How it works:
- Version 1: you may see unlicensed tour operators offering cheap packages. Safety costs are likely to be skimped (e.g. using poorly maintained transport, not providing life jackets, etc), not having insurance coverage and the tour is likely to be of low quality.
- Version 2: there are also fake tour operators who will ask you to pre-pay in full and then disappear. Some even have brochures, a company book and staff dressed in uniform.
Places to beware:
- Anywhere (watch out for touts at beaches in Punta Cana and Bavaro)
What to do:
- Offline operators: ask – is the operator licensed with the Ministry of Tourism? Is there a website, office and working phone number? Are there real online reviews? What does the price cover – is it too cheap?
- Online platforms: GetYourGuide (leading day tour platform globally) also has some tours (e.g. Monkey Land half-day safari, Saona Island & Atlos de Chavon, Catalina Island, etc).
- Paying: avoid paying in full upfront (unless reputable operator) or off the (online) platform.