Pin It

How to Get from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana on a Budget

Map of the Santo Domingo-Punta Cana Road

Some means of transportation, such as taxis, can be quite expensive for traveling across the Dominican Republic. Luckily there are other options available for those traveling on a budget or have to go on long trips around the country on a regular basis. If you are in Santo Domingo and need to get to Punta Cana and can’t afford (or are not willing to pay) 140+ USD we recommend traveling by bus and make the trip, comfortably, for less than $10.

Expreso Bávaro Bus Line

Expreso Bávaro (Bavaro Express) is the bus line that travels to Bávaro, Punta Cana. Their buses are big, comfortable and get you to Punta Cana in approximately three hours (depending on your stop). Best of all is the price, which under US$10 (RD$400) is just right.

Getting to the bus station

Expreso Bávaro has two different stations in Santo Domingo: one on Juan Sánchez Ramírez street (map) and the other just a few minutes away in front of el Parque Enriquillo (map).

Google maps screenshots of the bus stations location

Both stations are well known and almost any taxi driver will know where to drop you off, you can also use public transportation to get there using the maps provided above. We recommend you board the bus on the station located on Juan Sánchez Ramírez street since that’s the first departure station (the bus will then stop at the Enriquillo park station for about ten minutes to pick up packages and more people waiting at that station).

We are not sure if both stations ticket systems are linked together to avoid overselling so just be on the safe side and board the bus on the first station. You need to get there at least half an hour before the scheduled departure time (buses leave at 7, 9, 11 AM and at 1, 3, 4 PM) or you risk the bus getting full since it is a very popular line.

What to expect

Bus on the station

– Price is RD$400 (about US$10) ONE WAY

– If you’re getting on the 7:00 AM bus and the station is closed when you arrive don’t worry, just wait there until they open and quickly get in the line to buy your ticket.

SAVE THE TICKET given to you by the cashier. An usher will ask you for it on the bus, if you don’t have it you will have to pay the fare again or get off the bus.

– There is room for luggage on the compartment underneath. You will be given a ticket that matches the number on your luggage to avoid confusions.

– It gets cold on the bus so bring a sweater

– The bus can leave the station 5 minutes ahead of schedule so be there early

– The bus will stop for about 10 minutes on the second station before heading for Punta Cana

– You may want to peek through the window but depending on the time of day you travel and where your seat is located, the sun may bother other passengers on the bus who may ask you to please shut the curtains.

Bus interior
Inside the Bus

– Seats recline more than they should so a good idea is to take a seat on the front row to avoid having your leg space reduced by the person in front of you. You should also check with the person behind you to see if you are not inconveniencing them.

– There are multiple preset stops (including several hotels) but once in Punta Cana the driver will take requests and make extra stops to accommodate passengers (as long as it’s on the route). If you are not sure where you should stay you can ask the driver or other passengers for advice on where would be the best place to stay so that you’re closer to your final destination.

Hotel stops

  • Barceló complex
  • Barceló Dominican Beach
  • Ifa Villas Bávaro
  • Carabela
  • Meliá Caribe Tropical
  • Grand Palladium
  • Paradisus Palma Real
  • Now Larimar
  • RIU & Iberostar complex

Other stops

  • Punta Cana Airport
  • Bolera
  • Plaza San Juan
  • Plaza Bávaro
  • Sitrabapu Verón
  • Cruce de Verón
  • Cruce de Friusa (Terminal)

UBER

Uber is currently only operating in and departing from Santo Domingo. As you know Uber charges a per mile or minute fare but they have set flat rates from Santo Domingo to different popular destinations:

Great Santo Domingo – Las Americas airport | RD$1,300
Great Santo Domingo – Boca Chica | RD$1,500
Great Santo Domingo – Santiago | RD$4,000
Great Santo Domingo – San Francisco de Macorís | RD$4,500
Great Santo Domingo – La Romana | RD$4,500
Great Santo Domingo – Punta Cana | RD$7,000

Bottom Line

The Expreso Bávaro buses are not the most comfortable but they are big, clean, air conditioned and even put on current american movies on board (in spanish with english subtitles). The service is on time and reliable and the price is just right. We recommend this company as a very convenient way to get from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana without spending a small fortune on a private taxi.

*Related: transportation in the Dominican Republic

50 thoughts on “How to Get from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana on a Budget

  1. Pingback: My Stay and Review of the RIU Republica Adults Only Hotel in Punta Cana

  2. Shan says:

    I am looking to leave santo domingo to punta cana airport… Does the bus drop you exactly at the airport? And would it be busier on a Friday morning to punta cana since my flight is at 2pm?

