Hilton La Romana
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

5 Reasons to Go to the Dominican Republic Now

Ahh…the calm warm azure waters of the Caribbean Sea…the frosty cold tropical drink by poolside…palm trees swaying in the tropical trade winds…they all evoke a relaxing escape from everyday life; and the Dominican Republic comes to mind for many people as the destination that foots the bill…

5 Reasons to Go to the Dominican Republic Now

Hilton La Romana
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…and some of the reasons which tend to keep people away — now including a recent new potential threat — may very well be the reasons why you should consider packing your bags and heading down to the Dominican Republic now.

1. Resorts are Not as Busy at This Time of Year

Hilton La Romana
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

May through November is considered the slow season in the Dominican Republic — although a spike may occur during July and August due to families with children who are off from school for summer vacation. One reason is because people in the northern hemisphere tend to not want to escape the heat and humidity for a place known for its — well — heat and humidity…

…but many resort properties await guests in the Dominican Republic all year round. Issues may occur during the slow season — such as possible renovations which may temporarily close a part of the resort property; and a fraction of the restaurants may remain open as others close due to significantly fewer guests.

2. Hurricane Season Begins June 1 Annually

Hilton La Romana
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Every year, hurricane season starts on June 1; and yes, a hurricane forming prior to that date is indeed possible and has occurred.

Although Hurricane Maria did affect the Dominican Republic in September of 2017 and Hurricane Irma posed a formidable threat just prior to Maria, the last hurricane to directly impact the Caribbean nation was Hurricane George back in 1998, which is 21 years ago.

In June and approximately the first half of July, hurricanes typically form in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean because the water is warmer than in the Atlantic Ocean; and hurricanes need warm water to form and survive. While a hurricane forming near the Dominican Republic and impacting it is indeed possible, the chances of that happening are rare.

Yes, keep an eye on the weather reports if you decide to head over to the Dominican Republic during the hurricane season — and remember that despite the historic infrequency, the best chances of a hurricane impacting the country is between early August through the middle of October.

3. Much of the Dominican Republic is Still Safe Despite Recent News

This is ironically the main reason why you should consider visiting the Dominican Republic. The media has a tendency to potentially blow an issue out of proportion once it focuses on it. In this case, at least nine people have inexplicably died recently at several resort properties in the Dominican Republic, with reports of dozens more who became ill. As a result, people have been having second thoughts about the trips they booked to the Dominican Republic, fearing that they may become the next victims.

Yes, the deaths should be investigated and the sources should be identified, and every effort should be given all available resources possible to prevent another death from occurring, consider that thousands of visitors are vacationing in the Dominican Republic on any given day — and nothing has happened to them.

You stand a substantially better chance of being killed in a car accident on your way to the airport than mysteriously dying in the Dominican Republic.

4. Favorable Exchange Rate

Hilton La Romana
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

At 50.62 Dominican pesos to the United States dollar as of Thursday, June 20, 2019, the exchange rate is the most favorable since Friday, February 6, 2004 — greater than 15 years ago — and that means that American citizens get more for their money. The euro and other currencies have enjoyed a similarly favorable exchange rate. The Dominican Republic should be considered if you want to travel on a reasonably inexpensive budget.

5. The People are Friendly and Helpful

Hilton La Romana
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

A simple ¡hola! goes a long way in the Dominican Republic, where the people are generally more than happy to ensure that you and other visitors are welcomed warmly to their country. They will usually do what they can to help you if you have a question, a problem or an issue.


Hilton La Romana
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

How do I know all of this? I checked into the Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Adult Only Resort in the Dominican Republic earlier this month; and I intend to impart my experience in a future article. At the time this article was written, you can book a reservation at this resort property at only $141.00 per night, which includes all taxes, fees and gratuities — and by my experience, you will receive your money’s worth. You will not be hit with that mandatory resort fee garbage at this resort property…

…and when I arrived, I felt at times like I had the entire resort property to myself. The place was that empty. That was the main impetus which prompted me to write this article. Why can’t you come on down and enjoy a similar experience at any resort property which you choose?

Although that does not mean I am an expert — I generally eschew using that term for the reasons cited here — but I am simply imparting my recent experience in the Dominican Republic; and the reasons are rather similar to 6 reasons why I suggested that you consider traveling to Egypt four years ago…

…so if you are thinking of traveling to the Dominican Republic — or already have plans to go — now could be an opportunity for you to go ahead with those plans.

