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Thread: Driving From Santo Domingo To Samana

  1. #1
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    Default Driving From Santo Domingo To Samana

    My wife and I are driving from Santo Domingo to Samana in March. We arrive at 2:00 PM (I hope that is not to late to start the drive as I have read that it is a terrible drive at night). I checked your message board and saw a message posted that indicated the best route is Santo Domingo-Villa Altagracia-Bonao-San Fransisco de Marcoris-Nagua-Sanchez-Samana. Is that still the best route? Will there be a good place to get some food on the way? Will it still take around 3 1/2 hours? Thank you so much. Your message board is fantastic and we are so excited to make our first trip to the Domincan Republic.

    Greg

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    Greg,

    Days are getting longer so you should be in Samana before it is pitch black, assuming you are in the car and on the road shortly after 2. There are shorter routes, but the one you mention is probably the easiest to find for somebody making the trip by car for the first time. You will pass a lot of places to eat during your trip. If coming from the airport, figure a good 4 hours on the route you have outlined.

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    It shouldn't be too bad, even if it is getting dark toward the end, since the last leg of your trip (Nagua-Samana) will be on a stretch of the North Coast highway which is in decent shape for the most part, and is a well-traveled road. You may run into some road work near Sanchez.

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    Default 5 Hours or More

    If you arrive at 2pm, by the time you get through customs and immigration and then pick up your car, it will take an hour. Then as Santo Domingo is 30 minutes from the airport you will pass through SD during early rush hour, about 3:30pm. That will delay you some. Then it's 4 1/2 hours to Samana via the route you have described (this is the best way, the shortcut is in terrible condition). Figure on arriving in Samana around 8pm (or Las Terrenas about the same time if you cut off at Sanchez). Las Galeras is 30 minutes further.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken
    Greg,

    Days are getting longer so you should be in Samana before it is pitch black, assuming you are in the car and on the road shortly after 2. There are shorter routes, but the one you mention is probably the easiest to find for somebody making the trip by car for the first time. You will pass a lot of places to eat during your trip. If coming from the airport, figure a good 4 hours on the route you have outlined.
    Ken,

    Thank you very much for your advice. We're going to be in Samana for a few days. Besides whale watching, are there any "do not miss" things to do?

    Greg

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregHarris
    My wife and I are driving from Santo Domingo to Samana in March. We arrive at 2:00 PM (I hope that is not to late to start the drive as I have read that it is a terrible drive at night). I checked your message board and saw a message posted that indicated the best route is Santo Domingo-Villa Altagracia-Bonao-San Fransisco de Marcoris-Nagua-Sanchez-Samana. Is that still the best route? Will there be a good place to get some food on the way? Will it still take around 3 1/2 hours? Thank you so much. Your message board is fantastic and we are so excited to make our first trip to the Domincan Republic.

    Greg
    This is your 1st trip to DR and your going to try to do that drive yourself???? Do you speak fluent spanish and are you ready to drive with some of the worst drivers you have ever seen??? Especially doing the last bit of that trip in darkness, You have no idea of what you are getting into If you really want to do the trip yourself I would suggest getting a hotel for the 1st night in Boca Chica or in Santo Domingo then getting an early start the next day. I have also attached a detailed map of DR. Good luck and be careful.
    Badpiece



    http://www1.tip.nl/~t794614/mapdr.htm

  7. #7
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    Smile Tranquilo

    @Greg
    Why rush?
    Enjoy your trip to Samaná as part of your vacation.
    As you won't make it to Samaná in daylight I do recommend to stay on the South Coast overnight and set out early the next morning.
    The last part of your journey is very scenic and it would be a shame to drive at night, dangerous , too.
    Take care.
    M'frog
    ww.samanave.com

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    Cool Driving is OK

    Badpiece,
    I can understand a word of two of caution, but I think you are being a little strong in your reply.
    MANY of our hotel's guests have made this drive while not speaking Spanish,...and they survived. And I have driven it many times myself and not had problems, even eight years ago when I made the drive for the first time speaking absolutely no Spanish except for cerveza and bano! And at that time we ran the Castillo, Pimentel, Cotui and Maimon shortcut with absolutely no directional signs whatsoever. Sure we made a wrong turn or two, but that was always in these little cities as we were navigating through them. And they're still the same,...unless you know where to turn you'll find yourself on a backstreet.
    The route Greg is planning to take is pretty straightforward with the only problems being getting across Santo Domingo and San Francisco de Macoris.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy B
    Badpiece,
    I can understand a word of two of caution, but I think you are being a little strong in your reply.
    MANY of our hotel's guests have made this drive while not speaking Spanish,...and they survived. And I have driven it many times myself and not had problems, even eight years ago when I made the drive for the first time speaking absolutely no Spanish except for cerveza and bano! And at that time we ran the Castillo, Pimentel, Cotui and Maimon shortcut with absolutely no directional signs whatsoever. Sure we made a wrong turn or two, but that was always in these little cities as we were navigating through them. And they're still the same,...unless you know where to turn you'll find yourself on a backstreet.
    The route Greg is planning to take is pretty straightforward with the only problems being getting across Santo Domingo and San Francisco de Macoris.
    Maybe I was a little strong on the message but he wants to make it to Samana in daylight and as such will be pushing it if he knew the roads well which he does not, He will definately get lost a few times going up in late afternoon and into the night so I believe why get stressed on vacation,spend a night in Santo Domingo and enjoy the trip in the sunshine the next day or take a taxi into capital and jump on Caribe tours 4pm bus to Samana and sit back and relax.

    Badpiece

  10. #10
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    Cool Dusk

    As sweetdbt posted earlier in this thread, he will be getting into Samana just as it's getting dark, about 7:30-8pm. The road from Nagua to Sanchez to Samana is straightforward with no turn-offs etc., so navigating that stretch in waning daylight (or even after dark) will be a piece of cake.

    And just as in any unfamiliar driving condition, if unfavorable conditions arise such as darkness, bad weather, people or animals in the road, etc,...slow down and take it easy.
    Last edited by Andy B; 02-27-2005 at 08:01 AM. Reason: spelling

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