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Santo Domingo or simply “La Capital”, the oldest city of the New World! If you’re searching for cheap air tickets to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic’s gem, you are about to witness the first European settlement in America. Historic buildings and monuments still stand as eternal reminders of times long gone but never forgotten, among a landscape so genuine, as few cities can boast having. The first colony, the first cathedral and the first fortress of America, Santo Domingo, beyond a doubt, will claim the first place in your heart as well. Apart from the city’s historic centre, a modern, vibrant city awaits you, featuring exquisite museums, galleries and centres of culture, boutiques, restaurants, a fine selection of bars and an unrivalled beach resort. Book your flights and accommodation in Santo Domingo and enjoy the holidays of your life!
The Dominican Republic is the second largest nation in the Caribbean following Cuba and, together with Haiti, shares the island of Hispaniola, covering more than half of its surface. Three out of the ten millions of the country’s population reside in the capital, Santo Domingo.
Christopher Columbus dropped anchor off the shores of Hispaniola in 1492, founding shortly after the first European settlement in the newly-discovered New World. Bartholomew Columbus, his brother, founded there the first Spanish city outside Spain in 1496 and named it Santo Domingo.
Santo Domingo soon became a primary base for exploration and adventure and grew to become a complete, organised city with a church, a hospital, a palace, a university and a fortified castle. The largest part of the city’s historic centre is carefully renovated and is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Your experience in Santo Domingo does not end here though; the other face of the city is more modern, energetic and alive than ever! Markets, music, nightlife, museums and galleries are everywhere in the city and will satisfy every need and taste.
It’s time you fulfilled this dreamy trip to the exotic Caribbean. It’s time you booked this flight to Santo Domingo!
The airport of Santo Domingo (Las Américas International Airport) is located 20 kilometres east of the city and is accessible by airport shuttle, públicos mini-vans and taxi services.
Getting around Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo’s public transport network consists of buses and públicos mini-vans. Fares start from 10.73 DOP and minimum taxi fare costs 170 DOP.
Santo Domingo Guide
The historic centre of Santo Domingo is named Zona Colonal and is the ideal place for you to begin your exploration. Historic buildings, traditional houses made of stone, forts and remnants of the early fortifications of the city make up an idyllic Old Town that stands out from all the Caribbean islands.
- The Catedral Primada de América is America’s oldest cathedral, built in around 1514-1540. Combining Gothic and Baroque elements, the cathedral’s façade is equally impressive as the interior, decorated in the traditional Spanish style of the 16th century.
- The most impressive building in Santo Domingo is the Alcázar de Colón, the imposing palace built for Columbus’s son, Diego, and his wife, niece of the Spanish King. Diego later became the governor of the colony, rendering it a major cultural and commercial hub of America.
Be sure to take the guided tour inside the palace and explore the many different wings, halls and yards; you’ll be enthralled by the elaborate decorations with paintings, tapestries and antiques dating back to the 16th century!
Making your way out of the Zona Colonal, within short distance you’ll come across the famous Columbus Lighthouse (El Faro a Colón), a monument honouring Christopher Columbus that houses his remains. Shaped as a cross, the monument is 200-metre-high and the whole structure is equipped with 149 lights that emit light beams towards the sky to a distance of 71 metres. When the system is lit, a giant cross is seen in the sky, visible even from Puerto Rico!
Continue to the Museo del Hombre Dominicano, dedicated to the indigenous people of the Dominican Republic. This is where you can find the most significant collection of artefacts related to the pre-Columbian residents of Hispaniola, with special focus on the Taíno.
Ceramics, tools, jewellery, works of art, sculptures and other items make up a thorough presentation of the culture and lifestyle of the Taíno, but the most striking asset of this museum stands two floors up.
The wing of the third floor of the museum talks about the culture of the Dominican Republic after Columbus’s arrival. Starting from the dark ages of slavery, massacre and disease that came with Columbus’s troops in Hispaniola, collections continue to the colonial period and end at the contemporary culture of the Dominican Republic.
You shouldn’t leave Santo Domingo without paying a visit at the National Botanical Garden of Santo Domingo (Jardín Botánico Nacional). This is the largest botanical garden of Latin America and houses a great variety of plant species collected from all over the island.
Santo Domingo's official language is Spanish.
To enter the Dominican Republic, you need to have a valid passport, with validity until at least 6 months after your travel dates. Greek citizens do not need a Visa, for a maximum stay of 30 days.
When to Go
Santo Domingo has a tropical climate with two distinctive seasons; the dry season (November – April) shows cool pleasant temperatures and little rain, while the wet season (May - October) is characterised by high temperatures and heavy downpours.
As is the case with almost all the Caribbean islands, Santo Domingo lies inside the Caribbean hurricane zone, a fact you should definitely take into account when preparing your trip. The hurricane season officially lasts from June to November, but the months from August to late October are considered the most likely for Santo Domingo to be hit by one.
However this shouldn’t discourage you from visiting Santo Domingo at this time of the year; the island only experiences – indirectly - a hurricane once every five years, while it hasn’t been hit directly by a hurricane for over 25 years. The whole island is prepared and all the hotels are ready to provide instructions and safety in case of an emergency – which will most probably last only for a short period of time.
Whatever season you decide to travel to Santo Domingo, as long as you have planned and packed accordingly, you will have a fantastic time!