Punta Cana - Bavaro Real Estate, Vacation Rentals & Property Management 
Maria Williams Plaza Artistica 2-2
Av. Alemania
El Cortectio
Bavaro - Punta Cana, LA 23000
Cell: 1-829-274-1637
Work Phone: 1-809-362-7935
Email Maria


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WRITTEN BY MARIA WILLIAMS: Broker- Co-owner of Reliable Realty SRL in El Cortecito, Bavaro, Punta Cana Dominican Republic. Consultant to N. American investors with Ongoing episodes on HGTV Caribbean Life, and locally, ESTV and Punta Cana TV (Punta Cana Homes). Writer of Punta Cana Revealed 2010 - 2015) - SOLD OUT!  Pioneer in Punta Cana/ Bavaro area since 2008 and considered by others as an influencer to the rapid exposure and growth of this area.   

GREAT NEWS!  In addition to Punta Cana/ Bavaro being one of the safest (crime wise) destinations in the Caribbean, the East coast is also one of the safest protected Islands in the Caribbean. 

The unique combination of Punta Cana and Bavaro's ideal East coast geographic location and atmospheric conditions have historically shown the East Coast of the Dominican Republic has the least amount of hurricane risk when comparing other Caribbean destinations, including the U.S. coastlines.

Late June, through November is typically hurricane season in the Caribbean, with September historically being the peak month for the storms. 

However, it is true... On September 19, 2017, the East Coast of Punta Cana / Bavaro did get sideswiped with "Maria", a category 3 Hurricane.  I'm personally not happy the name "Maria" was chosen... but what can you do?   See our Media page, Punta Cana Homes TV show premiering shortly after Hurricane Maria.

Several U.S. news stations reported this area was destroyed; they are wrong.  Rather the very small country (Island) of Dominica was hammered Not Dominican Republic.  Often, when people hear "Dominica", they assume this is the Dominican Republic.  Dominica is located near Guadalupe.  750 sq. meters (290 sq. miles) V.S. the Dominican Republic, of 48,671 sq. meters (18,792 sq. miles); the 2nd largest Island, next to Cuba in the Caribbean.

Yes, Tropical Storm Fiona (Sept. 18, 2022) surprised everyone here by picking up momentum after sweeping Puerto Rico and quickly changing from a Tropical Storm to a catagory 2 hurricane.  Especially surprising was its change of course heading SW and changing direction NE, thus running straight through the Eastern part of the Dominican Republic. Most all billboard signs were destroyed.  Several trees came down.  However, the worse damages occured in Higuey (further inland), then in Samana (North Coast).  Smaller villages near the coastline and rivers were flooded.  2 lives lost from a fallen electrical pole, and fallen tree.

Hurricane Maria, in September of 2017, left her mark, but differently.  The East Coast was slightly affected by tail of this hurricane catagory 3, that swept the North East coastlines.  In Bavaro. Punta Cana, there were some downed trees / broken branches, fallen metal fences used during new construction, destroyed road signs (billboards).  There were also some downed electrical wires, as well as some flooded low-lying roads (but still passable). 

Clean up after both storms occurred immediately, and electricity was restored within 1-15 days (longer depending on the area and electric company in that area). Phone lines & internet service recovery varied by provider between 1-4 days.

The benefits of the East Coast having a strong coral reef barrier around the entire 30-mile east coast is, a huge factor as to why we aren't as impacted by ocean surges, that often come with devastating flooding and drownings, like other Islands who were severely affected.

I can still confidently say the chances of Bavaro and Punta Cana getting a DIRECT land hit from a hurricane is very unlikely, however, a hurricane course change can happen.  This projectory is difficult to predict.  Still many Americans fear electric, phone and internet services resulting from a Hurricane in the Dominican Republic would be worse than in the U.S., forgetting perhaps that parts of Florida and Puerto Rico (part of the U.S.), were challenged for months afterward Hurrican Maria before they could clain full services recovery; 

Puerto Rico, neighbor to the DR is approximately 85+ miles from our East Coast.  98% of the time, the seismic category drops significantly after crossing over Puerto Rico, and the jet streams and atmospheric pressures immediately pull the hurricane to the North or the South of the East Coast depending on the angle the hurricane was going

Here's some scientific reasoning: by Elvin Calcaño Ortiz, Atmospheric Scientist:

"Threatening hurricanes generally begin to deviate when they approach Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.  This is because during the wetter months from July to October, atmospheric pressures, or bands of rain and wind already exist, especially in the north- to northwest.  Atmospheric pressures are the primary contributors in either starving or feeding hurricanes. Strong pressures are important in pushing the storms away.  What made Irma initially appear to directly impact the East Coast of the Dominican Republic on September 7, 2017, was a low-pressure zone north of both islands that pushed her to the south.  Since early dawn that low pressure moved forcing Irma to take a more north-northwest course away from the Island.   Hurricane Maria followed Irma.

