My Experience Flying into Punta Cana
I flew out of Fort Lauderdale airport on a Saturday for on a 2 hours and 20 minute flight. The flight itself was normal and as expected. However, the arrival in Punta Cana International Air Port was a new experience for me. This airport receives over 3 million visitors a year. As I looked out of my airplane window, I saw lots of people getting on and exiting the airplane using a stairway that connects to the planes exit door down to the tarmac. I understand that this is common in parts of the world. I have never done this and found it funny. The airport itself is open and has no air conditioning and is built Caribbean style with the roof covered in palm fronds. I guess this was done intentionally to reflect the tropical style of the country. However, there are large fans hanging from the ceiling, and I mean large. Thee fans are so big that I noticed the name or brand as “Big Ass Fans” and certainly helped a lot. The line through customs was fairly long but moved fast and to help, there is an accompaniment of merengue music from a live group. I have a feeling that this airport will change very fast as it the fastest growing airport with almost a 20% increase in traffic yearly and will be inaugurating a new runway and air traffic control tower on November 25th..
There is a $10 fee for every person entering the country, except Dominican nationals. Once your usual customs procedure is done you continue to the baggage claim. Getting your bags is as any other airport and is also a fast process. From there you make your way out to the exit and there is where the transport tour companies are awaiting for you or offer to take you to your hotel. Many asked where I was staying and when I said the Hard Rock, they all expressed how the Hard Rock hotel was the best in Punta Cana. That made me feel very good and proud of my hotel selection. The drive to the hotel took around 30 minutes, but it gave us a chance to see how the Dominican people in that area go on with their lives. I noticed that most people drive motorcycles and mopeds. The driving was a little chaotic as the a new road was under construction. I noticed fruit vendors with truck parked on the street filled with beautiful and colorful looking fruits, like mangos and papayas. We mentioned how we would love to taste on of those mangos and the driver, a Dominican, heard us and stopped and got off for less that a minute and came back with a bag of mangos. They smelled unbelievable. My wife could not resist and had to eat one at that moment.
Fruit vendor Punta Cana