling ill at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in April. — Gage Goulding - KPRC 2 (@GageGoulding) June 11, 2019

Miranda Schaup-Werner

Schaup-Werner, 41, was found unresponsive by hotel staff in her Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville resort hotel room on May 25. According to the hotel, which is located in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican authorities concluded she had suffered a heart attack. In a statement, Bahia Principe said her husband, who Schaup-Werner was traveling with, confirmed she had a history of heart conditions.

Miranda Schaup-Werner, the first of three American tourists to die mysteriously within a week at a Dominican Republic resort, succumbed to a heart attack, the Caribbean island's attorney general said.​ — WTVR CBS 6 Richmond (@CBS6) June 11, 2019

Cynthia Day and Nathaniel Holmes

Five days after the death of Schaup-Werner, Day, 49, and Holmes, 63, a couple from Maryland were found in their hotel rooms, unresponsive. They were staying at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana, which is less than a mile away from sister resort Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville where Schaup-Werner was staying. The case is still under investigation and there were no signs of violence in the case, according to the resort.

In response to the information that has been circulating in different media outlets regarding the two unfortunate events in the Dominican Republic, Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts would like to clarify the following: — BahiaPrincipeHotels (@BahiaPrincipe) June 5, 2019

Leyla Cox, 53, was found dead in her hotel room on June 11 while staying at the Excellence Resort in Punta Cana.

“I am overwhelmed and confused and in shock,” William Cox, 25, Leyla’s son told the Staten Island Advance . “Her birthday was June 9 and she passed away on June 10.”

Leyla Cox, 53, died Tuesday, and another family has reported that their loved one died in the Dominican Republic in January. — NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) June 14, 2019

Joseph Allen

Allen, a New Jersey native, died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic, a State Department spokesperson confirms to TIME. Allen was found dead in his hotel room at Terra Linda Sosua on June 13, according to WABC in New York .

Jamie Reed, his sister, told WABC that her brother was celebrating a friend’s birthday and regularly visited the area.

“We didn’t think anything of it, because he does this all the time,” she told WABC.

It was really heartbreaking speaking to the family of Joseph Allen just a day after he was found dead. The 8th confirmed American tourist death in the Dominican Republic in the last year. Here's what Joseph's sister Jamie had to say: — Stephanie Wash (@WashNews) June 17, 2019

Vittorio Caruso

Caruso, 56, died on June 17 after staying at the Boca Chica Resort in Santo Domingo.

His family told Fox News that he had been traveling by himself and he was in good health.

His sister-in-law, Lisa Maria Caruso, said Caruso was taken to a hospital in respiratory distress after “drinking something.”

The family is still awaiting autopsy reports but said they have been told “conflicting stories from different people” about the circumstances surrounding Caruso’s death.

Dominican Republic Tourist Deaths: Long Island Community Shocked Over Loss Of Former Pizzeria Owner — CBS New York (@CBSNewYork) June 24, 2019

Other high-profile incidents

David Ortiz , the former Red Sox slugger, was ambushed on June 9 while sitting outside a lounge bar in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic’s capital and largest city. Surveillance footage of the attack shows a motorist approaching Ortiz and opening fire, striking the retired baseball star and others in his group.

Dominican authorities on June 17 identified the man they believe paid hit men to try and kill Ortiz, adding that they were closing in on the mastermind and motive behind the shooting, the Associated Press reported. Authorities have 10 people in custody related to the shooting and are looking for at least two others.

Dozens of members of the Central Oklahoma Parrothead Association , a group for fans of Jimmy Buffet and trop rock, say they fell “seriously ill” days into their stay at the Hotel Riu Palace Macao in Punta Cana in April.

Dana Flowers, a member and the travel agent, tells TIME that 47 of the 114 members traveling with the group got sick almost immediately, including him.

“It was as bad as it gets,” he says.”Three days in we started noticing people did not make it to concerts and events, it was then we realized they were all sick. It all happened pretty quickly and in pretty good numbers, it was obvious that something is not right. We all thought it was food poisoning and so we went with that, you know this kind of thing happens occasionally, but then the numbers grew and we knew it was a serious issue.”

Flowers says a few members of the group visited the resort’s doctor who gave patients medication for parasites.

RIU Hotels & Resorts, where the group, stayed tells TIME that doctors at the hotel treated three patients for gastroenteritis and were not able to determine the source of their stomach flu.

How safe is the Dominican Republic?

State Department issued a level two (out of four) safety warning for the Dominican Republic in April 2019. The warning advises travelers exercise increased caution due to violent crime in the country, which include armed robbery, homicide and sexual assault. The State Department says that resort areas tend to be better policed and safer that urban areas for travelers.

Bradley, the International SOS analyst, says there is likely a reasonable explanation for the spate of tourist deaths.

“It’s the mystery around the deaths that is driving the speculation,” he tells TIME. “American tourists pass away frequently around the world, several in a day, it’s not unusual. But it is unusual hearing about Americans passing away abroad without it being something like a terrorist attack. We usually don’t hear about tourists dying of heart attacks or in their sleep, but that happens everyday with tourist traveling abroad, it is nothing unique to the Dominican Republic.”

He says prospective travelers who are concerned about the recent deaths, should make sure they have a plan for what to do if they get ill. Bradley suggests travelers should have the phone number for the best nearby hospitals and should check with their insurance providers to make sure they will be covered while traveling. He says travelers can ask hotels whether they offer on-site medical assistance. Travelers can also make arrangements to get immediate medical care back home if they have to leave unexpectedly.

“I don’t think people should distrust Dominican officials,” he adds. “They’re working with what they have. Like they said, 2 million Americans visit DR (Dominican Republic) every year and only a handful have died.”

Bradley says he would advise anyone worried about traveling to the Dominican Republic to take the same precautions they would when going anywhere else.

“These incidents, while recent, in my mind don’t indicate Dominican Republic is any less safe than it was before,” Bradley says. “I would tell people to continue with trips.”

Considering the level two safety ranking from the State Department, Bradley advises travelers not to go anywhere alone, especially at night. And if you do wander on your own, Bradley says , let a companion know when you plan on returning so they can be aware something is amiss if you do not return. “Travel has risk,” Bradley says. “People should be aware before they travel where they are going and plan accordingly, if they do, they usually travel safely.”

Dr. Robert Quigley, Senior Vice President and Regional Medical Director of International SOS says travelers should take extra precaution with their health when away from home.

He advises travelers to visit a doctor prior to embarking on their trip, especially if they might have a chronic medical condition or cardiovascular disease. Quigley says sleep deprivation and stress can “exacerbate underlying, and sometimes asymptomatic, serious cardiovascular diseases.”

He also advised travelers to pack extra medication in case their trip home is delayed.

Will tourism in the Dominican Republic be affected?

As the stories continue to emerge, some travelers have taken to social media to voice concerns about traveling to the Caribbean country. While officials at the Dominican Ministry of Tourism told TIME they were not able to elaborate on the situation because of the ongoing investigation, Francisco Javier García, the Minister of Tourism for Dominican Republic said that the investigations are not affecting the number of tourist visiting the country.

“These cases are very regrettable, but isolated.” he said at a press conference in June. “Investigation into them is a top priority for us and for the National Police. We are asking them to deploy all resources to help provide answers as quickly as possible.”

