Santo Domingo may not be the first place many people think about when planning their next Caribbean vacation, but it is definitely a city worth exploring. Although lacking the glamour of the Dominican’s great beach escapes, Santo Domingo lays claim to being the first seat of European colonial rule in the New World. In fact, the city was founded in 1496 by none other than Bartholomew—brother to the infamous navigator Christopher Colombus.
And while the country’s modern history is linked to the arrival of Colombus and the colonization of the Americas, subsequent events colored the history pages of this colonial city. A living witness to pirate attacks, slave revolts, Spanish conquests, natural disasters and a dictator who named half the country after his name (yes, Santo Domingo was once known as Trujillo City), this metropolis of almost one million people is the largest city by population in the entire Caribbean.
The seat of political, economic, financial and cultural life of the country, visitors to Santo Domingo will discover a very Dominican mixture of modern amenities, colonial architecture and tropical flair. Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone—a World Heritage Site—is just one of several great places to visit in this vibrant, bustling city.