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Santo Domingo

2,640 bytes added, 10:06, 29 November 2012
By plane
Power outages have been one of the downfalls of placing a major headquarter in the city, but the infrastructure is a great advantage to many of these international firms. Since Santo Domingo has privatize and integrated with the US telecommunication system, they have been fortunate to have the benefit of a contemporary telecommunication system.
Incomes in Santo Domingo can vary from extremely rich to extremely poor. Many of the prominent families live in neighborhoods surrounding Avenida John F. Kennedy ("Avenida" = "Avenue") to the north, Avenida 27 de Febrero to the south, Avenida Winston Churchill to the west and Avenida Máximo Gómez to the east. Some other areas that are always expanding and developing are Naco, Arroyo Hondo, Piantini, Paraíso, Bella Vista, Sarasota. Most of the city's less fortunate live outside the center of Santo Domingo, which can be seen by various slums that emphasizes the huge issue poverty is for the city.
Avenida Winston Churchill and 27 de Febrero Avenue are two of the commercial centers of the city. Many malls and shops are located in these two avenues such as, Acropolis Center, Scotiabank, Citibank, Banco BHD, Banco del Progreso, Banreservas,Plaza Central and Plaza Naco. However, two some of the most popular malls are Acropolis Center and , Bella Vista Mall, Blue Mall, the upcoming Novo-Centro, Agora Mall and Galería 360 because it contains more contemporary shops and is popular within the high income families.Santo Domingo was formerly called "Ciudad Trujillo."during the era of the dictatorship of Trujillo
===Government and politics===
Atlanta, Boston, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Philadelphia, Panama City, San Jose Costa Rica, San Juan Puerto Rico, Havana, Port-au-Prince, Caracas, Paris, Madrid, Frankfurt, Munich and Duesseldorf and surrounding Caribbean islands.
Airfare to Santo Domingo may vary widely depending on season and demand. A round trip ticket from from Boston or New York ranges anywhere from US$300 to US$700, with fares from Miami or San Juan only slightly lower.
Airfare from most cities in Latin America cost between US$400 and US$1,000 and require layovers in Panama City, Panama (Copa Air) or San Jose, Costa Rica (Taca).
=== By ferry ===
There is ferry service to and from Mayaguez as well as San Juan, [[Puerto Rico]] twice per week. It costs around US $250 200 roundtrip and the overnight journey last 12 hours. For an additional fee, you can bring your car along for the ride. The former company , Ferries del Caribe is now out of business and the new provider is called America Cruise Ferries del Caribe . [] === By Cruise ===Sansouci is a state-of-the-art terminal that holds up to 3800 passengers+luggage. From there you can get a taxi or a tour, and there is also an ATM, gift shops, a call center, and internet service.
== Get around ==
===By taxi===
*'''From the airport''' You can book your airport transfers in advance. Can try '''Dominican Airport Transfers'''[] one of business leaders, you can actually get an instant quote and book online on their automated site but the office is located in the city.
Taxis charge anywhere from US$25 to US$40 for the drive from the airport into Santo Domingo.
Unlike most major metropolitan areas, there are very few roaming taxis in Santo Domingo. Even if you see one, it is best not to take a chance, it can be dangerous. In most cases you have to call a dispatcher to have a taxi sent to your location. This isn't a problem and most businesses will gladly call a cab for you. Relatively expensive, usually US$ 4-15 per average trip and possibly more if you use one of the friendly cabs waiting in front of your nice hotel lobby. Again, depending on circumstances, you may find that hiring a cab driver for the day is a good bargain.
Alternatively, go up at to the second floor at the Arrivals (at the very end), where a minivan will accommodate up to 8 passengers for a ride (70 pesos or ~ 2 USD, 1/2 hour) to the Zona Colonial (only). For further distances to the center (i.e. to the Caribe Tours Terminal), you will need to negotiate just like you would have with the usual un-metered taxis. To return, the cheapest option is to go to the corner of Av. Sabena Larga with Av. Las Americas (walkable in 15 minutes from Zona Colonial), where this same van may be there, or if not take the bus going to Boca Chica (40 pesos, about 1h); ask the driver to stop before the express route to the Airport, from where you can walk (about 20 minutes, some 2 km). I would not recommend this return during night time, nor do I know if lack of Spanish will hinder this option (hardly anyone speaks English in the bus, around the terminals etc). However getting to the city center seems more viable, that van was recommended at the Tourist Desk in the airport, and some sort of authority (with a badge) was entertaining the driver while waiting for the car to be filled.
