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Local Attractions

Things To Do in Santo Domingo

No stay at Novus Plaza Hodelpa is complete without exploring the diverse attractions, landmarks and things to do in Santo Domingo. From tours of colonial Santo Domingo to visits to historic sites and natural attractions, our friendly staff is ready to help you plan your visit. 

The capital of the Dominican Republic is a city full of primers and the first European settlement of the New World. We have the first city, the first fortress, the first church, the first hospital, first monastery, first university; established by Bartholomew Columbus and then governed by Nicolás de Ovando; Diego Colón’s successor who presided the first constructions of the Colonial City, many of which still exist today.

The Colonial City is today the main tourist attraction of Santo Domingo. Its central public space is Parque Colon (Columbus Park), a square that borders the 16th-century Cathedral and has a late-19th-century bronze statue of Christopher Columbus in its center. East of Parque Colon is Las Damas Street, the New World's oldest paved street, dating from 1502. The street is bordered by many of the zone's more prominent landmarks, including Fortaleza Ozama (Ozama Fortress), the site of major events in the Dominican history; Casa de Bastidas, which now houses a children's museum; the French Embassy, in a building said to have been the house of Hernán Cortés; the Hodelpa Nicolas de Ovando, the former residence of Governor Nicolás de Ovando and now a luxury hotel; the National Pantheon of the Dominican Republic; and the Casas Reales Museum (Royal Houses Museum), in the former governors' palace and public administration building.

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  • Rancho Chito Restaurant

    Savor authentic Dominican cuisine at this cozy, family owned restaurant.

  • Calle El Conde

    The oldest commercial street in the city, Calle El Conde is a bustling 11-block boulevard lined with shops, cafés, restaurants and clubs.  

  • El Faro a Colón

    Built in the shape of a cross, this massive 676-foot monument contains the tomb of Columbus and a powerful lighting system that shines for nearly 71km (44 miles), projecting a gigantic cross in the sky that can be seen as far away as Puerto Rico. 

  • 4D Gate

    The 4D Gate recreates the invasion of the walled city of Santo Domingo by Sir Francis Drake in 1586. The exhilarating experience shows what it was like to dodge cannonballs, be attacked by swords and watch the city burn. 

  • El Parque Colon

    Located in the heart of the Colonial Zone, Columbus Park is a destination featuring historic churches, buildings, and forts. It sits at the end of Calle El Conde, the capital's main thoroughfare and a pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare lined with cafés and shops.

  • Basilica Catedral Santa Maria de la Encarnacion

    Located on the Parque Colon in the Ciudad Colonial, the Basilica Catedral Santa Maria de la Encarnacion is the first and oldest cathedral in the Americas. Stunning features include dramatic Gothic architecture, fantastic friezes and ornamentation, the original 500-year old mahogany doors, which are still unlocked with the same centuries-old key and a hammered silver altar. 

  • Ozama Fortress

    Built between 1502 and 1508, the Fortress of Santo Domingo, also known as Fortaleza Ozama, is considered to be one of the oldest forts in the Americas. Tours are offered, or you can explore the fort on your own. 

  • Kaw Kow Experience at the Museum of Chocolate

    Located in the heart of the Colonial Zone, the Kaw Kow Experience at the Museum of Chocolate invites you to enjoy chocolate in an entirely new way by seeing how chocolate is made and creating your own chocolate goodies in an experience guaranteed to be sweet and fun for the entire family. 

  • Museo Infantil Trampolín

    The Museo Infantil Trampolín makes learning fun with an array of interesting, interactive exhibits on subjects ranging from the creation of the earth and universe to the biology of the human body, colors, energy, nature, the ecology and more. 

  • Las Americas International Airport

    Considered the second busiest airport in the country, it’s also distinguished as one of the largest in the Caribbean. In recent years, this major airport has been renovated with two additional terminals.