Arriving in Punta Cana and looking for transport from the airport to your resort or elsewhere? Continue reading, because this is your comprehensive guide about all options you have to get to and from Punta Cana International Airport – it doesn’t matter if you look for the cheapest way by public transport or want to travel in style with luxurious SUVs. I have arrived and departed from Punta Cana Airport more than a dozen times and depending on how I was traveling and what my purpose was of getting to and from the airport, I have tried all different kinds of transport. In this article, I am giving you all the options available if you’re traveling 2021 post-Covid-19, add my personal experiences and throw in some insider tips on what to take care of when booking an airport transfer from and to Punta Cana Airport.
- Airport transfer in Punta Cana with a pre-booked transfer
- Private transfer from Punta Cana Airport to your resort
- Shared transfer from Punta Cana Airport to your resort
- Luxury transfer from Punta Cana Airport to your resort
- Airport transfer in Punta Cana with Uber
- Airport transfer in Punta Cana with a taxi
- Renting a car at Punta Cana Airport
- Airport transfer in Punta Cana by public transport
This post is about transfers from Punta Cana International Airport. If you arrive at Las Américas International Airport in Santo Domingo, please check out this article.
Once you have found the best solution for your airport transfer, you can continue reading here about how to save money during your all-inclusive vacation in Punta Cana.
Completely UPDATED March 2021
Airport transfer in Punta Cana with a pre-booked transfer
Some arriving passengers might have a shared shuttle included in their holiday package, but in case you have booked flight and hotel separately or are traveling on a dynamic packaging product, chances are that you need a transfer from Punta Cana Airport to your destination, most likely one of the several all-inclusive resorts. And even if you have a shared shuttle from your tour operator included, you might opt to book a private Punta Cana airport transfer separately as this saves you a considerable amount of time (no waiting for other passengers + direct transfer without any other stops to your hotel).
It does not matter for which of the following options you decide, the procedure when arriving at the airport in Punta Cana is always the same. Once you have passed immigration and customs (don’t forget to fill out your e-ticket immigration form online before you travel to the Dominican Republic), you follow the walkway until the area with the desks of the tour companies OR the area of drivers waiting with signs showing the company and/or your name. The detailed instructions you can usually find on your voucher.
Private transfer from Punta Cana Airport to your resort
In case you don’t have a transfer included in your package, you can easily book one on the internet. The easiest and most convenient way to get from Punta Cana Airport to your all-inclusive resort is by booking a private airport shuttle, as you leave right when you arrive, don’t have to wait for other people and receive a personalized service. By leaving without waiting for other passengers, you also arrive at the resort before others which might result in a smoother and quicker check-in.
For booking your private Punta Cana airport transfer, make sure you book the right area as prices for transfers to Cap Cana, Bavaro, Macao or Uvero Alto might vary. Just check out one of the following offers to see if it fits your hotel*.
A typical ongoing rate for a private airport shuttle to most all-inclusive resorts in the area of Bavaro is around 25-35 USD one-way. Transfers to Uvero Alto are usually a bit more expensive. Transfers to Cap Cana might be a little bit cheaper, even often the regular Bavaro rate is charged.
In case you are not sure in which area your hotel is located and which Punta Cana airport transfer is the best to book for your corresponding hotel, please have a look at the following table, where all major all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana are mentioned. Once clicking on the “check price” button, you can select between a one-way or a return transfer.
Shared transfer from Punta Cana Airport to your resort
Shared transfers are – especially if traveling alone – considerably cheaper than private transfers. They are already starting from 8 USD per way. You share the van with passengers at a similar arrival time to yours. After reaching the bus, you might have to wait for other passengers to join, depending on the pre-bookings of the tour operator on that certain day. However, usually, this should not be more than 30 minutes. The all-inclusive resort where you and the other passengers are staying might not always be the same so be prepared to stop at 2 or 3 other hotels in the Punta Cana area before reaching yours.
On the other hand, these shared airport transfers are usually quicker and with fewer stops than the transfers included in the holiday packages from the big tour operators as they are operated in small vans compared to big coaches of Apple Vacations, Sunwing Travel & Co.
For bookings, please consult one of the following operators. I have made good experiences with those shared shuttles and was lucky enough to get my private transfer twice because there were no other bookings, even I have only paid for a shared one.
Luxury transfer from Punta Cana Airport to your resort
You want to travel in style and prefer a comfortable SUV for your vacation in the Caribbean? Then some of these luxury airport transfers in Punta Cana are the right choice for you. Chevrolet Suburban and Hyundai Tucson are some of the common vehicles in Punta Cana for premium airport transfers and depending on the service, you might even have drinks included.