He called the Dominican Republic a “tranquil, peaceful destination and the safest in the region,” and said tourists can “be assured that the authorities are working hard to clarify these incidents.”

Despite the reassurance, some travelers are saying the incidents have cast doubt on the safety of the country and are refusing to take a chance.

Until the Dominican Republic can pinpoint what is happening to tourist in their country, please stay out of the DR. If you have a hotel, cancel it. We cannot support a country that is not handling this with the utmost confidence that they will find the person/persons. RT — Macrö (@hayxteci) June 18, 2019
Been contemplating canceling my vacation to the Dominican Republic, but David Ortiz getting shot is the last straw. — Hank Mardukas (@HankMardukas93) June 10, 2019

Correction June 27

The original version of this story misstated the Dominican Republic’s largest city. It is Santo Domingo, not Punta Cana

More Must-Reads from TIME

  • Welcome to the Noah Lyles Olympics
  • Melinda French Gates Is Going It Alone
  • How to Buy Groceries Without Breaking the Bank
  • What’s the Best Pillow Setup for Sleep?
  • How Improv Comedy Can Help Resolve Conflicts
  • 4 Signs Your Body Needs a Break
  • The 15 Best Movies to Watch on a Plane
  • Want Weekly Recs on What to Watch, Read, and More? Sign Up for Worth Your Time

Write to Gina Martinez at [email protected] and Josiah Bates at [email protected]

  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to "About this site"

Language selection


Help us to improve our website. Take our survey !

COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

Dominican Republic travel advice

Latest updates: Editorial change

Last updated: June 7, 2024 11:35 ET

On this page

Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, dominican republic - exercise a high degree of caution.

Exercise a high degree of caution in the Dominican Republic due to crime.

Back to top

Border closure with Haiti

The Embassy of Canada in Santo Domingo cannot help you enter the Dominican Republic from Haiti.

Crime occurs in the Dominican Republic, including violent crime, especially in major cities. However, most incidents are opportunistic crime which is the most significant threat for tourists.

Petty crime

Petty crime, including pickpocketing and bag-snatching, occurs throughout the country. Tourists are common targets for theft. Crime tends to rise during holiday periods.

Incidents occur:

  • at airports
  • at bus stations
  • on public transportation

Theft also occurs from all-inclusive hotel rooms and from hotel room safes, as well as from cars, particularly rentals.

Drive-by robberies, where thieves on motorcycles, scooters or bicycles grab bags and other valuables from pedestrians, occur frequently. Thieves may even reach into vehicles, including taxis, stopped at red lights to steal belongings.

Theft of items from checked baggage at airports has been reported. These thefts have taken place most frequently when travellers are departing. Money and personal items have also been stolen from carry-on luggage while travellers are going through security checks. All bags are routinely X-rayed upon arrival and departure.

  • Be wary of individuals who ask for directions or who try to be too helpful
  • Watch out for hustlers selling various wares, particularly in Santo Domingo
  • Stay at hotels or resorts with good security
  • Be wary of anyone who tries to enter your room
  • Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • Avoid carrying your bag slung over your shoulder
  • Carry only small amounts of money and avoid showing signs of affluence
  • Keep electronic devices like cellphones, tablets, laptops and cameras out of sight
  • Keep car doors locked, windows up and your belongings out of sight
  • Don’t pack valuables in your checked luggage
  • Verify that your luggage has not been tampered with before you check in at the airport

Violent crime against foreigners, including assault, occasionally occurs. Incidents take place mainly in large cities, at night or early morning. Some have been targeted in armed robberies when travelling to the Las Américas International Airport, sometimes in taxis.

  • Arrange your arrival to and departure from the Dominican Republic in daylight hours
  • Use the taxi service authorized by the airport
  • Avoid unmarked taxis, especially in Santo Domingo
  • Keep car doors locked and windows up, especially at a traffic light
  • Avoid walking alone in unpopulated areas and unpatrolled beaches after dark
  • If threatened by robbers, don’t resist

Security forces are understaffed and underequipped. The police are often unable to respond in a timely manner to calls for assistance.

Criminals impersonating police officers will stop vehicles and ask foreign drivers for payment of fines for made-up offences.

Regulations require police to wear a nametag with their last name. You have the right to ask police for identification.

If Dominican police stop you for a traffic violation:

  • request a traffic ticket
  • don’t pay the ticket on the spot

Rogue lawyers

Rogue lawyers are a problem in tourist areas, particularly in Punta Cana.

These lawyers stand near the tourist police (CESTUR) station and try to recruit desperate foreigners, brought to the station for detention purposes, as clients. Then, they try to extort excessive amounts of money from them by offering legal representation or assistance getting out of jail.

Credit card and ATM fraud and cloning are significant concerns. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:

  • pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
  • use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements

Overseas fraud

Spiked food and drinks

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Incidents of assault, rape and sexual aggression against foreigners have occurred, including at beach resorts. In some cases, hotel employees have been implicated.

  • Exercise caution when dealing with strangers or recent acquaintances
  • Be wary of rides or other invitations
  • Avoid taking public transportation or walking alone at night

If you are a victim of a sexual assault or other crime, you should report it immediately to the nearest Canadian consulate or embassy.

You should also file a report with Dominican authorities. No criminal investigation is possible without a formal complaint to Dominican authorities before departing the country.

Advice for women travellers

Demonstrations and strikes

Demonstrations take place from time to time throughout the country, particularly in Santo Domingo.

Demonstrations have largely been peaceful and have not affected tourist areas, although local travel outside resorts could be affected.

Labour strikes occur frequently in the town of Higuey, near Punta Cana, and may affect hotel service.

Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Power outages

The power infrastructure is unreliable and lacks maintenance. Power outages are frequent although they mainly occur in poor neighbourhoods of major urban areas.

Recreational activities

Sporting and aquatic equipment may not meet Canadian safety standards.

If engaging in recreational activities:

  • ensure that equipment is safe and in good condition
  • ensure helmets and life jackets are available
  • before undertaking extreme or eco-tourism activities, ensure that businesses offering excursions follow proper safety measures
  • avoid excursions that are not offered by tour operators
  • avoid participating in any water activities when you are under the influence of alcohol or other substances
  • check that your travel insurance covers accidents related to recreational activities

Water safety

Coastal waters can be dangerous. Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities.

Rescue services may not be consistent with international standards.

Water safety abroad

Road safety

The Dominican Republic has one of the highest road accident rates in the world.

Road conditions and road safety can vary greatly throughout the country. Although major highways connecting cities and tourist areas are generally in good condition, most secondary roads, are poorly maintained and poorly lit. Marked lanes are lacking. There are vehicles travelling in the wrong direction. Traffic is congested due to the significant number of trucks and motorcycles. Pedestrians don’t have the right of way, even at traffic lights.

Drivers don’t respect traffic laws. They often drive at excessive speeds, and are extremely aggressive and reckless. Drinking and driving is prevalent. Many vehicles are in poor condition and don’t have working headlights or mirrors.

Military and police road blocks are common, especially in areas near the Haitian border.

  • Don’t drive after dark
  • Be especially cautious if you need to drive during holiday periods, such as Christmas or Easter
  • Take extra care when walking, particularly in Santo Domingo

The number of moped and scooter accidents involving tourists is increasing.

