Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic is a beautiful place to explore, it is bursting with cultural sights; from a boutique selling ‘Cohibas’ (hand rolled tobacos) to the Catedral Primada de America; where the first stone was set in 1514. Whatever your interest you are bound to find something to satisfy your curiosity in Santo Domingo. We have created a short list of what we think are the ‘must sees’ in this wonderful destination.
Catedral Primada de America
The Catedral Primada de America is in the colonial city of Santo Domingo; famed as being the oldest cathedral in America, it was constructed in 1512. It is an architecturally stunning sight, packed with history. The cathedral housed the remains of Christopher Columbus for a period of time, built entirely from limestone, this stunning sight could have you lost for hours.
Boutique del Fumador
The Boutique del Fumador is a small shop located in the centre of Santo Domingo. Selling local Cohibas, (a box of hand rolled tobacos). They also sell organic handmade chocolates and rum; a very indulgent shop! The staff are all extremely friendly and explain the process of crafting these intricate cigars and tobacos, you can also take a tour around the workshop so that you can see for yourself how they are made.
Museo Alcazar de Colon
The Museo Alcazar de Colon is the oldest viceregal residence in the whole of America. This beautiful building houses a gorgeous array of renaissance and late medieval works of art, alongside 15th to 17th century tapestry collections. We would recommend taking a walk through the beautiful gardens and courtyards of the palace, as well as making use of the informative audio guide to make the most out of this spectacular historical site.
Jardin Botanico Nacional
The Jardin Botanico Nacional is a haven of 2 square km in the centre of Santo Domingo, these lush gardens have a beautiful variety of orchids, aquatic plants, and Japanese gardens among many other rare and wonderful species. These is a museum on the site of the garden which is extremely informative, enriching the experience. We think it is a wonderful thing to do as a family or with children as the gardens host a variety of events including a bonsai tree event and an orchid exhibition to get everyone involved in this beautiful space!
Los Tres Ojos
Los Tres Ojos, is an open air limestone cave, with a series of three lakes. These lakes are inhabited with turtles among many other wildlife species. This natural phenomenon was created by tectonic fractures collapsing caves and leaving hollow bowls behind, these hollow bowls filled up and became, Los Tres Ojos. We would recommend going early in the morning to see this site, as it can get quite busy as the day goes on. We would also recommend getting a guide, that way you can make the most of a wonderful family outing.
The Panteon Nacional was originally a Jesuit church, the church was built in a neoclassic-renaissance style. This beautiful building now acts as a signifier for the Dominican Republic, and is the final resting place of many honourable citizens. We would recommend visiting this wonderful historical site, as it really is such a moving experience. We would advise to cover up a little, shorts are discouraged.
Museo de Arte Moderno
This museum’s permanent collection showcases Dominican Republic’s modernist and post-modern artists; whereas the temporary exhibitions tend to be more installation based. This combination provides an interesting contrast for viewers.
Our favourite internationally acclaimed artist housed in this museum is, Cándido Bidó. The museum is lucky enough to house 6 of his pieces, including the stunning ‘El Paseo a las 10am’. We would recommend going to view all of his pieces, because they are not only beautifully crafted images, but also a representation of Dominican Republic history and heritage.
Amber World Museum
This museum is home to an extensive variety of Amber from all over the world. There is engaging educational information which explains the use of Amber throughout the ages, as well as the process of mining this precious stone in the Dominican Republic. Amber is actually tree-sap which has been hardened for millions of years, often capturing fossils of plants or insects. There is a wonderful gift shop here which sells beautiful Amber jewellery!
If you would like to hear more about this culturally rich destination, please contact us on 020 7751 0660 to hear more.