Why You Shouldn’t Miss This Historic City In The Dominican Republic

Why You Shouldn’t Miss This Historic City In The Dominican Republic


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The Dominican Republic has lengthy been a preferred trip spot, and this yr greater than ever, vacationers are flocking to this island nation within the Caribbean.

In February 2023 alone, over 600 thousand tourists arrived by air, and the pattern reveals no indicators of slowing down. 

Columbus statue and Basilica Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor in Santo Domingo Colonial zone

With more flights being added from the U.S., vacationers will keep coming to this stunningly lovely tropical island, and for good purpose.

While the beaches are clearly the draw right here (as they need to be), there are locations inland price a have a look at as nicely.

One such place is the colourful and historic capital metropolis of Santo Domingo. 

santo domingo umbrella street with white colonial buildings

Here’s Why You Really Shouldn’t Miss Out On Exploring This Gem:

Just A Capital City?

Founded in 1496 by Christopher Columbus’s youthful brother, Bartholomew, Santo Domingo is the oldest constantly inhabited European metropolis in all the Americas. Here one can find the most important metropolitan metropolis in the entire Caribbean and a colonial metropolis that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

A 2010 American Capital of Culture, Santo Domingo needs to be extra than simply your level of entry to this nation. There are many causes you need to spend a few nights right here earlier than or after heading to the seashores, from historical past, nightlife, tradition, meals and drinks, and rooftop swimming pools. 

Reaching the seashore areas from Santo Domingo is simple by automobile, and public buses are low cost and comfy as nicely. Santo Domingo has UBER, so getting across the metropolis shouldn’t be a difficulty, and there are areas to stay to and areas that aren’t steered for vacationers. 

Note: Santo Domingo is a large sprawling metropolis, and new areas are sprouting up over time. This article will concentrate on the primary vacationer draw of the Zona Colonial.

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Retro carriage with a horse on a city street in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic copy

Where To Stay 

The greatest place to remain in Santo Domingo for vacationers is the Zona Colonial or Colonial Zone. This is the place you’ll really feel the most secure, be inside a straightforward stroll to most of the primary websites, and be capable of pop again to your lodging for a day settle down earlier than heading again out for some improbable nightlife. 

Santo Domingo will get sizzling, as one would possibly anticipate, and wandering the cobblestone streets all day will defiantly put on you down if visiting within the hotter months, so don’t overdo it. Luckily, there are numerous lodging choices with swimming pools, excellent for a day settle down. 

Zona Colonial shouldn’t be all that giant, however fortunately there are quite a few leases and boutique motels right here. Be cautious when selecting the place to remain, as some properties checklist themselves as being simply exterior the Colonial Quarter, and some of those areas should not locations to stroll round at evening.

Note: I’m not saying they’re ‘harmful’ per se, however that they won’t make the common traveler really feel as snug as a extra central location. 

Statue of Bartholomew Columbus on Calle el Conde street in the colonial city center of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

If doable, keep IN the Colonial Zone, not ‘close by’. The greatest tip for that is to learn the opinions earlier than reserving, particularly search for mentions of “secure, strolling, evening,” and so on. Tales from precise vacationers gives you a a lot better image of the world than the property description usually. 

There are different areas of this huge metropolis that some vacationers favor to remain, comparable to Zona Universitaria, Gazcue, or the Malecon space, however actually, if you’re right here to see the Zona Colonial, it’s greatest to remain right here and save journey time. 

There are additionally some city seashore areas right here you would possibly select, nevertheless it’s doubtless that you’ll be heading to one of many extra well-known seashore areas, so it’s higher to attend for these.

Historic City Center Plaza with Skyline of Colonial Buildings and Church

What To See and Do

The greatest approach to expertise the colonial quarter of Santo Domingo is just to wander and take all of it in. However, until you’re glued to a guidebook, it’s greatest to hitch one of many metropolis’s many strolling excursions. With a information, you may hear the historical past and get a really feel for the true heartbeat of this space. 

Depending on if you go to, you’ll doubtless see A LOT of tour teams, a lot of the coming from cruise ships. Luckily they don’t appear to remain lengthy and congest the streets, and shouldn’t interrupt your sightseeing an excessive amount of. 

There can also be a small vacationer practice that put-puts its manner round a few of the streets with a recorded audio description of the sights. This is an affordable and enjoyable approach to see a bit with out breaking a sweat.

TIP- take this little practice to scout out good photograph spots which you can circle again for golden hour.

white church and flags in santo domingo Dominican republic

The many eating places and bars within the colonial zone go away you spoiled for selection right here, and there’s something for everybody’s funds and tastes. Ranging from rooftops, historic buildings, and newer developments, you will discover Dominican meals and anything you may want. One private favourite for a killer view is Sugarcane La Casa Del Ron, the place you may sip and overlook the primary church within the Americas.  

For beer lovers, there are additionally just a few very cool breweries scattered in colourful previous homes within the Zona Colonial. So, you’ll want to search these out if you’re right here to pattern a few of the Dominican Republic’s craft beers. For some nice gram-worthy pics, La Cacata Brewing is a vibrant little place serving superior ales. 

SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC restaurant and outside dining

If you may tear your self away from the meals and drinks, there are numerous cultural issues to see and do right here as nicely.

Parks comparable to Independence and Columbus are price a go to, as are the numerous museums and historic websites to discover.

Museum of the Royal Houses, Museo del Larimar, the Amber World Museum, and Alcazar de Colon are all fashionable choices. 

Santo Domingo additionally has the Caribbean’s first city cable automobile, and whereas its primary goal is to make the every day lives of residents simpler, vacationers are welcome to get pleasure from it as nicely.

Take the clear and environment friendly subway or an Uber to succeed in the station and revel in a birds of view of the true Santo Domingo, removed from the glitzy vacationer shop-lined streets of the Zona Colonial. 

santo domingo cable car

Can’t Miss 

It’s a disgrace how many individuals miss out on Santo Domingo when coming to the Dominican Republic, and it’s much more of a disgrace that folks come to Santo Domingo and miss out on one in every of its best-kept secrets and techniques.

Literally IN the town lies a small however beautiful cave system which you can go to for subsequent to nothing, and whilst you can’t swim within the blue waters, the views rival any cenote that you simply would possibly discover in Mexico. 

The Tres Ojos (Three Eyes) National Park is a must-see when visiting Santo Domingo and makes a straightforward cease on the way in which to the airport when you can prepare along with your driver to attend about half-hour for you. The price for entry is about $2, and also you climb down and expertise the swimming pools and caves surrounding you. 

While not very massive, this place is improbable, and you’re feeling one million miles from the freeway that truly runs proper subsequent to the park.

To attain probably the most photogenic spot, convey a few further {dollars} with you. I received’t spoil the shock, however let’s simply say there are ropes and a floating raft concerned. 

Three eyes cave in Santo Domingo, los Tres Ojos national park, Dominican Republic

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