Historic sites in dominican republic: Historic Places in the Dominican Republic

Historic Places in the Dominican Republic

From ancient ruins to locations rich in culture, come with us on a journey through time as we uncover historic places in the Dominican Republic you need to know about.

Altos de Chavón

Historic Places in the Dominican Republic


A re-creation of a 16th-century Mediterranean-style village, discover this historical setting of Altos de Chavón. Located in proximity to La Romana, take a trip and wander through the cobbled streets to visit the impressive amphitheatre and more.

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If that’s not all, there are splendid restaurants and cafes and a few art galleries at Altos de Chavón – making it a great day out for all ages and avid explorers alike.


Next up, we are going on a voyage to discover one of the earliest built structures of the new world. Constructed by Christopher Columbus’ son, Alcázar de Colón is the first palace built in the Americas, located in the colonial area of Santo Domingo city.

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The museum is the staple attraction as part of the Ciudad Colonial UNESCO World Heritage Tour and presents Renaissance-style architecture, Caribbean tapestries, and medieval art from the era.

Moreover, a trip to Alcázar de Colón puts you in great stead to enjoy a spot of lunch at the Plaza de España. An area that provides an abundance of cafes and is famous for art shows and exhibitions.

The bustling capital of Santo Domingo provides metropolitan cityscapes and authentic experiences. There is generally less tourism here, but that’s not to say it’s not worth the visit. Just ensure to plan before you go.


Next on our list is La Isabel, located on the north coast and a short drive from Puerto Plata. The ruins provide what remains of the first European settlement in the new world built by Columbus. Here you can find a small museum and artefacts more than 500 years old. The signage from the museum is all in Spanish, but the staff will be able to tell you the tale of the old village built in 1493.

Ruins of La Isabel

Named for the Spanish queen that funded Columbus’ expedition, the historical park of La Isabel is lined with boutique stalls and hidden beaches.

If that’s not all, the scenery and roads surrounding this part of the Dominican Republic make it well worth the visit.


For the next historic places in the Dominican Republic, we’re staying in the north as we explore the Spanish fortress of Fortaleza San Felipe. Playing a crucial role in the history of Puerto Plata, the stronghold protected the city from pirates and corsairs. Arrgh!

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Now, the museum houses historical and military artefacts, and the fascinating fort provides fabulous views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Furthermore, the area is known for its warm hospitality, holiday resorts, and an 18-hole championship golf course. There are also impressive stretches of coastlines to visit in Puerto Plata. Including the blue flag Dorada Beach. Here, the manicured oceanfront covers over 13-miles and presents crystal-clear waters where you can observe coral reefs and varied marine fauna.


Monasterio de San Francisco, located in Santo Domingo, is recognised by UNESCO as one of the oldest monasteries in the Americas today. Situated on a small hill, you can experience fantastic views of the surrounding neighbourhood.

An uncanny area to wander through, the site provides unique photo opportunities. Expect to see towering columns offset by luscious palms, the remains of the chapel and church hall, and Renaissance-style stone architecture.

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After withstanding numerous hurricanes and other natural disasters, in 1930, another sizeable part of the world heritage site was destroyed. In 1940 the bell towers relocated to the Church of Santa Bárbara, and the site transformed to form a leprosy hospital and asylum.

Easy to get to and one of the highlights of the colonial zone of Santo Domingo. Monasterio de San Francisco is another historical attraction close to the favoured Plaza de España, providing numerous bars and cafes.


Staying in the capital, Faro a Colón, otherwise known as the Columbus Lighthouse, is another favoured historical attraction. As part of the recently built concrete memorial. Here you can find a mausoleum deemed to contain the remains of the world-famous explorer. The old lighthouse facilitated navigation for vessels coming to the Dominican Republic and is now known as an iconic historical landmark of the city.

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Built in 1992 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus, the grand construction provides an abundance of antique artefacts and impressive architecture. Surrounded by manicured gardens, the colossal attraction presents an encyclopaedia of the new world.


The last stop on our tour of historic places in the Dominican Republic takes us to the northern city of Santiago De Los Caballeros, which pays homage to the Monumento de Santiago – dedicated to heroes of the Dominican Restoration War between 1863 and 1865. The monument is also the tallest building in the city.

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Heading to the city, you’ll also be able to peruse Dominican art at the Centro León cultural centre. The centre also runs exhibits about local ecology and presents an auditorium, luscious gardens and more.

To complete your visit to Santiago De Los Caballeros. Fortaleza San Luis Museum, located near the Yaque del Norte river is also well worth the visit.