All photographs ©2019 by Brian Cohen.


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  1. We will pass. I guess our feeling is that if all other things are equal, meaning you can find similar accommodation, rates, service, etc, at another island, then why go. We’re of the mindset that there is something wrong, which is an opinion at this point, and contradicts the DR’s Ministry of Tourism statement that nothing is amiss. If these issues are intended or not, it just seems like the country lacks the infrastructure and government resources to get to root cause. If 11 people were to die on an island in the US or any vacation destination, there would be a huge shutdown of services and a massive investigation, which is what we would demand as a population. Have fun to those that choose to go!!

    1. There is absolutely nothing wrong with exercising caution, Mike; and I appreciate the thoughtful comment.

      While I realize that what is happening in the Dominican Republic is unusual, I do not believe that any place exists which is perfectly safe.

      Yes, plenty of other destinations exist worldwide at which you can experience similar conditions safely.

      As for the investigation, I am not sure exactly how the government of the Dominican Republic is handling it. Could the country be doing better with the resources it has? Sure. I do not think too many people would disagree with that. However, some people might suggest that the example which you posed for an island in the United States might be considered overkill. I suppose that depends on the viewpoint of each person.

      You ultimately have to do what is right for yourself.

  2. Thank you for advocating for the DR. You must come, see and enjoy than judge as Brian has done. A few isolated events in a country that receives over 6 million tourists a year does not make it unsafe. Go to DR have a Presidente beer by the pool or beach and forget about your troubles and the media.

  3. Tip#1 – BYOB, people are literally dying from drinking the tainted liquor. Go and enjoy but be careful of what you ingest

    1. That is excellent advice, Sailor Jerry. Thank you.

      I do not drink alcoholic beverages; but I still try to watch what I ingest — no matter where I go.

  4. This article dumb as fuck and I’ll advised.

    Another American was found dead there yesterday. Maybe you don’t keep up with stuff cause your old but their putting shit in alcohol that mixes with ice and makes like a slime or mush in your insides causing you to get ill and die. This is happening in resorts… but yeah advise people go to DR you dumb ass.

    1. …and if I wrote an article that readers must stay away from the Dominican Republic because of what is happening, you would have likely posted an anonymous profanity-filled name-calling grammatically incorrect rant about how the article is too sensational and how I am needlessly scaring people even more.

      Unlike you, at least I have the guts to not be anonymous; and I stand by what I wrote — but I am sure no one has died in years from anything where you are based, which is a happy fairy tale land filled with sunshine, rainbows and candy where everyone is completely safe…


  5. We’ve been traveling to the DR for a couple of decades, and are heading back again in two weeks. The reality is that there are issues on other Caribbean islands, as well, but their governments and resorts do a better job at masking them. We once had an issue at a Sandals resort, and when it was addressed, we were also asked to sign a confidentiality statement, which prohibited us from taking any further action, including disclosure.

    Keep in mind that there are some very inexpensive resorts in the DR, as the result of overbuilding, IMO. As such, the clientele can be spotty at best. While many Europeans and South Americans visit the DR, it’s interesting that it’s generally us Americans that experience difficulties.

  6. I hadn’t realized that the prices were that low for the Hilton. Without spoiling a future review, could you say what you thought of the place, particularly the food? Most all-inclusives have pretty mediocre food, the Hyatt Zilara Montego Bay being an outstanding exception.

    1. I thought the food was good generally, Christian; but there is an experience with which you can pay as much as $120.00 extra for lobster with wine on a private deck along the shore of the Caribbean Sea, which is definitely worth it — and there are less expensive options as well. I do not drink wine, though.

      Rates may be inexpensive now because the family version of the resort is completely closed and currently under extensive renovation; and the adult version is open but should be fully renovated by this time next year. That could mean higher rates; but then, that could also mean an even better experience than the one I enjoyed.

      This gives me an opportunity to finally write those trip reports about the three all-inclusive resort properties in Egypt four years ago and compare them to the one in the Dominican Republic — at least one of which has since left the Hilton brand. Initially, Hilton seems to be upping the all-inclusive experience; but I have to gather my thoughts in my reviews.

      Unless you are paying for a luxury experience, one does not expect great food at an all-inclusive resort — but I had my selections as to what was very good. For example, tuna steaks prepared a few different ways — but I did not care for the sushi.

      More to come. I have a lot to write about; and plenty of photographs to include…

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