Tag Archives: travel

Bus

Bus of Dominican Republic

Oficina Metropolitana de Servicios de Autobuses/ Metropolitan Office of Bus Services better known as OMSA are the city buses and they cost between RD$10 and RD$15 (6/2014). 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.

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

Oficina Metropolitana de Servicios de Autobuses/ Metropolitan Office of Bus Services better known as OMSA are the city buses and they cost between RD$10 and RD$15 (6/2014). 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.
http://www.omsa.gob.do/

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.

 

  • *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 web site

 

  • *Expreso Bávaro

 

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

 

  • *Terrabús

 

Located on Avenida 27 de Febrero at Maximo Gomez at Plaza Criolla with busses to Santiago, Puerta Plata and Port-a-Prince, Haiti. 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. They 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, area because there is no office or station. It is very crowded and fumey (is that a word?).

Watch your belongings. There are many thieves in that area. 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.

It 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.

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. Return is the same.

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 thru Saturday you may be able to leave from and be dropped off at Parque Independencia, near the gas station, before 6PM, 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

Basic Helps

Basic Helps and Important Travel information

Colonial Zone – You will hear it called many different names. Zona Colonial, La Zona, The Zone, Ciudad Colonial, Ciudad Trujillo, Santo Domingo.

For travel information and warnings given for UK, USA, Canada:

*United States Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. For travel information. In case of emergency in Dominican Republic – United States Embassy in Santo Domingo. Call 809-221-2171 for help 24 hours a day.

*United Kingdom Foreign & Commonwealth Office. UK travel information

*Canada Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Canada travel information

Drugs and Dominican Republic are a real no-no. If you do get caught with ANYTHING they will take you to jail and it most likely WILL be a long time before you get out. Even if you are in a place and you see some drugs or drug dealing my advice to you is to get out of there and fast! Here in DR they are known to arrest everyone in a place and ask questions later, sometimes much later. (Read The Dominican Gringa Blog story on the Big Almost Drug Bust -new window)

Truck delivering the large jugs of bottled water called Botejon de Auga
Truck delivering the large jugs of bottled water called Botejon de Auga


DO NOT DRINK THE WATER! You could get the runs or worse. Drink bottled water, which most places have unless you are in remote areas. Ice is usually OK also because it is purchased from water distributors and is clean (ask if you want to make sure). The shaved ice vendors, ice in your juice or coco water that is purchased in the street is a definite NO-NO. It may not be a problem but even if you change your water anywhere from well water to city water you can have unwanted results. Why take the chance and have a bummer (LOL!) of a vacation?

Do just as you would in any other place. If you were in a strange neighborhood and there was a lonely, dark street or alley would you walk down it? I don’t think so. Use your head; you are in unfamiliar surroundings in a country where many people make less than $200 USD a month working a full time job (44 hours a week). Do not act better than anyone else. Do not wear your best designer clothing and expensive jewelry.

Try and carry a noise maker. Be it a loud car alarm, a hand held one, or your outside voice. If you do get robbed make noise. Robbers hate noise and attention drawn to them. Vigilantism lives in
Dominican Republic and people love to help when they see someone being wronged.

Try some new foods. You never will know if you like it unless you try it. I highly recommend
Mondongo. Never ask what it is. Just give it a try, then after you like it you can ask what it is, if you’re brave. Mondongo is the best after a night out partying if you feel like you will have a hangover (Resaca in Dominican Spanish). At least this is what I am told and so far it has worked wonders! There is also medicine sold in Colmados (the corner stores) that you take for a hangover, just say ” resaca” and they will know what you need.

Clap when the Airplane lands. Dominicans normally do this. Don’t be shocked. If they do it on your plane, just join in. You are on vacation. Relax.

It is not only what you know but also whom you know that makes dealing with many things go much smoother here in Dominican Republic. I also suggest asking around. Talk to the locals and see which businesses they recommend. Also remember to take your time. Dominicans love to talk. They like to take things slow. It is too hot to get worked up over the little things. Take time, get to know who you are dealing with and just enjoy the chatter.

Lip Talk. Dominicans, especially women, talk with their lips or noses (sort of like a Bewitched thing). They do not use words, just a flick or twitch to the right or left or a quick pout. This says more than any word ever could. Maybe the lips puckered for a quick second is saying, “yea, right, sure, I believe you.” (sarcasm). When getting directions no need to point just a lip flick to the left, right or straight ahead and one knows just what direction in which to precede. It takes some time to figure out what all the movements mean but it is fun trying to learn. So if you see people, especially the ladies, making nose and lip gestures you now have a better idea what is happening.