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Historical Places in Dominican Republic


Basilica Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor
, Santo Domingo

Gaze upon the beautiful golden coral-limestone facade, and immerse yourself in the rich history of Basilica Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor

Tours from 45 €


Alcazar de Colon
, Santo Domingo

Visit the World Heritage Site of Alcazar de Colon, built over 500 years ago by Diego Colon, Christopher Columbus’ son. Currently housing the

Tours from 113 €

Historic Walking Area

Altos de Chavon
, La Romana

Visit a rustic Mediterranean village in the heart of the Dominican Republic at Altos de Chavon. Built in the late 1970s, the replica of a 16t

Tours from 46 €

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Puerto Plata City Tours

Duration: 4 hours

Explore the history and culture of Puerto Plata with a guided excursion in the city’s downtown areaVisit the island’s most famous rum factory, and watch how this beverage is madeMarvel at the astonishing collection of Amber and Larimar national stone of Dominicana RepublicTake in sweeping views of the ocean and step back in time at the San Felipe fortressSee how chocolate is made at one of the island’s chocolate factories

Book on Viator from 52 €

Historic Site

Fortaleza San Felipe
, Puerto Plata

When in Puerto Plata, pay a short visit to Fortaleza San Felipe, a historic Spanish fortress and the only remnant of the 16th century city. S

Tours from 52 €

Historic Site

Fortaleza Ozama
, Santo Domingo

Visit Fortaleza Ozama, the oldest colonial fort in the New World. Dating back to 1502, the stone fortress protected Santo Domingo for centuri

Tours from 45 €

Historic Walking Area

Calle Las Damas
, Santo Domingo

Amble down Calle Las Damas, a historic thoroughfare said to be the oldest street in the New World. The colonial residences that line the stre

Tours from 56 €

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Amber Cove Shore Excursion: Eat Drink and Be Merry Puerto Plata City Tour!

Duration: 5 hours

Amber Cove cruise ship passengers, eat, drink and be merry… very merry on our All Inclusive Puerto Plata City Tour, a 5 hour glimpse into Dominican life. From the time we pick you up in an air conditioned bus at Amber Cove until we return you to port, friendly and knowledgeable guides will keep you entertained with Dominican history, folklore, great food, lots of local rum drinks and more! Adults 18+ only.

Book on Viator from 102 €

Historic Site

Parque Colon
, Santo Domingo

Get to the heart of the city’s historic center at Parque Colon, a central square and popular meeting place. Frequented by locals and tourists


Panteon Nacional
, Santo Domingo

Visit Panteon Nacional to appreciate the building’s historical significance. Upon completion in the 18th century, it served as a Jesuit churc

Tours from 45 €

Historic Walking Area

Chu Chu Colonial
, Santo Domingo

Hop on Chu Chu Colonial and embark on a journey through the 500 years of history of a Santo Domingo World Heritage Site and the first place C

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Puerto Plata City Tour

Duration: 6 to 7 hours

This 6-hour sightseeing city tour will take you from the popular oceanfront boulevard of Puerto Plata to the top of Mount Isabel, where you will find the a botanical garden, the iconic statue of Christ and the most stunning views of the Amber city.

Book on Viator from 66 €

Religious Site

Basilica Catedral Nuestra Senora de la Altagracia
, Higuey

View the modern architectural style of Basilica Catedral Nuestra Senora de la Altagracia, a cathedral dominated by a pattern of triangular sh

Tours from 52 €


Monasterio de San Francisco
, Santo Domingo

Travel back to the early years of colonialism at Monasterio de San Francisco, the ruins of the New World’s first monastery. Set up by Francis

Tours from 103 €


Catedral San Felipe
, Puerto Plata

Tours from 52 €

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52 €
Puerto Plata City Tours
Puerto Plata City Tours

Duration: 4 hours

Tours from 52 € ›

102 €
Amber Cove Shore Excursion: Eat Drink and Be Merry Puerto Plata City Tour!
Amber Cove Shore Excursion: Eat Drink and Be Merry Puerto Plata City Tour!

Duration: 5 hours

Tours from 102 € ›

66 €
Puerto Plata City Tour
Puerto Plata City Tour

Duration: 6 to 7 hours

Tours from 66 € ›

55 €
Safari Half Day Experience
Safari Half Day Experience

Duration: 4 hours

Tours from 55 € ›

53 €
Full Day Supreme Safari Punta Cana
Full Day Supreme Safari Punta Cana

Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes

Tours from 53 € ›

258 €
Private Higuey Cultural Tour from Punta Cana (Half-day)
Private Higuey Cultural Tour from Punta Cana (Half-day)

Duration: 5 hours

Tours from 258 € ›

61 €
Safari Tour from Punta Cana
Safari Tour from Punta Cana

Duration: 8 hours

Tours from 61 € ›

61 €
Half-Day Dominican Republic Safari Tour from Punta Cana
Half-Day Dominican Republic Safari Tour from Punta Cana

Duration: 4 hours

Tours from 61 € ›

60 €
Safari Full Day VIP Experience
Safari Full Day VIP Experience

Duration: 7 hours

Tours from 60 € ›

Historic destinations in Dominican Republic

Santo DomingoTrip planner
Best for: World heritage site, Landmark, Church

La RomanaTrip planner
Best for: Island, Historic Walking Area, Scuba / Snorkeling

