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Santo Domingo

Population:2,202,016
Time Zone:UTC-4
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La Caleta Underwater National Park
La Caleta Underwater National Park, one of the first in the region, is a popular dive site located close to Santo Domingo. It’s known for its multiple shipwrecks, but also for its abundant marine life ready to be explored by all levels of divers, from beginner to advanced. Depths go from six meters (20 feet) to 180 meters (591 feet), over an area stretching 10 km² (four square miles) from Las Golondrinas Cave to Punta Caucedo. La Caleta’s irregular topography includes three defined terraces, underwater caves, and well-known shipwrecks. A variety of corals and schools of colorful critters thrive here, using the reefs as shelter and food source, including grouper, balloon fish, rays, lionfish, octopuses, and turtles. Among the more popular shipwrecks is the Hickory, a 1984 ship located at about 18 meters (60 feet) deep, submerged in 1984 by a group of submarine researchers to create an artificial reef for the proliferation of marine life. Additional wrecks include El Limón and Capitán Alsina, located about 30 meters (100 feet) deep, and the Don Quico at about 58 meters (190 feet) of depth. Nearby, an impressive system of karst rocks creates a meandering network of underwater caverns and tunnels over 100 meters (328 feet) long—an ideal place for technical diving.
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Alcazar de Colon
The Alcázar de Colón is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Santo Domingo. The building dates from 1510 and is the oldest vice-regal residence in the Americas. It was originally the home of Diego Columbus, the governor of the colony and Christopher Columbus’ son.
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Fortaleza Ozama Fortress
Visit the first military fort in the continent and discover more about the Colonial history of Santo Domingo. Erected in front of the mouth of the Ozama River, the Santo Domingo Fortress or Fortaleza Ozama Fortress is the first military construction in the Colony, and one of the World Heritage jewels in the Colonial Area. The simple and solid construction was built by the Spaniards between 1502 and 1507 at the request of the governor Nicolás de Ovando, providing it with a Medieval style. However, during the following centuries, the place was modified and extended until it became an interesting building that you can see today. The main purpose of its construction was to defend the city from the attacks of British, Portuguese and French conquerors, as well as from the pillage of pirates.
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Museum of Modern Art
The Dominican Republic’s contemporary art museum, the Museum of Modern Art is located in the Plaza de la Cultura, next door to many other museums and the National Theater. It exhibits examples of the best of Dominican art of the 20th century, as well as temporary exhibitions. Before going out to buy Dominican art, educate yourself by browsing through the permanent collections of Dominican masters of art at the Museum of Modern Art.
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Delimart
Delimart was founded by the medical doctor and former chairman of Intercontinental S.A Dr. Reginald Boulos in 2000, since then he is seen the market grow to be the biggest super market chain in the entire city.
City
Port-au-prince
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Sans Souci Palace
Henri Christophe is also the one who ordered the construction of this palace. Although in ruins today, its remnants explain the extent of the territory on which it was built. Two earthquakes (1842 & 1843) seriously destroyed it. This colossal monument was the personal residence of Henri Christophe and was divided into four sections including the King's apartments (Henri Christophe), left pavilion, the Queen's apartments and large stables. It even had a barracks, a hospital, a print shop and more. According to the hearsay, the style of the palace was to compete with the castle of Versailles.
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Citadelle Laferriere
The Citadelle Laferrière is a mountaintop fortress, located on the northern coast of Haiti - on the top of mountain Bonnet a L’Eveque. Depicted on local currency, stamps and postcards, this amazing structure has become the symbol of Haiti’s power and independence. It was built at the beginning of the 19th century by one of the leaders of Haiti’s slave revolution. The Citadelle Laferrière is also known simply as the Citadelle or as Citadelle Henri Christophe in the honour of its creator. The Citadelle is referred by locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World and in 1982 it was nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This massive stone construction is the largest fortress in the Americas. Built to demonstrate the power of the newly independent Haiti, the Citadelle Laferrière was essential for the security of Haiti’s newly formed state.