Bottom line: taxis are convenient but expensive.
All major US car rental firms are available at the airport, along with several local vendors offering everything from subcompacts to late model Hummers, Range Rovers and Land Cruisers. When renting from local vendors be sure to read the fine print regarding insurance coverage; you might think you're getting a great deal on a car, only to get into an accident and find out that your insurance coverage does not apply or that your deductible is as high as US$5,000.
'''Advice to potential renters:''' Gasoline costs around US$ 5 per gallon here and people drive fast and furious, breaking every imaginable rule. It might be safer and cheaper to develop a friendship with a cab driver who will gladly become your personal driver, tourguide and concierge for a day rate equal to a fraction of what it would cost you to rent, insure and gas up a rental. There are many “one-way” roads that are not marked and signage is very poor all-around. The police are looking for handouts and so they will attempt to pull over any gringo in sight. It is not recommended to drive yourself as the drivers are super aggressive, road rules are ignored more often than not and no matter the circumstance an accident will always be the fault of a non-local.
===By bus===
===By collective taxi ===
These collective taxis or "carro público“guaguas" as they are called by Dominicans, stick to a predetermined route (usually up and down a major avenue), picking up and dropping off passengers along the way - often cramming up to five passengers into a twenty year old Toyota Corolla. Very inexpensive,US$ 0.50 per trip, yet very uncomfortable. By the way, if you happen to be overweight don't be surprised if the driver charges you for two seats instead of one.
They fit 7 people total, the driver, two in front passenger seat, and four in the back seat.
===By metro===
Santo Domingo has just recently gotten its own Metro, with just one line operating on a North-South axis under the Maximo Gomez avenue, going from Villa Mella to the Centro de los Heroes and the Malecon, passing by the National Theater and the Santo Domingo Autonomous University (UASD). It costs just 20 pesos per ride (less than US$ 10.006). A second line is currently in constructionand there's around five more lines in plans of construction for the upcoming future.
Despite boasting a rich cultural, architectural and artistic heritage, Santo Domingo has not been exploited for all its tourist potential. You're pretty much on your own to discover this fascinating city. Make the most of your time there.
* <see name="Colonial Zone" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Santo Domingo was the first major european settlement in the New World. Christopher Columbus walked these streets! Check out the many examples of 15th and 16th century architecture in the Colonial Zone. Don't miss the '''Ozama Fort''', the '''Alcazar de Colon''' and the '''Cathedral''', all built in Columbus' lifetime. You can also check beautiful churches and convents, such as the '''Iglesia Regina Angelorum''' and the '''Convento de los Dominicos'''. Don't miss the '''Panteon Nacional''', where the national heroes are burriedburied, located in the '''Calle Las Damas''', the New World's first (European) street! Also, walk up the '''Calle del Conde''', a very old pedestrian shop-lined street that used to be the commercial heart of the city. This street leads to the '''Puerta de la Independencia''', where the Dominican Republic proclaimed its independence from Haiti, and the '''Parque Independencia''', where the country's founding fathers' remains are kept. On Sunday evenings, check out the '''Ruinas de San Francisco''' for live bands playing Merengue, Bachata, Salsa and Son, in a wonderful weekly show where both locals and tourists dance, drink and enjoy themselves. This would be an unforgettable experience! Also check out '''La Atarazana street''' after dark for a variety of romantic outdoor cafes with a spectacular view of the Alcazar and bay area. One such brasserie, Pat E Palo, has operated uninterrupted since 1505. Check out the house where Ponce DeLeon lived before he embarked upon his quest for the fountain of youth and ended up discovering Florida.</see>
* <see name="Malecon" alt="George Washington Avenue" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">This waterfront boulevard is home to several huge hotel/casino complexes and dozens of small restaurants, clubs and cafes. Go there to people watch, take a romantic carriage ride or just have a few beers. Site of many festivals and concerts throughout the year. Parallel to the Malecon you will find '''Avenida Independencia''', a tree lined street full of shops, bed and breakfasts and affordable restaurants with a nice mix of locals and tourists. For a unique dining experience check out '''Adrian Tropical''', a traditional Dominican restaurant literally built on the water, or '''San Gil''', a more formal eatery occupying the ruins of a colonial fort. The Malecon Center, located on the far end of the Malecon, is a new and still underoccupied high-end shopping center/hotel/condo complex with a '''Botero sculpture''' out front that reportedly cost US$1 million.</see>
* <see name="Plaza de la Cultura" alt="" address="" directions="Walk all the way down the Malecon to Avenida Maximo Gomez and take a left. Walk past the McDonald's and Pizza Hut." phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">This amazing complex is home to the National Theater and five museums, ranging from the delapidated and mundane, to the crisp, modern '''Museum of Modern Art'''[], the largest in the Caribbean and home to exhibits by artists from Jamaica, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and of course, the Dominican Republic. If want a nice beautiful garden to read or talk this is your place also. </see>
* <see name="Eco-tourism" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" emailurl="" hours="" price="" faxlat="" urllong="" hoursemail="" pricefax="">Find your way to the '''Parque Mirador Sur''', an impressive park overlooking the coast. It gets closed for cars on weekdays between 5 and 8 am and pm, as well as on Sundays, and gets enabling it to get filled with families playing with their children and exercising. Bike rentals are at your disposal.
Also, you can visit the '''Jardin Botanico''', a vast, beautiful and lush park situated near one of Santo Domingo's most exclusive neighborhoods. There you can experience different ecosystems from a rain-forest to a Japanese garden!</see>
* <see name="Eastern Santo Domingo" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="">Refered to as Santo Domingo Oriental, this separate municipality is not very tourist-friendly. Fortunately, most of its attractions are very close to the Colonial Zone and easy to get to. Check out '''Los Tres Ojos''', or Three Eyes, a series of open-roof caverns and underground lakes for the whole family to explore (with a local this part of Santo Domingo is the most poverty stricken and can be dangerous!!!!). Head over to the '''Faro a Colon''', a huge lighthouse and monument to Christopher Columbus which not only houses his remains but doubles as a museum. Check out the '''Santo Domingo Aquarium''', a small but impressive showcase of the local aquatic life. If you're looking for some shopping, you can go to the '''Megacentro''', Santo Domingo's largest shopping mall. It is massive!</see>
In the Colonial Zone:
* '''Alcázar de Colón''' - Visit this stunning villa, built in 1510 and retaining period furnishings and other items owned by Governor Diego Colón, first-born son of Christopher Columbus.
* '''Naval Museum of the Atarazanas''' Located across the plaza from the Alcazar de Colon on Calle Atarazana, the oldest street in the Western Hemisphere.
* '''Museum of the Casas Reales''' Another great museum featuring collections depicting life in 16th century Santo Domingo. Located on Calle Las Damas, walking distance from the Alcazar de Colon and the Naval Museum.
 * '''World of Ambar Museum''' An impressive collection of Amber amber stones and aksd 
* '''Museum of Duarte''' A collection of artifacts and writings regarding the Dominican Republic's founding father, Juan Pablo Duarte. Located on Calle Isabel La Catolica, a few blocks west of the above museums.
* '''Museo del Ron Dominicano''' Interesting museum presenting the history and evolution of rum production in the Dominican Republic. In the after hours it turns into a bar (read below). []
In Plaza de la Cultura:
* '''Museum of Natural History'''
* '''Museum of Dominican Man'''
* '''Museum of Modern Art'''
* '''National Museum of History and Geography'''
*<buy name="Gruen Projects -- Art Gallery" alt="" address="Bella Vista" directions="by appointment" phone="809 707 1967" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Gruen Projects exhibits and promotes the work of Dominican Artists, such as Hector Ledesma, Miguel Pineda, Leonardo Sanz, Joaquin Rosario, and Joel Gonell. </buy>
===Colonial Zone===
If you want to experience American-style shopping there are plenty of options but here are the three most popular: Plaza Central, Acropolis Center and, for those of you willing to venture into Santo Domingo Oriental, MegaCentro. Remember: no haggling at the malls. While MegaCentro is farther away than the others, it is the second largest mall in the Caribbean (possibly including Floridaafter Plaza Las Americas in Puerto Rico) and is a destination in and of itself. This place is HUGE!
Please remember when shopping at the malls, this is an island where practically everything being sold is imported and, worse yet, taxed at 16% (ITBIS or Value Added Tax). Don't expect to find too many bargains to brag about back home!
Note: Unless the contrary is specified menu prices don’t include the 10% service charge and 16% sales tax, so real prices are 26% higher than indicated in the menu.
