Santo Domingo Travel Tips
Keep in Mind...
- The shopping is incredible From amber and larimar (Dominican turquoise) jewelry, to hand-wrapped cigars, the DR as a whole is known for its high-quality souvenirs. You'll find stands and shops all along the Malecón and within the Zona Colonial.
- The nightlife is incredible Even the hotel clubs are pretty lively in Santo Domingo. And you'll also find an enviable assortment of bars, dance clubs and casinos along the Malecón.
- The béisbol is incredible Several major league baseball players got their "swinging" start in this city: The Pittsburgh Pirates' Pedro Alvarez and José Veras and the St. Louis Cardinals' Miguel Batista, to name a few. Go root for tomorrow's MLB pros at the Estadio Quisqueya.
Christopher Columbus tried to settle in the "New World" several times before getting it right. The first and second attempts, La Navidad (in Haiti) and La Isabela (near Puerto Plata), were plagued with fire and disease. It wasn't until the third time, on an opposite coast of Hispaniola, that he and his men perfected the recipe. To this day, Santo Domingo is still a lively, thriving metropolis; the capital city of the Dominican Republic and the largest city in the Caribbean by population. But it's also so much more: The sounds of merengue, bachata and salsa wafting from a Malecón nightclub or the smells of conch gratinée coming from a romantic café in Zona Colonial. Due to its history, it's also a city of superlatives: where you'll find the first church (Catedral Primada de América), the first stronghold (Fortaleza Ozama) and the oldest street (Calle Las Damas) in the Americas. This is the real Santo Domingo.
How To Save Money in Santo Domingo
- Learn how to haggle Store prices are set, but the price of just about everything from a street vendor is negotiable. Learn to say, "Gracias no, pero es demasiado caro," (No thanks, but too expensive) and see how much lower they're willing to go.
- Skip the colonial tour There will be lots of young men milling around the Zona Colonial offering to show you around. Invest in a good city map and explore (for free) on your own.
- Visit on a cruise ship You could spend a couple days exploring Santo Domingo, or you could hit the highlights in a six-hour port of call and save on airfare and hotel day rates.