Dominican Republic up close
Flights and Getting Here
Airplanes at Punta Cana International Airport
Photo: Balifilm / Shutterstock.com
How to travel to the Dominican Republic for less
Visit Dominican Republic gives you the tips to help you find a smooth route to your destination for less. Planning your route with our tips will make your trip more affordable and help you find the cheapest flights to the Dominican Republic.
The best times to fly to the Dominican Republic
Knowing exactly when to head to the Dominican Republic can make a big difference in your traveling costs.
Airfares to the island tend to peak between December and May, when the DR’s mild weather lures travelers from around the world. For discount airfares, consider braving the summer months. September is said to be the cheapest month to travel. It's a risk, though - hurricanes like September, too, meaning you might have to enjoy your holiday indoors and reschedule any planned adventures featuring beaches, coasts and islands.
Whichever month you choose, make sure you book your ticket at least three weeks in advance to get the best deals.
Photo: Tom Barrett via Unsplash
How to save on your flight? The airport matters!
There are seven international airports on the island nation of the Dominican Republic. In the south of the country, there's the capital city of Santo Domingo (airport code: SDQ), the Barahona airport (BRX) (this one’s near national biological reserves), and La Romana (LRM), your most direct route for the beaches surrounding La Romana. The tourist haven Punta Cana is on the east coast and has its very own airport as well (PUJ).
You'll also find three airports to the north, one near the cruise ships of Puerto Plata (POP), one near the whale-watching destination of Samana (AZS) and the landlocked “second capital” of the DR - Santiago de los Caballeros (STI).
The cheapest airports to fly to are (usually) the ones with higher volume. The biggest and busiest airports are Santo Domingo (SDQ), Santiago de los Caballeros (STI), Puerto Plata (POP), and Punta Cana (PUJ).
Punta Cana is the leading airport in Central America and the Caribbean with close to 2 million tourists arriving in its luxurious environs every year. It's the cheapest way to fly to the island, but at a good 6-10 hour drive from other cities, it’s not necessarily your best bet if your destination is elsewhere. If you're headed to the beaches of Punta Cana, though, you’re in luck!
If you're making multiple stops, fly into Santo Domingo, the island’s second-busiest airport, which offers lots of connecting legs to other Dominican and Caribbean destinations. Or choose Santiago de los Caballeros or Puerto Plata. An Uber or cab ride from any of these airports to the nearest CaribeTours office can get you on a comfortable, American-style bus ride to almost any destination in the country.
Heading to Samana? Direct flights cost three-to-five times the price of flying to Santo Domingo, Santiago or Puerto Plata. Save a fortune by flying into one of these airports instead and jump on a bus to Samana with CaribeTours for just $10-$15 dollars.
Friends choosing flights
Photo: John Schnobrich via Unsplash
Now that you have a better idea which airport to fly into, let's look at which airlines are the least expensive.
From Canada and the United States
Over 60% of tourists entering the Dominican Republic are from North America. As a result, most major airlines of Canada and the United States fly to the Dominican Republic, including JetBlue, Spirit, American Airlines, United, Delta, Air Canada, Air Transat, Sunwing, Westjet and Emirates.
Delta and JetBlue offer the most flights (especially on the popular JFK to Santo Domingo route) and are your best bet for cheap flights to the Dominican Republic.
Iberia, TIU Airways, Condor, Air Europa, Air France, British Airways, SWISS and Eurowings all fly to the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana is the most popular destination from all European cities, and is therefore likely to be your least expensive first stop.
If you’re arriving from Europe, remember that the cheapest way to get to your final destination is usually to fly to PUJ and then take a Caribetours bus the rest of the way.
Good news! Non-stop flights to the Dominican Republic cost about the same as flights with layovers.
Non-stop flights arrive year-round from New York, Miami, Houston, Fort Lauderdale, and Atlanta. Like JFK, the Fort Lauderdale flight can be one of the least expensive, but note that cancellations seem to be more common when flying out of the state of Florida.
From Canada, most destinations in the Dominican Republic can be reached non-stop via Montreal and Toronto. Planning a trip to Punta Cana? You’ll find even more Canadian cities offering direct flights to Punta Cana, including Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Ottawa, Quebec and St. John’s.
From Europe, you can arrive non-stop from London, Madrid, Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels, and Munich. Note that even when they are considered non-stop, flights from Europe have to refuel somewhere before arriving in the Dominican Republic.
Punta Cana International Airport
Photo: Christian Lambert / Unsplash.com
More money-saving tips
Check baggage policies for your airline and travel accordingly to avoid extra fees.
The Dominican Republic saves tourists time and money by not requiring visas for visitors from Canada, the United States, the European Union or Great Britain and the majority of other countries. See the full list here.
You can also save with accommodations that offer free shuttle services to and from local airports. If your hotel doesn't offer a shuttle, Uber functions well in most parts of the country. The app makes it easy to get you to your destination without knowing a word of Spanish.
Arrive and travel with ease, and without spending a fortune. Welcome to the Dominican Republic!
Written by G Abdullah.
Published September 2020
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