Wonders of Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is rich both with man-made and natural landmarks. The highlights are:
- Santo Domingo with its historical buildings – the oldest continuously inhabited European city in Americas with some of the few true Late Gothic buildings in this part of the world.
- Petroglyphs and sacrifice caves – thousands of drawings, etchings and bas-reliefs created by Taíno people and lesser-known earlier cultures.
- Finds of amber and larimar – some of the richest and most interesting finds of fossil resin in the world, as well as the only find of the amazing blue stone – larimar.
Map with the described wonders
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Top 25 wonders of Dominican Republic
Interesting karst region, covered with tropical forest. Consists of hundreds of conical, 200 – 300 m tall, steep hills. Numerous caves, underground rivers, rare species of animals, and plants.
Los Tres Ojos
Partly collapsed limestone cave, show cave. Contains three lakes – one contains sulfurous water, another – saltwater, and the largest – freshwater.
Gorgeous, 52 m tall waterfall that falls over tufa formations.
Lago de Oviedo
Hypersaline lake with unusual green-yellow water, the color is caused by limestone particles. Saltwater enters from the ocean through caves. Numerous rare animals and plants.
Fun Fun Cave (La Cueva del Diablo)
The longest cave in the Dominican Republic, more than 7 km long. Spectacular cave formations, prehistoric petroglyphs.
Cueva de Tibisi
Giant, collapsed cave – natural arch, leading to a sinkhole.
Baiguate Falls near Jarabacoa
Approximately 61 m tall waterfall.
Aguas Blancas near Jarabacoa
87 m tall waterfall, reportedly the tallest in the Dominican Republic.
Series of 55 caves that contain the largest collection of ancient rock art in the Caribbean. This art was created 2,000 years ago by Taíno, Carib, Igneri people. Approximately 6,000 charcoal drawings and etchings.
Manantial de la Aleta
Cave with several small holes in the ceiling – almost sinkhole, 89 m deep. Contains 73 m deep pool. In the center is 39 m high heap of rubble that contains numerous artifacts left by sacrifice rituals of Taíno. Found many whole vessels, many have very interesting ornamentation.
Padre Nuestro Caves
Group of four underwater caves – sinkholes with stalactites and stalagmites – that formed when caves were above the water. Human remains and stone artifacts have been found next to the bones of extinct animals (e.g. skull of monkey Antillothrix bernensis, sloths Acratocnus and Parocnus). Cueca de Chicho provided a rich collection of whole Taíno vessels.
José Maria Cave
Cave with more than 1200 Taíno charcoal paintings. One panel supposedly depicts the terms of the agreement between Spaniards and Taíno in 1503.
San Gabriel Cave and two other caves in Los Haitises
The limestone caves at the sea here are adorned with prehistoric petroglyphs and pictographs. Supposedly created by Taíno people and, presumably, older cultures.
Cueva de las Maravillas
San Pedro de Macorís
Approximately 0.8 km long caves with numerous stalactites and stalagmites. Some 500 ancient drawings by Taíno.
Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo
The oldest continuously inhabited European city in the Americas, settled since 1496, the city established in 1498. Partly preserved the defensive walls and the original grid pattern. Contains many valuable and ornate buildings in the late Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque styles.
Alcázar de Colón
The oldest European palace in the Americas, constructed in 1510 – 1512 in Renaissance style. Residence of the Viceroy of the Indies. This site of important historical events contains a rich collection of furniture and artworks of the period, now – museum.
Catedral de Santa María la Menor (Catedral de Santa Mariá de la Encarnación Primada de America)
The oldest cathedral in the Americas, constructed in 1512 – 1540 in Gothic and Renaissance styles. The altar is chiseled of silver. Contains a collection of valuable art.
The oldest European fortification in the Americas, constructed in 1502 – 1505 by the Spanish. A representative of late Medieval architecture. Served as a prison until the 1960ies.
Amber Museum on Calle Duarte 61
One of the best collections of amber in the world, with unique specimens.
Museo de las Casas Reales
Palace, former administrative offices of the Spanish colonies in the Americas, constructed in 1511. Consists of two buildings – one is the Palace of Governors, another – Roal Audiencia of Santo Domingo. Now serves as a museum of history.
National Pantheon in Santo Domingo
Jesuit church, constructed in 1714 – 1746 in Neo-Classic style. Now serves as the final resting place of outstanding citizens of the Dominican Republic.
Puerto Plata, La Zona Colonial
Beautiful city center: here some 150 houses are built in Victorian style. This part developed in 1857 although the city is much older.
National Palace in Santo Domingo
Magnificent government building in Neo-Classical style, constructed in 1944 and used mostly for higher-ranked officials, government meetings, and representation purposes.
El Faro, Puerto Plata
Cast-iron lighthouse, constructed in 1879. This 42 m tall lighthouse has very unusual architecture.
Occupying the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic has something for almost everyone – except perhaps obsessive perfectionists. If you can relax and go with the flow you will experience a land of great environmental diversity with a rich and varied culture, a turbulent history, some infuriating idiosyncrasies, and a people whose friendliness is legendary.
Escape the all-inclusive resorts and find the real Dominican Republic – surfboarding resorts and eco-lodges in remote pueblos, the Caribbean’s highest mountain, and the sites of the Americas’ first European settlements. You’ll find detailed practical advice on how to get the best from your trip, too, with color-coded maps, listings and information personally checked out by our intrepid writers.