Transportation in the Dominican Republic

2 Traveling Lovers

Transportation in the Dominican Republic

When traveling, transportation in the Dominican Republic might be a little different than what you are used to if you live in the United States.  We found researching transportation options ahead of time was time well spent, and we will pass that information on to you in this article. Our first destination on our world tour as bloggers and vloggers was to the Dominican Republic. It was our first learning experience of how to save money with transportation but also go way overboard in a few areas as well.  As I said, this month was a huge learning experience for us as full-time travelers. 

FLYING TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

First, you need a flight. There are eight international airports, but we are only going to talk about 4 in this blog post (we feel these four will be the ones you will likely use). The major airport choices will Puerto Plata (POP), Punta Canta (PUN), and Santo Domingo (SDQ). There’s a fourth airport that is the best choice if you plan to stay on the Samana peninsula, which is Samana El Catey (AZS). The problem? With the research we have done, you have to fly through Canada to get a flight into El Catey. If you can get to the El Catey airport after a reasonable time, even if you have a few hour layover, and the price is similar, take it. It will make your life much much easier once you get here and continue to Las Terrenas.

IF YOU CAN’T FLY INTO EL CATEY…….

Now for the people that have to fly into one of the other international airports that were mentioned earlier in the post. We flew into Santo Domingo, which is the closest airport to Las Terrenas after El Catey. One of the reasons we flew into Santo Domingo was to see the Colonial Zone area before we left for Las Terrenas. If you plan to visit the colonial zone, the taxi ride is going to run about $40.

I know people are going to say, NEVER PAY THOSE HIGH CAB FARES!  But we have found it hard to haggle prices to the taxi drivers because we don’t speak the language. I’m guessing if you were Spanish speaking it would be much easier to get the price down on a taxi ride. Again, from our experience when we got to the taxi area at the airport, I was telling the guys $30, $30, $30 and none of them took it. It was $40 or no drive period! I think there may be some “price fixing” involved so if you’re driving to see the colonial zone add another $40 to your taxi ride on the way back up to Las Terrenas. This is where it gets a little expensive, but you do have other options.

We are not going to speak on the other two major airports as we did not make the drive from those airports. The only thing I can say is many people mention how beautiful the ride is along the coast from Punta Cana airport. Again, I can’t stress this enough, try and have your flight come in at some point early morning to early afternoon so you can get to your destination when there is still daylight.

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Booking.com


Why Not Take a Bus?

TAKE A BUS

If you’re at the airport in Santo Domingo, taking the bus is a cost-effective option.  We did not do it this way, but if you go up and ask the taxi driver to get to the bus station for Las Terrenas, you should not have any issues.

Our daughter came in to stay with us during our last week in Las Terrenas, and she took the bus. The following is are her exact instructions of how to get the bus…..

She walked through customs, past the baggage claim where you will see workers holding taxi signs, get a taxi, tell him you want to take a bus to Las Terrenas and show him the photo included below. The picture shows the closest bus stop, and it will make your taxi ride cheaper. It should be 500 DOP or $10 roughly. At the bus station (which looks like a restaurant), the right side is tables and chairs, and the left side is where you wait for the bus. If you have any questions, there is a small booth outside the station. All times are posted on the left far wall at the station.

I’ve attached the picture below of the bus stop, along with the map to show the cab driver in Santo Domingo.

The bus to Las Terrenas is a large air-conditioned bus with comfortable seats, and a large flat screen tv playing in the front. Do not worry about taking the bus; it was an inexpensive, and a comfortable way to go. Its roughly a 2-hour ride from Santo Domingo to Las Terrenas. The bus station in Las Terrenas is 5 minutes from downtown. There are many motoconchos and cabs to take you to your final hotel/Airbnb destination. If you have to wait, there is a cute open-air restaurant next door, and the owner is very friendly with wifi. This whole trip will run you for two people around $20 to $30.

HOTEL RECOMMENDATION IN LAS TERRANAS

We met the manager and personally toured the Alisei Beachfront Hotel Restaurant & Spa as a resort for couples. The hotel is located in an excellent area of Las Terrenas, right on the beach. If you would like to read our blog post on this resort click here, if you want to check out the price for the Alisei Beachfront Hotel or other hotels in the area, click here for booking.com deals.

If you are interested in checking out Airbnb’s in the area, click here for Airbnb deals. You will receive a $40 credit by going through this link. Click here. 

TIP
The only caution that I would advise people is getting to Las Terrenas when there’s still daylight. If you think Las Terrenas is just rainbows and resorts you’re wrong. It may take you a few days to get used to the culture in the area, especially if you have never been to an area like this. If you are staying at a resort, I suggest that you get dropped off directly there and start exploring in the morning.

Getting a scooter and groceries

The scooter company came from a referral. Great guys, good prices and they speak English. We highly recommend that you check them out if you would like to rent a vehicle

Other Transportation Options

 TAKE A TAXI

The taxi can get expensive. At the airport, they are going to want around $200 to get from Santo Domingo to Las Terrenas. We found someone that will do it for $140 which was a considerable savings. We will attach his card and information to this blog post. The problem is you will have to speak a little bit of Spanish, as he doesn’t speak one word of English. Our contact for a taxi from the local airports is FELIX ADEMAN TEL: (809) 481-0147.

