Airport transfers Santo Domingo – how to get to Punta Cana and the city

While Punta Cana is the biggest airport in the Dominican Republic, it sometimes might be considerably cheaper to fly into the capital airport, Santo Domingo. When you are visiting the city, it is the best option anyway, but also if you are going for a holiday to Punta Cana or Bayahibe and need a transfer, the Las Américas International Airport of Santo Domingo is worth a closer look, especially as there are all kind of transport options, such as private transfers, Uber or public transport. In this article, I am going to explain to you the best way to get from Santo Domingo Airport to Punta Cana and also how you can get from Las Américas Airport to the city of Santo Domingo (incl. downtown and the Zona Colonial) and other parts in the Dominican Republic. There are always various choices, so I am giving you the best option for your way from the airport to your hotel. You will also learn why Uber might not necessarily the best idea at Las Américas Airport.

Table Of Contents

Are you looking for the transfer options from Punta Cana Airport, then check out this separate article.

Airport transfer from Las Américas International Airport Santo Domingo to Punta Cana

When planning a holiday in Punta Cana, it sometimes might be considerably cheaper to fly into Santo Domingo’s Las Américas International Airport. However, you have to factor in the costs to get from the airport to Punta Cana and the accommodation you have booked. Depending on how you travel, you might save a big amount of money, but you also might end up paying more. That’s why it is important to carefully check the following options for your way from Santo Domingo Airport to Punta Cana.

Private transfer from Santo Domingo Airport to Punta Cana

The easiest option to get from Santo Domingo’s Las Américas Airport to Punta Cana is to book a private transfer. The driver will wait for you (usually with a sign showing your name) in the arrival hall and once you are there, you can start your journey immediately. It’s a smooth drive to Punta Cana. In two hours you should reach your final destination.

To make sure you book the right choice and a reliable driver, I recommend booking a private transfer from Santo Domingo Airport to Punta Cana with positive reviews. I made good experiences with Viator in the past and have put together a few offers here.

Please note, that usually all hotels in Punta Cana are treated as the same destination, it doesn’t matter if your destination or your all-inclusive resort is located in Bavaro, Cap Cana, Macao or Cabeza de Toro. However, Uvero Alto might be treated separately because it’s a bit further, that’s why you have a different product here. In case you have a hotel booked in Uvero Alto, check out the prices here.

Transfers from Las Américas Airport to Punta Cana are usually around 150-170 USD per vehicle per way for a group of up to 4-6 people.

Shared Shuttle from Santo Domingo International Airport to Punta Cana

Shared shuttles are always a very good way to save on travel costs when going on vacation, especially if you are traveling in a party of just 1 or 2 people. You book a transfer to your destination and the transfer company makes sure to combine your booking with other travelers with a similar itinerary. If you are lucky, you might even get a private transfer for a considerably cheaper price (as it has happened to me various times).
However, unfortunately as of now (September 2020) due to the reduced amount of travelers in times of Covid-19, there are no shared shuttles between Santo Domingo and Punta Cana, so you would have to go with one of the other options mentioned here in this article. If you would like to travel to Punta Cana on a budget, check below for public transport options.

It might be possible that shared shuttles are back once tourism picks up again in 2021 or 2022, as you need a certain amount of travelers to keep shuttles running economically. You can book a shared shuttle from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana here (button below), which is supposed to resume services in January 2021.

VIP Transfer from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana

If you prefer to have a little extra in terms of personal service, you can book a VIP transfer to travel in-style from Santo Domingo Airport to Punta Cana. Those services are usually operated in very modern cars (at least a Hyundai Tucson, depending on your booking also with a Chevrolet Suburban) and include drinks, WiFi and GPS-tracking. The drivers also come properly dressed. It’s worth to check the prices as these airport transfers are sometimes not much more expensive than the regular private transfers.

