Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic, overlooking the Caribbean Sea on the southern coast, at the mouth of the Ozama River. The metropolitan area has a population of nearly 2.6 million inhabitants, extending also to the province of Santo Domingo. It is the inhabited European settlement in the oldest Americas, and was the first Spanish colony in the New World.
Santo Domingo has the highest number of universities across the nation making it one of the largest educational centers in all of the Antilles.
There are two distinct cities: the new one, immense, with large tree-lined avenues, traffic-filled arteries, skyscrapers, magnificent villas immersed in gardens, surrounded by a periphery of bidonville, and the infinitely smaller old town with picturesque streets , Narrow paved streets, colorful houses that do not exceed the two floors, patios, sumptuous Spanish palaces, the atmosphere of other times.
The first settlement in the area dates back to 1496, when Bartolomeo Colombo, brother of the most famous Christopher, explored the area of the mouth of the Ozama River on behalf of the Spanish army.
The original design of the city today is visible in the Colonial Zone, declared World Heritage by UNESCO; There are still 16th century buildings, one of the oldest in the Americas, including the first administrative offices and the first cathedral of the New World. The main artery of the old town is called El Conde. ” The most famous street in the capital. In more than a kilometer of pedestrian walkway to the traffic, there are bars, restaurants, hotels, shops of all kinds, from local crafts to paintings, souvenirs to dominican cigars (the best in the world) from clothing to mobile phones, From music CDs to supermarkets.
The first accessible beach resort is Boca Chica Beach, with a coast lined with bars, restaurants and hotels is one of the most visited beaches by Dominicans and tourists also for the tranquility of the waters protected by the long coral reef. Other seaside paradises are located away from the capital in the direction of Juan Dolio, and proceeding to Punta Cana.
Santo Domingo is also famous for its nightlife, among the lively Caribbean, with countless restaurants, casinos, nightclubs,cinemas and theaters.
On the occasion of the fifth centenary of the discovery of America, the Dominican government raised a lighthouse dedicated to Christopher Columbus in the eastern part of the city.
Do not miss a round of the night in the colonial town on which the lanterns throw gleams of golden light, starting from the cathedral, passing through Calle Las Damas and emerging in front of Alcazar de Colón, among the old houses that saw Colombo, Velasquez and Cortez.
In the main square, in fact, we find, impressive, the “Casa Colon” then, the residence of the Brother of Colombo today home to a museum and numerous typical restaurants, typically Spanish, but not only.
Evening shows of Flamenco or Merengue delight our tour in the Capital if we stop for more than a day. Absolutely not to be missed.