Bartolome Colon, Christopher Columbus' brother, founded this city in 1496, and it was originally called Nueva Isabela. Then, the dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo named it Ciudad Trujillo (Trujillo City).
Today, the official name of this city is Santo Domingo de Guzman and is a metropolis of some 2.5 million people and growing. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic is the fastest growing city in the Caribbean.
In the large concentration of museums, you will see the history behind this country. And at the Zona Colonial (Colonial Zone) you will be transported to the times of the Spanish colonization.
Come here for sightseeing, There is no beach in Santo Domingo, but beach is not far away. Boca Chica, San Andres and Juan Dolio beaches are minutes away, 19 to 20 miles east of the city.
Come here for shopping,
Come here for great nightlife.
I suggest you to plan to get through Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic airport, the Aeropuerto Internacional Las Americas-Jose Francisco Pena Gomez (Las Americas International Airport), spend two days in Santo Domingo and then head to a hotel of your choice to enjoy the beach and all, because in the city, you will not find the best resorts in the Dominican Republic.
Santo Domingo Attractions
While in Santo Domingo, visit the twelve city blocks and rival to San Juan, Puerto Rico, Zona Colonial, the first European city in the Americas. Many of its monuments have been preserved very well. Once you are there you will feel like you have stepped back into history.
Start at the Parque Independencia (Independence Park); it's where many families and friends gather on Sundays to have a fun time. The Altar de la Patria is located here and is a national pantheon where the rests of our heroes Duarte, Sanchez and Mella are buried. Because of these men, we got our independence from the dominion of Haiti on February 27th of 1844.
The Puerta del Conde (The Count's Gate, where the March of Independence was held) is at the entrance to the plaza.
At La Atarazana there are art galleries, shops, regional and international restaurants. It extends for a city block.
At Puerta de la Misericordia (The Gate of Mercy) Matias Ramon Mella (one of our heroes) fired his blunderbuss of rebellion against Haiti and star the battle for independence. This gate was named like this after the earthquake of 1842.
The Pedestrian street Calle El Conde is where a lot of Dominicans head to on weekdays after work or school ad on weekends just to shop or window shop with friends. There are stores or shops, on both sides of the street and on adjacent streets. It is located east from Parque Independencia. At the end of Calle el Conde, is Parque Colon (Columbus Park).
You shouldn't miss the Alcazar de Colon. Diego Colon, Columbus' son, and his wife built this fortress and lived in it while Diego ruled the colony in 1509. There you will see many of the things that belonged to them like them beds, some of their cloths, pot and pans, etc. all these things in this nearly two dozen rooms palace.
The Alcazar de Colon is located at Calle La Atarazana (The Atarazana Street) and opens Mon-Sat from 9am-5pm and Sun from 9am-4pm (809-682-4750)
The admission cost is $50 Dominican pesos, about US$1.50 to 1.75.
For a panoramic view of Santo Domingo, the Fuerte de Santa Barbara is a perfect site. Fort of Santa Barbara was built in the 1570's.
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