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Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

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Monuments and Memorials Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

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  • 4.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 3.0Atmosphere

There's a chance that you won't be blown away by the beauty of the Columbus Lighthouse. El Faro a Colón, as the locals call it, is built in the shape of a cross, and some former visitors described it as downright ugly.

Still, this is a historically significant attraction that houses the purported remains of Christopher Columbus. Additionally, travelers can also find various exhibits — like a vehicle once used by a former pope — as well as several libraries. (Much of the interior, though, lies unused.)

You can visit the controversial lighthouse, located in the Sans Souci part of town, anytime between 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on any day but Monday. Admission will cost you about 20 Dominican pesos (or the equivalent of $0.44 USD). Children ages 11 and younger can enter for approximately RD$5 (or about $0.11 USD). Visit the official website for further details.

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#1 Zona Colonial

Partially barricaded by stone walls, accented with baroque architecture and lying on cobblestone streets, Santo Domingo's Zona Colonial marks the area where Columbus settled in the New World. Visitors say it's definitely a must-see, considering the city's best known historic sites are located here. But this UNESCO World Heritage Site also shelters many hotels, bars and restaurants. Best of all, you can explore the area entirely on foot: For all that's crammed inside, there's really only 11 blocks worth of sights.

So where should you start? Perhaps the Catedral Primada de America, which is located near the heart of the zone (look for the statue of Christopher Columbus). From there you can trek a little farther west to Fortaleza Ozama, located along the mouth of the Río Ozama in the southeast quadrant. Next, walk along the Calle Las Damas (the oldest street, a pedestrian-only zone) to the Alcázar de Colón palace and museum.

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