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In our month in the Dominican Republic, we travelled around a fair bit. From Santo Domingo to Cabarete, Cabarete to Las Terrenas and Puerto Plata to Santiago. Josh even made it the whole way from Cabarete to Haiti and return!
There are various forms of public transportation, as well as comfy, spacious taxis on offer. We tried them all, apart from motor bikes, with our kids.
The following is what we learned about Dominican Republic transportation during this time…
If you are going any real distance in the Dominican Republic, you are most probably going to be catching a first class bus. They are modern, clean, air conditioned, have a toilet and are reasonably convenient. I thought they would be fancy buses, being called first class, but they are fairly standard buses.
We caught one from Santo Domingo all the way to Sosua on the Northern coast. You can read all the details in our dedicated guide to this journey.
The cheapest way to get around the Domincian Republic is a guagua. These are vans with multiple rows of seats.
They are easy to catch – you just have to find one going in the right direction, flag it down and squish in – space is very limited. Kids are free on laps, but you are so squished that we found it difficult not to have three seats between us if we had a small backpack as well.
It is fun, but I wouldn’t want to catch one for too long (and Josh suffered being so big). One time, they tried to rip us off badly. Other times, there was just an inflated price quoted. Try to find out in advance what the cost should be and just pay it without asking on board.
Taxis are easy to find in Santo Domingo. You have to bargain the price, but they didn’t start too ridiculously high. They were mostly older cars and there were no seat belts in the ones we caught. We caught a big van taxi between Cabarete and Sosua which was a good price if you can be patient.
There are private vans which you can hire to go between towns and cities. We found these easy to find and a great standard BUT they are expensive. It cost us US$170 for the 2.5 hour journey between Las Terrenas and Cabarete! It’s a shame there isn’t a cheaper option.
It would be hard/impossible to get around in guaguas with suitcases… This means you really need to be prepared in the Dominican Republic to either:
Read more about travelling around the Dominican Republic in our travel guides to this beautiful country.