Airport, Punta Cana
Punta Cana International airport is the gateway of this All Inclusive mecca, merely 30 to 40 minutes from most hotels. Regular and charter airlines from North and South America and Europe fly here regularly.
This airport is different from the other airports in the country in the design. The roofs are thatched with palma cana leaves (a kind of palm tree), very easily found in this area (and I think that's what gave it its name).
The airport has one international terminal and one domestic one. As of Sept 2010 I arrived from Paris with Air France and 2 days later I took a domestic flight to Puerto Plata with Volair (www.govolair.com).
I returned recently to Dominican Republic for "all-inclusive" holidays with Neckerman and Iberostar.
The transports are made by Martinair Holland wich is an old charter company specialized in those exotic destinations.
This is a 10 hours long flight and you should think about some supplements to the "economy class" ticket. If you value more legroom and a wide variety of entertainment during your flight you can upgrade your confirmed Economy Class ticket to the new Comfort Class.
Some important features about Comfort Class are:
- Extra leg room - at least 10% more than regular economy class.
- Advance seat selection.
- A separate Comfort Class cabin.
- Free use of a Personal Entertainment Player during the flight, providing each Comfort Class passenger with a wide selection of the latest feature films, TV programs and music.
I could appreciate and it's not a waisted money.
Taking a taxi at Punta Cana airport is easy. I compared prices before leaving for round trip fares to my hotel by pre-booking transportation and I was quoted $120.00 USD for a round trip. The taxi to and from my hotel only cost me $76.00, a savings of $44 round trip. We did not have to wait for a bus to fill up with other passengers, and/or stop at other hotels. We we had a clean air conditioned SUV, the driver did not speak much english, but he got us to our hotel in less than 30 minutes, safe and sound.
How to get a taxi at the Punta Cana airport.
After clearing Dominican customs and getting your just baggage, make your way past all the white shirt individuals and head to the right where all the travel companies are located. On the left side there is a taxi rate board. Once you find your hotel/destination, look for a airport representatvie (pink shirt) and he will get the cab for you. Be sure to confirm your rate with the driver before leaving.
Here are the taxi rates as of March 28, 2010 from Punta Cana airport.
All prices are in USD.
Taxi Service is available 24 hours
Tel 809-552-0617 / 809-466-1133
Destination **One Way**
All prices are in USD.
Uvero Alto US $ 70.00
Hotel Moon Palace 55.00
Hotel Barcelo Premium Punta Cana 40.00
Hotel Gran Paradise/Majestic Colonial 40.00
Hotels Riu $38.00
Hotels Gran Bahia Principe $38.00
Hotels Iberostar $38.00
Hotels LTI Punta Cana $38.00
Hotel Ocean Blue $38.00
Hotel Bavaro Princes/Paradisus Punta Cana $35.00
Hotel Caribe Club Princess $35.00
Plaza Bavaro $35.00
Hotel Occidental Flamenco Bravor $35.00
Hotel Fiesta Palladium $35.00
Hotel Cayacoa $35.00
Cruce de Friusa $30.00
Manati Park $28.00
Hotel Cortecito Inn/Captain Cook $33.00
Hotel Carabela $33.00
Hotel Barcelo Domincan Beach/Cana Beach $33.00
Hotels Tropical Clubs (Alisios)/Sueno $33.00
Hotel Los corales/Gran Caribe $33.00
Hotel Real Arena $33.00
Hotel Melia Caribe y/o Tropical/Palma Real $30.00
Plaza Palma Real (Shopping Village) $30.00
Villas Bavara / Lfa $28.00
Hoteles Barcelo $28.00
Cruce del la Metro $25.00
Hotel Natural Park Resort/Sunscape Punta Cana $30.00
Hotel Dreams Palm Beach $30.00
Hotel Grand Oasis Punta Cana/Catalonia Bavaro $30.00
Hospiten Bavaro $20.00
Hotel Club Med/Los Corales Punta Cana $20.00
Hotel Puntacana Resort & Club/Marian P.C. $20.00
Hotel Sueno Caribe $20.00
Cap Cana $30.00
Long Distance Trips
Otra Banda $60.00
El Seybo $120.00
Hato Mayor $150.00
Sabana de la Mar $200.00
Bayahibe (La Romana) $120.00
Bahia Principe (La Romana) $150.00
San Pedro de Macoris $150.00
Juan Dolio $165.00
Boca Chica $175.00
Aeropuerto Int'l Las Americas $175.00
Santo Domingo $200.00
Villa Altagracia $225.00
La Vega $260.00
Puerto Plata - Aeropuerto $375.00
San Farncisco de Maroris $275.00
Las Terrenas $450.00
San Cristobal $220.00
Lago enriquillo $475.00
San Juan del la Maguana $450
Price is 1 to 4 persons.
