Arriving in Santo Domingo is totally different that Puerto Plata.  Santo  Domingo airport is a big busy airport with international connections from all over the world to serve the city of 4 million.  To get to Cabarete there are 4 options, depending on your time, budget and comfort level when dealing with foreign countries.

To get from the Airport to the bus station read up here:

Time and costs are approximate.  Your negotiating skills and other factors will affect the outcome.

Taxi US$250 Travel Time: 4 hours scenic route or 3 hours new highway

This is the fastest and easiest option (except flying).  Any Taxi driver will be happy with the $250 fare for the 4 hour drive from Santo Domingo to Cabarete. There are multiple taxis just as you exit the airport.  You’ll have to negotiate, and if you’re travelling at night there may be a surcharge.  The taxis have two routes they can take, one being longer and more scenic, the other more direct.  Recently there is a new option, via the Samana super highway.  Anyway you choose will be a nice drive through the lush tropical landscape of the Dominican Republic.  Try to see if you can share the cab with anyone else in the airport when you arrive – often this works!

Bus~US$40 Travel Time: Up to 7 hours

This is the least expensive yet painful.  It’s a 3 part trip, starting with a taxi to the bus station in Santo Domingo ($20), bus to Sosua (4-5 hours, $6) and then another taxi to Cabarete ($10) or gua gua ($2).  There are 3 bus compaines that do the trek, but the best option is Caribe Tours or Metro, as they are modern air conditioned buses.  Note that the A/C is on full, and you’ll need a jacket.  Also be sure that there is a bus running, so you don’t get stuck at the bus station.  It might make sense to break up the journey with a night in Santo Domingo and check out the first city in North America.

Air ~ US$150 Travel Time: 2 hours, via Punta Cana

Unfortunately there is no longer a direct flight to Puerto Plata.  you have to fly to Punta Cana, then up to Puerto Plata.  The fun part is that is’ a very senic ride, and you get fantastic views of the island.  Another option if there are a few of you is to charter a plane, as with a group of 4 the cost is about the same.

Rental Car~US$70 Travel Time: 3 – 6 hours

Driving in this country can be challenging, so be sure you are well rested and alert for the drive.  Rules of the road here are different that Europe or North America – it’s more of a cowboy town in that sense.  Make sure you get a reputable company, as the lesser companies will rent you a lesser car and leave you stranded in case of a breakdown!

Driving Directions from Santo Domingo to Cabarete via the fast route: ~ 3 hours

  • when you leave the airport go east ~ 8km until you find the highway north to Samana/Nagua/Sanchez (~ 1.5 hours)santo domingo aiport highway
  • when you get to Nagua, go west along the coast, past Gaspar Hernandez until you hit Cabarete (~1.5 hours)
  • click here for the big road map of the highway

Driving Directions from Santo Domingo via the  Scenic Route through Puerto Plata: ~5 hours

  • leave the airport going west towards Santo Domingo
  • head north for the ‘autopista Duarte’ towads Santiago
  • Go through Santiago towards Imbert and Puerto Plata
  • When inPuerto Plata head east towards Sosua
  • Past Sosua 15 km and you’ll hit Cabarete

For a road map of the Dominican Republic, click here

note: there is a cut off in Moca that will take about 1h off this route, but it’s a little tricky going through Moca to find the road via Jamao and Sabanetta