Our hotel was literally right across from the Malecon and it was one of our favorite places just to... read more
It's a bit broad of a question as it really depends where you are. In the resort heavy areas like Punta Cana you are guided to stay at the resort (there are no local communities there until recently as it was literally... More
It's a bit broad of a question as it really depends where you are. In the resort heavy areas like Punta Cana you are guided to stay at the resort (there are no local communities there until recently as it was literally developed for resorts and now their employees have started living locally; as Dominicans say "no one is born in Punta Cana"). In the Capital, the Colonial Zone is extremely safe, well lit, and intended to be a safe zone for tourists to walk around at all hours. My wife and I never felt even the least bit concerned for safety. If you are leaving the Colonial Zone, then Uber is really easy and a safe way to travel, etc. The Malecon is not worth the concern. My in-laws (live in the Capital) say that even locals wont go there at night because of the "tigres" (young hoodlums) and that it really wasnt safe for tourists at night. We would take an Uber to any restaurants (like the Cave) that were worth going to outside the Colonial Zone. If you want the freedom to explore the DR in a safe way, I would recommend Samana. Beautiful beaches, more boutique style hotels and whatnot (less all you can eat boxed specials), and the locals were extremely friendly. My wife and I explored large parts of Samana on a "moto" and there were countless incidents of friendly locals giving us good directions, just saying hello (without trying to sell you anything, honestly just being friendly), or (in one instance) flagging us down to turn around as we we apparently going wayyyy off the beaten path (our first day there). Samana was really my favorite style DR (not a fan of all inclusive big resorts personally) coupled with the deep historical vibe and fun nightlife in Santo Domingo. To conclude, like most countries, it depends where you are.