Presentation of the destination
Capital of the Dominican Republic, one of the two countries that make up the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, the city of Santo Domingo is located on the southern coast of the country which allows it to enjoy of an ideal situation, bordered by the sea of the CaraÃ¯bes. Showing today the traces left by the passage of the first settlers, the city is a clever mix of modernity and old, inherited from the past. colonial time. Revised destination to enjoy all the benefits sought during a stay in the Caribbean, Santo Domingo is also the promise to follow in the footsteps of building the first one. New World City. By being seduced by all the activities that can be done once there, the city will not fail to mark the spirit of the travelers as it is full of treasures and it would be a pity to pass. Thanks to its very rich history, Santo Domingo is not lacking in points of interest and once the visits are completed, it is the animation of the districts that allows the tourists To imbue local customs.
Points of interests / things to see
Christopher Columbus, at the origin of the discovery of America in 1492, was also the one who discovered the island of Hispaniola, to whom he gave this name, in December 1492. First settled in the north, the settlers had no choice but to go down to the south of the island to find more comfort. Once arrived on the south side, it is the younger brother of Christopher Columbus, Bartolomeo, who made the decision to build a city then named Nueva Isabela, for the first time. Queen Isabella of Castile. The city unfortunately had to suffer a hurricane in the year 1502 and was completely rebuilt to take the name of Santo Domingo de Guzman â € "Saint-Dominique de Guzman was a Spanish Catholic monk who was canonized in the XIIIth century. The new city, considered as the first New World and oldest city of the American continent, served as a model for building most other cities in the New World. The model used to build the city is that of the checkerboard plan that can be found in New York for example. The city of the time today corresponds to the colonial zone which has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1990. It is finally in 1508 that was granted the city status in Santo Domingo, which became the seat of the viceroy of the Americas. At the time, renowned for its gold, the city abandoned the activity related to gold to focus on growing sugar cane. This decision was very good since the sugar cane knew a real success in Europe thus making it possible to undertake large constructions in Santo Domingo. These large buildings are today part of the colonial heritage of the city and constitute a large number of historical sites in which tourists have every interest to come spend a few moments to project a few centuries in rear.
The colonial past and the Spanish influence are strongly felt in many monuments and historical sites of the city. These monuments are mainly grouped in the colonial zone, also called old city, corresponding to the city of Santo Domingo in the colonial era and spread over about three kilometers. Among the testimonials of this past, there are many monuments that are as incredible as they are, proud, waiting to tell their story to the visitors. The colonial zone is distinguished by its own architectural style in the era when the island was discovered by Christopher Columbus. The Fort de Colon, erected in 1510, is a palace in which were welcomed the great Spanish conquistadors. Restored in the 1960s after being abandoned during the 17th century, this Renaissance-style building now houses the colonial museum. Another important passage during this visit, the cathedral Santa Maria la Menor which was the first cathedral of the New World to be built. Covering an area of about 3,000 square meters, the building is a mix of Gothic, Baroque and Spanish Renaissance styles. It is also within it that were preserved the remains of Christopher Columbus until 1992, when a mausoleum was inaugurated in his honor. The somewhat controversial monument is located outside the city center in the direction of the east and bears the name of Columbus Lighthouse. To complete the visit of the colonial zone, the Ozama fortress, dating from the XVI century and named because of its proximity to the river of the same name, was the first military building of the continent. . Inside, it is original to find old prison cells. Once the colonial district has no more secrets for its visitors, they are invited to reach the city center to discover the museum of the Dominican man who retraces the entire city. History of the Dominican Republic through its first inhabitants, the colonial period or that of slavery. Steeped in history the city of Santo Domingo has not yet finished surprising tourists by offering them to give their stay the local colors.
