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Santo Domingo, due to its colorful culture and rich natural resources, is one of the most popular travel destinations for travelers on their way through the Caribbean. The city’s colonial roots and large influx of immigrants have created a vibrant atmosphere of delicious food, upbeat music, beautifully ornate architecture, and welcoming inhabitants. HAPPYCAR is here to help you find the best car hire Santo Domingo has to offer so you can take full advantage of this spectacular city. We check the prices of international and local providers so that you don’t have to check each website to provide you with the best deals to make your money go further on a rental car that fits your specific vacation needs. You have the option of choosing the car size, the amount of insurance and pick up location! HAPPYCAR makes it easy for you to get your Dominican vacation started right away!
Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic, was founded in 1496 by Bartholomew Columbus as the first permanently inhabited European colony in the Americas. It was the site of the first university, cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress in the New World, and also served as the spring-board for future Spanish conquests in the Americas. Beginning in the 19th century, control over the city changed hands many times; French, , Spanish, British and Haitians at one point or another exerted power over the city. After many centuries of strife, both from internal and external sources, the city finally saw its last major battle and change of hands in 1965, when the United States government intervened to prevent a full-out civil war. Since then, the city has experienced a great degree of industrialization and progress. It is the largest economy in the Caribbean, with most of its revenue stemming from tourism.
Santo Domingo offers a wide range of possibilities for you to explore. Its colonial roots become evident in the architecture seen around the city. Baroque building and ornate structures are a common sight throughout the city. Concentrations of colonial style architecture can be seen in the Zona Colonial, the historic central neighborhood of the city on the bank of the Río Ozama. If you wish to gain a better understanding of Dominican culture and history you should pay a visit to the Museo del Hombre Dominicano and Museo Prehispánico. They are dedicated to the Taino natives of the island and these museums preserve the artifacts and culture of the Tainos, who were mercilessly persecuted and destroyed by the Spanish conquistadors. The Malecón, running perpendicular to the Caribbean Sea, is the city’s palm-lined promenade, where you can expect to see many locals and tourists taking strolls during the day, or partying at night. Food and music are both important parts of Dominican culture. Plantains are a big favorite among the locals, which they use to make dishes like mangú and tostones. The former is mashed plantains usually served with fried eggs for breakfast and the latter is plantains in slices twice-fried. Music can be heard on almost every corner and in every colmado, a typical convenient store. Merengue is the most popular and well-known musical style. Dominicans are born with a natural rhythm for this style of music, and learn to dance to it from birth.
Car Hire Santo Domingo: Beaches and mountains
Santo Domingo’s advantageous location along the coast provides you with easy access to the many beaches of the Dominican Republic. 18 miles east of the capital lies the beach resort of Boca Chica. Locals have been using this beach for decades as a place to retreat for some R&R, and only in recent years has it seen more traffic from tourists seeking the best beaches in the country. If you travel west of the capital, you will eventually reach the mountainous region of the country. The gentle climb into the Cordillera Central, the highest mountain range of the Caribbean, is accompanied by the sound of croaking frogs and melodic chirping of birds. Further west, through the mountains, you will come upon Lago Enriquillo, the largest body of water in the West Indies. On this lake is the Isla Cabritos, a small island which serves as a habitat for alligators, flamingos, iguanas, and other reptiles. The journey to the island is difficult, but is well worth it, especially if you take on a local guide. To the east of Santo Domingo are some of the best and most beautiful beaches in the world. Punta Cana and Bavaro are the most well-known and visited ones in the Caribbean. Along the beach you will find countless all-inclusive resorts which cater to the wants and needs of millions of tourists per year. People searching for a more authentic Dominican vacation will want to visit more remote beaches like the Playa Rincón. Lovers of all things nature will want to travel to the peninsula of Samaná, which lies in the northeast of the country. Here you will encounter tropical forests, coconut groves, and countless relaxing alcove beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters. Whale watching is also a favorite attraction of the area and from January to March, the area is one of the main breeding places for Humpback whales. Book your HAPPYCAR rental car now and enjoy these wonderful destinations at your own leisure. The HAPPYCAR team wishes you a pleasant journey!