Santo Domingo, the capital city of Dominican Republic, offers the best of both worlds, new and old: It’s the most metropolitan city in the Caribbean and also home to the Colonial City, a historic quarter dating back to the fifteenth century and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Experience the Colonial City up-close and embark on a walking tour. Trust us, you’ll want your camera in-hand. Take your time strolling along cobblestone streets and walking alongside some of the first buildings constructed in the New World, including the first cathedral of the new world, exemplifying historic gothic architecture: The Cathedral of Santa María la Menor in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo is dedicated to St. Mary of the Incarnation. It is the oldest cathedral in the Americas, begun in 1512 and completed in 1540.
To know a country, its people, its culture, you must also know its capital. It may not be the most beautiful place in the country, but you can see faster in the mass of people their habits, customs… The secret is walk, stop when you see something interesting and sit on a bench for a while and watch people go by. Walk in their streets, try their food, try to speak something in their language, even if only 3 words: “hola” (hello), “gracias” (thanks), “por favor” (please).
Just 75 miles east of Santo Domingo, you will fall in love with La Romana, home to Altos de Chavón in Casa de Campo: a replica of a 16th-century Mediterranean village set atop rolling green hills along the Chavón River. Visitors may recognize the landscape, as several feature films have captured the beautiful scenery and shot along the river, including “Apocalypse Now,” “Rambo: First Blood Part II” and “Rambo III,” and “Jurassic Park.”
And of course, a must visit are the islands of Saona and Catalina in National Park of the East. The departure to these islands takes place from the port of Bayahibe, a small fishing village next to La Romana and the excursion is made by catamaran.
- Saona is the paradise, endless beaches covered with palm trees and turquoise water. In Saona Island was shooted the film of Blue Lagoon. It´s an island practically uninhabited and perfect to relax.
- Catalina Island is one of the best places to do diving and snorkeling on the island. Of course, it is an equally perfect island for relaxation.