Taxi in the Dominican Republic is a sensitive and interesting topic. There is drama and gangsters and everything you need for the plot of a good movie. I will tell you what to be prepared for, how much a taxi costs, what alternatives there are and much more. Why are taxi so popular here?
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Taxi in the Dominican Republic
Like it or not, the best and fastest way to get around the country is car rental. Follow the link for everything you need to know about car rental in the Dominican Republic. But if you don’t have such an opportunity, then a taxi will save you in many moments. And that’s why:
- Public transport in the Dominican Republic is underdeveloped.
- Or rather, when you live here and know everything, it is developed normally.
- But there are regular bus routes only between major cities and in the evening you can’t go anywhere.
- For example, there is nothing to leave Punta Cana Airport after 6 pm. Taxi only. And this is the country’s main airport for flights from Europe and the Old World.
- There are also local GuaGua minibuses, there are many of them, they go everywhere. But they travel very short distances. If you need to go to the city for 100 km, you need to go with transfers. And these buses don’t have timetables.
Total: if public transport is inconvenient. And car rental is not suitable for you, for example, you do not have a driver’s license, then a taxi is the only option for you.
Types of taxi in the Dominican Republic
Very popular in the Dominican Republic:
- Street hail taxi
- Uber and Moto Uber, but there are some peculiarities
- Mototaxi or Motoconcho in Spanish
Street hail taxi
A classic taxi in the Dominican Republic is designed for tourists. Locals do not use this taxi, or they use it at different rates. About the prices will not be much lower.
In the Dominican Republic, a classic taxi is easiest to take at the airport, as there may simply not be alternative options there. At any international airport in the Dominican Republic, hundreds of taxi drivers will meet you in the arrivals area. They, like everywhere else, will offer their services at very expensive rates. This is perhaps the only place in the country where it is advisable to take this type of transport, since there may not be another
Transfer from any airport in the Dominican Republic to the hotel
This is almost the same as a taxi, but with a slight difference.
Transfer, you can order in advance via the Internet. Or negotiate with your hotel or apartment that you will rent. They will send the same taxi driver to the airport for you, in the same car, just cheaper. A big plus of the transfer when ordering via the Internet, not only the price. But also the fact that when you exit the airport you will be expected with a sign with your name. And you do not need to go into the crowd of taxi drivers, negotiate and bargain.
- Excellent transfer service from the airport to the hotel throughout the Dominican Republic – Intui. Ideal for those who need a transfer from Punta Cana and La Romano airports. And the prices are lower than bargaining on the spot.
Uber is the best taxi in the Dominican Republic
I hope I don’t need to explain what Uber is. In the Dominican Republic, this is the most popular, cheapest and safest way to travel by taxi. Uber is cheaper than a taxi from the board 4 times, and I’m not exaggerating. About safety in the Dominican Republic, read in a separate article at the link. Personally, I’m much more comfortable riding an Uber than hailing a taxi on the street, I’m safer.
The history of UBER in the Dominican Republic
But there is one story how Uber came to the Dominican Republic
Uber entered the Dominican market in the second half of 2020. And as in many countries of the world, with its tariffs, it simply shocked the entire market and, most importantly, ordinary taxi drivers. I will write about prices below, but for understanding. Taxi drivers at Punta Cana airport ask for $50 for a route of 15-20 km to your hotel. And on Uber it costs $8-10. Feel the difference.
Events unfolded like this:
- Autumn 2020: Uber entered the Dominican market
- Since the end of autumn, taxi drivers have been on strike across the country.
- In some places, open clashes began with fights and beatings.
- The situation was especially difficult at airports where tourists arrive.
- There have been cases when taxi drivers at airports openly threatened and harassed tourists who refused their services and called Uber through the application.
- Uber drivers became afraid to drive into airports, as an aggressive bunch of taxi drivers were waiting for them
- The most dangerous situation was at Punta Cana Airport
- At the end of December 2020 – beginning of 2021, the government intervened in this matter and decided:
- Temporarily Suspend Uber Service in Punta Cana Province
- Uber operates throughout the rest of the country
- the government will study this issue and say how Uber will be and according to what rules to work in the Dominican market.
What we have for 2023. Uber operates everywhere in the country except Punta Cana. To any airport (well, except for Punta Cana), an Uber car will take you without any problems. At some airports, when the buses have already finished their flights, the situation is tense. And not all Uber drivers want to pick up tourists from the airport. But, in general, everything is calm.
