DOMINICAN REPUBLIC  |  Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Travel Guide
Monday, March 27, 2017
images

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Colonial Quarter, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Photo:
 

Santo Domingo

This big, sprawling metropolis of nearly three million people is the heartbeat of the Dominican Republic – its political, cultural, and economic capital and by far its largest city. Though it’s situated along the Caribbean Sea, it’s not the place to come if you want to lie on a beach, go swimming or snorkeling, or enjoymany of the other adventures usually associated with a tropical vacation. But Santo Domingo still offers plenty of opportunities for pulsating action.

If you’re a fan of history, you will be fascinated by Santo Domingo’s Colonial City, where the European development of the Western Hemisphere began more than 500 years ago at the mouth of the Ozama River. Now just one percent or so of Santo Domingo’s total area, the Zona Colonial was once the seat of administration for a Spanish empire that stretched as far as Mexico and South America. Conquistadors, explorers, rogues, profiteers, and buccaneers all left their marks here in the 16th century – Christopher Columbus (“Cristóbal Colón” in Spanish), his son Diego Colón, Hernán Cortés, Sir Francis Drake, and Ponce de León among them. In 1990, the entire Zona Colonial – much of which has been restored to its original splendor – was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Woven throughout the Colonial City and its more modern surrounding neighborhoods are many of the country’s finest hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, museums, and cultural venues. Thousands – sometimes hundreds of thousands – of people crowd into the capital for annual music festivals and holiday celebrations. And you can hear merengue music blasting from clubs and bars any night of the week, wherever you go.

Present-day Santo Domingo has its share of problems as well: traffic, congestion, air and water pollution, street crime, grinding poverty amid great wealth. At times, it can all seem overwhelming. But between stints on the beach or running the DR’s wild rivers, a few days spent exploring this historic capital can be a vicarious adventure through time.

Last updated March 17, 2012
Posted in   Dominican Republic  |  Santo Domingo
No votes yet
Explore the Destination
Amenities and Resources
  • No weather for this city
Trending Themes:

Guides to Popular Ski Resorts

  • Ischgl is a small mountain village turned hip ski resort, with massive appeal among the party-hearty young crowds. It is... Read More

  • Andorra la Vella is its own little world, and not just because it’s a 290-square-mile independent principality (a fifth the... Read More

  • Bariloche (officially San Carlos de Bariloche) is the place to be seen. It is to Argentina what Aspen is to the... Read More

  • Aspen is America's most famous ski resort. And that's an understatement. For, as a ski complex, Aspen is unsurpassed. Its... Read More

  • Zermatt is a small but glamorous mountain resort town, with a population of approximately 5,700. It is one of Switzerland's... Read More

  • St. Moritz is a glitzy, alpine resort town in the celebrated Engadin Valley of Switzerland, with huge notoriety as the... Read More

  • Lake Tahoe is the premier lake resort of America, and the largest alpine lake in all of North America. It is an absolutely... Read More

  • St. Anton, Sankt Anton am Arlberg in German, is Austria's premier ski-bum resort! It's actually a small village cum... Read More

  • Kitzbühel, a small, Tyrolian resort town in the Kitzbüheler Alps, comes with international renown and huge snob appeal, and... Read More

 

Copyright © 2010-2013 Indian Chief Travel Guides. Images tagged as (cc) are licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license.