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Dominican Republic

Currency:

$ Dominican Peso
Area:48,730 km2
Languages: Spanish
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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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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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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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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.