The Best Way to Visit the Dominican Republic Right Now


The Dominican Republic is one of only 18 destinations listed at a Level 2 or lower on the U.S. State Department’s four-tier travel advisory scale as of mid-October.

Both the State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued Level 2 advisories for the Caribbean destination, with the former encouraging travelers to exercise increased caution due to the pandemic and the latter warning of a moderate level of COVID-19 in the country.

For added peace of mind when visiting the Dominican Republic right now, travelers should consider two things, including working with a trusted travel advisor and staying at an all-inclusive resort.

An experienced travel advisor can answer any questions or concerns you may have from start to finish and help you settle on the ideal destination within the Dominican, whether it be tourist-friendly beach destinations like Punta Cana, La Romana, and Puerto Plata, or elsewhere. These professionals can also steer you toward the right accommodations to suit your needs and preferences. First-time visitors unfamiliar with the destination will likely feel most comfortable staying in an all-inclusive property offering diverse amenities, dining, and entertainment on-site.

Many of these resort properties also offer convenient on-site COVID-19 testing so guests can quickly and easily secure proof of a negative result to board their flight home to the United States or any other country requiring a negative coronavirus test result for re-entry.

It should also be noted that travelers will need to complete an electronic ticket application to generate a special QR code ahead of both arrival in and departure from the Dominican Republic. However, visitors do not need a negative test or proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to gain entry.

One all-inclusive with a tremendous reputation that I can recommend from firsthand experience this fall is the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, which recently debuted renovated guest rooms and suites and a brand new culinary offering in The Market Food Hall. At 1,775 rooms, the property is the largest standalone resort in the country and is home to the Dominican’s largest casino at 45,000 square feet. Boasting nine specialty restaurants, 23 bars and lounges, 13 pools including a trio of swim-up bars, a kids pool and lazy river, a 60-square-foot spa and an 18-hole Nicklaus-designed championship golf course, this beachfront offering is tough to beat, especially for travelers looking to remain on-site amid the pandemic.

Nonetheless, the Hard Rock is just one of many excellent all-inclusive options for visitors to this beautiful country. Those seeking a stellar adults-only escape will want to consider properties like Sanctuary Cap Cana and the Hilton La Romana, for example. The latter also offers an adjacent family-friendly resort.

While an all-inclusive resort stay can’t paint a complete picture of all that this spectacular destination has to offer, including its many striking natural wonders and the fulfilling cultural experiences available in places like Santo Domingo, it’s an excellent starting point for first-time visitors eyeing a stress-free vacation in the time of COVID-19.