There are a lot of reasons to get from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana or vice versa. Maybe you are arriving at Santo Domingo Airport and need to get to your all-inclusive or you are staying in Punta Cana and would like to do a day-trip to the capital of the Dominican Republic. You might also visit both destinations and therefore need a transfer between Santo Domingo and Punta Cana? The question is if you shall use public busses or if it is better to go by private transportation? This guide will list all the options on how to get from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana and vice versa.
This article is about the options for transportation from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana. If you’re looking for more information in the other direction, check out this article about transportation from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo.
If you are just looking for airport transfers when arriving in Punta Cana, check out the Punta Cana Airport Transfer Guide.
If you are just looking for airport transfers when arriving in Santo Domingo, check out the Santo Domingo Airport Transfer Guide.
For the best excursions and activities in the city, check out this comprehensive list of amazing things-to-do in Santo Domingo.
Completely UPDATED: May 2023
Quick overview: Santo Domingo to Punta Cana
Similar to the article about getting from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo, here is also a quick overview of your options for transportation from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana. Still, if looking for transfers, I’d recommend you to read the details in the accordant sections below to familiarize yourself more with the different types of transport and the differences in price and comfort.
From Santo Domingo to Punta Cana:
– by private transportation from Santo Domingo’s city: check the best transfer to Punta Cana here*
– by private transportation from Santo Domingo’s airport: check the best transfer to Punta Cana here*
– by shuttle from Santo Domingo’s city: check the best shared shuttle to Punta Cana here*
– by shuttle from Santo Domingo’s airport: check the best shared shuttle to Punta Cana here*
– by public bus: check bus times further below in this article
Getting from the city in Santo Domingo to Punta Canas’ resorts
There are several kinds of options for transportation from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana when getting from the city to the all-inclusive resorts along Punta Canas famous beaches. Usually, this comes for two reasons:
– you’re spending a couple of nights in Santo Domingo to explore the cultural heritage before heading for your beach holiday
– you’re visiting the Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo for a day trip from Punta Cana and are looking for your way back
If this is the case, you can find the best options of how to get from Santo Domingo back to Punta Cana.
Private Transfer from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana
If you are visiting the city of Santo Domingo and would like to get to one of the all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana, your easiest and most comfortable option is a private transfer between both destinations. This kind of transportation will pick you up at whatever destination you are in Santo Domingo and will drop you at any all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, it (usually) doesn’t matter in which area your hotel is located.
Prices are normally ranging between 160 and 200 USD per way. It will take you around 2.5-3.5 hours to get from door to door, depending on the traffic (avoid Santo Domingo rush hours between 7 am and 9 am and 4 pm to 7 pm) and on the exact location of your accommodation.
Public Transport from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana
Public transport is pretty easy as there are express buses from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana, called Bavaro Express or APTPRA. They are leaving from Calle Juan Sánchez Ramírez in Gazcue, next to Avenida Maximo Gomez, and from Calle Ravelo at Parque Enriquillo, north of the Zona Colonial.
If visiting the Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo, you can either walk to the bus station of Parque Enriquillo (just do so without luggage and if you are used to chaotic areas) or take a 3 USD Uber to either of both bus stations.
The Santo Domingo to Punta Cana bus leaves 7 times a day. Make sure to be at the bus station at least 30 minutes before departure as they tend to sell out fast. The express bus from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana leaves 7 times a day. As of May 2023, the departure times are 7:00 am, 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm (all from Gazcue, Parque Enriquillo 15-20 minutes later) and 6:00 pm (from Parque Enriquillo only). Please check before traveling if there have been any recent changes regarding the departure times.
This public bus heads straight to Punta Cana without any other stops. Once you have arrived in Punta Cana from Santo Domingo, the bus makes several stops, including one at Punta Cana International Airport. Compared to the bus from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo, which doesn’t pass the hotel area, the Santo Domingo to Punta Cana bus serves the following all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana with a direct bus stop:
– Barceló Resort (all hotels)
– Melía Resort (all hotels)
– Paradisus Palma Real
– Secrets Royal Beach + Dreams Royal Beach
– Impressive Resorts + Vista Sol
– Palladium Resort (all hotels)
– Iberostar Resort (all hotels)
– RIU Resort (all hotels except RIU República)
The following all-inclusive resorts (check this article for a list of the best budget resorts in Punta Cana) are reachable by a 5- to maximum 10-minute walk from the closest bus station (ask the assistant of the driver if they can drop you right at the resort, you might be lucky):
– Lopesan Hotel
– Presidential Suites Punta Cana
– Occidental Punta Cana
– Grand Bavaro Princess
– Princess Family Club Bavaro
If staying at the following resorts, you can get out from the public bus at Plaza Bavaro and take a cheap motorcycle taxi or ordinary taxi ride (in general transportation prices in Punta Cana are not expensive, with the exception of local taxis) to your resort. As this is a quick 5-minute hop, it shouldn’t cost you more than 100 DOP per person on a motorcycle or 300 DOP in a taxi. You can also call an Uber in Punta Cana.
