Activities & Sports
Resorts and beaches provide every water sports like deep-sea fishing, sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling, windsurfing and powerboats.
Golf enthusiasts will love Santo Domingo's four golf courses: the 3 first clubs all being 18-hole courses: the Las Lagunas Country Club, the Guavaberry Golf & Country Club, the Los Marlins Golf Course, and the 9-hole terrain at the San Andres Caribe Golf Club.
Other activities offered at various locations include horseback riding, tennis, and polo, bicycling, bowling, and parasailing. Adventurers will enjoy treks, hikes, white water rafting and exploring caves.
Several spectator sports are offered. Horse Racing is enjoyed at the Hipodromo V Centenario. From October to January you can catch a baseball game, the national sport, at the Liga de Beisbol stadium. Motocross and car races take place at the Las Americas Autodrome.
View the ruins of the Monasterio de San Francisco which was built around 1556 and is considered the oldest monastery in the Americas.
The Museum of the Dominican Man gives a vivid description of pre-Columbian civilisations and local folk culture. You also can see a curiosity like the Popemobiles, the vehicles used by Pope John Paul II on his official visits.
Attractions & Sights
Here is just a sampling of the many forts, museums, palaces and other attractions.
Built in 1502, the Colonial City was declared by UNESCO a world heritage site. The Fuerte del Homenaje is the oldest fort of the new world. Casa de Ovando, famous for its Gothic style entrance door, is unique in the world. The Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor is the oldest cathedral in the Americas and the Convent and Church de Las Mercedes were the inspiration for the novel Don Jua by Spaniard Tirso de Molina.
Plaza de Espana is dominated by the Palacio Alcazar de Colon, an elegant building of Gothic and Renaissance style, constructed by the son of Columbus for housing his court. The Columbus Lighthouse, the famous cross-shaped structure housing the mausoleum with the mortal remains of Christopher Columbus.
Newer sights are the Church Regina Angelorum, built over 200 years ago, and the Church of Los Dominicos, site of America's first university.
Visit the many wonderful museums of this city: the National Museum of History and Geography, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Larimar. The interesting Museum of the Royal Houses shows the customs and habits of the Governors, underwater discoveries and the secrets of sugar making.
Santo Domingo offers plays, concerts or other shows in the National Theater or in the smaller theaters of the city.
About 20 casinos, a host of discotheques playing the islands trademark Merengue rhythms and quaint bars with live music are here for you pleasure. The most popular place it the Guacara Taina, a discotheque dug out of a Tainos cave.
An authentic experience to help you capture the Dominican spirit would be visiting a Gallera, the typical cylindrical pit where cockfights are held.
Take a holiday from your holiday by visiting the gorgeous Island of Saona. Tour companies will take you there by catamaran in a couple of hours. Spend the day on its beautiful white-sand beaches or go snorkelling.
Altos de Chavon, is a Mediterranean village with cobblestone paths, coral stone fountains and terra cotta buildings. It is right on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Chavon River. Reconstructed in the seventies, the town is home to artists of all types; other features of interest are a charming amphitheatre in Greek style, an archaeological museum dedicated to the island's aboriginal population. Take an excursion to the deep gorges interwoven with palm groves and a virgin, unspoiled atmosphere.
On the Samana Peninsula, as one tiny beach after another spring up before your eyes, your ears are charmed by the sweet beguiling sounds of unspoiled nature. This peninsula, 245km north of Santo Domingo, is rich in spotlessly white beaches, lakes, marble caves, vast palm groves and small islets studding the turquoise bay. Enjoy the fried fish and the specialties of the local cuisine made with coconut sauce.
The town of Bani has a town made of multi-coloured, single-storied wooden houses, buildings of a modernist colonial style and the Plaza de la Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Regla, the village square thronged by restaurants and delightful shops of local handicrafts. Visit the Dominican Coffee Museum or lounge on the Playa Baní and other secluded beaches. Nearby salt flats and a scenic sand dune system, unique in the Caribbean are to be discovered. The dunes are also home to the Monarch butterfly, a species protected around the world.