Santo Domingo – capital of Dominican Republic
The capital of Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo , is a really beautiful city!
About Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas (!)
It’s also the biggest city of Carribean. It lies at the Ozama River, it doesn’t have direct access to the sea. That’s why there are no beaches in capital city of Dominican Republic.
If you want to relax under the palm tree, you need to drive about 2 hours.
How to get to Santo Domingo?
There are flights from all over the world directly to Santo Domingo.
If you are already in Dominican Republic, you can buy one-day trip to the capital city.
The road to Santo Domingo is really beautiful and picturesque.
From Punta Cana, we paid for it $75. We used Dominican Airport Transfers and it was really awesome!
It’s the best company we’ve ever cooperate with during our travels. They are nice, cheap and extremly helpful. We got sick before our first trip, so we ask them to postpone the trip to other day. They did it for free, even though they would have extra charged it.
What to see?
1. Park of Three Eyes of Water (Los Tres Ojos)
These are three underwater lakes hidden in the caves. This is where indigenous inhabitants of Hispaniola island were living and hiding from European colonizers.
Lakes are freshwater and crystal clear. Unfortunately, it’s forbidden to swim there.
Admission is free, you can pay the guide as much as you want.
Be prepared to came out wet from the caves. It’s very hot and humid there.
It’s worth to see Park of Three Eyes of Water though. It’s really beautiful!
2. Columbus Lighthouse (Faro a Colon)
If you go on one-day tour, as we did, you will be taken to Columbus Lighthouse. It’s one of the most famous monument in Santo Domingo.
We don’t really understand why. It’s boring, ordinary, big building.
The only thing we liked about it was PapaMobile (Popemobile) in front of it.
This was the car of John Paul II, our Polish pope 🙂
3. Dominican White House
This is the house of Dominican Republic President. It’s just like real White House in Washington. You can’t go inside just like that. You can only take few pictures from the outside.
4. The Cathedral of Santa María la Menor
Very nice church. You can get audio guide before entering to find out more about it.
Remember to dress properly. You need to cover your knees and shoulders.
5. Parque Colon and Christopher Columbus statue
It’s right next to Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor. It’s central square of Ciudad Colonial, historic distric in Santo Domingo.
All important monuments are very close from there 🙂
Unfortunately Columbus Statue was renovated when we were in Santo Domingo. We didn’t see much but we still like it.
6. National Pantheon of Dominican Republic (Panteon Nacional)
This is final resting place for most honored citizens of Dominican Republic. It was build as church and later it was transformed into pantheon.
Nevertheless, the biggest attraction of this place is Dominican solider who is standing still to guard graves.
7. Museo de las Casas Reales
It’s considered as the best monument in Dominican Republic. It’s palace where colonizers lived, built in 16th century.
It’s pretty but not as impressive as castles in Europe, f.e. Lancut castle in Poland.
Nevertheless, it’s good to go there to learn some history.