Safest Place to Live in DR ??

Looking to retire to DR...  What are the safest places to live in the DR??    What about Cabarete???  Thanks for any help and advice...  Michael and Lori

Answered your other post. There are safe and non safe areas in anywhere you look.  Cabarete is safe and like everywhere it depends location.  We lived in Cabarete for a couple of years before moving closer to Sosua

Bob K

ok thanks

I'm currently living in Punta Cana for the last five years. Never experienced anything unsafe or dangerous,  over the last two years more Americans have moved into the area so it's getting better every year.

I was robbed (home invasion) as well as a few friends in the Cabarete Sousa area.  Not safe in my opinion.  Punta Cana is a lot safer in comparison.

Punta Cana is much safer because it is a resort town like Cancún, with lots of residential gated communities and modern shopping centers....Special interests groups tend to protect areas where their money is invested.  Puerto Plata which includes Cabarete and Sosua has been somewhat orphaned by authorities for many years in favor of the newer shinier ever expanding Punta Cana. Puerto Plata has more to offer scenic wise, but security wise, you will have to pick wisely on the North Coast.  Punta Cana is comprised of more working folks, so the crime levels are much lower....The North Coast has a higher unemployment rate, and from what is well known.....where there is high unemployment, there will be crime, that is just simply the facts.  Puerto Plata is going through a sort of Renaissance period, but it is still not quite there yet.  My advice is to check out various areas, rent for a while, then make a desicion. The island is big and has a lot to offer, but like anywhere in the world you will have high crime areas and low crime areas.

In many ways I disagree with you. Being in a tourist area and or gated community does NOT equal safety.

Most robberies and issues are INSIDE jobs. Be responsible for your own safety. Be aware of every single.person entering your home and knowing how you live.

I have been robbed here twice -.both times the owner of the houses brother - he knew exactly how to get into the house - broke the locks I installed and knew exactly what to take. Inside jobs!

I have lived in a number of typical Dominican middle class neighborhoods without issue!

And I agree rent - do not buy - until you reallly know where you want to be!

You have lots of good information above.  I live in the Punta Cana area (3 years) and what I will tell you with regards to safety is not so much about your house as being out in public.  There are many places in Punta Cana where you will feel safe walking around.  Malls, restaurants, Punta Cana Village, Cap Cana etc.  I have properties in different places in the Punta Cana area, all of which I consider safe, and are gated with security.  However, safety also depends upon you and the type of person you are.  This is not something you are going to read about.  It comes with common sense, learning, aptitude, attitude etc.  In the entire Punta Cana area, including parts of Bavaro, Veron, Punta Cana Village, Cap Cana I have no worries about safety for me or my family.  It's as safe as any other place and that doesn't mean you let your guard down.  On the road driving, is where you will encounter the most danger...  Again, with time you will get used to that too.  Planner is right about the inside jobs.  Never hurts to know your security people and take them a goodie or two now and then.

Best of luck, if you choose Punta Cana maybe we will run into each other.  If you need a place to rent short or long term, I can help you there too.

A couple of good and informative posts.  Thanks
Here you need to work at security it does happen on its own

Bob K

I've been living here almost 5 years. I never experienced anything remotely similar. Never been robbed, never had my car broken into.  I'm not a very flashy person. So even if they did break into my house there's nothing to steal except the furniture and my clothes.

I really think you should look into the higher tourist areas for a purchase. You have to think about resale when the time comes. More North Americans and Europeans will buy in the more developed areas of the island.


My wife and I will be coming to Punta Cana for two months beginning in August for an exploratory trip. We've rented a condo (Stella Mare)  for this trip and if all goes well we will be looking for something longer term. Anything thing you can share with us would be greatly appreciated.


Sounds like you are doing things right. Check it put, rent longer term....

Come back anytime with specific questions! Read the various forums if you not already done so!

Hi. Welcome to the area. Los corales is always a fun area, beaches and nice restaurants. A lot of Americans and Europeans and most of the locals speak English. Milos Korac is a very good realtor if you need.  Helped me a lot at the beginning. I can put him in contact with you if needed.

Thank you, will reach out once were a bit closer to our trip. Are there any forums specific to the Punta Cana area?

No but go ahead and start a thread!!!!

Punta cana is very Americanized. Strip malls and a lot of American businesses. Which helps when you are living in the area. We have ikea and a jumbo which is like a Walmart. Makes life a lot easier. No more Gringo prices (inflated prices for foreigners) which happens a lot when shopping local shops. There is always the language barrier but in PC it's a lot easier communicating with locals since almost all understand minimal English.  There's a lot of foreign money in the area which is invested in new construction and real estate.  So resale will always be easier. I feel it's the best of both world.  If you want a five-star restaurant or go to Blue Mall and buy Gucci you can. Or you can have dinner with the locals at a seaside restaurant. All are great. I am very happy with the decision I made to move to this area.