HigueyTrip planner
Best for: Religious Site, Scuba / Snorkeling, Specialty Museum

Puerto PlataTrip planner
Best for: Aquarium, Waterfall, Mountain

ConstanzaTrip planner
Best for: Ruin, National Park

La VegaTrip planner
Best for: Religious Site, Church, Monument

MocaTrip planner
Best for: Church, History Museum

San CristobalTrip planner
Best for: Beach, Historic Site, Water Park

San Juan de la MaguanaTrip planner
Best for: Church

San Pedro de MacorisTrip planner
Best for: Cave, Distillery Tour, Church

Boca ChicaTrip planner
Best for: Scuba / Snorkeling, Casino, Church

Santiago de los CaballerosTrip planner
Best for: Monument, Landmark, Art Museum

BaniTrip planner
Best for: Desert, Church, Art Museum

BonaoTrip planner
Best for: Waterfall, Specialty Museum, Scenic Walking Area

SosuaTrip planner
Best for: Beach, Scuba / Snorkeling, Zipline

AzuaTrip planner
Best for: Winery / Vineyard, Beach, Monument

Punta CanaTrip planner
Best for: Beach, Zipline, Swim with Dolphins

BayaguanaTrip planner
Best for: Water Body

BayahibeTrip planner
Best for: Scuba / Snorkeling, Nature / Wildlife Tour, Beach

Parque Nacional del EsteTrip planner
Best for: Cave

Santa Barbara de SamanaTrip planner
Best for: Dolphin / Whale Watching, Zipline, Beach

Sabana de la MarTrip planner
Best for: Dolphin / Whale Watching

CabareteTrip planner
Best for: Surfing / Windsurfing / Kitesurfing, Beach, Spa

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30 best attractions of the Dominican Republic — description and photo

Dominican Republic — the leader among the Caribbean in terms of the number of attractions. Here you will find high mountain peaks, beautiful waterfalls, amazing lakes, impenetrable jungle, mysterious caves, as well as man-made «highlights» — ancient monasteries and military fortresses, exquisite palaces, interesting museums . ..

Altos de Chavon

Altos de -Chavon.

Located in the vicinity of the city of La Romana Altos de Chavon, created in 1970s — 1980s, initiated by the American tycoon Charles Bladorn and representing a recreated copy of a medieval Spanish village, often referred to as the city of artists and artisans.

Indeed, in rows of limestone houses lined up along the cobbled narrow streets of the village, there are workshops of craftsmen working with wood, metal, fabric, leather and other materials.

Here not only magnificent things are created, but also master classes are held for tourists, allowing them to master the basics of some kind of craft. And in Altos de Chavona you will find modern restaurants, shops, three art galleries, the magnificent church of St. Stanislaus, the Archaeological Museum and even the reconstruction of the Greek amphitheater, which hosts festivals and concerts of world pop stars.

Address: Altos de Chavon, Casa de Campo, La Romana, Dominican Republic.

Columbus Lighthouse

Columbus Lighthouse.

Going to one of the main sights of the Dominican Republic — the Columbus Lighthouse, do not expect to see a slender tower with a light indicating the way for ships in the sea. There is no tower, no sea… In fact, this is a museum of the great navigator, the construction of which lasted several decades and was completed only in the year of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the American continent.

The imposing cross-shaped structure can hardly be called aesthetically attractive, but it is absolutely impressive and even stunning. The Columbus Lighthouse looks especially impressive on those rare days when powerful searchlights installed on the roof are turned on.

What is inside is no less interesting than the building itself. The museum’s collection contains truly unique artifacts and documents relating to the first years of the Spaniards’ stay on the island.

In addition, the museum has a mausoleum with the remains of Christopher Columbus. However, it is worth making a reservation: the exact burial place of the great navigator is unknown, and his graves can be found both in Italian Genoa and in Spanish Seville.

Address: Columbus Lighthouse, Avenida Mirador del Este, Santo Domingo Este, Dominican Republic.


Samana. | Photo: Damian Dominguez / Flickr.

The Samana Peninsula is an ideal place for lovers of secluded relaxation. Coconut groves, mountains, caves with underground lakes and ancient rock paintings, clear rivers with many large waterfalls, including the magnificent El Limon, white sandy deserted beaches that occupy almost the entire coastline, colorful coral reefs and turquoise sea — all this is Samana.

However, almost all of the above can be found in other parts of the Dominican Republic. Samana has become famous due to the fact that here you can see not only dolphins and manatees, but also humpback whales, especially from mid-January to the end of March, when several thousand of these giant mammals settle in the local waters during winter migration.

Address: Samana, Dominican Republic.

The best excursions in the Dominican Republic:

Mount Redonda

Mount Redonda.

