In Santo Domingo there are 2 streets named after 2 Swedish people. The first one, and the one I actually remember hearing the name of (although I didn't know who he was until I moved here), is Olof Palme. This street is located in the neighborhood called Los Prados and unfortunately it gets misspelled as Olaf Palmer or Oloff Palme.
The other street is named after Erik Ekman, a botanist that collected plant specimens in Dominican Republic. The street is called Erick Leonard Ekman (misspelled again). Erik Ekman died in Santiago de los Caballeros in 1931 and there's a sign and a statue in his honor, by his grave.
Edit Apr 2009: in adittion to having Volvo cars and buses, Scania trucks and Saab cars, we also have knäckebröd from the brand Wasa, as seen in the first picture of this tip. I found the bread on Jumbo, the supermarket on Megacentro.
I stayed deep in the "barrios" or neighborhoods during my visit to the Dominican Republic. My uncle is married to a woman from the country. His wife "hooked me up" with her cousin and they were my hosts while visiting.
I stayed in the cousin's home every now and then, and the cousin's sister had a boyfriend who was a taxi driver who would get me around most of the time.
While staying at their home (which didn't have running water) it was kind of hard to relax because of the seemingly constant noise in the neighborhood. Everything from dogs barking, to roosters in all of the yards, children playing, motorscooters zipping by, vendors in trucks selling bananas/plantanos, to the local church giving a sermon over the loud speaker.
Also, there was alot of partying, which consisted of drinking the local beer, "Presidente Light", and sitting on the porch listening to salsa music. On every corner there seemed to be a "colmeda" or "bodega". These were small corner stores where the people could buy basic goods. These small stores advertised themselves by contsantly blaring salsa music which could be heard by all of the homes in the immediate area.
The International Film Festival started as a non-profit project by some movie critics who invited a selected group of international directors and actors, and the Spanish Cultural Center. The first festival was on 1999 and since then it's become more popular, with more and more good movies and sponsors.
They move to a different movie theater and dates every year so check the link below for location and program (sorry, only in Spanish).
The book fair is a yearly event a week long every April. All the major (and smaller) book shops have a stand there selling books at a discount prices. Every fair has a special guest country and they make seminars, expositions, etc about it.
There are other events like theater, shows, concerts and workshops.
Address: Plaza del Conservatorio Nacional, Avenida Cesar Nicolás Penson esquina Alma Mater
Access: Walking distance from the intersection of Av. 27 de Febrero and Tiradentes, close to UASD University.
Trujillo, one of the more brutal dictators of the Dominican Republic, appears to have been quite fond of erecting Obelisks. A kilometre east of the Male Obelisk (see my tip on that sight), you'll find La Obelisca or El Obelisco Hembra (the Female Obelisk), which was erected by the dictator in 1941 to honour the DR's repayment of outstanding loans to the US, incurred by previous Dominican administrations. I'm not entirely certain what makes this Obelisk female while the other one is male, but you can probably find a well-informed Dominican who can give you a tip. In any case, this monument is close to the intersection of the Malecón and Piña, south of the Puerta de la Misericordia.
The Male Obelisk or Obelisco Macho is, despite its innocous appearance, a massive tribute to dictatorship and oppresion. It was built in 1936 by Trujillo in order to commemorate the rechristining of his namesake quarter of the city, Ciudad Trujillo (which has since been renamed). Today it has a mural of the Mirabal sister, opponents of the regime who were murdered on Trujillo's orders. Despite the overt political nature of the Obelisco, there are few memorial plaques or explanations (I learned about it in the guide book) and it marks more of a mundane division between the part of the Malecón reserved from hotels and casinos (west of it) and that area in which you will find small restaurants and nightclubs catering to locals (to the east). It's right near Osvaldo Baez and the Malecón.
The Malecón or sea wall is a favourite attraction in many coastal cities and towns in the Caribbean and Central America, and the one in Santo Domingo is no exception. Called Avenida George Washington in some parts, the Malecón goes from the Rio Ozama and the Monument to Fray Montesinos all the way west out past Gazcue and on along the coast to the Government buildings. As you get closer to the Zona Colonial, the Malecón takes more of an entertainment district atmosphere with restaurants, nightclubs, parks and impromptu fairs popping up. Farther west, however, where the skyline is dominated by casinos and hotels, the Malecón is just a promenade that provides breathtaking views of the sparkling waters of the Caribbean Sea and the intense green of the foliage along the shore. There are some horse and buggy services for those who wish to complete the romantic scene, but a walk along the shore is quite impressive as well.
If you're interested in the politics that shape modern Dominican Republic, you might be interested in taking a trip to see one of the political party headquarters. There's one such house on Ave. Independencia just across from the entrance of the parking lot for Meliá SD. The parties really like to show up their founders and display party colours, so they can be quite a sight and the murals on the buldings are educational as well.
We rented a "pollito" as they call these yellow taxi vans to visit my husband's family in the countryside in the province of Higuey. I fell in love with this part of the country and vowed to retire here one day!
We were wandering around Av. Duarte area. We saw so many hairdressers (even in the middle of the street, see another tip) and so many nail shops. Something really unusual for us. We did not dare to put some false long nails in our hands... But we had our manicure done, and a relaxing hand peeling massage. Funny way to spend some time. Of course, the shop had latino music at high volume as background, and the manicurists were kind of dancing when unoccupied. As well, a good excuse to sit down for a while :-) Not recommended for hygiene-obsessed indeed :-)))
Tourist enjoy going to beaches, resorts, meuseums, historical sites.... I'm glad I didn't visit the Dominican as a tourist cause I would've missed out on ALOT! Los Mameyes is one of the many poor neighborhoods in Santo Domingo where we focused our work on. The people there are just amazing! Los mameyes sits right beside the ocean so the cool breeze blows in... talk to some of the people there and they'll welcome you and treat you wonderfully! To see the best of the people, visit a poor neighborhood, walk around for a while and you'll find that you have a friend in all of them! Hang out with the children and play with them! You'll brighten up their day!
I've been in Santo Domingo on November, so I could see Christmas decorations, like the coconut palm trunks encircled by fairy lights and ficus adorned with red bows. It was just a little curios for me, accustomed to the Christmas trees and to the snow. I saw the crib prepared in the Catedral Primada de America
I recommend the coastal road from Barahona to Enriquillo in th South West of the country the scenery is incredible. While you are down there, I also recommend Bahia de las Aguilas a beautiful beach in the middle of a brush dessert. There are no tourists, no hotels and you must have a 4 wheel drive vehicle to get there, but It is a good day trip from Barahona.
We encountered incredible mud hut villages along our road trip through south west Dominican Republic.
I stayed here on a recent business trip in the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo. This 6 room hotel...more
My dear friend Erik said he got a glimpse of this huge hotel 30 years ago. Trujillo ordered its...more
The service was wonderful. I paid 76.50 for a standard room with a king-sze bed, a TV, refrigerator,...more