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Dominican Republic Transportation

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There are a number of options for Dominican Republic transportation: flights, buses, taxis, gua-guas, and car rentals. Here we provide a brief guide to the types of Dominican Republic transportation.

Getting around the Dominican Republic by air

Despite its small size, the DR is blessed with several good airports, and internal flights are reliable and frequent. (See our guide to Dominican Republic flights for more on getting to the country.) The capital, Santo Domingo, has two main airport: the international airport near Boca Chica and a smaller, more conveniently located one in the western part of the city. From here you can get flights to any of the regional airports, often at fairly reasonable rates: Samana, La Romana, Puerto Plata, and Santiago, among others.

Buses in the Dominican Republic

Buses in the Dominican Republic run to all the major cities, and provide a safe and inexpensive option to get around the country. There are three main companies running buses in the Dominican Republic. Autobus Metro has daily bus services to and from Santo Domingo, Santiago, Puerto Plata, and Sosúa. Expreso Bávaro serves Santo Domingo, Punta Cana, Bávaro, and Beron. Caribe Tours offers wide-ranging buses in the Dominican Republic, including to many cities from Santo Domingo.

Taxis in the Dominican Republic

Taxi service in the DR is regulated and most prices are standardized, although drivers will often try to get a higher rate from Western travelers. Nevertheless, travelers may well find this the most sensible and comfortable form of Dominican Republic transportation. Some tips: Look for boards that list the standard rates. Peculiarly, costs are often lower when you call in advance rather than flagging down a car. Most taxi drivers will also make long day trips, which is often less hassle (though usually more expensive) than Dominican Republic car rental.

Dominican Republic Car Rental

If you do choose to rent a car in the DR, its best to choose one of the established international chains. Rates for Dominican Republic car rental are generally less if you book in advance and/or combine the rental in a package with hotel and flights. If you are younger or don’t have a credit card local Dominican Republic car rental companies will take a passport as collateral. Be sure to get the insurance and check the car thoroughly for nicks and dents before leaving the rental agency (this writer has learned that lesson the hard way). Note: Dominican Republic car rental companies do not allow you to take their vehicles across the Haitian border.

Driving in the Dominican Republic

Driving in the DR is inherently a risky business. Expect the unexpected and dangerous, especially on the chaotic streets of Santo Domingo. Traffic lights (if they are functioning) are taken as recommendations; road signs are often missing. Gasoline is quite expensive by American standards (though Brits will find the petrol cheap!).

Dominican Gua-Guas

The gua-gua is the preferred mode of transportation for local Dominicans. The term gua-gua can mean anything from a publico taxi (which follow a set route), to a intercity bus, but most often refers to a collectivo mini van, which run set routes in the cities and around the countryside. Though cramped and run-down, these vans are a unique Dominican experience worth trying at some point in your vacation.

This author took a memorable trip along the coast from Samana to Las Galeras. It was dusty and windy and made numerous stops, but the trip cost about $1 for a 45-minute drive. It’s best to ask a local for advice on taking a gua-gua in your area and to get a price in advance. There is not much space for luggage, but you can purchase an extra seat for bags or just to make your ride more comfortable. Note: I heard rumors of scams in the capital where the driver colludes with a passenger to rob unsuspecting travelers, but all my trips were pleasant and without incident.

OVERVIEW for your visit to the Dominican Republic: introduction *  when to go * things to do * events * getting there * getting around * food * history * attractions * music * cities * hotels

keywords: Dominican Republic Transportation, Dominican Republic Car Rentals, Buses in the Dominican Republic, Dominican gua-guas