Extra person is $5.00
I would highly recommend www.prestige-limousine-service.com for your hotel/airport transfers in Punta Cana. Not much more than taxi's but you get a new vehicle/ cold drinks and excellent drivers. They use Chevy Suburbans and Chevy Express vans for groups up to 10.
The airport in Punta Cana is a truly unique experience. For starters, it's open air and palm frond roofed - a pleasant entry to the tropics. It also has the largest 'ceiling fan' I've ever seen!
There are several USA-type restaurants in the out-bound area of the airport -- folks who have been eating at the all inclusives (mostly all you can eat non-American) line up for a good old fashioned burger. One thing to remember - you need $10 cash to get out of the country. At least that's what it was a year ago -- be sure to check before you go -- they won't take a credit card for this.
On our second trip to the Dominican, we didn't have access to the ground transfers due to the package that we selected, so we arranged for a Taxi.
I was very sceptical for several months leading up to our trip, after being treated so badly by Preito Tours (see infomation in other Transportation post) on the first go-around, but once we arrived, the warm air hit our face (in the middle of November) and all of my cares melted away. Walking through the airport was hectic, as usual, with Dominicans offering to carry your bag (more like fighting over you for tips). I was scanning the sea of Dominicans, looking for our Taxi driver, beginning to get worried again.
Then I saw it, a tall Dominican man standing with a sign that read, "Mr. and Mrs. Updike," just as promised. He was polite, helpful, and respectful. He loaded our bags quickly, but carefully, and we hopped into his, already running, air-conditioned Nissan Maxima. He threw in a Mix CD of Dominican music and we were off.
While he spoke little Engligh, and we "hable muy poco español," he was more than happy to attempt at making conversation. We asked about the small towns that we drove through in our most rudimentary Spanish, and he responded in his very limited English. We rode quickly through the towns, slowing at some of the small farms to take a quick picture.
Unlike our first trip, we didn't stop at 6 other resorts, which cut travel time down to a minimum. He drove directly to Punta Cana's Secrets Excellence, unloaded our bags, jotted down our return trip flight information, wrote down the time and date of when he would return to pick us up, thanked us for using his service, and started to head back to his car. I practically had to chase him down to offer a small tip for his excellent service.
When we checked out of the resort a week later, our driver was waiting for us in the lobby (on time) and got us back to the airport in excellent time, giving us ample time to check in for our flight and do some last minute soveneir shopping.
The Travel Slut's Top 10 tips about the Punta Cana International Airport:
1. Upon arrival, you will have have to run a gauntlet or get your photo taken with 2 Dominican women in costume. The photo will then be available at a kiosk inside the terminal after clearing security and your photo will be listed by date and flight #. The cost is $7.00 U.S. and a fairly nice souvenir.
2. After you get your photo you will be required to purchase a $10.00 U.S. tourist card before entering immigration.
3. There are no jetways at this airport which is comprised on buildings made of thatched huts (or palapas).
Therefore, if you exit your plane in the rain, you will get wet walking to the terminal unless you carry a poncho or umbrella.
