Santo Domingo and the Colonial Zone

Santo Domingo has the privilege of being the first city of the New World. The Colonial City is the seat of a number of American primacies – the First Cathedral of the Americas, the first hospital, the first monastery and the first town hall, among others – which is the reason why the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared it “World Heritage Site” in 1990.

Did you know? Santo Domingo has several firsts in the Americas, such as: first Spanish city in America, first mass and first city hall in the New World (in La Isabela), first cathedral of America, first vice royal palace, first town hall that operates from the colony, first hospital, first tower keep, first building of the Royal Houses, first university, and first contracting house.

The Colonial City offers multiple sightseeing possibilities with defined routes: military, civil and religious, in which centuries-long buildings preserve the rich colonial history. For this tour, we recommend the Chu Chu Colonial, a train that runs through the colonial area in a pleasant and guided environment, perfect for the entire family. Tourist will be able to enjoy the beautiful historic sights and architecture of the Cathedral, the San Francisco Ruins, the Colon Park, and las Damas Street, among others.

Santo Domingo also has a modern profile, as a metropolis that evolves permanently. Shops of famous international brands, establishments with careful avant-garde designs or exquisite artisan motifs are part of the wide range of options, such as Mercado Modelo, the country’s main craft market. Also, the del Conde Street, which has strengthened its position as a mandatory route in the area.

The cultural wealth of Santo Domingo is invaluable. To learn more about its history and culture, a visit to its multiple museums is also recommended. They are: Museum of the Dominican Man, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of the Royal Houses, Pantheon of the Homeland, House of the Tostado Museum, Columbus Lighthouse and Museum, Trampoline Children’s Museum, Choco Museum, Bellapart Museum, as well as the National Museum of History and Geography.

Santo Domingo has a hotel infrastructure that includes from small inns to luxurious hotels of reputable international chains that allow for a stay full of possibilities.

Cruise tourism is equally important for the tourist development of the city of Santo Domingo, allowing the city to welcome cruise passengers.

Enjoying the tropical climate is another menu item that the city offers. There are several parks as options for excursions on foot: the Botanical Garden, the Zoo, the National Aquarium, and the Mirador del Sur Park. Leaving the capital city and heading to the eastern region of the country you will find the Dolphins water park, with the biggest slides in the country.

Los Tres Ojos (The Three Eyes), caverns with underground lakes, mark the starting point of the marine route that begins with the Las Américas Highway – which provides access to the José Francisco Peña Gómez International Airport – and which has Boca Chica as its first beach destination, followed by Caribbean Beach, the first with calm waters and the second with a range of waves that have turned it into a paradise for windsurfers.

Guayacanes and Juan Dolio also offer sunny beaches with the additional attraction of their golf courses amidst multiple hotel accommodations and exquisite restaurants overlooking the sea.


Did you know? The city of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, currently includes a Chinatown with many restaurants and commercial establishments managed by this population group. Chinatown was officially opened in 2008 by President Leonel Fernández.


Santo Domingo has a tourist cluster that offers a variety of information about the destination. Information is also available on the gastronomic, cultural, historical and lodging offer in the area.


Links of interest:
Tourist Cluster of Santo Domingo:
ChuChu Colonial:
Las Americas International Airport:


The Colonial Zone

Caribbean nights offer a wealth of fun in the Colonial Zone with a wide cuisine and music offer. There is something for all tastes and moods: from rock and roll and electronic parties to salsa, merengue, pop of the eighties, and bachata. It is only a matter of visiting the area and choosing.

There is no pre-established route. There is no imposed rhythm. It is impossible to resist or try to limit these delights. The nights of the Colonial Zone are marked by every moment lived and every second enjoyed with music as a great source of amusement.

Turned into a great stage for the nightlife of Santo Domingo, “The zone,” as the old perimeter is known, is transformed into a dance square, the scene of good music and acoustic seduction, is one of the main points of reference of the city, when speaking of entertainment.

The entertainment offers spread throughout streets such as Hostos, Meriño, Isabel La Católica, La Atarazana, Padre Billini, and Mercedes, where cafes, bars, restaurants and nightclubs play music full of contagious fun during the warm nights.

Without decisions made in advance, it is a matter of walking through the area and listening to what is playing and see if the body and senses are seduced. And, for sure, there is something to suit all types of tastes: from the hyperactive ones looking for a wild party with red-hot rhythms, to the peaceful ones that want to spend an enjoyable time to the rhythm of pleasant tunes.

If you have a partner to enjoy a night out dancing, there is a wide array of options with establishments playing Latin music all night.

Many options for many emotions.


Did you know? Casa de Teatro, located on Calle Arzobispo Meriño #110 in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo, is an excellent option to enjoy live music, photographic and plastic arts exhibitions, theater plays, among others. It has been running since 1974, when a group of young people looking for a place to establish an independent and innovative theater found the ideal space to create and promote culture in an old house in the colonial city.


Links of interest:
Guide to the Colonial Zone of the Dominican Republic:
Trikke (fun tours on three-wheeled scooters):
Maps of the Colonial Zone:
The Colonial Gate 4D Cinema:

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