– Princess Resorts (Tropical Deluxe, Caribe Deluxe, Punta Cana Princess)
– Paradisus Punta Cana (incl. The Reserve)
– Ocean Blue & Sands
– VIK Hotel Arena Blanca
If your hotel is in other areas of Punta Cana, you might need to take another bus (called “guagua”) or a local taxi to get to your resort. You can find further explanations on my public transport guide for Punta Cana.
If your hotel is in Cap Cana (Secrets, Hyatt, Sanctuary, etc.), you can get out from the Santo Domingo to Punta Cana bus at Punta Cana Village and take a taxi from there.
If your all-inclusive resort is in Cabeza de Toro (Serenade, Natura Park, Catalonia, Dreams Palm Beach, etc.), get out at the main bus station from Bavaro Express/APTPRA in Verón and take a local guagua, motorcycle or taxi from there. See my Punta Cana public transport guide for further details.
For the Arena Gorda resorts (Hard Rock, Bahía Resorts, Royalton, Majestic, etc.), get out at Friusa and call an Uber to get to your hotel.
If your all-inclusive resort is in Uvero Alto (Excellence, breathless, Ocean El Faro, Finest Punta Cana, Nickelodeon, Live Aqua, Grand Sirenis, Dreams Onyx, etc.) or Macao (Dreams Macao Beach) the better option would be to take another bus from Santo Domingo – at least if you’re traveling on a budget. Instead of going straight from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana and get a quite expensive taxi (30 USD and up) or Uber (at least 15 USD) at the last bus stop, take a Santo Domingo – Higuey bus with APTPRA from Parque Enriquillo, the same station where the bus from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana is leaving. Take this direct bus, leaving roughly every 20 minutes, until the last stop in Higuey, where you can change for smaller busses to Macao or Uvero Alto. You can find all the routes incl. a map in my public transport guide about Punta Cana.
A ticket for the public bus from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana sets you back at 450 DOP, which is approx. 8 USD. The ride takes around 3 hours.
Assuming you are staying in the Zona Colonial of Santo Domingo and staying at a resort along Bavaro Beach, the total duration from door to door incl. the taxi ride and waiting time will be a bit over 4 hours, costing you around 11 USD.
Shared Shuttle from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana
Usually, there are no shared shuttles between the city center of Santo Domingo and the all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana. Most shuttles only run from and to the airports. See the sections below or my Santo Domingo Airport Transfer guide if you are interested in a shuttle from the airport Santo Domingo to Punta Cana.
Rental Car to get from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana
To get from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana you can also consider renting a car, even traffic in the capital of the Dominican Republic is quite rough. If you decide to rent a car, make sure to book a car with proper insurance.
Once you leave the city, it is an easy drive along a well-maintained highway to Punta Cana. All resorts in Punta Cana feature free parking, hence this is not an issue.
A car usually costs around 40-60 USD per day incl. all types of insurance. There is a toll from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana of 320 DOP (approx. 6 USD). The drive will take you around 2.5-3 hours, depending on your final destination and only if you avoid the rush hour in Santo Domingo (7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 7 pm).
Excursion from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana
In case you’re interested in being part of an excursion, check out the article about all the ways of getting from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo. There are no guided tours from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana but there are various from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo, so it makes sense to check out this option.
Getting from Santo Domingo Airport to Punta Canas’ resorts
This section is dealing with the airport transfers from Las Américas International Airport to your all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana. You can also check out my Santo Domingo Airport Transfer Guide for further information.
Private Transfer from Santo Domingo Airport to Punta Cana
Especially when arriving in a new country, a private driver waiting for you at the airport with a sign showing your name is a huge plus for a worry-free vacation. There are several transfer companies offering airport transfers from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana, of which you can see some here. It is the easiest method of transportation when getting from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana.
Prices are usually ranging between 150 and 190 USD per way with occasional cheaper promotions being available. It will take you around 2-3 hours to get from the airport to your resort, depending on the exact location of your accommodation. It is the most relaxed way of transport to Punta Cana from Santo Domingo.
Public Transport from Santo Domingo Airport to Punta Cana
Public transport from Santo Domingo Airport to Punta Cana is a little bit more complicated, as you first have to backtrack to the city of Santo Domingo.
In short, you can either take a motorcycle from the airport to the main highway and continue your journey to Santo Domingo with a local guagua. That’s the cheapest option and only for adventurous travelers. Once in the city, you can head to Punta Cana as per the options listed in the first section of this article when talking about the Santo Domingo to Punta Cana bus.
Get your free e-book now – “16 amazing things-to-do for free in Punta Cana”!
If you are traveling with luggage, it will be much more difficult to take both, the motorcycle taxi and the local guagua. In this case, simply take a taxi, an Uber or a private transfer to Santo Domingo* and change to the APTPRA/Bavaro Express public bus there.
