Acuario Nacional - The Aquarium, Santo Domingo
Despite seeming a little dated (its actually built in 1990), this open air aquarium was actually very nice. Its location has a great overlooking view of the Caribbean. It has a great display of Sea turtles and mantees.
Our lovely aquarium was open in 1990 under the government of President Balaguer. I used to be a regular visitor and yesterday was my first visit since 1992. The word was that the government didn't maintain the aquarium for years, but luckily it looks like it did when it opened :D
You'll see fish and other sea creatures found in our waters and in other parts of the world and the main attraction is the Plexiglas tunnel where you can walk as if you were under the sea and see the sharks, manta rays, etc.
All the signs are in Spanish but according to Lonely Planet, there's a tour guide in English available. We didn't ask for it so I can't confirm or deny the information. There's an auditorium that used to show movies about marine life but since there was no showing yesterday (Saturday after Good Friday), I can't say if the movies have English audio or subtitles.
The aquarium is one of the few places where you can bring in your own food and drinks (probably not alcoholic drinks, as this is a family place) and spend the whole day there looking at everything and having a picnic. Also, don't miss the views to the city center and the cliffs where the Caribbean Sea comes in contact with our shores.
Admission: 50 pesos for tourists (a little less than 1.50 US), 30 pesos for Dominican adults and 20 pesos for children.
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 5:30pm, closed on Mondays, Good Friday, Christmas eve and day and New Year's day.
Access: there's no public transportation that we know of, so take a taxi there. If you dare to drive, from Zona Colonial take the floating bridge of Mella bridge and then take Av. España and follow the signs. You'll pass the Monumento a la Caña and the Navy Base before arriving.
This is a nice and large aquarium which is built primarily as an education tool for the city's students. You probably have seen better aquariums, but it is still a nice place to visit. It used to have a shark, but apparently its tank got damaged, and it was let into the sea. There are a lot of turtles there in different areas.
When visiting the lighthouse, you can stop at the aquarium. Its main attraction is a huge fish tank with a tunnel passing through it.
Anecdote : three different entry prices are indicated : a cheaper price for children, a special price for Dominicans and a higher price for tourists ;-)
The National Aquarium opened its doors in 1990 with modern facilities and an open design in front of the Caribbean Sea beautiful waters.
It displays in an almost natural environment over 3,000 living sea animals of more than 250 different species in 90 fish tanks without requiring any artificial controls.
The water in the tanks flows directly from the Caribbean Sea a few meters from the Aquarium.
It is not only an interesting and complete showcase of marine life in the country and around the world, but also an important center of marine biology research and it provides as well rescue services and treatment for stranded animals.
The National Aquarium is a very exciting place to visit, there you'll see a very extended exhibition of tropical and native fishes, also it's very hands on and practical unlike other aquariums in other places in the world.
So pick a towel and come down there!
The National Aquarium like I told you before is very extensive in their exhibits and hands-on interaction, one of the best parts is the underwater tunnel, you'll be stun at the size of some of those sharks swiming over you, great experience for the whole family!