  3. Garrett Chambers says:

    Hi Thanks for all the great information shared!
    I am going to attend a family reunion in Punta Cana in June. I will be flying into Santo Domingo on June 6th. My flight arrives at 1:15pm . Therefore, from what I understand I will be able to board Expreso Bávaro in Santo Domingo at Juan Sánchez Ramírez street at 3pm correct?

    Now once on the bus, I am looking to go to the Grand Bahia Principe Punta Cana, Does the bus stop at this resort? If not, do you recommend I get off at Punta Cana Airport and take a shuttle/taxi to the hotel from the airport? Or which stop would be the closest to that resort?

    My departing flight is on June 11th in Santo Domingo at 2pm. Where would be the nearest location to board the bus back to Santo Domingo? Also I believe to be on the safe side I should take the 7am bus back, would you agree? If so what time should I be there? To avoid missing my flight.

    Thanks in advance

  4. Esteban says:

    Hi Aristides.
    So If I understand well, the bus departures are from Joaquín Balaguer and Control Ruta B San Cristobal at 7:00, 9:00 & 11:00. The same time its considered from Punta Cana as well?

    • Ari Guerra says:

      Hi Chen, unfortunately the bus does not stop anywhere other than the designated stop at Santo Domingo. The ride is about 2.5 to 3 hours.

  5. Warren says:

    Hi,

    I’m going the opposite way.. PC to SDQ. I noticed a bus stop on the highway near the exit to SDQ. Its about a 4k hike to SDQ….

    Does Bavaro Express service that stop? Ig believe it’s called Parada De ASOCHOMBCA.

    Cheers!

    • Ari Guerra says:

      Hi Warren, unfortunately the Expreso Bavaro bus does not stop anywhere other than the designated stop at Santo Domingo.

  6. steve says:

    Hi all,

    I am travelling to Cabarete on the 7th of August. I arrive at Punta cana airport at 1545.

    I’ve looked at several options.
    Taxi is an option but very expensive
    I have seen a bus service from san Domingo to Puerto plata and a bus service from Punta Cana to san Domingo however arriving at 1545 i don’t have the time to get to san Domingo to get the next bus. plus when i get to Sosua id need to taxi to Cabarete at night.
    should i stay over night at Punta Cana and catch an early bus to san Domingo? any help would be mutely appreciated

    B regards
    sCuBa sTeVe

  7. Lisa says:

    Good Morning! I see that you recommend staying at Barcelo, if taking a bus from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana. We made a reservation at a hotel that is much closer called Hotel Esmeralda Guest House. Is the area that the bus stop is in “bad?”

    • Ari Guerra says:

      Hi Lisa, no area is really bad in Punta Cana it’s just that the bus stops are set and you can’t ask to be dropped off at any given point. You’d need to get off at the station and then take a cab or any other way of transportation to the Hotel Esmeralda. Hope this helps!

  8. Jolie says:

    Hello…which would be the best stop to get on or get off the bus from Santo Domingo to the Majestic Elegance resort in Punta Cana?

  9. shelton smith says:

    If I take this bus from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana, how will I get to the Hard Rock hotel if the bus doesn’t make a stop there? Also, will I need to buy my round-trip ticket the morning I leave Santo Domingo or do I buy the ticket to return to Santo Domingo at the station in Punta Cana? Thank you!

    • Ari Guerra says:

      Hi Shelton,

      You’ll need to take a cab or a moto taxi to the Hard Rock hotel once the bus arrives at the station. You can’t buy roundtrip tickets, they sell tickets on a first come, first served basis. Hope this helps!

  10. Daeja says:

    Hi What are the departure times from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana December 28th, 2016? and how do I book a bus ticket in advance?

    • Ari Guerra says:

      Hola Daeja,

      Departure times from Santo Domingo are the following:
      7 AM 1 PM
      9 AM 3 PM
      11 AM 4 PM

      You need to but your ticket at the station on a first come first served basis so you need to get there at least an hour in advance from my experience (especially if you’re traveling on the first or last bus of the day).

      Hope this helps!

  11. Gary says:

    We are staying at the Iberostar dominicana but fly into Santo Domingo arriving at 415 PM is there a good hotel near a bus stop so as to get to our resort early the next day? or perhaps there are great resorts nearer Santo Domingo.. WE also depart Santo Doming on the 24th at 635 AM

    • Ari Guerra says:

      Hola Gary,

      The Bus stop for Expreso Bavaro which is the only bus that can take you from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana is located near the Maximo Gomez Avenue in Santo Domingo. There are two nearby hotels: Barcelo Santo Domingo and Courtyard Santo Domingo. From any of those you can take a taxi cab early the next day to take you to the Expreso Bavaro bus stop.

