Getting there & away
Ferries del Caribe (in Santo Domingo 809-688-4400, in Santiago 809-724-8771, in Mayagüez 787-832-4400, in San Juan787-725-2643) offers the DR’s only international ferry service, connecting Santo Domingo and Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. The ticket office and boarding area are on Av del Puerto opposite Fortaleza Ozama in Zona Colonial. The ferry departs Santo Domingo Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 8pm and returns from Mayagüez on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8pm. The trip takes 12 hours and costs around US$129/189 one-way/return in an airplane-style seat, or around per person single/double US$182/311 one-way or single/double US$295/474 return in a private cabin with an exterior window.
There are three main border crossings between the Dominican Republic and Haiti: Jimaní/Malpasse in the south on the road between Port-au-Prince and Santo Domingo; in the north at Dajabón/Ouanaminthe between Cap-Haítien and Santiago; and further south at Elías Piña/Belladère. Borders open 8am to 6pm but it is always a good idea to arrive early.
When leaving the Dominican Republic, travelers will be asked to produce their passports and tourist cards. From Haiti, you must have your passport and the yellow entry card you received upon arrival.
If you want to travel to Haiti, Capital Coach Line (809-530-8266; www.capitalcoachline.com; 27 de Febrero 455), Caribe Tours (809-221-4422; www.caribetours.com.do; cnr Avs 27 de Febrero & Leopoldo Navarro) and Terra Bus (809-531-0383; Plaza Lama, cnr Avs 27 de Febrero & Winston Churchill) offer daily bus services to Port-au-Prince. Capital Coach Line has one departure daily at 10am and Caribe and Terra at 11am and 11:30am, respectively. All three use comfortable, air-con coaches and the trip takes from six to nine hours and costs US$40.
All foreign visitors must have a valid passport to enter the Dominican Republic. A tourist card is purchased on arrival.
At airports, neither immigration nor customs officials pay much attention to tourists carrying an ordinary amount of luggage. Border officials may be more vigilant.
Santo Domingo’s Aeropuerto Internacional Las Américas (SDQ; 809-549-0081) is easily the largest and most modern airport in the country; however, Aeropuerto Internacional Punta Cana (PUJ; 809-959-2473), serving Bávaro and Punta Cana, actually handles more passengers. Puerto Plata’s Aeropuerto Internacional Gregorio Luperón (POP; 809-586-1992) and Santiago’s Aeropuerto Internacional Cibao (STI; 809-581-8072) also handle a good number of international flights.
The following airports also service international flights:
The following airlines service the DR:
Air Jamaica (809-872-0080; www.airjamaica.com) Kingston
Continental Airlines (809-262-1060; www.continental.com) Newark
Lan Chile (809-689-2116; www.lan.com) Santiago
LTU (809-586-4075; www.ltu.com) Dusseldorf
Lufthansa (809-689-9625; www.lufthansa.com) Frankfurt
Varig (809-563-3434; www.varig.com) São Paolo