Works great if you want an Americanized existance i suppose.

If you want a more Dominican  experience that is not the place.

With a more Dominican experience comes crime. The reason we all move to the DR  is Sun, fun and save money. I would much rather do it in a safer environment

Boy I have to differ in that you can live outside an "American Zone" experience more of the DR and still be safe. 
We have been here for over 11 years, never a problem and we live in a community of locals, Expats and Tourists.  Yes we need some Spanish, yes we live on mostly local products (and much prefer it),  eat mostly Dominican style and local food, buy very little imported foods.
Our idea was to live "local" and not "USA.
PC is beautiful but basically a tourist zone.
Bob K

I am with Bob. Americanized does not mean crime free.or necessarily safer.

I would still say it is a lot safer in an Americanized environment, if you really are not coming from an environment like a Chicago, Boston, NYC.....etc Street smarts play a big part here, and if you have not experienced that sort of environment, then you might want to start off with baby steps until you understand the culture. Another thing to take into account is that if you live amongst folks with equal economical means, you are less likely to become the rich gringo target which is the assumption if you have a nice place by Dominican standards.
       Bob correct me if I'm wrong, but did you not have your chain snatched at some point while in D.R.? & had a fender bender incident where it was clearly the motorcycle driver's fault and maybe even intentional? I agree crime can happen anywhere, but a bit less likely in an area where tourists and investor capital is top priority. Simply my take.  If you are street wise, then venture out and try Dominican living....If you are not, then get to know the culture a bit more, then venture out. Best wishes on your adventure.

I'm with you massagewiz...I have been in accidents in PC as well as in SPM and I can tell you things were a whole lot more civilized in PC.  I was almost jailed in SPD (motorcycle ran into me, the police wanted 30K US to release me until they did an investigation) and in PC, everything went smooth although a little complicated and it didn't cost me even 1 peso except for my inconvenience (again hit my another vehicle, not my fault).  PC is a great place to start out for the less adventurous, more stable, logical type and it's not as touristy today as some will have you believe.  I always say it's better to sleep where it's quiet, and travel to the noise if you want some excitement...only my humble opinion.

Yes my very first week here as a tourist scouting the area I had gold chain ripped off my neck by a moto driver and yes a moto did run into us driving recklessly (not intentional) and our lawyer arranged for him to receive a couple thousand pesos not a big deal to close the incident.  My insurance paid for full repairs to my car.
Still I would not live in a secure American bubble here. 
Bob K

In some cases living among  all expats creates a cluster of targets!  Another consideration. It is possible to live quite safely here. 

We will need to agree - to each his own. What works for me will not necessarily work for you! 

And also understand CRIME happens EVERYWHERE. You do your best to be safe!

Yes so true  Crime can happen anywhere!!  Even here in SC we have places I wouldn't drive thru in the middle of the night  lol     If we came to the north coast in Aug or Sept    Planner could you recommend us a place to stay?

Sure. So you want all inclusive hotel, apartment or villa?

I suppose to come down just to look around     we would prefer an all inclusive..  then we could look at options about renting for the future..

I agree with different strokes for different folks, but if we are truly here on the forum to help newcomers have the best experience possible, then we should give them the entire picture and not a partial one, since those of us who have been on the forum for a while, know the not so sunny sides of D.R......In the end each individual will decide if it fits or not, but let's keep it accurate on all levels  in order for the neewbies to have a basic playbook before sending them onto the playing field with a winning chance.

To the OP....It is best that you visit and look around, but I think It would be a disservice on my part if I did not tell you that you will likely encounter certain situations here that you might not necessarily run into when visiting other developed nations, especially when it comes to the law enforcement....There is an ongoing joke here in D.R. No matter the incident: It is the gringo's fault! and if you are expecting the same degree of professionalism and fair play you would expect back home, then more than likely you will be dissapointed and a bit overwhelmed.
     There are certain things that take place here which you will try to filter through foreign lenses, and that is the hardest adjustment. I believe your original question was on safety and I gave you my honest opinion. Each visitor's experience will be different, therefore all opinions presented have value and merit. Safety pretty much depends on location, street smarts, and good judgement of the company you keep.  The Island is big and beautiful.....Explore it and then return and tell us what think. At the end of the day, this is a developing country with a myriad of issues sorrounding politics, education, and economics......These issues can't be ignored, because at the end of the day they influence the vast majority of the population directly or indirectly. The Dominican people are beautiful people in many ways, but sometimes the aforementioned factors contribute to some of the ills that plague some of the areas lacking in financial stability. 
     Once again this is my take on safety....Some might agree or dissagree, but then again, I'm sure you came here to get the full Monty regarding the good and bad. There is plenty of both.

