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Punta Cana Airport Transfers

Punta Cana International Airport is quite close to most of the beaches and resorts in Punta Cana, but it is not always easy to get around without the proper means. That's why I bring you a guide of the best options for your transfer from the airport.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

11 min read

Punta Cana Airport Transfers

Punta Cana | © Danny de Groot

The Punta Cana International Airport is located 30 kilometers from paradise. If you go to this wonderful destination you will know that there are many things to see and do from the moment this airport welcomes you. The terminal has become the most visited airport in the Dominican Republic. As Punta Cana is a planned tourist project, the airport is located at a short distance from Bavaro Beach and the entire nerve center of Punta Cana, so your transfer should not worry you.

From the moment you decide to vacation in Punta Cana, you should know that you have different options to get from Punta Cana International Airport to your hotel. Many hotels directly offer a minivan just for you, while others will tell you that the transfer is not covered and you must figure it out on your own. Whether by minivan, cab, van, rented car or even bus, in this article I will present you with the pros and cons of each of these alternatives.

Minivan direct to your hotel: the most popular option

Travel by Minivan| ©dwightsghost
Travel by Minivan| ©dwightsghost

If you are going on vacation to Punta Cana, you should know that the best option is to stay in a hotel, put a bracelet on your wrist and enjoy the all-inclusive. And when we talk about all-inclusive it is all-inclusive, among which is the transportation that will take you to your hotel from the airport. This is usually done in minivans provided directly by the hotels that will store your luggage and in about 25 minutes after boarding you will be already in your room.

Similarly, this service can be hired privately or outsourced. That is to say: there are companies that provide this minivan service to several hotels or that you, on your own, can hire to be dropped off at the door of your hotel. In any case, this is the option I recommend the most, but only if you are going to be staying in the Punta Cana and Bavaro Beach area.

I suggest this option thinking mainly of your comfort. If among the things to do with children in Punta Cana you determine that you need a safe transfer for them, then this is the best option for the whole family. Here you can have a friendly driver who will take you calmly and with plenty of air conditioning directly to your hotel, without having to be talking or looking for third options while you have several suitcases with you. Please note that if you are staying in a hotel in the Uvero area, then you will not be able to use this option.

Practical information

  • Travel time: about 25 minutes
  • Price: around 35 €, but many hotels usually include it when you book there.
  • Advantages of this option: it is the most comfortable, because you will travel in a semi-private transport directly to your hotel with air conditioning and your luggage will be safe.
  • Disadvantages of this option: if it is not included in your hotel reservation, it can be somewhat expensive. Also, it does not work if your hotel is in Uvero.
  • Recommended if: you want to get to your hotel quickly and comfortably, with the best price.

A luxury van: the most private option

Private transfer| ©Chethan KVS
Private transfer| ©Chethan KVS

Do you want to get to your hotel in a luxury transportation that is up to your standards? Then Punta Cana is a perfect destination, because as soon as you arrive at Punta Cana International Airport you can hire a black luxury SUV or van that will drop you off at your hotel, following your schedule and guidelines.

This is not just luxury for luxury's sake: for example, if you carry a lot of luggage or if you strictly need to travel alone to the hotel or with your companions, then an SUV can be extremely useful, because you will go with maximum comfort and at an unparalleled speed. And is that a van of these characteristics goes much faster than a minivan or a conventional cab, so if you need to arrive as soon as possible, for example, to be on time for the departure of an excursion to Macao beach, this is your best option.

You must take into consideration that a tour of this type will be more expensive, so if you go with a tight budget, you can not hire it. In exchange, you gain a lot in speed and also in accessibility, because with a van of this type you will be able to go even to remote hotels, such as those located in Uvero Alto. All this without forgetting the luxury of a black van of this type and the comfort of the trip, because you will go with the windows down, air conditioning and maximum protection.

Practical information

  • Duration of the trip: it depends on where your hotel is located. If it is in Bávaro beach, no more than 20 minutes.
  • Price: more than 50 €.
  • Advantages of this option: it is the most private, safe, fast and comfortable of all.
  • Disadvantages of this option: it is much more expensive and the differences with other services are not so big.
  • Recommended if: you need to get to your hotel quickly in the most private transportation possible.

