By taxi, Santo Domingo
Before leaving for my trip to the Dominican Republic I was able to call (for free) from the United States a taxi service, www.SantoDomingoTaxi.com at 877-375-7051. I wanted to fly into Santo Domingo because I could get a direct cheaper flight. I had two destinations I needed to go to. I spent a week in Juan Dolio and then I needed to go to the Northern Coast, Samana. I don't speak very much Spanish and was worried about getting around. The owner/driver name is Michael and he speaks perfect English. He was able to take me and my family to both locations in a very nice clean newer minivan. There were other companies that charged a few dollars less then him, I think about $10 but it was well worth the extra few dollars. He called before we left to confirm the pickup and what I thought was very smart of him, he didn't charge anything till we got there. We had read a few reviews for other companies that make you pay before and then they either didn't show up or they were very late. All in all I gave him a 10 out of 10. Great service, well informed of the sites and areas. He even stopped to help us get the local currency, pesos without charges us more. He is a good guy and provides a good service.
By far the best taxi I have ever gotten in Santo Domingo, DR. If you speak English call this guy. He is fluent in English and is one of the few taxis with a nice clean car. Weather you need a ride form the airport or just a ride to one of the resort towns. He is also a wealth of information as he is born and raised in that city. Reasturants, sites to see etc. He can help. His cell is 809-863-9972.
I wrote this review over 2 years ago. This guy still drives me around when I am in town. He know has a toll free number from the states and a website. You can call him at 877-375-7051 or check out his website at santodomingotaxi.com. His name is Michael.
Taxis are not just means of transportation. They transport you into another dimension. Such beaten up and gutted out vehicles are difficult to find the world over. It is a minor miracle that they are actually running not to mention being allowed to run. The downtown fare up to the “Faro a Colon” structure goes for 200 pesos but the attempts to get 300 out of you are incessant. Being firm is going to gain not only a dollar in your pocket but also admiration in the eyes of the tout. The airport-to-town fare is 40USD. Yes, it is hard to believe that you pay the same money for the same trip as if in Canada or US. The cause in this case is not the standard of living but the monopoly situation of a single company and even the “illegal” ones are copying it, so there is no respite. At least one gets to be in a luxurious piece of equipment compared to what the usual taxis are in the city.
Taxis in Santo Domingo, as well as the whole Dominican Republic, don't run by the meter. All serious companies have pretty much flat rates. How it works is that you call the company, ask for a cab to your home/hotel/place to pick you up, then when you come to your destination the driver calls the dispatch (called base amongst them) and they will give them the rate and all the parties in the car will hear it loud and clear.
Some reputable taxi companies I've used are:
Excelente taxi: (809) 593-8000.
Apolo taxi: (809) 537-0000. They also have limos for rent.
Taxi Anacaona: (809) 530-4800.
Aero taxi: (809) 688-3131, (809) 688-1212.
Santo Domingo is a large city, and moving around by public transport is confusing. Our Dominican friend told us there were legal buses, as well as collective cars.... but he strongly discouraged us to use these. We did not have many time and journeys by public transport, with some changes from/to our friend's place, would have been too long.
We took a couple of taxis. It was cheap and convenient (being two of us, and of course compared to prices inn Spain: a 30 minutes trip did cost us 150 pesos!!). Told your hotel receptionist or other local (shop assistant, etc) to call the taxi for you. Agree the price in advance, and leave the driver about a 20% tip if you're happy with the service. If you want to return at certain time, you can agree it with the driver (we did this once and we found him punctually waiting for us).
When in Santo Domingo I usually use the services of Taxi Dominicano. They can pick me up or take me around either in a taxi or a mini bus. The guys at Taxi Domincano really know their way around Santo Domingo and the Dominican Republic.
Taxi Dominicano has helped me find the local cock fights in San Cristobal which I needed to shoot for a documentary. Taxi Dominicano picked me up in La Romana and took me to Santo Domingo. I recently went on a trip to "el campo" with Taxi Dominicano. We went to Valle De Villa Altagracia and had a few beers at a local roadside bar and I will post a short video of that trip to my website soon!
Taxi Monaga is an air-conditioned van leased by Monaga Corp. (A gay-firiendly boutique guesthouse in Zona Colonial). The owner/operator of this service is Jose Camilo, who you will learn can be trusted to the fullest. Jose is bilingual and will not only transport you from airport to your hotel, but also will act as a personal tour guide throughout the city, and around the countryside. Jose will show you the points of interests, restaurants, nightlife and even offers van service to Samana, Santiago, San Pedro -- wherever you want to go! His rates are very reasonable and he will quickly become your 'best friend' in the DR!
Taxi from the airport to the city will cost you $25-$30, and the drivers will accept dollars. This is for a 'tourist taxi'; you can possibly get a cheaper ride from a regular taxi if you find one at the airport, but they are not as safe. (I mean, you will have all your belongings, money and valuables with you, so why risk over a few dollars?)
I used several taxis, and this guy was the best. He is an older guy, very courteous and friendly, very knowledgeable about the city. He also drives very carefully. His spanish is very easy to understand.
You can call him at 846 9167; his name is Luis.