The top sights, highlights, tours & travel itinaries curated by our Travel Experts.
Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, is charged with the rich history of the Spanish colonial period. One name in particular appears on every corner - Christopher Columbus. Wander the narrow streets of this magnificent colonial city, visit the port and take trips to romantic lagoons. Walk in the footsteps of famous sailors and explorers and become one yourself! Our Central America expert recommends the following sights:
Los Tres Ojos
Museo de las Casas Reales
Monasterio de San Francisco
Faro a Colon
The colourful play of the three lagoons of Los Tres Ojos will enchant you in blue, turquoise, green or yellow. You are in the Mirador del Este National Park, one of the most popular destinations in Santo Domingo. Via several stairs you descend the sandstone cave to the lagoons, which are fed by an underground river. But please do not be put off by the 692 steps. Walk through the cave and with a bit of luck you might spot some of the water turtles.
The Fortaleza Ozama is located in the colonial city center of Santo Domingo. It is considered one of the oldest fortresses in the whole of America. Particularly special is the construction and material of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The walls are mainly made of sandstone, coral stone as well as clay and animal blood - a unique construction. You can visit the whole area, walk on the fortress walls and enjoy the view. If you feel like a fresh snack, just pick one of the mangos that grow everywhere on your walk.
There is almost no other place where you can soak up the colonial flair of Santo Domingo as intensely as in the Parque Colon. The main square in the colonial quarter is named after Christopher Columbus, who is omnipresent in the city. Besides an impressive statue of Christopher Columbus, the market is lined with the cathedral Santa Maria la Menor, the Palacio Borgella and Palacio Consistorial. The perfectly preserved colonial palaces will take you back to a magnificent time.
In the Museo de las Casas Reales (Museum of the Royal Houses) you will learn everything about the colonial period from 1492 up to 1821 and you will understand how the island Hispaniola that was under Spanish colonial rule developed and how the today's Dominican Republic became independent some years later. The historical tour is lightened up by a picturesque inner courtyard with a lush green garden. This is also the place where celebrations and events take place again and again.
It was the first monastery in the "New World": The ruins of the Monasterio de San Francisco reflect the moving history of America. Franciscan monks founded the monastery in 1508, and today it is located in the heart of Santo Domingo, inseparably linked to the history of the city and a popular venue for cultural events. Enjoy a relaxing walk and don't miss the wild dancing nights that take place here every Sunday.
The Faro a Colon (Columbus Lighthouse) is a true colossus, located just outside the city center of Santo Domingo, with its brute structure, a real highlight of your visit. The cruciform building is dedicated to Christopher Columbus and dedicated to the discovery of America. Inside, you can visit a museum that displays exhibits from all American countries. At night the building shines and can even be seen from puerto Rico. Less
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