Driving from Bavaro to Bahia De Las Aguilas in one day?

zima

Newbie
Jan 17, 2019
6
0
0
Hello everyone,

I have reservation in camping at Bahia de las Aguilas and currently planning my ride there from Bavaro.

As per Google maps, route distance is 521km (323mi) and Google predict 8hrs of driving. That sounds reasonable for me (I have 20 year driving experience and already did long distance rides 500+ miles per day, in winter/mountains/etc conditions). But I've never been in DR and not familiar with local driving specialities.

Questions to those who know that route - Is that real time or I should allow more time for this ride? Is that possible at all, not doing stop for a night somewhere in the middle?

Please share your experience.

Thanks
 

Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast Forum
Dec 9, 2002
17,625
693
113
Yes, sounds about right. Bear in mind that crossing Santo Domingo is the least predictable leg of the journey because of traffic congestion. Bavaro-Santo Domingo takes about 2 hours 30 mins, Santo Domingo to Barahona takes about 3 hours, and Barahona to Pedernales/Bahia de las Aguilas should take about 2 hours.
 

Riva_31

Bronze
Apr 1, 2013
2,155
2
38
Yes, sounds about right. Bear in mind that crossing Santo Domingo is the least predictable leg of the journey because of traffic congestion. Bavaro-Santo Domingo takes about 2 hours 30 mins, Santo Domingo to Barahona takes about 3 hours, and Barahona to Pedernales/Bahia de las Aguilas should take about 2 hours.
Yes, the road from Barahora to Pedernales friends says is not very good one either, to skip bad trafic in Santo Domingo better arrive there before 7:00 am.
 

frank12

Gold
Sep 6, 2011
11,844
0
36
Hello everyone,

I have reservation in camping at Bahia de las Aguilas and currently planning my ride there from Bavaro.

As per Google maps, route distance is 521km (323mi) and Google predict 8hrs of driving. That sounds reasonable for me (I have 20 year driving experience and already did long distance rides 500+ miles per day, in winter/mountains/etc conditions). But I've never been in DR and not familiar with local driving specialities.

Questions to those who know that route - Is that real time or I should allow more time for this ride? Is that possible at all, not doing stop for a night somewhere in the middle?

Please share your experience.

Thanks
Zima, I was just there in September, and again about 6-months prior to that on motorcycles. Whatever you do, Do not under any circumstances try this drive at night, or dusk, or any poor visibility. Once you get to Barahona, if it is dark, or almost dark, under no circumstances should you drive further!! Stay the night, and continue in the morning!

There are several reasons for this;

1.) There are no Street Lights past Barahona!!

2.) There will be 100+ Speed Bumps before you get to your Eco Tent Lodge--which is very beautiful and isolated as you cannot imagine--but also very cool. (I have posted a brief video of the trip on Youtube).

3.) the highway is very narrow in places, caved in, and there are a dozen 180-degree off-camber turns in the middle of no where. No where!!

4.) There are hundreds of potholes....some so large that you can fall into them and emerge in China. No joke.

If you have any questions about this route, let me know. I try and do it once a year with friends on motorcycles. You couldn't pay me one million dollars to try this at night.

PS: Cobraboy can probably add a good deal more information. I would speak to him.

Frank
 

zima

Newbie
Jan 17, 2019
6
0
0
Thanks to everyone!

I already heard that night driving in DR is quite dangerous because of lack of street lighting, lack of head-/taillights on local cars and a lot of speed bumps and potholes. So I would try to depart as early as I can, maybe 6:30 - 7:00am (sunrise time) and plan to arrive there before sunset (should be at 6:30am in February). 10-11 hrs should be enough with stops for lunch/gas stations/etc.

Another question:

On my way back I will be driving from Bahia De Las Aguilas to Las Galeras. Google offer 2 routes:

1) Turn left before Santa Domingo, through Autopista Circunvalación de Santo Domingo (almost 10hrs driving).
2) Turn left after Santa Domingo, through Autopisa de Nordeste (almost 8:30 driving)

I guess there's no way to avoid stopping for a night somewhere in the middle on this route.
What will be the most interesting/comfortable place to overnight stop?
 

SKY

Gold
Apr 11, 2004
9,946
258
83
No. 2 for sure. I assume that is the Nagua toll road just before the airport.
 

Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast Forum
Dec 9, 2002
17,625
693
113
I also recommend option 2, and an overnight stay in the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo. Interesting place to visit and there are several boutique hotel options but ensure they guarantee parking facilities.
 