4.Look for package deals to Punta Cana first, then look for airfare only deals. I booked a $16.00 U.S. round-trip flight on Spirit Air via their email notices.
5. There is so much construction between the resorts and the airport that plan accordingly to leave at a time where you will not be rushed at the airport.
6. If Terminal 1 is your departure location, and it is too hot for you in the open air waiting area, simply step into the air-conditioned bar-lounge next to the Wendy's counter and order a drink. The drinks are not expensive considering bottled water or soda will cost $3.00 U.S. inside the terminal
7. If you do not want to use the bar, then simply walk over to Terminal 2 via the walkway. Terminal 2 is closed and air conditioned and much nicer/newer than 1.
8. Terminal 2 has more shops, including duty-free and some restaurants.
9. Terminal 1 has only a small snack shop, Wendy's hamburger stand and a pizza stand. They are located at the top of the ramp.
10. Prior to departure, you will have to pay a $20.00 U.S. departure fee tax. Be sure to check your airline documents to see if the tax has been pre-paid, otherwise, you will be stopped before boarding.
I traveled to Punta Caña by plane. When we landed (at the Punta Caña International Airport), we walked through the airplanes to the main building. I must say that I was surprised at the sight of the airport - the roof is made of palm trees leaves and there are no walls in some spaces, such as the lounge. Apart from this, we collected our luggage - all luggage were orderly displayed on the floor and each passenger picked his. At this point there are people trying to help you carry the luggage in order to receive a tip.
On our way back to Portugal, we waited for our flight at the lounge (the flight was late). There are no screens showing the flights. They announce them loud in (bad) English. Sometimes it occurred to me that I might my “call"!
Most resorts are far from the airport. And most travel packages already included the transfer from the airport to the resort, usually in a comfortable air-conditioned van or bus, which was our case. Our resort was about a 1h drive from the airport.
even being african born never got to know such a look a like punta cana airport. lovely and tipical south american third world facility with it's thatched rooftops, and no windows or doors. setting foot in these kind of environment sure feels funny, and... diferent.
personaly i've enjoy it very much. as soon as yu leave the plane the eat and the ambience sorrounds yu completly.
We booked our holiday through Sunquest, who uses the Sky Service charter for Punta Cana. It was a nice direct flight from Vancouver, with only one stop in Calgary to pick up passengers. However, the flight was 7 hours of discomfort in cramped seats and poor service. I must be getting old because I remember a time not too long ago when service was important on airlines. It seems to be less and less these days. I know airline food has a bad rep but it sunk to an all time low on this flight. During the entire flight (that started at 7 AM) all we were served as part of our fare price was one tea or coffee service and a "bistro" breakfast, which was a cold sandwich and cheese and crackers almost hurled at us in a box. For the rest of the flight we were bombarded with offers to buy duty free, snacks (candy actually), one champagne service, two beverage services, and headphones of course. I'm surprised they didn't try to rent us the blankets. The gent next to me had to return his headphones twice and was refused when he tried to purchase another ginger ale until it was time for the cart to come around a second time. We had a wonderful trip once we got there but the flight was truly ghastly. I think I'll go to the forum for tips on good charters next time. For two days out of your vacation it's worth finding a decent flight.
Christmas time is always close when we have to go home again...in Punta Cana airport this hugh Christmastree was in the lobby. We had a bit a strange feeling going home, cause on the day we left the Dominican an other plane had crashed and we didnt know if this was by terrorist or an accident. We watched about 5 hours Cnn with nothing else then this matter...and to say you feel a lot better ....NOPE!!
Going back we had a delay of three hours, only this was told when we were already at the airport in Punta Cana...but I could spend my time well. There was a pc with internet, so i have send all my friends a sms to tell them we were coming home. But being on an airport for five hours is a long time...so make sure if you leave the hotel if they maybe already know if you have any delay!