The absence of inter island flights can make traveling around DR difficult. Most people don’t comprehend how big this island is until they arrive. The trip up to the North Shore from Santo Domingo can take up to six hours depending on traffic and it’s not a drive for the faint of heart, or the first time visitor in a rental car. An easy solution is to grab a ride on Caribe Tours or Metro Services coach buses. Hold on…, stop cringing and keep reading. These are not the standard fare Grey Hound buses that you would find in North America. Quite the opposite experience, we promise.
Both companies operate with state of the art buses complete with wifi, bathrooms and air conditionings cold that will you might think you’re on a polar expedition. The bus stations are clean and efficient with taxis/motos available to help get you to your final destination. Both companies run extensive service (pretty much hourly) back and forth between Sosua, Puerto Plata, Santiago and Santo Domingo. You can actually save quite a bit of money by flying into Santiago or Santo Domingo and then catching a bus north. The fares range from 400 - 550 pesos for a one way trip from Santo Domingo to Sosua, less than 12 bucks! This is a great inexpensive transportation resource which most of us aren’t used to having back in America or Canada.
Reservations are not required and unless it is a holiday your pretty safe arriving just a few minutes before the scheduled departure. Metro’s station is located adjacent to the Texaco gas station downtown Sosua and Caribe’s station is located in Los Charamicos about a mile from town. A quick moto or taxi ride away. Currently neither company offers service to Cabarete, we’ll post an update if that changes.
As mentioned above both companies have one thing in common, the bus will be COLD inside. We strongly recommend taking a sweatshirt and possibly a blanket along for the ride.
You couldn’t pay us to ride a bus in North America but we use Caribe and Metro on a monthly basis. Besides the arctic chill, we actually really enjoy riding the bus down to the capital. The views are amazing and its a great time to catch up on some work or grab a good nap. Totally tourist friendly and the drivers will usually offer to help arrange a taxi once you arrive at your destination.. Schedules are linked below..
Pro-Tip: Caribe Tours offer an express route that skips Santiago for the Sosua/Santo Domingo routes. These buses leave Sosua at 5:20am, 7:50am, 8:50am, 10:50am, 12:50pm, 1:50pm, 2:50pm and 3:50pm (subject to change) they usually make the trip about 45 minutes faster than the standard schedule.