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Public Transportation in Puerto Plata

Learning how to get around using public transportation in Puerto Plata is an important step in adjusting to life in Puerto Plata. In this article, we cover the local public transportation options.

Public transportation in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic is a vibrant and essential part of daily life. The city offers a variety of transportation options including guaguas (small buses), carros publicos (shared taxis), motoconchos (motorcycle taxis), and traditional taxis. These systems are not only affordable but also provide a unique way to experience the local culture. Whether you’re an expat living in Puerto Plata or a tourist exploring the city, you can comfortably rely on these public transportation systems and walking to get around. However, it’s important to note that while these systems are efficient, they may not offer the same level of comfort and convenience as owning a car.


Guaguas are small buses that operate on fixed routes throughout Puerto Plata. They are a popular choice for locals and tourists alike due to their affordability. A ride on a guagua typically costs around 25 Dominican pesos (less than 50 cents in USD). However, guaguas can get crowded, especially during peak hours, and they don’t always follow a strict schedule. Despite these challenges, guaguas are generally safe to use, even at night. However, it’s always a good idea to stay alert and keep an eye on your belongings.

Carros Publicos

Carros publicos, or public cars, are shared taxis that operate on specific routes. They are a bit more expensive than guaguas, with fares typically ranging from 50 to 100 Dominican pesos (around $1 to $2 in USD). Carros publicos can carry up to six passengers, and they don’t leave until they’re full. This means you might have to wait a bit before your ride starts. However, carros publicos are a convenient way to travel short distances within the city. They are generally safe, but as with any form of public transportation, it’s important to stay vigilant.


Motoconchos are motorcycle taxis that are a common sight on the streets of Puerto Plata. They are a quick and efficient way to get around, especially during traffic jams. A ride on a motoconcho can cost anywhere from 50 to 100 Dominican pesos (around $1 to $2 in USD), depending on the distance. However, motoconchos are not for the faint-hearted. The drivers often weave through traffic at high speeds, and helmets are not always provided. Therefore, while motoconchos can be an exciting way to experience the city, they may not be the safest option, especially for children or those who are not comfortable with such adventurous rides.


Traditional taxis are also available in Puerto Plata. They are the most expensive option, with fares typically starting at 200 Dominican pesos (around $4 in USD) for a short ride. However, taxis offer a higher level of comfort and convenience compared to other forms of public transportation. They are available 24/7 and can be hailed on the street or booked in advance. Taxis in Puerto Plata are generally safe, and many drivers speak English, making them a good option for tourists or expats who are not fluent in Spanish.

In conclusion, while owning a car in Puerto Plata can provide a certain level of convenience, it’s not a necessity. The city’s public transportation systems are efficient, affordable, and offer a unique way to experience the local culture. However, as with any city, it’s important to stay alert and aware of your surroundings when using public transportation.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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