Uber From the airport in Santo Domingo to Punta Cana

Theoretically, it is also possible to take an Uber from the airport, as the popular app is up and running in Santo Domingo for a few years. You can call an Uber at Las Américas Airport, but I doubt that any driver will accept to take you to Punta Cana for the official Uber rate, which is just around 70 USD (quoted right now when I check the Uber app). While the drivers at Santo Domingo airport in general are hesitant to take passengers for the official price (see explanation below in the Santo Domingo section), it’s is simply not possible to drive to Punta Cana back and forth for 70 USD in a sustainable way, especially as the drivers have to pay a hefty commission to Uber as well.
Long story short, taking an Uber from Santo Domingo International Airport to Punta Cana won’t work even you can try it if you want.

Taxis from Santo Domingo Las Américas International Airport to Punta Cana

As in nearly all airports in the world, taxis are readily available and compared to other Latin American countries, taxi crime is rarely existent in the Dominican Republic. However, for the long way to Punta Cana, I would not recommend you taking an airport taxi as they most likely will be more expensive. While there are official taxi rates at Santo Domingo Airport, they are not signposted, which is why I guess they will charge you around 200 USD for this journey while the fair price is somewhere around 160-180 USD for the trip from the airport to anywhere in Punta Cana.
However, if you haven’t had time to prebook a private transfer, you can take a taxi from Santo Domingo Airport without a problem.
Now, in post-covid times, prices have been lowered so that you can get an official airport taxi from Santo Domingo Airport to Punta Cana for 139 USD. However, I am not sure if this is only for pre-booked reservations or if this rate is offered right on spot as well. You can check directly with the official airport taxi company Sichala*.

For your Dominican Republic vacation

Travel resources

Punta Cana Airport Transfers: Info | Book It*
Santo Domingo Airport Transfers: Info | Book It*
All-Inclusive Resorts: Info | Book It*
Guesthouses & AirBnBs: Info | Book It*
Excursions: Info | Book It*
Rental Car: Info | Book It*
Road-Trips & Self-Drive Tours: Info | Plan It
Travel Insurance (incl. covid-19 coverage): Book it*

Public transport from the airport Santo Domingo to Punta Cana

To get from Santo Domingo Airport to Punta Cana by public transport is possible, but not easy nor convenient.

First, you have to get from Las Américas International Airport to Santo Domingo, which can be done in two different ways.

The first option (which is your only option if you are traveling with luggage) is to take a taxi or an Uber to Parque Enriquillo in the center of Santo Domingo. This is where the busses are leaving. The ride should cost you around 20-25 USD per vehicle per way.

The second option is to take a Motoconcho (motorcycle taxi) out of Santo Domingo International Airport to reach the Highway “Autopista Las Américas”. That’s around 2 USD (100 DOP) per person. From here, you can take any guagua bound for Santo Domingo, just ask if they go to Parque Enriquillo. This bus costs you around 1 USD (50-60 DOP). Please note that this option is only possible if you travel with backpacks and light luggage. No suitcases are possible for this public transport option.

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Once you arrive at Parque Enriquillo, you can take the direct bus from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana. It’s traveling six times a day between 7 am and 4 pm. Make sure to be at the bus station around 45 minutes before as tickets sell out quickly.

As the last bus from Parque Enriquillo leaves at 4 pm, your flight must arrive before 1 pm to make this option work. If you arrive later, you have to spend a night in Santo Domingo, which, however, is not the worst thing to do as there are so many historical sights to explore.

Renting a car at Santo Domingo International Airport (to go to Punta Cana)

You can also rent a car when arriving at Las Américas International Airport. While I would not recommend renting a car when going from the airport to the city of Santo Domingo, it’s well worth it if you are planning to head eastward (Punta Cana, Bayahibe & other towns), as it is an easy drive along a well-maintained 4-lane highway. In general, the area in Punta Cana is easy to navigate with a rental car, so why not adding some flexibility to your vacation in the Dominican Republic.

If you are not sure if you shall rent a car, you can check out this article, as the same recommendations apply for getting a rental car at Santo Domingo Airport.

Airport transfer from Las Américas International Airport to the city center of Santo Domingo (incl. Zona Colonial)

If you just want to go from Las Américas Airport to Santo Domingo, it’s a much quicker journey than to Punta Cana. It’s just a 17-mile ride and doesn’t take more than half an hour, at least if you travel outside of the rush hours (which can be quite long … ). Check out the various options you have when going from Las Américas International Airport to the city of Santo Domingo.

