Things to Do in the Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo pic

Santo Domingo
Image: latinamericanhistory.about.com

Robert Rankin has served as owner and operator Snowbird Mountain Lodge in Robbinsville, NC for the past 22 years. When he isn’t hiking or taking in other Robbinsville, NC, leisure activities, Robert Rankin also enjoys traveling to international destinations such as the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic has become an increasingly popular Caribbean destination, and as a result, the tourist industry there is booming. The attention is well deserved, as the island offers many wonderful experiences to both first-time and repeat visitors. For those new to the island, here are two aspects of the Dominican Republic that are worth exploration:

Santo Domingo is not only the capital city of the Dominican Republic, but is also the Western Hemisphere’s oldest recorded European settlement. As one might expect from a city with such a pedigree, Santo Domingo is brimming with historic districts that serve as an homage to the colonial period. The island also has more modern appeal as well, boasting arts and cultural museums as well as some of the country’s best fine dining. For the first-time visitor to the Dominican Republic, a trip to Santo Domingo should be at the top of the list.

There are also plenty of things to do outside the hustle-and-bustle of the big city, though. In fact, the Dominican Republic is home to numerous ancient cave systems. Tourists can hike, horseback ride, or even swim through some the caves located throughout the country’s various national parks, many of which are populated by native bats and turtles and adorned with stalagmite formations.

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Visiting the Dominican Republic’s Santo Domingo

Robert Rankin of Robbinsville, NC, currently oversees all activities at Snowbird Mountain Lodge, which is located in North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains. When vacationing outside of the Robbinsville, NC, area, Robert Rankin enjoys traveling to domestic and international locations. He has recently spent time in the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic has become a sought-after destination for travelers, thanks to its warm tropical weather and a diverse, visually engaging landscape. Tourists who find themselves spending time in the country are often directed to the city of Santo Domingo as a main attraction. One of the most historically and culturally rich cities in the Western Hemisphere, Santo Domingo offers distinct Spanish architecture dating back to Colonial times as well as countless restaurants and eateries.

Santo Domingo’s central square Plaza de la Cultura is home to the Palace of Fine Arts, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Palace, and a number of additional places of interest. Historians can also enjoy the city’s Colonial City district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other popular stops in Santo Domingo include the National Botanical Gardens and the city’s storied Malecon, a seaside promenade famous for its scenic views.