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Santo Domingo

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The first city founded in the Americas, Santo Domingo has some 500 years of history under its belt. In 1496, after a fruitless effort to colonize the north shore of the island, Bartolomé, son of the great Genoese admiral Christopher Columbus, decided to build a city on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, at the mouth of the Río Ozama. Founded on the east bank of the river, this city was christened Nueva Isabel. A hurricane destroyed its first buildings, however, and in 1502, Nicolás de Ovando, the colonial governor at the time, decided to reconstruct the town on the west bank of the Ozama, a location he deemed more strategic.

Of its rich history, Santo Domingo has preserved fabulous treasures, concentrated in The Zona Colonial. Whether you visit Catedral Santa María la Menor, built in 1521, Las Casas Reales Museum, Alcázar de Colón, or any other building in this sector of the city, you will be awestruck by these stone buildings that have dominated the city for centuries. While history has proffered these priceless gifts, the capital is also endowed with sites of natural beauty such as Los Tres Ojos Park.

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