Located between the Redonda and Limon lagoons, Mount Redonda cannot be called high — only 330 meters. And yet, it is wildly popular with tourists. It’s all about the panoramic view from its top. The top of Redonda is flat, as if cut off with a sharp scalpel, and therefore, in the photographs taken here, it seems that a person is floating in the air.

To the delight of the visiting people, several structures for photo shoots are installed on the mountain, which, with the right shooting angle, allow you to achieve a complete illusion of flight in the picture. The «heavenly» swings are in special demand — ordinary, in fact, swings, but standing on the very edge of the cliff.

Address: Montaña Redonda, Dominican Republic.

Costa del Ambar

Costa del Ambar beach.

The area of ​​Costa del Ambar, whose name in Spanish means «Amber Coast», is famous for its large deposits of this ornamental stone. But it has gained popularity among tourists thanks to its wonderful beaches, covered with shining sand shimmering in the sun, and noisy nightlife.

If you get tired of “lighting up” in nightclubs at night and then sleeping on the beach during the day, you can diversify your life — visit the Museum of the Taino Indians and the Amber Museum, look at the ruins of the house of Christopher Columbus and the church where the first on the American continent was made mass, appreciate the colonial architecture of Puerto Plata, go in for water sports in a picturesque bay near the town of Sosua.

Address: Juan Lafy, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

Alcazar de Colon

Alcazar de Colon.

The first thing to do when you are in Santo Domingo is to go to the Plaza de España, where the Alcázar de Colón, built from blocks of coral reefs, stands — Columbus Palace. It was erected at the beginning of the 16th century for Diego Columbus, the son of the famous navigator, who was appointed viceroy of the island.

It is noteworthy that one and a half thousand enslaved Indians, the natives of these places, worked on the construction of the palace. At the end of the century, the palace was plundered by Francis Drake, as a result it was abandoned and gradually began to turn into ruins.

In the 20th century, the palace was restored, while, however, greatly changing its appearance, but retaining the colonial spirit. Today, the Alcazar de Colon houses a museum furnished with antique furniture and household items from the late Middle Ages.

Here you will see musical instruments and weapons from the time of Columbus, as well as objects of art from that period. Especially magnificent are the tapestries of the 15th-17th centuries exhibited here, among which there are truly unique, as well as chic frescoes depicting a map of the world.

Address: Alcazar de Colon, Calle La Atarazana, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Osama Fortress

Osama Fortress. | Photo: UI International Programs / Flickr.

Osama Fortress (Ozama) located in Santo Domingo is the oldest military fort from the time of colonization of the New World. The Spaniards, developing new lands, feared the attack of sea pirates, as well as their main competitors — the British, Dutch and French, and therefore erected powerful fortifications in the coastal zone, one of which was the fort built in 1503-1507 at the mouth of the Osama River. For many decades, the fortress served as a reliable defense, blocking the way for enemy ships deep into the continent.

Nowadays, Osama is one of the calling cards of the capital of the Dominican Republic. Each of the tourists who came to the island certainly looks here. They climb a powerful tower, which offers excellent views of the city and the expanses of the Caribbean Sea, look at the preserved old cannons, take pictures near the bronze monument to Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo, the former commander of the fort in 1533-1557.

Address: Osama, Las Damas Street, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Armando Bermudez National Park

Armando Bermudez National Park.

Jose Armando Bermudez National Park, located in the central part of the island — these are alpine meadows, bottomless gorges, talkative rivers … And the three highest peaks of the Dominican Republic — La Rusilla, La Pelona and Duarte. The latter, which has a record height of 3098 meters, is sought after by many tourists who come here.

However, there are plenty of things for them to do, besides climbing the peak — canoeing and rafting, hiking or horseback riding in the most beautiful places of the park, and, of course, photographing picturesque landscapes, exotic plants and outlandish inhabitants of the local jungle.

Address: Armando Bermudez National Park, Dominican Republic.

Los Haitises National Park

Los Haitises National Park. | Photo: Jason Boldero / Flickr.

Occupying a vast area on the Samana Peninsula, Los Haitises National Park is a real paradise for fans of ecotourism. Mangrove swamps, dense palm forests, impenetrable bamboo thickets — in terms of the number of tourist “chips”, this park will give odds to any other reserve on the island. Here you can see pelicans, white herons, colorful parakeets living in natural conditions.

But, of course, the mysterious caves are especially popular with tourists, on the walls of which outlandish rock paintings made by the Indians who lived here before the arrival of the Spaniards are still clearly visible. They depict birds, sharks, other animals, as well as numerous shamanic symbols and scenes from the daily life of the Indians.

Address: Los Haitises National Park, los haitises, Sabana de la Mar, Dominican Republic.

Jaragua National Park

Jaragua National Park.

Located in the southern part of the Pedernales peninsula, the Jaragua National Park, which is the largest reserve in the Caribbean, is an ideal place for tourists who want to get acquainted with one of the corners of our planet, untouched by civilization. The territory of the reserve is conditionally divided into three zones in accordance with the nature of the landscape and the characteristics of flora and fauna.

