Guaguas are local buses for daytime public transportation. In Punta Cana they tend to use school buses like the bus pictured here. In other parts of the island they use minibuses. There are no official bus stops as such, they can be hailed anywhere on the street and will stop wherever you want. Onboard is a driver and a conductor (el cobrador) who takes your money (no tickets are issued). It’s best to have small change ready. They don’t have air conditioning. Seats are on a first come first served basis. In rush hours/peak periods a guagua can get packed to the brim full of people, sitting, standing and often on makeshift seating in the aisle. It’s not uncommon, especially in the north of the Dominican Republic, to share your seat with chickens (I once shared mine with a goat). Guaguas provide a truly authentic taste of Dominican transportation.
Here’s a great source of info on local bus journeys
Expresso Bus: For longer journeys eg. to Higuey, Boca de Yuma, La Romana, Santo Domingo etc you can also take the Expresso bus which generally runs direct, without stops, to the destination. You can catch these from the main Bavaro bus terminal (Parada) in Fruisa next to the police station. Seat tickets must be purchased prior to boarding and are issued with your seat number on them. Tickets are generally 20 pesos more than the regular guaguas. On the return journey they may be able to drop you off at your hotel entrance, if it’s on their route – just ask the driver.
The Expreso buses have plenty of luggage storage space, air conditioning (bring something to cover up as it can get chilly onboard) and often show movies – badly, dubbed kung-foo movies are very popular.