Has anyone ever driven to Punta Rucia? Is the road as bad as I have read that it is?
Hmmm- your comment about Costa Rica combined with Silvia's information has got me rethinking the car rental.
We certainly y do not NEED a car but we would like to be able to explore the area at our own convenience- but perhaps it is not worth the risk. A taxi from Santiago runs at about $35 one way- is that correct?
Thanks for the insight!
Cab from Santiago to Cabarete is $100 each way. You can hire a cab for the day for about $150 and he will take you to Santiago, Punta Rucia or where ever you want.
My husband and I drove to Punta Rucia this year and we did not encounter many problems with the road, although we did have a rental 4WD vehicle. We stayed at Villa Nadine, owned by a Brit (Eric) and had a wonderfully comfortable stay, albeit just the one night. Breakfast was sublime and we even had toast and Marmite. (You need to be a Brit to like Marmite). Eric had told us he had had some problems with previous guests but we had no reason to complain. We stayed in is "penthouse" room and, apart from the noisy sea - it was right on the each - we were very comfortable indeed. I would rate Villa Nadine with more than 5 stars if I could.
Edwina and Richard - (Northumberland, UK.)
Just to confirm.... Went to Punta Rucia last week and the roads are now in very good condition. it tooks us about two hours. It was a bit tricky to get there but easy to ask for directions once you get to La Isabela.
We also stayed at Villa Nadine, which I would recommend for winter time. We found the master suite a bit too warm for us to sleep comfortably with a mosquito net. The villa is very nice and the suite and service fantastic. Eric did mention that he does not regularly rent out the top floor master suite separately, that is, he much prefers rent the entire villa.
For anyone considering going, it is definitely worth the trip. What to see during a short visit: Manatee Refuge in Estero Hondo (just a few minutes from town), Playa La Ensenada, and of course, snorkeling at Cayo Arena (aka Paradise Island).
Just to be clear...there is a new road to Punta Rucia, through Via Isabela and Estero Hondo. From Sosua, drive through Puerto Plata towards Imbert. Just before Imbert, turn right towards Luperon (signed). At El Estrecho, bear left and left again, across the new bridge. At the T junction, turn right towards Isabela. (Approx 10 km). In Isabela, keep basically to the right and head towards Estero Hondo (approx 15 km)
Drive through Estero Hondo, and keep right, following the signs for Paraiso Tours or Punta Rucia. 7 km to Ensenada Beach, where the paved road ends.
Continue a further 1.5km into the village of Punta Rucia. Paved road all the way except the last 1.5km (they were working on it). Should be an easy two hour scenic drive.
From Santiago, head towards Puerto Plata/Navarete. From Navarette, continue on Route 1 North (Direction Monte Cristi) for 23km to Cruce Guayacanes. Turn right (there is a sign for Punta Rucia) towards Los Hidalgos/El Mamey – 13kmThrough Mamey (bear right as you leave Mamey) to La Isabela – 12km
La Isabela through Estero Hondo to Punta Rucia – 23km. Total is approximately 71km from Santiago, and this is a very beautiful drive through the mountains. The roads are all paved to Playa Ensenada (about 1.5 km from Punta Rucia). This route can be taken by any vehicle with no problem.
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