Transportation Options for Dominican Republic

There are several ways of to explore the many regions of the Dominican Republic

Photo credit: © Manuel Pastor

The challenge of exploring the Dominican Republic, with its land mass of more than 18,000 square miles, is significantly more daunting than that of exploring the island's noticeably smaller neighbors throughout the Caribbean. Luckily, there are several efficient ways to make your way through the island's varied landscape.

Air Travel

Airports are abundant on the Dominican Republic, which has the most international airports of all the Caribbean Islands. Direct flights to the island are available from around the world, including cities in North America, Australia, and the United Kingdom. A flight from Miami might take around 90 minutes, while those arriving from Europe might spend eight hours or more in the air, especially if they have a layover in the United States.

Air travel into the country can be somewhat confusing because the island is so big. To avoid potential delays, travelers should fly into the airport closest to where they will be staying. Las Américas International Airport is the closest airport to the capital city of Santo Domingo, while Punta Cana International Airport, La Romana International Airport, and several others are also options.

Those who fly into the Dominican Republic would be wise to arrive at an airport that is close to their first destination. With seven international and additional domestic airports, flying can also be a convenient and quick way of getting around the island, especially if you're traveling quite a distance. Charter and domestic flights can start as low as $60(USD), although travelers should remember that the Dominican Republic is not in compliance with the International Aviation Safety Assessment Program of the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States. This assessment program judges a country's ability to comply with international standards in air safety and maintenance.


With many improvements having been made in recent years to the sailing facilities and customs procedures on the island, yachting to the Dominican Republic is a more popular choice than ever before. The beautiful waters surrounding the island offer varied intensity so that no matter your skill level you will find it easy to make port. The waters on the south coast are known for their calm conditions, while the north coast can be rough. Adventurers can make the journey alone, but hiring a crewed charter is also a popular alternative. This is perfect for those who love to sail, but aren't necessarily adept at it and would feel more comfortable with a seasoned captain at the helm. Learn more about sailing to the Dominican Republic, including customs procedures and fees when you click here.


Many cruise lines offer service to the island as a part of their Caribbean cruise vacations. Much like with airports, there are numerous large seaports on the Republic where cruise ships frequently dock, including Barahona, La Romana, Manzanillo, Puerto Plata, San Pedro de Macoris, and Santo Domingo. Where the ship docks is entirely up to the discretion of the cruise line, and you can find out where you'll be making port by looking at the daily itinerary. From that point, you'll be able to determine which areas of the Dominican Republic you have easy access to. If you opt out of a ship sponsored excursion you might consider spending your day at a beach or shopping.

Rental Cars

Rental cars are another great option for those who want to traverse large distances of the country. Rental agencies are stationed in all major tourist destinations and offer large fleets of both sedan and four wheel drive vehicles. Although driving in any country in the Caribbean can be intimidating, rental cars remain a good option for those who are careful on the road.

Bikes and Mopeds

Many rental companies also rent scooters and mopeds. Vacationers driving two-wheeled vehicles may experience fewer traffic and police headaches than those driving cars. However, mopeds can be dangerous due to the sometimes less than ideal road safety conditions. Vacationers should always wear helmets if choosing this method of transportation.


For those planning to do limited traveling in a smaller area, taxis can be cheaper than a rental car and are often just as much of an adventure. When selecting taxis, it is safer for vacationers to use the well known tourist companies to avoid becoming victims of theft or muggings. Smaller taxis will sometimes have fixed rates, and publicos resemble buses, allowing passengers to get off and on along the route as they please. Motochocos, or motorcycle taxis, are also available for small fees, although the safety of passengers may not always be certain.


Ferry and boat services are limited in the Dominican Republic, but travelers can make the journey to and from Puerto Rico on several different days during the week. A number of smaller ferries and boats offer service to destinations around the island. For example, there is a daily ferry service between Samana or Sabana del Mar.

Many visitors to the Dominican Republic are irresistibly drawn to explore different areas of the island. With so many transportation options by land, sea, and air, securing a suitable means of transport for your itinerary should not be a problem.


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