Get into a shared van: the most cost-effective option

Shared transfer| ©Stefano Costantini
Shared transfer| ©Stefano Costantini

Punta Cana is a rather exclusive destination and public transportation is not common. For starters, because it is a place considerably isolated from the rest of the Dominican cities, but also because it is a private airport, owned by the Puntacana Group that usually serves only Punta Cana and is not far from the beach. But, anyway, if you want to save money and your hotel does not provide transportation, then a shared van is the best option.

There are hotels that hire transportation companies and take their guests in these minivans, but they are shared rides. That is to say: depending on the time and date, the minivans take a route through several hotels and drop off the respective guests. This is why the transfer can take a little longer and by sharing it, it can be more economical.

There are several ways to book it: you can hire directly to the companies that do it or those suggested by your hotel or when you arrive at the airport, you can pay the service along with other passengers who will be in the same plan as you. Although it may seem a bit unsafe, it is a good option to save money and since Punta Cana is quite close, there is no major inconvenience in terms of time. If you were not able to book a van like this one way and you are going to stay at least seven days in Punta Cana, then you can do it for your return trip.

Practical Information

  • Duration of the trip: will depend on the number of stops at other hotels made by the minivan. In total, it should not take more than 40 minutes to be at your hotel, from the moment you leave the airport.
  • Price: around 25 €.
  • Advantages of this option: it is one of the most economical, without compromising speed.
  • Disadvantages of this option: you must share the trip with other people going to other hotels.
  • Recommended if: you have no problem sharing with other people and you want to save some money.

A cab: the most classic option

On the way to the hotel| ©Juan Carlos Arranz
On the way to the hotel| ©Juan Carlos Arranz

OK: you don't always have to book a private or semi-private transfer in advance if you are in Punta Cana. Punta Cana International Airport is the busiest airport in the Dominican Republic, so believe me there will be many tourists waiting for a cab. Although you will probably have to stand in line and wait for a cab, I guarantee you that it is a safe option, because at this airport there will always be cab drivers available. In addition, the service is organized, because the airport itself provides an official fare schedule.

If you decide to take a cab, make sure it is one that will fit all your luggage. A van will not be the same as a private car, but if you are carrying little luggage, then a small car will be the best and you will save some money. Also, I suggest you to be very clear about the name of the hotel you are going to, because there are several with similar names and both you and the cab drivers may get confused.

Anyway, this is not the cheapest or the fastest option. My advice is to check if there is a minivan beforehand that you can take, but it is also true that the Punta Cana airport is open at all hours and many times minivans are not available at night. You also have to take into account your schedule: if you have, for example, one of the best catamaran tours in Punta Cana already scheduled, then you need the cab driver to take you to a specific point and not necessarily to the hotel. Therefore, sometimes, when there is not much activity at the airport and you do not have more information from the hotel, it may be best for you to take a cab.

Practical information

  • Travel time: depends on the hotel you are going to, but between 20 and 30 minutes.
  • Price: approximately 30 € with small cabs and more than 40 € for vans.
  • Advantages of this option: you will always be available at the airport.
  • Disadvantages of this option: you may have to wait and queue to take one
  • Recommended if: you arrive very late at the airport or you don't have time to book or research another way to make the transfer

Rent a car for your entire stay: the best option if you want to see more of the city

Rent a car| ©Dan Gold
Rent a car| ©Dan Gold

Are you used to driving? Then in Punta Cana you will always have the option to rent a car and drive it from the airport to your hotel. But keep in mind several things: Punta Cana is an isolated coast in the east of the Dominican Republic and everything is quite close, so the car is really only useful if you want to visit other parts of the island, such as Samana or Santo Domingo.

When you arrive at the airport, you can rent a car. In this, the airport is quite equipped, with different car rental companies where you can be served, such as Avis, Sixt or EuropCar Rental. I suggest that, if you really want to rent a car, book online in advance, because if you go directly you will miss the opportunity to find good deals. Once you rent it, you will be able to get to Bavaro beach in about 20 minutes.

