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Things to do in
Santo Domingo

Our most recommended things to do in Santo Domingo

Punta Cana: Santo Domingo Day Trip with Tickets and Lunch

1. Punta Cana: Santo Domingo Day Trip with Tickets and Lunch

Santo Domingo is a magical city, full of history, culture and amazing landscapes. Explore the oldest Capital of the “New” World, Santo Domingo, the first city founded in America. This sightseeing tour shows you a city full of history and culture. A great activity for the whole family. - We will pick you up at your Hotel to start an incredible trip to Santo Domingo, during the trip you will see incredible details about the Culture of the Dominican Republic. - Upon arrival in Santo Domingo you will visit the incredible cenotes of Los Tres Ojos National Park, especially natural and magical. - You will visit the most important monuments of the City: The 1st Cathedral of America, the Alcázar de Colón and the National Pantheon, El Faro a Colón. - We will take a walk through the Colonial Zone, a romantic street, the first in America, “The Ladies”. Enjoying an ancient but picturesque panoramic view. It operates every day. Its approximate duration is 10 hours.

Punta Cana: Private Transfer to or from Punta Cana Airport

2. Punta Cana: Private Transfer to or from Punta Cana Airport

Enjoy an excellent and elegant transportation service, from which you can choose between our private service and our vip service. Our transport covers routes throughout the Dominican territory, Santo Domingo, La Romana, Cap Cana, Punta Cana, Cabeza de Toro, Bávaro, Uvero Alto, you decide where you should go and we offer you the service you need. Our representative will pick you up at the place established by you, which will be duly identified with the company logo and with your name written on a sign. We will take you to your destination, while you enjoy your tour and the beautiful view of the Caribbean. You can also choose from a wide variety of drinks which you can optionally include in the service at an additional cost. It operates every day, 24 hours a day.

From Santo Domingo: Saona Island Day Trip w/ Lunch & Drinks

3. From Santo Domingo: Saona Island Day Trip w/ Lunch & Drinks

Saona Island is paradise on earth surrounded by white sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters and countless palm trees. This environment invites you to relax. Isla Saona is an experience of a lifetime! - We will pick you up in our transport to go from your place to Bayahibe. - We will board the Speedboat and begin your journey to Saona Island in the Caribbean Sea. - Halfway through the navigation you will have a 45-minute stop at the beautiful Natural Pool (Blue Lagoon) or sandbanks where you will be at the foot of the sea and the water only has a maximum depth of 1 meter. You can also enjoy the Starfish Sanctuary. - You will advance your trip until you reach Saona Island, where you will enjoy approximately 2 hours 45 minutes of free time to enjoy the island. - Lunch will be at 1:00 pm buffet style with various types of side dishes and meats. - At approximately 2:40 pm, you will board a beautiful catamaran to return to Bayahibe. On the catamaran, you will enjoy the party and dance with our animation for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. - At the end, our transport will be waiting for you to take you back to your hotel. Isla Saona takes place every day. Its approximate duration is 12 hours.

From Bavaro: Santo Domingo Colonial City Tour

4. From Bavaro: Santo Domingo Colonial City Tour

Take a trip back in time, where you will enjoy an interesting historical recount. Visit the most emblematic museums of the Dominican capital, with architectural designs dating from the time of the discovery of America. Travel in the comfort of an air-conditioned bus while a professional guide shares their knowledge about the history of European colonization in America. After your hotel pickup, head to 3 Eyes National Park, a complex of underground caves and lagoons initially inhabited by the Taino Indians. Next, set out to visit the Colonial Zone, the first permanent European settlement in America. Founded in 1502 by the Spanish colonizers, it has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.  Visit the first Cathedral of America, the Alcázar de Colón or the Palacio Virreinal de Don Diego. Get to know La Calle Las Damas, the first street on the island.  Enjoy panoramic visits to the National Palace and the Columbus Lighthouse, a monument built in memory of Christopher Columbus and where his remains rest.