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Guilou Beach
This is a beach located close to Mariani, it is more frequented by the Haitian youth but it’s less organized than most of the beaches and hotels previously mentioned.
City
Port-au-prince
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Map
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Labadee Beach
A horseshoe-shaped bay set into the northern coastline, Labadee is the beach of choice for the cruise ships that regularly call at Haiti. The beach stretches over a mile of soft, silky sand, and crystal-clear blue waters. Labadee is on the same coast as the beautiful Cormier beach, but offers a unique array of attractions catering to visitors who arrive on the cruise ships. You don’t need to join a cruise to get here though - while the Haitian government leases a portion of the bay to Royal Caribbean, most of the area is open to other visitors, and many of the attractions can be accessed by non-cruise guests for a fee. Labadee Beach is home to top-notch adventure attractions including coastal tours, water parks, kayaking, snorkelling and the Dragon's Breath - the world's longest over-water zip-line.
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Kaliko Beach
Kaliko Beach Club is a gorgeous beach and hotel located on Cote des Arcadins along with a number of other pristine beaches and hotels on that strip of Haiti, including CLub Indigo, but it has distinguished itself with: its beautiful poolside restaurant serving scrumptious meals throughout the day, the very elegant looking umbrellas along the shore and a number of great activities such as diving, beach soccer, board games, basketball, tennis and even a boat ride at sunset for those looking for a special moment.
City
Port-au-prince
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Map
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Kokoye Beach
Looking for a weekend destination not far from Port-au-Prince? You’ll find the low-key glamping experience at Kokoye Beach that is an altogether different sort of luxury. Set into the unrivalled beauty of Haiti’s south coast, the pristine cove of Kokoye is just an hour’s boat ride from Petit-Goave. Leave your troubles and your backpack in the tent provided, enjoy seafood served up by a local host, and spend your days swimming, snorkeling and drinking rum punch in a cove worthy of a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean. “Glamping" (glamorous camping) is a popular alternative to both low-convenience regular camping and high-priced but underwhelming hotels, but what really sets glamping apart from either is the access it affords to the wilderness, and is the uniqueness of the experience.
City
Port-au-prince
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Casa Bacardi
Casa Bacardi is one of the top attractions near San Juan. Choose from a number of fun and interesting tours. Getting there is easy from Old San Juan – just a short ferry and taxi ride.
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Old San Juan
Old San Juan, the most popular cruise destination in the Caribbean, is far from a cookie cutter vacation spot. Old San Juan is special in every way, known for it’s rich history, five century old forts, romantic ambiance, Old World elegance, exquisite food, and festive atmosphere.
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Escambron Beach
Balneario El Escambron is the most picturesque beach in San Juan protected by a coral reef with soft golden sand and perfectly landscaped with tall palm trees providing cozy shaded spots. Be sure to block off much more than beach time, you’ll be walking into a recreational park with enough activities for a fun-filled day the whole family will enjoy. Escambron Beach is located in Puerta de Tierra within walking distance from Old San Juan and Condado. Escambron is the best public beach in the metro area offering much more than a great beach experience. Here you can snorkel, scuba dive, take a romantic walk along the scenic oceanside trail, visit the historic Bateria El Escambron, find quiet spots just for two, enjoy the green area at Parque Tercer Milenio (Third Millennium Park), eat great food and more. The city is vibrant, full of energy but once you get here, you’ll experience the relaxing and invigorating allure of this tropical city.
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Condado Beach
Condado Beach attracts a diverse crowd, from families to famous celebrities. Beachfront resorts such as La Concha Resort and Condado Vanderbilt are loved by Puerto Rican celebrities, they are right at the center of all the action and allure of Condado Beach.
