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What to do once I arrive at the Punta Cana International Airport?

Plane parked at the Punta Cana international airport

What to expect

The second busiest airport in the Caribbean, the Punta Cana International Airport (airport code PUJ) welcomes over 2 million visitors per year.

Due to the high volume, the airport was expanded and upgraded in recent years. Their main goal was to make visitors’ arrival and departure experiences as simple and convenient as possible.

Here are some tips and tricks for arriving at the airport.

When arriving at the airport you’ll be greeted by one of two possibilities. The first possibility is to walk off the plane straight into an air-conditioned terminal, Terminal B.

This procedure tends to be what most visitors are familiar with. However, the airport has a second terminal, Terminal A, that is a bit different.

Once the plane lands, a stairway is rolled onto the tarmac and connected to the plane so that the passengers can exit.

Visitors must walk down the stairs and follow airport staff safely into the terminal.

This procedure is usually found at smaller airports and those used to flying into larger airports in major cities might not be familiar with it.

A listing of which airlines uses each terminal can be found on the official Punta Cana International Airport website.

Upon entering the terminal there are multiple areas to have a quick bite or something to drink. Bypass these and go straight to the baggage claim area.

map of the terminals at Punta Cana international airport (PUJ)
Punta Cana airport map | image from www.puntacanainternationalairport.com/

Going through customs

After collecting your bags, you can proceed to the line for customs. The wait experience in the customs line can range from breezing through to standing for an hour or more.

The time frame usually depends upon how many planes have recently landed. There is, however, one way to cut your time at customs down considerably.

There are two customs lines. One for visitors and the other for locals and tourist card holders.

The 30-day tourist cards are what some visitors need when visiting the country instead of a visa.

They are $10.00 cash each and can be purchased when you arrive at the airport or online before you depart for the Dominican Republic. (This cost will be applied to airline tickets sometime in the future so this line wont’s be necessary, please check with your airline if this has already happened)

Update

You no longer need to buy this card at the airport. The airlines are applying an extra $10 to your plane tickets on behalf of the dominican government, this should greatly decrease the time you spend in customs.

Tourist card needed to enter the Dominican Republic
Tourist Card | image from: www.casadecampo.com.do

Do I need a tourist card to enter Punta Cana?

ALL visitors to Punta Cana and the DR need a tourist card EXCEPT:

  • Dominican residents, citizens or visa holders.
  • Visitors from Argentina, Chile, South Korea, Ecuador, Israel, Japan, Peru, Uruguay.
  • Others such as diplomats and private plane passengers.

*Please keep in mind that this information may change at any time so please search for official information before your visit.

It is highly recommended that you purchase your card online. The customs line for those with tourist cards tends to be shorter than the normal one.

Update

You no longer need to buy this card at the airport. The airlines are applying an extra $10 to your plane tickets on behalf of the dominican government, this should greatly decrease the time you spend in customs.

Once you’ve cleared customs you are allowed into the unrestricted area and free to continue on to your final destination.

Taxis are waiting outside for those who did not set up private transportation before arriving. Taxi rates are fixed for a hassle-free experience and can be found online for your planning convenience.

Rental cars are also available if you would rather drive. Soon you’ll be on your way to a relaxing and fun-filled time at your hotel.

Restaurants at the Punta Cana airport food court
Food Court | image from www.puntacanainternationalairport.com/
Duty Free Area & Shops | image from www.puntacanainternationalairport.com/

14 thoughts on “What to do once I arrive at the Punta Cana International Airport?

  1. Stacie says:

    We booked our trip before they changed the policy where the tourist fee was included with the airfare. Am I still able to purchase the tourist card online? Every website I try says the page no longer exists

    • Ari Guerra says:

      Doesn’t seem like you can still buy it online Stacie, you’d have to buy it once you arrive at the airport. As a precaution though, I’d call your airline to confirm you don’t need to pay it through them beforehand.

    • Ari Guerra says:

      You’re right, that reason is that the $10 entrance fee (tourist card) is now being applied to plane tickets by the airlines instead of having to pay it once you arrive in DR.

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