Category Archives: Santo Domingo

Walled City Begins at Parque Independencia

white flower square

A glimpse of historic Santo Domingo’s old walled city begins at Parque Independencia. A newcomer to the Dominican Republic needs a little dose of island history early on, I believe, in order to gain perspective on the culture and people. Our plan was to visit the Colonial Zone of the the oldest city in the Americas […]

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Unwrapping Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone

Along Conde

Unwrapping Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone is best accomplished over time. Since we expected to be living in Santo Domingo for 18 months or so, neither efficiency nor coverage were top priorities on our first visit. We arrived without much of a plan beyond spending a sunny Saturday morning. So, finding a great lunch, a wonderful […]

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National Botanical Gardens Largest in Caribbean

Botanical Gardens SD

We toured the National Botanical Gardens largest in Caribbean, on a sunny Saturday afternoon. To my eyes, so used to the beauty of the Temperate Zone flora, the tropical wonders I saw there were both exotic and breathtakingly beautiful. with its vast variety of trees and shrubbery, its pools and sculptures. The first thing to engage […]

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Music Changes Hearts and Connects the World

Blooming in Los Haitises

Fine music changes hearts and connects the world. If I could clone myself and a few musical friends a hundred times over and go out to every group of children thirsty for music, I believe it would contribute immeasurably toward the happiness and peacefulness of homes and communities. Destroy music, or say that what is […]

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Love animals? Visit Parque Zoologico Nacional

Strange tree-of-life mural

Love animals? Visit Parque Zoologico Nacional in Santo Domingo. We arrived at opening time on a Saturday morning under intense tropical sunlight. I knew the photography would be difficult, as this photo of the entry courtyard suggests. But I prefer seeing the animals first thing in the morning before the drowse of a warm day […]

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Seaside Drive Morphs into Outdoor Abattoirs

Goat for sale

Imagine that, quite unexpectedly, a gorgeous seaside drive morphs into outdoor abattoirs. The first one startles you. Then you pass another abattoir on the right, then one on the left, then another and another. Abattoir is the French word for slaughterhouse (or shambles, or knacker’s yard, depending on your country of origin). But of those […]

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Artisans Who Create for Their Culture


After discovering the class disparity in shopping in high end malls compared to the low end street vendors, we began discovering individual artisans who create for their culture. By this I mean, those talented few who create beautiful things that represent the values–perhaps the soul–of their people. The products found in a particular home workshop […]

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Discovering High-end Cuisine in the DR

Shell chandelier at Boca Marina

Discovering high-end cuisine in the DR has generated many pleasurable evenings with good friends, but I always wonder what aspects of the experience are for the tourists and what are for the locals. Take for example, the matter of music. At Santo Domingo’s El Conuco we heard what I think of as “happy Caribbean,” the […]

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Christmas Concert in the First Cathedral in America

Interior oldest cathedral of the Americas

The Christmas concert in the first cathedral in America is a once-a-year event at Basílica Catedral Metropolitana Santa María de la Encarnación Primada de América. We arrived in the Colonial Zone with only half an hour to spare and I was tense. I really wanted to get in to see the performance, but I’d been warned […]

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The Nativity in Parque Iberoamérica Amphitheater

Friends attending a Sunday night performance of the Nativity in Parque Iberoamérica amphitheater recommended it to us so highly that we simply had to make time. Each morning since Thanksgiving as we’ve take our early morning walk, we’ve seen this green space–the park–gradually transform with the visual festivities of Christmas. Masses of tiny colored lights entwine the […]

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