On your next all inclusive travel trip to Punta Cana, break away from the gorgeous beaches & service of 5 star hotels like the Iberostar Grand Bavaro for a day to take a road trip to the other side of the island. Travelers that do won't be disappointed because they'll be immersed into an entirely different atmosphere that rivals the tropical destination.
Santo Domingo is the oldest European city in the Caribbean, having been founded in 1498 as a Spanish colony by the brother of Christopher Columbus, according to USA Today. With an abundance of history dating back to the New World, Santo Domingo is a perfect display of when cultures collide in a beautiful setting for you to enjoy.
A much easier journey If you wanted to visit Santo Domingo from Punta Cana a couple of years ago, the journey might not even have been worth it. The drive between cities would take eight hours to get there & come back, the source stated. By the time tourists would arrive, it would already be almost time to return to their 5 star resorts. However, the new Coral Highway has reduced the travel time by half, making the trip very doable with ample time to experience all it has to offer.
Centuries of history to explore The heart & soul of Santo Domingo is the Colonial District, which has a collection of historical buildings & ruins. When you're walking through the city streets, you'll witness key pieces of the country's past, such as the Monasterio de San Francisco, the oldest such monastery in the New World. Though the centuries-old building is in ruins, the Ministry of Tourism holds free outdoor concerts every Sunday night to breath some new life into the old structure, stated Santo Domingo Tourism.
The church was built in 1508 & what remains has managed to survive two earthquakes, a hurricane & an invasion by Sir Francis Drake.
For a piece of history that's still intact, check out one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city – the Alcázar de Colón. The building is the oldest viceroy palace in all of the Americas, the source asserted. Christopher Columbus' son used to live there & it served as the Spanish Court for almost 60 years. It was even the base for conquest into the entire region such as Cuba, Peru, Florida & more.
Take a drive to Santo Domingo to round out your tropical vacation & see one of the most important cities of the New World.