Private transfer from Santo Domingo Airport to the city center of Santo Domingo

A private airport transfer is the easiest way to get from Las Américas to Santo Domingo. You can prebook it, your driver will wait for you in the arrival hall and your journey will start immediately once you arrive. The typical cost of a private transfer from Santo Domingo Airport is around 35-45 USD.

Shared airport shuttle to the city of Santo Domingo

Due to the reduced amount of travelers in times of Coronavirus, there are no shuttle options available right now to go from Santo Domingo Airport to the city center and the Zona Colonial of Santo Domingo. However, there is a provider supposed to resume operations in January 2021. This means you share a minivan or a bus with other travelers arriving at a similar time than you. However, I have to note that the savings are not as big as in other destinations, so it’s up to you if you book a shared airport shuttle in Santo Domingo or if you go with one of the other options.

VIP Transfer from the airport to the city of Santo Domingo

If you would like to book an airport transfer the elegant way, you can book a VIP airport transfer in Santo Domingo. Drinks and WiFi are included, same as a well-trained and properly dressed driver and a modern and slightly luxurious car. Check out these options for a luxury airport transfer from Las Américas to the city center of Santo Domingo.

Uber from the airport in Santo Domingo to the Colonial Zone and downtown

As mentioned above, Uber is running in Santo Domingo, which doesn’t mean Uber is the best solution to get from the airport to the city. The problem is that many Uber drivers want to charge higher rates than what the app suggests. That’s why they will tell you – once you request a ride – that they can only accept cash and at a higher fare than quoted. While this might not be the case for every driver, it happened to me various times (because the Uber rate is indeed super low) at Las Américas. Therefore, be prepared to either pay more or to choose one of the alternative options mentioned in this airport guide.

Taxi from Las Américas Airport to the city center of Santo Domingo

Taxis are quite reliable at Santo Domingo Airport and I have used them various times to get into the city center or the Colonial Zone. There is no official rate, but it is somewhere around 30-35 USD per ride, depending on where exactly you go. If you speak Spanish and are good at negotiating, you can get it down to as low as 1500 DOP, which is around 26 USD.

Public transport from the airport Santo Domingo to the city center

Same as at Punta Cana Airport, there is a way to get from the airport to the city by public transport and it is similar to the options I have described above when traveling from Santo Domingo Airport to Punta Cana. However, it only works if you are adventurous, arrive during daylight hours and travel with a backpack only.

When you walk out of the airport, take a right turn where you soon will see some motorcycle taxis (motoconchos). Let them take you for 100 DOP (around 2 USD) to the “Autopista Las Américas”, which is a 5-minute ride. If they are offering to bring you all the way to Santo Domingo, you can decline friendly, as this would be a hazardous and dangerous option due to the crazy traffic.

Once arriving at the “Autopista”, wait in the westbound direction for busses passing, flag them down and ask if they head towards Santo Domingo. If so, you can enter and pay around 50 DOP (around 1 USD) for a ride. Make sure you know in which area you go as the driver might ask you. Most of the busses passing are terminating at Parque Enriquillo, which is a good spot if you want to get into the amazing and historic Zona Colonial.

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Renting a car at Santo Domingo International Airport (to go to Santo Domingo)

All major car rental companies have offices at Santo Domingo Airport and they are all located within the small rental car center opposite of the arrival hall. However, due to the chaotic traffic in Santo Domingo, I would not recommend renting a car when heading towards the city center especially when it is your first time visiting the Dominican Republic. It is better to use one of the options described above to get from Las Américas Airport to Santo Domingo. If you are on a road-trip through the county, you can also get to the city without a rental car, spend 1-2 nights in the historic Colonial Zone and then rent a car once you leave Santo Domingo. That’s much easier as you won’t need a car while in the city.

Airport transfer from Las Américas International Airport Santo Domingo to other destinations in the Dominican Republic

Are you arriving in Santo Domingo but neither want to go to Punta Cana nor to Santo Domingo? Continue reading for your possible options, as Santo Domingo is the perfect getaway from transfers to all corners of the Dominican Republic – especially if your destination is along the south coast or the Samaná peninsula.

