Dominican Republic Warnings and Dangers

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Dominican Republic Warnings and Dangers

  • Don't try to be a big shot

    Avoid wearing your desiner clothes, jewelry or carrying your ipods or cellphones around when you're in some of the more rural areas of the Dominican Republic. (Santo Domingo and the resort areas should be more safe, but even then, try not to pac too many expensive belongings and clothes with you, especially when outside the hotel.) You will seen as...

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  • Don't drink the water

    Drinking local water in the Dominican Republic is a health hazard since it doesn't go through the same purification process as water from outside the country. Anyone from outside the area wouldn't be accumtomed to it, and the water can make you very sick. Although the Dominicans are generally able to drink the water without getting sick, it still...

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  • Drugged Drinks

    There's been quite a bit of news lately about tourists going MISSING in some parts of the Caribbean. The most current and shocking story lately has been about the missing female, high school student in Aruba. However, linked to that story are others about young women whose drinks have been drugged by bartenders or others, leading to assaults and...

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  • Caritos Publicos / Public Taxis

    Throughout the Dominican Republic but especially in larger cities like Santo Domingo you will see streets crammed full of 'caritos publicos' (public cars / public taxis). These "route taxis" are so named because they only run up and down the main streets, no major turns and no door-to-door pick-ups or drop-offs.Caritos publicos are very cheap,...

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  • venomous spiders of the dominican...

    I just have to address the fact that some people have said there is no venomous spiders in the Dominican. The Dominican has various venomous spiders including the black widow one of the most deadly spiders in the world. The country also has the highest mortality rate with people dieing from Contact with venomous spiders (per capita) (most recent)...

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  • Europcar - terrible customer service

    First of all, NONE of the employees I encountered spoke any English!I had a reservation for my car when I arrived at the Santo Domingo Airport. I had to ask another rental car employee to call the Europcar employees so that they would come to the desk. I was the first one out to the rental car place (I was excited about seeing my Dominican...

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  • San Pedro de Macorix

    This is by far the dirtiest, nastiest city I have visited in the Dominican Republic. The water in the ocean is too polluted in this area to even get in. I stayed at the Howard Johnson, San Pedro de Macoris hotel and it wasn't bad if you're swimming in Juan Dolio and staying there. It cost only about $60 for the night (if you ask for it to be...

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  • Myth: it's not safe to go out of the...

    "It's not safe to wander out of the resort" is something you'll hear at the resort and it can't be farther from the truth. I'm not going to lie and say that it doesn't happen because it does and it has BUT as long as you practice common sense you should be fine. That is, don't show off your money, don't walk around with a lot of bling bling, leave...

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  • Beware of "Sankie Pankies"

    A sankie pankie is a man who shows tourist women (or men sometimes) a good time on the island, will take her to discotheques/bars/restaurants, will try to get into her pants and will most definitely make her fall in love....only so that she starts sending him money (mostly via Western Union). The goal for these people is to have the women to bring...

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  • Be carefull when you go to an...

    Be carefull when you go to an ATM in the night, a taxi driver saved us from some pick pokets.If you can, go with the daylight, else, anyway try to not go alone.

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  • Exchanging money

    If you can get a good exchange rate in your home country, then bring some Dominican pesos with you. Then bring US dollars you can exchange as you need, or an ATM card you can use to withdraw money from (read my ATM machine tip). The best place to exchange money would be the banks. They usually publish their rates on screens or white boards, visible...

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  • Thieves in Santo Domingo!

    Be careful what you do in Santo Domingo because there are a lot of people there that will try to steal your stuff. I fortunately only got about $100 worth of stuff stolen, however the girl standing next to me in a casino just got in from Canada and had everything stolen, including her passport!!! And many police do not speak English!

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  • DONT DRINK THE WATER!

    Do not trust the water drinking issues on this island......we have gotten sick here a few years and have started to only drink BOTTLED water, not even the water in the resorts is good sometimes. The ice in your drinks is made from their water, so beware!

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  • Taxis

    Avoid being ripped off by shady cab drivers by calling one from one of the big cab companies, or if you happen to be in a touristic area with tourist taxis, agree on a price before getting in.Serious taxi drivers will have a laminated "ficha" (their ID) with their name and photo hanging from the inner rear view mirror so that it's visible. When you...

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  • Drink *only* bottled water

    Tap water is NOT drinkable in the whole DR. There are people selling water in "small plastic bags" (una fundita de agua) on busy streets, those are not to recommend either. Buy bottled water instead.