For those who want to find an alternative to the museum visit, Santo Domingo is a city teeming with things to do and see. In this very active city, visitors will always find something to occupy their day. Visitors can on the Conde, pedestrian artery of the city, to stop in small shops or souvenir shops where crafts finds a special place in the making of special objects. Specific to the city and the island in general. A lively square in the city center, the Plaza de la Cultura is home to the national theater, the Museum of Modern Art, the library, the cinema and many bars and restaurants. restaurants. This square shows us that Santo Domingo is mixing old and new. For hikers, the Maleçon is the ideal place for a walk along the seaside. The seafront of Santo Domingo offers to those who wander there an unobstructed view of the sea. the bay and the sandy beaches. Tourists can enjoy this magnificent panorama day and night. These dream beaches, unique to the Caribbean, are the perfect place to drop off your towel and enjoy the sun. However swimming in Santo Domingo is not recommended and it is preferable to go to Boca Chica, about twenty kilometers away, to enjoy the turquoise water. The beaches lend themselves very well to the exercise of a physical activity. Very popular in the Dominican Republic, surfing is a very popular sport that tourists can practice on site. For children, many playgrounds are available. Finally, to truly acclimatize to the Dominican culture, dance is an essential discipline because it is an integral part of the customs of the country. The country's dances are salsa and merengue. If the urge takes visitors to attend courses, a salsa-merengue club takes place in an underground cave to provide an unforgettable experience to them who take this course. For those who do not feel this need but who want to dance, many thematic bars are also meeting places for salsa-merengue lovers. Dance and music play a very important role in the culture of the people of the island. The major event in Santo Domingo where these two areas are held is the Carnival rolling each year in February. It's a celebratory holiday over several days, the city shines with vibrant colors, the locals wear costumes and fancy dresses, and travel to the rhythm of the music. But in Santo Domingo it's as if life was a permanent carnival as life goes on the street to the sound of music and all the noises that make everyday life. Life is outside and the city vibrates with its inhabitants.
Due to its agriculture and its past colonial city, the specialties of Santo Domingo and the Dominican Republic have a real taste of disorganization. In addition to tobacco, cigars and rum, the island and its capital are distinguished by gastronomy rich in flavor and original dishes. The main ingredients of the local cuisine are rice, abuchuelas or red beans, yucca, pineapple, plantain, coffee, cocoa, chicken, beef and goat cheese. . Fish and shellfish are not part of the usual diet of the islanders and we will find its products especially in restaurants for tourists. Among the most famous dishes on the island, we can mention chivo guisado - goat meat marinated with onions, peppers, garlic, oregano and rum - or the sancocho - a mixture of six different meats - which will only be served on Sundays. To discover the local products, it is advisable to go to the small grocery stores called colmado where the tourists will be able to receive precious advice on how food is cooked. In terms of drinks, consumption is very different from that of Western countries. On the occasion of meals, water will often be the only drink on the table, but not tap water, however. To drink a glass of wine, you will have to go to tourist and non-local establishments. The most popular classic cocktails are pina colada and the Dominican equivalent of ti punch. However the most curious will be right to be tempted by malta morena, non-alcoholic cocktail, or mamajuana, a cocktail with aphrodisiac virtues. And if you really want to follow the fashion of the Dominicans, then it will be necessary to order a servicio of rum which consists of a bottle of Dominican rum, coca or sprite and icicles. Gastronomy, like every aspect of the daily life of Santo Domingo, contributes to the totality of the disembarkation.
Vacation rentals in Santo domingo (Distrito Nacional)
How to get there ?
Before going to the Dominican Republic and more particularly to Santo Domingo, there is some information to be aware of. First of all, you have to choose the period of your stay, the climate in Santo Domingo is tropical and the months of June to October are the months of the rainy season. Once the dates are set, the most obvious way to get there is by plane, landing at one of the two airports located in the east. or northwest of the city. Then to get to the city center, you will have to take the bus or a taxi knowing that on the island the price of the race is negotiated before getting into the vehicle. Similarly, on the spot, it should not be forgotten that the rating in restaurants often does not include a tax which amounts to about 10% of the amount paid. For stays of less than three months, obtaining a visa is not necessary, however it will be necessary to go to the consulate at the arrival to get a card of tourism. Finally it is advisable to find accommodation in the city center of Santo Domingo which is full of historical houses with atypical charm and ready to welcome tourists.
Hotels in Santo domingo (Distrito Nacional)