Santiago, Dominican Republic Sat. 19 Sep. 2009. After clearing Customs, I headed outside and quickly familiarized myself with the area. Lots of people were checking in for the departing jetBlue and American Airlines flights. I asked one of the agents how to get to the Metro bus and she advised that I had to take a taxi into the city. The Metro bus costs the equivalent of about 4.60 USD to get to Puerta Plata.
Knowing I needed local cash for the bus, I changed 20 USD and received about 700 DOP (Pesos) from the local bank at the airport. I then proceeded to the taxi line. I told the English speaking dispatcher/taxi driver in the green shirt as directed by the airline agents, where I was going and he took me to a waiting cab.
It was 18 USD to the city of Santiago and about 70 USD (2,500 pesos, but they wanted 80 USD) to the Puerta Plata airport. I figured there would be a cab cost from Puerta Plata if I took the bus, so I offered 60 USD, but settled at 70 USD.
The overwhelming deciding factor here was timing. It was already 9:45a, my flight was at 2:39p and we had a 2.5 hours or so drive ahead of us. Yes, I took the easy and less stress way out.
Alternatively, I could have walked he short distance to the main road and taken a local transport to the city if Santiago. That would have cost about 25 DOP (1 DOP is about 0.027 USD).
It was a great and scenic drive to Puerta Plata through the mountains. I got an opportunity to see the city wake up and go about its business. Almost as popular as cars are motorbikes; almost always ridden my a male and about 50% of the time has a pillion rider. Sadly, I saw a car being removed that had smashed into a light pole breaking it in two. The car was pretty smashed!
My driver pointed out places of interest from time and we communicated although I have extremely limited knowledge of Spanish. It was interesting but worked very well. The terrain is much like that of the country parts of Jamaica. Also, you can buy fruits from the vendors on the side of the roads. I wanted to get some mangoes, but the language barrier prevented that from occurring.
As I was getting weary since we had passed through the town of Puerta Plata, I saw the sign to the airport. The airport is actually 18km from Puerta Plata and 7km from Sosua. I looked at the clock in the car and it read 12:05p. We had done really good time I thought, it took about 2:10 and we hit a bit of traffic as we passed through Santiago. I think taking the bus would have really pushed the limits, maybe next time.
Have you ever taken this routing? I’d like to hear about it.