Tag Archives: transportation

Local Transportation

Alternative Types Of Public Transportation

Large busses are always available for destinations but for local travel when walking just will not do there are many different types of public transportation. Some take some time to learn but for local inexpensive travel, they are the go-to form of transportation.

Public Car | GuaGua |Motoconcho

A public car taking a rest
A public car taking a rest

Public Cars

Public cars also called carros publicos, carritos or derechos are public taxis and usually cost $25 pesos (5/18) (prices have been going up as the gas prices raise).

People are entering a carrito. One form of public transportation in Dominican Republic
People are entering a carrito. One form of public transportation in Dominican Republic

In Santo Domingo these cars will have a green or a yellow top and some will be painted half and half. An official public car should have an official ID (either hanging from the mirror or on the visor) with a picture and ID number of the driver.

The cars usually have signs (similar to taxi signs) on the roof or door of the car, stating on which route or road they travel. They all have a specific route they travel. They drive all day the same route, round and round. The carritos stop often wherever passengers want to get in or out.

If you stand at the side of the road they may honk as they drive towards you if their horns are functioning that is. They will point their finger in the direction they are going. You can signal with a short wave down beside your leg or wave for them to stop or shake your head no and they will pass by. If they are full of humans (2 passengers in the front seat and 4 in the back) they will drive right by you. If they are not full they will stop and you can hop, more like climb, on in.

People are entering a carrito. You can see a Guagua in the street and a motoconcho also. Public transportation in Dominican Republic
People are entering a carrito. You can see a Guagua in the street and a motoconcho also. Public transportation in Dominican Republic

You can let the driver know where you want to get out by telling them your destination or by simply tapping their shoulder / pointing to indicate where. Say “Déjeme” for “Let me out”, “Dónde pueda” to tell them to stop “wherever you can” to let you out. Say “En la esquina” for them to “Stop at the next corner”.

This is not the most comfortable form of transportation but it is very inexpensive. You will be sat on, poked, squeezed into a small, usually hot comfy car. 4 passengers in the back, 3 in the front. You need to get out and let others in and out as needed.

I highly recommend

  • not
  • taking this form of transportation in the night.

    At first, this is a confusing form of travel. But when you understand the routs and pricing it can be a very interesting way to get around. A real Dominican experience.


    Guagua in San Jose de Ocoa for the mountain roads
    Guagua in San Jose de Ocoa for the mountain roads

    The guagua is another cheap form of Dominican transportation. A good way to get around but only if you can understand the system.

    The routes are usually posted someplace outside the van. The driver’s assistant, or Cobrador (fare collector), will be hanging out of a window or side door waving to see if they should stop. Trying to solicit a passerby to ride. Some even fight over a fare.

    These vans are usually in very poor condition and you never know what you could be sitting next to on your ride. They hold as many people they can fit, maybe a chicken or two, and anything else that someone can get through the door.

    There are no official stops or schedules that they follow. They will stop anywhere along their route, dropping off and picking up passengers. When the route ends there will be another to pick you up and take you farther in your quest. If you are not sure where to go just ask. Usually, the drivers assistant and the people taking a ride are very helpful.

    The cost of this mode of transportation can start at about $25 (1/18) pesos. Make sure to have the correct change as drivers usually do not give change. They also like to convince tourists that they get a tip, which is not true.


    A motoconcho carrying humans and cargo
    A motoconcho carrying humans and cargo

    Motoconchos are yet another form of public transportation for persons who are a little braver. They can take you directly to your destination. You will see many of these motorbikes carrying as many people as they can possibly fit. They also carry every item you could imagine, chickens, pigs, refrigerators and I have even seen one towing a car.

    A motoconcho is a very inexpensive way to get around locally. The cost can be from $50 (1/18) pesos and up, depending on how far you want to go and if it is day or night.

    Most motoconcho drivers will wear a yellow safety vest that states they are official drivers. They do not offer helmets. This mode of transportation can be a little dangerous as these brave drivers weave in and out of traffic trying to get to their destinations with not having to wait in the lines of cars. But, if you want to get around the campos or smaller towns this form or transportation is very fast and easy.

    The smaller towns usually have moto taxis on all major street corners.

    To read about helpful transportation tips.
    Important phone numbers to take with you when you travel.
    To read a funny story about Dominican Drivers written by DR Gringa


    Take A Taxi In The Dominican Republic

    Taxis can be found on most city streets. A taxi does not have any certain color or car type although there are some yellow cabs now in service. Most will have a small yellow taxi light on top of the car or a plack in the front window.

    You can usually get a taxi within the city of Santo Domingo for about $160 to $200 pesos (11-2017) (prices have been going up as the gas prices raise). Try to have the correct change, especially if you are paying in foreign monies as drivers usually do not have change.

    The best way to get a good price on a taxi is to call one of the major taxi services instead of using the ones on the streets or in front of hotels. Always ask the price first and if your not happy call a local company to pick you up.

    If you’re at a hotel you may need to walk to the front if your getting a non-hotel affiliated taxi. If you’re in a restaurant or local business and need a taxi most will call one for you.

    The safest night time travel is by a taxi direct to your destination. One thing that you should try to remember, for safety’s sake, is to ask the driver for his taxi number and remember it or write it down. If he does not have a number you may not want to take the ride. If you have the taxi number and there is any problem you will be able to give the driver information to the proper authorities. Also, if you know the person he will be more likely to go out of his way to make sure you are safe.

    Airport Taxi

    There are taxis available at all the major airports and their prices are usually posted. (2012-from Santo Domingo International Airport to Santo Domingo the ride is about $800 pesos). Their prices are usually the average going rate. Make sure to always agree on a price BEFORE you get into the car. If possible write down what the driver says so you can show it to him later if he decided to change his mind.

