What to See in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)

By | July 9, 2022

According to SIMPLYYELLOWPAGES, Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic. It is located on the south coast of the island. It is the largest city in the Antilles and the oldest city in the New World founded by Europeans. The city was founded in 1496 by Christopher Columbus’ brother Bartolomeo Columbus, and in the 16th century it became the first capital of the Spanish colonies in America.

The city has many attractions of colonial times. The main historical sights are concentrated in the area of the so-called “Colonial City” declared by UNESCO as a Patrimony of Humanity. Here are the buildings of the 15th-16th centuries, many of which were erected during the life of Christopher Columbus and are the first buildings of Europeans in the New World. The oldest buildings are located on the oldest cobbled street in the New World – Calle Las Damas (1502). Along it are the Columbus Palace (Alcazar de Colon) with a vast garden, built by the son of Christopher Columbus in 1510 and which became the first official residence of the representatives of the Spanish crown in the New World (the palace consists of 22 rooms); the Osama fortress (1508) with the Torre del Omenahe tower, which protected the city from pirate attacks; Church of Santa Maria la Menor (the oldest church in America), which was built in the early 16th century; the ruins of the ancient monastery of San Francisco (beginning of the 16th century); and the Museum of the Royal Palace (Casas Reales), in the building of which the Royal Court was located at the end of the 15th century (it tells about the history of the country from the 15th-19th centuries). The most significant buildings of Santo Domingo also include the oldest University in the region (1538) and the first St. Nicholas Hospital on the continent (early 16th century). In addition, in the “olonial city” it is worth visiting the area of Plaza de la Cultura, where the most popular museums of the city and the buildings of the National Theater and the National Library are located. Here is the Museum of Modern Art (the largest in the Caribbean), which presents the work of masters from both the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, the Bahamas and Puerto Rico; Museum of the Dominican People with a collection of finds telling about the native inhabitants of the country, the Taino Indians; Museum of Fine Arts and National Museum of History and Geography. In the evenings from Thursday to Sunday, the “Colonial City” hosts performances by musicians and horse rides along the cobbled streets.

In the eastern part of Santo Domingo in the Mirador del Este park on a high hill stands the main symbol of the city – Columbus Lighthouse (Faro-o-Colon). A huge monument in the form of a cross lying on the ground was erected in 1992 in honor of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the island of Haiti by Christopher Columbus (on which the Dominican Republic is located). The length of the cross is 206 m, height – 70 m. Inside it is a mausoleum where the remains of Christopher Columbus are stored and a museum telling about the history of the discovery of America. In the evening, the upper part of the monument lights up with thousands of lights that form a luminous cross. Nearby are the Los Tres Ojos National Park and the Aquarium.. Los Tres Ojos National Park was created to protect three limestone caves. Initially, it was a single cave, however, as a result of earthquakes, the roof of the cave collapsed and it was divided into three parts. Paths are laid between the caves, which are made in the form of stone steps. At the bottom of each cave there is a lake, and the water in the lakes has a different color due to the diverse chemical composition. Each lake has viewing platforms. In addition to hiking near the caves, tourists are offered boat tours on the lakes. In the Aquarium located nearby, you will see a variety of marine life, including the largest representative of manatees – Tamauri.

In Santo Domingo There are many other parks where you can have a great rest. This is the National Botanical Garden (the largest in the country), where plants of the Dominican Republic are presented, Columbus Park, Duarte Park, Mirador del Norte and Mirador del Sur parks, where a whole network of hiking and cycling trails is laid.

Santo Domingo is considered one of the shopping centers in the Caribbean, as shopping centers are scattered throughout the city. The city’s main shopping areas are the coastal Malecón Avenue, Condé Street, Duarte Avenue and the Modelo Market.. In addition to shops, Malecon Avenue is famous for its entertainment centers, restaurants, bars and discos, and there are so many of the latter that the avenue is often called “the world’s largest discotheque”.

East of Santo Domingo stretches a series of resort towns with beaches. Here are some of the most popular resorts in the country – Boca Chica (Boca Chica), La Romana (La Romana) and Bayahibe (Bayahibe), as well as Juan Dolio (Juan Dolio). 22 km east of the capital is the Submarino La Caleta national park – a great place for diving.

Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)