Travel from Barcelo Bavaro Beach (Punta Cana) to Santo Domingo?

AinaHukka

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Jan 23, 2004
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Greetings! I am so excited to have found this website - my wife and I just booked our first-ever vacation together, going to Barcelo Bavaro Beach resort in Punta Cana in mid-March. If anyone has stayed at this resort, would love to hear any reviews.

My main question is this: We are flying in to Punta Cana direct from JFK, but the only direct return flight possibility (because of our late booking, I guess) is from Santo Domingo. How safe, how long, and how expensive is it to travel from the resort to Santo Domingo Airport? I read that the distance is some 200km?

Thank you very much!

Mikko
 

ricktoronto

Grande Pollo en Boca Chica
Jan 9, 2002
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AinaHukka said:
Greetings! I am so excited to have found this website - my wife and I just booked our first-ever vacation together, going to Barcelo Bavaro Beach resort in Punta Cana in mid-March. If anyone has stayed at this resort, would love to hear any reviews.

My main question is this: We are flying in to Punta Cana direct from JFK, but the only direct return flight possibility (because of our late booking, I guess) is from Santo Domingo. How safe, how long, and how expensive is it to travel from the resort to Santo Domingo Airport? I read that the distance is some 200km?

Thank you very much!

Mikko
You can take a taxi ( forget as tourists, the Higuey bus and taxis combined) between PUJ and the SDQ airport for I'd say around $100- $120 depending on your Spanish and how well you bargain, and the current gasoline price. Budget for the taxi, arrange at least 2 days before hand and reconfirm the taxi the day before and don't try other methods - too much work and risk.

The hotel ought to be able to do this but I'd watch the rates as there may be payola involved, and probably ask drivers who work the resort/area directly how much "off the books" in cash.

Allowing to be there two hours before for check-in you need 5 or 6 hours I'd have to imagine.
 

AinaHukka

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Jan 23, 2004
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Are these guys reputable?

Thanks, Rick, for the quick response. That sounds pretty difficult, given that our flight would have to be at Noon from Santo Domingo. So we'd have to leat at 7 a.m. or so? My wife and I don't speak ANY spanish, so that makes life that much more difficult... I do understand and speak some Italian so maybe I would understand, but not very well.

I found this web site: does anyone have experience with them, are they reputable? I'd really like to catch that direct flight instead of a later flight to San Juan, then a five-hour layover before the flight to the U.S...

http://www.dominicantaxi.com/index.html

Thanks!

Mikko
 

EddieW

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Apr 15, 2002
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Mikko,

My suggestion would be to take the connecting flight through San Juan - for a few reasons. First of all, you say there'd be a 5 hour layover. Well, you'll be riding in a car for 3 1/2 hours anyway to get to SDQ. Not to mention spending about $125.00 for the ride. Also, when you connect through San Juan, this is your entry into the U.S. You will go through immigration and customs there. This will take up at least an hour (possibly more) of your 5 hour layover time. This is the same drama you'd have to go through in JFK anyway. When you go through immigration and customs in San Juan, you are then on a domestic flight to the U.S. When you get off the 3 1/2 hour flight from San Juan, you will have already went through the immigration and customs, and you can de-plane and exit the airport seamlessly.

I'm saying this all from experience. Of course direct flights are much more convenient. But not when you have to drive all the way to Santo Domingo and spend another $125.00 in cab fare just for a direct flight.

Eddie
 

AinaHukka

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Jan 23, 2004
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thanks

Thanks, Eddie. Do you know is it convenient to leave the airport at San Juan in between the flights? Or are we stuck there for that whole time? I agree, spending that much money on a cab ride is not my idea of fun, but neither is spending five hours in an airport... ;)
 

EddieW

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Apr 15, 2002
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Yeah, I agree. It's sort of a 6 and 1/2 dozen situation. But the 1/2 dozen won't cost you $125.00!

No, you're not stuck at the airport in San Juan. If you've finished with immigration and customs and still have time before your JFK-bound flight, I hear there's a beach near the airport. Remember the San Juan to JFK flight is a domestic flight, so you'll be done with all the procedures you go through for an international flight, and won't have to be back at the airport until an hour or so before departure.

But the two times I've connected in San Juan, I didn't have time to consider leaving, so I've never personally done this.