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Abel Santamaria Historic Park
Abel Santamaría Historic Park is compounded by the museum, a library and a monument in the place in which you will find the ruins of the Former Saturnino Lora Civil Hospital. The building was built by the end of the 19th century with Neoclassic style and was taken by 23 young men under the command of Abel Santamaría due to its strategic location in relation to the Cuartel Moncada Headquarters in 1953. The museum of the enclosure which binds together all this buildings was opened in 1973 on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the assault to the Cuartel Moncada Headquarters, and exhibits the history related to the famous assault and the trial of Fidel Castro. The monument opened in 1979 in memory of Abel Santamaría and his colleagues who were tortured and murdered after the failed raising. It has four faces in which there is a sphinx of José Martí, another of Abel Santamaría, six bayonets symbolizing justice; the solitary star and a verse of the National Anthem. The water curtain which seems to support the compound symbolizes the ideals of the young men of the Centenary Generation. The Municipal Library includes the complex, it has a general room dedicated to Literature, a young-children room, a library extension department and another of technical processes.
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Santiago de Cuba Cathedral
The Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Cathedral stays from the early 20th century in the same place where other temples stood before since the 16th century. However, the repeated assaults of the pirates, the weather and the earthquakes destroyed the previous buildings.
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Museum of Historical Cuban Atmosphere
Located in front of the Céspedes Park, the Museum of Historical Cuban Atmosphere is one of the most important museums in Santiago de Cuba. The museum is constituted by two antique houses that were built in different times. One is from the 16th century while the other is from the 19th century, and both show the way of life of the centuries in which they were built.
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Blue & John Crow Mountains National Park
Jamaica's World Heritage Site, the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, is one of the richest biodiversity sites in the world and a nature-lover’s paradise. It is home to over 1,300 flowering plant species, the largest butterfly in the Americas - the 6-inch Giant Swallowtail and over 200 species of native and migratory birds.
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Hope Botanical Gardens
There are many rare and beautiful species of tropical plants and trees at the Royal Botanical Gardens, including the Hibiscus elatus (blue mahoe), the national tree of Jamaica. Blue mahoe is a small spreading tree with flowers that open in primrose colour in the morning and change to orange and deep red as the day advances.
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Bustamante Museum
24 Tucker Avenue is the former residence of the late Sir Alexander Bustamante. In 1940 Bustamante was held in detention at Up Park Camp for allegedly inciting workers to protest against low wages and poor working conditions. From this location he instructed his attorneys from the legal firm Judah and Randall, to build a home on the half-acre of land he had brought in 1939. Bustamante's attorneys had the house completed within a year and around the same time Bustamante was released from detention camp. The house was at first rented for a couple of years before it was occupied by Bustamante. The building is a contemporary style 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom concrete house with a combined hip and gable end and timber shingle roof finish. Louvre windows are reflected throughout the design, with the exception of the pivoted sash windows of the bathrooms. This Tucker Avenue home now has its place in Jamaica's history because a National Hero lived there and because of the eventful conferences which took place there. The house is now open to the public as the Bustamante Museum and consists of a multimedia exhibition with artifacts on display.
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Bob Marley Museum
Museum dedicated to the memory of the late Reggae superstar, Robert "Bob" Marley. The museum is located in Marley's original studio where he recorded many of his songs.
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Devon House
Sitting on 11 lush acres in the capital city, the stately Devon House mansion was the home of Jamaica’s first black millionaire, George Stiebel. It was built in 1881, on what was originally a 51-acre property.
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National Heroes Park
The area on which the National Heroes Park now stands was once one of the most popular spots in Kingston. For 101 years, the land was the centre for horse racing in Jamaica. It was also the site for other sporting activities such as cricket and cycle racing. Being a place where people naturally gathered, the area was also the venue for travelling circuses that visited the island from time to time. The site was officially renamed the National Heroes Park in 1973 and is now a permanent place for honouring our heroes whose monuments are erected in an area known as the Shrine. Another section, reserved for prime ministers and outstanding patriots, adjoins the Shrine area, to the north.
