Santo Domingo travel information
For almost 100 years, Santo Domingo had to endure invasions by the English, the French, and the Spaniols. The Spanish invasion reduced the area of the city to half its size. Other invasions the city had to endure were the attack of the Haitians, which conquered the island and from whose domination Santo Domingo hardly escaped. After almost 70 years of civil wars, dictatorship, occupation, or political problems, Santo Domingo finally reached to the point where now it is one of the most vibrant cities from the Carribean.
Santo Domingo de Guzman dates back to 1496, being founded by Bartholomeo Columbus. It is the oldest European settlement in The New World and the capital of the Dominican Republic. Before this, the place was occupied by the Taino Indians. From Santo Domingo's harbors, America's exploration began. In the year 1992, the city celebrated 500 years since Columbus's exploration and his discovery of Hispaniola.
What is very important if you travel to Santo Domingo, is not to forget your passport. Getting out of the country may not be possible without it, even though entering can be done with a birth certificate or a photo ID. You can buy visas before entering the Dominican Republic and you can find tourist card at arrival in the country.
Written authorization from a parent or legal guardian is required for a minor who travels in the Dominican Republic. Also, what is needed is a Spanish written authorization notarized by the consulate of the Dominican Republic from their country, or at the Attorney's General office from Republica Dominicana.
Traffic in Santo Domingo is quite hard because the locals hardly obey traffic lights and signals, so it is recommended that you take a taxi – you can even negotiate with the taxi-driver – or take a public transportation.
As far as crime is concerned, Santo Domingo is quite dangerous. So it is recommended that you take with you minimum cash when going out at night, and keep valuables safe at the hotel.
There are plenty to do in Santo Domingo, especially if you are a sports fan. Horse racing can be practiced in Santo Domingo at Galapagos Hipodromo V Centenario. The racecourse have many facilities such as restaurants, white sand beaches, or even jet skiing is possible.
Santo Domingo has its own Professional Winter League for “beisbol”, due to the fact that beisbol is the national sport. Many valuable players born in Santo Domingo now play in major baseball teams.
For those who love outdoor sports, a walk or activities in the beautiful parks from Santo Domingo are recommended. You can practice anything from biking, jogging and even backpacking.
Not only sports can be practiced in Santo Domingo. Visiting the old part of the city can be fascinating due to Santo Domingo's long history. Places like Alcazar or the Catedral Santa Maria la Menor are worth visiting.
Shopping in Santo Domingo must be interesting, because the city is one of the biggest shopping bazaars from the Carribean. You can find there artisanal products, jewelry or hand-wrapped cigars.
Nightlife in Santo Domingo is remarkable. After dark, you can go from gambling, to dancing merengue.
Culture, fun and plenty of action are guaranteed in Santo Domingo.