As an important coastal town, many of the attractions in Barahona are located near the sea. This means tourists will experience a lot of variation in the streets that they drive on, and may even find themselves slowly driving down a road of sand. Because of this, it is important to carefully consider the type of vehicle you'll rent for your getaway.
In order to rent a car in Barahona, you'll need not only to have a credit card with the appropriate balance on it, but you'll need to be over the age of 21 (sometimes even 25), a valid driver's license, and a passport.
It is highly recommended that you rent a car with good suspension and four-wheel drive like a Jeep to get around in Barahona. Although this will cost a little bit more, it is worth the peace of mind that if you run into a road that isn't paved, you're able to cross it without issue. If you feel like this won't be a problem, feel free to go for the cheapest sedan possible to save money, but be warned that rental agencies will rarely come bail you out if you get stuck, and road side assistance on the island is nothing to brag about. You'll spend between $30 and $125(USD) a day on a vehicle, which takes into consideration the type of vehicle you request, added amenities, insurance, and any deals that may arise.
With all that said, it can be tricky finding a rental agency in the area. Yor best bet is to simply rent one while in the capital. If you wish, you can find a page similar to this one for Santo Domingo, which includes tables of local companies, contact information, and a more percise beakdown of prices. Click here to go to it.
As aforementioned, driving in Barahona is an experience. Some roads are well taken care of: paved, well-marked, and even lit. Others, though, are rugged. They may be filled with pot holes and cracked at best, or not even paved at all at worse. You could be driving over sand, gravel, or dirt which easily turns into mud with just a bit of rain.
Despite the difference in road conditions, the rules of the road here are not too different than those in the United States. Driving is done on the right side of the road, you'll need to be buckled if the vehicle is in motion, and talking on a cell phone while behind the wheel is illegal. Differences to be aware of are that speed limits are posted in kilometers per hour (you'll likely see 100 kilometers per hour on the highways and 60 kilometers per hour in rural areas) and gas prices are typically much higher. Make sure if you're planning a long drive to fill up at the first gas station you see. Gas stations are plentiful in large cities, but can be harder to come by the farther away from high rise buildings that you drive.
Although traffic is not as terrible in Barahona as in Santo Domingo for example, drivers here will still need to keep an eye out for livestock and pedestrians on the road, as well as learn not to become offended by the constant honking of the horn. This is how local drivers communicate with one another, and should not be taken as an offense. If you'll be out driving at night, pay special attention because not all cars have headlights.
is the one gas station we have we have information on. They are found in the heart of Barahona.
Not everyone staying in Barahona will need to rent a car, but those who do will find it important to know the rules of the road. Now that you've learned a bit about what is expected in this town in the Dominican Republic, you'll be better prepared to decide if this form of transportation is the right one for you.
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