The main health problem and the one that is most present in terms of percentage that any traveler can present is a concern related to stomach problems, specifically with stocamal infections that can be caused by ingesting water, ice or food that is not properly treated.
In relation to this issue, the question arises, can you eat the ice in the Dominican Republic?
In the Dominican Republic and Punta Cana in general, it is safe to consume the ice served in drinks, as long as this ice comes from properly established and reputable hotels and resorts. These establishments have the appropriate equipment and systems for the proper treatment and filtration of water.
It is not recommended to consume ice, water or other water-based beverages in commercial establishments outside the hotels and resorts of the Dominican Republic and Punta Cana.
This is because in the Dominican Republic the public drinking water system is not filtered and although commercial establishments use filtered and treated water for public consumption, the handling processes may not be as precise and supervised as they are in hotels.
What's wrong with the water in the Dominican Republic?
The water that comes out of the taps in the Dominican Republic has not been properly treated and purified, so it is always recommended to drink bottled water.
In the Dominican Republic people consume treated and bottled water, as well as water for cooking, water from showers and taps is only used for personal hygiene.
How can you tell if the ice in the Dominican Republic and Punta Cana hotels is safe?
In my profession as an architect I have worked directly with the design of commercial kitchens of some hotels in the area of Punta Cana, the hotels use machines and filtering systems for the manufacture of ice.
There are two simple ways to check if the ice in a hotel is properly purified:
The first is to check the transparency of the ice, purified ice due to having less minerals looks more crystalline, untreated ice is loaded with minerals and looks much more cloudy and not very transparent.
The other thing is, if you are drinking a semi transparent drink like rum or whiskey, observe the color and texture of the drink for at least one minute, treated ice takes much longer to dissolve in the drink than untreated ice.
Untreated ice dissolves much faster, it can even change the taste of a drink, the more loaded with minerals the ice is, the more you notice these effects.
The ice used in the hotels in Punta Cana comes from machines and also the due studies to the water are made, since depending on the type of water of the zone the suitable filters are chosen, the next time that you visit a hotel in Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic you will be able to notice its quality.
However, if you still wish to consume drinks without ice, either because of mistrust or because you simply do not like ice in drinks (like me), you can find many options.
Personally, I don’t like drinks with ice, I am not a good drinker and I also like to drink very slowly, (really really Slowly) and I don’t like to feel the drink watery.
Whenever I go to a resort in Punta Cana I try to get cold drinks without ice, my favorite drink is the “baileys”, it is a sweet, creamy drink that does not require any preparation, I always make the observation to the bartender not to put ice in it and they agree to serve me with much pleasure.