Santo Domingo: Ciudad Colonial Neighborhood Guided Bike Tour

5. Santo Domingo: Ciudad Colonial Neighborhood Guided Bike Tour

Are you ready for an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Santo Domingo? Join us on the most fun and authentic tour of the Colonial Zone, where history and culture come to life, all while creating lasting memories! Get ready to cover more ground and make the most of your time in this vibrant city. Our tour is designed to take you to the most beautiful and hidden corners, perfect for those Insta-worthy shots that will make your friends jealous! This tour is not just a sightseeing trip; it's an immersion into the soul of Santo Domingo. From panoramic views of the Caribbean sea, feeling the refreshing breeze on your face, to exploring the main parks, plazas, and centuries-old ruins, you'll get a taste of the city's rich history and heritage. But that's not all! We'll take you to visit charming local businesses that truly showcase the best of our culture. You'll have the opportunity to experience Santo Domingo like a local, discovering all the best places to eat, drink, dance, and shop. By the end of the tour, you'll feel like you've lived here for ages! Don't worry about age restrictions; this 7 KM tour is adapted for all ages, so everyone can join in on the fun. Just show up 15 minutes before the tour begins, and we'll take care of the rest

Punta Cana: All Inclusive Santo Domingo Full-Day City Tour

6. Punta Cana: All Inclusive Santo Domingo Full-Day City Tour

Uncover the highlights and hidden gems of Santo Domingo on a guided city tour from Bavaro or Punta Cana. Explore the wealth of colonial architecture that has led to the area being recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. After a pickup from your hotel, embark on a journey to the New World’s oldest city in America, Santo Domingo. Learn how the city was settled in the years following Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Caribbean on his first voyage. Your first stop is The Three Eyes National Park, a nature reserve and open-air limestone cave system with a series of crystal clear lakes known as the “eyes.” Venture into a subway cave once used by the Taino Indians for their rituals. Hit the vibrant streets of Santo Domingo, mixing walking tours and bus rides to fully immerse yourself in the Dominican capital's history. From the Alcazar de Colon to the National Pantheon, and even the First Cathedral of America, dive deep into the rich heritage of this colonial city. After visiting various landmarks, take a well-deserved break at a local restaurant to indulge in a typical lunch with drinks. With your energy replenished, continue your exploration to get a glimpse of the modern area, passing by the National Palace, the seat of power in the Dominican Republic. As your tour of Santo Domingo draws to an end, return to your hotel with a newfound appreciation of its history and heritage.

From Punta Cana: Santo Domingo Full-Day Trip with Lunch

7. From Punta Cana: Santo Domingo Full-Day Trip with Lunch

Join a full-day experience leaving from Bávaro and Bayahibe through the new Autovía del Este. Walk in the cobblestoned historic core of Santo Domingo and visit the cathedral. Observe iconic spots like the Alcázar de Colón Palace, National Pantheon, and Los Tres Ojos. After arriving in Santo Domingo, head to your first stop, the open-air limestone cave and lakes of Los Tres Ojos. Continue the tour until you reach the Colón Lighthouse. Listen to its history and take photos of the view around you. Stroll around the coffee-lined Plaza de España and Colonial Zone. See the Alcázar de Colón palace, now one of the city’s many museums, displaying medieval and Renaissance art. Learn about the past and present of the oldest city in the Americas. Stop for a buffet lunch in a restaurant in the Colonial Zone. Pay homage to the First Cathedral of the Americas. Move on to the first street, Calle de Las Damas, and other colonial monuments from the 15th and 16th centuries. Take in a panoramic view of the modern city, residential areas, and the Presidential Palace. Enjoy free time to take a walk around El Conde where you can see old buildings or go shopping.

