safe dominican water

Well, that’s pretty much standard for most foreign travel and the Dominican Republic is no exception to the rule. However it goes a little further than that. You likewise need to be careful with anything washed that you will be eating and don’t forget that the fancy drink you sip on the beach likely has ice in it. Here are a few tips to help keep you away from the local clinic.

Water: Most of the larger motels and all-inclusive resorts are well aware of tourist sensitivity to the water and they don’t want you sick. If you are in a heavy tourist area and the restaurant or hotel is a larger one that caters to tourists, then the ice you get in your Piña Colada, Rum and Coke, etc. is likely safe. If in doubt ask them if they use bottled water for their ice.

Bottled water is extremely common here, you will find it in the stores and your hotel will likely have a water dispenser where you can get water. Do not drink the tap water no matter how nice the establishment is! When you order a coke you will often get a bottle,  however I do occasionally see  “on tap” coke machines , YOU NEED TO BE CAREFUL WITH THESE. On Tap machines use a carbonation bottle, a syrup bottle and then tap water. You will often see filters next to the machine where they filter out the water. Personally I won’t take the chance! I recommend you stick to the bottled soft drinks. On tap bear is safer, the beer comes from kegs where the beer was processed and sealed from the factory. Still, it’s most likely you will get your Presidente beer from a bottle.

Fruits and Vegetables: Another problem you need to be aware of is any of the uncooked vegetables washed in water. A very common side dish is sliced cabbage, which is the typical Dominican salad. When at home we careful soak our vegetables in a solution of water with a little bleach in it. I never trust that they take the same precautions. I know of too many people who have eaten at large all-inclusive resorts and have taken a chance with the salad only to find themselves visiting a clinic the next day.

Fruit is usually safe. The better establishments are usually careful to clean all their dishes with bleach and wash the outside of the fruit before cutting it so there is little chance of transferring bacteria to the food.

Cooked Foods: Likewise cooked food is usually safe. To be sure, it is good to order your eggs and your meats fully cooked, runny eggs and rare meat is inviting problems.

Finally: If you start to feel sick, or have sharp stomach pains it is good to have it checked out. There is usually a clinic nearby that can run a couple tests and treat you and the cost is very low. Waiting is usually not a good idea.