Are there sharks in the Dominican Republic?

los-patos-barahona-republica-dominicana

Are there sharks in the Dominican Republic? Is it safe to swim in the waters surrounding this country? Have there been any accidents caused by sharks in the Dominican Republic? Sharks Dominican Republic – check out the most important information on this topic.


The Dominican Republic has become one of the most popular holiday destinations in recent years. The country, located on the island of Hispaniola, is surrounded by beautiful blue waters and has access to many sandy beaches. The Caribbean climate favors swimming in warm waters, but from time to time I am asked whether there is a risk of a shark attack in the Dominican Republic? What is the situation with sharks in this country? I will try to explain this topic to you.

cayo-arena-republica-dominicana
Cayo Arena – Dominican Republic 2023

What sharks are there in the Dominican Republic?

cayo-arena-republica-dominicana
Cayo Arena – Dominican Republic 2023

First, it is worth considering what sharks occur in the Caribbean waters surrounding the Dominican Republic. The three most common species of sharks are tiger sharks, hammerhead sharks and Caribbean sharks. Other sharks that may occur in the waters of the Caribbean region include nurse sharks (in the Dominican Republic often called ‘tiburón gato’ – cat shark), lemon sharks and whale sharks.

It is worth remembering that sharks, like most animals, are afraid of humans and will avoid humans unprovoked.

Where are the sharks in the Dominican Republic?

los-patos-barahona-republica-dominicana
Los Patos, Barahona – Dominican Republic 2023

The wide coral reef that surrounds the country is mainly responsible for the very rare occurrence of sharks in the waters surrounding the Dominican Republic. This is a natural barrier that makes it difficult for sharks to get closer to the coast. Even though sharks like to visit shallow waters, they generally have no way to get to the other side of the reef, closer to land. An interesting fact is that in the Caribbean region, shark attacks on people are very rare. Most sharks found in this region are not aggressive towards humans unless provoked. These sharks mainly feed on other animals that swim in groups – fish, seals, and sometimes dolphins.

Unfortunately, the destruction of the natural barrier, the coral reef, may contribute to sharks getting to the other side of the reef more often.

Are there sharks around Punta Cana?

playa-punta-rucia-republica-dominicana
Playa Punta Rucia – Dominican Republic 2023
bahia-de-las-aguilas-republica-dominicana
Bahía de las Águilas, Pedernales – Dominican Republic 2023

As I have already mentioned, various species of sharks live in the waters surrounding the Dominican Republic, but their occurrence near the shore is very rare. This is due to the coral reef, which is a natural barrier against sharks. No one can guarantee that a stray shark will not visit the beach in the Punta Cana area during your stay, but these are very rare cases. If they do happen, most people record this unusual “phenomenon” with their smartphone. There are many recordings of this type on the Internet. In such a situation, remember not to get too close to the animal, do not irritate it or fish it out of the water.

When visiting Punta Cana, enjoy your stay in this place and don’t forget to use creams with SPF and proper hydration. You can read more about the beaches in the Punta Cana region in a separate entry.

Do shark attacks occur in the Dominican Republic?

playa-punta-rucia-republica-dominicana
Playa Punta Rucia – Dominican Republic 2023
bahia-de-las-aguilas-republica-dominicana
Bahía de las Águilas, Pedernales – Dominican Republic 2023

Over the last two centuries, there have been only seven shark attacks on humans in the Dominican Republic, including victims of the Puerto Plata plane crash (1996) and the Mona Strait liner disaster (1987). In both cases, sharks attacked the bodies of survivors. Of the remaining five attacks, only two were fatal.

Shark tracking sites

el-paraiso-barahona-republica-dominicana
El Paraiso, Barahona – Dominican Republic 2023
playa-punta-rucia-republica-dominicana
Playa Punta Rucia – Dominican Republic 2023

I think that a website that allows you to track sharks may be quite interesting for those interested in the occurrence of sharks in the Dominican Republic. Of course, these are not all animals, only those that have been microchipped. It’s definitely an interesting thing, and it’s worth seeing how these majestic creatures move around the globe.