      Since you depart from Santo Domingo early on the 24th I recommend traveling to Santo Domingo the day before and stay at a hotel near the airport (I’ve only seen this one: Quality Hotel Real Santo Domingo).

  12. Jonathan says:

    How close does the bus stop near Ocean Blue & Sand in punta cana? I plan on taking the bus from Santo Domingo and was hoping this is the best option?

    • Ari Guerra says:

      Hola Jonathan,

      These are the stops the the bus makes from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana (you can see if any of these hotels are within walking distance of the Ocean Blue & Sand):

      Santo Domingo Estación 2

      Aeropuerto Punta Cana

      Hoteles Complejo Barceló

      Hotel Barceló Dominican Beach

      Ifa Villas Bávaro

      Hotel Grand Palladium

      Hotel Paradisus Palma Real

      Hotel Now Larimar

      Hoteles Complejo RIU

      Hoteles Complejo Iberostar

      Plaza Bávaro

      Bolera Plaza San Juan

      Bávaro-Punta Cana Estación 2

      Bávaro-Punta Cana Estación 1

  13. Pingback: Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park & Reserve - iHeartDR

  14. Javier says:

    Thats a good tip, but for take the bus from punta cana to santo domingo you need to go, to the Expresso bavaro bus station, and don’t forget to ask wich is express because if not you will bee on the buss for 1 hour longer.

  15. Aristides Guerra says:

    Mark,

    You might be right there… Since the stops are close to each other I recommend you go to the main terminal… why risk being left behind when you’ve come so far? The cab ride I really don’t know how much it would run… You could try booking a transport online instead of taking a cab once you get there, at least that way you have control over the final price.

  16. Mark says:

    Hi Aristides,

    I will be arriving at 12:45 pm at PUJ on a Saturday in March and will need to get to Santo Domingo that night. Am I correct in understanding the Bavaro bus stops directly at the PUJ terminal? If so, what time?

    • Aristides Guerra says:

      Hi Mark,
      The bus does stop at the airport but does NOT pick up passengers there. The bus from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana drops passengers at the airport but the bus leaving from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo does not stop at the airport. You’ll need to get to the Expreso Bavaro bus terminal in Bavaro to board the bus to Santo Domingo. The latest bus departs at 4:00 pm.

  17. Dennis says:

    Hello Aristides, I have been looking for transportation options from the Punta Can Airport to Santo Domingo. My plane arrives at 3:40pm. Do you know of any Bus companies/firms that would have a bus leaving after 4pm? Any assistance you could give would be helpful. Thanks

    • Aristides Guerra says:

      I think your only options would be to either rent a car at the airport or take a cab to Santo Domingo. While these are not the cheapest options they are the only ones available at that time.

  18. Denise says:

    Are there other bus (even ‘rutero’) options, or taxis that you would recommend? (I arrive 3:30 to SDQ & need to get to Punta Cana that night)

    • Aristides Guerra says:

      Hi Denise, the Bavaro Express sindicate holds the rights to that route exclusively as far as I know. You can take a taxi from the SDQ airport to Punta Cana or rent a car and return it at their terminal in Punta Cana. These are your only options really. Hope this helps!

    • Aristides Guerra says:

      Hi Denise, departure times from Bavaro (Punta Cana) are 7, 9, 11 AM and 1, 3, 4 PM. These times tend not to change so they should at least approximately the same in November.

  19. Pingback: Transportation in Dominican Republic: How To Get Around - iHeartDR

    • Christopher says:

      Aristides, does the tour to Santo Domingo you mention here leave from and return to Punta Cana? if so, what time does it depart from and return to Punta Cana? Thank you.

      • Ari Guerra says:

        Yes, the tour departs from and returns to Punta Cana (you will be picked up and dropped off at your hotel). Pick up time depends on which hotel you’re staying but you can expect it to be around 8:00 a.m. or earlier and the total duration of the tour is around 12 hours (form pick up to drop off).

        You can book online here: https://www.iheartdr.com/attraction/santo-domingo-tour-punta-cana/

        Thank you for your questions! Hope to see you as a customer soon =)

  20. Shiellah says:

    I’ll be in Punta Cana Dec 27th to Jan 3rd. I’m planning to visit Santo Domingo either Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. Do you think bus travel would be less busy during the weekdays? What about going back, is the bus full with returning tourists?

    • Ari Guerra says:

      Hola Shiellah,

      Yes, definitely it would be less crowded on weekdays. It shouldn’t be full on the way back either but you should be at the station at least one hour prior to departure to secure seats since it’s first come first served. Also, this bus is used more by locals than tourists.

      Hope this helps!

Leave a Reply

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