Privately owned air-conditioned buses are the cheapest way to get around the country. They make regular runs to Santiago, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, and other destinations from Santo Domingo. One-way bus fare from Santo Domingo to Puerto Plata is about $7.50, and it takes 3½ hours. Metro's deluxe buses have more of an upscale clientele; however, there are no movies. Caribe Tours sometimes shows bilingual movies, keeps the air-conditioning on frigid, and is favored by locals and families. Buses are often filled to capacity, especially on weekends and holidays.
If you're going north, both Metro and Caribe Tours offer hourly service from Santo Domingo to Santiago, Puerto Plata, and Sosúa. The bus music will be Dominican-loud. Caribe Tours also runs buses to Las Américas International Airport and the mountain town of Jarabacoa from Santo Domingo. Linia Gladys is a small bus line that will get you from the capital to Constanza; if you are in the town of Constanza, call them, and they might even pick you up at your hotel.
Espreso Baváro buses depart from Plaza Los Girasoles at Avenida Máximo Gómez at Juan Sánchez Ruiz; the buses are not the best, but the price is right, and the American movies current. If you're going to one of the Punta Cana resorts, you get off at the stop before the last and take a cab waiting at the taxi stand.
Frequent service from Santo Domingo to the town of La Romana is provided by Express Bus. Buses depart from Ravelo Street, in front of Enriquillo Park, every hour on the hour from 5 am to 9 pm; the schedule is exactly the same from La Romana, where they leave from Camino Avenue. In Santo Domingo, there's no office and no phone, but a ticket taker will take your $4 just before departure. Travel time is about 1¾ hours. Once in town, you can take a taxi from the bus stop to Casa de Campo ($25), and to the Dominicus and Bayahibe resorts for from $40 to $45, depending on the distance.
Caribe Tours (Av. 27 de Febrero at Leopoldo Navarro, Ensanches Miraflores, Santo Domingo. 809/221-4422. www.caribetours.com.do.)
Espreso Baváro (Plaza Los Girasoles, Av. Máximo Gómez at Juan Sánchez Ruiz, Santo Domingo. 809/682-9670.)
Express Bus (809/556-4192 or 809/550-4585.)
Metro Buses (809/227-0101 in Santo Domingo; 809/586-6062 in Puerto Plata; 809/587-4711 in Santiago.)
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