From Santo Domingo: Full day Historical Tour with Lunch

8. From Santo Domingo: Full day Historical Tour with Lunch

Our historical tour of Santo Domingo begins with your meeting with our tour guide at your meeting point, from there we will start the first stop at the presidential palace. Where you will see the government trajectory of the Dominican Republic. We will also visit the Cuevas de los 3 Ojos, a place that was an indigenous refuge in the years of discovery, but later we will make a stop at the Faro a colon. Monument inaugurated in 1992 as a celebration of the 500 years of the discovery of America. We will take a walk and visit the museums of the colonial zone such as: Alcazar de Colon, Primary Cathedral of America, Calle Las Damas, Sundial, Museum of Royal Houses, Dominicus Convent, Amber Museum. We will have lunch at a local restaurant and visit the local souvenir shops.

Santo Domingo: Chocolate Tour + Optional Workshops

9. Santo Domingo: Chocolate Tour + Optional Workshops

Start your experience at the Holographic theater where different ghosts from the world of chocolate come to life and tell the whole story of chocolate from the beginning of the time. Find out how cocoa reached Hispaniola and traveled to the rest of the world. Next, continue to the Cocoa Plantation where you will be able to sample some cocoa fruit and feel as if you are in a real forest. Head over to the Fermentation Room where the guide will show you all the processes of fermentation and dried and its importance in creating quality chocolate. After that, be directed to the Sensory Room and be challenged to use your 5 senses for each of the ingredients that make up awesome chocolate. If you guess right, you will have the chance to taste different chocolate percentages of KahKow Organic Chocolate. Finish the tour in the glass box on the Spanish Patio where the tour guide will explain how all the machines in the factory work to produce the final product. Upgrade your experience by adding on an optional workshop to the end of your tour. In the Soap Workshop, learn how to make your own soap with a cacao butter formula made by the workers at La Esmeralda. Add a special touch with your preferred aroma. Alternatively, choose the Chocolate Workshop and create your own chocolate bar.

Punta Cana Transfer Service Airport Transfer Punta Cana 2024

10. Punta Cana Transfer Service Airport Transfer Punta Cana 2024

Ensure your arrival in Punta Cana is hassle free, with this pre-paid and private transfer from the airport to your hotel. You will meet with your friendly driver at the airport, and travel in air-conditioned comfort in your own private vehicle to the hotel of your choice. This ground transfer is the perfect way to start a holiday or business trip with ease, relaxation and convenience. Your friendly and professional driver will meet you upon arrival at Puj Punta Cana international Airport, transporting you with total ease. Enjoy the convenience of door-to-door transportation and avoid the hassles of navigating the usual local transport with this easy-to-book service.

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Frequently asked questions about Santo Domingo

What top attractions are a must-see in Santo Domingo?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Santo Domingo?

The best day trips and excursions from Santo Domingo are:

Punta Cana

What are the best inexpensive tours in Santo Domingo?

What are the best deals and discounts on activities and attractions in Santo Domingo?

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Santo Domingo

The capital of the Dominican Republic is often overlooked when organizing a dreamy trip to this paradise island, but according to travel blogger Check Out Sam there is plenty to experience here too! After living here for several months, he knows the in- and outs of the city and shares his best tips with you all.

What should I do on my first trip to Santo Domingo?

Head out to the Zona Colonial and explore the beautiful squares, colorful streets and rich history of Santo Domingo. Parque Colón is -in my opinion- one of the cosiest places in the old town. Plaza España is bigger and much more touristy, but oozes holiday vibes. From the latter you also get some superb views over the rest of Santo Domingo.

What are some hidden gems to see in Santo Domingo?

Want to explore Santo Domingo from above? Hop on El Teleferico! This cable car takes you along a very cheap sightseeing tour above some of the many neighborhoods of the capital city. If you want to see nature, but don't want to venture out too far away from the city, I suggest you head to Los Tres Ojos National Park. Climb down the limestone caves and see the three underground lakes of Santo Domingo.

How much time should I spend in Santo Domingo?

