Topics include Dining Scene, Dominican Republic: For Foreign Visitors & more!
Crime in Puerto Plata tends to be low because it is a heavily visited tourist area. Some general tips apply, such as never leaving valuables behind in an accommodation or unlocked car, and avoiding walking alone at night. Tourists would be well advised also to keep a low profile in more remote areas especially to avoid being targeted for theft or crime. However, the Dominican Republic is generally a safe place to travel.
Some health concerns arise over water and food safety. The Dominican Republic has improved its water filtration over the last few years, so tap water is considered safe, but bottled water is easily found for those who wish to remain cautious. Strict restaurant guidelines are enforced to avoid spoiled buffets and safe food is available at all tourist-oriented restaurants.
No particular vaccinations are required for travel to Puerto Plata but it is advised that tourists bring mosquito repellent and perhaps purchase a mosquito net or racket as the mosquito's can be quite bothersome. Dengue fever is a minor concern and seen in the Public Health Agency of Canada as a Level 2 - Practice Special Precautions. Tourists are advised to buy travel medical insurance before traveling to Puerto Plata. Ideally insurance should cover the specific destination and emergency expenses such as emergency evacuation. It is helpful to find out whether the insurance company will make payment on the traveler’s behalf or if it will reimburse expenses after the fact, as many health care facilities require payment up front.
Puerto Plata has good hospitals and private health care facilities with staff that understand English and often other foreign languages. Ambulance services are provided through Movi-Med, operating out of Puerto Plata. Many of the larger resorts and hotels will have a doctor on staff to treat minor problems, and usually offer service in English as well as other languages.
Due to changes in climate, cuisine, time zone, excessive exposure to the sun, alcohol consumption and the sheer excitement of a vacation in Puerto Plata, some travelers will find themselves more vulnerable to illnesses. Common complaints include upset stomach, diarrhea and sunstroke. Most of these ailments are not serious. A good piece of advice to follow is to take things slowly, adjusting to the difference and the excitement of the new place gradually to ensure that a fun vacation is not spoiled by illness. Rest and a lot of water will help make the transition smoother.