RIDING THE GUAGUA: Transportation in the Dominican Republic
Riding the Guagua Dominican Republic. One of the first things you need to know when traveling to the Dominican Republic is how to get around. As an overview, the Dominican Republic offers seven modes of transportation (each mode will be covered by a separate article):
- Limited local airlines (TBA)
- Private Auto and Auto Rentals
- Bus: Metroline and Caribe Tours
- Motorcycle Rentals and Motorconcho
- Private Taxi Cabs and Limo Services
- Pubic Taxi Cabs called “carros” or ‘carritos”
- Public Taxi Vans called “guaguas” (in this article)
This article is written to cover the public taxi vans called “guaguas” — the least expensive way to get around the Dominican Republic. Unless you own or rent a car or motorbike, you may hop on a guagua to get around locally, and supplement your travel with big bus lines for longer trips. You may opt to use private taxis for airport runs and situations where you need to be taken directly to a location.
Guaguas run up and down the main highway about every 5 to 10 minutes in most Dominican Republic towns, and are organized by routes. Twenty pesos will take you within an area (usually a couple of towns). When you reach the next town or end of the route, you may have to disembark and catch another guagua that covers the next area. If going across a large area, then a bus might be a better solution. Usually we use guaguas to go to town for groceries or to a restaurant but not for long distances. I once rode several guaguas that covered about a 100 mile distance, because a bus was not running at the time I needed to go.
10 Tips for Riding a Guagua-Dominican Republic
Guaguas are not for everyone. You either love them or hate them. Here are a few tips to make your guagua riding work best.
1.Tight Fit. The majority of guaguas are large white or silver Toyota vans and carry up to approximately 25 persons. Just when you think no one else could possibly fit, they will cram everyone to make room for one more. Be prepared to feel like a sardine, and if you don’t want to hang off the side of it, stand back; and wait for the next one.
2. Passing Lane. If you can see the road from your micro-seat inside the guagua,do not panic when you see what looks like a 2-lane road being driven as 4 lanes. This is normal in the DR.
3. Higher Power. If you believe in a higher power it is a good idea to pray before you get into a guagua and then let go and relax and enjoy the ride. Think if it as a fun carnival ride. READ MORE