If renting a scooter or moped:

  • be vigilant while driving
  • avoid renting from operators who don’t provide a helmet with the rental
  • avoid driving on roads in disrepair

Border with Haiti

The security environment is highly unpredictable in the border areas between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, particularly in Dajabón, with regular disturbances and incidents which can lead to violence. Emergency services are often not available near the border. 

If you choose to travel near the border with Haiti:

  • exercise caution at all times
  • avoid travelling at night
  • monitor local media to stay informed of the current situation
  • follow instructions from local authorities and security forces.

Public transportation

Private companies operate reliable buses between cities.

Avoid public buses and gua-guas – microbuses – which often don’t have doors.

Taxis are not metered. Upon arrival to the Dominican Republic, use the taxi service authorized by the airport.

During your stay:

  • use hotel taxis or ride-hailing apps which are generally safe
  • avoid unmarked taxis
  • avoid using or renting motorcycle taxis (motoconchos)
  • avoid route taxis (gua-guas or carros publicos)
  • negotiate the fare prior to departure

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the authorities of the Dominican Republic. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after the date of your arrival in the Dominican Republic.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

Tourist visa: not required for up to 30 days Work visa: required Student visa: required Residence visa: required

Other entry requirements

Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket.

Electronic ticket for entry and exit

You must complete an electronic form to enter and exit the country in order to share information about your health and your stay with local authorities.

You must fill this form before boarding your flight to the Dominican Republic. This electronic form doesn’t replace the Tourist card.

Electronic ticket for entry and exit – Government of the Dominican Republic

Tourist card

As a tourist, you must obtain a tourist card to enter the Dominican Republic. It is included in all air tickets issued outside the country.

If you enter the Dominican Republic by land or sea, you can obtain the card from the General Directorate of Internal Taxes at your point of entry. It is valid for one year from the issuance date and it can be used for a 30-day stay period.

If you overstay the duration of your tourist card, local authorities could deny you entry, on your next trip, if you don’t have the proper visa, even if you paid a fine when leaving the country.

Dominican tourist card  – Directorate general of internal taxes (in Spanish)

Stay extension

You can apply for a stay extension for a period up to 120 days. You must request your stay extension to the Dominican Directorate General for Migration once you are in Dominican Republic, before your tourist card expires.

If you wish to stay in the Dominican Republic for more than 120 days, you must obtain a resident visa from the Dominican authorities in Canada prior to your departure.   

If you overstay the period for which you have been authorized to stay, you will have to pay fine to immigration authorities when leaving the country.  You may also need to apply for a visa the next time you wish to return to the Dominican Republic.

Local authorities could deny you entry in the country if you don’t have the proper visa.

Stay extension  - Dominican Directorate General for Migration


Immigration officials may conduct random ID checks.

You must carry photo identification and a copy of your entry stamp with you at all times.

  • Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place, in case it’s lost or confiscated
  • Cooperate with authorities if they question you

As a foreign national, you will be required to provide biometrics to enter the Dominican Republic. For instance, authorities will take your fingerprints and a photograph.

Drug screening

The Dominican Republic is actively working to fight drug trafficking.

You may be subjected to drug screening measures by authorities upon departure from the country. They may search your luggage and ask you to sign a form, in Spanish, stating that the search was performed within procedural requirements.

In some cases, they may ask you to undergo an X-ray.

  • Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children .

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 13 March, 2024
  • Zika virus: Advice for travellers - 31 August, 2023
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 13 March, 2024
  • Dengue: Advice for travellers - 6 May, 2024

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Practise  safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Yellow fever  is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito. Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if arriving from some states in Brazil, including travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through an airport in those same states.


  • Vaccination is not recommended.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada * It is important to note that  country entry requirements  may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest  diplomatic or consular office  of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Malaria  is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.   There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this destination. 

Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving.    Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times:  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows. • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing.    If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions , including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment.  

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.

To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions .

Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:

  • visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
  • visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring

Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid   is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Salmonellosis is a common illness among travellers to this country. It can be spread through contaminated food or beverages, such as raw or undercooked poultry and eggs, as well as fruits or vegetables.

Practice safe food and water precautions . This includes only eating food that is properly cooked and still hot when served.

Pregnant women, children under 5 years of age, those over 60 years of age, and those with weakened immune systems are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill.

Most people recover on their own without medical treatment and from proper rehydration (drinking lots of fluids).

  • Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Travellers with severe symptoms should consult a health care professional as soon as possible.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

  • In this country,   dengue  is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites . There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.

Zika virus is a risk in this country. 

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

During your trip:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel. 

For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)   is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.

Medical services and facilities

Quality of care varies greatly throughout the country. Good health care is generally available only in major cities.

Private hospitals and clinics are better equipped than public ones. However, there are reports of overcharging for medical services, variable pricing and unnecessary overnight hospital stays at private facilities.

Beware of aggressive sales tactics of in-house resort doctors, who are often contracted out by private hospitals and try to sell you on their facility.

If you go to the hospital:

  • inquire about fees prior to undergoing treatment
  • let the hospital administrators know if you feel you have been overcharged after a visit
  • request assistance in English or French from the hospital’s guest services desk

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Medical tourism

Canadian citizens have had serious health complications following cosmetic or other elective surgeries abroad.

Before leaving for a medical travel:

  • make sure you have done your research
  • use reputable health-care providers only

Receiving medical care outside Canada

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a   travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .

In accordance with Dominican law, a person detained or arrested by the authorities may be held without charges for up to 48 hours before the case is presented to a judge.

Judicial processes may last several years during which accused individuals are normally detained. It could lead to very long prison sentences in harsh conditions.

Overview of the criminal law system in the Dominican Republic

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines.

The island is used as a drug trafficking hub between South and North America.

The authorities are enforcing strict border controls. Should you be found transporting illegal substances, you will be taken into custody right away.

  • Carry only your personal belongings, and don’t leave them unattended
  • Don’t agree to carry packages that are not your own

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Reporting crime

Dominican law stipulates that victims of crime, including foreigners, are responsible for reporting incidents to police.

If you wish to pursue prosecution or seek compensation, you will have to retain Dominican legal counsel to file a formal complaint to the police and to pursue the case through the justice system.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in the Dominican Republic.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of the Dominican Republic, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements .

Travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and the Dominican Republic.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in the Dominican Republic, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Dominican court.

If you are in this situation:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in the Dominican Republic to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children's Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country's judicial affairs.

  • List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
  • International Child Abductions: A guide for affected parents
  • The Hague Convention – Hague Conference on Private International Law
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Request emergency assistance


If you plan on buying property, or making other investments in the Dominican Republic, seek legal advice in Canada and in the Dominican Republic. Do so before making commitments. Related disputes could take time and be costly to resolve.

Many tourists have reported financial problems and complications involving time-share arrangements and other property investment activities.

Time-share representatives may be very persistent. They use pressure tactics and offer free tours, meals, gifts or alcoholic beverages. At the airport, they pose as tourist operators and try to force tourists to make property investments.

