Conchos in Santiago

Chelsea Johnson is a student at Middle Tennessee State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. Chelsea is currently participating in service-learning abroad with ISA in Santiago, Dominican Republic.

So when going to a new city, you don’t go to just sit around in the hotel, right!?! Right! Well here is what I think is the most reliable form of transportation in Santiago,DR! It is fast, slightly uncomfortable but reliable, cheap and a worthwhile experience that everyone should have.

Concho in Santiago, Dominican Republic
Concho in Santiago, Dominican Republic

Conchos
In Santiago, a concho is a combination of a bus and a taxi all in, one except there are many differences from both a taxi and a bus. A concho is the size of a 1995 Toyota Camry. In the U.S., legally 5 people are allowed to ride in a vehicle that size including the driver. However, here in the DR it is 7, including the driver! Another difference is that conchos don’t follow a certain speed limit, nor do they use lanes. Yikes!

Unlike buses which drop you off at a specific location, conchos let you off wherever you need and they run consistently. All you need in order to navigate is a few key phrases such as “Donde pueda?” ( Where you are able to go?), “En la esquina” (On the corner), “DespuĂ©s que cruce” (After you cross). A similarity to buses is that you pay for the concho once you get in (20 RD pesos, or about $0.50USD). Another similarity is that conchos have set routes that they take, so be very careful when it comes to choosing which concho to take. Trust me! It is a very easy mistake to make, yet the conchos are my favorite form of public transportation of all!

In the past week, I have been pressed against several windows, people and doors, but I have survived! I have crossed streets with busy conchos, cars and motorbikes during rush hour traffic and survived. I have gotten into the wrong concho and managed to get back home and I have enjoyed every moment of each experience!

Author: chelzbaez

I'm a 20 year old college student studying Public Relations! This summer I'll be sharing my experiences on several topics regarding the Dominican Republic through my eyes. I'll post pictures and videos on everything from the people and the culture to the food and nightlife! I hope that you enjoy this blog! Please feel free to ask questions about anything that you'd like and I'll be sure to respond as best as I can:) Hast luego seguidores!

2 thoughts

  1. Very interesting insight regarding the most accessible transportation there in the Dominican.
    Just get me to where I want/need to go!! without the cost of an arm and/or leg.

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