Scenes from Santo Domingo

Scenes from Santo Domingo

Cathedral of Santo Domingo
Cathedral of Santo Domingo

I enjoyed the Dominican Republic. I really did. Four years later (man, time flies!), and our trip there is still fresh and vivid in my memory. The Spanish was slower and more relatable, the food was beyond delicious, and the locals were warm and welcoming.

Although it was our first time in the country, I felt very much at home there. I’m an island girl at heart, and the slower pace of life and Caribbean vibes sit well with my soul. Also, we all felt a certain camaraderie and comfort with the locals. From Ayoti (more than likely misspelled), a local who took us under his wing in Santo Domingo and even took us to the city’s hottest discotecas, to Julia, my seatmate on our bus from Santo Domingo to Sosua, with whom I chatted in Spanish about the silly dating games that men play, we forged instant bonds with several Dominicans throughout our trip.

Santo Domingo was the jumping off point for the rich experiences we had throughout our travels through the Dominican Republic. The city is somewhat gritty as it’s the oldest European settlement in the Americas that’s been continuously inhabited. And while the beach towns of Sosua and Cabarete were more my scene, looking back through some pictures of our time in the country’s capital, I feel compelled to share some with you here.

Palacio Consistorial - several Dominican presidents have been sworn into office here and this is also the former headquarters of the country's Congress
Palacio Consistorial – several Dominican presidents have been sworn into office here and this is also the former headquarters of the country’s Congress
A typical street in the Colonial Zone
A typical street in the Colonial Zone
While strolling through the Colonial Zone, we ducked into the Amber World Museum for a free visit
While strolling through the Colonial Zone, we ducked into the Amber World Museum for a free visit
Checking out a cigar shop in the Colonial Zone
Checking out a cigar shop in the Colonial Zone

Lunch with Ayoti (in blue) at Mimosa in the Colonial Zone
Lunch with Ayoti (in blue) at Mimosa in the Colonial Zone
Date night at Macumba, a discoteca in the heart of the city
Date night at Macumba, a discoteca in the heart of the city
Chess is very popular in the Dominican Republic
Chess is very popular in the Dominican Republic

Dilapidated buildings on El Malecón
Dilapidated buildings on El Malecón
Monument in honor of Antonio de Montesinos, a Spanish Dominican friar who preached against the enslavement and poor treatment of the island's indigenous peoples
Monument in honor of Antonio de Montesinos, a Spanish Dominican friar who preached against the enslavement and poor treatment of the island’s indigenous peoples

I'm all for healthy, clean beaches, but artistically speaking, I think there's something beautiful about this filthy beach
I’m all for healthy, clean beaches, but artistically speaking, I think there’s something beautiful about this filthy beach
Under an almond tree
Under an almond tree

PINNABLE

santo-domingo-dominican-republic

Is the Dominican Republic on your travel wish list? What about Santo Domingo?

  • That Amber World Museum sounds fascinating, Dana! And I bet that cigar shop was amazing. Love the pics of you two as always. And I’m digging the hat, Jave! 🙂

    • Dana Carmel

      The cigar shop was pretty cool. And I love this pic of Jave. I wish he had bought that hat!

  • I’m so into amber, I know I’d have a hard time leaving that amber museum.
    It looks artistic until you realize that isn’t supposed to be there. It’s filthy! I’d be too worried about stepping on something to enjoy it. The brown sand is interesting, makes the water look broody.

    • Dana Carmel

      You’re right – I didn’t think of it as being “artistic” until I downloaded the pic from my camera. That beach is a hot mess! But the DR is so beautiful otherwise.

  • That sand looked very artsy at first glance and then I realized it’s trash. Ha. Very cool post, Dana!

    Happy travels 🙂

    • Dana Carmel

      Yeah – this was the only dirty beach we saw in the DR. Not sure why they don’t clean it?! Thanks for reading!

  • Hahaha that beach is absolutely filthy… but I have to agree, the photograph is cool. The DR looks cool! I went there when I was… 17? or so and spend most of the time in this remote area volunteering with a group, so I missed out on a lot of the culture. My strongest memory is this MASSIVE spider that appeared in the bedroom. It took an entire can of raid to kill it.

    So needless to say, maybe I need some new, better memories of the DR, because I know it’s a wonderful place!

    • Dana Carmel

      I would’ve completely lost my mind if I saw a spider like that!! I know that there are a lot of tarantulas in the DR and I can’t imagine coming across one in my bedroom or something. Yes – you should definitely return to the DR. We volunteered while we were there as well, but only for a short term project. So we had a great balance of volunteering and doing fun stuff.

  • Did you try the Mangu? I love it. The playas down there are beautiful and the fishing is great. The Dominican Republic is a good bargain for travelers.

    • Dana Carmel

      No – I didn’t try mangu. I wonder if it tastes similar to mofongo. The DR is very beautiful and you’re right that it’s quite affordable.

  • I’ve never actually considered Dominican Republic as a destination… what did you like the most about it?

    • Dana Carmel

      I’m a total beach bum, so I love the DR’s beach scene. I love love love the laid back Caribbean pace, the people, the food, etc. I like that the DR has a diverse landscape as well. I know that you like to climb/trek, and while that’s not my thing, I’m sure that you could find some opportunities like that and then cool down at the beach when you’re done! I know that there are definitely some canyoning opps in the DR as well. You should definitely consider it.

    • Dana Carmel

      Also, here are some of my other DR posts: http://www.timetravelplans.net/?cat=116

  • That first cathedral could totally be in Spain. Those ants in amber a little less!!

    • Dana Carmel

      Yeah – those ants are mortifying!

  • Oh man I miss the Caribbean! The Dominican Republic is definitely on my list. I had never really thought of Santo Domingo though! If I ever make it there, I’ll make sure to find a local to show me around the discotecas too! 🙂

    • Dana Carmel

      Oh yes – you definitely have to go to the discotecas. But brush up on your salsa and merengue before you step out on the floor because we were totally dancing with two left feet!

  • Wow that Amber museum is pretty impressive! Great post!

    • Dana Carmel

      Thanks, Becky. The Amber Museum is definitely worth checking out if you’re in town. They also have a nice jewelry shop with all sorts of gorgeous amber jewels.

thatgirlcarmel

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