  • Exercise caution whenever approached by time-share representatives
  • Provide your credit card only if you are sure you want to make the purchase

Before purchasing a timeshare:

  • gather as much information as possible
  • review carefully the contract; anything not included in the contract will not be honoured
  • ensure that constant vigilance of land will take place, as there have been several instances of disputed land occupation in the absence of the alleged owner
  • keep copies of all correspondence

Legal representation

If you are arrested or detained in the Dominican Republic, you have the right to a lawyer, who can be present during any questioning and at any trial or hearing.

If you cannot afford a lawyer, the Dominican government can provide you with a public defender.

Marriages legally performed in the Dominican Republic are legally recognized in Canada.

If you wish to marry in the Dominican Republic, you should consult the Embassy of the Dominican Republic in Canada for information on documents and procedures.

  • Foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada
  • Marriage overseas factsheet

If you are involved in a road accident, you may be detained by police until the circumstances of the accident have been investigated.

You must carry an international driving permit.

International Driving Permit

The currency of the Dominican Republic is the Dominican peso (DOP).

U.S. dollars are widely accepted. Canadian dollars are not.

Hurricane season

Hurricanes usually occur from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.

These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services. You could face serious safety risks during a hurricane.

If you decide to travel to a coastal area during the hurricane season:

  • be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
  • stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
  • follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
  • Tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons
  • Large-scale emergencies abroad
  • Active storm tracking and hurricane watches and warnings – U.S. National Hurricane Center

Seismic activity

The Dominican Republic is located in an active seismic zone. Tremors occur from time to time.

Emergency operations centre  - Dominican Republic government (in Spanish)

Local services

In case of emergency, dial 911.

Tourist police

The tourist police (CESTUR) provide a security presence in tourist areas and first response assistance to tourists.

If in tourist areas, contact CESTUR: 1 809 200 3500

Road assistance

Free road assistance is offered on all major toll highways 24 hours a day.

Dial 1 829 688 1000.

Consular assistance

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to the Dominican Republic, in Santo Domingo, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

Dominican Today News - Santo Domingo and Dominican Republic


Last update on June 28, 2024, 11:19 am

Tourism June 26, 2024 | 5:34 pm

Dominican Republic leads Latin America Tourism Revenue-GDP Ratio

dominican republic tourism news

Miami (Latinvex): The Dominican Republic is cementing its position as a star in Latin American tourism, ranking as the leader in receipts as a percent of GDP and as the second-largest tourism market and earner in the region after Mexico.

The Dominican Republic last year netted tourism receipts of $9.8 billion, an increase of 16.1% from 2022.

When compared with the GDP of the Dominican Republic that translates to 8.1%, according to a Latinvex analysis, that is the highest rate in Latin America and nearly fivefold the regional average of 1.8%. By comparison, Mexico’s receipts-GDP rate is only 1.7%.

This year, Dominican tourism receipts should hit $10.4 billion, according to estimates by the World Travel & Tourism Council.

The Dominican Republic welcomed a record 10.3 million tourists last year, a 43.9% jump from 2022.

Those numbers are the equivalent of 96% of the total Dominican population. Only Uruguay has more. By comparison, the average in Latin America is 17.7%.

All in all, Latin American tourism arrivals grew 23.3% last year to 115.4 million, while receipts increased 21.1% to $118 billion.

Argentina led the way in increased arrivals (up 87.3%), followed by Chile (at 83.7%). Meanwhile, Chile led the way in receipts growth (up 117.7%), followed by Argentina (at 56.7%).

By Joachim Bamrud, Latinvex. 

June 28, 2024 | 10:11 am

EU approves first Chikungunya vaccine

dominican republic tourism news

June 28, 2024 | 8:35 am

Third Latin American Congress on Digital Health

dominican republic tourism news

June 26, 2024 | 3:27 pm

Cedimat and Arajet partner to promote medical tourism

dominican republic tourism news

June 25, 2024 | 4:03 pm

Saharan dust arrives in Dominican Republic

dominican republic tourism news

June 21, 2024 | 8:26 am

170 suspected Measles cases reported this year

dominican republic tourism news

June 20, 2024 | 8:19 am

National Meteorological Office announces start of summer solstice

dominican republic tourism news

  • Privacy Policies
  • Cookies Policy - The Dominican Republic News Source in English

Av. Abraham Lincoln N° 452 Local 220B, Plaza La Francesa, Piantini, Santo Domingo

Tel. (809) 334-6386

Punta Cana   Travel Guide

Courtesy of AtanasBozhikovNasko | Getty Images

dominican republic tourism news

16 Best Things to Do in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

If you're a beach lover, Punta Cana has you covered. For crystal-clear water and white sands, head to Cap Cana, with its many luxury villas and adults-only resorts . Bavaro Beach is the perfect destination for wide and golden beaches (up to 400

  • All Things To Do

dominican republic tourism news

Punta Cana Beaches Punta Cana Beaches free

No trip to Punta Cana would be complete without some time spent on its gorgeous beaches. Playa Bávaro (Bavaro Beach) is one of the most popular shorelines in Punta Cana, with its powdery sands, swaying palm trees, blue waters and bevy of amenities, including water sports rentals, dining options and nearby accommodations. Visitors will find this beautiful (but busy) beach stretching for 12 miles between Macao and Cabeza de Toro, but keep in mind that there are just four public access points (at Corales, El Cortecito, Jellyfish and Bibijagua).

Bavaro Beach has several subsections that all have their own name. However, they are all connected and you can explore them walking consecutively. El Cortecito and Corales are two of these stretches and are very convenient as they abut the Bávaro-Punta Cana downtown district of restaurants, grocery stores, gift shops and more. Arena Gorda is the next beach, northwest of El Cortecito, and its wide sands and shallow waters make it a favored spot among families with young kids in tow. Others say it's a wonderful place for a long walk. Keep in mind that much of the beach is backed by large resorts, hence the only public access point to Arena Gorda is through El Cortecito.

dominican republic tourism news

Saona Island Saona Island

U.S. News Insider Tip: If you'd like to reach the island on your own, there is a public ferry once a day from Bayahibe to Mano Juan, the only village on the otherwise uninhabited island with basic accommodation options. – Christian Jannasch

Saona Island makes for a picture-perfect day trip from Punta Cana. Turquoise water, white sand beaches and natural beauty draw visitors to this island located off the Dominican Republic's southern coast. It is the Dominican Republic's main tourist attraction, but this doesn't impact the incredible paradisiacal setting you will find here. Previous visitors praised the island's pristine beaches and appreciated their cleanliness.

dominican republic tourism news

Punta Cana Boat Tours Punta Cana Boat Tours

One of the best ways to view Punta Cana is to get off the resort and take a boat tour. Various operators offer different experiences, from private catamarans to group snorkeling trips. One of the most well-reviewed tour operators is Hispaniola Aquatic Adventures , which has a fleet of catamarans for private and semiprivate tours that take visitors to snorkeling reefs, a deserted beach and lagoons along the Bavaro coast. Along with transportation to and from area hotels, Hispaniola Aquatic Adventures also offers tourgoers drinks and lunch. The company's four-hour tour starts at $99 per person for a shared small group tour; private tours for groups of up to seven people start at $599 (not including per person meal costs).

