Travel

AIR: The Dominican Republic’s national airline is Air Santo Domingo (EX) (website: www.airsantodomingo.com).

American Airlines offers daily flights from London via Miami. Direct flights from the USA are operated by Continental Airlines (from New Jersey), and American Airlines (from New York). Iberia operates every day to Santo Domingo via Madrid. Other airlines operating flights from Europe are Air France, Condor and Martinair.

Approximate flight times: From London to Santo Domingo is 11 hours (including stopover).

International airports: Santo Domingo (SDQ) (Internacional de las Americas), 30km (18 miles) east of the city (travel time – 30 minutes). Taxi services are available to Santo Domingo. Airport facilities include outgoing duty-free shop, post office, bank/bureau de change, restaurants, bars and car hire.

Puerto Plata International Airport (POP) (Internacional General Gregorio Luperón). Airport facilities include outgoing duty-free shop, banking and exchange facilities, restaurant, bar and car hire (Avis).

Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) is 10 to 30 minutes’ travel time from the Punta Cana and Bávaro resorts. Airport facilities include gift shops, duty-free shop and taxi.

Departure tax: US$10. Passengers in direct transit and children under 2 years of age are exempt. A ‘stay tax’ is also levied on all passengers staying longer than 3 months: peso 60.48 (3 to 9 months); peso100.80 (9 to 12 months) or peso160.16 – peso600.32 (1 year or more).

Note: When buying an international air ticket in the Dominican Republic a tax of approximately 12 per cent is levied on the carrier by the Government. This expense is passed on directly to the customer on the price of the ticket. If the ticket is bought outside the Dominican Republic there is no tax.

SEA: Cruise lines calling at the Dominican Republic include Holland America, Seabourn and Windjammer.

ROAD: There are three routes from Haiti: on the road from Port-au-Prince to Santo Domingo at Jimaní/Malpasse; on the road from Cap-Haitian to Santiago at Dajabón/Ouanaminthe; and a third route near the center of the island at Elías Pinâ/Belladere. The borders are open from 0800-1600.

TRAVEL: DOMESTIC

AIR: There are regular flights between Santo Domingo, Santiago, Samaná, Punta Cana and Puerto Plata by Air Santo Domingo. Planes may also be chartered. For more information, contact the airline directly.

ROAD: Traffic drives on the right. There is a reasonable network of roads, including the Sanchez Highway running westwards from Santo Domingo to Elias Pina on the Haitian frontier; the Mella Highway extending eastwards from Santo Domingo to Higuey in the southeast, and the Duarte Highway running north and west from Santo Domingo to Santiago and to Monte Cristi on the northwest coast. Not all roads in the Dominican Republic are all-weather and 4-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended for wet weather. Checkpoints near military installations are ubiquitous, though no serious difficulties have been reported (those near the Haitian border are most likely to be sensitive). The speed limit is up to 60kph in cities and 80-100kph on motorways.

Bus: Cheap and efficient air-conditioned bus and coach services run from the capital to other major towns. Car hire: There are several car hire companies in Santo Domingo (including Avis, Budget, Dollar, Europcar, Hertz and National). Minimum age for car hire is 25. A credit card is required for car hire transactions. Insurance is compulsory. Documentation: A national or International Driving Permit is accepted, but is only valid for 90 days.

URBAN: Santo Domingo has flat-fare bus and minibus services, and an estimated 7000 share-taxis called Carro de Conchos. These operate a 24-hour service, stop on demand and charge higher fares. In old Santo Domingo the streets are narrow with blind corners so care should be taken, particularly as Dominican drivers have a tendency to use their horns rather than their brakes. Horse-drawn carriages are available for rent in most cities for tours around parks and plazas.

Travel times: The following chart gives approximate travel times (in hours and minutes) from Santo Domingo to other major cities and towns in the Dominican Republic.

Air
Road
Santiago
0.30
3.00
Puerto Plata
0.45
3.15
Samaná
0.35
3.30
La Romana
0.25
2.00
Punta Cana
0.30
3.30
Barahona
3.30


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