One of them grows cacti, agaves, aloe and other succulents.

The second is home to over 130 species of birds, where you will have the chance to see the largest colony of pink flamingos in the country.

Belonging to the third zone, the islands stretching along the coast have long been chosen by sea turtles as a place for procreation. Every year, remembering the place of their birth, they come here to lay their eggs in the sand of these deserted beaches.

Address: Jaragua National Park, Dominican Republic.

El Choco National Park

El Choco National Park.

El Choco National Park is one of the youngest in the Dominican Republic, which has not prevented it from becoming very popular. El Choco is literally immersed in tropical greenery, but tourists are attracted primarily by the Caribbean Karst cave complex located here. In the heat, it is very pleasant to swim in the underground lakes of these caves.

If for some reason you don’t want to go underground, you can devote time to hiking. The territory of the reserve is literally dotted with paths and paths, and in order not to get lost, we advise you to use the services of a guide at least for the first time, who at the same time will show you the best places in the park and tell you a lot of amazing stories.

Address: El Choco National Park and Las Cuevas de Cabarete 5, Cabaret, Dominican Republic.

Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia

Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia.

The architecture of the places of worship of God only at first glance seems conservative and unshakable. In fact, everything is changing and even the appearance of temples, and what is being built today, yesterday seemed strange or completely unacceptable. Roman basilicas were replaced by Gothic temples and Baroque churches…

In the 20th century, the time of avant-gardism came. A striking example of the use of this style in temple construction was the Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia in the city of Higuey. Thanks to the 80-meter concrete arch, symbolizing, according to the architects, the hands of the Mother of God folded in a prayer gesture, this building is noticeable from afar. The interior of the cathedral is no less impressive than its exterior.

The gaze of the parishioners who came to the service involuntarily rushes upwards — along the powerful pylons tilted inward. On the allegorical orange tree there is an icon of the 16th century depicting the Virgin of Algracia, which is the main shrine of the temple. In general, the cathedral looks very interesting, albeit a little unusual.

Address: Basilica of Our Lady of Altagracia, Higuey, Dominican Republic.



Dominican Republic is considered by many to be a country of tall palm trees and beautiful beaches. To some extent, they are right: there are really a lot of palm trees and beaches on the island. But the Dominican Republic is much more diverse than it might seem at first glance. Do you want to verify this? Then head to Jarabacoa, a mountain resort often referred to as the Dominican Alps.

This is a real paradise for lovers of mountain trekking. Rest here looks completely different than on the coast. Walking in the mountains, densely overgrown with pine forests and teeming with waterfalls, will give you real pleasure and help you get a better idea of ​​the Dominican Republic.

Address: Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic.

Punta Cana Natural Eyes Ecopark

Punta Cana Natural Eyes Ecopark.

Ecological Park «Natural Eyes», so named for the outward resemblance of the local secluded lagoons to human eyes, is an amazing place where untouched rainforests with their rich flora and fauna will appear before your eyes.

Intricate weaves of lianas, outlandish flowers of incredible shades, age-old trees bent in bizarre poses, thousands of colorful birds scurrying around in green thickets — these pictures created by nature can be admired for an infinitely long time.

Take a walk in the park, inhaling the scents of flowers and enjoying the melodic trills of birds, watch iguanas and sea turtles, visit the zoo, where a variety of animals of the Dominican Republic are collected, and, finally, swim in the azure, very clear waters of the lagoons, and then you will understand , what is happiness.

Address: Indigenous Eyes Ecological Reserve, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Cathedral of Santo Domingo

Cathedral of Santo Domingo.

Located in the historical part of Santo Domingo, the Cathedral, consecrated in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is not only an architectural, but a historical landmark of the Dominican capital. It was built in 1514-1544 and thus became the first Christian church in the New World.

The height of the vaulted ceilings of the building, made in the traditions of Gothic and Baroque, reaches 16 meters, and inside it seems even larger than outside. During the construction, coral limestone mined in local quarries was used, which has a golden hue, which gives the cathedral a solemn look.

The Cathedral of Santo Domingo is still active today — masses are regularly held here. Its doors are also open to tourists.

Address: Santo Domingo Cathedral, Callejón de los Curas, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Lake Enriquillo

Lake Enriquillo.

In the valley between the Sierra de Neiba and the Sierra Baoruco, the beautiful Lake Enriquillo lurks. It is famous primarily for the fact that, being 44 meters below sea level, it is the lowest point in the West Indies.

Once this valley was a sea strait connecting the bay of Port-au-Prince and the harbor of Bahia de Neiba, but a tectonic shift led to a decrease in the water level — and the salt lake Enriquillo was born, fed by rivers flowing from the mountain cliffs. By the way, in the rivers flowing into it, crocodiles are found in abundance, not disdaining salt water.