Similar to Hispaniola, Happy Fish Catamarans also offers private or shared small group tours, which start at $94 per person for a four-hour tour that includes drinks, snacks and snorkeling. For dive trips, recent travelers suggest booking a tour with Ultra Marine Divers , which includes pickup and drop-off service from hotels for scuba diving excursions. Recent visitors praised the scuba dive instructors, saying they were both knowledgeable and friendly.

dominican republic tourism news

Popular Tours

Half-Day Buggy Tour to Water Cave and Macao Beach

Half-Day Buggy Tour to Water Cave and Macao Beach

(1003 reviews)

from $ 54.00

Punta Cana Scape Park and Hoyo Azul Full Day Admission Ticket

Punta Cana Scape Park and Hoyo Azul Full Day Admission Ticket

(863 reviews)

from $ 129.00

Punta Cana Booze Cruise, Snorkeling, Sand-Bar with Entertainment

Punta Cana Booze Cruise, Snorkeling, Sand-Bar with Entertainment

(300 reviews)

from $ 69.00

dominican republic tourism news

Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park (Reserva Ecológica Ojos Indígenas) Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park (Reserva Ecológica Ojos Indígenas)

This 1,500-acre nature reserve provides plenty in the way of outdoor adventures and activities. Originally inhabited by the Taino Indians, the private nature reserve is now operated by Grupo Puntacana Foundation, an organization specializing in improving sustainability efforts in the Dominican Republic. The park is accessible to visitors (for a fee), who want to swim in its turquoise lagoons, traverse its meandering trails and admire its colorful wildlife.

Nature lovers will be in awe of the more than 500 plant species within this subtropical environment. There is also an array of flat walking trails surrounded by lush vegetation, which can be explored on a guided tour. Most trails are manageable for people of all ages and fitness levels, according to past travelers. Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park is also home to 12 lagoons, of which only a few are open for swimming.

dominican republic tourism news

Scape Park at Cap Cana (Hoyo Azul) Scape Park at Cap Cana (Hoyo Azul)

U.S. News Insider Tip: The Blue Lagoon is usually a bit crowded. To enjoy the best conditions and snap the most picturesque photos, head to the Blue Lagoon either right after the park opens, during lunchtime or just before the gates close. – Christian Jannasch

Scape Park Punta Cana is a nature theme park in Cap Cana that features many water activities and one of Punta Cana's main attractions: Hoyo Azul, also called the Blue Lagoon. Hoyo Azul is a cenote (a type of natural swimming hole usually found in limestone caves) located at the foot of a cliff. The cenote can only be accessed with a full-day ticket for Scape Park and is reachable after a short hike. From the center of the park, it is a mostly flat, 15- to 20-minute walk through tropical vegetation until you reach Hoyo Azul with its incredible turquoise color and crystal-clear water.

dominican republic tourism news

Off-Roading Vehicle Tours Off-Roading Vehicle Tours

If you're looking to add a bit of adventure to your Dominican vacation, embark on an all-terrain vehicle tour. You and your companions will cruise around the Dominican Republic's countryside while a tour guide narrates the journey, pointing out important sites. Along your island tour, you'll stop to admire scenic overlooks, try coffee, chocolate and rum from local vendors, and explore natural wonders like Macao Beach and a freshwater cenote.

Many companies offer these off-roading excursions, so deciding which tour to book comes down to personal preference. Previous visitors lauded Just Safari - Tours for its friendly guides, and they appreciated the many stops and photo opportunities along the route. Other travelers liked Flintstones Buggy Adventure because the tours were geared more toward families and children. On the other hand, a 4x4 Dominican Adventure tour would be a better choice for adrenaline junkies looking to fly through the jungle and sample local delicacies, like coffee and rum.

dominican republic tourism news

Punta Espada Golf Course Punta Espada Golf Course

The green fees to play at Punta Espada are hefty, but hear us out before you write it off: This par-72 course is a Jack Nicklaus signature course and the site of top tournaments like the PGA Champions Tour. It's one of the most gorgeous courses in Punta Cana, with winding pathways and a top-notch view. In fact, the sprawling course is most often described by visitors as "golf heaven" – likely because of its mix of vibrant colors (from sage greens to the aquamarine surf) and various amenities.

Your day rate includes the use of a cart, caddie and range balls, among other amenities. There's also a restaurant with an ocean-view patio on-site. As you drive the course, keep an eye out for the million-dollar mansions and the private beach club. Past visitors called the course "fantastic," "spectacular" and a "bucket-list experience," though they do warn of extremely high prices.

dominican republic tourism news

Macao Beach Macao Beach free

U.S. News Insider Tip: There is a small hidden beach called Playa Escondida just northeast of Macao Beach. It's connected to the northeastern end of Macao Beach via a 10-minute hiking path that makes for a great little adventure. – Christian Jannasch

When you ask locals about their favorite beach in Punta Cana, they will most likely tell you it's Macao Beach. This beach, located between the hotel zones of Bávaro Beach and Uvero Alto, is incredibly beautiful, and features not only a nearly half-moon-shaped bay, but also many opportunities to experience the local (beach) life, which sets it apart from the other beaches in Punta Cana that are dominated by resorts. So far, there is only one all-inclusive resort at Macao Beach, making this shoreline, together with its neighboring Macao village, a local and authentic experience. If you don't consider yourself a strong swimmer, it's best to stick to the eastern part of the beach, where waves and currents are significantly milder. This beach is also home to Macao Surf Camp, where visitors can learn to surf from experts.

dominican republic tourism news

Half Day Tour with Boat Party through Punta Cana Beaches

from $ 69.68

Half-Day Adventure 4x4 ATV, Water Cave and Dominican Culture

Half-Day Adventure 4x4 ATV, Water Cave and Dominican Culture

(3278 reviews)

from $ 64.72

Saona Island Day Trip From Punta Cana with Lunch and Open Bar

Saona Island Day Trip From Punta Cana with Lunch and Open Bar

(1697 reviews)

from $ 78.00

dominican republic tourism news

Coco Bongo Punta Cana Coco Bongo Punta Cana

Coco Bongo is Punta Cana's biggest and most famous nightlife venue. It offers a unique mix of music, dance performances, variety shows and disco, and is frequented by visitors and locals alike (though tourists are certainly the majority). It's a safe place to enjoy a night out from your resort, as long as you don't have a problem with crowded indoor venues. Shows, which are interactive and showcase special effects, are inspired by popular music and movies, such as the Beatles, "Mad Max" and "Moulin Rouge."

Drinks are included with your ticket.

dominican republic tourism news

Juanillo Beach Juanillo Beach

Juanillo Beach is considered one of the most gorgeous beaches in Punta Cana. The scenery here is simply breathtaking, thanks to the turquoise ocean, the calm and shallow waters, the towering palm trees, and some of the whitest sands Punta Cana has to offer. But this paradisiacal setting doesn't come without a price. Even though the beach is technically open to the public and free to visit, it's located within Cap Cana, a gated luxury community about 10 miles south of Bavaro Beach. Unless you're staying at one of the resorts within Cap Cana (like the Hy att Ziva Cap Cana or Sanctuary Cap Cana ), you'll need to pay between $20 and $25 per person (depending on the day) to enter. The payment acts as a food and beverage voucher that you can use at the Juanillo Grill Beach Club. Upon entering Cap Cana, you'll also have to leave your ID or passport with the security office; you'll get it back after you leave the community.