PJT

Silver
Jan 8, 2002
3,270
34
48
Plan accordingly

It has been about a year since PJT has traveled to the far SW and some of the road conditions may have changed. Having said that, it is best to depart Bavaro as early as possible in the am to give yourself an edge, ie: having daylight during the last legs of the travel. Traffic congestion in the big city is hell, no matter what time you arrive into greater Santo Domingo you are going to sit in place at times. Keep your car doors locked. It would be wise to find mid trip stops to overnight. Even the long timers do it for reasons of convenience and safety. The stress of driving in the RD can take a lot out of a seasoned driver/operator familiar with the driving culture. It is no picnic !

Be very careful and plan accordingly: Bring your own supply of paper, many facilities lack conveniences. Also, ask for help for the best exit route for departing Santo Domingo to the South, traffic signage sucks or is missing. As this one has mentioned it has been more than a year traveling to the area and some things may have changed. Travelers having recent experiences are best source to provide information. Help would be welcome.


Regards,

PJT
 

SKY

Gold
Apr 11, 2004
9,946
258
83
I just drove a few months ago from Bavaro to Barahona in 5 1/2 hours. But I drive pretty fast when it is safe. If you leave at 6:30 AM though you will hit a lot of traffic when you get to SD that could really slow you down. Better to either bite the bullet and leave at 4:30 or leave at 7:45 AM. If you leave early you will make it easily well before sundown. Even stopping for lunch.

If you leave at the other option, you should still be there before sundown anyway. You will still get hit in SD with traffic, but nothing is worse than coming in the time you will arrive if you leave at 6:30. The other spot on the way you will not like is Bani, you go right thru the center of town on a small street. Of course there are some OK spots to stay in Bani if you like also.

Also Google maps will get you out of SD on the right road also. But it is a bit tricky, so pay close attention when in SD.
 

zima

Newbie
Jan 17, 2019
6
0
0
Thanks PJT, Chirimoya and SKY!

I've heard a lot of bad things about Santo Domingo, so I will think twice about staying there overnight on the way to Las Galeras.

As for driving, I hope I can handle DR driving style (I'm living in not the best in terms of driving country). I'm going to depart at approx 7:00am and will be using Google Maps, as usual. By the way, is there map/navigation software with marked speed bumps (Policías acostado)?
 

Cdn_Gringo

Gold
Apr 29, 2014
7,372
340
83
Some survival tips for driving in this country:

1) Keep your speed reasonable.
2) Stop for 15 minutes and stretch your legs/clear your head every couple of hours.
3) Accept the roads are going to suck in places and be sure to leave yourself lots of space from the vehicle in front. Use their knowledge of the big holes to your advantage.
4) Don't get angry at others drivers, they know not what they do. But do expect them to be idiots.
5) Travel with some bottled water, a working cellphone with a way to recharge it in the car, some peanuts/trail mix to snack on.

Rental car *must* dos:

1) Check spare tire and jack for proper inflation and all needed parts.
2) Check coolant level, brake fluid level, transmission fluid level and oil level (you are going on an expedition not a trip to the store).
3) Have some cash, credit cards may or may not work when you need them the most.
4) Do not tempt fate by letting gasoline levels fall too far below 1/4.
5) The best driving plans and routes tend to fall apart at some point.
6) Do not stop and help anyone, do not pick up hitchhikers, do not stop for anyone telling you to do so and that includes the police.
7) Do not let anyone get into your car.
8) Do not hand over your passport (or any official document) to anyone - a color photocopy only.
9) For all interactions with the authorities, you do not speak Spanish, listen to what they say, but play dumb.
 

LTSteve

Gold
Jul 9, 2010
5,450
20
38
Hello everyone,

I have reservation in camping at Bahia de las Aguilas and currently planning my ride there from Bavaro.

As per Google maps, route distance is 521km (323mi) and Google predict 8hrs of driving. That sounds reasonable for me (I have 20 year driving experience and already did long distance rides 500+ miles per day, in winter/mountains/etc conditions). But I've never been in DR and not familiar with local driving specialities.

Questions to those who know that route - Is that real time or I should allow more time for this ride? Is that possible at all, not doing stop for a night somewhere in the middle?

Please share your experience.

Thanks
Why are you coming from Bavaro? Any chance you could fly into Santo Domingo? Its only 320kms from there. Be safe and good luck.