The lake and the surrounding areas are part of the Cabritos National Park, designed to protect these unique places and the animals that live here, many of which are on the verge of extinction.

Address: Enriquillo, Dominican Republic.

Duarte Peak

Duarte Peak.

Due to the lack of fresh water, the area around Peak Duarte, located in the Central Cordillera, is practically uninhabited. And yet, many tourists rush here: they are attracted by the desire to conquer Duarte, the highest mountain in the Caribbean.

Of course, this is far from Everest, the height of Duarte is only 3098 meters, but even for experienced travelers climbing it will be a serious test. The daredevils will not only enjoy the sweet feeling of victory, but also many other pleasant moments, in particular, the opportunity to admire the local flora and fauna.

During the ascent, you will encounter wild mountain olives, Creole pines and West Indian laurel cherries, you will have a chance to see many birds that live only in this region, including the palm coin, recognized as the national bird of the Dominican Republic, even the chance of meeting wild boars is possible roaming the slopes of the mountain.

Address: Duarte, Dominican Republic.

Del Este National Park

Del Este National Park. | Photo: Michael Cahoon / Flickr.

Located in the province of La Romana, the Del Este National Park consists of the mainland and the small island of Saona, also called Bounty Island. Saona is famous for its snow-white beaches, relict forests, in which more than fifty different plant species grow, and caves that served as a refuge for the Indians hiding here from the Spaniards in the 16th century.

The mainland part of the reserve is no less interesting than the island part. Going deeper into the jungle, you can see a lot of birds, of which 112 species live here. In addition, rhinos, sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins and manatees are found in the park. In January and February, whales can be observed migrating in the surrounding waters.

Address: Este National Park, Dominican Republic.

Marinarium Marine Park

Marinarium Marine Park.

In the eastern part of the Dominican Republic, between the resorts of Punta Can and Playa Bavaro, there is a unique marine entertainment complex «Marinarium», which includes an aquarium and a huge underwater park with an area of ​​40,000 m 2 . Visitors to the Marinarium will discover all the beauty of the underwater world of the Caribbean Sea, getting a lot of vivid impressions and positive emotions at the same time.

Everyone will find entertainment to their liking. You can, for example, take a mini-cruise on a catamaran with a transparent bottom, which allows you to see myriads of beautiful tropical fish without diving into the water. You can go snorkeling next to the enclosures, which are inhabited by marine predators. You can ride the waves on a kayak or surfboard… How about holding a stingray or swimming with non-aggressive, but still sharks?

Address: Marinarium Parks, Carretera Cabeza de Toro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

National Pantheon

National Pantheon.

The National Pantheon is considered one of the iconic places in Santo Domingo, and almost no tour of the Dominican capital is complete without visiting it. Most tourists are not interested in looking at the burial places of people whose names tell almost nothing to travelers from Europe, but we would advise you to take a look at the pantheon building itself, which looks very majestic.

The shape of the pantheon will resemble a Christian temple, and this is no coincidence. Once it really was a church built in the 18th century by Jesuit monks. After the expulsion of the Jesuits from all Spanish possessions in America, this temple, among other property of the order, was confiscated in favor of the state.

Over the next two centuries, the building performed a variety of, sometimes very unusual functions, until in 1956 it was decided to turn it into a mausoleum.

Several times a day, the changing of the guard of honor takes place in front of the Pantheon — this spectacle always attracts tourists.

Address: National Pantheon of the Dominican Republic, Las Damas Street, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

National Botanical Garden

National Botanical Garden.

There are many parks in which a variety of tropical plants grow in the Dominican Republic. But even if you have already visited several of them, you should not refuse to visit the National Botanical Garden, in which almost all representatives of the local flora are collected on an area of ​​2.5 sq. km.

The botanical garden consists of several thematic zones, which, of course, makes it easier to see. One of the most interesting sectors is considered to be water: 109 reservoirs located here are covered with various aquatic plants. Romantic natures will enjoy visiting the Japanese sector and the orchid sector.

Half of the area of ​​the botanical garden is occupied by the jungle, for ease of movement along which special paths have been laid leading to the very heart of the rainforest. The pride of the Botanical Garden is the flower clock with a diameter of 20 meters.

Address: Dr. Rafael Moscoso National Botanical Garden, Av República de Colombia, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

National Palace

National Palace. | Photo: Jean-Marc Astesana / Flickr.

One of the most beautiful buildings in Santo Domingo is the National Palace — the residence of the President of the Dominican Republic. This neoclassical palace, erected in 1944-1947, cost the country a tidy sum, but the building was supposed to become a new symbol of the country, and therefore no expense was spared.

The dominant architectural element of the National Palace is a large dome 34 meters high supported by 18 columns. Of great interest is the chapel of Raphael the Archangel built at the palace, which is distinguished by pomp and luxury of decor. By the way, everyone can get into the National Palace and see all this splendor, but as part of an excursion group.

