Punta Cana beach

From Santo Domingo to Punta Cana

The journey that changed my life, the way to see the world thanks to the smile of the people that I met

Some time ago, during the writing of my degree thesis, I began to dream of the trip I would have taken as a graduation award. I have had heard of Santo Domingo and when I googled it a second result caught my attention: Punta Cana. Here some of the images faded by the technology of the time in a clear collection of the indelible emotions that the Dominican Republic left me during the Santo Domingo Punta Cana trip.

The arrival to Santo Domingo

See the city from above is a great emotion especially if you dreamed about it for so long! After about 9 hours of flight we landed.

Towards Santo Domingo

We booked the transfer from Italy so when we arrived the minibus was waiting for us just outside Las Americas Airport to take us to the Hotel. After 40 minutes and 32 km covered, we were in the room.

The accomodation

The idea was to spend the first night in a big Hotel and then move to a bed and breakfast. This would allow us to go into dominican life style as much as possible and to save some money. We visited many smaller Hotel before choosing since most of them were not worthy. If you have to book online don’t look for a cheap solution.

Ciudad Colonial

Santo Domingo - El Conde
Santo Domingo - El Conde

Ciudad Colonial is situated in the heart of the city and our accomodation was located just in the middle of this district. Bartholomew Columbus arrived just in this part of Santo Domingo in 1496 and built the city.

Panteòn de la Patria

Ciudad Colonial - Panteòn de la Patria
Ciudad Colonial - Panteòn de la Patria

The Panteon de la Patria structure was originally a Jesuit church. Today is a national symbol of the Dominican Republic.

Fortaleza Osama

Ciudad Colonial - Fortaleza Ozama
Ciudad Colonial - Fortaleza Ozama

The Ozama Fortress was built in 1502 by the Spanish at the entrance to Santo Domingo’s Ciudad Colonial. During our visit it was the set of Bachata musical video.

Catedral Primada de America

Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Menor

The Cathedral of Santa María la Menor is dedicated to St. Mary of the Incarnation. It is the oldest cathedral in the Americas built during the sixteenth century.

Catedral de Santo Domingo

Casa de Tabaco

Ciudad Colonial - casa de tabaco
Casa de Tabaco

On the way, just in the opposite site of Cathedral, it is worth a visit to Casa de Tabaco where we were greeted with such kindness.

Dominican Amber

Few steps from casa de tabaco you will find the Amber Museum and then the Amber World Museum

Amber Museum
Dominican amber

Amber is a fascinating organic material and is found in the Dominican Republic. In the 15th century, Christopher Columbus mentioned a great quantity of amber on the Hispaniola Island (ancient name for Haiti). The most recent research shows that amber from this region is 25-to 15-million-year-old, which means that it belongs to the Oligocene and Miocene geologic epochs. (Patrickvoillot.com)

Plaza de Espana, Alcazar de Colon and Museo de las Casas reales

We spent a lot of time around this area, it is like diving into the history.

Santo Domingo - Alcazar de Colon
Santo Domingo - Alcazar de Colon

Alcazar de Colon is one of the most popular museums in the area and since 1512 it was the home of Diego Columbus, son of Christopher Columbus.

Santo Domingo - Plaza de Espana

Plaza de Espana is the perfect place to relax sitting in front the Alcazar, tasting a Rum and a”cigarillo”. Of course Romeo y Julieta and Brugal extra viejo!

Santo Domingo - Museo de las Casas Reales

The Museum of Royal Houses was used as the Spanish Governor’s Royal Court in the 16th century, home to the governor’s palace, the treasury, and the courts of law. Today, the museum offers an informative overview on the history of the Dominican Republic from the colonial period in 1492. You will find displays on the multiple voyages of Columbus with replicas of his ships.

From Santo Domingo To Puntacana: the journey and Casa De Campo

After two weeks in the city, the program involved moving to Punta Cana on the Atlantic Ocean. A trip really interesting with alternating landscapes, small towns with wooden houses and natural parks. We had heard about Casa de Campo so we thought to have a look!

La Romana - Casa De Campo
La Romana - Casa De Campo

Along the way

From Santo Domingo to Punta Cana
From Santo Domingo to Punta Cana

Punta Cana - Barcelò Beach and Caribe

Beach and Caribe view

Out destination was Barcelo Hotel & Resort and this was the view from our balcony and the beach. 

Punta Cana beach
Punta Cana - The beach


This trip dates back to several years ago. I am sure many things are different so I have not shared information that may no longer be valid. Dominican Republic is a place that must be visited but the big issue is that everytime you leave you promise yourself to come back as soon as possible. I did the same several years ago, so it is time to plan a journey!

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