Security guard with gun. It was a cold day in the city (about 75°F lol)
Security guard with gun. It was a cold day in the city (about 75°F lol)

Men with guns. Don’t let this scare you. It sure frightened me the first time I visited. I never saw people sitting around so nonchalantly with a gun on their lap or hanging over their shoulders in public areas. It is quite the norm to see men, uniformed and in street clothes, standing or sitting in front of homes and businesses. Don’t be too worried. They are most likely private security guards

Do not start any altercation with anyone. No exchange of harsh words. No physical contact. Walk away. Do Not fight. This is not easy sometimes but it is best for your safety. Remember if the police get involved EVERYONE goes to jail until they figure out the details (sometimes until they get a little payment).

Make copies of all your documents. Carry the copies (unless your driving you do need the original drivers license). Put a copy of your passport or some type of identification in each piece of your luggage. Always carry a copy of your passport with you in a different place where you have the original. Have all the numbers of your credit cards and contact information in case there is a problem or your cards get stolen then you will not have to search for the information. Scan everything front and back, Credit Cards, ID’s, Bank Cards, Passports and email them to yourself. This way if anything gets lost or stolen you have all the information right there.

Keep your doors locked. Keep the hotel doors locked if you are inside or outside. Keep the car doors locked, especially when driving at night in a rental or a taxi, just keep the doors locked. You can also get an alarm to put on your
hotel door for added safety.

Think twice before taking a stranger into your hotel room or car. They can rob you much easier this way. If taking a bed partner to your room make sure all your belongings are secure. Better yet, take the person to a Cabana (a sex hotel where you are charged by the hour) or another room someplace else. This way they cannot gain access to your belongings, documents and money.

Colonial Zone and Dominican Republic

The Guide To The Colonial Zone And The Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic, located on the Caribbean Island of Hispaniola, is a country rich in culture. The people and the land make it a unique and fun place to visit.

Panorama view of Santo Domingo. The Caribbean Sea, Rio Ozama and the Colonial Zone as seem from the Faro at Punta Torrecilla.
Panorama view of Santo Domingo. The Caribbean Sea, Rio Ozama and the Colonial Zone as seem from the Faro at Punta Torrecilla.

The island has lush green valleys, tropical rain forests, dry desert environments. There are sleepy villages, bustling cities, sprawling farmlands and the highest mountain in all the Caribbean, Pico Duarte. The music,
Merengue (amazon link) is the national music & Bachata, the happy people and their love for baseball. All these things and more add to the vibrant culture you can experience when visiting.

Important Information & New Pages

*Dominican Republic Larimar
*Plazoleta Padre Billini and The Legend of La Casa de Garay
*Barrio Chino – Chinatown information
*It is hurricane season. Are you prepared?
*Fuerte Invincible and Fuerte San Diego
*Creatures – The Red Bug, St Andrews Cotton Stainer.
*Grown In – Gina Tree And Fruit
*Parque Eugenio María de Hostos
*Cacao – Cocoa – Chocolate
*Helpful Hints – Driving & Using Public Transportation
PALACIO CONSISTORIAL
*Dominican Republic Superstitions – Marriage, Death, Water, Home
*Fuerte y Parque de San José
*The National and Patriotic Songs and Pledges of the Dominican Republic
*The Story of the Hermanas Mirabal

Our Island

Since the
Dominican Republic (Amazon link) is an island there are hundreds of beaches that you can visit. You can relax on a quiet rocky beach or maybe you want to swim on a white or black sand beach. You might want to do surfing, diving, windsurfing or sailing. You can dance the night away in the sand or a bustling discotec. Maybe you just want some peace and quiet you can find that also. You can also choose to visit one of our many sweet, clear and cool water rivers or visit the largest salt-water lake in the Caribbean. We have it all.

The country has all types of travel and vacation options.

You can visit a 5-star all-inclusive resort or travel very economically and rest your head in a small Dominican owned hotel or hostel. Visit our large, bustling cities or a sleepy country village. You must make sure to visit the oldest city in the Americas, Colonial Zone (also known as Ciudad Colonial (History of Colonial Zone in a nutshell), Zona Colonial or as the locals call it, La Zona), for a fantastic cultural experience. Visit the over 300 cultural and historical places. Walk the streets. See and live the history.

Experience all of the wonderful things this island, nestled in the crystal blue Caribbean Sea, has to offer for yourself.

You will take with you many wonderful and happy memories of your adventures and of the friendly Dominican people.

Once you visit you will want to return to visit us again and again.

A Night In Dominican Republic – Tropical Music – Various Artists – ITunes