Address: Presidencia de la República Dominicana, Avenida Mexico, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Fort San Felipe

Fort San Felipe.

On the outskirts of Puerto Plata, on a hill overlooking the ocean, stands the ancient Spanish fort of San Felipe, built in the middle of the 16th century to protect the city from attacks by sea pirates. There was a period when the fortification was turned into a dungeon, where Juan Pablo Duarte, one of the fighters for the independence of the Dominican Republic, was kept in custody.

In the middle of the 20th century, it was decided to create a museum of military history within the walls of the fortress. It presents a magnificent collection of weapons of the XVIII-XIX centuries. But not only museum expositions attract tourists to San Felipe: magnificent views of Puerto Plata and its surroundings open from the observation deck of the fort.

Address: La Fortaleza de San Felipe, Avenida General Gregorio Luperón, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

Ocean World Adventure Park

Ocean World Adventure Park.

On one of Puerto Plata’s beaches, the Ocean World adventure park, which is very popular with tourists, is a large entertainment complex. Here you will find a dolphinarium, by the way, the largest in the world, a casino, a theater, and, of course, many restaurants, shops and nightclubs.

Visitors to Ocean World have the opportunity to observe the habits of marine animals, not only dolphins, but also rays, sea lions, sharks, etc. With animals you can communicate, feed, stroke. Specially designed programs help big and small guests of the park to get to know the underwater world and its inhabitants.

Address: Ocean World Adventure Park, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic., Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.

Franciscan monastery ruins

Ruins of a Franciscan monastery.

The monastery, built in Santo Domingo in the first half of the 16th century, became the first Christian monastery in the New World. Belonging to the monks of the Franciscan order, the complex in the Gothic style consisted of a residential building and two adjoining chapels.

Many trials have befallen this monastery. There was a time when the military occupied it and kept the arrested here, for which the locals called the holy monastery the House of the Devil. Serious damage to the monastery was inflicted during a raid on the city by Francis Drake. Then two earthquakes followed, which also did not spare the holy place. And, finally, after the rampant hurricane that occurred at 1930 year, the monastery decided not to rebuild.

Today, the ruins of the monastery serve as an ideal backdrop for various festivals, concerts and, of course, photo shoots arranged by tourists. But above the main entrance of the building, you can still see the image of the coat of arms of the Franciscans, reminiscent of the fact that this «real estate» has an owner.

Address: Monasterio de San Francisco, Calle Juan Isidro Pérez, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Caves of Los tres Ojos, or «Three Eyes»

Caves of Los tres Ojos, or «Three Eyes».

The name of the cave system Los tres Ojos, located in the park of the same name, on the eastern outskirts of Santo Domingo, is translated from Spanish as «Three Eyes», and this is no coincidence. Here, at a depth of 15 meters, you can see three lakes that do not communicate with each other. The water in the lakes differs both in color and in composition.

In one it is fresh, in another it is salty, in the third it is saturated with hydrogen sulfide. Until recently, it was possible to swim in the cave lakes, but due to the increasing number of accidents, the authorities imposed a ban on this entertainment. But if you wish, you can ride on the largest of the reservoirs on a pleasure boat.

Los tres Ojos Caves is not only a natural but also a historical landmark. Once there was a sacred place of the Indians of the Taino tribe, where they performed sacrifices.

Address: Los Tres Ojos National Park, Calle Marginal Las Americas Este, Santo Domingo Este, Dominican Republic.

Manati Park

Manati Park.

Not far from the city of Punta Cana you will find the magnificent amusement park «Manati». On its territory of 80 hectares there is everything you need for a rich family holiday. Children will be delighted with the local zoo, where you can see colorful iguanas, lazy snakes and crocodiles, graceful flamingos, noisy parrots and many other representatives of the Dominican fauna, and various shows with trained animals.

The ladies will certainly enjoy the tropical garden and especially the abundant blooming orchids found there. The fathers of the family will appreciate the recreated village of the Indians of the Taino tribe, who lived on these lands before the arrival of the Spaniards on the island.

However, such a division is very conditional: all of the above, as well as the dolphinarium, which we did not mention, will appeal to all guests of the park, without exception, regardless of gender and age.

Address: Manati Park, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Dominican Museum of Man

Dominican Museum of Man.

Once in the capital’s Square of Culture, you will find several museums at once, but the most interesting of them and really deserving of your attention is the Dominican Museum of Man, which tells about the distant past of the country.

Museum guests will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the history of the Taino tribes that lived in the territory of the present Dominican Republic before arriving on Columbus Island, learn about their culture and traditions, see masks, funeral obelisks, weapons, household items and tools of Indian labor.

Several museum exhibits are devoted to the discoverers of the New World and the black slaves that the Spanish colonialists brought with them, as well as the interaction of these peoples with the indigenous population of the island.