Depending on the path of the hurricane, the strong jet streams created by the sharp radius of the East Coast of Punta Cana also help navigate hurricanes to the North or South of the DR. Puerto Rico additionally buffers the degree of intensity of hurricanes and tropical storms within the East Coast of the Dominican Republic".

The locals (and I) truly believe what has been passed from generation to generation.  This generational message is that “the Dominican Republic East Coast is Kissed by God".  They believe one of the biggest reasons we are not really affected by Hurricanes is due to all the prayers, and their strong FAITH that these prayers will be answered.  There could be some truth to this ... after all, the Dominican Republic is the ONLY COUNTRY that proudly bears the Bible and the Cross on its country flag.

As most locals and even travel agencies for tourist already know when hurricanes are developing, it is almost always "business as usual", because the residents all know it's rare that a hurricane actually finds its way to land on the East Coast. It could be this unique strategic location in the Caribbean, or perhaps sheer luck, or lots of prayers combined as to the reason the Dominican Republic, as a whole, has been spared the onslaught of a monstrous hurricanes for over decades.

One important fact many of these reports miss, is our "Protective Coral Reef" surrounding nearly the entire 30+ mile Eastern coastline.  This reef acts like a wall underwater taming strong ocean surges.  So protective is this coral reef, that when strong surges hit this reef, it can sound like a jet engine airplane in your front yard... yet the water only rises perhaps 2 ft. higher than normal on the shoreline.  I witnessed this personally during a passing Tropical Storm in 2010.  Perhaps all these reasons are why homeowners’ insurance is much more affordable on the East Coast, than on the North or South of the Island.  

Residuals of hurricanes in Punta Cana (Bavaro), primarily cause mere inconveniences by interrupting vacations and flight plans.  However, I'd suspect most vacationers would rather be stuck in a resort or in a hurricane proof rental property than in some other "older Caribbean" destinations, or even along the East Coast of the U.S.

USA Today highlights the Dominican Republic as having a lower possibility of being affected by hurricanes than most neighboring Caribbean islands like, Antigua, Jamaica, Bahamas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico Cuba, the Florida Keys and gulf, as well as other Coastlines of Florida.

According to the list below, over the last 128 years (since 1894), the entire country of the Dominican Republic has only had 14 hurricanes with land affects, 6 of 14 were a category 4-5, only (David 1979) was a category 5.  Only FOUR (4) Hurricanes have moderately affected the Punta Cana/ Bavaro touristic areas (Hortense 1996, Jeanne 2004, Maria 2017, and Fiona 2022).  

Historical Hurricanes (Dominican Republic)– by USA Today

Fiona. (Category 1-2) September 18, 2022, E. Coast, Cap Cana, Punta Cana, Higuey, to Samana (N. Coast)

Maria. (Catagory 3-1) 19 September 2017, E. Coast, Punta Cana, to the N. Coast, to Santiago & San Francisco,

Jeanne. (Category 1-3). 16 September 2004. East Coast, Samana and Puerto Plata.
George. (Category 4-3). 22 September 1998. Santo Domingo and La Romana.
Hortense. (Category 3-1). 10 September 1996. East coast, Punta Cana to Samana.
Gilbert. (Category 3). 11 September 1988. Barahona on the southwestern coast.
Emely. (Category 4-2). 22 September. Bani on the southwestern coast.
David. (Category 5-4). 31 August 1979. Santo Domingo.
Eloise. (Category 1). 13 September 1975. Landfall on the northeast coast.
Beulah. (Category 4). 10-11 September 1967. Barahona on the southwestern coast.
Inez. (Category 4-3). 29 September 1966. Barahona on the southwestern coast.
Edith. (Category 2). 26-27 September 1963. La Romana on the southeastern coast.
Katie. (Category 1). 16 October 1955. Barahona on the southwestern coast.
San Zenon. (Category 4). 3 September 1930. 200 km/h. Santo Domingo.
Lili.  (Category 3). 21 September 1894. Santo Domingo and the southwestern coast.

