Hotel taxis are also available at the larger hotels around the clock. Several drivers of these are bilingual and could double as a tour guide as they are experienced assisting tourists. Private taxis on call by telephone/radio (see telephone numbers in Yellow Pages) are available 24 hours a day in Santo Domingo, Santiago and Puerto Plata. The companies will tell you what the rate should be, but for inter-city travel this will usually be about RD$150 per trip. Dominican taxis do not use fare meters. Instead, there are flat rates for each destination. Always confirm the rate with the driver prior to departing, you may get him to put it into writing if there is a language problem, to avoid any misunderstanding.
Publicos are regular cars that serve as multi-passenger taxis, found mainly in the large cities. They will charge you about RD$20.00 for a short route. If you stay on, they will charge you again. The publico drivers may pack two passengers in the front seat and four in the back, regardless of the size of the car. You may pay two fares and book exclusivity for the front seat or pay four fares and get the back seat.
Motorcycle taxis are an inexpensive way to get to your destination fast, but they are also the most risky of transportation options.
Large metropolitan transport buses in Santo Domingo and Santiago cover the longer city routes for RD$10.00 to RD$15.00 (air conditioned) fares.
Minibuses zip in and out of city neighborhoods and go from one town to another for a tenth of the cost of a taxi. Depending on the hour, the drivers may pack in twice as many people as the capacity of the vehicle.
Metro and Caribe Tours provide coach transportation service between Santo Domingo and major cities. Expreso Bavaro travels to the East Coast destinations. Other cities may be served by express regional buslines that can be boarded at the Enriquillo Park environs near Duarte Avenue.
Major car rental companies have airport, hotel and city locations. Do not cut corners when choosing your rental car service. Also take out the extra insurance plan that is available. If you suffer an accident that dents your car, for instance, the insurance will prevent delays or hassles. All you will have to do is visit the nearest police station and declare the accident. To do so, have the other party accompany you, or just take his name, insurance company, license number, cedula and car registration (license plate) number. A valid driver's license and major credit card is required to rent a car for up to 90 days. You must be at least 21 years old.
Driving is on the right hand side and the speed limit is 60 kph in the cities and up to 100 kph on the highways, unless otherwise indicated. Getting around the DR is easy on a network of highways that branch out from Santo Domingo, the capital city. Roads inside towns and cities may not be in perfect condition so watch for large holes and oversized speed bumps.
Domestic travel times
Santo Domingo-Puerto Plata 3-1/2 hour
Santo Domingo-Santiago 1-1/2 hours
Santo Domingo-Jarabacoa 1-1/2 hours
Santo Domingo-Constanza 2 hours
Santo Domingo-Boca Chica 1/2 hour
Santo Domingo-Juan Dolio 40 minutes
Santo Domingo-Bayahibe 2 hours
Santo Domingo-La Romana 1-1/2 hours
Santo Domingo-Punta Cana 3-1/2 hours
Santo Domingo-Samana 4 hours or 2 hours on toll road
Puerto Plata-Samana 3-1/2 hours
Santo Domingo-Barahona 3 hours
Domestic air travel
There is service to major tourist destinations from Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo Province and other large airports. For airline contact information, see airline listings in the DR1 Directory section at Airlines