* '''Tony Roma's''' in the Sarasota Avenue
* '''Outback Steak House''' in Acropolis Mall
* '''Aviation Sports Bar''' in Plaza Central Mall
* '''Hard Rock Cafe''' in the Colonial Zone, facing the Cathedral
* '''La Marrana''' Very trendy Spanish restaurant
* '''Cane''', '''Jaleo''' and '''Tangerine''' Three contiguous "Dominican fusion" bar/restaurants
* '''Margó''' More Dominican/European fusion food
* '''Aka''' Possibly the most popular Japanese restaurant
* '''Fellini's''' Fancy Italian
In this upscale area of Santo Domingo, consider:
* '''ShotsAmika''' Mostly Dance club and lounge* '''Cinema Cafe''' Within Plaza de la Cultura, adjacent to Museo del Hombre Dominicano. Nice ambient, presents local rock bands on the weekends. In case of concert there is a $15-20 cover. Check the [ website] for the activities calendar.* '''Dock''' Very trendy Bar at the Acropolis Center. Open air, electronic music.* '''El Barcito''' Very nice ambiance, mostly rock music. The owner is always present and very young crowd. Ave. Roberto Pastorizafriendly.* '''PraiaFellini''' The fanciest clubFancy Italian restaurant, currently moved to the Holiday Inn Hotel.becomes bar later at night
* '''LED''' A nice Club with House music, where some well known DJ's are invited. Near Santo Domingo Hotel.
* '''El BarcitoLevel 2''' Very nice ambiance, mostly rock musicOn the second flour of the Holiday Inn Hotel. The owner is always present Also check out the rooftop bar and very friendly.pool!* '''DockMaruja''' Very New, trendy Bar at the Acropolis Center. Open open airbar, electronic music.close to La Marrana and Margo
* '''Mix''' Right next to the Mix Restaurant, another popular bar.
* '''MarujaPraia''' NewThe fanciest club, trendy open air bar, close currently moved to La Marrana and Margo* '''Fellini''' Fancy Italian restaurant, becomes bar later at nightthe Holiday Inn Hotel.
* '''Rua''' Open air bar in front of Aka
* '''AmikaShots''' Dance club and lounge* '''Level 2''' On the second flour of the Holiday Inn HotelMostly rock music, very young crowd. Ave. Roberto Pastoriza. Also check out the rooftop bar and pool!
If you you are more into the bohemian scene check out the Colonial Zone for great bars and cafes, as well as a vibrant gay nightlife scene. Here are some hints:
*'''Cacibajagua. ''' Great rock music, nice decor, adult crowd. Sanchez #201. []
*'''Bio.''' Modern eclectic music from regueaton to latin rock, very young public. Famous for serving drinks from buckets. Calle Sanchez and Padre Billini
*'''Bocanegra''' Currently the trendiest place in the Colonial Zone
*'''S BarCacibajagua.''' Mostly Great rock music can enjoy some falafels too, you would love the owner Isaacnice decor, adult crowd. Calle Sanchez and Padre Billini*'''Parada 77.''' Latin rock, spanish songwriters some merengue and salsa , people in their mid thirties and forties.*'''Ocho Puertas''' Rock, alternative and electronica with live music also, very beautiful place. Jose Reyes #107*'''Segafredo201.''' A franchise, loungue music, italian food and good coffee[http://www. *''' Encuentro Artesanalcolonialzone-dr.''' The decor is definitely the best in the Colonial Zone highly selected electronic music, frequented by artists and publicistscom/cacibajagua. html] *'''OCasa de Teatro' Brien's''' Supposedly an Irish Pub, Enjoy live jazz and although there's nothing of a pub about itrock concerts, it is a very trendy place.*'''Misifu''' New bar in the Atarazana street. Very trendy at the momentpretty bohemian.
*'''Doubles''' Good Latin dance music.
*'''Casa de Teatro''' Enjoy live jazz and rock concerts, pretty bohemian.
*'''El Beduino''' New Hookah Bar on a rooftop in the Colonial Zone.
*'''El Sarten''' Latin Dance music
*'''Encuentro Artesanal.''' The decor is definitely the best in the Colonial Zone highly selected electronic music, frequented by artists and publicists.
*'''Misifu''' New bar in the Atarazana street. Very trendy at the moment.
*'''Museo del Ron''' The daytime museum turns into a very cosy bar, offering a wide range of Caribbean rums to taste, as well as some of the best rum based coctails in the city. Nice lounge music, beautiful patio. []
*'''O' Brien's''' Supposedly an Irish Pub, and although there's nothing of a pub about it, it is a very trendy place.
*'''Ocho Puertas''' Rock, alternative and electronica with live music also, very beautiful place. Jose Reyes #107
*'''Parada 77.''' Latin rock, spanish songwriters some merengue and salsa , people in their mid thirties and forties.
*'''S Bar.''' Mostly rock music can enjoy some falafels too, you would love the owner Isaac. Calle Sanchez and Padre Billini
*'''Segafredo.''' A franchise, loungue music, italian food and good coffee.