Address: Museum of the Dominican Man, Avenida Pedro Henríquez Ureña, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Mirador del Sur Park

Mirador del Sur Park.

The Mirador del Sur is located away from the historic districts of Santo Domingo, but we still advise you to find time and get to this green corner of the capital. The park is never crowded. In the mornings, locals come here, preferring to do exercises in the fresh air.

To ensure that nothing interferes with the aspirations of citizens to lead a healthy lifestyle, even the neighboring avenue is declared a pedestrian zone during these hours. In the evening, entertainment lovers come to Mirador del Sur: in the park there are several natural caves that have been converted into restaurants, which, by the way, are considered quite prestigious. And in Mirador del Sur, concerts of pop stars, various festivals, fairs and other rather interesting mass events often take place.

Address: Mirador del Sur Park, Av. Mirador Del Sur, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Museum of the Royal Palaces

Museum of the Royal Palaces.

The Museum of the Royal Palaces is one of the most visited museums in Santo Domingo. It is located in the building of the palace, built in the Renaissance style at the beginning of the 16th century and initially divided into two parts — the Palace of the Commander-in-Chief and the premises for the Royal Court. This historical building became a museum in the second half of the 20th century.

Visiting the Museum of the Royal Palaces, you will get an idea of ​​how the governors of the island lived during the colonial era, examine the collection of gilded furniture and a huge collection of weapons, including samurai swords and medieval armor, see items found on ships sunken in coastal waters. Separate expositions tell visitors about the voyages of Christopher Columbus and the life of the Taino Indians.

Address: Museo de las Casas Reales, Las Damas Street, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Map of Dominican Attractions

Best hotels in Santo Domingo

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Top 10 attractions in the Dominican Republic

Hello everyone! We have decided to combine for you the most interesting places on our island that are MANDATORY to visit! We hope that our selection will be useful to you.

Saona Island is located in the southeast of the Dominican Republic, washed by the waves of the Caribbean Sea and is one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean, attracting an incredible number of tourists. With its beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise waters, Saona has become the most popular tourist destination in the country. This is exactly the place that will help you relax and unwind as much as possible, forgetting about stress and fatigue.


Catalina Island is another natural attraction in the Dominican Republic, which, although not as well-known as Saona, is also a popular tourist destination. The island was discovered and named so by Christopher Columbus himself during his tour of the region in 1494. The island is perfect for snorkeling and diving lovers, as it has a rich underwater world. And among the birds inhabiting Catalina there are endemic species.

The Samana Peninsula is located in the northeast of the Dominican Republic and is a nature reserve where a variety of natural phenomena such as mangroves, paradise waterfalls and unique tropical nature with stone islands growing literally from the surface of the water miraculously combine. In the winter months, Samana is worth a trip for the humpback whales that come to these waters for mating games.

See also: Great Humpback Whales in the Dominican Republic: the most interesting facts

El Limon Falls is one of the natural wonders offered by the Samana Peninsula. Lost among the jungle, a piece of paradise with clear water, where a powerful stream falls from a height of several tens of meters, cannot leave any traveler indifferent. Here you can feel yourself in the heart of wild nature.

Dudu Lagoon is located on the northern coast of the island and attracts with its unusualness, because it is a group of freshwater lagoons located among rough tropical vegetation and caves. Here you can just swim or rent a kayak, and for the most desperate, there is even a zipline, from a ten-meter height of which you can jump into the deepest lagoon.

Los Aitises is a national park located on the Samana Peninsula. With firm confidence, you can call it one of the most unusual parks, because on its territory you can see not only unusual flora and fauna, but also swim on a boat among mangroves and unusual rocky islands, visit caves where pirates once hid. Well, if you’re lucky, you might even find a treasure of gold.

See also: Larimar from the Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo — the first capital of the New World. The city where all the ships going to America stopped to replenish their supplies of water and provisions and go further, somewhere in Great Columbia. Throughout the American continent, Santo Domingo is probably the only city that has collected all the very «first» on the New Continent — the first cathedral, the first university, the first cobbled street. But over the course of all five hundred years of its existence, new and new monuments appeared, for example, such as the Columbus Lighthouse — a giant bizarre building in the form of a lying cross, which is also the mausoleum of the discoverer of America.

Lake Enriquillo is a lake in the western part of the island. Its unusualness lies in the fact that the water in it is salty, and representatives of two species of iguanas live around it. But that’s not all, because American crocodiles are found in the lake itself. It would probably be fair to call Lake Enriquillo the most unusual natural site in the Dominican Republic.

Orlov Bay — a beach on the southwestern coast of the island. A picturesque, untouched place with white sand and clear water, ideal for meditation and silent enjoyment of nature.

Altos de Chavon — not far from La Romana is the «city of millionaires» Casa de Campo, where you can find the villas of the most famous singers, actors and politicians, the island’s most expensive hotels and the most luxurious fields for the game to golf.

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