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Driving from SDQ to Las Terrenas

King of Prussia...
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Driving from SDQ to Las Terrenas

Yes, we are driving this Thursday, March 13. We have a GPS. However, we will be hungry. Is there a place anyone can recommend along the way?

Silver Spring...
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1. Re: Driving from SDQ to Las Terrenas

There are rest stops along the Toll Road with food, fuel and bathrooms. Do NOT drive at night please.

Punta Cana...
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2. Re: Driving from SDQ to Las Terrenas

I don't think there are really any restaurants..but there probably is a pica pollo.. we traveled that road last May at night so everything was closed.. as posted above wouldn't recommend traveling at night... not as safe as it used to be.. be sure to have plenty of pesos the tolls aren't very cheap.

Silver Spring...
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3. Re: Driving from SDQ to Las Terrenas

Good point on Pesos. Toll road is in Pesos so get some before going. Also make sure to use your seat belt as they will ticket you fast for that and there are two popular spots for radar speed traps. I never stop when they wave at me but for your safety sake don't speed. There are many fast curves on the road so stay at the speed limits. The rest stops are kinda like a Pica Pollo but with a buffet offering and lots of familiar snacks and drinks.

Be on the watch for the other drivers and understand that the rules of the road are different here as many people ignore them. Be sure to take out "full" insurance including casa de condutor insurance so that in case of accident you go to a hotel and not jail. Your credit card insurance does not help you on the ground here.

King of Prussia...
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4. Re: Driving from SDQ to Las Terrenas

Thanks for the help! We are driving during the day and have FULL insurance, and a pocket full of pesos. The forums have been very useful in planning this trip. Thanks again.

King of Prussia...
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5. Re: Driving from SDQ to Las Terrenas

Well...that was interesting! Here is my advice after the trip:

Take a right out of the airport onto Ruta 66 and then get on Autopista Las Américas - briefly! Do not miss the turn off for Samana! Get off the Autopista Las Américas as soon as you get on, at the first exit, even though it doesn't look like one. If you miss it, I hope you are lucky enough to have a GPS and a great navigator like my son. We ended up taking a tour of Santo Domingo before finding our way back. Looking back it was a great experience, immediately taught me how to drive in the DR, but it did delay getting to Las Terrenas by about two hours. Driving in Santo Domingo is sort of like driving in Mumbai, but on the right hand side of the road (sometimes.)

Autopista Juan Pablo II is a great road. The drive is beautiful, there are several rest stops for refueling and refreshments. Although we saw a few police, none were at all threatening; we were going the speed limite, though most drivers were not. At the end follow the signs to the Samaná El Catey International Airport, not Sanchez. If you go to Sanchez you will spend your time on a mountain switch back road. You will pass through a small town on a slow road. Follow the signs to the Airport and look carefully for the sign to Las Terrenas. Make a left and pay the big toll, I think it was 496 Pesos and you are on another great highway, probably the most amazing road cut straight through the mountains. A lot of engineering and dynamite went into its construction. Views are spectacular. The road ends in Las Terrenas.

Due to our delay in Santo Domingo the sun was going down by the time we got to town and it was raining. This really did not present the problem many posters promised, however, I agree, for the first time it would be better to do the entire trip in daylight.

I would be glad to take any questions, should anyone have any!

north carolina
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6. Re: Driving from SDQ to Las Terrenas

Thanks for the report. Happy you made it and sounds like you had a good time. Just curious... what type of vehicle did you have and did you do any exploring while on the peninsula?

King of Prussia...
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7. Re: Driving from SDQ to Las Terrenas

Ben, we rented a Kia Sportage from Budget (I would not rent from them again.) The car itself was fine and just the right size. Streets are narrow. We did not do as much exploring as we expected. Time seemed to come to a stand still, though it was still marching on and our trip was over. I enjoyed having a small SUV to deal with potholes, speed bumps, muddy dirt roads after the rain. I did not see many cars, mostly small trucks, SUVs, and some huge SUVs, and of course several thousand quads, scooters, small motorcycles, and mopeds.

north carolina
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8. Re: Driving from SDQ to Las Terrenas

Thanks, GL. I hope there will be other opportunities to explore. All the rental places at SDQ are a pain. Not sure if their internet connections are the problem but it seems to take forever..lol but the rental fee is usually close to what a transfer would cost and is great fun (if you don't miss the toll road:)) and allows much greater freedom of movement while there. Happy travels, Ben

London, United...
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9. Re: Driving from SDQ to Las Terrenas

I can sympathise with you GLDawson - we know the country well - but when going to Samana last month from Santo Domingo we missed the turn off for Samana coming from the city so at the first turning turned back but as you say the turn off is just after the toll booth, So we had to go all the way back to Santo Domingo to turn round again and take the turning on the second go! If only they could add a few signs!

if you go again try going down to the SW - Barahona, Bahia de las Aguilas etc..

Santa Barbara de...
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10. Re: Driving from SDQ to Las Terrenas

These directions would have done you some good if you had found them in the TA database:

Even if they were on how to get to Cayacoa it would have helped you avoid the 2 hour detour at the beginning.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g147294-i1628-k258…

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