Cruise ships dock at either the Sans Souci Zone or at the Don Diego quay, just south of the Colonial Zone.
From Don Diego, you can cross the highway and walk up the steps into the historic heart of Santo Domingo. From Sans Souci, however, you'll need a taxi or other transportation to reach the Colonial Zone (it's almost an hour's walk).
Printable map to take along.
Watch a destination video.
One of the most exciting things Santo Domingo has to offer is its diversity. Here, you can have it all. The place to go for the perfect blend of the past and the present is the Zona Colonial. Since it is the most historic spot the capital has to offer, you can find the most brilliantly preserved architecture here that dates back to the 16th and even the 15th centuries! The Zona Colonial is home to the many "firsts" of the New World. See how the very first hospital was organized and run. Study up at the first university, monastery, nunnery and worship in the oldest cathedral.
Sights-The Malecon, the main seaside boulevard; Cathedral of Santa Maria of the Incarnation, the oldest church in the New World; Botanical Gardens; Columbus Lighthouse.
Museums-Plaza de la Cultura, which includes the Museum of Modern Art and Museum of Dominican Man; the World Museum of Amber.
Caribe Tours, based out of the capital, is the biggest bus company, and has coverage in most regions that are not well-served by the other 'official' bus companies. Caribe Tour rates are fixed by destination and are extremely reasonable due to government subsidies. Caribe Tour buses typically run from 7am to 4pm (with departures approx. every two hours) and cover most major cities. On longer trips, expect a short (10 minute) stop for coffee and lunch. Buses are fairly luxurious with movies playing for the entire trip and air conditioning (which can be extremely cold - bring a sweater)
Taxi services are available but potentially dangerous when dealing with unlicensed drivers. In all cases, it's a good idea to go with a licensed driver and negotiate a price for your destination before you leave. Good drivers are often easy to identify by licenses worn around the neck, uniforms, and clean air conditioned vehicles. When calling a taxi company, you will be given a number to verify your driver. When being picked up, make sure your driver gives you the right number as 'false pickups' are often a prelude to robbery.
It pays to compare your cruise line tours here
Both terminals have duty-free stores.
El Mercado Modelo, a covered market, borders Calle Mella in the Zona Colonial; This indoor labyrinth of shops can be overwhelming for a new tourist but, don't worry, it is safe. You will need a cab to get there.
1 Dominican peso = 0.029499 U.S. Dollars
There are ATM machines around, some resorts have them, but they are mostly in the cities and towns, not the resort areas, so don't rely on this as your only source of cash.
Do not expect to be able to get around without understanding and being able to speak some Spanish.
Most major hotels have cafes which offer free WiFi for customers where you can use their computers to check and send e-mail. There are also many cafes which offer free WiFi for customers in the cities and towns
Mon-Sat 0800-1200 and 1430-1830.
1 Jan New Year's Day.
6 Jan Epiphany.
21 Jan Our Lady of Altagracia.
26 Jan Duarte's Birthday.
27 Feb Independence Day.
1 May Labour Day.
22 May Corpus Christi.
16 Aug Restoration Day.
24 Sep Our Lady of las Mercedes.
10 Nov Constitution Day.
25 Dec Christmas Day.
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