Located on the border of the Monte Cristi National Park, this town is a great jumping off point for outdoor activity. Public transportation is not this area's strong suit, so unless you plan to hire a motorcycle taxi to drive you around, renting a car is going to be the best choice for you.
Renting a car in Monte Cristi and the rest of the Dominican Republic is not a difficult task to accomplish, but there are a few rules and regulations to be aware of. For example, you'll need to be over the age of 21, but most agencies will not rent to anyone under 23, and you'll need a valid driver's license from your country of origin and your passport as a secondary form of identification.
Unfortunately, there are no known rental car agencies in Monte Cristi, so most people will rent their vehicle when they arrive at the airport and drive in to town. If you plan to head into the national park, make sure to ask for a sports utility vehicle. Although the cost is generally higher, the need for four wheel drive makes it essential.
The cost of a rental car will vary greatly depending on where you rent from, what type of vehicle you rent, and when you visit. You can expect costs to be anywhere from $50 to $125(USD) a day, with discounted rates for those to reserve their vehicle for multiple days.
Do be aware that most places require a deposit to be paid while you have their vehicle in your possession. This could be up to $500(USD). The typical course of action is for them to place a hold for the deposit amount on your credit card, but remove the charge when you return.
Road conditions vary greatly depending on where you're driving. Much of the town has an elegant air to it, with beautiful Victorian-era houses lining well-paved streets, while other areas are slightly more rustic and may not have roads at all, just paths carved out by other drivers in the past. More common are dirt roads that can become muddy traps during the rainy season. As long as you are aware of how the weather has been behaving around the time of your getaway, however, you should be prepared to handle local conditions.
Some other important notices regarding driving in and around Monte Cristi include the fact that speed limits are posted in kilometers per hour when they are posted at all, driving is done on the right side of the road, and locals honk their horns frequently. Drivers may not chat on their cell phone when the vehicle is in motion, and seat belts are required to be worn by all passengers. If you are traveling with a young child, bring a safety seat with you because local rental agencies rarely stock them.
Since you may come across issues finding gas stations, view the chart below for a picture of where some of them are located.
Renting a car is not necessary for everyone, but those who will spend their days sightseeing and exploring will find them to be extremely useful in this area of the Dominican Republic.
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