Gone are the days of landing on the all-but concrete cowpath that split Casa de Campo''s golf course before being processed through an open-air, make-shift terminal. A new International Airport opened January, 2001 as signs of the times feeding the area''s booming tourist industry as quickly as the overbooked planes can land! The new facility is located along Highway 3 halfway between La Romana/Casa de Campo and Bayahibe''s resorts making it about a 15-minute ride either direction.
The new airport has a large, enclosed processing area when arriving where you''ll purchase and fill out your mandatory $10 tourist card. Thankfully, its air-conditioned as the speed/efficiency of clearing customs has not improved! Luggage is lined and waiting in a grand hall before exiting the terminal. Perhaps the biggest new bonus is there''s a Currency Exchange Center located seperately outside in the front of the terminal so there''s no need for independent travelers to make the peso run into La Romana as in the old days.
A spacious, open-air check-in are for departures is now available with plenty of seating outside or air-conditioned inside once you''ve cleared security and customs. Concession vendors are located both inside and out as well as a large Duty Free Shop beyond the security checkpoint.
*Mandatory departure tax, now accepted in Pesos or your country''s currency, was $11.
American Airlnes is till the only States'' carrier serving La Romana-LRM with daily flight connections through Miami-MIA, San Juan-SJU, or Regan-DCA. I still highly advise calling to reconfirm you flight within 24 hours of departure so TAKE NOTE - I''ve AGAIN called AA to let them know their printed contact number of 200-1122 for La Romana/Puerto Plata airports is STILL not a working number, nor has it ever been when calling from Bayahibe. Use the number listed inside your ticket envelope for contacting bilingual agents in Santo Domingo.
Resort tourist are picked up by bus/vans. Otherwise, there''s no publico/gua-guas, so independent travelers take private cabs which can be rather expensive unless you''re willing to haggle...which I wasn''t in just wanting to get home paying $30/RD500; the same I''ve paid for the older, farther away airport. Make certain they understand you want to go to "el centro de Bayahibe pueblo".
When returning to the airport, make arrangements in the village center. They''ll send a publico to where you''re staying to pick you and your bags up for RD200. Remember this so it can be your bottom-line haggling point when catching that private cab when you arrive. This is also where speaking confident Spanish CAN make a difference.