Taxis, which are government-regulated, line up outside hotels and restaurants. They're unmetered, so ask about the rates before entering. Though they are more expensive, hotel taxis are the nicest and the safest option. Freelance taxis aren't allowed to pick up from hotels, so they hang out on the street in front of them. Carry some small bills because drivers rarely seem to have change.
Recommendable radio-taxi companies in Santo Domingo are Tecni-Taxi (which also operates in Puerto Plata) and Apolo. Tecni is the cheapest, quoting RD$80 as a minimum per trip, Apolo RD$90. Hiring a taxi by the hour—with unlimited stops and a minimum of two hours—is often a better option if you're doing a substantial sightseeing trip. Tecni charges RD$240 per hour but will offer hourly rates only before 6 pm; Apolo charges RD$280 per hour, day or night. When booking an hourly rate, be sure to establish clearly the time that you start.
You can use taxis to travel to out-of-town destinations at quoted rates. Check with your hotel or the dispatcher at the airport. For example, from the Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo to Playa Dorado with Tecni-Taxi is $150. If you book through your hotel concierge, it can be more.
Taxi-Queen is a company that works through the Santiago hotels. Drivers have passed security checks and wear their ID tags around their necks. Their cars are not wonderful, and the drivers are unlikely to speak English, but prices are especially reasonable. Also, they'll take you the distance to Sosúa for $45 and Cabarete for $10 more. The going rate for a taxi between Sosúa and Cabarete is $12. However, the rate is the same for one or five persons, night or day. Taxi-Tourismo, the company that services the Cibao Airport in Santiago, charges $80 to Sosúa, $90 to Cabarete, but has safer, bigger vehicles, mostly SUVs and minivans.
Apolo Taxi (809/537-0000; 809/537-1245 for private limo service. www.apolotaxi.com.)
Taxi-Cabarete (809/571-0767 in Cabarete.)
Taxi-Queen (809/570-0000 in Santiago.)
Taxi-Sosua (809/571-3097 in Sosua.)
Tecni-Taxi (809/567-2010 in Santo Domingo; 809/566-7272 in Santo Domingo; 809/320-7621 in Puerto Plata.)
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