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While Punta Cana is renowned for its breathtaking beaches and luxurious resorts, a visit to the Dominican Republic would be incomplete without exploring the historic and vibrant city of Santo Domingo. Just a short drive away, Santo Domingo offers a rich tapestry of cultural and historical attractions that provide a deeper understanding of the island’s heritage. By utilizing a rent car Punta Cana service, you can easily embark on a day trip or a longer excursion to the capital city. Here are the top attractions in Santo Domingo that you shouldn’t miss.

1. Zona Colonial

The Zona Colonial, or Colonial Zone, is the historic heart of Santo Domingo and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This area is filled with cobblestone streets, charming plazas, and some of the oldest buildings in the Americas. Key landmarks include the Catedral Primada de América, the first cathedral in the New World, and the Alcázar de Colón, the former residence of Christopher Columbus’ son. With a rent car Punta Cana, you can drive to the Zona Colonial and spend the day walking through centuries of history.

2. Malecón

The Malecón is a bustling seaside promenade that stretches along the Caribbean coast of Santo Domingo. This vibrant area is perfect for a leisurely stroll, enjoying the ocean views, and experiencing the local culture. Along the Malecón, you’ll find numerous restaurants, bars, and shops, making it an ideal spot for both day and night activities. Renting a car makes it easy to access this lively part of the city and enjoy its dynamic atmosphere.

3. Parque Colón

Located in the heart of the Zona Colonial, Parque Colón is a lively square surrounded by historical buildings and landmarks. The statue of Christopher Columbus stands proudly in the center, and the square is often filled with street performers and local vendors. It’s a great place to relax, people-watch, and immerse yourself in the local culture. With a rent car in Santo Domingo, you can conveniently visit this iconic park and explore the surrounding attractions.

4. National Pantheon

The National Pantheon is a significant historical site that once served as a Jesuit church and now houses the remains of some of the Dominican Republic’s most honored citizens. The building’s neoclassical architecture and the solemn changing of the guard ceremony make it a fascinating place to visit. Driving there with a rental car allows you to include this important site in your tour of Santo Domingo.

5. Los Tres Ojos

Los Tres Ojos, or The Three Eyes, is a unique natural attraction consisting of a series of underground caves and freshwater lagoons. Located just a short drive from the city center, this site offers a cool and refreshing escape from the urban hustle. The clear, blue waters and the impressive rock formations make it a great spot for photography and exploration. A rent car Punta Cana or rent car in Santo Domingo provides the convenience to visit this hidden gem.

Faro a Colon / Columbus Lighthouse

6. Museo de las Casas Reales

The Museo de las Casas Reales, or Museum of the Royal Houses, is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. Housed in a beautiful colonial building, the museum showcases artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the Spanish colonial period in the Dominican Republic. It’s an enlightening experience that provides a deeper understanding of the country’s past. With a rental car, you can easily add this museum to your itinerary.

7. Botanical Garden

The Jardín Botánico Nacional is a lush, expansive garden that offers a tranquil escape within the city. It features a wide variety of plant species, beautifully landscaped areas, and themed gardens such as the Japanese Garden. It’s a perfect spot for a peaceful walk or a picnic. Renting a car allows you to travel to the Botanical Garden at your own pace and enjoy the natural beauty of Santo Domingo.

8. Palacio de Bellas Artes

The Palacio de Bellas Artes is an architectural gem and the center of Santo Domingo’s cultural scene. The building hosts various performances, including theater, ballet, and concerts. Even if you don’t attend a performance, the building itself is worth visiting for its stunning design and artistic ambiance. A rent car in Santo Domingo makes it easy to visit this cultural landmark.

9. Mercado Modelo

For a taste of local life and some souvenir shopping, head to Mercado Modelo. This bustling market is filled with vendors selling everything from handmade crafts to local delicacies. It’s a great place to find unique gifts and experience the vibrant atmosphere of Santo Domingo. Having a rental car makes it convenient to transport your purchases back to Punta Cana.

10. Faro a Colón

The Faro a Colón, or Columbus Lighthouse, is a massive monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus. It serves as both a museum and a mausoleum, housing Columbus’ remains. The lighthouse is an impressive structure and offers panoramic views of the city. Driving to the Faro a Colón with a rental car allows you to explore this landmark and learn about its historical significance.


Exploring Santo Domingo is an enriching experience that adds depth to your visit to the Dominican Republic. With a rent car Punta Cana or rent car in Santo Domingo, you can easily access these top attractions and more. The convenience of having a rental car allows you to explore at your own pace and discover the rich history and vibrant culture of the capital city. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Santo Domingo during your stay in Punta Cana.