If choosing this option, it will take you at least 5 hours to reach Punta Cana, which is why I would rather recommend a shared shuttle from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana* if you want to travel to Punta Cana on a budget. Including the taxi to get to the city of Santo Domingo, you are looking at expenses of approx. 30 USD if traveling alone on this public transportation option. Add 10 USD for each additional passenger. Compared to this, the shuttle* sets you currently (as of May 2023) back at 56 USD.
For more detailed information, check out my full guide about airport transfers from Las Américas International Airport in Santo Domingo.
Shared Shuttle from Santo Domingo Airport to Punta Cana
A shared shuttle from Santo Domingo Airport to Punta Cana is probably the best option if you want to combine comfort and cost-consciousness, as it is much cheaper than a private transfer and much more comfortable (and time-saving) than public transport.
You might have to wait a little bit until your fellow shuttle passengers are arriving, but once on the road, you will head straight to Punta Cana. It is one of the easiest and safest options when looking at how to get to Punta Cana from Santo Domingo for a low price.
Depending on the location of your resort, you might be the first or last passenger who gets dropped-off with the shuttle. However, the route from the airport in Santo Domingo to Punta Cana is usually not that much frequented, hence there shouldn’t be more than 3-4 other (resort) stops.
Prices for shared shuttles from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana will cost you around 40-60 USD per person. Including an approximate waiting time, you should be in your all-inclusive resort by 3.5 hours after you arrive.
In case the shuttle linked above doesn’t work for you for timely or economic reasons, you can also check the following list of shuttle options from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana* to see if those work for you. Currently (as of May 2023) they have offers starting from 38 USD per way per person, which is a great bargain considering that you pay nearly the same with the public transport option (where you need a taxi to get to the bus station in Santo Domingo) described above.
Rental Car to get from Santo Domingo Airport to Punta Cana
Renting a car to get from Santo Domingo Airport to Punta Cana is not the worst idea. As opposed to when driving from the city, you don’t have to deal with the chaotic Santo Domingo traffic as the Las Américas Airport is located outside of the city, already in the direction to Punta Cana. Therefore it is an absolutely easy and smooth drive on a well-maintained highway to Punta Cana.
However, a rental car makes only sense if you are going to explore the surrounding area of Punta Cana on some day-trips or if you are staying outside of an all-inclusive resort, for example in an Airbnb. If you are not sure if it is worth to have a rental car in Punta Cana, check out this article.
A car hire in the Dominican Republic should cost you around 40 to 60 USD incl. taxes and insurance. The drive takes around 2 to 3 hours, depending on the location of your accommodation.
Getting from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana Airport
If you’re located in Santo Domingo and you need to get to the airport of Punta Cana, here are your options for getting there. You can also check out further information on my Punta Cana Airport Transfer Guide.
Private Transfer from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana Airport
A private transfer from Santo Domingo’s city center to Punta Cana’s Airport is a quick and easy way to get to the biggest airport in the Dominican Republic. You can check out one of the best options here:
Public Transport from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana Airport
Getting from Santo Domingo to the airport in Punta Cana by bus is probably the easiest task when using public transport in the Dominican Republic. Take a 2-3 USD taxi from the Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo (or wherever you are staying) to one of the two bus stations of APTPRA/Bavaro Express (Calle Juan Sánchez Ramírez in Gazcue, next to Avenida Maximo Gomez, or Calle Ravelo at Parque Enriquillo). Buy a bus ticket at the bus station (at least 30 minutes before departure) and take the express bus from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana. Once you reach the stop at Punta Cana International Airport, simply get out and you are right at the airport.
Including the taxi, this option will cost you around 11 USD per person. Considering the waiting time, you will need around 3.5-4 hours to reach Punta Cana Airport from Santo Domingo this way. As of May 2023, the departure times for the Santo Domingo to Punta Cana bus are 7:00 am, 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm (all from Gazcue, Parque Enriquillo 15-20 minutes later) and 6:00 pm (from Parque Enriquillo only). Please check before traveling if there have been any recent changes regarding the departure times.
Shared Shuttle from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana Airport
It is more difficult to find shared shuttles for the way from the city to the airport. The option linked at the button allows a shuttle if you book it as a round-trip option Punta Cana Santo Domingo. Alternatively, as it is straightforward to go by bus, you can take the public transport option as described above.
You can also check this shuttle here*, which is bookable from most hotels in Santo Domingo to Punta Cana Airport.
Rental Car from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana Airport
If you are staying in Santo Domingo, chances are you won’t need a car rental as the traffic might be overwhelming. Furthermore, if staying in the Colonial Zone, everything is walkable.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
SHARING IS CARING! IF YOU ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS – I WOULD APPRECIATE IT A LOT.
Author, Travel Coach & Punta Cana based digital nomad
Hey, I am Chris, a born and raised German, travel-addictive and Caribbean Soul. Since 2011 I have been living in the Caribbean, among them 5 years in the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana is my home-base here in the country and I’d love to tell you more about how to experience Punta Cana off-the-beaten-track and give you all the advice you want to know for your vacation in Punta Cana.