Private Transfer from Santo Domingo Airport to all destinations in the Dominican Republic

Private transfers are possible to nearly all destinations in the Dominican Republic. The advantages are already listed above: quick, safe, reliable and private. Especially if you are going to Samaná or the south coast of the Dominican Republic – for both Santo Domingo is the best destination airport – you can check the following airport transfer options.

Shared shuttle from Santo Domingo International Airport

The shuttles from Punta Cana Airport to all places around Punta Cana and from Santo Domingo airport to the city center are the only shared shuttle options in the Dominican Republic you can book directly online right now.
However, in January 2021, shared shuttles to Samaná, Bayahibe and La Romana are resuming. You can check prices and availability with the offers below.

VIP Transfers from Las Américas to all destinations in the Dominican Republic

Airport Transfers with VIP vehicles such as Chevrolet Suburban or a Hyundai Tucson are available for all destinations in the Dominican Republic. If you want a quote from Santo Domingo Airport, please check the following page.

Uber from Santo Domingo airport to other destinations

For all regional and long-distance Uber rides from Santo Domingo airport, the same limitations as described above for Punta Cana are applying. Even Uber is officially available at Santo Domingo Airport, drivers most likely won’t take you to a destination considerably outside of Santo Domingo. Boca Chica and Juan Dolio, the nearest beach towns, might be an exception, but apart from that, better choose another method of transport or be prepared to negotiate with the Uber drivers.

Public transport from Santo Domingo Airport to Samaná, Bayahibe, Puerto Plata & more

If leaving Santo Domingo Airport by public transport, you can follow the same advice as listed above. Take a motorcycle taxi (motoconcho) from outside of the arrival area to the highway, where you can either catch buses westbound to reach Santo Domingo with onward connections (mostly with Caribe Tours) to all destinations in the Dominican Republic or you head eastbound with busses to Juan Dolio, San Pedro de Macorís and La Romana.

The only exception is if you are heading to Samaná. In this case, ask your motoconcho or Uber driver to drop you at the “Parada Samaná”, the bus station for all northbound busses (Nagua, Santa Barbara de Samaná, Las Terrenas, Las Galeras). This bus station is approximately 5 miles away from Las Américas Airport, so it should cost you around 200 Pesos. Due to the traffic along the highway, I would recommend taking an Uber or a taxi for this 10-minute ride, even it might be slightly more expensive.

If going from Las Américas International Airport to Bayahibe, there are two options:
The cheap and dirty option is to take the motoconcho to the Autopista Las Américas and wait for a La Romana bound bus from the “La Sichoem” company. You have to flag them down, which is not always the easiest option. From La Romana take a minibus straight to Bayahibe. The total journey from Santo Domingo Airport to Bayahibe shouldn’t cost more than 400 DOP (ca. 7 USD), but you need to travel with hand luggage only and be able to speak at least some basic Spanish-

The more relaxed option is taking an Uber or a taxi to the city center of Santo Domingo. From here, catch a bus to Bayahibe. There are two to three direct busses each day from Santo Domingo to Bayahibe. If no direct bus is available, you can also take a La Romana bound bus from “La Sichoem” and change there for Bayahibe bound minivan.

Rental Car from Santo Domingo Las Américas Airport to explore the Dominican Republic

Exploring the Dominican Republic by rental car is always a good idea, especially as so many hidden gems and off-the-beaten-track experiences are awaiting you here. When booking a rental car for your road-trip in the Dominican Republic, you can check prices here*. Make sure to include all insurances in the filters, so that you can get around fully protected. For further recommendations and thoughts when renting a car in the Dominican Republic, check out this separate article here. If you want to get a first impression of how your road-trip in the Dominican Republic can look like, you can check out this 3-day Samaná itinerary from/to Punta Cana or Santo Domingo and this 8-day Dominican Republic itinerary.

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The face behind Punta Cana Travel Blog: Chris

CHRIS

Author, 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.

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