Las Terrenas  Beach

Las Terrenas Beach

Likely you are flying in from Santo Domingo, Santiago or Puerto Plato, from any of those it will probably be easiest to take Caribe Tours to get you to Samana. None of these go directly to Las Terrenas, so from there you will need to catch a public car or Taxi.

This is where the fun comes in! Depending on how busy they are, there is a lot of room for negotiation. On our first trip to Las Terrenas we planned on taking a public car from Samana to Las Terrenas. It turns out that the majority of the public cars are pickups and you sit in the back. This is about a 20-25 minute drive and it rains frequently. Unless you are really into budget traveling this may not be the best option. However, because that is what we told the taxi drivers that asked us if we wanted a ride, they kept lowering the price to talk us out of it.

In the end we went with Taxi Luna ((809) 667-0344 or (809)355-8752), the driver didn’t speak English, but we speak enough Spanish so that it didn’t matter. Likewise, as long as you have the name and address of the Hotel you want to reach in Las Terrenas, you don’t really need to be able to speak to them much, they will find your hotel. We got the price down to 1200 pesos or about $33 USD. This price was pretty good, because when we got to Las Terrenas we found a taxi location that stated the price to get back to Samana and the price was about twice that or 2200 pesos. (more…)

Unfortunately, at this time visitors to the DR should by very cautious while traveling in the Southern part of the country.

Leaders of two rival bus owner groups are battling for the rights to certain territories and are using violence to achieve their goals. At this point the problems seem to be centered around the Santo Domingo area heading toward San Cristóbal. So using the countries public transportation North of Santo Domingo is probably still safe. Near Santo Domingo it might be best to use Taxis until this gets worked out.

You can view the articles written in Dominican Today at these links.
Dominican Republics owners strike again injure reporters
The country’s owners stage showdown over bus routes 7 injured
Dominican Republic owner mocks the Government from Congress
Dominican Republics owners continue standoff 2 injured

If you are planning to stay in the DR for more than a few months, you will likely need to look into some sort of driver license. While public cars, Guaguas, Taxis, and Motor Conchos work, it’s nice to be able to drive yourself at time. There are a several ways you can do this.

  • One is to get residency and apply for a Dominican license.
  • Two, is to leave the country every three months in order to get your passport restamped (your foreign license is then good again for three months)
  • Three, get an international License.

Which option to choose will likely depend on your long term plans. If you don’t plan on staying more than 6 months or so, it might be easier to just plan a small vacation where you leave the country for a few days. When you get back you will get your passport stamped again and your license will once again be good for another 3 months.

If you are planning to stay over a year, then you likely want to get residency and eventually get a Dominican drivers license. Even then you might need to either get your passport restamped or get an International License to keep you going during the long wait you are going to have to get the residency complete.

For me the easiest option has been getting an International Drivers Document.

  1. First question is does the Dominican Republic honor an International License? (more…)

Having a car in the Dominican Republic is very convenient however driving in the Dominican Republic can be a challenge.

First get used to the horn; drivers in the DR have one hand permanently on the horn. Don’t get irritated when they use it. The horn is considered a notification devise, not just a sign that the person irritated at you. They will use it when they pass you, at intersections, when passing people or just when they feel they haven’t heard the horn enough that day.

People drive extremely close here regardless of the speed you are going. Cars drive on the wrong side of the road to avoid pot holes and for almost any other reason you can imagine. It’s common to see 3-4 cars side by side on a 2 lane road, when preparing to cross intersections etc. They pretty much consider the lines in the road to be optional, and which side of the road you are expected to drive on to only be a suggestion not a law. Motorcycles use either side of the road about the same, with only a slight preference of being on the right side of the road. (more…)

If you plan on doing any traveling outside to the city that you flew into during you stay in the Dominican Republic, you are likely to need to know about the various tour buses. First thing to know is “Tour Buses” is a little misleading. Even though some of the bus companies like Caribe Tours have the word tour in them, that does not mean they are guided tours. This is just transportation from one location to the next.

That doesn’t mean there are no tour companies in the DR, you just need to make sure of what they are offering before you book. There are some great companies offering excursions and we plan on hitting a bunch of then as time goes on. We’ll be posting reviews of the companies as we try them.

Especially if you fly into Santo Domingo or Santiago, you are likely to take one of these buses to get to your vacation destination. These are the Bus companies to choose from: (more…)

Many people coming to the Dominican Republic choose to stay at one Hotel on one beach. Which is nice but you don’t get a very good feel of the island. If you have time (at least a couple weeks) it’s nice to explore the island some. You have two choices in doing this, one is to rent a car. This is pretty expensive and your nerves will be shot after a couple hours of trying to navigate through one of the cities. The second way is to use the public transportation.

This takes a little getting used to and a bit of knowledge beforehand really helps. There are several forms of transportation here Tour buses, Guaguas (public cars or vans), Motor conchos (guys on motor cycles) and Taxi’s.  (more…)

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