Bayahibe is a luxurious yet traditional beach in the south of the Dominican Republic near the town of La Romana. There are lots of local fisherman who organize day-trips to the nearby islands of Saona and Catalina. The white sand beach is surrounded by coconut trees and there are lots of little stalls selling food, clothes, and the like.
Many of which are located in the Zona Colonial district. In the Zona Colonialis the Museum of Alcázar, in Diego Colon's restored palace, the Museum of the Casas Reales, with artefacts of the colonial period and a collection of ancient weapons donated by Trujillo, the Naval Museum of the Atarazanas, in the former naval yards, Museo de la Catedral, Museo Memorial de la Resistencia Dominicana, documenting the struggle for freedom during the regimes of Trujillo and Balaguer, Museo Duarte, dedicated to the hero of Dominican independence, and the World of Ambar Museum.
La Calle El Conde runs along the north side of Columbus Park, merging it with the Independence Park, where you will find the Puerta del Conde. It was given this name in honor of the Earl of Peñalba, Governor and Captain General of the island in the early 17th century, ve led the victorious battle in defense of the city against the British in 1655. It is the only pedestrian street in the city, which crosses from east to west the the colonial area. It is a very busy road and the main shopping street of the colonial area, famous for its shoe shops, jewelry stores, and souvenir shops. On the street corner with Calle Conde Archbishop Merino is the City Council and Bartholomew Columbus Monument. In the area bordering the Columbus Park you can find the Hard Rock Cafe and Amber Museum.
The National Botanical Garden of Santo Domingo is a must for any tourist visiting the capital of this beautiful Caribbean island. It has a stunning collection of endemic plants in massive protected area. It is used for both research and relaxation; every so often, garden space is given over to fundraising activities for parties and charities. Of the different areas that make up the Botanical Garden, the best part has to be the beautiful Japanese section.
This place has its name because there are four submerged freshwater lakes and an impressive cave that is 15 meters deep. What happened is that when they discovered it they only found 3, which is why the 4th is not accounted for in the name. The lakes are all connected, making it possible to cross from one side to another. It's full of vegetation. We were told that it was used as a stage to record some parts of the movie Tarzán. The first lake is "sulfur water" which was discovered in 1916, and is 20 meters deep. The second lake is known as "The Refrigerator" and the third is "The Lake of Women". The Natural Park of Three Eyes is open for visits from 8:30 aM to 5:30 pM and is priced at $ 5.00/children RD and RD $ 10.00/adults. The lakes have crystal blue waters, and all you want to do is swim, after going down all the stairs. Ah! There is also a legend that an alligator lives in the waters, but we did not see it ... Ha ha.
The Columbus Lighthouse is one of the most important monuments of the Dominican Republic. Construction began in 1986, and was completed in 1992, in time for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America. With 251 lanterns lighting up the sky, if you visit the Dominican Republic do not hesitate to visit this wonderful monument.
One of the must-sees of this this colonial city is the National Pantheon which faces the Nicolas de Ovando Hostal on Calle Las Damas. It has its origin in a Jesuit monastery built in 1976, but it was also a tobacco store and a theater before the Dictator Trujillo restored it in 1958 as a mausoleum for military and political leaders of the nation. The entire building, including the neoclassical facade, was constructed with large limestone blocks. Its dome is covered with frescoes by Rafael Pellicer Galeote depicting "The Apocalypse and Resurrection," which was inspired by the Sistine Chapel. The monumental bronze chandelier was a gift to Trujillo from the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. At the entrance, a corridor flanked by Dominican flags leads to the "eternal flame" which is always safeguarded by a uniformed soldier. This commemorates "The Trinity", Duarte, Sanchez and Mella, ve fought for the independence of the island. Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9-17 h. Free admission.
A full colonial area in the Calle de las Damas. It was created by King Ferdinand of Aragon, in October 1511, and was the residence of the Governors General. It has also been home to the School of Fine Arts, and some government agencies. In 1976, it was declared the Royal House Museum when King Juan Carlos I of Spain visited the Dominican Republic. Today, it is home to a permanent exhibition, which explains the history of Spanish discovery and colonization. On the first floor there are different rooms, with various themes: a history of discovery, inventions that made navigation possible, piracy, and a reproduction of a nineteenth century apothecary. Open every day expect Monday, from 09:00 to 17:00.
One of the most charming and beautiful streets was dedicated to the wife of Diego Colon, who was a famous figure in high society, and known for her glamorous ball gowns. There's a beautiful stone building explaining a history of the conquest. At the end of the street next to the river is the Ozama Fortress, protecting the city from its enemies, and the old Ron Barcelo rum factory. We visited the cathedral Santa Maria la Menor, built in 1514-1544, which was the first cathedral in America. Its beautiful interior gothic and Renaissance styles blend together with Spanish Baroque. And be sure to eat in The Grotto restaurant, which is like a cave with different compartments.
