Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
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Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Vacations and travel info
Often called the "First City of the Americas", Santo Domingo is the oldest colonial city on the American continent.The city's beautiful shores received the first European ships in the 15th century.Today Santo Domingo holds place as the capital of the Dominican Republic with the full name Santo Domingo de Guzman. While everyone knows the city as simply Santo Domingo, locals refer to it as El Capital or El Distrito Nacional.
In the past few years, the city has experienced a visible economic growth, transforming from a colonial port to a cosmopolitan center complete with skyscrapers, hotels, condominiums, and office buildings.Each new day brings more attractions and more reasons to visit Santo Domingo.In addition to beautiful landscapes, fascinating historic areas, and great hotels, the city is also turning into an important international business center.
The countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic make up the island of Hispaniola, whose southern coast faces out onto the Caribbean Sea.Santo Domingo sits on the southwest point of this massive island, where the Ozama River flows into the ocean.The weather is always warm, and even winter provides ideal temperatures for walking the city's streets in light clothing.
In 1990, the UNESCO declared Santo Domingo's famous Colonial District a Patrimony of Humanity.The Colonial District is home to the continent's oldest colonial European architecture, built by the Spanish.Today, locals and tourists alike consider the area one of the most compelling attractions in the now modern metropolis.Forts and ancient walls surround the Colonial District on all sides.Today, everything outside of these protective ruins is known as the "New City". Santo Domingo proves an inexpensive destination for foreign travelers.The official currency, the Dominican Peso, is the only accepted currency.Most recommend exchanging any foreign bills at a bank before setting out in this city.
Bartholomew Columbus, younger brother of Christopher Columbus, founded Santo Domingo on August 8, 1498.In 1507, the city received a statue of honor as the first European city in the New World. Most expeditions to the rest of the New World set off from Santo Domingo.Many conquistadores shipped out from this harbor, including Ponce de Leon (who founded Puerto Rico), Hernan Cortes (who founded New Spain, now Mexico), and Vasco Nunez de Balboa (who discovered the Pacific Coast).
The island has seen many invasions and political changes since its discovery.In 1590, pirates led by Sir Francis Drake invaded the area.Haiti was considered a French colony since the French took the island in 1655.On February 27, 1844, the originally Spanish territory separated from Haiti, reemerging as the Dominican Republic we know today and maintaining Santo Domingo as its capital.
Much to Discover
Santo Domingo features many distinguishing characteristics of the Dominican culture, including music, cuisine, and especially architecture.The enchanting Colonial District contrasts beautifully with the modern-day skyscrapers and infrastructure.The public transportation system is made up of buses of different types and prices, motorcycles, vans, and of course the constantly expanding metro system.
Baseball reigns as the most popular sport in the Dominican Republic, and the Dominican players have left their mark in the American big leagues with around 500 exported players.Santo Domingo houses two of the six teams in the Dominican Republic's Professional Baseball League: Los Tigres and Los Leones.These teams play at Quisqueya Stadium, which brings in more and more spectators each season.The outstanding talent of the Dominican players makes the games truly worthwhile to watch.
The city's harbor functions as a port for commerce, industry, and tourism.The harbor's architecture has evolved and adapted since colonial days, and today includes modern facilities combined with well-preserved colonial forts.It also makes for an amazing boardwalk, with long breakwaters and large terminals for cruise ships, boats, and yachts.Development plans include several new ports adjacent to the city in order to better receive the growing commerce and tourism.
Enjoy thriving nightlife in Santo Domingo.Restaurants set their tables out by the streets, vibrant nightclubs play great dance music, and risk-takers can have fun at the hotel casinos.In this fascinating city, there are modern shopping centers, unforgettable tourist attractions and hospitable locals.Santo Domingo rewards its visitors with amazing experiences and unforgettable adventures.
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