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Dominican Republic Transportation
The Dominican Republic is a wonderful tropical island of sandy beaches, rolling mountain ranges, majestic waterfalls and cool freshwater rivers. Its natural aesthetics are breathtaking and its history and culture fascinating. But with so much to experience, how does one get around?

At first glance, the Dominican transportation system may appear quite rudimentary but upon further investigation, most would agree that it is quite efficient and economical.

Renting a car

The most obvious way to get around the Dominican Republic is to rent a car. For those willing to do this, the right vehicle can take you to many of the parts of the country which you would not be able to experience otherwise. It is important that you do have the right vehicle, as road conditions can be poor as you get further away from the highly populated cities and rural towns and explore the more remote parts of the country.

The rules of the road are structured similarly to North America in that one is supposed to drive on the right side of the road but soon after you begin driving, you will discover that basic driving laws are not strictly enforced and Dominicans frequently ignore traffic signs and signals and follow their own set of rules. As a result, you have to be aware of those driving around you and adapt accordingly. However, most people soon get the hang of driving.

Renting a vehicle is quite easy and can be done at all the major airports as well as plenty of other places throughout the country. For more information on car rentals, you can visit the main car rental companies’ websites listed below:

National
Prestige
AVIS
Hertz
Budget

Also, of course, in order to know where you are going, you will need a good map. For a good, detailed map of the country, you can visit this link.

Buses

If you are not interested in renting a vehicle, a terrific, cost-effective way to get around is on a tour bus. The two major tour bus operators in the country are Caribe Tours and Metro Bus. Both of these operators have buses running on regular, reliable schedules that reach all parts of the country. From Santo Domingo to Puerto Plata to Monte Christi to the Samana peninsula and so many places in between, Carribe and Metro tours is a great option for transportation.

Their buses are air-conditioned (you might want to bring a sweater), comfortable and make regular stops along the way so that you can get out and stretch your legs or get a quick bite to eat or a refreshment. Riding in the buses is also a great way to view the beautiful scenery along the way. The prices are generally considered very economical. Here is a link to the Caribe Tours website Caribe Tours and the phone number for Metro Bus (809) 544-4580 where you can get information on destinations, scheduling and ticket prices.

Taxis

Taxis are a quick, reliable way to get around the Dominican Republic on a local level. All the major airports have privately owned taxis waiting to take you wherever you need to go and in most of the major towns, you will have a local taxi company at your disposal. Santo Domingo has an excellent private taxi system and getting around the city in a taxi is fairly inexpensive.

A call to one of the many companies listed in the Yellow Pages will get a car to you 24 hours-a-day, and usually in less than five minutes. Don’t wait much longer than that, either call again or try another company. You can order your car with air-conditioning or even be picky and request a driver who speaks English. Also, if you find a driver who you are happy with, you can ask him for his card and request him directly in the future. When dealing with taxis, speaking Spanish is really not necessary. As long as you know your destination, your driver will get you there.

The names and numbers of some taxi companies around the country are:
  • Puerto Plata-Tecni Taxi (809) 320-7621
  • Sosua/Cabarete-Taxi Cabarete/Sosua (809) 571-0767
  • Santiago- Emitaxi (809) 581-3000
  • Santiago- Camino Taxi (809) 971-7788
  • Santo Domingo- National (809) 533-3541
  • Santo Domingo- Apollo Taxi (809) 537-0000
  • Boca Chica- Sitrabutur (809) 523-4797
Some listed rates at the time of writing (Nov. 1st 2005) are:
  • Puerto Plata to Sosua 500 pesos
  • Puerto Plata to Santiago 1200 pesos
  • Puerto Plata to Cabarete 700 pesos
  • Puerto Plata to Playa Dorado 150 pesos
  • Santo Domingo to Boca Chica 700 pesos
 
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