The reason I got so into responding to this post, is next month I'm doing the exact same thing as you. I'm flying non-stop JFK-PUJ and then connecting in SJU coming back. I also considered going to SDQ for a non-stop, but decided I'd rather connect than ride 3 1/2 hours from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo.
 

ricktoronto

Grande Pollo en Boca Chica
Jan 9, 2002
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Leave at 6 a.m. or so, is my advice

AinaHukka said:
Thanks, Rick, for the quick response. That sounds pretty difficult, given that our flight would have to be at Noon from Santo Domingo. So we'd have to leat at 7 a.m. or so? My wife and I don't speak ANY spanish, so that makes life that much more difficult... I do understand and speak some Italian so maybe I would understand, but not very well.

Thanks!

Mikko
Leave early and ask your hotel , who I pray has SOMEONE speaking english) to arrange the taxi 2-3 days earlier and to confirm it the night before and the price - if you tip the hotel guy $5 he'll go to the wall to save you $10 with the taxi.

5,6,7 a.m. for a taxi isn't all that early anyway, especially in charter towns with the ridiculous hours the charters fly.

I fly in and out of SDQ and stay in Boca Chica but there are often people leaving at 4 a.m. in taxis for early flights. Don't forget how much pesos vs. a month's wage that $100 or so US means. (it = 5400 pesos vs. 3,900 pesos minimum MONTHLY wage)

As to that other idea prepare to pay $200 US change fee plus the fare differential for the San Juan option. you can't just ask for any change you want for free, not lately with the airlines.
 
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OttawaTom

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Dec 15, 2002
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Barcelo Bavaro Beach

Hi.

My wife and I have stayed there twice; once at the Beach and once at the Garden (Caribe). Both were great. You've made a good choice.

Tom
 

AinaHukka

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Jan 23, 2004
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Thanks for all the answers. I think we're going to stick with the San Juan return and look into getting out of the airport, possibly. The fact that our departure from Punta Cana isn't until 3:45 p.m. leaves us plenty of time that morning instead of trying to get to Santo Domingo!

And glad to hear that the Resort should be good!

Thanks again,

Mikko
 

rahim

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Aug 16, 2002
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bus service

I've been told that there is great bus service from Bavaro to SD. Large bus with video monitors and AC... takes about 4 hours and not expensive.. don't have a current figure. you catch the bus at the station on the Fuist Road.. Good luck
 

Gina Anton

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Jan 27, 2004
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Barcelo Beach

In response to your question regarding Barcelo Beach Hotel.
I vacationed there three times. The hotel is exceptional, beautiful, and highly recommended. As you may know, Barcelo Beach consists of 4 hotels; I stayed at the Barcelo Garden. The hotel grounds are beautiful. It is like a village in itself; fully contained. The travel from Santo Domingo is completely safe. If you travel by private taxi, the fee should be no more than $75.00 one way. The recommended taxi's to take are the beige cars with the driver's wearing pink shirts. I would like to add that I lived in Bavaro for one year and will be returning. I had an apartment just down the road from Barcelo Beach. My dominican friends work there. If you would like recommendations for shore excursions, personal escorts, anything, I can put you with the right people. Again, I was there actually just a little over one year consecutively. I know everyone in that area. I would love to share my experience in more detail with you. Please e-mail me back. Ciao!
 

Hillbilly

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Jan 1, 2002
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A FEW HOURS IN SAN JUAN

If you are going to do the thing about San Juan and have a 5 hour layover?

You will probably get in at the same time you leave here since I think we are an hour ahead of San Juan. So what to do?

Check your bags through to New York, keeping only what you need to carry. If you are just using carry-on, then go up to the main floor and find the nice little check room place so you don't have to carry around your stuff. Good folks there. Just remember if you have checked your bags through that you have to make that flight or they will de-plane the entire plane to find out whose luggage is not accompanied...!! Serious schitt after 9-11.

Anyway, go out the front and find a cab. Tell him you want to rent him for a couple of hours and how much. ?? Too much, give me a better price. Still a little high.. Okey let's go!

Ask hm to take you to Old San Juan, have a drink at El Convento Hotel. Walk around a bit in the plaza, get a feel for the place and listen to the Coqu?s...Co qu?, co qu? ! I do not know if you will have time for a quick tour of La Fortaleza...if not, go see Santurce and Ashford Ave.......

Then have him take you to Ashford Ave in El Condado and maybe have a bite to eat at almost any of the nice restaurants along there.

Back to the airport and back to NYC where you can freeze your butts off....

You can do this on a bus also, which is just outside to your right as you come out of the airport. A/C buses run right into San Juan...Good comfortable and very safe...And after walking around Old San Juan, hail a cab and get back to the Ariport...Save a bundle that way..

Cordially,
Your guide to Old San Juan,

HB
 
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