Just an hour west of the capital city, Bani is a relatively small province known for its tight knit community and its claim to being the "Home of Poets." Perhaps an unsuspecting vacation destination, its draws are two historic churches, a collection of sand dunes, and a museum that allows you to see how a local rancher once lived.
While cruising is a possibility, and sailing is gaining in popularity each year, it is air travel that takes the cake when it comes to traveling to Bani. It is up to you to decide which option is best for your getaway.
Public transportation options in Bani are plentiful. Not only can you take a taxi or ride the bus, but there are also motoconchos and publicos. Another popular option is to rent a car and drive yourself.
The nearest airport to Bani is about an hour away by car in Santo Domingo. It is the (SDQ), and one of the busiest airports on the island, welcoming tourists from around the world on a daily basis. Once you arrive, you'll then have the choice of driving yourself with a rental car you've picked up direct from the airport, or taking the bus to Bani. You'll learn more about each option when you read our guide to Bani Air Travel.
The waters off the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, where Bani is located, are known for their calm conditions that entice numerous sailors to make the journey each year. The nearest port of entry is in Boca Chica, which is east of town, so if you're going to make traveling by yacht the way you get to Bani, you'll need to stop there first.
As you approach, fly with your yellow "Q" flag up as well as have all of your official documentation at the ready to present to customs. This includes the passports and one other form of identification for each passenger and the boat's documents. After customs has reviewed all of this and collected their fees, you'll be free to find a place to dock your boat.
Bani is located directly between two of the Dominican Republic's six major cruise ports: Santo Domingo and Barahona. This means those planning to spend a few hours in this town during their time on land will have a much easier time finding a ship than others. There are plenty of cruise lines that stop at both ports, especially during the winter months, including Carnival, Seaborn, and Windstar.
Rental cars are most often picked up at the airport, but they are also available throughout Bani, and even at many hotel properties. You'll spend between $30 and $120(USD), which will depend on the type of vehicle you rent as well as the extra amenities you may request and whether or not you add insurance to the package. If you'll be spending a lot of time exploring areas considered to be off the beaten track, you should consider renting a vehicle with good suspension and four wheel drive; however, if shopping trips and fancy restaurants are all you have on your agenda, feel free to get whatever model vehicle you prefer. Click here for more information about renting a car and driving in Bani.
In Bani each taxi company sets its own rates. This can make it difficult to know exactly how much you'll pay to get from one place to the next when you hail a cab on the street. Most people find it easier to find a company that they feel comfortable with and give them a call whenever they are in need of a ride. The benefit of this is that not only will you be familiar with the rates, but the operator you speak with will describe the cab, give you its identification number, and give you an estimate of when it will be there to pick you up. This can help to keep you from getting swindled by an unauthorized cab driver. Learn more about making taxis your main mode of transportation by clicking here.
One of the more unique forms of transportation you'll find in Bani, the motoconcho is a motorcycle used as a taxi service. Two, sometimes three, and even four passengers can squeeze on the back of the bike (without helmets) and get a quick ride from one place to the next. Although it is not the safest way to get around, many people enjoy the thrill of it, as well as the price – which is usually less than $1(USD) per person. Be aware that the price does double after dark.
There are two types of buses available in Bani. The first, called a guagua by locals is the local bus. It operates on set routes, usually offering transportation to people who live in the area as they head to and from work every day, but tourists are welcome to take advantage of the very low price, which is typically less than $1(USD) per person.
There are also a set of intercity buses that transport tourists from Bani to other towns on the island for about $10(USD) per 150 miles traveled. Buses out of town are available about every hour from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily and are operated by Metro Buses, Caribe Tours, Terra Bus, and Bavaro Express.
Considered to be public taxis, carro publicos are five passenger vehicles that run along set routes just like the buses. The difference is that with the publicos, you can hop on or get off at any point along the route rather than waiting for the next bus stop. Publicos are, as you might expect from the name, public. This means you'll probably squeeze in with a few other passengers that you've never met before, but, you'll pay less than $1(USD) per person for a ride.
As you begin planning your getaway in Bani, you'll discover that transportation is one of the top things on your list. There are plenty of options available, and even if you think you know what you want to use, there are several in the Dominican Republic that most people have never even heard of. The more you learn about each option, as you have done by reading the above, the better prepared you will be when it comes time to make a decision.
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