Safety in DR
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Apr 13, 2013 9:59 PM Last Post By: zacha76
Mar 14, 2013 6:51 AM
Safety in DRHi all,
I keep reading recent articles or news regarding violent episodes, rubbery and general crime to foreign visitors.
Obviously everything can happen in any country, and common sense like avoiding walking alone at night in isolated area will be the rule.
I was just wondering though, if it will be kind of safe for a girl travelling alone for 2 weeks, staying in not big touristic areas such as Santo Domingo. I was planning to stay more in Samana, Las terranas, Punta cana and maybe renting a room instead of going on a hotel.
Any advices? Or do you know anything regarding this topic in these areas?
Mar 15, 2013 10:43 AM
1I just returned from 10 days in Las Terrenas and Samana bracketed by one night each way in Santo Domingo and recommend staying in hotels. Look at Casa Naemi in Santo Domingo and Casas del Mar Neptunia, both good and very well located (Tripadvisor has reviews). Zone Colonial in Santo Domingo, Las Terrenas and Samana are fairly safe using common sense. I skipped a planned visit to Punta Cana when I realized it is far more expensive than the places I visited and very touristic.
Mar 15, 2013 7:34 PM
2The OP lost me at "not big touristic areas" in connection with "Samana, Las terranas, Punta cana." Those are standard tourist destinations. Punta Cana in particular has no reason for existing aside from the big resorts, so per #1 you might as well skip it entirely. Normal precautions will keep you safe in all the places mentioned (always allowing for statistical outliers, of course). Santo Domingo at night was the place where I felt most on my guard when walking around, with the mountains and far southwest feeling the most safe.
There are lots of places in the DR which see fewer tourists, if that's really your goal. However, wandering around looking for rooms to rent in unfamiliar towns is somewhat at odds with your desire to stay safe--more so if your Spanish is not good or your street smarts not honed. You're looking at spending three or four days in various places--that's what hotels and hostels are there to provide.
As always, mileage varies.
Hope this is helpful.
Mar 17, 2013 11:12 AM
3Yes the DR is generally safe for solo travellers. Just keep your street smarts about you - don't give out too much personal info to people who want to be your "friend" ie don't tell people where you are staying etc. Don't aimlessly hang around outside of bus stations in Santo Domingo.
You might want to look at Bayahibe on the south coast. I live there, it's a safe, quiet and pretty fishing village with everything within walking distance. Accommodation wise: one large AI resort tucked away on one side of a bay (a few more AIs in a nearby area called Dominicus 5 minute drive away) and several small inexpensive hotels and cabañas (rooms) in the village.
Bayahibe is popular for diving and flat water stand up paddle boarding. It's also the launch spot for boat trips to Saona Island and Piscina Natural (starfish), part of the National Park of the East.
Here's a list of accommodation with weblinks and a map of Bayahibe http://bayahibesup.com/bayahibe-map/
Nearest airports: La Romana (LRM) 15 minutes drive away, Punta Cana (PUJ) 40 minutes, Santo Domingo (SDQ) 90 minutes.
Punta Cana doesn't have much in the way of well located cheap rooms for rent. It's mostly big resorts and condo rentals. One of the best (in a great central location) is Bavaro Hostel http://puntacanatv.com/accommodations/punta-cana-cheap-hotels/bavaro-hostel
Also take a look at Cabarete on the north coast (nearest airport Puerto Plata airport code: POP) Small town set around a huge bay - mecca for kiteboarders, surfers, windsurfers SUPsurfers. You'll find many solo travellers there. Plenty of things to do there. Tons of cheap good places to eat and large variety of accommodation for all budgets. Lively nightlife too. Some good Cabarete info here: http://www.activecabarete.com/
Cabarete is about a 2.5 hours scenic drive from Samana so you could split your vacation.
Apr 13, 2013 9:59 PM
4yb1, I just found this thread and thought that your description of Bayahibe sounds interesting for a trip I am taking with a crew. Could you tell me a bit more what we could see and do in the area? Like what is worth seeing in the national park? Are there any hikes or waterfalls around? What is the main attraction of Saona Island?
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