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Thread: How Dangerous can is Santo Domingo Really?

  1. #1
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    Default How Dangerous can is Santo Domingo Really?

    I have heard horror stories about how Dangerous Santo Domingo can be and how tourist are scare to visit the city..But Im also very aware the media always exagerates...for those of you who have been there...if you use common sense(like no jelewry,lots of money on you ext ext)..and dont go off to dangerous parts of town...should one be ok?
    Or is it still very danegrous after taking common sense precautions?and should be avoided?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JC171
    I have heard horror stories about how Dangerous Santo Domingo can be and how tourist are scare to visit the city..But Im also very aware the media always exagerates...for those of you who have been there...if you use common sense(like no jelewry,lots of money on you ext ext)..and dont go off to dangerous parts of town...should one be ok?
    Or is it still very danegrous after taking common sense precautions?and should be avoided?
    I dont think it is really that dangerous. I mean if it was that dangerous people would not visit the place. If you avoid dark alleys at night you should be ok. try not to travel at night alone.

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    Default Some rules of thumb . . .

    I general, travel should not be done at night (multiple reasons for this).
    Try to get home (or to your home area) by night.
    Better to travel with dominicans that know (and that you know and trust) the area rather that in a full group of tourist. Day time is generally safe, but try to talk to some locals when you get there, more you talk more you'll understand.

    -Lee

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    I just spent one week in Santo Domingo as a tourist and nothing happened to me. Most parts of Santo Domingo don't see lots of tourists though, therefore my advice: When you leave your hotel or appartment, always be aware of what you look like: Do you look like a tourist (camera, shorts, backpack and other typical tourist stuff) or do you not and could you pass for a white dominican or expat living there?
    If you know you look like a tourist: 1/ avoid wandering off to places which are not used to seeing tourists, 2/ avoid places that are empty or half-deserted, you are safer in a crowd, and 3/ at night stick to the places you know.
    The only time I felt a bit unsafe was when I strolled through Parque Mirador Sur on my own on a sunny afternoon. The park was almost empty except for some groups of young dominicans hanging around who could have robbed me if they wanted to. But I was dressed in a nice shirt and trousers with my things in a plastic bag instead of in a tourist backpack and all they did was ask me for the time. They must have thought I was a resident.
    Bartolomeo

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    Talking

    I see tourist all over the place in Santo Domingo what do you mean horror stories? take the same precautions you take while visiting New York, Miami, LA or other major city crime rate is way lower down here.

    USE COMMONSENSE AND YOU'LL BE ALRIGHT.

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    Default Safe Enough

    Quote Originally Posted by Bartolomeo67
    The only time I felt a bit unsafe was when I strolled through Parque Mirador Sur on my own on a sunny afternoon. The park was almost empty except for some groups of young dominicans hanging around who could have robbed me if they wanted to. But I was dressed in a nice shirt and trousers with my things in a plastic bag instead of in a tourist backpack and all they did was ask me for the time. They must have thought I was a resident.
    Bartolomeo
    Is it just possible that the idea of robbing you never crossed their minds because they were just kids hanging out in the park and not cutthroats plotting to rob tourists? No offense meant, since it's always wise to err on the side of caution when in an unfamiliar place.

    On my recent trip (my first) to the DR I spent three days in Santo Domingo. For the first two I stuck to the Zona Colonial and El Conde. On the last day I felt like I wanted to see a bit more of the city, so I walked around through some different neighborhoods. Being in a strange city in a strange country, my wariness level was on high. What I noticed though, was that the local folks pretty much paid me no mind, even though I was the only gringo around and obviously a tourist. I concluded that Santo Domingo is probably as safe as any large city in the US or anywhere else. As stated above, take the same precautions you would in Boston, Toronto, Rome, etc.

    Now the scams and ripoffs, that's a whole other story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor Laszlo
    Is it just possible that the idea of robbing you never crossed their minds because they were just kids hanging out in the park and not cutthroats plotting to rob tourists? No offense meant, since it's always wise to err on the side of caution when in an unfamiliar place.