About the budget, everything will depend on the company you choose and the amount of days you are going to use the car. A medium size car for 5 people can be around 35 euros per day, but if you need an SUV it can easily exceed 50 euros. However, you can certainly get a package that is attractive for your whole family, but it is quite cost effective if you will only be there for a few days. You should also make sure that your hotel has parking facilities and that they do not charge an additional fee for parking.

Practical information

  • Travel time: to Bávaro beach in 20 minutes
  • Price: approximately 35 € per day for medium cars and more than 50 € for vans
  • Advantages of this option: it allows you autonomy to know a good part of the island.
  • Disadvantages of this option: parking the car can be complicated in some hotels and if you are going to stay alone in Punta Cana it will not be of much use.
  • Recommended if: you need to travel beyond Punta Cana and have no problem driving on your vacation.

Buses and guaguas: the most cumbersome option

Punta Cana Bus| ©Carlos Duran
Punta Cana Bus| ©Carlos Duran

Although visited by millions, Punta Cana is quite isolated, so talking about buses is quite complicated. In fact, there are no buses or guaguas, as they are known, in the airport facilities, but they are already on the outskirts. If you need to go by bus, then I suggest that if you arrive during the day, you walk to the outskirts of the airport, at the traffic circle and there you take a bus.

That guagua can be an urban route that is a minivan of no more than 30 passengers and will drop you off at the Veron intersection, where you will have to take another guagua that will drop you off at Playa Bavaro or your final destination in Punta Cana. Bus companies such as SITRABAPU or TRAUMABAPU leave from the airport traffic circle, but at the Veron intersection it is possible to take routes to other parts of the country, including Santo Domingo, where you can come and go in one day with a tour. Also keep in mind that, if it is at night, it is very likely that these buses are no longer working.

Although all of them are quite cheap and between both bus tickets you can travel practically for less than 2 euros, in this option you will not have space for your luggage, you will have to leave the airport walking and also, you will have to transfer buses in an area you do not know, with several companies working and competing with each other. It is not the most adapted system and I really advise against it unless you are backpacking or going with very little luggage and in a plan of maximum savings.

Practical information

  • Travel time: it can take about an hour, mainly because of the transfer you have to make.
  • Price: a little less than 1 € each ticket.
  • Advantages of this option: you save as much as possible because the bus tickets are too cheap.
  • Disadvantages of this option: you must leave the airport walking and you will also have to take two different buses in an area that you have not previously known.
  • Recommended if: you are on a tight budget and with very little luggage, because you will not have space to put it on the buses.

Comparison of the different options

  • Minivan direct to your hotel
  • Travel time: about 25 minutes
  • Approximate price of the trip: around 35 €, but many hotels include it beforehand.
  • Recommended if: you want to get to your hotel quickly and comfortably, with the best price.
  • A very luxurious van
  • Duration of the trip: if your hotel is in Bavaro beach, no more than 20 minutes.
  • Approximate price of the trip: more than 50 €.
  • Recommended if: you need to get to your hotel quickly in the most private transportation possible.
  • Take a shared van
  • Travel time: will depend on the number of stops at other hotels, but you should not take more than 40 minutes
  • Approximate price of the trip: around 25 €.
  • Recommended if: you have no problem sharing with other people and want to save some money
  • A cab: the most classic option
  • Travel time: depends on the hotel you go to, but between 20 and 30 minutes
  • Approximate price of the trip: about 30 € with small cabs and more than 40 € for vans
  • Recommended if: you arrive very late at the airport or you don't have time to book another transfer
  • Rent a car for your entire stay
  • Travel time: to Bavaro beach in 20 minutes
  • Approximate price of the trip: approximately 35 ¤ per day for medium cars and more than 50 ¤ for vans
  • Recommended if: you need to go beyond Punta Cana and you want to drive
  • What about buses?
  • Travel time: can take about an hour for transferring between buses
  • Approximate cost of the trip: a little less than 1 ¤ per ticket
  • Recommended if: you are on a tight budget and have very little luggage.