Whether Juanillo Beach is worth the money or not depends on your preferences. Some travelers say the food and drinks at Juanillo Grill Beach Club are overpriced and describe the service as slow. For others, this is the most beautiful and relaxing place you can find in the Dominican Republic – especially as there are no vendors roaming around disrupting the peaceful atmosphere. Something everyone agrees on is that the beach is stunning, especially during the winter months. If you're visiting outside of the winter months, you may encounter piles of sargassum, a type of seaweed that accumulates on the shore and can emit a smelly odor as it decomposes. Seaweed season in Punta Cana generally runs from April to September, so keep that in mind when planning your visit.

dominican republic tourism news

Montaña Redonda Montaña Redonda

If you're on the hunt for one-of-a-kind things to do in Punta Cana, Montaña Redonda shouldn't be missed. This unique mountain features a 360-degree panoramic view of the amazing untouched coastline north of Punta Cana, as well as the incredibly lush hills of the Anamuya Mountains and the Cordillera Oriental. You can also see Playa Limón, Playa Esmeralda and Laguna Limon. What sets it apart from other viewpoints is that Montaña Redonda features several unique photo opportunities, among them giant swings on the edge of the mountain, hammocks and old brooms, which create the optical illusion that you're "flying" on the mountain.

Travelers love the clear views as well as the zip line at the top. Though the zip line is rather short, it offers great views, according to reviewers. There is no fixed entrance fee; some people pay local prices, some pay tourist prices, which is why you should negotiate the cost upon arriving. According to recent visitors, it costs 200 Dominican pesos (around $3.50) if you walk up the hill or $10 if you take a truck up and down.

dominican republic tourism news

Los Haitises National Park Los Haitises National Park

Thanks to its rich biodiversity, Los Haitises is one of the most important national parks in the Dominican Republic. Nearly 100 miles away from the hustle and bustle of Punta Cana's resort area, the park sprawls across an area of more than 600 square miles and is home to more than 50 species of mangrove trees, 20 endemic birds (such as the Ridgway's hawk, the Hispaniolan piculet, the Hispaniolan woodpecker and the Hispaniolan emerald) and a number of other animals and plants native to this area, such as pelicans, frigate birds, sawfish, sea turtles and manatees. Aside from the wildlife, the park also features scattered bays and towering limestone islands that resemble the famous Halong Bay in Vietnam. When exploring Los Haitises, you will most likely also visit one of the several caves with old rock paintings, particularly petroglyphs and pictographs, from the native inhabitants of the Dominican Republic, the Tainos, who lived here many centuries ago. Visitors to Los Haitises National Park love the excellent views and the pristine nature. The national park is mostly untouched by tourism and offers a very intimate nature experience, according to recent visitors. The best way to explore the national park is by boat, as the terrain is mostly inaccessible except for two hiking trails from Paraíso Caño Hondo and Altos de Caño Hondo, which are the only accommodation options within the park boundaries. Los Haitises National Park is located south of the Bay of Samaná, approximately 85 miles northwest of Punta Cana. Guided full-day tours are offered from Punta Cana and usually start at around $165 per person. Alternatively, you can rent a car and explore the national park with local guides at your own pace. In this case, it is recommended to stay a night at the unique and beautiful, yet rustic, eco-lodges of the national park: Paraiso Caño Hondo or Altos de Caño Hondo.

dominican republic tourism news

Go on a whale watching tour Go on a whale watching tour

The Dominican Republic, particularly Samaná Bay, is considered one of the best places to observe whales in the Caribbean. Part of the Marine Mammal Sanctuary of the Dominican Republic, the bay welcomes thousands of humpback whales every winter. The sanctuary is only open to whale watching boats, ensuring a peaceful environment for the animals to birth their calves. What's more, there are strict protocols in place to protect the animals, and tour operators that do not respect them lose their licenses pretty quickly.

Whale watching tours are usually available from mid-January to the end of March, when humpback whales come to Samaná Bay for the breeding season. Most tours that originate in Punta Cana begin with a 1.5-hour bus ride to the area of Miches, where tourgoers board a boat bound for Samaná Bay. Chances of sightings are extremely high; it is very uncommon to have a tour without any whales, according to operators.

dominican republic tourism news

Punta Cana Adult Only Coral Nursery Snorkeling with Seafood Lunch

(1311 reviews)

from $ 114.00

Small Group Snorkeling Cruise with Open Bar and Light Snacks

Small Group Snorkeling Cruise with Open Bar and Light Snacks

(813 reviews)

from $ 79.21

Monkeyland and Plantation Safari Tour from Punta Cana

Monkeyland and Plantation Safari Tour from Punta Cana

(2894 reviews)

from $ 95.00

dominican republic tourism news

Altos de Chavón Altos de Chavón

Most travelers don't expect to see a replica of a 16th-century Italian village during their trip to the Dominican Republic, but that's what makes Altos de Chavón all the more surprising and unique. The meticulously designed attraction sits on the southern coast of the island, and it first opened to the public in 1982. Art galleries, boutique stores and restaurants line the village's picturesque cobblestone streets. There is even a 5,000-seat amphitheater in the village center that features views of the Chavón River and the Caribbean Sea. The amphitheater has played host to numerous notable musicians and other performers, including Frank Sinatra, Elton John and Sting. The Archaeological Regional Museum is also a top attraction within the village, where visitors can learn about the island's Indigenous people and admire more than 3,000 artifacts. Not to mention, the St. Stanislaus Church offers breathtaking views, making it a popular wedding venue.

Most travelers visit Altos de Chavon for the stunning views and to see a piece of Italy in the middle of the Caribbean. Travelers love the quiet atmosphere, especially as there are no hawkers and vendors around. However, not everyone feels that it is worth the high entrance fee.

dominican republic tourism news

Basilica Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia Basilica Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia free

Travelers are sure to be awed by this unique church. It boasts a modern facade and a massive arch that towers nearly 230 feet above the ground. While you could spend your whole visit admiring the exterior, past travelers say it's worth venturing inside as well. Inside, visitors will find striking tapered ceilings and a painting of the Virgin Mary at the altar dating back to the 16th century. One of the country's most important religious sites, the basilica has played host to prominent visitors, including Pope John Paul II. Each January, many Dominicans make a pilgrimage to the site to pay respects to the Virgin Mary, the country's patron saint.

The basilica is free to enter, though donations are encouraged. If you visit the church as part of a Punta Cana tour group, your entrance donation will likely be covered. Basilica Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia is located about 30 miles west of Punta Cana, so you'll need to take a taxi or rent a car if you're planning a visit. Public transport is also available from most resorts, though you'll need to prepare for an uncomfortable, yet authentic bus ride in a local guagua . Hours vary by day, so be sure to consult the church website when planning your visit. Sunday is the busiest day when locals go to church. You can also learn more about the history of this church on the Dominican Republic's tourism website .

dominican republic tourism news

Salto de la Jalda Salto de la Jalda

If you're looking for the ultimate off-the-beaten-track experience, Salto de la Jalda might be the perfect fit. It's hard to believe the highest waterfall in the Dominican Republic hardly receives any visitors, even though it's only about a two-hour drive northwest of Punta Cana's crowded tourist zone. Cascading approximately 400 feet, the Salto de la Jalda waterfall is an impressive natural attraction that is worth exploring if you're up for the adventure. The waterfall is only accessible via a 9-mile round-trip hike, but considering the path is more or less flat along a riverbed and through mostly shaded forests and cocoa plantations, it's suitable for everyone in reasonably decent physical shape. Once you reach the waterfall, you'll likely have it all to yourself without any other visitors. What's more, a dip into the natural waterfall pool is a rewarding refreshment.

