Altamira gas station Petronan

Altamira gas station Petronan

Once you get to Altamira you are going to want to know how to get around. In Altamira you will find two bus stops for the local public transportation or Guaguas. Both of them are right next to Altamira’s only gasoline station, Petronan (la Bomba). While these are main bus stops where they always stop, you can catch a gugua anywhere along the highway by flagging it down when it goes past.

The main Guagua that services the carretera Navarete (the highway) between Navarete and Puerto Plata is Javilla Tours. You will also find public cars along the route but most people end up using the Guagua. Starting from Altamira you should end up paying 65 pesos to get to Puerto Plato or to Santiago, 40 pesos to get to Navarete and 50 pesos to get to the assembly hall in Via Gonzalas.

You can also use this same Guagua to head down the street to the Kingdom Hall in La Piedra for 20 pesos, but casually it is easier to use one of the Moto Conchos (motorcycle public transportation) for about 25 pesos. Javilla Tours runs from about 6 in the morning to about 8pm. Most days you can expect to see a guagua every 20 minutes or so. If you see a Javilla Tours bus pass you with out stopping don’t panic! There is also an express from Puerto Plata to Santiago that does not stop. The buses look about the same but if they don’t honk (asking you if you need a ride), they are likely the express bus.

Parada de Santiago

Altamira bus stop to santiago

Altamira bus stop to santiago

Directly across the street from the Petroman gasoline station  is the bus stop for Santiago. Sometimes there will be a moto concho there to take you into town but more likely you will have to walk down the street towards town about a block to the other bus stop where most of the Motoconchos hang out.

The motoconchos will take you almost any where in Altamira for 25 pesos. If you put two passengers on the bike they will charge for two people or 50 pesos.

There are a couple places to sit while you wait, under the overhang are some bench seats, and under the tree are some plastic stadium seats. The buses do get crowded at times to it is a good idea to stand and get in line when the bus comes. They will never turn you down from getting in but, if there are no more seats left you will end up standing in the isle.  Depending on the driver the ride can get a little crazy so it is best to be able to sit if you can.

When riding the bus you the cobrador (person that takes the money) will help you with any luggage you may have. Often they put bags under the seats up in front so you don’t have to carry them down the isle. Be prepared for teh bus to take off while you are still trying to get to a seat.

The cobrador will seldom take money when you first get into the bus. Once they get a ways down the street he will make his way down the isle and collect the money. Usually there is no problem giving him a 500 peso bill or even a 1000 peso bill. HOWEVER, be sure to count your change, they like to overcharge foreigners. Usually the amount is only 5-10 pesos (15 to 30 US cents), but it is a little annoying.

Parada de Puerto Plata

Altamira Bus  top to Puerto Plata

Altamira Bus top to Puerto Plata

Down the street in the direction of the main entrance to Altamira is the Parada (bus stop) for the direction to Puerto Plata. You will see a bunch of motorcycles parked under a overhang. These are all motoconchos to take people from the bus stop into town.

Even if you have bags and luggage they will find a way to take you, although you may pay a bit extra or even need more than one bike if you have a lot of luggage. It is best to have exact change (25 pesos) although they will at times have change.

If you find a driver you like you can get his phone number so you can call him to pick you up at your house. Usually they start work at around 7:30 to 8am and work until about 5-6pm. Although you can arrange ahead of time for them to pick you up if you need to leave town earlier. Usually it is best to talk to them the day before, they often turn off their phones when they are done for the night.

If you do take a public car instead of the guagua expect to pay a bit more than for the bus. Public cars smaash 4 people in the back and 2 people in the passenger bucket seat. Often but not always, the guagua has air conditioning where the public cars almost never use theirs, so it is usually more comfortable in the guagua than in the public cars.