BY AIR

The Dominican Republic is well served by at least six international airports (wwww.aerodom.com) into major tourist or city hubs:

  1. Santo Domingo (SDQ):  The largest of the lot, located just outside the capital city, is Aeropuerto Internacional de Las Americas.
  2. Punta Cana (PUJ): Aeropuerto Internacional Punta Cana receives an astounding near two million passengers a year and serves the Punta Cana and Bávaro region.
  3. La Romana (LRM): Southeast of the DR, this international hub is for those heading to Casa de Campo, Bayahibe or Dominicus beach resort areas.
  4. Puerto Plata (POP): Aeropuerto Internacional Gregorio Luperón is just a 20-minute ride from downtown Puerto Plata and the best pick for Playa Dorada, Cabarete, Sosúa and stays on the north coast.
  5. Samaná (AZS): Over on the Samaná Peninsula is the relatively new Aeropuerto Internacional El Catey, also known as Aeropuerto Internacional Presidente Juan Bosch, ideal for stays around the peninsula.
  6. Santiago (STI): Also in the north, Aeropuerto Internacional Cibao is an option for business travelers heading to Santiago, or those who don't mind the longer and costlier drive to Puerto Plata.

Be sure to consider the most convenient arrival and departure point according to your itinerary and travel time. Don't make the mistake of selecting an airport without realizing how big the island really is.

Where airfare is concerned, flying into Santo Domingo is often cheaper. It's most likely because it's the capital and not a strictly touristic destination. That also means longer lines at immigration and customs; but nothing you can't handle with a good dose of patience. If you're up for saving some bucks you could land in Santo Domingo, spend a day and night exploring the Colonial City–well worth it–then hop on a bus or drive to your next destination (whether it's Punta Cana, Samana, Barahona or Puerto Plata).

On the North Coast, you have the choice between Santiago or Puerto Plata airports. Keep in mind that Puerto Plata (POP) is closest to Playa Dorada hotels or Puerto Plata guesthouses and to areas such as Cabarete and Sosua.  From Santiago airport, you need to travel about an hour and 15 minutes by car to Puerto Plata city. If you're taking a cab ride, it will cost you.

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Excerpt from Moon Dominican Republic (Moon Travel Guides, 2016 edition)