It is important to know:If you are not in Punta Cana and your purpose of travel is not an airport, feel free to call Uber. He wins in every way. In Santo Domingo, for example, today Uber is very popular with all locals.
Moto Taxi or Motoconcho Dominican Republic
This is the kind of taxi that is very unusual for us. Motoconcho literally translates from Spanish as “motorcycle with driver”.
In the Dominican Republic, almost everyone has mopeds, and the average standard of living is quite low. Part-time work as such a taxi driver is often one of the few ways to earn money.
What you need to know about motorcycle taxi in the Dominican Republic:
- They are in any city in large numbers.
- To catch a motorcycle taxi you need 10 seconds
- Often passing by you on mopeds, they will slow down and shout TAXI!!!
- They usually take up to two passengers
- My wife and I were transported with bags and suitcases without any problems.
- If there is a suitcase, the driver puts it on the steering wheel and holds it himself
- It is convenient to ride a motorcycle taxi for short distances.
- But once we even traveled over 40 kilometers.
Interesting to know:For example, if you live in Las Terrenas, from which the famous El Limon waterfall is 20 km away. That is two to three times cheaper than a taxi, it will be a motorcycle taxi. And a cool report about how we went to El Limon at the link.
Taxi prices in the Dominican Republic
Here I want to make an important footnote about pricing in the country and some lyrics.
The Dominican Republic is a relatively inexpensive country and certainly not rich. According to official statistics, about 40% of the country is on the verge of poverty. This is all true and the way it is, especially if you leave the tourist resorts.
But as soon as the issue of pricing concerns tourists, prices simply immediately rise 10 times. I think that the proximity of the United States, where the value of money is different.
Case with me:I live here, I know the prices for motorcycle taxis and how much the locals pay. I had to drive 5 kilometers. I am a white man, I look like a tourist, I ask how much it costs. And the taxi driver says $20. As a result, I went with him for $ 5. Although the locals give 100 pesos for the same route, or a little less than $2. But these are prices for locals. You will never be taken for so much. But this is indicative of pricing in any area that concerns tourists.
Average taxi prices are as follows:
- From the airport within 20-30 km – $50. If bargaining is your forte, then you will go for 40 bucks. Hardly less. Here everyone keeps the price and is too principled.
- Transfer. If in advance on the same route, book a transfer either on the Internet or arrange with the apartment to meet you. The price for the same route is $25.
- Uber. As for me the most convenient and cheapest option. Same 20-30 km – up to $15.
- It is very convenient to ride an Uber around Santo Domingo. Short transfers and price within $5
- Motoconcho. There are no tariffs. Since you do not look like a local, the price will be higher. You always need to bargain. But for your understanding, the price of $1 = 1 km is adequate, but not less than $2 per trip. Even if the trip is 500m.
- I take a motorcycle taxi when I have to walk from 2 to 5 km and I don’t feel like walking in the heat.
Dominican taxi tips are simple and banal:
- In general, never try to ride in a classic taxi that you need to catch on the street. Only if there are no other options at all.
- From airports, always book or transfer via the Internet. Links at the end of the article. Or contact the apartment and ask them about the transfer.
- For trips around Santo Domingo, it is better to use Uber. I would recommend using it even in Santiago and Puerto Plato.
- And for short trips and trips in all small towns, feel free to take a Moto Taxi.
- It’s cheap
- Easy to catch, just look at any mopedist 🙂
- Well, this is a Dominican feature, and everyone needs to try it. Just don’t forget about health insurance. By the way, there is also a link about it at the bottom of the article.
In conclusion: the best transport in the Dominican Republic is definitely a rental car. But not everyone has the opportunity for a variety of reasons. And taxis are a great alternative. The main thing is to try to avoid the classic taxi. And use the services of Uber, where it works or a motorcycle taxi. Taxi in the Dominican Republic is a whole world that you have yet to discover 🙂
Nice drivers and low fares!
Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Dominican Republic
- Flights at the best prices with discounts
- Car rental in Dominican (cheaper – only by bus):
- Discovery Cars – a largest international resource
- Hotels and apartments all over the country: Booking
- Vacation packages:
- Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
- GYG – more than 150 tours (whales tours)
- Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
- eSIM virtual sim card with internet in Dominican
- Taxi and transfers from Dominican airports: Intui.Travel