The airport is the Puerto Plata International Gregorio Luperón Airport, lying 11km (7 miles) east of Playa Dorada. American Eagle (tel. 800/433-7300 in the U.S. and Canada; www.aa.com) has daily 2-hour flights from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Puerto Plata. Flights cost from US$109 to US$865 per person round-trip from San Juan to Puerto Plata. American Airlines also flies daily from Miami (2 hr., 10 min.) and from New York (3 1/2 hr.). Most of the Puerto Plata resorts are about a 40-minute drive from the airport.
From Santo Domingo, the 3 1/2-hour drive directly north on Autopista Duarte passes through the lush Cibao Valley, home of the tobacco industry and Bermudez rum, and through Santiago de los Caballeros, the second-largest city in the country, 145km (90 miles) north of Santo Domingo.
Takeoff Destination Service S.A. (tel. 809/552-1333; www.takeoffweb.com) no longer offers regularly scheduled flights from such Dominican destinations as Santo Domingo or Punta Cana. Today, it's necessary to call and make arrangements for flights, which can be chartered and shared with others to cut costs.
It's a rough ride if you take a bus to reach Puerto Plata, and you might share it with some chickens. Caribe Express, corner of José Eugenio Conjas, Plaza Caribe (tel. 809/586-6796), offers service between Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata, passing through Santiago en route. Travel time from Santo Domingo to Santiago is about 2 hours. From here, it will require an additional 90 minutes for ongoing passage to Puerto Plata. Buses run back and forth between the three cities every day between 6am and 7pm (last departures). Metro Buses, Calle 16 de Agosto, corner of Calle Beller (tel. 809/586-6062), also runs buses from Santo Domingo and Santiago to Puerto Plata (or vice versa) daily at the same times. A one-way fare from Santo Domingo to Puerto Plata costs RD$245.