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I have read that it may be helpful for a tourist to hire a private guide for a day in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Similarly, I have read that one could higher a taxi driver to be a private driver for a day.

Is it indeed reasonable, or common, to hire private guides or drivers for either a part of a day or a whole day in Santo Domingo?

If so, how would a visitor hire a guide or driver, and at about what cost?

My thought is that with a guide or driver, assuming this person seeks to be helpful and is reasonably informed, our trip could feel substantially more smooth.

I would appreciate any suggestions, comments, opinions... or challenges to my premises...

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Besides Viator, GetYourGuide.com seems to have some tours as well, though again, you are limited by choice and the current ones don't inspire a lot of confidence.

Kijubi has some tours listed for Dominican Republic, though I couldn't find anything for Santo Domingo specifically.

You can hire guides off TourHQ s well. They have a decently strong guide listing. Never used them before so proceed with caution.

Based on personal experience traveling around the region (though I'm yet to make it to Dominican Republic - been to Guatemala, Haiti, Panama and Honduras), your best bet would be to find someone on the ground once you reach your destination. There should be some government approved guides around - head to the local government tourist office. From what friends say, Santo Domingo is pretty well developed and the tourist offices are well staffed. You shouldn't have any problems finding a local guide.

With this, I'd recommend you go with boots on the ground first.

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Yes. Viator is a service that allows you to do just that. Their list of Santo Domingo tour guides is short, though.

I've used these guys in the past and was very pleasantly surprised. However, as none of the guides are employed by Viator, mileage will vary.

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In December 2013 I went to a cruise which started in Santo Domingo. The ship left the port at night, so I decided to spend the afternoon in Santo Domingo downtown. Once I left the taxi a local guide came to me and offered his services. It seemed very common because I saw the same thing happen to other tourists. At first I was a little concerned to just follow someone in an unknown country, but the downtown was well policed and after all, I had no better guide than a local.

The tour was good, he explained what the old buildings were, waited for us when we stopped at the fortress. The tour took a little over than an hour and in the end he wanted US$ 15, but after some negotiation he accepted US$10.

If you don't find any other guide, just showing up in the downtown should be enough for someone to come to you and offer himself as a guide.

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