The Dominican Republic is a recognized tourist destination, with magnificent beaches and resorts,
vast extensions of white sand and clear, sparkling waters. It also has the claim as the oldest city in the
New World, w`ith its quaint cobble streets and stonework houses.

This beautiful island is steeped in history and culture worthwhile exploring: abundant historical sites,
museums, colonial architecture, the first hospital, first sugar mill, first Catholic church this side of the
world. Visitors will soon discover that the Dominican Republic offers much more than the typical
Caribbean attractions of sun, sand and sea.

Santo Domingo, the capital city, boasts the Alcázar de Colon (Columbus' Palace): the 22-room palace
home of Don Diego Columbus and his family. Built in 1510 and restored in 1955, its structure
combines a Gothic-Moorish style with Spanish and Italian Renaissance features.

The Alcazar Museum, adjacent to Columbus' Palace, houses religious and colonial art objects that
date back to this era.

The Cathedral of Santa María was built in phases between 1510 and 1540, although the bell tower was
never finished. Pope Paul III pronounced it the first cathedral in the New World in 1542. The style
comprises late Gothic and Renaissance elements.

La Torre del Homenaje (The Tower of Homage), the oldest military construction in the New World,
built in 1503, served as a prison until the 20th century.

Las Las Ruinas del Monasterio de San Francisco (The San Francisco Monastery Ruins), built around
1556, and is the oldest monastery in the New World.

The four churches that follow are among the quaint group of churches dating back to this colonial
- Iglesia del Convento Dominico (A Church of the Dominican Order), shaped like a Latin cross, has
unique, outstanding altars, dedicated to the "Miraculous Virgin," and the "Most Holy One." The latter
features four apostles sculptured in patina-coated stone.
- The gothic-style Chapel de La Altagracia and the Chapel of Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro,
the latter with four Ionic columns, joined by an architrave, dominated by a model of the morning star
that announced Christ's birth.
- Santa Barbara is a restored colonial church and fort, featuring late Gothic elements harmoniously
combined with Baroque detail.
- Iglesia de los Padres Jesuitas y Panteon Nacional (A Church run by the Jesuit Fathers and National
Pantheon) was built in 1743 as a Jesuit church, but then restored and converted into the National
Pantheon in 1958. It has then become the resting grounds for leading national heroes. The central
nave forms a cross with the lateral chapels, and a bronze lamp, donated by the Spanish government,
hangs in the intersection.

Casa de Cordon (The Cord House), the first Spanish-style home built in the Americas, d was erected
by conquistador Francisco de Garay. Surrounding the building was a beautiful gate trimmed with a
cord resembling those used used by San Franciscan monks. Today it is a cultural center sponsored
by Banco Popular.

Santo Domingo boasts 10 museums, with exhibits ranging from semiprecious gems to prehistoric art
from Spain and Portugal.

The Numismatic and Philatelic Museum is said to possess the most comprehensive and valuable
collection of antique coins, bills and stamps in the Caribbean dating back to 1865.

The Museum of the Dominican Man traces the origen of Dominican people back to the original Taino
Indians and artifacts, including the Spanish conquistadores and African slaves.

The Columbus' Lighthouse, a towering structure in the form of a cross, constructed to conmemorate
the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America in 1492. It houses the explorer's remains, museums
and exhibits donated by several countries. The edifice's 151 light beams can be seen 40 miles away.

Other museums include the National Museum of Natural History, Museum of the Dominican Family,
National Museum of History and Geography, Museum of Modern Art and Museum of the Royal

Theater enthusiasts can visit the National Theater, which holds up to 1,700 people and features
theatrical, musical and dance performances. The Theater of Fine Arts hosts cultural events and
exhibits. Casa de Teatro is a nonprofit institution where people can express their knowledge and ideas
about culture, art, theater and concerts in an open forum.

The Amber Museum of Puerto Plata, set in a Victorian mansion, features a large array of prehistoric
amber-encased specimens. The Museum of Taino Art, providing insights into the people who first
inhabited the Dominican Republic.
Sindicato de Transporte Turistico Hoteles y AeropuertoSosua y Cabarete.  
Puerto Plata, Republica Dominicana       E-mail:
Phone: (809) 571-3097 / 571-2797     |      Fax: (809) 571-3097      |      Cabarete: (809) 571-0767 / 571-0824
Geographic Overview
The second largest nation in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island
of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles, with Haiti occupying the western portion. To the west are Jamaica and Cuba;
Puerto Rico is east beyond the 112-kilometer Mona Passage; and the southern tip of Florida is about 1,000
kilometers away.

Situated in the heart of the region between North and South America, the country is bathed by the Caribbean Sea
on the south coast and the Atlantic Ocean to the north. With a land area of 48,442 square kilometers, it is larger
than the Bahamas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, all the Virgin Islands and the entire French West Indies put together.
The Dominican Republic is slightly larger than the Netherlands, and approximately the size of the US state of
The Dominican Republic is a land of contrasts with towering mountains and rocky cliffs, rain forests, fertile
valleys, cacti-studded deserts, 1,600 kilometers of coastline and about 300 kilometers of prime soft sand
beaches. The country is crossed by four rugged mountain ranges bisecting northwest to southeast. The
largest is the Cordillera Central with Pico Duarte, the tallest point in the Caribbean, rising over 3,175 meters.
Three large fertile valleys rest between the ranges, one of which holds Lake Enriquillo in the southwest, the
lowest point in the Caribbean falling 40 meters below sea level.  It’s the only salt water lake in the world
inhabited by crocodiles.