Columbus Park is the center of the colonial area and the heart of cultural and political life since the arrival of the Spanish to the island. This lively square is filled with cafes and meeting places for tourists, citizens, vendors, shoeshiners, tour guides, taxi drivers and tourist police. The square is paved and has several gardens with leafy trees, under which there are benches to sit and watch the movement of the local people and the many birds that fly over the square. With luck, you could see a street musical performance. It is surrounded by important buildings such as the Cathedral of America, the Amber Museum, the Cohiba Cigar Factory, the old Palace Hall or Cabildo, the Borgellá Palace ... And among the cafes, the legendary Hard Rock Cafe. The center of the square is dominated by the Admiral Columbus Monument . In Columbus Park there is also a tourist office, and one of the most important commercial pedestrian streets of the colonial area: The Calle El Conde.
This majestic palace is in the Plaza Spain, next to the Puerta de San Diego. It was constructed in the year 1511 as the residence palace of Diego Columbus (viceroy and governor, son of Christopher Columbus) and his wife, Maria de Toledo. This fort was the center of power and the venue for the Spanish Court in the New World. It was robbed by the pirate Drake. After its restoration in the year 1955, it is currently the Museum Alcazar de Colon. In its 2-stories there are 22 apartments decorated as before, in which they display colonial furniture, silverware, musical instruments, armor , etc. some of which are said to have belonged to Columbus. Hours of operation: Tuesday to Saturday from 9 to 17h and Sundays from 9 to 16h. Entrance fee: 2 USD.
Each morning I went for a walk, to keep up with my personal fitness routine, around the garden and after I came back in to do some breathing exercises. Ever day I went through the garden I had to thank God for a place like this. The air is so pure and we can see many types of trees and plants from 5am to 9am. It's totally free and guarded; at these times you can come in for only $ 75.00 (the equivalent to 1 euro 20 cents) Dominican pesos. Cameras allowed, can be used for events like birthdays, weddings and any outdoor activity really, as long as you ask for prior permission. Guides available to explain the types of plants and their origins, well I think I should stop now!
Every year the International Book Fair is celebrated, and each year it's dedicated to a country and a character. This year, the guest country was Brazil, and the character was Professor Juan Bosch, celebrating his 100 birthday. The first President of the Dominican Republic, a prominent politician, writer, essayist, and storyteller, was democratically elected after the death of the dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. He was the founder of the country's bipartisan PRD (Dominican Revolutionary Party) in 1939 and PLD (Partido of the Dominican Liberation) in 1973. He was born on June 30, 1909 and died on November 1, 2001. In this show, besides selling and publishing books, there are different activities, such as live concerts, circulation works and lectures. I hope that if you have the opportunity to visit, you come for April 20, when the Fair of Culture begins.
At the end of Calle Las Damas there is a huge open space, the main square of the colonial area: La Plaza España or de la Hispanidad. The statue of Nicolas Ovando presides over the center of the square, which is also a venue for concerts and other public events. On the southwest side (bordering the Museo de las Casas Reales) stands a memorial to the proclamation of the colonial area - it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The north side of the square is made up of buildings that were old warehouses and taverns, interconnected through courtyards. Now it is full of bars and terraces, and has much nightlife. There is also the Workshop School of Jewelry and the curious Museo del Jamon (which turned out to be a restaurant). On the opposite side stands the Viceregal Palace of Diego Columbus, which houses the Museo Alcázar de Colón. Behind this is Puerta de San Diego, which provides access to the city from the harbor. This huge square has other significant buildings such as: The Royal Dockyards Museum (next to Trujillo fortress and Puerta de la Atarazana), the Palace of Communications (Art Deco) and the Reserve Bank (Modernist).
When the original city (founded by Bartholomew Columbus on the east bank of the river Ozama) was destroyed by a hurricane, the governor, Nicolas Ovando rebuilt the settlement across the river, adding walls to defend it from pirate attacks. The walled enclosure has six gates, and twenty bastions surrounding the colonial city. The best view can be found at Sans Souci Cruise Port, built in coral stone and surrounding the square where the Ozama fortress was built in the year 1502.
Are you organizing your trip but still feel unsure about what to do in Santo Domingo? Don't worry, there are tons of interesting things to do in Santo Domingo and travelers of all stripes are bound to find something they like.
Of all the places to visit in Santo Domingo, the beaches are probably the most popular. The long Juan Dolio Beach is one of the most well-known and a popular stop for sunbathers and water-sports enthusiasts. In fact, snorkeling and diving are two of the best Santo Domingo activities and there's no better place than the La Caleta Underwater Park, an area full of reefs and abundant marine life.
Many of the most important things to see in Santo Domingo like El Conde Street, Cathedral of Santa María la Menor, and the Alcázar de Colón are all located in the city's historic center. El Malecon, the city's ocean-side promenade, is another of the top attractions in Santo Domingo, especially if you want to get a feel for local life or simply just grab a drink and enjoy the sunset.
There is also a wealth of stuff to do in Santo Domingo for art-lovers. The Plaza de la Cultura, for example, is home to the Teatro Nacional Eduardo Brito, the Museum of Modern Art, and other buildings dedicated to the arts. For more great Santo Domingo attractions, check out these tips and recommendations from real travelers in the minube community and start planning your perfect trip today!