Airport transfer in Punta Cana with Uber
If you don’t want to prebook a private transfer or an airport shuttle, Uber in Punta Cana is another option for your airport transfer – you might think. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Even Uber is existing in Punta Cana since September 2020, I would absolutely not recommend calling an Uber from Punta Cana Airport. The reason is that there is an ongoing (March 2021) dispute between the taxi association and Uber. Even it is possible to call an Uber at the airport (the Uber App won’t prevent you from doing so), you can be sure that the taxi drivers will either prevent you from getting into your Uber or that they will block the Uber from departing. Those stories unfortunately have happened dozens of times here in Punta Cana during the last months.
In case you are wondering why the taxi association is doing this: they are afraid of losing their monopoly they are having for more than 30 years. This monopoly has led to exorbitant fares in the Punta Cana taxi business, as you can see below. Usually, the price of an Uber is 50% or less than the official taxi fares, so it is obvious why tourists are preferring Uber in Punta Cana.
Therefore, please refrain from ordering an Uber at Punta Cana Airport. It will cause trouble for all parties involved when using this method for your Punta Cana airport transfer.
In case you are wondering if Uber in Punta Cana is legal: yes and no! Of course, Uber says that they have all the necessary documents. The taxi association says that Uber does not have licenses to carry passengers (especially tourists from A to B). The local road traffic authority says that Uber needs to get regulated (but they don’t say how). Feel free to take sides with whichever party you prefer. Interestingly enough, Uber is operating in Santo Domingo for around 5 years now without a problem.
On the other side, Uber is a perfect option when moving around in Punta Cana when NOT departing from the airport or your all-inclusive resort. Unfortunately, most taxis also claim their monopoly when leaving the resort.
However, if you are leaving from one of Punta Canas beautiful beaches, from a local restaurant or from anywhere else which is not a major tourist attraction (except the bus station), calling an Uber in Punta Cana is no problem. I have used it on my own already several times. Using an Uber from smaller accommodation, guesthouses, villas or Airbnbs is also not a problem.
Airport transfer in Punta Cana with a taxi
If you would like to stay flexible and do not want to book your Punta Cana airport transfer in advance, you simply can get a taxi on spot as well. The taxi drivers are always waiting in both arrival areas with a taxi sign and will approach you anyway if you look like you have not pre-booked anything. There is no problem with those drivers as taxis in Punta Cana (and the Dominican Republic in general) are perfectly safe.
However, I once had a bad experience as I went with a taxi driver and he put me together with other people which is unusual for a taxi. I did not have a problem with it but obviously did not pay the full price. The driver went – incomprehensible – furious about it, but I just gave him (half of) the money and walked away.
Furthermore, the dispute between the taxi association and Uber with regard to airport transfers from Punta Cana International Airport shows how unprofessional some of the taxi drivers are. Instead of searching for lawful options or offering at least partly competitive prices, they are acting like the youngest kids in the kindergarten and discredit the image of Punta Cana’s tourism. The only thing that is important to the taxis in Punta Cana is their monopoly and the high prices they charge.
Don’t get me wrong, taxis are perfectly safe in Punta Cana. But don’t expect any kind of exceptional service nor an acceptable price-value ratio. This is why I would highly recommend pre-booking a transfer as per the options above.
If you would like to know the taxi prices in Punta Cana from the airport, here is an updated (2021 post-covid) list for all major resorts and places in the Punta Cana area:
- Punta Cana Airport – Four Points by Sheraton / Punta Cana Village: 10 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Westin Puntacana Resort: 20 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Cap Cana (all resorts and villas): 30 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Club Med: 20 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Plaza San Juan, Downtown, Imagine, Coco Bongo: 25 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Friusa: 30 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Cabeza de Toro (Be Live, Catalonia, Dreams Palm Beach, Natura Park, Radisson, Serenade, etc.): 30 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Barcelo Resort (all hotels): 30 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Lopesan Hotel: 30 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Melía Resorts (all hotels) + Paradisus Palma Real: 30 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Dreams + Secrety Royal Beach: 35 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Los Corales: 35 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Impressive Resort, Vista Sol and Presidential Suites: 35 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – El Cortecito: 35 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Palladium Resort incl. TRS Turquesa Hotel: 35 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Occidental Punta Cana: 35 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Caribe Princess & Bavaro Princess: 35 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Paradisus Punta Cana: 35 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Punta Cana Princess & Tropical Princess: 40 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Ocean Blue & Sands + VIK Hotel Arena Blanca: 40 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Iberostar Resort (all hotels): 40 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – RIU Resort (all hotels): 40 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Bahia Resort (all hotels): 40 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Majestic Resort (all hotels): 40 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Royalton Resort (all hotels): 40 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Occidental Caribe: 40 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Hard Rock Resort & Casino Punta Cana: 50 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Macao (Dreams Macao): 60 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Uvero Alto (Breathless, Nickelodeon, Now Onyx, Live Aqua, Excellence, Sirenis, CHIC, Dreams Punta Cana): 70 USD
- Punta Cana Airport – Uvero Alto (Zoetry): 80 USD
Do you have any questions about these taxi prices from Punta Cana Airport to your resort? Let me know in the comments.
