A small fishing village northeast of Samana, Las Galeras attracts the type of tourist who prefers to vacation away from the big tourist-driven areas of the island like Santo Domingo and Punta Cana. With easy access to numerous attractions, yet immediate surroundings that are quiet and peaceful, there is great balance to be had here. One major thing to consider if you're planning a getaway here is what type of transportation will allow you to achieve the best of both worlds.
Flying, sailing, and cruising are the three major forms of transportation available to tourists planning a trip to the Dominican Republic, but those traveling to Las Galeras will have the easiest time utilizing air travel or sailing their own yacht. While flying is the most popular option, sailing to this town is easily done by those who have the know-how. A day trip for cruisers is a fun way to enjoy a tour of a sleepy fishing village, but it is extremely hard to manage.
The streets of Las Galeras are not overcrowded, but there are still plenty of choices available for tourists who want to know what it will take to get around and see the sites. Rental cars, taxis, and buses are all the typical options, but there are two others you may not have heard of previously: montoconchos and publicos.
There is an airport located about an hour away from Las Galeras in the El Catey village of Samana. Although this airport, the Click here to learn what it takes to make these particular travel arrangements.(AZS) is an international airport, the number of international flights is relatively low. Unless you are flying from New York City in the United States or a few other spots in Europe, planning a connecting flight will be a necessity.
The waters off the coast of Luperon are great for sailing. In fact, one of the most popular pastimes for those who visit between the months of January and March is to participate in a whale watching tour. Those who want their adventure to begin the moment they leave home may choose to sail a private or chartered yacht all the way to town, first making a stop in Samana to gain clearance. Get the details regarding what is required of you if you choose to sail yourself by clicking here.
It seems that every year Caribbean cruises become not only more popular, but more affordable as well. The Dominican Republic is a huge recepient of cruise tourism, a fact which is apparent when you note that there are six different cruise ports on the island. Unfortunately, all of the cruise ports are located between two and five and a half hours away from Las Galeras, which makes it extremely difficult to plan a day trip in this town. Cruise ports around the island include Barahona, La Romana, Manzanillo, Puerto Plata, San Pedro de Macoris, and Santo Domingo. If you dock at one of these ports and feel you can manage a trip, you are certainly encouraged to make it happen.
Renting a car for your stay in Las Galeras is a great option if you plan to do a lot of exploring and don't want to rely on tour guides or public transportation. The cost will range from $30 to $125(USD) a day, and you'll also need to have an extra $500(USD) or so available on your credit card as a deposit, which will be refunded when you return the vehicle without damage. Requirements for renting a car here are that driver's be over the age of 21, have a valid driver's license, and are able to show their passport. Click here to learn more.
In Las Galeras, hailing a cab is less beneficial than actually calling a local company and having a driver pick you up at a specified location. There are two reasons for this. One is that taxis don't have any markings to set them apart from other cars on the street so they can be hard to find, and the second is that you want to be sure it is a licensed driver that is picking you up rather than some hustler trying to con you out of more money than the ride would typically cost. Take a moment to read more about taxis in Las Galeras here.
If you don't have an adventurous spirit, don't even consider using a motoconcho. These are motorcycle taxis operated by young local men who are driving their own private bikes around to earn an income. Although they are known for being extremely safe and cautious, helmets are not provided, and the rides are swift. One to two passengers is best, though some drivers have been known to allow up to four. The cost is around $0.50(USD) per person, and short trips are best.
Local buses are actually vans that operate just as a regular city bus with set routes and stops for less than $1(USD) per person. These buses are called guaguas by locals. There are also full sized coach buses that are much better maintained, with clean, comfortable seating and full blast air conditioning that travel between towns on the island. These are operated by Metro Buses and Caribe Tours.
Cheaper than private taxis, but slightly more expensive than buses are carro publicos. These are five to six passenger vehicles that cost about $1(USD) for a ride which is shared with complete strangers unless you have a party large enough to fill every seat. These cars do travel on set routes, but they do not have predetermined stops, allowing passengers to get off and on wherever they need.
When you're planning a getaway in a town known for its relaxed ambiance, you should avoid letting making arrangements stress you out. Taking the time to learn what is out there and how it will fit into your vacation style is the best way to come to a quick decision regarding how you'll get there and how you'll get around.
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