4. Colorful buildings
3. Inspiration for stories and paintings
1. Hot, hot, hot!
7. Tropical animals and plants:
6. Sunsets & libations:
5. Shopping!!! (not that I bought much)
Santo Domingo is a large, sprawling city of 3 million, complete with urban issues. Like traffic. And pedestrians walking on elevated highways!
Christopher's brother, Bartholomew Columbus, built Santo Domingo in 1496 as the first European city in the New World.
Pigeons flock in front of the oldest cathedral in the Americas.
The Colonial Zone is quaint and colorful.
It's still a center for artists.
A lazy day along the seawall of the Malecon.
Obelisk to the butterfly sisters on the Malecon.
Next up: 10 reasons why I love the Caribbean!
Casa de Campo is two hours east of Santo Domingo on the south coast overlooking the Caribbean shore. We rented a villa that came with a maid/cook and butler, and we felt like royals!
The neighbors here drive fancy yachts!
A replica of a 16th century Mediterranean village sits on a cliff overlooking the Chavon river and Pete Dye golf courses.
Of course the village has its own Greek amphitheater.
The Dominicans think it's too cold in winter to go to the beach, but we thought mid 80's at Playa Minitas was perfect!
We also enjoyed our "beach bed" at Juan Dolio, which is halfway between Casa de Campo and Santo Domingo.
Next up, Santo Domingo!
The DR feels more like a South American country than a Caribbean island, maybe because of its size. It has a population of almost 10 million--3 million live in the capital, Santo Domingo.
The DR has three independence days, but the one from Haiti on February 27, 1844 is the most important (the other two are from Spain). This explains why we saw so many flags flying while we visited in February.
The DR has some of the best beaches in the world. From Santo Domingo on the south coast, it takes a little over 2 hours to drive to the north coast.
Our semi-private beach at Samana:
An island in the Samana bay:
Pick-up baseball on the beach:
I love this downspout!
And beautiful sunsets.
Stay tuned for Part 2 about the south coast!