Getting around Bavaro on the wide network of public buses is not difficult at all and can actually be an enjoyable experience as you’ll be sharing the transport with mainly the locals: hotel employees, school children, and Haitian construction workers. Despite what your resort or travel agent might have told you, leaving your hotel and exploring on Bavaro’s public transport is perfectly safe and substantially cheaper than taking a hotel taxi. Expect to pay RD$35 on each bus for local transportation and RD$100 for trips to Higuey.
Understanding the system is not a matter of knowing the stops, as bus drivers will let you off wherever you please, instead, it is a matter of knowing the seven transfer points that connect Bavaro’s public transportation system. Even if you don’t speak a word of Spanish, knowing the names of the seven transfer points will get you anywhere you need to go.
NOTE: Please refer to the Google Map below for the specific location of each transfer point.
The Cruce de Veron is known as the entrance to Bavaro. Here nearly every local bus enters and departs Bavaro coming from or going to Higuey. This is also the first stop of the Expresso Bavaro from Santo Domingo. From Veron there is one route going south towards Juanillo and two going north towards Cabeza de Toro and El Cortecito. There will be numerous buses whizzing through Veron since it’s the entrance to Bavaro and three different routes are passing by. Unfortunately, few buses are marked so stopping the right one can be rather difficult; but not to worry, the locals of Bavaro have devised hand signals to solve this very problem. When standing along the Carretera Luperon Punta Cana in Veron you will need to know only one of three different hand signals to stop the right bus.
If you’re going south towards Juanillo simply point down the street in the direction traffic is moving which is east. These buses make no turns and simply follow the highway.
If you’re going north towards Cortecito, Arena Gorda, Macao, or Uvero Alto, just point north towards the opposite side of the street. These buses turn north at the Intersection of the Cruce de Veron.
If you’re heading to Cabeza de Toro you’ll need to be the most creative of all. Here you raise both your pointer and pinky finger, bringing the others together with your thumb. You’ll notice this sign resembles a bull’s head, hence, Cabeza de Toro.
Knowing these signals will make both yours and the driver’s life easier, as you’ll be stopping the specific bus you need. At the very least, you’ll feel more like a local.
Buses run south from Veron towards Juanillo and back with the last bus passing through Veron at around 6:30 pm. This route includes stops at the Punta Cana International Airport and resorts such as Los Corales de Punta Cana, Tortuga Bay, Punta Cana Resorts and Cap Cana.
Buses run north from Veron to Cabeza de Toro and back with the last bus passing through Veron at 6:30 pm. The bus passes by the resort of Natura Park, Occidental Allegro, Grand Oasis, and Catalonia before returning to Veron and ultimately Higuey. If you are planning on leaving your resort in Cabeza de Toro to explore more of Bavaro just simply take the bus to the Entrada de Cabeza de Toro where you can transfer to buses running south to Veron and north to El Cortecito. Simply tell the bus driver, “Entrada de Cabeza de Toro” and he’ll know what you mean.
From this entrada you can pick up buses running north into El Cortecito towards the area’s many hotels, or transfer at the Cruce Cocoloco if you’re going towards Manati Park or Friusa
If you’re heading up to Manati Park you can transfer at the Cruce Cocoloco; once again just tell the driver. This route will take you north past Manati Park, the Bavaro Bus Station and the Friusa Intersection. Note that this is the quickest route to Friusa from the south since you will bypass each resort on the Cortecito route.
This route is by far the most crowded since it passes by the bulk of the area’s hotels and businesses. Buses along this route run till about 10:30 pm. The bus shuttles right in front of the resorts (listed from south to north) Barcelo Bavaro, Barcelo Villas Bavaro, Melia Hotels, Paradisus, EdenH Real Arena, Tropical Clubs, Barcelo Dominican Beach, Carabela, Palladium Resorts, Palladium, and the Occidental Flamenco.
The Cortecito route has some of the better stops in all of Bavaro because the area is more commercialized. One of these stops is the Arts and Crafts Market (Pueblo Artesenal Bibijagua) just after the Barcelo Bavaro Stop. Here you’ll find numerous small shops selling a variety of Dominican keepsakes along with several small Dominican restaurants located along a beautiful strip of public beach.
Other stops include Los Corales, El Cortecito and Friusa. Los Corales and El Cortecito have the most community feel of Bavaro with plenty of locals, shops, eats and bars. Friusa offers the practical amenities of banks, internet cafes, cell phone stores, etc. From Friusa you can transfer to head into Arena Gorda or take the bus past the Friusa Intersection all the way to the route’s end at the Cruce de Macao. Note that the Bavaro bus station is just a block south down the Ave. Estados Unidos from the Friusa Intersection. Here you can board buses heading back to the resorts of Cortecito, Higuey and Santo Domingo.
Get off at the Texaco station in Friusa if you’re going to or coming from hotels in Arena Gorda such as Bavaro Princess, Paradisus Punta Cana, Punta Cana Princess, Caribe Club Princess, LTI Punta Cana, Iberostar and Riu Hotels. Local buses run up and down the strip taking passengers to and from the transfer point of Friusa.
Buses running north past the resorts of Cortecito make their final stop at the Cruce de Macao.
The Cruce de Macao is literally a small “colmado” or mini-market, called Super Colmado Berto. Oddly enough, the bus running towards Uvero Alto is located directly behind the colmado. It leaves approximately every 20 minutes until 7pm, but don’t be surprised if you see an empty bus as the driver is usually no where to be found until departure time. The Macao buses stop by the entrance of several resorts before heading north towards Uvero Alto. These are Bahia Principe, Majestic, Grand Paradise and Barcelo Premium Punta Cana. This same bus can take those leaving these resorts to the Cruce de Macao for transportation south to Cortecito. The bus then proceeds through open country before passing through the tiny town of Macoa and then to the Entrada de Uvero Alto. If you wish to head into Uvero Alto you will have to get off and transfer since the Macao bus is heading straight for Higuey.
Transportation is less frequent at the Entrada de Uvero Alto and one might wait upwards of a half an hour for buses in either direction. Buses run into Uvero Alto until about 7pm and make stops at Bavaro’s four northernmost resorts of Sunscape, Sirenis, Excellence Punta Cana, Agua Resort and Sivory. If you are leaving any of these resorts, the bus will take you back towards the entrada where you can either stay on for the trip to Higuey (RD $60 lasting about an hour) or get off and wait for the next bus back south to Macao and Cortecito. If you choose to head south towards Macao and Cortecito you will be dropped off at the back of the Super Colmado Berto and can transfer in front to buses running further south which will take you past the Friusa Intersection to the Bavaro Bus Station just one block away.
The Bavaro Bus Station is the main hub for local buses in the area and is located one block south of the Friusa Intersection along the Avenida Estados Unidos. From here you can catch buses going south past the resorts of Cortecito, south past Manati Park towards Higuey, or even the Expreso Bavaro to Santo Domingo.
TJ MurrayBavaro, Dominican Republic
TJ Murray is a writer/photographer and an expert on travel in the Dominican Republic. He has wandered the country's furthest reaches and smallest corners and has a passion for highlighting his favorite destinations through travel articles and photography. When TJ isn't traveling in the Dominican Republic, he is trekking in South America or surfing where he lives in Bavaro, Dominican Republic.