RENT A CAR

I will go into renting a car a little further down in this article. There are some things that you need to be aware of when renting a car in the Dominican Republic.

Once you’re in Las Terrenas, you have a few options in regards to transportation. You can rent a car, scooter or four wheeler. Before you book any transportation online, we want to be very clear on a few things.

  • The roads are organized chaos. If you’re coming from America and have never been in this type of driving situation your jaw is going to drop. There are no stop lights, very few road signals or signs and if there are, nobody adheres to them. When I first picked up our motoconcho, I drove around the city for 5 or 10 minutes before Christie got on the back with me. The city is going to be the hard part, it’s not as bad once you get on the outskirts, traffic is never really that heavy. If you plan on staying in the city center area, a car is going to be a nightmare frankly. Christie and I have laughed many times thinking about trying to drive a car through the city streets during the busier times. Although the scooter is more dangerous, it seems much easier to get through, around and over top of cars in the city. Haha. A safer option is quad/four-wheeler, it seems many of the expats drive the quads.   

Transportation in the Dominican Republic can be tough, especially if you don’t speak spanish. For my English-speaking friends, we got a referral from a Canadian woman that turned out to be a fantastic resource. His pricing was better than anybody in the downtown area, and he spoke English.

Call Pierre with Holiday Rentals, and his phone number is 809-782-2642.  If Pierre does not work there anymore, the manager or owner speaks English also. Start here for sure. You can Google map it for directions, he rents the motoconcho (scooter) for $15 per day, for a weekly rental.

They rent motoconchos (scooter)and quads.and cars, www.holidaysrental-lasterrenas.com Email address: holidaysrental6@gmail.com phone number 809-240-9527 second phone number 809-782-2642.

  •  Regarding Car Insurance – be very careful in regards to getting the proper insurance and making sure you are fully covered. All we are going to say is, make sure you do your research. There’s a Facebook group called Expats in Dominican. Join that group and read prior posts about car insurance (just search car rentals in the search bar).

It wasn’t hard to get the hang of driving the scooter, and I had minimal experience with motorcycles. It took a day or two to get used of the city driving, but you learned very quickly. There are risks involved when renting a scooter, but we had a blast! It was so cool driving through jungle roads on a small scooter in the middle of nowhere. It was also fun to drive in the city, in that organized chaos.

More Articles & Video Links From The D.R.

More 2 Traveling Lovers Article & Video links from the Dominican Republic:

We spent a month traveling throughout the Dominican Republic.  If you’re interested in visiting the area, we hope you will find our articles and videos helpful.  All of our posts have a video included, and we have new videos on our YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel too so you won’t miss a video.

Below are a few articles and videos from our stay in the Dominican Republic:

A Night Out in Las Terrenas

10 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting the Samana Peninsula

Best Beaches in Las Terrenas

Secluded Beaches in Las Terrenas

El Salto El Limón Waterfall in The Dominican Republic      

Cost Of Living For a Couple Living in The Dominican Republic

11 Top Restaurants on the Samana Peninsula

Great Places to Eat in Jaracoboa DR

2 Traveling Lovers Videos ONLY on YouTube

Going From Santo Domingo to Las Terrenas

Top Beach in the Dominican Republic – Playa Bonita

Night Out In Las Galeras – Samana peninsula

Playa Fronton Beach in Las Galeras- We found whales!!

Scooter Trip from Las Galeras back to Las Terrenas

Things To Do In Jarabacoa

Accommodations

These are areas in the Dominican Republic we have traveled to and we recommend staying in these areas based upon our personal experience.  Click on the town to be referred to the booking.com link to each city.

Las Terrenas      

Samana Peninsula  

Jaracoboa

Las Galeras

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VIEW ALL OF OUR IMAGES FROM THIS TRIP

Closing Words

Always have your head on a swivel, be proactive and don’t speed and more often than not you’re going to be fine and have a great time. We were nervous about driving from everything we heard on Facebook posts and online research. When you get here and start doing it, it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. If you can drive in Southern California or New York, you’re going to be fine here.

If you are interested in seeing our video it’s on this blog post above. I hope you enjoyed this post about transportation in the Dominican Republic and you are excited to visit Las Terrenas.  

Our goal while traveling the world is to help couples find the best cultural experiences in every country while keeping costs very reasonable. We have become experts in planning travel and not breaking the bank!!

If you would like to follow our journey around the world please subscribe on our website at www.2travelinglovers.com. We give a great deal of FREE information to make your lives easier. Learn from our mistakes!!

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Affiliate Disclosure: 2 Traveling Lovers contains affiliate links. If you make purchases through these links, we will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help reduce the ever-increasing cost of keeping this site active, along with enabling us to bring you more quality information regarding travel. Thanks for reading.

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