Getting Around Punta Cana
The best way to get around Punta Cana is by foot if you're staying at an all-inclusive resort and by car if you plan to explore. Buses run along the main strip of hotels, but their irregular schedules make them a poor choice for getting around. Hotel concierges can easily summon taxis; keep in mind that taxi fares from the Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) vary widely, depending on where you're staying, ranging from as little as $10 to as much as $80. Rentals cars are also available at the airport. If you plan to venture beyond your resort, you'll find that most attractions offer shuttle service bundled in the entry fee.
If you're staying at an all-inclusive resort and don't plan on going too far, walking in Punta Cana is your best bet. Most of the resorts are right on the beach, or at least self-contained enough that you won't need to go too far to plop down and relax. If you plan on going beyond the resort, have the concierge call a taxi for you. If you're feeling courageous, you could rent a car.
To explore surrounding towns, we recommend renting a car through your hotel or at the airport. We don't, however, recommend driving within Punta Cana because traffic is at a constant gridlock. The Dominican driving style is different to say the least – speed limits and stop signs are oftentimes ignored. Keep in mind that several resorts will charge you a parking fee, but you won't need to purchase an additional license; your U.S. license is acceptable for those ages 25 or older.
Taking a local bus or guagua is one of the cheapest ways to get around, but it's not recommended. Not only are schedules are irregular (buses have been known to be more than an hour late), but stops aren't clearly marked, and buses are usually packed. Though you'll likely meet plenty of locals this way, it's not the most efficient means of getting around. If you decide to get around via bus, make sure to have small bills handy as there are no tickets to ride.
Taxis are plentiful and fares are negotiable, so always agree to a price before you get in the vehicle. But they can get expensive: If you have the concierge call a taxi, expect to pay around $40 for a 20-minute ride. Try walking off your resort to one of the taxi stands down the street for a cheaper rate. Ride-hailing apps like Uber are not yet operating in Punta Cana.
These taxi motorcycles have cheap fares, starting around $2 or $4. Look for drivers wearing orange vests, as these indicate that they're part of the local driving union and have met some qualifications. But even still, with the high accident rate and lack of helmets for passengers, we recommend taking a taxicab instead.
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