Objective Info. on Caribbean Wanted

Old Jul 19th, 1999, 12:36 AM
Decent Tropical
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Objective Info. on Caribbean Wanted

I am trying to find objective info. on the crime and health risks of travelling to the Caribbean as well as the quality of the medical facilities in respective locations. I am especially interested in the following islands:


Puerto Rico

Dominican Republic


U.S. Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands




The only websites I have found so far with such info. are Lonely Planet (http://www.lonelyplanet.com) and the State Dept. (http://travel.state.gov/travel_warnings.html) and CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/travel) sites. None of these lists list such info. for all of the islands and the information they do list is often incomplete and even contradictory.

Some examples:

Lonely Planet lists "Dengue fever, sunburn, diarrhea and intestinal parasites" as the health risks for Grenada and makes no mention of crime while the State Dept.'s "Consular Information Sheet" for Grenada warns of armed robbery and other theft.

The CDC Website says, "Generally, there is a low risk of acquiring dengue during travel to tropical areas except during periods of epidemic transmission. Dengue outbreaks have occurred with increasing frequency in recent years in most countries of the Tropics." and then goes on to list all of the Caribbean, with the exception of Cuba and The Cayman Islands, as one of the areas of highest risk. On the other hand, Lonely Planet lists Dengue fever for some of the islands but not for others, such as The U.S.V.I. and the British V.I. for which only "sunburn" is listed as a health risk.

The crime warnings on the State Dept.'s "Consular Information Sheets" do not seem to be put into any type of relative perspective so it is hard to determine the actual level of risk.

I am also interested in knowing of resources for general objective information about the Caribbean. It goes without saying that the overtly promotional websites and publications are not objective but it seems to me that many of the "independent" websites and publications, such as Lonely Planet, Fodor's and Frommer's tend to minimize and/or omit many of the negatives.
Old Jul 19th, 1999, 06:29 AM
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You are picturing problems where there are none or very few. If you are that concerned, don't go to the Carribean.

I have been going since the early 80's and have never had a problem. I have been to St. Martin, St. Barth, Guadeloupe, Martinique and all over the Bahamas.

With your concerns, it sounds like the Carribean is just not for you.
Old Jul 19th, 1999, 06:58 AM
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Sure, there are health risks of going to ANY foreign country, but for the most part, they are remote. I've never heard of anyone contracting Dengue Fever on a Caribbean vacation! I live in Texas, and supposedly, we're a high risk for Rabies here. But do I know anyone that has contracted it, or even had a pet contract it? No.

Keep in mind that Puerto Rico and the USVI are a part of the US, so good medical care isn't hard to find there.

Also keep in mind that you cannot drink the water in the Dominican Republic, even to brush your teeth. (One of my qualifications for a resort!)

The CDC and State Department Travel Advisories are the best sources for this sort of information. I recommend their webapges, as that's what we used.
Old Jul 19th, 1999, 01:27 PM
Decent Tropical
Posts: n/a
Tweedy: I am not "picturing any problems". I am merely trying to educate myself so I can make an informed decison. My post spoke very well for itself. Sorry that you didn't comprehend it.

Christie: Thank you.

Old Jul 19th, 1999, 03:43 PM
Posts: n/a

Re: Dominican Republic.
I think it depends whether you are staying in a resort area or travelling to the interior. My Doctor told me that there was no need for shots/precautions out of the ordinary as we were staying in a resort area. If you are "roughing it" in the interior you need shots!
I've been twice to Puerto Plata, D.R. and I've never had a problem with crime in the Puerto Plata area.
The resort I stayed at had bottled water outside your room in your hacienda - I didn't get sick.
Hope this helps? By the way both times we were two single females and I felt very safe.

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