You can see the highlights of Santo Domingo in two days and in that time you also have enough time to relax and unwind at some of the cozy restaurants or bars. Most sights and activities take place in the Zona Colonial. If you want to organize day trips to Punta Cana, Samana or elsewhere, keep in mind that you will at least lose one full day.

What food is Santo Domingo known for? 

I'm a sucker for mangú (plantain mash) and tostones (fried plantains), but there are many more Dominican specialties where you can feast on. Make sure to try some of the spicy chicken recipes. I have no idea how they do it, but they always are tasty!

What is the best way to get around Santo Domingo?

If you only stay in the historical center, you can easily walk everywhere. If you also want to discover other parts of the city, make use of Uber. It's cheap, reliable and safe.

What are the best months to visit Santo Domingo?

Try to come outside the summer, because that also means hurricane season. Around April and May there are also less tourists, so if you want to avoid the crowds this is the time to come. During winter, there will be more visitors escaping the cold in their home countries.

What are the best neighborhoods for food? 

In the Zona Colonial you will find restaurants that cater to every taste. They are often a bit more high end (but still dirt cheap!) and thus offer clean and original seating areas, but also delicious food. Also worth mentioning: the cocktails in the historical city center are great pretty much everywhere you go!!

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

The best shopping possibilities are outside the Zona Colonial (unless you want to buy souvenirs). Around the Piattini neighborhood there are a lot of malls where you can find boutique stores, famous brands, but also crafts, electronic shops, etc. Make sure to visit Agora Mall: the biggest shopping mall in the Caribbean.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Santo Domingo?

Zona Colonial. You'll be closest to most sights, wake up in a true Caribbean setting every morning and be in a very safe area.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Santo Domingo?

Go to Parque Colón and jump into the Chu Chu Colonial. This little train takes you along the most famous sights in the historical city center and gives you fun facts along the way.

What is the best thing to do in Santo Domingo for solo travelers?

Plan a few day trips (or longer!) to other regions of the Dominican Republic. It's the best way to meet other solo travelers and also a great way to explore the beauty of the Dominican Republic. I recommend going to Samana (Los Haitises, whale watching, El Limon Waterfall, ...) or beautiful Puerto Plata.

What is the best thing to do in Santo Domingo for couples?

Enjoy one of the many rooftop bars in the Zona Colonial while waiting for a famous Caribbean sunset. It really can't get more romantic!

What are the best areas for outdoor activities around Santo Domingo?

Near Santo Domingo, Los Tres Ojos National Park is the only area where you'll find some unspoiled nature. If you don't mind doing a day trip (but preferably longer), head to the Samana Peninsula for stunning hikes and spectacular wildlife. To the west (bordering Haïti), you can find the most unspoiled nature of the island.

What are the best beaches around Santo Domingo?

You are in the Dominican Republic, baby. Most beaches here are stunning! But, admittedly, the prettiest ones are not so close to Santo Domingo. If you don't mind taking the Uber or bus a little further: head to Boca Chica or Juan Dolio. Both beaches have pearly white sand and see-through water. Just what you want to see during a holiday in the Caribbean!

Other Sightseeing Options in Santo Domingo

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What people are saying about Santo Domingo

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 290 reviews

The island is an absolute sight! I booked the trip on a Sunday and it was quite busy, but you can explore the island on foot and end up in places where you are completely alone. I've never seen anything so beautiful before and it's definitely worth the trip! The food on site was also very tasty, although unfortunately there was no selection (apart from cucumbers and tomatoes) for vegetarians. Pack a few snacks and you'll be fine. I can really recommend it!!

Tour guide was fantastic, told some great stories and interesting things! Tour itself is superb! there is a lot to see, it really exceeded my expectations! I would recommend it to everyone!

We had a dance class with Ari and we had a great time together. We were beginners and Ari took his time with us. I highly recommend to have a good time in Santo Domingo!

Fernando was very personable, friendly and knowledgeable. We really enjoyed his tour. Thank you!

it was great fun, the guide really explained everything to us, we had a great day