Travelling from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana

NT174

New member
Aug 12, 2004
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My boyfriend and I are flying into Santo Domingo next week (landing around 3pm) and were planning--until recently--to rent a car and drive 3 hours to Punta Cana where we're staying.

Anyone have any opinions as to the safety/feasibility of this? Or would it be preferable to take a taxi to Punta Cana?

I guess a related question is also do we even need a rental car for our trip or if activities are limited to the resorts?

Thanks!!
 

ricktoronto

Grande Pollo en Boca Chica
Jan 9, 2002
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NT174 said:
My boyfriend and I are flying into Santo Domingo next week (landing around 3pm) and were planning--until recently--to rent a car and drive 3 hours to Punta Cana where we're staying.

Anyone have any opinions as to the safety/feasibility of this? Or would it be preferable to take a taxi to Punta Cana?

I guess a related question is also do we even need a rental car for our trip or if activities are limited to the resorts?

Thanks!!
You don't need a rental car if you are willing to haggle (preferably in Spanish) with a taxicito. For a week you'll pay a as much or more for the car in any case. The tariff from Boca Chica to Punta Cana is US$120 and the airport to Boca Chica is US$18. I bet with good negotiating skills you can get one way for US$100 or so. Choose a real, official taxi with the taxi tursitico seal on the door and not some car in the queue that is allegedly one.
 

la_barbie

Bronze
May 6, 2004
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NT174 said:
My boyfriend and I are flying into Santo Domingo next week (landing around 3pm) and were planning--until recently--to rent a car and drive 3 hours to Punta Cana where we're staying.

Anyone have any opinions as to the safety/feasibility of this? Or would it be preferable to take a taxi to Punta Cana?

I guess a related question is also do we even need a rental car for our trip or if activities are limited to the resorts?

Thanks!!

another thing is do you know where the hell to go??? it is SSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOO easy to get lost. .. . .. you can also take a bus for RD 200 (about $4.50 USD) ... depending on what time your plane lands you may have to stay the night for that ....your call...

I've never had a problem with renting a car and driving from POP to PC but thats because I had a local with me who knew where he was going ..
 

KateP

Silver
May 28, 2004
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I travel almost every 2 weeks from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana. There are 2 buses that give daily direct service with 2 stops in Santo Domingo and they drop you off wherever you want in Punta Cana/Bavaro. The cost is RD$210/person and they leave at 7am or 4pm, arriving about 3 1/2 hours later. The main bus stop (Expreso Bavaro) is located just off Ave. Maximo Gomez in front of the Nacional Supermarket (might not say much to you but a taxi driver would know). The second stop if the bus isn't full is in Parque Enriquillo but I wouldn't recommend it since it's a very crowded place, not tourist friendly and you get whatever seat is left over.

The other option is catching a bus from Parque Enriquillo to Higuey, then transfer from Higuey to Punta Cana. Buses leave continuously and if I'm not mistaken the cost is just a bit higher. I've never done it this way so I couldn't say how complicated it is but the employees are used to seeing tourists so they can usually help you out and make sure you get there ok.

As for the car, I really wouldn't recommend it unless you've driven in this country before. Plus it's a bit complicated to get to Punta Cana and so far I haven't seen any map that can get you there easily. Plus, if you're arriving at 3, that means you won't be on the road until at least 4:30 and in Punta Cana by 8:30-9:00pm. That means it'll be dark and you won't be able to see anything. Think twice about it. As for driving once at the resort, depends on how active you are. There isn't all that much to do around Punta Cana and everything is pretty far from one another...

My last recommendation would be that if you want to arrive in Punta Cana on the same day, pay the extra cash and get a taxi. As Ricktoronto mentioned, there are cream colored tourist taxis at the airport who speak some english and you should be able to get a reasonable rate and a comfortable ride. You'll get there faster, comfortably and if you need to stop, you can do it. If I had the cash, I'd do it this way.

Hope this helps. Enjoy your stay!
 

NT174

New member
Aug 12, 2004
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Thanks--

Thank you so much! I think we're going to skip on the car and just haggle with the cab drivers once we get there.....

KateP said:
I travel almost every 2 weeks from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana. There are 2 buses that give daily direct service with 2 stops in Santo Domingo and they drop you off wherever you want in Punta Cana/Bavaro. The cost is RD$210/person and they leave at 7am or 4pm, arriving about 3 1/2 hours later. The main bus stop (Expreso Bavaro) is located just off Ave. Maximo Gomez in front of the Nacional Supermarket (might not say much to you but a taxi driver would know). The second stop if the bus isn't full is in Parque Enriquillo but I wouldn't recommend it since it's a very crowded place, not tourist friendly and you get whatever seat is left over.

The other option is catching a bus from Parque Enriquillo to Higuey, then transfer from Higuey to Punta Cana. Buses leave continuously and if I'm not mistaken the cost is just a bit higher. I've never done it this way so I couldn't say how complicated it is but the employees are used to seeing tourists so they can usually help you out and make sure you get there ok.

As for the car, I really wouldn't recommend it unless you've driven in this country before. Plus it's a bit complicated to get to Punta Cana and so far I haven't seen any map that can get you there easily. Plus, if you're arriving at 3, that means you won't be on the road until at least 4:30 and in Punta Cana by 8:30-9:00pm. That means it'll be dark and you won't be able to see anything. Think twice about it. As for driving once at the resort, depends on how active you are. There isn't all that much to do around Punta Cana and everything is pretty far from one another...

My last recommendation would be that if you want to arrive in Punta Cana on the same day, pay the extra cash and get a taxi. As Ricktoronto mentioned, there are cream colored tourist taxis at the airport who speak some english and you should be able to get a reasonable rate and a comfortable ride. You'll get there faster, comfortably and if you need to stop, you can do it. If I had the cash, I'd do it this way.

Hope this helps. Enjoy your stay!
 

ricktoronto

Grande Pollo en Boca Chica
Jan 9, 2002
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NT174 said:
Thank you so much! I think we're going to skip on the car and just haggle with the cab drivers once we get there.....
You know the top rate is $138 ($120 +$18) so haggle knowing the retail cost. Otherwise pay the $18 , go to the taxi stand in Boca Chica next to the Hamaca, point to the $120 sign and get a new taxi. At which point the first one will whistle a different tune.

I bet $100-110 and a $10 tip to get you there in an air conditioned van will suffice. Can you speak Spanish? The English skills among even the Taxi Turisticos would be better described as non-existent. If no espanol, write down the agreed price. Prepare also to have the guy ask a few times near PC where the resort is. Don't panic if he hasn't a clue , at least you are in the right town. I always have to tell taxi guys where my hotel in Boca Chica is and somethimes WHERE Boca Chica is and it is 10 km away.

Future tip: (Other than avoiding the death of tourism, the AI resort) - try Boca Chica or Juan Dolio next time if flying into the wrong airport.