Once you arrive in the Dominican Republic if you are not arriving at the airport in the same city where you have planned your vacation, you probably must move by public transport to get to your final destination.
For example if you touch down at Las Americas International Airport which is located in the capital, Santo Domingo, and you have to get to las Terrenas and you don’t want to spend money on taxi (taxi from Las Americas to Las Terrenas 200$) you have to take the public bus which is called by Dominicans, “guagua”.
The guagua stops near the airport where you can get by taxi for 10-15$ or if you decide to stay one night in Santo Domingo to visit the city, you can take the bus from the city center, near the Colonial Area in a stop called Parada Barahona in Calle Duarte.
If you decide to take the guagua from Parada Barahona we recommend to have a shot of rum before you get to the place. This place is in the middle of a really Dominican area even if it is located near the Colonial Area. The streets are really dirty, full of people, you see everywhere peddlers that will try to sell you food, beverages, shoes, clothes and everything that you can imagine, we do not really recommend to buy anything but if you are brave enough it’s on you! These streets are also full of comedora (places where Dominicans eat their daily nourishment) and you will also bump into colmados ( a shop where you can buy snacks, drinks,fruit, cigarettes,trustable places). So the place it’s not like the Champ Elysee but who is traveling to the Caribbean I suppose that doesn’t aspect places like you can find in Europe.
The first time we were there, to be honest, we were a little surprised but just because we have never seen a place like this. But nobody has to be afraid or something like this, to tell the truth now we like to take the bus from here because even if it’s not our kind of place it is really interesting how other people lives and acts in their routine life.
So let’s get on the guagua to Las Terrenas! Normally this is a pretty huge and comfortable bus with television and wifi unless you take the first one in the morning or the last one in the afternoon that are little buses but they fill them with people like it would be a normal one so it is not that comfortable.
Once you got on the guagua, you took your seat and your luggage is arranged in the trunk and you are ready to leave. When the bus leaves the station normally stays 30 minutes in the traffic to get out of the city. Unless the night hours you won’t find a moment during the day that is not rush hour in Santo Domingo. Meanwhile, the bus is moving in the traffic and latin music is on very loud, the doors are open and people is getting on and off to the bus, screaming to leave them there, or 10 meters away so it is a funny environment. Peddlers are getting on and off from the bus and also here will try to sell you from cheese throughout chocolate and panties to water.
Once the bus left the crowded city you can start to enjoy your journey until that the cobrador (the man who collect money for the ticket) doesn’t wake you up asking you the money for your ticket.
During the trip it is possible to meet new people, Dominicans are really kind and helpful and usually, the bus is full of tourist and foreigners that live in the country and everybody is really polite ready to help if you need.
We think that using public transportation is really a MUST DO if you travel to the Dominican Republic, you will perceive a kind of world that (maybe) you didn’t know before and it is also a good occasion to know local people and immerse yourself in local life and above all you support the local services.
For any question or advice do not hesitate to contact Getaway DR 🙂