What to watch out for – sea currents

cayo-arena-republica-dominicana
Cayo Arena – Dominican Republic 2023

On the topic of sharks, it is also worth mentioning, a real threat that kills over 100 people every year in the United States alone. We are talking about sea currents, which are water movements caused by winds, temperature changes, salinity and the Earth’s rotation. The most dangerous is certainly the reverse current (or dead current), which appears near the shore and stretches deeper into the sea/ocean. Remember not to fight the current and force yourself to swim to the shore. Stay calm and swim along the shore until you are out of the current. An alternative may be to float freely in the water, as currents often sweep carried away objects onto the shore.

bahia-de-las-aguilas-republica-dominicana
Bahía de las Águilas, Pedernales – Dominican Republic 2023

To sum up the topic of sharks in the Dominican Republic, do not worry about the visit of these animals close to the shore and enjoy your rest. If you are going diving, fishing in open waters or want to take part in other water activities, always listen to the advice of your instructor or guide.

***

In the Dominicana tab you can find more useful information and recommendations about this country.


I love sharing my travels, experiences, thoughts and self-tested advices. A travel blog is also a bit of work that I do drinking coffee.

If you want to buy me a coffee, I’d be very pleased!

America Dominicana

Dominican Republic and sockets. Do I need a socket adapter?

Electricity Dominican Republic – what is it like? Do I need a socket adapter in the Dominican Republic? I invite...
Read More
America Dominicana

Are there sharks in the Dominican Republic?

Are there sharks in the Dominican Republic? Is it safe to swim in the waters surrounding this country? Have there...
Read More
America Dominicana

Where to snorkel in Dominicana? | Catalina Island

Virgin Catalina Island. Do you want to know how to get to Catalina Island? What can you do on Catalina...
Read More
America Dominicana

Montana Redonda in the Dominican Republic | How to get there?

How to get to the famous Montana Redonda? Is it worth visiting this place? How can you spend time on...
Read More
America Dominicana

Is it worth to visit Saona Island in the Dominican Republic?

Are you planning a holiday on the Saona? Do you want to find out how to get to the Saona...
Read More
America Dominicana

Where to buy a SIM card in the Dominican Republic?

If you are looking for the information about a best SIM card Dominican Republic — you are in the right...
Read More
America Costa Rica

Where to spend a night in Costa Rica?

If you are looking for accommodation in Costa Rica - you are in the right place! This post will introduce...
Read More
America Costa Rica

Costa Rica and food | The best restaurants

Costa Rica restaurants - what restaurants in Costa Rica are available in this country. Which dish is a national one?...
Read More
America Costa Rica

The Waterfall Gardens and La Paz Waterfall

Where is Waterfall Gardens park and La Paz waterfall located? What can be done there, and what attractions await the...
Read More
America Costa Rica

What is worth to see in Puerto Viejo?

What is worth to see in Puerto Viejo? What does Jaguar Rescue Center and Ara Manzanilla do? What trips are...
Read More
America Costa Rica

Cahuita National Park: prices, tickets, opening hours

Where is Cahuita National Park located? Which animals can be spotted there? How much is the park admission fee? Is...
Read More
America Costa Rica

How to plan a trip to Tortuguero National Park?

How to get to Tortuguero National Park? Which animals can be spotted there? How much is the trip around the...
Read More
America Costa Rica

What to do in La Fortuna?

What is worth seeing in La Fortuna? Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna Waterfall - how to get there and how...
Read More
America Costa Rica

Is it worth to see the Tenorio Volcano National Park?

Check out the most important information about Tenorio Volcano National Park. How much is the entry fee, and how long...
Read More
America Costa Rica

Monteverde in Costa Rica | cloud forest, hanging bridges and butterfly garden

What is worth to see in Monteverde? The cloud forest, hanging bridges and Butterfly Garden in Santa Elena. Check out...
Read More
America Costa Rica

Is it worth to visit The Corcovado National Park?

Corcovado National Park is one of the most untouched by human parks in Costa Rica. How to plan a trip...
Read More
America Costa Rica

Is it worth to visit Manuel Antonio National Park?

Is it worth to visit Manuel Antonio National Park? How to prepare to visit this park? How much time you...
Read More
America Costa Rica

Costa Rica: trip plan, tours, sightseeing, attractions

If you are looking for a verified trip plan to Costa Rica — you are in the right place! Check...
Read More
America Costa Rica

Where to buy a SIM card in Costa Rica?

Where to buy a SIM card in Costa Rica? Is it possible to buy a SIM card at the airport?...
Read More
America Costa Rica

Where to exchange currency in Costa Rica?

Currency Costa Rica. What is the currency of Costa Rica? Is it better to take US dollars or Euros to...
Read More