Santo Domingo somehow manages to represent the paradoxes that are central for the Dominican experience as a living museum, an urban center that is also the seaside resort of a political, business and media hub with an easygoing, pleasant spirit. In the cobblestone streets, it’s easy to forget that Santo Domingo is in the Caribbean. However, it is an incredibly urban city, and home not just to colonial-era buildings and hip clubs, lively dining establishments and a plethora of cultural institutions. Grab the latest deals on Cheap Flights from Boston to Santo Domingo.

Los Tres Ojos

It is comprised of three caverns with dark blue lagoons joined with stalactite-filled passages. This area is beautiful If you get there early enough to avoid the crowds. When you enter, a lengthy stairs leads to an narrow passageway in the rock. A concrete path that runs to the bottom leads to the caves. The third ojo is where it is possible to hire a small boat hired for $20 to visit the fourth ojo, which is actually a stunning lake under the open sky, full of fish.

There are certain times when a person whom is known locally as “cave tarzan” accepts advice on climbing the cave’s walls and soaring 6m into the waters. Visitors are, however, not permitted to go swimming. When you leave vendors scream out their goods and services. If you’re not interested, be firm and say no, thanks’ and walk on.

Plaza Espana

The vast open space facing the Alcazar de Colon has been renovated several times, particularly in the 1990s to celebrate this year’s 500th anniversary celebration of Christopher Columbus’ New World discovery.’ Along its northwest corner the road is Calle las Atarazanas, fronted by more than a dozen restaurants located in warehouses that operated throughout the 17th and 16th centuries.

Parque Colon

Alongside just behind the Catedral Primada of America, this park is home to a number of trees as well as an enormous sculpture of Admiral Columbus himself. It’s the main place of gathering for residents, and is awash with people from the townspeople, tourists guide, hawkers and shoeshine men tourist police and hundreds of birds. The intersection between Calle El Conde and Arzobispo Merino is the most popular spot to watch people located in Zona Colonial.

Centro Cultural Espanol

A lively cultural space that is managed by the Spanish Embassy, this institution frequently hosts art shows as well as film festivals and musical performances that have an Spanish orientation; usually during weekends. There are also 15,000 items that it lends out.

Faro a Colon

It resembles a cross between an apartment building from the Soviet period as well as a Las Vegas-style Mayan ruin, the enormous landmark is worth a visit because of its controversial past. It is located on the east bank of the Rio Ozama, the Faro’s cement flanks rise 10 stories high, creating the form of the cross. Near the intersection of the arms of the cross, is a tomb that is guarded by soldiers in white uniforms and believed to be housing Columbus’s remains. Spain and Italy disagree on this but both agree that they possess the Admiral’s remains.

Within the monument, a lengthy collection of exhibition halls displays the documents (mostly reproductions) that are related to Columbus his voyages as well as the conquest and exploration of the Americas. The most fascinating (though extremely ironic) exhibitions are those made by various Latin American countries containing photos and other artifacts belonging to their respective indigenous communities.

Casa de Francia

The house was once the home of Hernan Cortes, who was the conqueror of the Aztecs who reside in modern-day central Mexico. In this house where Cortes was believed to arranged his mighty – and bloody expedition. Although visitors aren’t allowed beyond through the entrance, the impressive piece of masonry is well worth taking a stroll, even for the sake of observing its exterior.

While the Casa de Francia served as an residence for more than three centuries, it’s seen several different forms from the start of the 19th century. These included a collection of government offices as well as that of the Banco Nacional de Santo Domingo as well as a courthouse for civil litigants as well as the headquarters for the Dominican IRS. The present day building houses the French Embassy.

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Puerta del Conde

The gate’s name is derived from the count of Penalba, Bernardo de Meneses y Bracamonte who was the leader of the victory of Santo Domingo against 13,000 invading British troops in 1655. It’s the ultimate symbol of Dominican patriotic pride because, in addition to it that, in the month of February, 1844, the brave Dominicans carried out an unbloody coup against the forces of the occupation Haitian forces. Their actions helped establish the independent Dominican Republic.

It was also on it that the initial Dominican flag was flag was raised. To the west of the gate within the Parque Independencia be sure to look for an Altar de la Patria, which is a mausoleum housing the remains of three heroes of the nation: Juan Pablo Duarte, Francisco del Rosario Sanchez and Ramon Matias Mella. The park itself is home to a couple of benches, but there isn’t much shade.