Monday, June 27, 2011

A Short Santo Domingo Travel Guide

Why choose Santo Domingo?
Santo Domingo is the oldest city in the New World, where the settlement of all the Americas began. See the first cathedral, the first hospital. Wander down cobble stone streets among the Spanish colonial architecture and imagine how things were back in the 1600s.

No other city in the Caribbean has a greater variety of restaurants and night life. There are so many restaurants in this city that it is practically impossible even for those who live here to have visited them all. And it's a city that never sleeps. A great place to meet people. A lot of young single executives who come here to work end up leaving (if they leave) married to a Dominican.

Santo Domingo has great shopping. Major chains from all around the world have opened branches here and more will be opening soon. Discount stores offer great prices on designer brands, the leading shops offer clearance sales several times a year and there are many designer shops for more exclusive wear.

Santo Domingo is the most bustling and diverse city in the Caribbean. It has a population of over three million inhabitants within the city and the Province of Santo Domingo and sprawls out over 250 square kilometers.

What else is nearby
Santo Domingo is located on the south coast of the Dominican Republic, about mid way between the western border with Haiti and the eastern coastline. The furthest western border, the north coast and east coast are all four hour drive away. Go east and the first major town you come to is the resort town of Boca Chica. Go west and you will arrive at the Palenque and Nizao beach areas, also the newly habilitated Pomier Caves (the largest in the Caribbean). Go north and you will pass the cities of Bonao and Jarabacoa as you work your way through the highest mountains in the Caribbean.

How to get to Santo Domingo
Las Americas International Airport is located to the east of Santo Domingo, about 30 minutes away from the heart of the city. It receives direct scheduled flights from: United States: American Airlines (New York, Miami, Boston), Delta (New York), Continental (Newark), Spirit (Fort Lauderdale), US Airways (Fort Lauderdale, Philadelphia). Caribbean: American Eagle and Iberia (San Juan, Puerto Rico), American Eagle and Liat (Antigua), American Eagle (Saint Martin), Aserca (Caracas), Bahamas Air (Nassau), Dutch Bird, Aeropostal (Curacao), Aeropostal (Aruba), Air Antillas (Pont-a-Pitre), Air Caraibes (Pont-a-Pitre, Fort de France, Port-au-Prince), Air Jamaica (Kingston), BWIA Airlines (Curacao, Trinidad), Cubana de Aviacion (Havana). Latin America: Copa (Panama City). Europe: Martinair (Amsterdam), Air France (Paris), Iberia, Air Europa, Air Plus Comet (Madrid), LTU (Frankfurt). There are charter flights to Toronto, Canada.
Inexpensive coach bus transport is available from North and East destinations.

Getting around
Most tour groups will be bussed into the city in large chartered busses. If you are traveling individually, you will need to take a taxi from the airport to the city which will cost about RD$600. Prices are posted at the airport. Fix the price prior to leaving for your destination.

Another option is to rent a car. It is pretty straight forward driving into the city - take the Las Americas Expressway westbound until you pass over the Duarte Bridge and continue onto the 27 de Febrero overpass system.
The cheapest way to get from the airport to the city is to take a taxi or motoconcho (motorcycle taxi if you have no luggage) up to the highway about 1/2 mile. From there, you can take a public bus to Santo Domingo.

Within Santo Domingo there are excellent radio-taxi services. You can call a taxi that for RD$100 (with air-conditioner) will get you to most points. These taxis will usually arrive in around five minutes. Befriend a taxi driver and he can become your tour guide, assisting you with many of your needs.
Other forms of public transport are the "carros publicos" (multi-fare taxis), the Conatra and Fenatrano minibuses, the OMSA large buses and car rentals. For more information, see our Transport Page

Best ports of entry
Santo Domingo has two international airports. These are the Las Americas International Airport and the Herrera International Airport. The Santo Domingo Port receives some cruise ships but is set for major renovations in 2005.

Santo Domingo is a great city of South America.

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