Most recent visitors say that hiring a guide or booking a tour is very helpful for this hike, as the trail is not marked. Many visitors opt to rent horses from the local villagers to make it even easier to reach Salto de la Jalda. It's doable to hike on your own, but only if you're experienced in walking in tropical terrain, have a GPS with you, a trail map saved on your phone and an emergency kit in your backpack.

dominican republic tourism news

Things to Do in Punta Cana FAQs

Explore more of punta cana.

Eden Roc Cap Cana

Best Hotels

World Map

When To Visit

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.


The 28 Best Water Parks in the U.S. for 2024

Holly Johnson|Timothy J. Forster May 8, 2024

dominican republic tourism news

The 18 Best Napa Valley Wineries to Visit in 2024

Lyn Mettler|Sharael Kolberg April 23, 2024

dominican republic tourism news

The 25 Best Beaches on the East Coast for 2024

Timothy J. Forster|Sharael Kolberg April 19, 2024

dominican republic tourism news

The 50 Best Hotels in the USA 2024

Christina Maggitas February 6, 2024

dominican republic tourism news

The 32 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Gwen Pratesi|Timothy J. Forster February 1, 2024

dominican republic tourism news

9 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in Florida for 2024

Gwen Pratesi|Amanda Norcross January 5, 2024

dominican republic tourism news

24 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in the U.S. for 2024

Erin Evans January 4, 2024

dominican republic tourism news

26 Top Adults-Only All-Inclusive Resorts for 2024

Zach Watson December 28, 2023

dominican republic tourism news

Solo Vacations: The 36 Best Places to Travel Alone in 2024

Lyn Mettler|Erin Vasta December 22, 2023

dominican republic tourism news

26 Cheap Beach Vacations for Travelers on a Budget

Kyle McCarthy|Sharael Kolberg December 4, 2023

dominican republic tourism news

dominican republic tourism news

Move Over Punta Cana! This Dominican Republic Destination Has Lavish Resorts And Stunning Beaches

Post may contain affiliate links; we may receive compensation if you click links to those products. This has no impact on how offers are presented. Our site does not include all offers available. Content on page accurate as of posting date.

When you choose your next beach escape, odds are you'll be looking where to spend blissful beach days in Mexico or the Caribbean .

One Caribbean nation that has soared to new heights in terms of tourism is the Dominican Republic.

Even the country's cultural cities have become more popular, like Santiago de los Caballeros and the sprawling capital, Santo Domingo.

Near both cultural hubs are some of the most pristine beach resort towns you'll find along Caribbean shores.

One that is super easy to reach and continues to thrive is La Romana , home to lavish resorts and stunning beaches.

Move Aside Punta Cana! La Romana Is The Place To Be

As someone who just spent 5 days at a luxe resort in Punta Cana , I can easily compare apples to apples since I also spent some time in La Romana.

If you've done any vacation planning along the East Coast or Caribbean, surely you know it's sargassum season.

Sargassum is an unsightly brown algae that invades coastlines for miles and miles ruining your postcard-worthy photo-ops.

Punta Cana, including world-renowned Bavaro Beach, was teeming with icky piles of sargassum baking in the sun, creating not only an eyesore, but an unpleasant odor and constant annoyances trying to swim in the crystal clear waters.

Taking a day trip to La Romana was like flipping a switch from an okay beach vacation to the dreamy paradise you envision when splurging on a Caribbean getaway.

Perfect Conditions For The Ultimate Beach Escape

Not a flake of sargassum was spotted when I swam in various spots throughout the La Romana region.

Setting sail on a Catamaran from Bayahibe, there were stops away from shore to swim and snorkel.

Water conditions were absolutely perfect with warm temperatures and limpid visibility – no seaweed or trash in sight.

Like Zac Brown said, the ‘Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair', the only worry here is stepping on Starfish as they're a very protected and encouraged by tour guides not to touch.

The only portion not suitable for water activity are the ports of Bayahibe and Isla Saona, where the water is still very clear, but you will need flip-flops to avoid cutting your feet on jagged rocks.

Stunning Tropical Islands

Within close distance from the small resort town of La Romana lies a pair of stunning islands – Isla Saona, and Isla Catalina.

While I can't speak to personal experience with the latter, tourists have left rave reviews with comments like, ‘Saona Island gets all the cred but this was an awesome excursion'.

Home to gorgeous beaches clear waters for snorkeling and diving, this short journey to the island is definitely worth checking out.

I went to Isla Saona. Beyond simply relaxing with endless poolside pinã coladas, this jaw-dropping island was the highlight of my Dominican vacation.

You are instantly welcomed by towering palm trees and sandy pathways giving access to what feels like secret beaches, and it was some of the clearest water I've ever swam in.

No sargassum, jellyfish, garbage, stingrays – nope, just picture-perfect blue waters and white sand.

La Romana's Lavish Resorts

Punta Cana is great, but everyone wants to be here.

The same way Cancun is an awesome vacation spot since everyone knows about, that's not to say you won't have an awesome time in Puerto Escondido.

The same goes for Punta Cana and La Romana. The latter is a very popular resort town but doesn't hold the same recognition.

Vacationers can come here expecting to have the time of their lives the same as you would in Punta Cana, but the experience may be even better.

With high-end all-inclusive resorts such as Hilton, Dreams, and Iberostar, you can't go wrong, especially since the beaches don't find themselves in the path of massive seaweed invasions.

Sam, our Lead Writer & Journalist based in San Diego has visited 30 countries and written over 400 articles with a focus on sharing his own travel experiences and shining a light on lesser-known gems.

↓ Elevate Your Travel↓

Sign Up Now For Travel Off Path Premium! No ads, VIP Content, Personal Travel Concierge, Huge Savings, Daily Deals, Members Forum & More!

✈️ Join Our Travel Off Path Community Forum : Where travelers unite, ask questions, share experiences and even find like-minded travel buddies!


Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.

This article originally appeared on

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.

The post Move Over Punta Cana! This Dominican Republic Destination Has Lavish Resorts And Stunning Beaches appeared first on Travel Off Path .

Move Over Punta Cana! This Dominican Republic Destination Has Lavish Resorts And Stunning Beaches


  1. The Dominican Republic embraces sustainable tourism

    dominican republic tourism news

  2. The Dominican Republic Breaks Record for Most Tourist Arrivals In April

    dominican republic tourism news

  3. Dominican Republic Leads The Caribbean Tourism Rebound

    dominican republic tourism news

  4. Top 10 Tourist Attractions in the Dominican Republic

    dominican republic tourism news

  5. Dominican Republic Sets New Tourism Record And Now Has Over 100 All

    dominican republic tourism news

  6. Dominican Republic Hits Another Tourism High Caribbean Journal

    dominican republic tourism news


  1. The tourism in the Dominican Republic

  2. Dominican Republic's Tourism Minister, David Collado, Personally Welcomes 10 Millionth Visitor

  3. @TurismoRD Turismo crece un 27% en enero y cierra como el mejor enero de la historia


  1. Why Is Everyone Going to the Dominican Republic?

    In December the Dominican Republic drew 700,000 visitors from abroad, more than it had attracted not only before the pandemic, but in any single month ever, according to the Ministry of Tourism ...

