Privately owned buses are the cheapest way to get around the country. For example, one-way bus fare from Santo Domingo to Puerto Plata, a trip that takes 3½ hours on Caribe Tours, less on Metro Buses, a more deluxe operation, costs a fraction of what you'd pay for a taxi or rental car. Both bus lines go to Sosua, too, which takes another 15–20 minutes. There is no service to Cabarete, but taxis meet the bus and drivers are eager to take you. These bus companies make regular runs to Santiago, Puerto Plata, and other destinations from Santo Domingo. Be forewarned that air-conditioning can be frigid, and there might be a movie, possibly an American one—or not, as the equipment often is inoperable. There will be a restroom, but definitely B.Y.O. toilet paper. Be at the terminal 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure if you have a ticket. (Metro Bus now suggests an hour without a ticket.) Motoconcho-men will try to lure you for significantly less, but don’t do it, especially if you have any kind of luggage and it's past sunset.
Frequent service from Santo Domingo to the town of La Romana is provided by Express Bus, leaving every hour on the hour from 5 am to 9 pm; however, there's no office and no phone. Buses depart from Parque Enriquillo in the Zona Colonial. A ticket taker will take your money (in pesos) just before departure, charging double if you have large luggage. Travel time is about 1¾ hours, and as these are usually small, second-class buses, without air-conditioning, that make many stops, it is a rough ride—let it be your last choice. Once in La Romana, you can take a taxi to your resort. Espreso Baváro buses depart from Plaza Los Girasoles at Avenida Máximo Gómez at Juan Sánchez Ruiz; the buses are said to be first-class, but are not. What they are is cheap. They do make a stop in La Romana. If you're going to one of the Punta Cana resorts, you get off at the stop before the last and take a cab waiting at the taxi stand. Depending on which resort you are going to, that charge could be ten times as much as your bus ticket.
Caribe Tours. Av. 27 de Febrero at Leopoldo Navarro, Ensanches Miraflores, Santo Domingo, Nacional. 809/221–4422; www.caribetours.com.do.
Espreso Santo Domingo Baváro. Plaza Los Girasoles, Av. Máximo Gómez at Juan Sánchez Ramirez, Santo Domingo, Nacional. 809/682–9670; 809/552–1678; www.expresobavaro.com.
Metro Buses. Av. Winston Churchill at Calle Francisco Prats Ramirez Piantini, Santo Domingo, Nacional. 809/582–9111; 809/227–0101; 809/586–6062; 809/571–1324; www.metroserviciosturisticos.com.