The Great Dominican Republic Road Trip

Driving in Dominican republic, dom rep driving, map of dominican republic

Airport – Santo Domingo – Santiago – Puerto Plata – Bani – Boca Chica Beach – Airport

Like most Latin American countries, Dominican Republic can get rather dangerous is some areas.  It is definitely not advisable to get to the island with no hotel reservations or drive into the capital with no map and not the slightest of clue of where you’re going, did I mention it was 2am when our flight arrived?  Well ladies and gentlemen, that was our plan and here is how it went.  I would like to introduce you to “The Great Dominican Road Trip”:

Tourists do the darndest things… and no its not me

While driving in Dominican Republic is chaotic to say the least, their roads in-between major cities are surprisingly reliable.  No pot holes, wide enough, and when you get pulled over by a cop there is nothing 20 bucks can’t handle.  We drove into the capital, Santo Domingo, with no map and no clue where we were going.  When two Latin men arrive into a Latin country there are two priorities:  salsa club & food.  So once we eventually found the center of the city and a club our hips were moving faster than the speed of light.

Once 5am came around we finally decided to find a nice hostel to get a full 3 hours rest.  You would be surprised how many things there are to see in Dominican Republic aside from the beach.  The country boasts quite a bit of history so after you have a thrilling experience driving in Dominican Republic head to the Old City.  What you didn’t know that Santo Domingo was the oldest city in the new world? How about the fact that it’s largest city in the Caribbean?  Christopher Columbus’  bones are supposedly buried in Santo Domingo, this however, has not been proven (if you think this picture is funny check out when my friend took a dump where the earth cracks).

dancing in santo domingo, dancing in dom rep, club in santo domingo

After our stint in Santo Domingo we immediately headed to the popular city of Puerto Plata with a pit stop in Santiago.  This is where driving in Dominican Republic gets a bit different, you go from a wide interstate to a 2 lane road in the middle of the jungle.  There is nothing for miles at times other than the bar playing Spanish music and yes people dancing too.  That was one of the funniest parts of the trip how we could be in the middle of nowhere and all of the sudden there is a bar with over 100 people dancing like the movie Dirty Dancing.

puerto plata beach, puerto plata dominican republic, puerto plata

Puerto plata beach

Since there is a lot of poverty in the Dominican Republic many young people stay with their parents.  This isn’t only due to money as Latin culture breeds mama’s boys and co-dependants.  Rest assured I am an exception and yes Latin Mom’s can cook better than the great Martha Stewart herself.  We picked up some “friends” that needed a ride and found out what Dominican’s call a Cabaña.  It is simply a fancy motel where you can pay by the hour, this is usually where young people go for “extra curricular activities” if you know what I mean.  Puerto Plata is a very popular destination in Santo Domingo and certainly caters to tourists.  We found a cabana, spent about $4 for 4 hours to sleep (prices have risen).  Once we woke up we headed to the nearest hotel with an all you can eat buffet that we were not staying at.  Are you two staying at the hotel the manager asked as we were stuffing our faces with eggs and fruit?  Most definitely yes we promptly replied. 😀

dominican republic sign, driving in dominican republic

heading back to dominican republic

You know the dreaded hot dog stands in New York City that dont sell hot dogs?  We went to eat at the equivalent of that when we reached Santo Domingo on our way back.  Everyone tells you not to eat at those little stands and if you have a sensitive stomache I would highly recommend you didn’t, god blessed me with an iron man stomach so I try to put it to test everywhere I go.  I do draw the line a bull testicles however.  It was really delicious to be honest and plus where else was my friend going to get ripped off trying to buy a license plate?  A little food stand I figured was the best place, right? I mean, I could be mistaken.

Rocky shores of Santo Domingo

I dont like my short hair so dont say it.  After a brief visit to Bani where I had the best mango I have ever had, picked from the actual tree none the less, we headed to Boca Chica Beach.  Being Latin of course we were late for our flight so we had to pull a few Dominican car tactics to get there on time, luckily we didn’t have to shell $20 this time to the local authorities.  Great beaches, met new friends, and got to know a lot about the country outside of the beaches themselves. A+


  1. I was hoping for much more in this blog or articla, or blog entry. Yes very good (just touches the srface) for any pure tourist who just wants to go from one site or city to the next and see the beaches, and dance without care of learning about the country, culture and people.

    You did not mention the trash all aound the city of Santo Domingo and Santiago. You did not mention the smell of urine around historical sites. It is not permitted to sit in the shade along a wall in the CODE section of Zona Colonial, but you can pee on the wall at night. The smell of trash and urine definitely take away from the cultural experience and significance of historical sites. You didnt mention the bumbs sleeping on the sidewalk at the Conde either.

    I was more interested in the life and scenes you may have seen when you drove through the campo. I dont care about dancing and Cabaña recreation. I am considering a teaching job in a pueblo where Dominican teacher dont want to teach. They all prefer the services and NOISE of the city. I have lived in the city (Santo Domingo) for two years now. I cant wait to leave and work in the campo. But I have really only been in the honest to God campo one time. I had a great time. The people were polite. That is not the norm in the city where the people are generally rude and too many are undereducated and ignorant. Yes that must be the same in the campo. But in the city, I am surrounded by over 3,000,000 (3 million) but in the campo only thirty thousand.

    So where is the rest of the stoty ?


    1. You shouldn’t be traveling if you are going to worry about all the negative aspects of travel. That is part of traveling in a third world country get used to it Stephen.

  2. Hey Bro. Question: I am traveling to the DR. I want to visit a friend in Bonoa, but my mom wants to stay on a beach. So, I will rent a car. What is your best advice: Closest airport to fly in: Best highway to travel, Safety in Bonoa. Please provide me with the 411 as soon as you can.


    1. Rob I would choose the airport that is closest to the city you are going to. The island isn’t that big so if you feel safer fly into the capital and rent a car.

  3. Sounds like y’all had a great time! I definitely wouldn’t go to the DR without having a plan, but I’m glad y’all figured it out. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *