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Thread: Best route for driving from Samana to Santo Domingo?

  1. #1
    JD
    Guest

    Default Best route for driving from Samana to Santo Domingo?

    Ola, wondering what's the best and fastest driving route from Samana to Santo Domingo? how are the roads? how long will it take (at tourist speeds)? Are there places we should definitely plan to stop and visit along the way?

  2. #2
    DR One
    Guest

    Default Re: Best route for driving from Samana to Santo Domingo?

    The best route is Santo Domingo-Villa Altagracia-Bonao-San Francisco de Macorís-Nagua-Sánchez-Samaná. You can stop for good coffee/fruit milkshakes or typical Dominican food at a roadside cafeteria in Bonao (Típico Bonao). The Santo Domingo-SFM highway is in top shape, lovely green countryside scenery at both sides. When you turn for SFM you will see rice fields. Then SFM, a populated town, like many in the DR. After leaving Bonao, drive slowly so you do not miss the exit to San Francisco de Macorís (think there is only one sign post). The exit from San Francisco to Nagua is a bit tricky... follow our advice and ask, ask and ask (Dominicans are friendly and will be very helpful), every two blocks until you get out. Once on the Nagua northernly highway, it's straight driving until you get to Samaná. Also, drive only during the day. It will take you less than four hours at 70 kms per hour average (1-1/2 hour to San Francisco), 1/2 hour lost getting out of San Francisco on to Nagua and then another hour or so to Samaná (easy driving). Go for it,

  3. #3
    JD
    Guest

    Default Re: Best route for driving from Samana to Santo Domingo?

    Thanks, [email protected]! This is after driving from Sosua to Samana, so we're actually driving FROM Samana to Santo Domingo (Hotel Palacio) -- but I can read the directions in reverse, right? :-) will we also get lost going from Nagua to San Francisco or is it easier the other way? Anything else we should know driving into Santo Domingo, having never been there, and coming in on the Friday before Independence Day?

  4. #4
    DR One
    Guest

    Default Re: Best route for driving from Samana to Santo Domingo?

    Yes, you can do the trip the other way around, just delete the Típico Bonao because you will have to get off the highway to find it on the way back. The problem with making it through San Francisco is that there are no road signs indicating the way to Santo Domingo, so you have to ask and ask, therefore you have to give yourself more time. It's no big deal. Just go two streets and ask for the way to the Autopista Duarte and the people will tell you which street to take. Go another two or three streets and ask again to make sure you are on the right way. You also have to give yourself some time to find your way to the Colonial City in Santo Domingo and then to your hotel. If you have a good city map, it will be much easier as there are more signs. But again, in Santo Domingo, ask and ask. Have the street address as the Hotel Palacio is not very well known to city residents.

    Regarding coming in on the Friday before Independence Day makes no big difference. You will be in Santo Domingo for Carnival -- not sure what day the parade is. It's a wacko parade with characters of all sorts parading along the Malecón, the sea-fronting boulevard. Thousands turn out to watch.

  5. #5
    JD
    Guest

    Default Re: Best route for driving from Samana to Santo Domingo?

    Thanks you again, DR1! Your messages both here and in the archives about driving to and from Samana have been most helpful. I've done a lot of web searching on the Dominican Republic in the past week or two and I must say that this site is by far the best for info, both basic and hard-to-get. I am amazed at how good it is, due in large part I'm sure to your efforts as well as all the wonderful people who contribute.

    Mucho gusto! - JD

  6. #6
    Al Waggoner
    Guest

    Default Re: Best route for driving from Samana to Santo Domingo?

    I highly recommend that you purchase a locally produced tourist road map. It will be very helpful as you travel across country and invaluable in the larger cities.

  7. #7
    JD
    Guest

    Default Re: Best route for driving from Samana to Santo Domingo?

    Hi Al - yes, I was planning on looking for one in Sosua when we arrive. -- JD

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