fortaleza_ozama_santo_domingo1. Zona Colonial – Old Town

Santo Domingo teems with Spanish Colonial History, and nowhere is this more evident than in the city’s Zona Colonial, the district that comprises Santo Domingo’s Old Town. Here, cobblestone streets reminiscent of the French Quarter in New Orleans wind their way through this historic treasure trove of monuments, churches, and museums. Here, you’ll stroll down Calle Las Damas (Street of the Ladies), the first paved street in the Americas. Here, the sights and sounds of this thriving Dominican city come alive.



columbus-lighthouse-faro2. Faro a Colón

Faro a Colon is Spanish for Columbus lighthouse. The building was begun in the 1930s and was finished about 1992. The huge building, designed by the British architect J.L. Gleave, is shaped like a cross, its wings stepped back with increasing height like a pyramid. It is 668 feet tall built as a memorial to Columbus (Cristoforo Colón in Spanish).



tres_ojos_73. Los Tres Ojos – The 3 Eyes National Park

Los Tres Ojos — or, The Three Eyes National Park is honeymoon material. It is the kind of place that you will forever call to mind when someone suggests that you try to imagine a calm, beautiful place. There is little else in the world like it. It’s four underground limestone caverns that open to the sky at points and contain lagoons fed by underwater springs. Each cave is covered in dramatic stalactites and tropical forest vegetation that flourishes wherever sunlight peeks through.



mdv-santo-domingo-cathedral-primada-inside4. Catedral Primada de America

Basilica Catedral Santa Maria de la Encarnacion (also known as Santa Maria la Menor, or most commonly by locals as the Catedral Primada de America), is located on the Parque Colon in Santo Domingo’s Zona Colonial, is the oldest cathedral in the Americas. It was begun in 1514 with the intention that it become the center for Vatican-led religious proselytizing in the New World



Aquarium5. Acuario Nacional – The Aquarium

The National Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the Caribbean, exhibiting more than 250 marine species. Highlights include sea turtles, sharks and manatees, as well as a long underwater tunnel where visitors are surrounded by marine life. The aquarium is set in a picturesque location with beautiful views of the Caribbean.



Museo_de_las_Casas_Reales6. Museo de las Casas Reales – Royal Houses Museums

Built in the early 1500s, the Museo de las Casas Reales is another wonderful example of Spanish Colonial architecture. The structure is actually composed of two connected buildings. The first building held government offices and the Royal Court, which was the first court of law in the New World. The second building was used as a residence for high government officials.

The museum documents the history of Santo Domingo, displaying an interesting collection of Taino artifacts and Colonial furnishings. It also has a large and interesting collection of antique weapons. The museum’s large interior courtyard provides a great place to take a quiet break.



Entrada-al-Jardin-Otto-Piron7. Jardin Botanico Nacional Dr. Rafael Ma. Moscoso – Dr. Rafael Ma. Moscoso National Botanical Garden

A botanical garden in the heart of Santo Domingo. The park was founded in 1976 and was named after Dr. Rafael Ma. Moscoso, a Dominican botanist who cataloged the flora on the island of Hispaniola.



Boca Chica8. Boca Chica Beach

If you’re staying in Santo Domingo, unlike the posh resort laden Punta Cana, the beaches are not readily accessible. Yes, if you are on the Malecon, you can look out your window and see water go on forever, but it’s not a beach. However, no need to fret,you are about 25-30 minutes away from the beautiful Boca Chica. We took a cab from The Malecon, it should have been about $45 each way but, we agreed on $80 round-trip.

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2 comments on “8 Things to Do in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

  1. its been a log time since I was in Santo Domingo…

  2. Iniltelgence and simplicity – easy to understand how you think.

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