I'm so sure there is good and bad everywhere.   But what do you mean about the law enforcement??    We are quiet people that would venture out to purchase food and what household supplies we needed .. We tend to spend a lot of time at home   Which is what we love doing.  I'm sure we would want to venture out and explore the beautiful country of DR.   As far as going out for the night life   That's not us... We are content at home.     What would happen that we might have a run in with the law enforcement ??  If we follow the traffic rules... and honestly stay out of trouble..  We are not into the drug scene      Thanks for any insight about this

Greetings MLB.....Police officers of the lowest rank make about $150 dollars U.S. per month which does not even begin to cover the monthly food bills and other basic necessities, so they at times have been known to shakedown foreigners for small donations, during routine traffic stops or minor fender benders.  Everyone has their own law enforcement stories to share, but most will tell you that in some cases soliciting their help is more trouble than it is worth. Unless you plan to motivate them with some sort of monetary compensation, they will not be too motivated to assist. There are plenty of good and honest officers, but many do seek to supplement their income by any means necessary.  What might seem unusual back home, is perfectly normal here and is one of those things you simply get used to. It is not guaranteed to occur, but if it does, you will be prepared to handle it as you see fit.

     If you plan to drive here, make sure you have casa de conductor on your rental insurance policy.  That will guarantee that if you do have an accident of any will spend the night in a hotel as opposed to jail while your case is processed.  For the most part you just simply have to be aware at all times.  Foreigners are always perceived as having money and sometimes end up getting bamboozeled out of their cash...An example would be getting gas at a station. Many times they will give you less gas than you actually pay for and keep the difference, soooo be aware of things like these....Some places will sell you items or provide services at a higher price simply because you are a foreigner, but will give a local resident the real rate instead.

      These are just some of the little things you will have to be aware of while living here on a day to day basis.  If you are in a resort during your stay you will probably not be exposed to some of the things I mentioned, but choosing to be here longterm you will have to adapt to the culture. Like I said before, the Island is large and every area has something different to offer, but remember: "You are no longer in Kansas" For the most part you will be fine, but just don't get caught up in the palm trees and smiling faces...Use your common sense and you will do just fine👍👍👍

          I had very good mentors when I first arrived in Sosua and Cabarete in 2010 and they told me what to look out for and how to conduct myself. I can attest that their advice was priceless! I do speak Spanish fluently and I now live on the Eastern part of the island in an all Dominican neighborhood with my Dominican girlfriend and relatives, so I have had a chance to see things both from the Gringo point of view, as well as the Dominican one👍

Thanks so much for your advice.. I need to learn Spanish ASAP!!  Im sure that would help us tremendously   Im sure I will have many questions for you to come.   Thank you

All good information! There is absolutely NO intent to pain this as anything less than a developing nation!

Messagewhiz most of your comments are spot on and this part deserves its own thread.  Its isnt just about safety but about adapting to life here.

Police got a raise my friend and the entey salary is now close to 300US a month, still not enough but much better then it was. And to botes thousands make much less. Its no excuse to shake down anyone. But thats another topic!

Your input is always good, thanks!!!

Massagewiz, you took the words right out of my mouth...and you did it so delicately...:) Mlb, Massagewiz is just scratching the surface.  There is no such thing in DR "as I am a good person and stay out of trouble so those things don't apply to me...".  Even in the safest places you could be hunted down for your even a peso, by locals, police or who knows...  It's not to scare you but to prepare you.  I generally tell people to leave their delicate skin behind and put on an alligator skin because you will need it.  In time you can adapt but that all depends upon you.

Gotcha  DM     Be prepared for anything!!  Expect the worst and NEVER let your Guard Down.     We can do that !!   There are places here in the US like that.   All around us !!    Just try to stay out of the way  Right?

Good luck! My wife and I are going to Punta Cana for two months beginning in August for our exploratory visit and have been picking up a good number of tips here. Thank you all!

;) now out on your  :cool: and come join the fun!

I just brought property in BOCA CHICA in Santo Domingo, Hamaca beach resort hotel building condo's and I brought one. Three bedroom two car garage over looking the garden and pool side. I traveled to BELIVE RESORT several times over the years and this year that decided to build condo's which I will be using for property investment. Do you think this was smart investment. The resort will be renting when I can not be there.

Welcome.  A little late now to ask if good move or not.  Good luck

Bob K

Great info, thank you! We're moving to Punta Cana in January and are looking at places to rent. You said you can help with that?