Outside the Colonial Zone try '''Cinemacafe''', []. A nice caffe in the Plaza de la Cultural. Check the website for the activities calendar.Whatever you do, don't leave Santo Domingo without visiting '''La Guacara Taina''', the only nightclub in the world '''inside a huge natural cave'''. Descend several hundred feet into a fantasy world of lights and sound. You have to see this place to believe it. Located (under) the Mirador Sur park mentioned above. It can be empty if you go early or on weekdays.
*<sleep name="Courtyard by Marriot Santo Domingo Hotel" alt="" address="Avenida Maximo Gomez" phone=" + 1 809-685-1010" url="" checkin="3PM" checkout="1PM" price="" lat="" long="">Near the business district, conveniently located to the US Embassy and the US Consulate, ideal for business travellers. Comfortable rooms equipped with free wireless internet. </sleep>
* '''Hilton Santo Domingo''', George Washington Avenue, #500, Tel: +1-809-685-0000, [].
* '''Hotel Delta:''', Sarasota #53 in Bella Vista area, +1 809 535 0800, []. Excellent for the business traveler. It located in the center of the city making it very accessible. Hotel offers a business center and wifi connection. Restaurant with 24 hour room service. There is a very nice pool/bar on the rooftop which offers a 360 degree view of the city.
* '''Hotel Nikkolaus''' Nice budget hotel not far from the colonial zone (about 10 minutes by taxi). Triple rooms for 60 USD. [].
* '''Pension Ginette''' El Conde 505 (near Puerta del Conde), Tel: +1 809 623 9740. 400 DOP for 2 people.
* <sleep name=" Quality Hotel Real Aeropuerto Santo Domingo" address="KM 22 Autopista Las Americas next to Las Americas Free Zone" phone="+1 809 549 2525" fax="+1 809 549 2727" price="Prices range between $80 - $140" url="">Quality Hotel Real Aeropuerto Santo Domingo offers guests pool, parks in every area, restaurant and bar. Rooms have access to high speed internet, cable TV, laundry service, among other services.</sleep>
* '''Renaissance Jaragua Hotel & Casino''' Reservations: +1 809 221-2222 []. Centrally located near El Conde (shopping district), historic colonial buildings, and restaurants. Also across the street from the malecon (which is long sidewalk and sitting area in front of ocean).
* '''The RoofTop Hostel''', Calle Francisco Peynado No. 56, Edificio Calú, Tel: +1-809-297-2538, A great hangout spot for backpackers with dorm beds starting at $6 USD per night [].
==Stay safe==
Poverty, though not as bad as next door [[Haiti]], is still rampant and it is best you take precautions. Do not flash obvious wealth in poorer or middle class sections of the city (lots of jewelry, expensive camera, big watches, etc). Keep your bag away from the street when walking as it can be snatched by kids on mopeds and keep a firm grip on it. Keep your passport at your accomidation accommodation and in a safe (some maids can steal). If you are Caucasian (no matter how you are dressed), expect to have a lot of insincerely friendly people on the streets follow you and strike up conversation with you. They are only talking to you in order to get money from you. They inevitably steer the conversation towards money and are looking for handouts or, worse, 'protection money' to protect you from the more undesirable elements of society.
Walk confidently. Don't dress like a tourist. Be yourself but if yourself is flashing Gucci and Prada where ever you go, maybe you need to dress down a bit.
===Embassies& consulates===
* [[Image:ca-flag.png|20px]] <listing name="Canada" address="Capitán Eugenio de Marchena, No. 39
La Esperilla, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic" phone="1-809-200-0012 / 809-685-1136" fax="
* [[Image:usgr-flag.png|20px]] <listing name="United States of AmericaGreece" address="Cesar Nicolas Penson esq. Leopoldo NavarroCentro Otorrinolaringologia Especialidades, Santo DomingoAvenida 27 de Febrero, Dominican RepublicEsq. Federico Henriquez Carvajal" phone="1-809-221685-21713372" fax="1-809-686685-74370071" email="..."url=""></listing>
* [[Image:sp-flag.png|20px]] <listing name="Spain" address="Av. Independencia No. 1205, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic" phone="1-809-535-6500" fax="1-809-535-1595" email="[email protected]"
* [[Image:us-flag.png|20px]] <listing name="United States of America" address="Cesar Nicolas Penson esq. Leopoldo Navarro, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic" phone="1-809-221-2171" fax="1-809-686-7437" email="..."
==Get out==
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