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Iconic Dominican Republic Old Town Getting Massive Makeover As Popularity Grows

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One of the most prominent attractions in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic’s vibrant capital, is getting a massive makeover as more travelers flock to the historic location.

Santo Domingo has emerged as one of the fastest-growing destinations in the Dominican Republic in recent months, as evidenced by the capital’s ongoing hotel construction boom.

view of santo domingo old town street with flag

With a record number of travelers expected to set foot in the Dominican Republic in 2023, here’s the latest on the massive renovation program that will transform Santo Domingo for the better.

Officials Announce Ambitious Plan To Boost Santo Domingo’s Image

santo domingo old town statue

The Dominican Republic has seen its travel numbers skyrocket over the past year, with over 500,000 visitors traveling to the country in September 2023 alone.

Increasingly, visitors are flocking to Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic’s capital and the oldest city in the Americas. Home to over three million people, this bustling metropolis boasts an impressive old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

@madelim777 Strolling at the Old Town in Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep. 🇩🇴#santodomingo #dominicanrepublic ♬ original sound – Madelim Gonzalez Lama

With visitor numbers expected to soar further over the coming years, officials have announced an ambitious plan to spruce up the capital’s old town, providing it with enhanced infrastructure, improved safety, and a more appealing image.

The massive undertaking is comprised of over 20 projects that will be carried out in unison across the old town. While some improvements are aimed at making the historic attraction more walkable and pedestrian-friendly, others will target the location’s commercial avenues, which are frequented by thousands of travelers per day. 


Being a tourist in Santiago Domingo

♬ Summer Vibes – GRLN

In an announcement made earlier last week, officials revealed that up to $90 million will be spent on boosting Santo Domingo’s tourism offerings. The huge investment comes at a time when more and more travelers are exploring destinations outside of Punta Cana and other resort hotspots.

Unlike other tourism powerhouses in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic boasts some of the lowest crime rates in the region. Backed by a highly professional tourism police body, travelers feel safe to venture deeper into the country. 

@bonvoyagejackie The Dominican Republic is a great destination for solo travelers! I spent my first week of my solo trip in the capital, Santo Domingo. La Choza Guesthouse was a great place to meet other travelers (I also met up with some people I connected with from some online solo travel groups as well) Overall, I felt very safe walking around the Zona Colonial section of the city during the day and evening as well. #solotraveler #solotravel #solotravelwoman #solofemaletravel #dominicanrepublic #santodomingo #dominicanrepublictravel #visitdominicamrepublic #solotraveltips ♬ Astro Beat – Staysee

Some of the most significant improvements currently being carried out in the old town include repaving aging streets and undergrounding electric and telecommunication cables. 

The first phase of the renovation, which is already 30% complete, mainly targets the Las DamasSalomé Urana, and Las Mercedes streets of the city’s old town. 

Meanwhile, architects are working on improving the city’s aesthetic appeal by restoring damaged buildings and applying a fresh coat of paint on Santo Domingo’s colorful old structures.

@traveltomtom #traveling in #dominican is expensive! This was almost $25 USD for 2 coffee a croissant and an avocado on toast in a hip coffee place in central #SantoDomingo #dominicanrepublic #🇩🇴 ♬ original sound – Traveltomtom

According to the latest estimates, the comprehensive makeover is expected to be finalized sometime in 2025. By then, Santo Domingo is poised to become a hotspot for cultural and historical tourism. 

The metropolis is already proving to be a hit among travelers. Home to dozens of stunning properties ranging from all-inclusive beachside resorts to quaint boutique hotels, Santo Domingo is packed with unique attractions that make it a valuable addition to any Dominican Republic itinerary. 

As demand for the popular destination soars in 2023 and 2024, new hotels are opening across Santo Domingo. Earlier in October, Hyatt revealed that it would be launching the first-ever Centric hotel in the Dominican Republic in Santo Domingo.

@froandtravel Finally recapped one of the highlights of my solo trip to Santo Domingo 🇩🇴 Chocolate making tour was so satisfying. Still thinking about the milkshake at the end 🍫#airbnbexperiences #thingstodoinsantodomingo #chocolatemaking #solotravel #santodomingoitinerary ♬ original sound – Daizha

A stunning boutique-style property featuring gorgeous views of the city’s bustling downtown areas, the new hotel targets young independent travelers who seek to immerse themselves in local culture and lifestyle.

With travelers now opting for more cultural experiences, Santo Domingo will continue to attract more and more visitors, especially with the construction of the first-ever tourist train to Punta Cana.

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