Local laws and customs

Don’t become involved with illegal drugs of any kind. There are severe penalties for all drug offences. Cases can take several years to go through the judicial process, during which the accused person is likely to be held in detention. Possession of even small quantities can lead to a long prison sentence and a hefty fine. All sentences are served in the Dominican Republic.

Seizures at ports and airports around the Dominican Republic have increased. Pack your own luggage and do not carry anything through customs for anyone else.

The Dominican Republic is a Christian country with prominent Catholic and evangelical communities.

Public displays of affection (such as hand-holding or kissing) between opposite or same-sex couples are uncommon.

Local attitudes towards the LGBT community are mostly conservative throughout the Caribbean. Although same-sex sexual relations are legal in the Dominican Republic, same-sex marriages are not legally recognised. LGBT travellers should be mindful of local attitudes and be aware that public displays of affection may attract unwanted and negative attention. Nearly all Dominican hotels welcome LGBT clients, although confirmation with booking agents is advised. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.