30/05/2024

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How to get from Santo Domingo and Punta Cana to Barahona – everything you need to know

10 min read
How to get from Santo Domingo and Punta Cana to Barahona – everything you need to know

 Getting from Punta Cana to Barahona is not what most people do when coming to the Dominican Republic, but it might be necessary if you want to travel to the Southwest of the country. It is pretty far, but there are some good options if you know where to search. Besides investigating what is the best way to get from Punta Cana to Barahona, we’re also showing you the best connections between Barahona and Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.

Why visiting Barahona?

 Ok, this will be a bit of a niche guide today, but some people indeed need to get from Santo Domingo to Barahona, or even from Barahona to Punta Cana (or vice versa). There might be various reasons:

  • you are visiting Punta Cana and its all-inclusive resorts but want to travel to the fascinating Southwest of the Dominican Republic on a road trip (Barahona is the gateway for this unique region)
  • you are living or working in Punta Cana and want to visit Barahona, maybe for leisure or for family visits
  • you love birdwatching and animal sightings in their natural habitat (Barahona and the adjacent mountain range Sierra de Bahoruco are the areas with the highest bio-diversity in the Dominican Republic, along with Los Haitises National Park).

 In the end, you might have whatever reason to visit Barahona, but it is a fact that the closest airports with frequent connections from different parts of the world are Santo Domingo Airport and Punta Cana Airport, as Barahonas so-called International Airport is not functional at the moment (and it never has been). Plus, the next closest airport – Port-au-Prince in Haiti – is not an option due to heavy turmoils in Haiti and difficult border crossings. 

Barahona, the most important city in the Southwest of the Dominican Republic

How far is Barahona from Punta Cana and Santo Domingo?

If you want to get from Punta Cana to Barahona or from Barahona to Punta Cana, count with approx. 250 miles respectively 500 kilometers. This takes around 5.5 to 6 hours when driving with a car, even though it might be reduced to 5 hours as – besides the already inaugurated bypass of Azua – the Baní bypass is forecasted to open at the end of 2023.

 If you want to get from Barahona to Santo Domingo or vice versa, the distance is around 115 miles which should be doable in 3 hours, especially once both bypasses mentioned are open. 

How long does it take to get from Punta Cana/Santo Domingo to Barahona?

 The time you need to get from Punta Cana to Barahona depends on the type of transportation you choose.

 For the way from Punta Cana to Barahona, you should expect the following transfer times:

  • Punta Cana to Barahona by private transfer: 5.5 hours
  • Punta Cana to Barahona by taxi: 5.5 hours
  • Punta Cana to Barahona by rental car: 5.5 hours
  • Punta Cana to Barahona by public transport: 9 hours
  • Punta Cana to Barahona by helicopter: 1 hour

 If you want to get from Santo Domingo to Barahona, transfer time is considerably shorter:

  • Santo Domingo to Barahona by private transfer: 3 hours
  • Santo Domingo to Barahona by taxi: 3 hours
  • Santo Domingo to Barahona by rental car: 3.5 hours
  • Santo Domingo to Barahona by public transport: 4.5 hours
  • Santo Domingo to Barahona by helicopter: 30-45 minutes

How to get from Punta Cana to Barahona

Private Transfer from Punta Cana to Barahona

 Considering you want to get as quickly as possible from Punta Cana to Barahona, a pre-booked private transfer is the best option for your trip – and it is much cheaper than ordinary taxis. When booking a private airport shuttle from Punta Cana, you will be greeted at the arrival hall (or you present yourself at one of the counters, depending on what your voucher says) and will head off immediately. If your plane arrives in Punta Cana at around 1 pm and we count 1 hour for immigration, baggage claim and customs, you can be on the road at 2 pm and arrive in Barahona shortly after 7 pm.

Prices currently start at 265 USD per vehicle for the entire way from Punta Cana to Barahona, which is an absolute bargain considering that transfers for half of the journey, from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo, usually cost up to 200 USD.

For the best transfer options, you can check the following providers:
– Punta Cana to Barahona – the cheapest option*
– Punta Cana to Barahona – the most popular option*

You can book those transfers straight from the airport or from any hotel or resort in Punta Cana or the surrounding areas.

Shared Transfer from Punta Cana to Barahona

 Unfortunately, there are no shared shuttles available from Punta Cana to Barahona. You can see all the different shuttle options to other destinations in the Dominican Republic in our extensive Punta Cana Airport Guide.

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Taxis from Punta Cana to Barahona

You can take a taxi at Punta Cana Airport, but it is not recommended for three reasons:
– Taxis in Punta Cana are expensive. The official rate for the journey from Punta Cana to Barahona by taxi is 450 USD, much more expensive than the private transfer options quoted above.
– Punta Cana Airport Taxis tend to be slightly aggressive or let’s say pushy at least. If you arrive in Punta Cana without a transfer pre-booked, they all want to be your next best friend.
– You don’t have any guarantee that your driver is reliable as Punta Cana taxis all operate on their own. You can’t check reviews, you can’t complain afterwards if something wasn’t as agreed.

Therefore, prebooking your private transfer from Punta Cana to Barahona is much easier with less hassle and guarantees your arrival in Punta Cana (and Barahona) with peace of mind.

Rental Car from Punta Cana to Barahona

 Particularly if your reason to travel to Barahona is to explore the abundant nature and the unexplored Southwest of the Dominican Republic including one of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic, Bahía de las Águilas, your best option might be taking a rental car in Punta Cana. Even though it is a long drive to Barahona, your own vehicle enables you to explore this area at your own pace, because public transport is difficult after Barahona and taxis and guided tours are expensive. Hence a rental car guarantees you not only flexibility but also the ability to organize such a road trip in the Dominican Republic with a reasonable budget.