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Liberty Hall
Liberty Hall located at 76 King Street, Kingston was the centre of activities for the Kingston division of The U.N.I.A. It was acquired in 1923 for eight hundred pounds sterling (£800). The two-storey building was the first meeting hall in Jamaica that was fully owned and operated by blacks. It was the home to plays, concerts, dances, elocution pieces, adult and children's choirs. One famous play, which took place here, was the "Slave Ship", which recaptured the horrors of the Middle Passage. Liberty Hall was so named because of Garvey's great admiration for the Irish independence movement and the Irish Transport and General Workers Union whose headquarters in Dublin was named Liberty Hall in 1912. It was at this place, described as "the fortress of the militant working class of Ireland" that many plans were made for Irish self-determination, and Garvey saw the U.N.I.A struggle as being akin to that of the Irish. Liberty Hall is decked in colours red, black and green, which are of much significance. The red denotes the blood of the Negro race nobly shed in the past and dedicated to the future; black represents the colour of the skin and green represents a promise of a better life in Africa. This monument stands as a proud reminder to all Jamaicans, and indeed to all visitors of the works and achievements of the great visionary and National Hero the Rt. Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
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Trench Town Culture Yard
The Culture Yard today hosts a small museum which presents the phenomenal history of Trench Town along with articles, instruments and furnishing used by Tata Ford, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. The original 1940's buildings have been restored to their former glory and the site is truly a heritage tourism destination.
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Fort Charles
The first fort to be erected in Port Royal was Fort Charles. It was built in the late 1650-60 and was originally called Fort Cromwell but was renamed Fort Charles. The fort underwent several changes between 1656 -1670. In 1667, the fort had 36 guns and by 1765 it had 104 guns and a garrison with 500 men.
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Port Royal
One of the oldest and most historic regions of the country, Port Royal has maintained much of its independence as well as its heritage. Once the enclave of pirates and other outlaws, there is still a strong seafaring tradition. Much of the old city, described in the 17th century as the "wickedest city in the west", lies underwater beside the town, the result of an earthquake that in 1692 swallowed about two-thirds of the then-living space. Since then, another earthquake in 1907, numerous hurricanes, fires, and various population-decimating diseases have plagued the town. Despite all, the waters around Port Royal are a virtual archaeological gold mine, filled with pieces of history that tell of everyday life in the earliest days of English occupation. Port Royal is also home to the Archaeological Division of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), which recently completed a sonar survey of the underwater city, revealing a sunken pirate ship in the Kingston Harbour. To date thousands of artefacts have been recovered, and there are plans to develop a local museum to showcase these items once the research on them is complete.
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Love Beach
This small beach, located just below the Stella Maris Resort on the Atlantic side, is partially protected by offshore rocks. Imagine sitting here on the pretty, coarse white sand, alternating with occasional natural rock pools, feeling the ocean breezes, and watching the wave action. Great for snorkelling! The rocks adjacent to the reef contain a wondrous assortment of marine life including parrotfish, gigantic spiny sea urchins, fan and brain coral, queen and grey angelfish, damselfish, grey and yellowtail snapper and butterflyfish.
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Crab Cay
Crab Cay, or Cayo Cangrejo, sits roughly one kilometer (.6 miles) off the east coast of Isla de Providencia. From Providencia, the view of the small outcropping makes for a prime photo op, but snorkelers will be itching to hire a boat or rent a kayak and dive into the crystal-clear waters—a dazzling array of shades of blue—surrounding the cay.
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St. Andrews Anglican Church
With all the rich history that’s been written in the Exumas, it’s surprising how few historical sights there are to see in its capital, Georgetown. Like Green Turtle Cay in the Abacos, the Exumas were settled by Loyalists, former American colonists who stayed true to the British Crown in the wake of the Revolutionary War.
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Stocking Island
Discover the exquisite beauty of Stocking Island at your own pace. This tour has been designed for guests who want to take a trip without a tour guide. It will depart from George Town at the Government Dock and will begin with a short sightseeing trip across Elizabeth Harbour to Stocking Island.
