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The one question most travelers want to know about, next to dining tips, scenic routes and good accommodation: how safe is my destination? We’ve been telling you all about life in Punta Cana, and of course, safety is one of the many factors that make a society. What can you expect from this town, as a tourist? Is it dangerous to walk the streets around here? Just how safe is Punta Cana?

Within the DR, how safe is Punta Cana?

The Dominican Republic is a friendly and welcoming country that’s economically on the rise. There are still a lot of people living in poverty, which means there’s quite a high crime rate. Don’t let this stop you from traveling here – the US, for instance, has a high crime rate too. Capital Santo Domingo and second city Santiago de los Caballeros might be a bit rougher around the edges, but small Punta Cana is quite safe.

Punta Cana is an upcoming city that thrives from a growing community with lots of jobs in the tourist sector. Lots of people emigrate to Punta Cana from all over the world for work. We (the international staff of BOP living in Punta Cana) can walk around our neighborhoods freely.

Common sense in a small community

So how safe is Punta Cana exactly? When it comes to crime and feeling comfortable while traveling, it’s all about using common sense. You’d use the same attitude in big cities like London, New York, Bangkok: common sense. This means you’re not going to walk around flashing expensive jewelry in poorer areas, you’re not going to wander around small alleyways at night, and you’re not going to park your car visibly showing valuables behind the window. These same rules apply to Punta Cana. Most of the town is full of life, full of tourists, nice bars, and blissful beaches – just don’t go exploring those alone after dark. Simple.

Safe neighborhoods in Punta Cana

Now that we know how safe Punta Cana is, it’s easier to pinpoint where to go. For instance, Cap Cana is super safe: it’s a gated community. Some people might feel a bit uncomfortable about this, though. Then there’s Bávaro, the most dynamic neighborhood, full of restaurants and nightlife. A touristy area so don’t get pickpocketed – like you wouldn´t in the place where you come from. Or the original Punta Cana where it all started. We gave you a history lesson and showed you around in Punta Cana Village, where you can walk around freely and safely, but also live in a beautiful neighborhood that is entirely not gated. But also Downtown Punta Cana, the area of San Juan Shopping mall, is an area where you can move around with no worries.

Even in certain parts of neighborhoods like Veron and Friusa we wouldn’t advise against walking or driving – as long as you don’t do it at night. As a tourist, you will stand out, and even though Punta Cana is safe, standing out means drawing attention. That being said. There are residential areas in Veron and Friusa that are beautiful and safe. You just need to know where you are going.

Again, we’d like to namedrop common sense!

Some safety tips

We can never really predict how safe an environment will be, but we can surely give you some good tips. And remember – these tips count for the entire world!

  1. Trust your intuition! Don’t let paranoid friends, family or blogs talk you into fearing new environments, but if you don’t feel comfortable somewhere, leave.
  2. Save the number of a trustworthy taxi company or hotel on your phone. Don’t feel safe in an area? You can always call a cab to get you out. Feel weird in your Airbnb or Couchsurfing situation? Again – call a taxi and go to the hotel you previously looked up. It’s just a solid backup plan.
  3. Know where you’re going – don’t just take the bus into a random area. Use your navigation and plan ahead.
  4. In the small chance of being robbed or mugged, hand over your stuff immediately. It’s just stuff. You can replace it.

Some of the things you can easily do in Punta Cana is renting a car to move around. It is really easy to do. When you are lost you will notice that people are very friendly and willing to help you get to your destination. In general, the people who live here are very friendly.

So, how safe is Punta Cana? We’d say it’s worth exploring without any nervousness. 

We’d love to know how you feel in Punta Cana.  Tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook @bestofpuntacanaofficial!

Photo: Punta Cana Village