    On my recent trip (my first) to the DR I spent three days in Santo Domingo. For the first two I stuck to the Zona Colonial and El Conde. On the last day I felt like I wanted to see a bit more of the city, so I walked around through some different neighborhoods. Being in a strange city in a strange country, my wariness level was on high. What I noticed though, was that the local folks pretty much paid me no mind, even though I was the only gringo around and obviously a tourist. I concluded that Santo Domingo is probably as safe as any large city in the US or anywhere else. As stated above, take the same precautions you would in Boston, Toronto, Rome, etc.

    Now the scams and ripoffs, that's a whole other story.

    Santo domingo is no as dangerous as people think it is. I have been there many times since i was 19 yrs old, and never had problems. I mean just play safe and go out with people. I mean nothing happens when you travel in small groups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor Laszlo
    Is it just possible that the idea of robbing you never crossed their minds because they were just kids hanging out in the park and not cutthroats plotting to rob tourists? No offense meant, since it's always wise to err on the side of caution when in an unfamiliar place.
    Let me explain to you where my concern came from:
    Earlier this year I was assaulted on a half-deserted Brazilian beach by 3 young men who I saw playing soccer with their friends just before that. I also thought they were just a bunch of innocent youngsters having fun. The difference was that I did look like a tourist-going-to-the-beach that time. I can tell you, once it happened to you, you recognize similar situations very quickly. But I agree with you that in the DR, kids and other locals usually don't pay attention to gringos passing by.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartolomeo67
    Let me explain to you where my concern came from:
    Earlier this year I was assaulted on a half-deserted Brazilian beach by 3 young men who I saw playing soccer with their friends just before that. I also thought they were just a bunch of innocent youngsters having fun. The difference was that I did look like a tourist-going-to-the-beach that time. I can tell you, once it happened to you, you recognize similar situations very quickly. But I agree with you that in the DR, kids and other locals usually don't pay attention to gringos passing by.
    To all visitors to all countries.
    Always make use of Travellers Cheques.
    Use hotel security safe to keep your cheques. Keep the numbers separate.
    Never change more than you need for a few days.
    Never display cameras, jewellery or cash.
    Never change money on the street.
    If a stranger asks where you are staying, change the subject.
    Most Dominicans very friendly and helpful, as are residents in other countries.
    Take care and enjoy this sunny country and return...Canadian Bob (20 years here escaping the winters)

  10. #10
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    Santo Domingo is not just safe, but pleasant and a wonderful place to live.

    Sure, the power interruptions and the traffic are a neusance, but the reality is that power outages are easily fixed with a "planta" or are taken in stride and the traffic has a sense of gamesmenship!

    What's left is a city with strong culture allure, rich historic sites, wonderful tree lined streets, and an urban culture and nightlife to rival any major city in the world.

    When it comes to crimes, its very safe. Sure, the newspapers show a couple of crimes that are commited everyday somewhere in town, but these are only a couple of crimes in a city that is home to more than 3 million people and at any given time has a few thousand tourists!

    If this is your first time in SDQ, I suggest you stay in one of the large Malecon Hotels (ie. Jaragua, V Centenario, as of Jan 2005 the Hilton Santo Domingo). These hotels are close to the major tourist sites in the Colonial Zone and Gascue neighborhoods and they have everything you could ask for.

    For example, you could spend the day exploring the colonial zone. In the evenings you head back to your hotel and freshen up and then go down to the ground floor and pick your entertainment or dining option (many of these hotels have tons of restaurants, shops, casinos, within their premises. The Hilton will be attached to the newest and most luxurious shopping mall in the City, Malecon Center). After having a nice night fun, all you have to do is hop on the elevator and off to your room you go, not worrying of any petty theft, etc.

    Overall, the Dominican capital is very safe, varied, and exciting. The only down side is that there is no beach to speak of here, the nearest patch of heavenly white sand is 30 minutes east of the city. Anyhow, the city offers so much (from expansive botanical gardens to unique shops to interesting museums to some of the most expressive people you will ever meet) that the desire for that patch of sand may not be as urgent as initially thought.

    Come and enjoy!

    To help you plan your stay (and during your stay), refer to this link...
    http://www.dominicanrepublic.com/santodomingo/
    Last edited by NALs; 12-28-2004 at 04:41 PM.

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