Renting a car at Punta Cana Airport
Another option of getting from the airport in Punta Cana to any place in the area or beyond is to rent a car. All well-known rental car companies are present in Punta Cana. Driving in the Dominican Republic – especially from Punta Cana Airport – is easy thanks to the well-maintained highways (compared to similar developing countries), although traffic in the cities can be chaotic. If you have never driven in such an environment, I would not recommend planning a road-trip through the Dominican Republic, but even as a beginner at renting cars in foreign countries you are fine in the area of Punta Cana as the signposting is very good and the highways are easy to navigate.
When renting a car in Punta Cana, be aware of Thrifty as I once had a bad experience with them. The local employer at the airport wanted to persuade us to buy additional insurance which was already included in our rent. When declining, he told us he is not going to hand over the car and when we finally agreed to buy the insurance (because we realized there is no other way to get the car) the airport agent of Thrifty just said he doesn’t want to give us the car and he didn’t talk to us anymore. Super weird! We had to get a taxi to our resort (which was a good experience as opposed to the one mentioned above in the taxi section) and pick up the car the next day in the city office (where the station manager apologized for the inconvenience). I simply hope that this guy does not work there anymore so that you can rent again from Thrifty. Other rental car experiences so far were positive even Sixt once didn’t have a car for me although I booked one and for AmeriRent I had to wait half an hour until their counter was staffed.
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Therefore, when booking a rental car in Punta Cana, make sure you pay attention to trustworthy and recommended rental car agencies with good reviews. I can recommend you to book your car here* as you can see reviews right away and also can compare different packages with insurances, various models and all kinds of services to opt-in or opt-out.
And if you are curious to know what you can do during your holiday if you decide to rent a car, you can check out the most amazing day trips from Punta Cana here.
Airport transfer in Punta Cana by public transport
You are traveling on a shoestring budget in Punta Cana or are going to backpack the Dominican Republic? Then public transport is your way to go!
However, please only use it if you are traveling with hand luggage only as there is no space for suitcases, especially in the small guaguas serving the Punta Cana Airport from Verón. If you are traveling TO the airport and are coming from Santo Domingo or Higuey, luggage is not a problem as those busses have a baggage compartment.
The best option to see how the public transport in Punta Cana is working is to check out the following post where I have described everything you need to know about guaguas and public busses in Punta Cana. Furthermore, you can find a map there with good visualization of how the system is set up and which routes are being served – including the airport. This map is unique and is exclusively created for Punta Cana Travel Blog.
If you are arriving at Punta Cana Airport, two different busses are passing on the main road outside the terminal area – the small local minivans to Verón and the regional guaguas going to the provincial capital of Higuey (which are also stopping in Verón). Effectively, if you want to travel to Bavaro, you can hop on either one of them. Once reaching Cruce de Verón you can change busses and take a Bavaro-bound guagua.
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If you are going TO the airport from Bavaro, you can take – depending on where you are staying – a Verón- or Higuey-bound bus and change at Cruce de Verón for the bus to Cap Cana or Punta Cana Airport. Both are stopping at the airport. Alternatively, if you are coming from Higuey or Santo Domingo, simply take the direct busses to the airport of Punta Cana. Check out further options here on how to get from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana.
Costs for either of the options are cheap. For the 2 busses between the airport and Bavaro, you pay around 2 USD (2x 50-60 DOP), if coming from Santo Domingo you pay around 8 USD (450 DOP).
If you are planning to get to and from the airport in Punta Cana by public transport, here are again the two most important pieces of advice:
– travel lightly, no suitcases or similar big luggage (except for the direct busses FROM Higuey and Santo Domingo to the airport)
– read my comprehensive guide about the public transport system in Punta Cana and have a look at the maps to better understand the routes
Do you have any questions on how to get to and from Punta Cana Airport? Which of the options do you prefer? Have you made your own experiences and want to share any advice? I am happy to read about it in the comment section.
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CHRISAuthor, Travel Coach & Punta Cana based digital nomad
Hey, I am Chris, a born and raised German, travel-addictive and Caribbean Soul. Since 2011 I have been living in the Caribbean, among them 5 years in the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana is my home-base here in the country and I’d love to tell you more about how to experience Punta Cana off-the-beaten-track and give you all the advice you want to know for your vacation in Punta Cana.