The capital of the Dominican Republic, guest country at the Anato 2023 Tourism Showcase, has a wide range of attractions for all tastes.
Planning an international trip? The Dominican Republic is a destination that is gaining more and more followers every day, as evidenced by the number of travelers who visit this country every day. According to calculations by the Colombian Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies (Anato), based on figures from Migration Colombia, in 2022 258,856 Colombians left for the Dominican Republic, which indicates a growth of 154% if compared to 2019.
The wide range of attractions, the air connectivity between the two destinations and the work done by tourism authorities of the two countries have made important achievements, which is why Anato decided that for the 42nd version of the Vitrina Turística Dominican Republic would be the international destination guest of honor.
This Caribbean country, as many recognize, has it all. The offer is so wide that many even wonder if it is worth visiting Santo Domingo, its capital, and to this question there is only one answer: yes.
This city is the most modern and dynamic metropolis in the Caribbean. “The Capital,” as it is affectionately called, conveys the pulse of Dominican culture, where the old and the new converge seamlessly, from centuries-old architecture and history, to large shopping malls, art galleries, an active and interesting nightlife and an irresistible gastronomic scene.
What to do in Santo Domingo
The Official Tourism Website of the Dominican Republic assures that exploring the Colonial City, the first European settlement in the Americas and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990, is a recommended experience for all travelers. This historic district consists of a labyrinth of narrow streets filled with architectural wonders dating from the 16th to the early 20th centuries. Its streets will lead you to colonial buildings converted into museums, stores, hotels, restaurants and sidewalk cafes.
Hop on the Chu Chu Colonial train for a 45-minute tour of the area, hire a guide who will take you down America’s first paved street while sharing stories, or rent a bike and ride on your own. For a break surrounded by nature you can enjoy a picnic on the lawn of the National Botanical Garden, the largest in the Caribbean, or walk along the Malecon at sunset to enjoy ocean views, food stalls and people-watching.
Beyond the sights, a cultural experience is never far away in Santo Domingo’s eclectic neighborhoods. Go shopping at one of the exclusive malls or an artisan gallery in the Colonial City, where you can also pick up a typical linen shirt called a chacabana, a leather handbag or a faceless ceramic doll.
Another option is to relax with a Dominican cigar at one of the terrazas-bistros overlooking the Plaza de España, or enjoy rooftop terraces on Gustavo Mejía Ricart Avenue. And when you’re ready for the beach, a forty-minute stroll will take you to the soft, white sands of Boca Chica facing the Caribbean Sea, where seafood restaurants and entertainment await.
The good news, especially for those who want to see other parts of the destination, is that, as Go Dominican Republic shares, you can get to Santo Domingo easily and cheaply, for less than USD $10, from various parts of the country, including Punta Cana, Samana, La Romana, Puerto Plata, among others, on comfortable buses such as: Expreso Bávaro, Caribe Tours, or Metro Tours. The recommendation, however, is to stay at least one night in the capital and, if you are only on a day trip, take into account the distances involved.
Las Americas International Airport (SDQ) is the main port of entry and is located half an hour east of the city center, while the cruise port is only 10 minutes from the Colonial City.
Here you can visualize and plan your adventure with an interactive map or familiarize yourself with the country’s main highways.
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