HURRICANE AND EARTHQUAKE PROOF CONSTRUCTION MANDATES – Government construction mandates play an important and perhaps equal role in why the damage is lessened.  Infrastructure on the East Coast (specifically Punta Cana and Bavaro) is new or newer (2007- under-construction) ... As of 2017 (the passing of Hurricane Maria), most condo communities in these beach town areas only averaged 5 years new.  All new construction (masterplans) must pass strict soil tests, and meet hurricane, flooding, and earthquake codes to be approved by the government before construction can even begin.  5 Building permits are required here.  Individual titles cannot be granted if masterplans and structural engineering plans have not been approved. Additional rebar is used inside the concrete block, along with deeper pylons and footing requirements ... footings that flex a bit to avoid settling cracks or "burps" from earthquakes, and that pull water away from ground floor units.  P.S.  "Earthquake burps" of a no. 4 to even 5 are good.  Long periods of no normal earth shift activity, nor releases of gas is bad!

Developers and Builders provide insurance during the construction phase.  However, after the condo communities are completed and HOA Bylaws go into effect and committee of owners is established, this is when a monthly HOA fee is set by the owners and may include additional Insurance should the owners agree, rather than establishing a "Special Assessment fund". 

All insurance plans here cover catastrophic claims for earthquakes, hurricanes or Tropical Storm damage, fire, floods, etc.  General HOA fees include 24/7 gated security, propane gas, water, trash removal, weekly fumigation, exterior ground lighting/ Regular Grounds and landscaping maintenance, general area maintenance of pool pumps, other common areas (shared amenities like BBQ areas, gyms, etc.).  Additional upgraded insurance coverage may extend to cover other added onsite community amenities, 2 - 4-year painting cycles of all buildings, mini bars or restaurants, children’s playgrounds, etc. etc.).  HOA fees also include a monthly fee for the Administration Company of the entire community, liability insurance for onsite workers, etc.  Once a condo is completed, our agency requires homeowner’s insurance for our numerous owner clients who desire to go into our vacation rental program to include content and tenant liability insurance.

A much different scene in other older Caribbean areas, where concrete construction lacks rebar, and / or deep footings, pylons, and other newer construction requirements.   Old and outdated electrical plants have also been a consistent problem and concern in many older / established Caribbean Islands, and Central American shorelines.; Even Puerto Rico, the Florida Keys, and other older parts of the Florida shoreline... these areas are challenged still with older construction and outdated electricity and other solid infrastructure.

The Dominican government puts a lot of money into the East Coast electricity because this is where nearly 60 all-inclusive resorts along this beautiful white sandy 30+ mile shoreline.  In fact, although "Irma" was close, and we were sideswiped by “Maria”, Punta Cana did NOT lose power for very long at all.  Yes, we saw heavy rain, and higher wind, resulting in palm tree debris, some minor clay tile shingle damage, and some minor flooding in some lower elevation areas, our streets were still passable.

The explosion boom on the East Coast (Punta Cana / Bavaro) has been incredible since just 2012.  Punta Cana alone has expanded its PRIVATELY OWNED PUNTA CANA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 6 times since 2013 to accommodate this boom, and since 2022 services nearly 15,000 visitors A DAY! (According to Statista).

Since so many islands and popular vacation destination shorelines have been so severely affected, by hurricanes and earthquakes, we continue preparing for a very, very busy vacation rental and real estate buying seasons!

In the unlikely event you are caught in a hurricane here, resorts in Punta Cana / Bavaro are more than equipped and ready for such an event. So, besides the inconvenience of rain, no beach-time with wet weather (although always warm) ... and possible flight delays or cancellations, there isn’t much more danger to speak of on the East Coast of Punta Cana and Bavaro.

To those looking to save money while on vacation, consider visiting Punta Cana/ Bavaro during low season and the hurricane months (late June to November).  Vacationers can save 30% - 40%, rather than coming during the busy December - April, the high season months.  This applies to both Resorts and booking a vacation rental condo on or near the beach. (Ask about our vacation rentals). 

And for you smart and savoy investors thinking of buying during this time, you can save perhaps 10% - 15%.  Additionally, for new construction developers are more often offering temporary promotions / and or extended financing during low season as well.

Yes, Hurricanes can affect the East Coast, BUT PLEASE, DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR OR READ FROM THE MEDIA.  Educating the world about the facts is so important. I.e., understanding the Dominican Republic is NOT a 3rd world country, but instead a Rapidly Developing Country with solid infastructure.  We know much of the media loves to play on "doom and gloom" stories in most all situations.

AGAIN... In over 128 years (since 1894), only four hurricanes have affected our Eastern shore.  Of course, we never want to get too pompous, as we all know Mother Nature is menopausing :).  

But, let’s face it, living and/ or owning property on an Island will always be the ultimate dream for most everyone, so why not invest on the island (or in the Caribbean) where the least number of natural disasters historically occurs... and where crime rates are also the lowest?  

P.S.  Hurricanes are NOT a big concern on the East Coast.  If you do experience a hurricane while vacationing here on the East Coast, despite Maria and Fiona, it is STILL recommended you play the lotto :).