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  • Traffic

    When we arrived, I went to an airport information booth and asked for a map, and they said they didn't have any information at all except a booklet in either German or French.Coming from the airport in a taxi, our driver shoved his way into the line of cars waiting to leave the airport. No drivers wait their turn here - it is who backs down first...

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  • Beware of high asking prices

    Throughout the Dominican Republic I was surprised by the high initial street and market asking prices. In some countries you would be justified in feeling that a 20 percent discount from an initial asking price would be reasonable. In other countries, like Mexico, you would fairly often need to get to about 50 percent, but in the DR, especially for...

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  • Beware the Tarantula

    I never realized that the Dominican Republic had tarantula's in their country. I'm scared of spiders & this one is huge! You won't find them in the resorts nor on the beach's, so you can breath easy there. The tarantula's are in the country & jungles of the Dominican. We went on the jungle tour & was clipping along the countryside & made our 1st...

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  • Drink Plenty of Water

    The majority of people today, do not drink enough water. While you may be having a few cocktails around the pool, the alcohol does not replace water for total water consumption. All the resorts have purified water to drink. Bring along a water bottle and fill it before any excursions you take. We did not get sick from drinking the water. It would...

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  • Too Much Sun

    As nice as it is to make friends envious with a winter tan, remember, your skin is not use to it. Wear sun screen. It is not worth it to have a few miserable days because you fell asleep in the sun.....

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  • Driving a car at night is soo dangerous

    The roads in the Dominican Republic are in very bad shape. There is no inspection to the cars either. Almost nowhere outside the touristic areas, there are lights next to the roads. So you will find yourself on a really dark road at night, where other cars with and without lights are driving, where dogs, donkeys, cows and other people are walking,...

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  • small warning

    inside a all inclusive resort there are no warningsif yu have the oportunity to go out just take the everage messures to face any danger as yu do in every part of the world. arrassment is the biggest problem with dominican people, but ignoring is the best way to avoid it.and when on a tour with guides they provide that locals don´t aproach tourists...

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  • Mosquitoes

    Pretty annoying! Sometimes you don't notice them and then ... bingo! You just notice the bite and the hitch. I was told that mosquitoes "appear" near the sunset time and by the water. I wasn't particularly affect by them, but some people complained a lot. Just in case, pack a repellent.

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  • Strong sun

    The sun is very strong so you must be very careful with sunburns and dehydration. Be sure to always apply a good sunscreen and drink plenty of liquids during exposure to sun (not alcohol though!) ;-)Even on cloudy days there are a lot of sunburns. If traveling around don't forget that the sun has the same affects as when you're lying on the beach...

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  • The traffic rules (or lack of ...)

    Before traveling, I read in many guides that Dominicans drive without a license and that we weren't advised to rent a car and go on our own. That's true!!! There are almost no traffic signs and nobody respects the few existing ones! Drivers just horn on crossroads and expect you to get out of their way. So, even if you find a pedestrian crossing be...

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  • Coral and Shells

    With the purpose of protecting local fauna and flora there are some restrictions concerning coral reef and some kinds of shells. So don't be tempted to grab some little bit and take home, since it can be nasty for you if they find out about it on the airport. I was also told to be aware of some vendors who might try to sell you this kind of...

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  • The water

    Everyone traveling from Europe or North America is advised NOT to drink water, unless it's bottled. Even though in some places they might say the water is properly treated for drinking I was told that its mineral composition is different from ours and this may cause diarrhea and other stomach disturbs as well. So, you'd better stick to bottled...

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  • Safari Tours

    One thing that quickly becomes apparent is that in the countryside their is a very young population. There are kids everywhere. The children have been accustomed to recieving candy from foriegners driving by. So the children run after tour trucks in the hopes of getting something. DO NOT THROW CANDY FROM THE VEHICLE as this is dangerous for the...

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  • Pesky vendors

    Sometimes, vendors on the street or at the beach can get annoying. Even if you say you don't want to buy anything, they won't stop bugging you to buy something. If you don't want to buy something, don't even look at them. Turn around and walk away. If they see you looking at them, they'll come right over to you and try to sell you something. Only...

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  • Expensive Phone Calls

    We had some issues with our plane tickets so we had to call the States. 30 minutes of phone calls amounted to about a $50 US charge on our bill. No other options existed on the resort, so my only advice is if you must call out of the country, talk very fast.

