I love reading comments from readers of my book. It is so interesting to see how we all become connected to the Dominican Republic. I have lived in Santo Domingo for the past 4 years and absolutely love life. Thanks for all of your comments!

Last year I traveled to the dominican, I meet several friends while their, and have stayed in touch with them, now I'm going again, this time alone, how safe will I be?? and can the people whom I have met be trusted??? and how wud I know

Hey Theresa!

Thanks for the note...

You are really asking me a very difficult question because generally speaking I believe Dominicans can be trusted and would be great to vacation with.  I think you have to use some of your own intuition to determine if these friends of yours can be trusted. 

I wrote a lot about security and safety in my book.  If you haven't read it I of course recommend you do (hehe...).  To sum up safety for tourists in a nutshell I think it is best for tourists to not even think about bringing anything of value.  If you don't have anything valuable then you do not have much to lose.  I personally tend to dress and act on the side of not having much.  I hardly ever wear a watch and it is not my personality to wear any jewelry.  Being a "gringo" has the effect of making many locals think I am just loaded, which is not the case...

The only things worth anything significant I would bring as a tourist are a camera and my cell phone.  Other than that leave everything at home.  Also, do not carry a bunch of cash.  To me exchanging US$ for DOP is a pain.  You can withdraw money from ATMs here and I would personally not have more than 3000 pesos at a time (about $80).  If you need more cash you can always go to an ATM. 

Other things to consider would have to do with where are you staying and whether your group of friends is mixed (meaning both men and women).  I think a mixed group is probably the safest, since the ladies will also help look out for you and steer you clear of trouble. 

Huge RED FLAGS and things I would really be on the look out for are if your "friends" ask you to pay for things or ask to borrow money.  I have read many stories about foreigners being taken advantage of because they thought their "friends" were legitimately in need.  If you are asked for money, let them know you are on a really tight budget and don't give any money, even if you feel really badly or pressured.  The sooner you let them know you are a friend and not a bank the sooner you will find out if they are really friends. 

Most importantly have a good time.  Chances are you will not have any problems.  Your friends will look out for you and I know of many single ladies who have traveled all over the country without any worries.  I think the majority of the problems come from visitors getting in some sort of relationship where they feel they need to give money to their Dominican boyfriend or girlfriend and then find out that their boyfriend has other girlfriends.  These kinds of things happen so as long as the relationship is real you have nothing to worry about.

I hope that helps!


Ross, Thank you so much... I'm staying at Lifestyles Crown Villa @ the Haceinda in Puerto Plata...I don't plain on wearing any expensive jewelry only a watch when out & about around the town. As far as my friends goes, their males and female's ( I'm not Dumb, Hehehe )  Also thanks for the advice regarding carrying lots of cash.....Oh are you familiar with the Hacienda?????? lI heard its a really nice place, I'm excited, I cant hardly wait for March to get here....Thank you, Theresa


I have been to Puerto Plata several times but do not know the Hacienda.  I live on the south coast and it is quite a ways for us to go up there...

Now that I know you are staying at a hotel/resort, I should mention something else.  You should photocopy the picture page of your passport and your drivers license on one page.  Make two copies.  Lock your passport, credit cards, extra cash etc in the safe in your hotel room.  Most hotels here have a safe that is either activated by your room key or where you have to change the combination every time you open it.  Put one copy in the lining of your suitcase somewhere (I usually put it where the shoe holder is).  The other copy is what you will take with you when you go out.  If you are going to be at the resort dont worry about having an ID, but if you travel around the country the copy with you.  I am to the point now where I rarely have my passport with me, but for new tourists I usually recommend they have the copy with them when they are out and about. 

You can fold the photocopy up and just keep it in your pocket.  Then take your cash and divide it up between two or three pockets so you dont have to pull out a big wad of cash to dig around for $50 pesos to buy a drink. 

You are going to have a blast.  Puerto Plata is very tourist friendly so I am sure you will have a great time. 

Have fun!

Ross I want to Thank You for the Good advice regarding making copies of important Documents . I will have fun fun, you also gave me light regarding my friends , time will tell hopefully they won't let me down..

Thanks Theresa

I hope you will enjoy me on my adventure living in the Dominican Republic. Buy a book today!