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Treasure Beach
Travelling on Jamaica’s South Coast, you’ll discover a treasure chest of coves and bays, where the Caribbean meets our sandy and sometimes rocky shores. A mixture of dark and white-sand stretches, rocky coves, fishermen’s enclaves and secluded swimming spots, the South Coast’s shores promise a range of possibilities. A favourite beach community of both locals and visitors alike is Treasure Beach (a spot that surely lives up to its name). Treasure Beach is a six-mile stretch of coral-coloured and sometimes black sands, private coves and rocky shores. For travellers who want to discover the South Coast’s vibrant local culture and people and are in search of untrodden beaches, a visit to one of Treasure Beach’s main bays – Billy's, Calabash, Fort Charles (also known as Starve Gut) Great and Frenchman’s – is a must. In Calabash Bay, friendly fishermen dock their brightly painted canoes and unload the day’s catch. Visitors swarm, waiting patiently at beachfront cafes and stands, so they can be first to enjoy it – soon to be seasoned and grilled to perfection. Other uniquely Jamaican dishes, such as curried goat, jerked meat and pumpkin soup are also available at roadside stands at Treasure Beach’s public beaches. All lovely, laid-back stretches are well-suited for swimming, snorkeling, biking, hiking, and of course, the mellow vibes of kicking back in the sun with a cold Red Stripe in hand.
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Rose Hall Great House
Cinnamon Hill has a very historic and celebrated past. The house was built in 1734 by Edward Barrett, ancestor of Elizabeth Barrett-Browning. It was subsequently owned by George Robertson, Joseph Shore, then the Henderson family until it was purchased by John Rollins in the 1960s. Johnny Cash bought the house from Rollins in the early 70s and he and his estate owned it until the Rollins family -Michele Rollins- bought it back in 2012 after the Cashes passed away. Rumour has it there are ghosts living in the house, with many stories told from the Cash’s and other visitors about common sightings. But the real intrigue is the Cinnamon Hill Great House itself. The estate features island architecture, furnishings, native flowers, iridescent hummingbirds and still captures the spirit of the man in black. The interior is frozen in time with family photos, a crocodile Johnny helped catch and even a pair of Johnny’s well-worn work boots.
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Ahhh Ras Natango Gallery and Garden
The garden is all of that and so much more. Carved in the hillside are terraces for walking and viewing the varied plants. The tour of the garden is 45 minutes to one hour, but visitors generally stay after the guided tour and spend time just looking at the plants and listening to the birds. There are two fantasy gardens. A fairy’s village, between the roots of a huge tree we were forced to cut after Hurricane Ivan in 2003, is a teaching tool for student field trips. They use their imagination to write stories about life in the village. The other is a Dinosaur Era garden. This too is a teaching tool, used to teach about our impact on nature, make students aware about the endangered and extinct animals in Jamaica, and how the pet trade affects wildlife. The garden also has its very own King Tut’s Falls, leading to the Koi Pond. You may even hold our turtles . All paintings in the gallery are for sale. The medium is acrylic on canvas. Paintings reflect the vibrant colors of the island. One section is of Jamaica’s flora and fauna, birders will enjoy paintings of our endemic birds and plant life that have been presented in the gallery.
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Rastafari Indigenous Village
Visit with Jamaica's Rastafari people. Warm and welcoming, they are happy to share with you their values of equality, healthy living and connectedness with nature. Located just outside Montego Bay, Rastafari Indigenous Village is a living cultural center that offers you an opportunity to experience the Rastafari way of life. Whether you choose a half or full-day tour, you'll have the unique opportunity to connect with Rastafarians and learn more about their culture and values. You'll be introduced to drum makers who create traditional drums by hand, using techniques that have been passed down through generations. You can tour an organic vegetable and herb garden and learn more about why the Rastafari choose to follow a vegan diet, and what are its benefits. You can then have a meal with the Rastafari, and taste for yourself. A small store offers traditional handicrafts and jewellery. The tour concludes with a performance of traditional drumming and singing in the center of the village.
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Croydon In The Mountains
The award-winning Croydon Plantation is a working estate nestled in the foothills of the Catadupa Mountains and offers visitors breath-taking, panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors are invited to take in the rich history of the plantation, which is the birthplace of Samuel Sharpe, one of Jamaica's national heroes. Tours operate on Tuesdays to Fridays and offer the opportunity to taste many different varieties of pineapple and citrus fruits. Sample exotic and delicious fruit and the juices made from them. This tour also includes a delicious feast of barbequed lunch served with world-famous Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee.