In this article, we will consider all the dangers of the Dominican Republic that await tourists. And I will also try to dispel myths about those things that you should not be afraid of. The Dominican Republic is a tropical island with summer all year round. Many things are extremely unusual for us, and before the holidays we do not think about them, but they can be dangerous.

Table of contents:

The dangers of the Dominican Republic

There is not a single country in the world where there would be no dangers. It would be strange. The Dominican Republic is no exception. In general it is a safe country with a high level of tourism. People come here for vacations from all over the world and fall in love with this country. The Dominican Republic is not Somalia or South Sudan in terms of the number of dangers, the situation here is much better.

Below is a list of the main things that travelers need to be wary of in this country.

Natural disasters

The weather in the Caribbean, where the Dominican Republic is located, is not always calm. There is a possibility of natural disasters, but it is not high.

Hurricanes – the dangers of the Dominican Republic

There are two points here. One is positive, the other is not. Let’s start with the second.

The Caribbean is located in an area where hurricanes regularly form and gain strength. Statistics say that about 60-70 cyclones form in the Caribbean every year and every second turns into a hurricane. And there are 3-5 hurricanes of the 4th or 5th maximum category annually in this region.

It is important to know:

The hurricane season in the Dominican Republic is August-September. These two months are the most likely to be a major hurricane.

But these was all bad news. But the good ones are that there were only 21 such hurricanes in the Dominican Republic in more than 125 years of meteorological observations. The Dominican Republic is located in such a way that all the most powerful hurricanes, as a rule, pass along its north without touching the coast of the Dominican Republic. Especially destructive hurricanes go to the USA and Mexico.

History reference:

The last Category 5 hurricane to hit the Dominican Republic was George in 1998. And the destruction was catastrophic. More than 1 million people were left homeless. After that, only category 2 and 3 hurricanes reached the coast of the country. And in 2017, the highest (fifth) category hurricane Irma passed along the edge of the country and severely damaged the resort of Punta Cana. But avoided all other resorts.

Total: yes, there can be hurricanes here, but the probability of getting into them even in August-September is not high.

Hurricane Irma in the Dominican Republic
Irma 2017. Punta Cana. For a hurricane of the highest category.

Tsunami and earthquakes

The Caribbean is a seismically active area. And the Dominican Republic itself is located on an island that is part of the Cordillera mountain range. Therefore, knowing this information, travelers often write to me about the fear of tsunamis or earthquakes.

To be honest, there is also a risk. But the likelihood is not great.

  • The last tsunami in the Dominican Republic occurred in 1946.
  • The last powerful earthquake occurred in 2010. Magnitude 7.4 on the Richter scale. About 3,000 people died. And more than 25 thousand were left homeless.

In summary: there is a possibility of a tsunami and an earthquake, but again, there is no need to be afraid of it.

Diseases in the Dominican Republic

Let’s move from natural disasters to diseases. Since the Dominican Republic is an exotic country, the diseases here are exotic. Next, I’ll tell you about those diseases that can be caught right here, and which we don’t have in our countries:

  • Malaria
  • Cholera
  • Zika virus
  • Dengue fever
  • Jetlag. Read about jetlag here. I won’t tell here, since this is not quite a disease, but you still need to know about it.


Perhaps the only disease that you can really get sick in the Dominican Republic today. Here’s what tourists need to know about malaria:

  • Transmitted only through the bite of a mosquito (one species – Aedes Aegypti)
  • Today, this disease is easily diagnosed and easily treated with pills.
Dangers of the Dominican Republic malaria
World map of malaria. The black arrow marked the Dominican Republic. As you can see, cases are recorded today. But that’s about half the world


The most important thing is to see a doctor in a timely manner and diagnose malaria.

Local doctors do it easily and quickly. But for ours, this disease is unusual. Therefore, when you arrived home and if the temperature rose, the first thing you need to tell the doctor is that you have just arrived from the Dominican Republic.

  • The a mosquito that transmits malaria is very small and easily blown away by any wind.
  • Therefore, in resorts along the ocean, cases of malaria are almost not recorded.
  • Malaria is most often recorded in the central regions of the country during the rainy season (June – August)


Extended medical insurance is a must for every tourist. Why, I will tell my experience below. In the meantime, read about insurance in the Dominican Republic here.

About 3,000 cases of malaria are recorded in the Dominican Republic every year. Lethal – less than 10, these are those patients who turned to the doctor very late.


It’s very short here. On the one hand, this is an extremely dangerous disease. On the other hand, no cases of cholera have been recorded in the Dominican Republic over the past 5 years, although in neighboring Haiti, cholera outbreaks appear annually.

Today, cholera is considered a disease of third world countries, where there is a large overpopulation and unsanitary conditions. The Dominican Republic has not been one of these countries for a long time.

Diseases of the Dominican Republic
It can be seen that there are outbreaks of cholera in neighboring Haiti, and the Dominican Republic defeated this disease.

Zika virus and dengue fever

Both diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes. Between 100 and 300 cases of each disease are recorded annually in the Dominican Republic. Fatal cases are extremely rare, diagnosis is easy, and treatment is relatively fast.

But here is a little story about our experience and insurance.

We travel a lot and always buy extended insurance, it never really came in handy. And in the fall of 2019, we visited Singapore, my wife and I had a fever of almost +39.5 and we went to the clinic. The diagnosis is dengue fever.

Of the cons:

  • Antibiotic course for 2 weeks
  • You can’t drink alcohol. At all.
  • Price of treatment: 5 000$ per person

From the pros:

  • All costs covered by insurance

Total: there are exotic diseases as dangers of the Dominican Republic. The probability of getting sick is not high, but in which case there is treatment, although it is paid. The main thing is to have insurance. And as a preventive measure, I recommend everyone to come to the Dominican Republic with mosquito repeller plug. Half of the diseases are transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. And what else to take with you, be sure to read in a separate article.

Dangers of the Dominican Republic: traffic on the roads, crime

Let’s begin with crime situation in the country.

Crime in the Dominican Republic

In many places on the Internet it is said that in the Dominican Republic it is scary to go out at night. And that you should not take more than $20 with you and many other terrible stories. There is some truth in this, but everything was like that 15 years ago, and these stories are still being retold.

Today, the Dominican Republic is a safe country for tourists, but with a few things:

  • There are areas (slums) where it is better not to go. Especially at night. This applies to the suburbs of Santo Domingo and the border area with Haiti.
  • Never show large money in your wallet.
  • Withdraw cash from the card only at ATMs at banks. A type of fraud through screening devices is popular in the country and most often they are put on ATMs on the streets.

In general, in the Dominican Republic today it is safe, comfortable and calm for tourists. Read more about safety in this country at the link.

Slums of Santo Domingo
These are the areas on the outskirts of Santo Domingo, I think you will not want to go for a walk.

Traffic on the roads

This is the real danger in the country. The drivers of the car still follow the traffic rules. But bikers know nothing about these rules. Red traffic lights are only for car drivers – they think.

If you move slowly at the crossing, you may be hit by a car or motorcycle.

Dominicans drive motorcycles from the age of 14. Young people can drive drunk. Read more about traffic rules and how to overtake a police car through a solid line in a separate article.

Summary: if you are a pedestrian on the roads of the Dominican Republic – be careful. Remember that the roadway is not for you. Most of the time there are no sidewalks.

What not to be afraid of in the Dominican Republic

Tourists often write to me and ask about things that you definitely don’t need to be afraid of. There are not many of them, but I will write about it, because I see from the feedback that people care about it.


The Dominican Republic is both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. There are sharks in the ocean and the sea. But the good news is:

  • Almost the entire coast of the country, especially the northern part, is protected by reefs. Reefs are usually 500 meters from the shore.
  • And in general, sharks off the coast are found no closer than 4-5 km from the coast. And they don’t get close.

Sharks can only be found if you are swimming in the ocean for deep sea fishing or in the aquarium in Puerto Plata. Other options are unlikely.

The dangers of the Dominican Republic
Ocean World Park in Puerto Plata


It’s quite interesting here. The Dominican Republic is tropical and jungle. In all countries of this latitude there is a huge number of snakes. The Dominican Republic is no exception in this. There are about 20 species that can only be found in the central part of the country in the jungle.

But here’s what’s amazing. There is not a single poisonous or dangerous snake species in the country. This happened historically, because the Dominican Republic developed independently of other ancient civilizations. And during the centuries of Spanish control in the Middle Ages, not a single poisonous species was brought.

Total: you don’t need to be afraid of snakes, there are no poisonous ones here.

Advice to tourists about the dangers of the Dominican Republic

Not all the dangers of the Dominican Republic, as we see, are dangerous for tourists. Here is a summary of what to watch out for:

  • Malaria.
    • Solution: mosquito repeller plug and extended insurance
  • Increased crime situation.
    • Solution: take commonplace precautions and remember that in tourist areas the crime rate tends to zero.
  • Traffic on the roads.
    • Solution: Be mentally prepared. The shock is usually the first couple of days, then you get used to it and you become a part of it.

Good to know:

All the dangers above are not reasons for not taking a paradise vacation in the Dominican Republic. Believe me, there are many more advantages.
The best beach on earth
Fronton Beach in the Dominican Republic, a reward for those who are not afraid of the dangers that I wrote about in the article 🙂

In conclusion: I hope this article told you about the real dangers of the Dominican Republic and those that you do not need to be afraid of. Beaches, palm trees, the ocean – this is what makes you fall in love at first sight. And the best preparation for the dangers of a country is knowledge.

Forewarned is forearmed!

Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Dominican Republic

  • Flights at the best prices with discounts
  • Car rental: DiscoverCars – a largest international resource
  • Hotels and apartments:
    • Hotellook – compares hotel prices among dozens of booking platforms and offer you the best price.
    • Booking – large online booking platform.
    • Agoda – even more accommodation options in Dominican Republic.
  • Vacation packages:
    • Expedia – best deals from Europe.
    • CheapOair – cheap packages from all US cities.
  • Tours, excursions and extreme activities:
    • GetYourGuide – more than 800+ tours and water activities.
    • Viator – 3500+ tours and excursions in Dominican.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
  • Internet and Calls:
    • Airalo – eSIM with internet package.
    • Drimsim – universal SIM card (or eSIM) in any country in the world.
  • Taxi and airport transfers: Intui.Travel