    Santo Domingo Taxi Services

    If you are coming to Santo Domingo write these numbers down and take them with you so you can call your own taxi and get the best rates.

    There are many taxi services from which to choose. Check the telephone directory for taxis in Santo Domingo or your area or ask your hotel or friends to see what taxi is best in your location.

    *Aero Taxi – Santo Domingo Phone-809-686-1212
    *Apolo Taxi – Santo Domingo Phone: 809-537-0000
    *Son Taxi – Santo Domingo Phone: 809-922-1313
    *Taxi Conde – Santo Domingo Phone: 809-687-9000
    *Use your UBER app to get a taxi in Dominican Republic.

    To read about helpful transportation tips.
    Important phone numbers to take with you when you travel.
    To read a funny story about Dominican Drivers written by DR Gringa


    Bus of Dominican Republic

    Traveling by a bus or guagua (smaller bus) is simple even if you are not proficient in Spanish. Just ask people and they will be happy to guide you as to where to catch a bus and how to get to the right bus. Traveling by bus is very economical and safe and is a great way to see the country of Dominican Republic.

    Santo Domingo City Bus | The Large Busses | Express Bus | Bus From Santo Domingo to Boca Chica |

    A large comfortable bus stuck on the small streets of Colonial Zone.

    Santo Domingo City Bus

    Oficina Metropolitana de Servicios de Autobuses/ Metropolitan Office of Bus Services better known as OMSA are the city buses and they cost between RD$15 and RD$30 (6/2019). Located in Santo Domingo and Santiago they have many routes and stops. You can find more information in the “SERVICIOS” section at their web site.
    Metropolitana Bus

    The Large Busses

    These buses will take you cross country are full size modern vehicles equipped with air conditioning. Most have onboard movies and are quite comfortable as buses go. The average price from Santo Domingo to Puerta Plata by bus is about $6USD (2006-prices are an average). Remember to take a sweater on the bus. They can get very cold as they keep the air conditioning quite high. They buss is really a very comfortable way to travel any long distance.

    *Caribe Tours
    Their location in Santo Domingo is Avenida 27 de Febrero and Leopoldo Navarro. They have routs throughout the country and take pride in their promptness. Make sure to take a jacket as sometimes their air conditioning is a bit strong. Check their web site for bus destinations and schedules.
    Phone in Santo Domingo: 809-221-4422.
    You can also make a reservation on their web site. Caribe Tours

    *Metro Tours
    Operate from Ave.Winston Churchill and Hatuey, near Ave. 27 de Febrero in Santo Domingo. Their routs are limited.
    Phone in Santo Domingo: 809-566-7126
    Metro Tours

    *Expreso Bávaro
    To Bavaro / Punta Cana from Santo Domingo and back with many stops along the way.
    Phone: 809-682-9670
    Expreso Bávaro

    Located on Avenida 27 de Febrero at Maximo Gomez at Plaza Criolla with busses to Santiago, Puerta Plata and Port-a-Prince, Haiti. Contact: 809-472-1080

    *Expreso Macoris
    Buses to La Romana and Higuey.
    Contact: 809-687-2190

    Express Bus

    These buses will take you over the entire island. Many of these small busses or guaguas are not in the best shape and riding one can be confusing. The bus stop area is on Revelos Street in front of Enriquillo Park (not far from the Colonial Zone). There is no real office or bus station. Just many bus hubs scattered around in the area. Each has busses or guaguas that go to different parts of the country.

    Riding these smaller busses is a true experience that one should have. Some buses are very old and rickety and others are quite nice and could even have air conditioning. These buses are very inexpensive and collect the fare after departure. Make sure you have the correct change as some collectors will not make change.

    Watch your belongings. There are many thieves in the area of Parque Enriquillo. It will seem like there is no order at all. Just give yourself enough time to understand what is happening and to get on the correct bus.

    Example trip: La Romana from Santo Domingo is about $3USD (2006), buses leave every hour from 5 AM to 9 PM, takes a little under 2 hours, stopping at Camino Ave. The return trip is the same fare.

    Tour bus in Colonial Zone

    Bus From Santo Domingo to Boca Chica

    (7/2012) The terminal is located on Jose Marti which is two blocks from Parque Enriquillo (between Plaza Marti Department Store and Plaza de los Buhoneros) in Santo Domingo. Express buses run every 30 minutes with the fare being $70 Pesos (7/2012).

    To get to the terminal from Colonial Zone taking a moto concho (public car): Go to the beginning of the Conde in front of Petrus (this is not far from the Pacos Restaurant and the Parque Independencia – on the corner of Palo Hincado and Calle las Mercedes). The cost is about $25 pesos (DOP). The car will travel on Ave. Mella, past the fire station, then turn onto Ave. Jose Marti, and pass directly in front of Parque Enriquillo then on to the front of the terminal (refer to express bus above). You can also ask any taxi driver to take you. They know where it is.

    Here is where you catch the first bus. You will be taken to another terminal, The Andres bus, here you have to change buses and pay for another bus.

    This bus will then take you to Boca Chica making the final stop at the park in the center of the town of Boca Chica.

    Monday through Saturday you may be able to leave from and be dropped off at Parque Independencia, near the gas station, before 6 PM, on the way to the terminal. On Sundays, the bus only goes to the terminal at Parque Enriquillo.

    Note– Make sure you catch the last bus out of Boca Chica, ask the driver to be sure of the time, or you will be spending the night or taking a taxi (usually at least $1000 pesos (8/2011) to return back to the city. It really is very simple.

    *To read about helpful transportation tips.
    *Important phone numbers to take with you when you travel.
    *To read a funny story about Dominican Drivers written by DR Gringa