Walk through the cobblestone streets of Zona Colonial (Ciudad Colonial), Santa Domingo's historic nexus from which Christopher Columbus and the Spanish Conquistadors began their explorations of the New World. With parts dating back to 1502, the 11 blocks within this walled city contain over three hundred pieces if history, including monuments, churches, cathedrals, homes, and shops. The best way to explore the "Zona" is to simply wander and try to absorb as much of this UNESCO-listed gems as possible, which includes such places as the Alcázar de Colón (the ruling palace of the Columbus family), the restored Plaza de España, and the quaint shops and cafés of the Las Atarazanas dockyard. Other landmarks within the area include Cathedral de Santa María la Menor (the oldest cathedral in the Americas), Museo de las Casas Reales, Panteón Nacional, Puerta del Conde, and Fontaleza Ozma (a 16th century Spanish Castle). Ciudad Colonial is perhaps the pinnacle of cultural sites in all of the Americas. Touring it will be like stepping through a time warp into a bygone world that will enchant you like few other places in the Caribbean.
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If you have visited this Top Destination, claim the Destination Stamp for your PlanetHop! passport.
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- Location: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic