The Dominican Republic isn't all beaches and resorts. There is a large part of the country that is ideal for eco-tourism, thick with lush forests and mountains. La Vega is set right on the cusp of this region, a colonial town with easy access to adventure tourism. It may take a little extra work to get to this central city, but the experience is well worth the journey.
It takes about 30 minutes to get to La Vega from the nearest airport. (STI) is located in Santiago, and has made traveling to the central region of the Dominican Republic much easier since it opened in 2002. Currently, you can fly direct to this airport from New York City, Boston, Miami, Turks and Caicos, and . Visitors traveling from other destinations will have to book a connecting flight. Find out more by clicking here.
Although you can't sail directly to La Vega thanks to its location away from the coast, you can sail into another port and drive into town. Boca Chica, Casa de Campo, Luperon, and Punta Cana, are all official ports of entry, but you'll find Puerto Plata to offer the easiest access.
Whichever port you choose, sail in with your yellow “Q” flag flying, and ensure that everyone aboard has their passport and a secondary form of identification available to show an immigrations officer. Additionally, you'll need to present official paperwork regarding your boat's ownership, a list of the crew, and a list of the ship's stores to a customs official. Once you've cleared customs, you'll be able to move on and find anchorage.
The nearest cruise port to La Vega is in Puerto Plata, which is about an hour and a half away. This is not an ideal amount of time to spend traveling for an on-shore activity, but it is possible to pull off if you're drawn to this town. Barahona, Manzanillo, San Pedro de Macoris, Santo Domingo, and La Romana also welcome cruise ships on a regular basis, but none of these locations is as easily accessible.
Finding a rental car agency within the limits of La Vega is nearly impossible, and most people will have to rent from the airport or pick up a rental in another town along the way. What you will find is that rental prices are fair, costing anywhere between $30 and $125(USD) a day depending on a number of factors. Read up on what goes in to creating those prices, where you can rent a vehicle from, and what driving is like in La Vega here.
Taxis are a reliable form of transportation in La Vega. They are readily available at any airport on the island, and tend to be easy to find around hotels, but otherwise it maybe in your best interest to keep the numbers of a few taxi operators on hand and give them a call when you need a ride. It is rare to spend more then $5(USD) to get anywhere in town, so this form of transportation tends to be fairly affordable as well. Learn more by clicking here.
Another option for short trips around town is to hire a motoconcho. These are basically motorcycles and scooters that operate as taxis. They cost about $0.50(USD) per person, and many drivers are willing to squeeze up to four riders on the back of the bike. Helmets are not available, so use this form of transport at your own risk.
If you'd like to avoid renting a car for your stay in La Vega, one of your transportation options is to take the local bus. Here, it is actually called a guagua, and it takes the form of minivans and minibuses that travel around on set routes picking up passengers for low prices. There are also coach buses that travel from city to city that visitors can take advantage of. Click here to learn more about each option.
A vacation in La Vega is recommended for tourists who crave adventure and natural attractions but don't want to give up modern amenities and paved roads completely. Although you have to travel to the island and then continue driving for at least 30 minutes before arriving in town, if you're invested in the lifestyle La Vega has to offer, it won't seem like much of a troublesome journey at all.
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