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  • Airport Luggage

    We had an alarm clock, hairdryer, and our disposable camera taken out of our bags from their security personnel. Of course, we didn't know this until we got home. Those aren't big losses, but the lost camera was the biggest disappointment since it had our last 2 days of film.

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  • Protect your valuables

    Use same common sense as if in any city.If you choose to rent moped, stay with it.If you carry money or passport, would recommend a money belt under shirt.Did not see theft occur, but did hear of it happen by the Puerto Plata airport employees..Use common sense, do not dress fancy or wear much jewlery. Try to fit in.For the most part, we did not...

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  • Weather

    The DR has a primarily tropical climate, with more local variations in temperature than seasonal ones. August is muggy and hot, January a bit less so. There are two rainy seasons, October to May along the northern coast and May to October in the south; bring an umbrella if you plan to travel the entire country. Dominican rain isn't your...

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  • Warning

    Due to political unrest and an unstable economy 7(not to mention high unemployment) there is, sad to say, a level of violence that underscores society here; in the last few years, unruly demonstrations and strikes have marred the island's equilibrium. Because of the hard economic conditions, great care should be taken with your valuables (from...

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  • its best to apply for your...

    its best to apply for your visa before traveling as when you arrive at the airport you end up stuck in queues for ages and after a long flight thats the last thing you want to do.Also be careful when swimming in the sea as there is alot of coral and it can leave some nasty cuts to you leg's and dont i know it lol.

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  • Health issues - beach stuff

    You must wear sunscreen. If you don't, you'll burn badly. Wear at least SPF 15. No, it won't prevent you from tanning, I wore SPF 30 every day and I got a tan.If you get your hair braided at the beach, put sunscreen on your head every place where your hair parts, so that you don't end up sunburned there.If you go swimming, watch out for coral. A...

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  • don´t go alone!!

    People are very poor, so you shouldn´t go alone somewhere when your a tourist.But it´s a very beautiful island so try and go on a trip with a guide!!!

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  • Funny story - extreme politeness can...

    Even when dealing with friendly locals who aren't bothering you, you might end up in a funny or weird situation. A friend of mine went to DR on the same program a year after I did, and during her family stay, the locals were having a party. A local girl she met showed her a tacky yellow jumpsuit, and asked her if she liked it. My friend said yes...

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  • Machismo

    The culture here is very macho, and the men usually have power over the women. Some of the guys I met weren't used to my attitude regarding gender issues. A guy at a disco got mad at me just because I refused to kiss him!For the girls: Never walk alone at night. A single white girl is a common target for harrassment, or even rape. Don't sit with...

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  • Health issues - water and food

    DO NOT drink the water or even brush your teeth in it. Don't get ice in your drinks or eat a snow cone. You'll end up sick with horrible cramps and diarrhea the next day. One girl in the group brushed her teeth with the water, and got sick as a dog because of that. Use bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth. You can shower in the local...

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  • Check your shoes!

    As well as being home to tropical beaches and palm trees, the Dominican Republic is also home to some less-nicer things!Scorpions, for example, love the Dominican Republic, but they love sleeping in your shoes even more! Remember to check your shoes before you put them on to make sure that one hasn't set up camp.Don't be too paranoid though, this...

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  • Young boys claiming to be tourist guides

    As you step foot in ANY town, be prepared to be followed by young boys claiming to be tourst guides. They are very very poor and do this as a way to make a living. In Higuey I had 5 boys follow my husband and I. We told them constantly it was Ok, we did not need help, but they followed us until they saw another group of tourists and did the same...

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  • Driving a car

    If you don't have to - do not rent a car unless you will take one with the driver. Driving in Dominican Republic is... how to explain... well, it could be most exciting thing you will do here... ;)It seems that traffic regultions don't exist here. But if they are they are surely not respected.

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  • Mosquitos

    Be carefull of mosquitos that are very annoying. I advice to clothe your body in the early evenings, especially when you seat near the water and protect yourself againts that intruders...If not - someone may thing you are very joyful looking like "dancing" all the time while scratching yourself... ;)

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  • Water

    DO NOT drink tap water! It may cause health roblems and may change your stay at this paradise into nightmare. So, for drinking purpose use only bottled water unless you prefer... drinks... But... to be honest - I don't know what is worse: drinking the tap water or drinking the drinks at the quantity you would drink water... ;)

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Dominican Republic Warnings and Dangers

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