First attempt at Las Terrenas
I normally leave the driving to others though I have made the trip from S.D. to Boca Chica several times. My girlfriend wants to go to Las Terrenas this weekend and wants me to drive.
Like about a quarter of the population, we have an aging Montero which I think can handle the roads OK. Is there some place in the capitol where I can get an inexpensive GPS to aid me. I expect it will eventually disappear so I would like the cheapest I can find. Also any last minute advise would be appreciated. I have made the trip before on Carib Tours and stayed at a hotel called Casa Larimar which was quite pleasant. We haven't made any kind of reservations for this trip so again, any suggestions would be welcome.
If you take the new highway it is a very easy, straight forward drive. You make a right at the end of the new highway and a left off of the coastal highway for Samana. It is about a 2.5 hour drive. Both roads are clearly marked. Be careful on the road over the mountain heading to Las Terrenas. A lot of road construction going on. Some sections are being paved while others are being repaired from past mudslides.
Originally Posted by peep2
In Las Terrenas I stayed at Caribey Hotel/Condo
The new highway is smooth sailing and very scenic. You will need pesos for the three tolls, RD$43, RD$139, and RD$165. About two thirds of the way there is the one and only rest stop.
Just the kind of info I like. I gather you think the GPS idea to be not very important?
You will not need the GPS, but please be sure to get to Las Terrenas before dark. That road over the mountain needs your full attention and not a road to be driving on in the dark.
Originally Posted by peep2
Once on the new highway you only have three turns to make and they are clearly marked. The right at the end of the highway. When on the coastal road (highway 5) after about 30 minutes or so you come to a fork in the road. At the fork stay left. Another 15 minutes or so you will need to keep your eyes open for the sign Las Terrenas where you will make a left.
This is probably one of the easiest drives in rep dom.
bigbird is right on! I too have driven the new carretera and have made the trip from end to end in about 1.5 hours. I have not gone to Las Terrenas but he is right about adding another hour to the trip because of traffic and or road conditions. True the tolls are ridiculous for making the drive up north but its worth it for the time you save and the beautiful landscape you will be seeing on this drive. 2/3 of the way there is indeed one rest stop so be sure to use it, they serve pretty good food too!
I do remember getting off the Carib Tours bus and getting on a small guagua/big van for the last leg of the trip over the mountain. I was very glad the driver knew the road and I did not have to negotiate it. I feel much better now about attempting the trip on my own. The new highway wasn't done the last time I was up there. Thanks for the info.
Back in the states now (unfortunately) and wanted to up date this thread. The information bigbird provided was most helpful. The new highway to Samana was a joy to drive when compared to many roads in the D.R. and indeed even the Massachusetts Turnpike is in worse shape this time of year. From the end of the highway on to Las Terrenas there was a great deal of construction but the road was quite passable. There were plenty of road signs to guide us and though we intended to buy a road map, we never actually got around to it. I agree the road over the hills into Las Terrenas is not one I would like to try at night.
We stayed at the same hotel we stayed at three years ago, Casa Larimar, which it turns out had been closed for much of the intervening time. The new owners had reopened it a few months ago and were still cleaning the place up. We had no problem getting three rooms for the weekend with no reservation but the owners said they were booked full for semana santa. The tab was around $25 per nite per room. I didn't get invited to pay for the rooms so I cant say for sure. The roof top dining area which has a view of the beach across the street was accessible but not open for business yet. We took the horse back tour to view the falls and swim at El Limon. I would have to call the view spectacular and well worth the trip. It was a little hard on the old posterior which hasn't been in the saddle for a few years.
Only two complaints worth mentioning. In typical dominican fashion, my girlfriend had her cell phone stolen while we were swimming at the falls at El Limon even though we thought we were keeping a good eye on our things. And the national police only seemed to be stoping late model SUVs at their road blocks while the ridiculously over loaded pickup trucks and the like were allowed to breeze right by. All in all, not a bad list of gripes for an other wise great weekend get away in the Dominican Republic.
Thanks again to the Forums for good info.
you do not need gps.
head out towards las americas airport, before tolls you will follow sign to samana
take toll highway north.when highway ends head east direction samana.
at the town of sanchez go up the mountain and down and you will be in terrenas
tip: enjoy the ride