Driving From Punta Cana to Santo Domingo
I am planning to go up to Punta Cana to an AI at Barcelo Bavaro and will be there for a few days. We were thinking about going to Santo Domingo for a day and wanted to rent a car and drive up ourselves. Is that a good idea? Or is taking the bus better? I've never been to DR and we dont know about the driving conditions or how long of a drive it would be. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Punta Cana to SD
It takes about 3 1/2 hours to drive from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo. The condition of the road is not bad, and between La Romana and Santo Domingo there are lots of really good stretches. The standard of driving, however, is erratic, and if you are not used to this kind of driving, the bus would be a safer option. This is especially true once you reach Santo Domingo. I wouldn't drive there unless you know exactly where you are going.
A day trip might be pushing it. You wouldn't want to be driving back in the dark, unless you know the roads really well. It gets dark around 7pm, so that wouldn't give you much time to explore Santo Domingo.
HB, we have another one.
Blanca Rocio welcome to DR1. Never been to the DR huh? In the above sentence I was addressing HB (Hillbilly) one of our long term resident members. He, like I, think it's a bad idea to drive in this country for first time visitors and this even seems to apply to people that even live here. Bring money as a safety factor if you're going to rent and drive. This probably will be explained to you by other members later.
As this is your first trip here then let me say that we offer a lot of beautiful things to see and of which most might be missed if you must be directing your sight at the road ahead for cars, trucks, motocycles, people, dogs, horses, cows, pigs, chickens, donkeys and the other assorted things that driving here encompasses being on the lookout for.
Like Kiboko my advice is to take the bus. I do wish to thank you for your post as same brought up old nostalgic memories of the bygone days of "It's such a comfort to take the bus and leave the driving to us, Greyhound Bus , ride with us ----". Hehehe. Seriously though, that little long ago commercial jingle does apply here.
Regardless of which mode of transportation you use be advised that as Kiboko indicated the travel time to the capital from PC is at least 3 1/2 hours or more so a roundtrip will require at least 8 hours travel time. Just something to keep in mind when setting up your itinerary.
Please make sure you get out away from the little self-cantained community AI that you will be in as there is so much to see here, one of which are the local Dominicans, which you won't see there in the AI.
It's a good advice not to drive. I drove heere for the first time during my 2nd time to DR, I was with my ex, and we made it Santo Domingo to Monte Plata, from there to Punta Cana (and from those days I had a conviction there was a road between Bayaguana and Hato Mayor, which after many and many drives turned into a convicton that I made quite a detour that day ===this is off topic===), drove back PUJ-SDQ-PUJ (in one day) and then back from PUJ to Santo Domingo. Santo Domingo is a mess for first time drivers and it took me time to get confident driving there. You need to know major traffic arteries and how they are relatively positioned to each other, in order to make your way around and find your location if you get lost (it's always easier to drive you if you know some reference points and how to get to/from those reference points).
If you drive, you WILL be tired upon reaching Santo Domingo, if you are not used to the traffic and rules of the road. If you travel any day with the exception of Sunday morning, roads will be full, and becaus eyou do not know the "spots" where it's safe to pass, etc., you may be stuck in the slow-moving traffic. Also, you need to be a good driver (European driving style) to be able to analyze and undertake risks passing cars, many times in narrow roads, with 30 vehicles in front of you. If you are only used to US highways-style driving (put the music on, the "D", and off you go) it would take you something like 4 hours or more to get from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo.
All in all, I do not recommend your driving to Santo Domingo during the first time visit. If you want, rent a car and visit the "countryside", such as Higuey, Seybo, Miches, Macao, etc. to get a gasp of local driving culture. Next time, Santo Domingo, maybe.
No, no, no, Kate you obviously misunderstood what Rubio meant by 'rules of the road' hehehe. He wasn't referring to rules as may be in the books that are sometimes followed by AMET but rather the 'rule' that any vehicle has priority over a motorcycle and the bigger the vehicle the higher the priority.
Hi do you know of a bus that pick you up from SDQ to Punta Cana? I am flying in on July 8th. Any suggestions?
Originally Posted by rubio_higuey
If you can afford it, hire a car and driver and let him worry about the road. It is not the driving but what you might encounter. There could be a road block with police or army checking your car and maybe looking for a little hand out or people on a moto concho who try to get you pull over saying that something is wrong with your car. You sound a little wet behind the ears. I would not rent a car and drive a long distance the first time although if I were you that is exactly what I would do. Live and learn. Just expect the unexpected. You are not in Kansas any more. Good luck.
Originally Posted by Blanca Rocio