Road-trip through the Southwest of the Dominican Republic along the panorama route from Barahona to Oviedo
A panoramic road leading through the Southwest

Rental cars in Punta Cana usually start at around 50-60 USD incl. insurance. You should never book a rental car without insurance. Even though your credit card company might include certain kinds of coverage, it is always recommended to have all the insurance included right when you’re booking as this is avoiding a lot of possible problems. Read more about renting a car in the Dominican Republic here in this article.

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The author Chris in the Dominican Republic

The trip with a rental car from Punta Cana to Barahona takes around 6 hours, maybe up to 7 if you drive with a relaxed pace (which is recommended) and have a lunch stop in between. 

Public transport from Punta Cana to Barahona

Traveling by bus from Punta Cana to Barahona is possible – you just need a bit more time.

First, you need to get from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo. Instead of too many explanations, I am referring you here to my separate article about transportation between Punta Cana and Santo Domingo, where you can find all the details: departure times, costs, bus stations, etc.

Traveling from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo by bus requires approx. 4 hours. Even though the trip is just around 3 hours, you need to be earlier at the bus station in Friusa or Verón to buy your ticket.

Once in Santo Domingo, get out at the bus station “27 de Febrero”. Ask the driver’s assistant if in doubt once the bus stations are getting yelled in the bus. From here, direct yourself to the “Parada para los autobuses a Barahona”, which is located at Calle Dr. Betances 75. It is not far and walkable from where the Punta Cana bus drops you and from where the Barahona bus leaves, but the area is pretty rough. If in doubt, ask the driver’s assistant and/or take a cab. 

The buses from Santo Domingo to Barahona leave every 30 minutes or so and should cost you around 400 DOP (approx. 7 USD). Get on the bus and wait until you arrive in Barahona. Count with approx. 4 hours to get from Santo Domingo to Barahona, which brings the total to get from Punta Cana to Barahona by public transport up to 8-9 hours. 

Barahona, the most important city in the Southwest of the Dominican Republic

Flights from Punta Cana to Barahona

 Unfortunately, there are no scheduled flights from Punta Cana to Barahona. You can charter a plane, but this will be pretty expensive – even though less expensive than a helicopter. I don’t have quotes available but I’d say 1500 USD is a reasonable ballpark number for such a flight.

Helicopter from Punta Cana to Barahona

 You can also charter a helicopter from Punta Cana – but this is pretty expensive. Count with at least 2000 USD per way, probably even more. 

How to get from Santo Domingo to Barahona

If you want to get from Santo Domingo to Barahona (or from Barahona to Santo Domingo), you can mostly follow the instructions as described above for Punta Cana, as you basically always have to pass Santo Domingo when coming from Punta Cana to Barahona. Still, let’s have a look at a few individual options. 

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Private transfer between Barahona and Santo Domingo

A private transfer from Barahona to Santo Domingo is obviously much cheaper than the one between Barahona and Punta Cana. 

For the best transfer options, you can check the following providers:
– Santo Domingo to Barahona – the cheapest option*
– Santo Domingo to Barahona – the most popular option*

 Both transfer options can be booked coming from Las Américas Airport in Santo Domingo or also from the Colonial Zone, Santo Domingo’s city center. If you’re already in the city, it is not a problem if you book the airport transfer from Santo Domingo, as they will pass the city anyway.

Barahona, the most important city in the Southwest of the Dominican Republic

Shared transfer between Barahona and Santo Domingo

There are no shared shuttle options from Santo Domingo to Barahona. 

Taxi between Barahona and Santo Domingo

 Taxis are possible but are pretty expensive. A taxi is available from 200 USD, even though they probably might quote you 250 USD or 300 USD first when they see you are a tourist. That’s why we always recommend pre-booking your transfer, to avoid haggling and unpleasant surprises, which currently costs less than 180 USD.

Rental Car to Barahona

 As always, you can rent a car in Santo Domingo. Especially when visiting the Southwest, this is a perfect idea. You can find a sample itinerary with attractions, accommodation recommendations and experiences here in our ultimate Dominican Republic Itinerary or in this article about Bahía de las Águilas, one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic (it might be worth going to Barahona just for this beach, which is still 2.5 hours away from there though).

The amazing and gorgeous Bahia de las Aguilas, one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic

 Once you have a car, you need around 3.5 hours from Las Américas Airport to Barahona and around 3 hours from the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo to Barahona. For further recommendations, check out the section above (“rental car from Punta Cana to Barahona”) or have a look at the separate article if it is smart to rent a car in the Dominican Republic.

Flights from Santo Domingo to Barahona

 Unfortunately, there are no domestic flight options from Santo Domingo to Barahona. Neither of the airports, Las Américas International Airport or the smaller La Isabella Airport, offer connections with Barahona. However, you can charter a helicopter in Santo Domingo, which will cost you at least 1000 USD.

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The face behind Punta Cana Travel Blog: Chris

CHRIS

Author, Travel Coach & Punta Cana based digital nomad

Hey, I am Chris, a born and raised German, travel-addictive and Caribbean Soul. Since 2011 I have been living in the Caribbean, among them 5 years in the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana is my home-base here in the country and I’d love to tell you more about how to experience Punta Cana off-the-beaten-track and give you all the advice you want to know for your vacation in Punta Cana.

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