Driving in the D.R.

Feb 14th, 2010, 01:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 6
Driving in the D.R.

Any advice for driving from Santo Domingo to Bayahibe.
rastajohnny66 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2010, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,334
THE BEST ADVICE....DO NOT--this is from somebody who has been there and if you do.. and the car breaks down (the roads are awful) our car will be stripped..We were at a resort (Casa del Mar) and one of the managers was going out to rescue a guest.. with a gun...seriously. The son of a dear friend lives in the northern part of the D.R. and does not go anywhere without a gun.. It is much too far to Santo Domingo from there..hope you weren't planning just a day trip..We have vacationed in Santo Domingo three times before the resorts in your area were built..DO NOT RENT A CAR
ParrotMom is offline  
Feb 15th, 2010, 08:48 AM
Join Date: May 2008
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Hire a driver instead. I don't know about the safety issues mentioned above, but I do know the traffic is horrendous. The drivers pay no attention to rules of the road, and there are motorcycles and pedestrians also ignoring the rules. It is a hectic scene.

We had a driver take us from Case de Campo to the airport in Santo Domingo. He had a very nice new van, and charged us $30/apiece or $100 with the tip. We had several close calls on our way that made me very glad I wasn't driving!
PeaceOut is offline  
Feb 16th, 2010, 08:37 AM
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This is disheartening to read as we leave in two days for the north side of the DR. We'll be in Las Canas and wanted to drive to Cabarate which is 20-30 minutes from what I've heard.

My friends that live there haven't mentioned anything about a safety issue. As always, we keep valuables out of the car and haven't had a problem before on other small islands.

I'll report back with my experience as there isn't a lot of info for the north side of the DR.
BeachGirl247 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2010, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 231
The DR is like alot of places...yes there is danger but there is also beauty and beautiful people...I hope you find the beauty...and yes the drivers are crazy and the roads aren't the best.
jannieween is offline  
Feb 16th, 2010, 08:58 AM
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forgot to add...hire a driver..
jannieween is offline  
Feb 16th, 2010, 09:08 AM
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I just posted my trip report from visiting friends in the D.R., who have lived and worked there 30 years. I did not hear anything about everyone needing to carry a gun, and I imagine that's an exaggeration.

You can click on my name and find my report. The Dominicans we encountered were warm, friendly and delightful.
PeaceOut is offline  
Feb 16th, 2010, 09:32 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,181
Everyone, take a deep breath. Lots of people rent cars and drive in the DR. My writer who covers Punta Cana always rents a car when she is there (as a single woman, traveling alone). The road between Santo Domingo and La Romana is one of the best on the island. And lots of people drive on the north coast since they rent villas and travel independently. They survive, as do many many expats in the nation.

While I probably would not drive in unknown areas at night because of bad signage and often bad roads, you should rent a car if you need one. Get insurance, of course, or make sure that your own credit card and private policy cover you.

Everyone in the DR does NOT travel with a gun strapped to his or her waist. ParrotMom has used this story in other threads.
doug_stallings is offline  
Feb 16th, 2010, 07:31 PM
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,556
I still caution about the hectic nature of driving in the D.R. We had many close calls. I wouldn't want to be responsible for a rental car on those roads.
PeaceOut is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2010, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 7,840
I am on the north coast in Las Canas now. The small towns could be intimidating with the closeness of scooters and people and buses but we're fine with it. Doug is correct with the signage and finding things at night. It can be difficult to see. That's been the only issue for us driving from Cabarete to Las Canas at night.

Re Safety: I have not once felt uneasy or that we would need to carry a weapon. Our hosts have had a place here for 2+ years and have never had an issue either. There have been other islands where I felt differently but this isn't one of them.

The people here are so friendly and easy going. If you are a good driver I wouldn't hesitate getting a car. But, if you do get the smallest car you can. We have a Mitsubishi Lancer and wished we would have gone with the Kia Picante instead.
BeachGirl247 is offline  
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