Sights, Sounds & Tastes of Santo Domingo
Get to know the real Dominican Republic by spending a day exploring its culturally rich capital and discovering the Santo Domingo that locals love. Soak up the city’s rich colonial history, visit local markets, snack on some of Santo Domingo’s must-try treats, then end the day with an icy-cold Dominican beer.
The real Santo Domingo city tour, a walking tour that get you immersed in the essence of the city.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely
Group Size Small Group
- Experience the Dominican Republic beyond the beach, through the eyes of a local.
- Explore the many hidden corners only known by locals and hear stories of pirates, love, and freedom.
- Browse the lively produce market and learn about the diverse fruits and vegetables that are part of the rich Dominican diet.
- Learn how Spanish, Arab, Chinese, and Haitian influences have all shaped Santo Domingo.
- Try typical Dominican treats and cool down with a cold local beer at a local hotspot favoured by artists, bohemians, and philosophers
Meeting point Plazoleta Padre Billini, at the corner of Arzobispo Meriño Street and Padre Billini Street. Colonial City. We’ll meet right by the statue.
Ending point: Columbus Park at El Conde Street and Arzobispo Meriño Street. From there, your local guide can provide instructions on how to get back to your hotel, or you are free to continue your own personal exploration.
Dress standard: Comfortable shoes to walk and fresh clothes. Sunglasses or sunscreen would be advisable.
- Local English-speaking guide
- Selection of 4 treats at local bakery (may include baked coconut treat, sweet potato pudding, or traditional coconut, pineapple and milk treats),
- 2 treats at Chinatown shop (such as soft pudding, guava-filled cookies, or soft Chinese bread with pork),
- 1 bottle of beer.
Note that the food samples may vary from tour to tour depending on what is available that day.
- Additional food or drink.
- Souvenirs and items of a personal nature.
- Tips/gratuities for your guide.
Sights, Sounds & Tastes Of Santo Domingo
Half day tour
Leave your beach chair behind for a while and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, history, and flavours of Santo Domingo, the largest city in the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic’s captivating capital. This is your chance to experience the best Santo Domingo has to offer, alongside a local guide who can take you where the guidebooks can’t.
You’ll start in Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone, the oldest European settlement in the New World and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Have your cameras ready — there’s history everywhere here and architecture that will leave you speechless. In Billini’s Park, in front of Casa del Tostado, you’ll hear one of the most romantic stories of colonial times.
We’ll see the Caribbean side of the old city, admiring the many historic monuments, parks, and colonial fortresses as we walk, eventually getting to the old city walls that once protected the city from pirates. The walls will lead us to Independence Park, an important landmark commemorating the Dominican Republic’s struggle for independence.
As you walk, you’ll learn about the rich history of Santo Domingo, such as how Spanish and Arab immigrants brought their influence to the island, and how a rich commercial exchange has been established between the Dominican Republic and neighbouring Haiti. Take a walk through Little Haiti and explore the small, picturesque businesses selling Haitian products.
Along the way, you’ll also have the chance to explore local markets. Get ready for sensory overload — the local markets are filled with fruits, vegetables, grains, and spices, and are an explosion of vibrant colours and flavours. Learn about the most varied fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as the spices used in Dominican cuisine.
At the famous Mercado Modelo, the city’s largest market, browse paintings with colourful Caribbean motifs, as well as leatherwork, jewellery made from local stones such as amber and larimar, traditional musical instruments, and many other locally made handicrafts. If you’re getting hungry, our walk takes us to one of the most traditional local cafeterias and bakeries in the city, where you can try much delicious and locally loved Dominican sweets.
Next, we get to one of the most colourful and dynamic areas of the city, the Chinatown of Santo Domingo, a community made up of the children and grandchildren of Chinese citizens who came to the Dominican Republic during the 19th and 20th centuries. Here, we’ll visit a local Chinese store and try some delicious Chinese refreshments that locals love.
We’ll then follow the local pulse of merengue and bachata music to reach Calle El Conde, a bustling pedestrian-only street filled with colourful storefronts and small restaurants where we’ll stop for one final break, in the form of a cold Dominican beer. We end the day at Columbus Park, where you can feel free to further explore the sights, or we can give you tips on which restaurants to visit and even more secret local spots to check out.
All our products and itineraries are designed for you to make sustainable tourism. We are more than happy to use tourism services and products directly from local economies. Your visit will generate a large impact on the community, ensuring sustainable development of the culture and the environment.
On This Tour
- Culture: The lifestyle of the city of Santo Domingo is represented in this tour. We’ll walk through the neighborhoods, historical sites, local markets and stores, the street fruits vendors and the contagious merengue and bachata music that will follow along our tour. Food and Refreshments are preferably made by small business or communitary clusters. We encourage our travellers to try local food made with love and passion by our suppliers.
- Nature: Santo Domingo is full of nature. Your guide will be showing you along the way part of the nature that we may find. The Caribbean coast at el Malecon has great opportunities.
- Community: We use in this tour local services: Travel guides, local refreshments and suggest the use of attractions, activities, restaurants and accommodation of the destination.
This tour incorporates elements of a community-driven destination
We only select reliable, experts operators in each destination, which conform to our values of sustainability and solidarity . In this case we are more than happy to use Santo Domingo Urban Adventures services and products that interact directly with local economies. Your visit will generate a large impact on the community, ensuring sustainable development of the culture and the environment.
Do you have a larger group of 12 people? No problem, everyone fits in a Private Group trip