The Dominican Republic is Prepared for the 2017/2018 Tourist Season
After Hurricane Irma and Maria
The 2017 Hurricane season brought storm after storm straight through the Caribbean islands. After Hurricane Irma and Maria we have seen many people asking on Tripadvisor and Facebook about the travel status of the Dominican Republic. We are fortunate to report, the Dominican Republic is intact and will most likely remain that way as the rest of hurricane season blows through. Due to the unfortunate destruction of neighboring islands, the DR anticipates a significant increase in tourism during the Fall 2017/ Winter 2018 season.
In this article, we will list the Caribbean Islands affected by the storms. We hope to help by spreading the word to those willing to donate to the millions of people in need. But we also hope to inform everyone that the Dominican Republic is ready for travelers.
Islands Affected By The 2017 Hurricane Season
When the US lifted travel restrictions to Cuba, a surge of tourism flooded the country, thanks to cheap airfare and connections from Miami. After Hurricane Irma skirted along the north coast and ruined most of Havana, experts project it will take months to repair the country’s most famous city.
Sadly, Puerto Rico was even more deeply damaged by wind and floods. 100% of the island has been left without power after Hurricane Maria and is expected to stay that way for at least six months. The Dominican Republic is Puerto Rico’s closest neighbor, and we foresee many Puerto Rican refugees coming to our country for asylum as the island rebuilds.
Below you can find our Caribbean neighbors listed and categorized by level of damages:
“Devastated” meaning majorly affected and in need of lots of repairs.
“Moderate” meaning some damages.
“Unscathed” meaning the storms were felt, but there were no devastating effects.
“Unaffected” meaning the impacts of the storms were hardly felt at all.
- Anguilla- devastated
- Antigua- unscathed
- Barbuda- devastated
- The Bahamas – unscathed
- Cuba- devastated
- Dominica- devastated
- Dominican Republic- moderate
- Guadeloupe- devastated
- Jamaica- unaffected
- Martinique- unscathed
- Monserrat- unscathed
- Puerto Rico- devastated
- St. Barth- devastated
- St. Marteen/St.Martin- devastated
- St.Kits and Nevis- unscathed
- St. Lucia- unscathed
- Turks and Caicos- devastated
- The British and US Virgin Islands- devastated
We are lucky to live on an island in the Caribbean with a landscape that deters hurricanes. The Dominican Republic has three natural defenses against hurricanes:
- High mountain ranges whose varying temperatures and pressure systems weaken and steer hurricanes away.
- The Mona Straight between Puerto Rico and DR whose currents push storms north or south of us.
- The lay of the coral reefs along most of our coasts that help protect us from storm surges.
Our country has suffered damages due to past storms and always take necessary precautions to protect ourselves. Fortunately, the North Coast has not seen devastating damage in over 20 years.
The loss that is felt in the Dominican Republic when storms hit regrettably has a lot to do with the infrastructure of the poorest communities in our country. When a neighborhood is built mostly of cement blocks with tin roofs, it is extremely vulnerable to harm by hurricanes and even tropical storms. Nagua is an example of a coastal town in DR that saw trouble thanks to the storm surge. In tourist areas where structures are built to be hurricane proof, little to no ruin is left after storms. Villa Taina, for example, is located directly on the beach of Cabarete and we were fortunate only to have debris from trees to pick up after both Irma and Maria. You can read our post about how Cabarete, Dominican Republic survived Hurricane Irma to learn more about how we were affected.
Cabarete is a favorite destination in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic has long been a favorite travel destination for Europeans, North Americans, and South Americans. Due to the warm tropical climate year-round, beautiful landscape, rich culture, deep history, and cheap airfare, people keep coming back.
Fall and Winter in the Caribbean coincide with surf season. Although Cabarete is the most consistent spot in the country for wind and waves, we usually share the surf and kitesurf crowd market with Puerto Rico and Cuba. This season we anticipate more surfers and kitesurfers than in recent years, so the town as a whole is preparing.
The Caribbean islands are beautiful, and each one has its own culture and charm. As the peak of hurricane season comes to a close in September, we are happy and incredibly grateful to have only experienced moderate effects from the storms. Due to our helpful landscape that helps protect us from hurricanes, strong infrastructure in developed areas, and the heartbreaking fact that our neighbors are in reconstruction, the Dominican Republic is forecast to be the Top Caribbean Travel Destination for Fall 2017/Winter 2018.Here are a few charities that we know and trust in some of the effected islands: Virgin Unite BVI, and Waves For Water Please link to your favorite local charity for any of the affected areas in the comments and we will add them to this post. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions that you think we can answer to make your holiday travel smoother.