  2. Dominican Today - The Dominican Republic News Source in English Av. Abraham Lincoln N° 452 Local 220B, Plaza La Francesa, Piantini, Santo Domingo Tel. (809) 334-6386

  3. Dominican Today

    The first and only english language online news publication in the Dominican Republic. Providing local and international news, DR guides and access to real estate and car portals. ... The Dominican Republic last year netted tourism receipts of $9.8 billion, an increase of 16.1% from 2022. When compared with the GDP of the Dominican Republ ...

  4. Why The Dominican Republic Is Taking Tourism By Storm

    Its 2023 Global Travel Trends Report found that the Dominican Republic's tourism-dependent economy not only bounced back with exceptional speed, it is now receiving travel investments at rates ...


    DR1 Daily News - Dominican Republic. is the leading English news source in the Dominican Republic for over 30 years. ... Haydee Rainieri, member of the board of directors of Grupo Puntacana, expects the tourism industry in the Dominican Republic to continue to be the leading provider of hard currency into the next decade. As guest ...

  6. Dominican Republic reaches record-breaking 10 million visitors in 2023

    Figures also showed that the Dominican Republic is the country that has grown the most in tourist arrivals in the Caribbean region from 2019 to date, going from 6.4 million visitors to more than ...

  7. Dominican Republic breaks record in tourist arrivals in the first

    On Wednesday, the Minister of Tourism, David Collado, announced that the Dominican Republic had broken its own records for tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2023, with a total of 2,076,171 visitors. He noted that this represented an 11% increase compared to 2019, a 190% increase over 2021, and a 21% increase over 2022.

  8. Dominican Republic Tourism Official Website

    Dominican Republic Has It All. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea on the south, our lush tropical island paradise boasts nearly 1,000 miles (1,609 km) of coastline, 250 miles (402 km) of the world's top beaches, magnificent resorts and hotels, and a variety of sports, recreation and entertainment options. Here ...

  9. Dominican Republic Tops 7 Million Tourists, Setting New Record

    The Casas del XVI Hotel in Santo Domingo. "Our tourism industry is changing and has been recognized as the most resilient in the world," Collado said. The Dominican Republic didn't just do ...

  10. Dominican Republic Vacation: Sharp Tourism Recovery Despite Covid

    In 2019, tourism represented $7.4 billion in revenue for the Dominican Republic -- more than any other nation in Central America or the Caribbean. After the 2020 pandemic induced a plunge in ...


    Travel News Daily News Trending Forum Posts Subscribe to Latest Forum Posts. Freak 3am accident kills at least 2. Waiting for Kenyans to arrive? DR's Marileidy Paulino is on the Pan Am champions team for the Paris Olympics ... Dominican Republic's free trade zones exports surpass US$3 billion in first five months of 2024.

  12. Dominican Republic Travel Advisory

    Reissued after periodic review without changes. Exercise increased caution in the Dominican Republic due to crime.. Country Summary: Violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide, and sexual assault, is a concern throughout the Dominican Republic.The development of a professional tourist police corps, institution of a 911 system in many parts of the country, and a concentration of resources ...

  13. A New Era for Tourism in the Dominican Republic

    Last updated: 1:55 PM ET, Tue May 9, 2023. Punta Cana recently celebrated the Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE) 2023, the most important tourism fair of this attractive Caribbean island destination promoted by the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES). Leading the meeting, David Collado, the country's ...

  14. Security strengthened as Haitian crossings increase at the Dominican

    Quality of life is notably better in the Dominican Republic, which relies on a robust tourism economy. The roots of this contrast wind through corruption and stretch back to French-controlled ...

  15. U.S. warns tourists to 'exercise increased caution' in this popular

    The U.S. State Department reissued its travel advisory for the Dominican Republic, telling tourists to "exercise increased caution" due to the country's increasing level of crime. The Level ...

  16. The Official Travel Guide to Dominican Republic · Visit Dominican Republic

    If you're in the Dominican Republic between January 15 - March 25, try to make the trek north to see the whales in Samaná. After all, they've come some 3000 miles to see you. Read more. Humpback whale breaching in Samaná Bay. Photo: Kit Korzun /

  17. Tourism recovery: Dominican Republic has historic gains

    If we analyze the last 12 months of Dominican tourism, it is evident that the country has already surpassed 6.8 million arrivals, a level never reached before. However, 48% of the countries expect a full recovery in 2023 and 44% in 2024. The first and only english language online news publication in the Dominican Republic.

  18. Dominican Republic Among UNWTO Members Reporting Strong Tourism Rebound

    The Dominican Republic will also host the 118th session of the UNWTO Executive Council in the first quarter of 2023. Related Links. Download the news release in PDF; UNWTO Regional Department for the Americas; International Tourism Consolidates Strong Recovery Amidst Growing Challenges; Tourism Doing Business Investing in Dominican Republic

  19. Punta Cana Travel Guide

    The best time to visit Punta Cana is from December to April when the dry season in Punta Cana is at its peak. Luckily, the weather is warm year-round, with average highs around 80 degrees ...

  20. Dominican Republic Travel Guide, News and Information

    The Dominican Republic recorded a growth of 27 percent in its tourist arrivals during August, compared to 2019. (Photo via: alio84sl/iStock/Getty Images Plus). Santo Domingo: As the capital city of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo is a vibrant and historic destination. With its well-preserved colonial architecture, fascinating museums, and ...

  21. Tourism

    The Dominican Republic's sizzling 2022 continued last month with yet another arrivals record broken, Caribbean Journal has learned. The country reported 561,323 tourist arrivals in May, the most ...

  22. Dominican Republic Tourist Deaths: What to Know About Safety

    Vittorio Caruso. Caruso, 56, died on June 17 after staying at the Boca Chica Resort in Santo Domingo. His family told Fox News that he had been traveling by himself and he was in good health. His ...

  23. Travel advice and advisories for Dominican Republic

    As a tourist, you must obtain a tourist card to enter the Dominican Republic. It is included in all air tickets issued outside the country. If you enter the Dominican Republic by land or sea, you can obtain the card from the General Directorate of Internal Taxes at your point of entry. It is valid for one year from the issuance date and it can ...

  24. Dominican Republic leads Latin America Tourism Revenue-GDP Ratio

    The Dominican Republic last year netted tourism receipts of $9.8 billion, an increase of 16.1% from 2022. When compared with the GDP of the Dominican Republic that translates to 8.1%, according to a Latinvex analysis, that is the highest rate in Latin America and nearly fivefold the regional average of 1.8%. By comparison, Mexico's receipts ...

  25. 16 Best Things to Do in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

    It is the Dominican Republic's main tourist attraction, but this doesn't impact the incredible paradisiacal setting you will find here. Previous visitors praised the island's pristine beaches and ...

  26. Move Over Punta Cana! This Dominican Republic Destination Has ...

    The Le Train des Plantations offers a relaxing tour through the cane fields and the banana plantations. Train Fare Tickets: Adults: 8 Euros ($8.70 USD) Children: 5 Euros ($5.44 USD) (ages five to ...