We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Car Rental - Unguided Sightseeing Ideas?

Which Punta Cana hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Sammamish...
posts: 304
reviews: 3
Car Rental - Unguided Sightseeing Ideas?

I'm more interested in replies to this post from people who have actually rented cars, rather than those who have not. After searching this forum, the few posts I could find (though several years old) from people who actually have rented cars have stated it is no worse than many other foreign countries....and though I've never been to DR before, I have rented cars in at least a dozen different countries..so:

-Any places interesting to explore within about a 2 hour drive from Bavaro? hidden beaches are OK, but mountains, villages, and local culture almost preferred.

- Does the new(?) toll road make the drive to Santo Domingo much quicker? If so, how long a journey?

- general and recent driving experiences from people who have actually done it?

13 replies to this topic
Sammamish...
posts: 304
reviews: 3
1. Re: Car Rental - Unguided Sightseeing Ideas?

Bump ....

certainly there must be some interesting things to do that aren't paid "excursions"

UK
posts: 1,661
reviews: 6
2. Re: Car Rental - Unguided Sightseeing Ideas?

There are a few places to visit - though PC is a bit isolated.

You could drive to Boca de Yuma - small fishing village with a number of fish restuarants. Take the new road from PC and turn off at the junction for Higue/Boca de Yuma.Before Boca de Yuma is San Rafael de Yuma which has the restored home of Ponce de Leon (givenor of Puerto Rico)

Also Higuey - large town and the cathedral is a significant pilgramage centre (21st January main date). Good insight into Dominican life.

North of Punta Cana is Macao - nice beach with a small restaurant.

North of Higuey you could follow the coast road to Miches and then return via EL Seyvo -through the moutains/hills - pretty area.

Generally speaking the roads round here are quiet - keep your eyes open for pot holes, motorbikes, road humps which can be high - so cross with caution. The new road is well signed but round Higuey/Miches you may need to ask.Higuey could also be quite busy so be cautious.

Santo Domingo - the new road takes you to La Romana and then you need to cross the city. Beyond La Romana the road is better. When you get to Santo Domingo you need to know where you are going. If you only want to stay in the Zona Colonial I would take the Expresso Bavaro bus.from PC. If you still want ro drive try and arrive in SD on a Sunday - very quiet and easier to drive,

.

Sammamish...
posts: 304
reviews: 3
3. Re: Car Rental - Unguided Sightseeing Ideas?

Thanks for the tips...I am debating if it is worth the drive for a day trip from the Bavaro area to SD...I have heard driving times all over the board...up to 4 hours one way...but many of those posts appear to be written before the toll road was open. Any idea what a realistic drive time from Bavaro to SD is?

UK
posts: 1,661
reviews: 6
4. Re: Car Rental - Unguided Sightseeing Ideas?

I would have thought about three hours. As I said you still need to cross La Romana + in Santo Domingo you need to know where you are going. Good luck. Driving around Santo Domingo is not fun. Quietest day is Sunday. I would recommend getting the bus to Santo Domingo because if your main interest is the Zona Colonial - all of that area can be walked.

Punta Cana...
posts: 11,236
reviews: 14
5. Re: Car Rental - Unguided Sightseeing Ideas?

Miches...unless you have a really strong vehicle is not an option...the road had deteriorated from really bad to...well...whatever is lower than really bad! LOL

I drove toi Santo Domingo about 10 days ago....with the construction occuring between La Romana and San Pedro it took me 3:45 to the bridge entering the city...and that was speeding on the good parts and knowing my way through La Romana. Add 30 minutes if you haven't a clue where you are going. Once to the capital (arriving at 9am) it took me a further 45 minutes to crawl to the Malecon and my hotel for the day and eve. As a first timer to Santo Domingo...good luck finding a place to park....lol.

Driving here is not unlike most of the world...provide your world is not the modern world. Speed "curbs"...bumps is too light a word....half cannon balls that shake the car to pieces. Should you be returning after dark...one word of advice unless you REALLY know what you are doing.....don't!

Not trying to talk you out of anything, but a trip to Santo Domingo...even if you have a clue where you are going, is not something i would look forward to if only for the day.

On a side note...please understand that if a motorcycle hits you...while your car is parked...somehow it ends up that you are to blame! LOL

Cheers

PuntaCana Mike

Kennedale, TX (DFW...
posts: 86
reviews: 1
6. Re: Car Rental - Unguided Sightseeing Ideas?

Three years ago we flew into Santo Domingo and stayed in Bayahibe (Wyndham Palace). We rented a car at the airport for the two week stay. All was good, a bit tricky getting through La Romana, nothing major, just a missed turn ... followed by a U turn. We took a couple of trips to Boca de Yuma (loved it), Sunday was interesting due to the locals coming out. No issues driving besides large pot holes, buses passing on wrong side of road, etc. got to keep eyes open. Also, gas station attendant will try to over charge (same thing in Mexico/Cancun). We enjoyed the freedom. We also had lived in the US Virgin Islands for many years dealing with crazy drivers, large pot holes, etc.

Edited: 8:24 pm, May 19, 2013
Sag Harbor, New York
posts: 2,915
reviews: 12
7. Re: Car Rental - Unguided Sightseeing Ideas?

My opinion is this...don't drive in a country you are not familiar with. Leave it to the experts.

I am a good driver, having driven ambulances at one point in my life. I have driven in NYC several times. I do not recommend it to the faint of heart. Even familiar with it, I take buses and subways. I figure if I don't like it in my home town, I probably will like it less in another country. Besides, many accidents are caused by people who are lost.

One of the wonderful things about AI resorts is I don't have to go anywhere. Not driving is a vacation in itself. Just saying.

Sammamish...
posts: 304
reviews: 3
8. Re: Car Rental - Unguided Sightseeing Ideas?

While I understand there are some buses available, I'm guessing I won't get too far riding a subway around DR. I have ruled out a daytrip to SD...just strikes me as too long a day...but its interesting on these forums that the vast majority of the people who say DON'T DRIVE YOURSELF! haven't actually done it. I haven't read one post yet from someone who did rent a car on vacation in and said it was a horrible mistake. That said, I'm sure someone here will post that, or a link to someone that had a bad experience!

Punta Cana...
posts: 11,236
reviews: 14
9. Re: Car Rental - Unguided Sightseeing Ideas?

I drive the roads every day and while I am well versed at the routine...it is never a dull drive. As of late it seems that the driving is returning to the good old days of unpredictability....must be the longer summer hours! LOL Driving from here to say...Boca de Yuma or Macao are pretty straight forward. I would however pass on driving in Higuey or La Romana.

Cheers

PCMike

Silver Spring...
Destination Expert
for Dominican Republic
posts: 4,545
reviews: 1
10. Re: Car Rental - Unguided Sightseeing Ideas?

I often say to folks DON'T DRIVE YOURSELF or something similar. I have driven over the entire country many many times over for almost 20 years. I have whacked motoconcho drivers and even injured them, and I've had motoconchos run into me. I've gone through the whole process of accident reporting and fighting with the Car Rent agency and credit card companies. I've had more flat tires (and paid for the replacements) than I can count. I've seen serious injuries on the road and I've "almost" been killed a few times. And in the event of a problem, the tourist always pay$ in the end.

Today I only drive when I have to and don't really enjoy it. Too much can and does go wrong.

So I can say, "don't drive yourself" with confidence of knowing what I'm talking about. Especially do not drive at night and do not drive in Santo Domingo!!

Reply to: Car Rental - Unguided Sightseeing Ideas?
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted