Transportation.
To get to Boca Chica, fly into Santo Domingo.  The airport is about 5 miles from Boca Chica.

Travel by Air.
There are numerous charter flights from the USA, Canada, and Europe.  

Check the below links for discounts on flights to Santo Domingo:
Domestic Super Saver Fares More international flights than any other website!

From the USA, regularly scheduled flights come from Miami, San Juan, Newark, JFK, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis.

Expedia.com Click here to Enroll Now

Miami - American Airlines (to SDQ, LRM, POP).
San Juan
- American Airlines (to SDQ, PUJ, LRM, POP)
Newark
- Continental Airlines (to SDQ, POP)
New York JFK
- American Airlines (to SDQ, POP), TWA (to SDQ, POP)
Minneapolis
- Northwest Airlines (to POP)
Philidelphia - USAir (to SDQ)

From Europe.
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Santo Domingo Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Las Americas)
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La Romana Airport
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Punta Cana Airport
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Checking Bags.
I hate to say it, but the airlines that travel from the USA to the Dominican Republic FREQUENTLY do not deliver the luggage that passengers check.  The reason is that the flights are often filled with Dominicans returning home with huge and fully-stuffed luggage filled with American goods for friends and family.  This is unsual for flights and they can't handle all the luggage.  What happens is that the carriers (especially American and Continental) will leave off half the bags for the flight and send them via freight or on another flight. I've taken over 150 flights to the Dominican Republic and about 20% of the time, all my luggage did not arrive with me on my flight.  Sometimes, my luggage never arrived during my entire trip.  It's a real problem.  For some time, Continental was even asking passengers to "select" one bag as being the "important" bag so as to help them determine which bags get priority for making the flight.

Keep in mind, if you are staying at a nice resort, some require long pants to enter the restaurants and if you arrived wearing shorts and your luggage is delayed, you're out of luck.

Believe me, it's not fun having to waste 3 hours every day during peak beach time to go back to the airport to see if your luggage has arrived.  If it did arrive and you choose to have it automatically delivered to your hotel, you are taking a great security risk and will wait an extra day.  Therefore, I recommend you carry-on what you can't live without, and for your checked bags, pay the few dollars extra for trip cancellation and lost luggage insurance below.  If your luggage is delayed, you can get reimbursed for a shopping spree in Santo Domingo!

Lost luggage, trip cancellation, medical emergency

Boca Chica Map

Motoconcho.
The most popular way to get around town in Boca Chica is the Motoconcho, or Motor-Taxi.  There are hundreds of young Dominican men that earn their money by transporting tourists around town on 100-125cc motorcycles.  These are very convenient for short distances, usually 8 blocks or less.  The cost is fixed at RD$10(US$0.59) per person per stop.  These rates apply from anywhere in Boca Chica to anywhere else in Boca Chica.

Be careful.  It is not uncommon to see 3 people on one of the bikes at the same time (driver and 2 passengers) but anything more than that starts to push the limits of safety.  

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Travel times by auto.
Boca Chica is 10 min by car east  of Santo Domingo Airport. airline symbol SDQ.
Boca Chica is 1 hr 45 min by car west of La Romana airport, airline symbol LRM.
Boca Chica is 4 hrs by car west of Punta Cana airport, airline symbol PUJ.
Boca Chica is 4 hrs by car south of Puerto Plata airport, airline symbol POP.


Ground Transportation.
A taxi from Santo Domingo Airport costs RD$250 (US$15.00).  As you exit the customs area of the airport, you will undoubted receive numerous offers for transportation.  Any taxi will do.  Just remember that each person that assists in any small way will expect a tip, even if all they did was open the door for you.  Don't let them pressure you into paying too much for luggage handling.  As a general rule, tip US$1-2 per bag, with a $2 minimum and a $5 maximum.

Click to enlarge taxi sign with rates as of July 2003.

   

Guides and Private Transportation.

Travel by Car.  
Note that travel times can vary considerably depending on traffic.

Santo Domingo-Puerto Plata, 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 hours.
Santo Domingo-Punta Cana,  3 1/2 - 4 1/2 hours.
Santo Domingo-Boca Chica, 25 - 60 minutes (edge of city), 45 - 80 minutes (downtown).
Santo Domingo-Juan Dolio, 45 - 90 minutes (edge of city), 60 - 100 minutes (downtown).
Santo Domingo-La Romana, 1 hour 45 minutes - 2 hours.
Santo Domingo-Samana, 4 hours. 
Santo Domingo-Barahona 3 hours.
Santo Domingo-Jarabacoa, 2 hours. 
Santo Domingo-Santiago, 2 hours.

Rental Cars.
Rental cars can be found at large hotels and at the airport.  Consider using only well-known international franchises.  Many of the smaller companies do not maintain their vehicles well and you don't want to break down some place out in the country.  Also consider that credit card insurance usually does not cover the vehicle when driven on unpaved roads, which you will undoubtedly encounter if you drive anywhere off the main roads.  Finally, if you are involved in an accident, especially if somebody gets hurt, you will likely go to jail and not be permitted to leave the country until any pending civil action is finished.


McDeal rent-a-car
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There are also small places such as this business that rent cars and motorcycles, typically older vehicles, at competitive prices.

Bus.
The easiest and safest way to cross the Dominican Republic is by bus.  The busses are clean, heavily air conditioned, have plush comfortable seats, and are very affordable.  This is the best way to travel between major cities.  Note that sometimes loud music is played on board and they often over do it with the air conditioning.

There are two companies that are equally good - Caribe Tours and Metro Express.  They operate 7 days a week, departing approximately every hour from 7am to 7pm.  Any taxi can take you to the nearest station.  Expect a trip such as the 4 hour journey from Santo Domingo to Puerto Plata (includes a short stop in Santiago) to cost approximately US$6.

Metro Expreso (809) 566-7126.
Caribe Tours (809) 221-4422 

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Tansfer between Santo Domingo and Punta Cana

Domestic Air Transportation.

Click on the above web site for E-mail, flight schedules, fax, and other contact info.
Air Santo Domingo is the first private aviation company to offer regular flights to major airports in the country:  

Domestic.
Santo Domingo / Herrera (HEX)
Puerto Plata (POP)
Punta Cana (PUJ)
El Portillo (EPS)
Samaná (ABA)

By special arrangement
La Romana (LRM)
Barahona 

International.
San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU)

Tickets can be purchased by phone or at the airport.
Typical price:  Puerto Plata to Punta Cana - one way - US$45.

Entry Requirements.
On entry, most tourists will be required to purchase a tourist card, which costs US$10.  In the USA, these can be purchased at the gate or ticket counter at the final departure city (Miami, Newark, San Juan, etc.).  Check with your airline at check-in.  If you are unable to purchase a tourist card at the airport, don't worry.  They can also be purchased at a small booth located just before you pass through Dominican Immigration.  Don't forget to bring a pen, since it might not be easy to borrow one.  Visitors will also be asked to fill out a customs form, which will be given to passengers on board the aircraft.

Dominican Tourist Card (new and old versions) and both sides of Dominican Customs Form.
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