Approx 12 Hours
Tour Type:

Santo Domingo Tour

(22 customer reviews)


Over 500+ years of incredible history are locked in Santo Domingo’s Colonial streets. We’re taking YOU from Punta Cana to this chronicled municipality and its infamous Colonial Zone. Enjoy authentic Dominican cuisine coupled with an authentic full day experience outside the resort.

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Here’s What You Get

Would you like to walk in the footsteps of Christopher Columbus? Of course you would!

That’s why we’re inviting you to our exclusive excursion from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo.

We’re giving YOU the opportunity to experience, first hand, the birth of European civilization in the Americas. The first cathedral, paved road, university, hospital, stone home, tavern, etc are all located within a 16 block radius in Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone or “Old City”.

Oh and did we mention the Colonial Zone is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992? How many World Heritage Sites have you been to?

This is how your day shakes down…

From Punta Cana you head west through rolling sugar cane fields until we reach the Dominican Republic’s capital city. Now, you’re in the thick of it, witnessing everyday life for millions of Dominicans; your walled off resort is far from this reality.

In chronological order our highlights include:

  • VISIT Three Eyes National Park: underground caves and lagoons used by Taino Indians for a millennia until their eventual demise
  • OBSERVE the Columbus Lighthouse where Christopher Columbus’ remains are entombed
  • SET FOOT in Diego Columbus’s Palace
  • STROLL the first paved road of the New World
  • ENTER the National Pantheon, the final resting place of the country’s most honored citizens
  • KNEEL in the first cathedral of the New World
  • INDULGE in authentic Dominican cuisine in an authentic atmosphere
  • STAND before the country’s impressive National Palace
  • TIME to shop or stroll the Colonial City’s continually inhabited streets for half a millennia

As you can see, most of your day is spent within the fortified, canon laden, walls of the Colonial City. Fortified walls? Yep, because everyone wanted a piece of this gem of the New World to launch their own conquests.

Did you know the conquests of Mexico, Peru and Florida all embarked from Santo Domingo? But they couldn’t hold back the famous pirate Sir Francis Drake who sacked the city in 1586, only to give it back to the Spanish after receiving a hefty ransom in gold.

That nugget of history was free! But to really unveil Santo Domingo’s infinite past, only a full narrated tour would do the city justice.

Put down your sun tan lotion and put on a hat and comfortable sneakers because it’s time to:

  • LEARN about the Western Hemisphere’s European birth
  • EAT real Dominican food where Dominicans go to eat
  • RETURN home with a genuine understanding of the Dominican Republic’s people and history

Our Santo Domingo excursion is only available two days a week. Space sells out quickly so book now!

Make Christopher Columbus proud that 500+ years later you’re still interested in discovering the city and the New World he conceived in 1492.

What’s Included

  • Round trip transportation
  • Professional guide
  • Lunch

What to Bring

  • Comfortable Clothing
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Cash
 Please note that the drive to Santo Domingo is about 3 hours each way. Also, to enter the cathedral women and men must be covered to the elbows and knees. In other words, shoulders and upper thighs should be covered. Most likely you will be picked up at your hotel in a smaller bus and then transferred to a larger bus. The visit to a gift shop in SD is optional. If you do not want to buy anything you can do as you wish but you must notify the guide so he can give you a time to meet.

22 reviews for Santo Domingo Tour

  1. Sasha (verified purchase)

    This was a great way to see Santo Domingo and other parts of the Dominican landscape. While the tour was heavy with auditory information, the places we visited and people met were amazing! In fact, it was a nice compliment to the Laguna Limon VIP tour (a smaller, more village-look at the DR) , I took the previous day! Thank you for a great stay in the DR.

  2. Evie (verified purchase)

    Muchas Gracias Por Todo !! Todo estuvo muy bien en nuestra estadía, y en cuanto al tour a Santo Domingo las chicas quedaron fascinadas !!

  3. Clementine (verified purchase)

    Last month we booked a day trip to Santo Domingo from Punta Cana through Punta Cana Tours. Overall we were delighted with the way the day went. It was a long day but we knew to expect that. We were picked up from our hotel very early in the morning. We were the last pick up stop (Punta Cana Hard Rock Hotel) which also meant we were the first to be dropped off in the evening. Both ways we stopped at a small food and souvenir market which was very helpful as they also had clean toilets. You were under no pressure whatsoever to make any purchases although most people did pick up a drink and snack. We made a few different stops to visit the historical attractions as listed on the itinerary all of which were very interesting. The last stop was in the centre of Santo Domingo. One of the requirements of our trip was that we could visit the Hard Rock Cafe in Santo Domingo and the cathedral is opposite it. After our little group had been to the cathedral there was a free 45 minutes to wander and do souvenir shopping so we used this time to make our cafe visit. Our guide was fantastic. He spoke 4 different languages so everyone in the group could understand – English, Spanish, Italian and French. The small coach was air-conditioned and as a comfortable as it could be on the Dominican Republic roads! Overall from initial enquiry to the day of our trip the communication from punta cana tours was great and we would have no hesitation in recommending them. Visiting from London, UK

  4. Adelyn (verified purchase)

    We went on the Santo Domingo and Isla Catalina Excursions. Both were great. They were all day tours. The staff was fun and professional. I never felt unsafe. We did everything that is in the website tour descriptions. I was a little bit disappointed with the Santo Domingo shopping. I thought we’d be able to walk around the town a bit and walk into shops of our choice but they only take you to one place to shop. When we were on our Santo Domingo excursion, there were some rude tourists from Portugal on the bus. They seemed to think that the bus seats had their name on them. They made a HUGE stink when after visiting an area and got back on the bus, I sat where their child had sat previously. They were yelling and screaming at the poor driver (Alberto) in Portuguese and he didn’t even know what they were saying. Keep in mind when you go on these tours that the bus seats are open to anyone. Of course if you leave your belongings on your seat, it’s common sense you will sit there again. But not if the seat is vacant. These drivers and tour guides work very hard. No need to get ugly. You’re on vacation! Have fun! Please don’t forget to TIP!!!!

  5. Vincenzo (verified purchase)

    We booked the tour before we went to the D.R. and had no concerns. We were picked up at our hotel at the time they specified. Because they offer tours to everyone, the pick up and drop off was a bit rough (we switched transports 3 times and were on the milk run to pick people up). Saying that though, minor technicality. We were staying in Punta Cana, so the drive to Santo Domingo was around 3 hours, with plenty of rest stops. The tour itself was awesome. Saw the caves, Christopher Columbus’ lighthouse (drove by), the Columbus mansion (now a museum), had an AMAZING Dominican style lunch buffet and ended with the oldest Catholic cathedral and some shopping. The shopping portion could have been shorter and spent more time at the caves (that portion was rushed). It was a long day, but would recommend it. We had a great time. Note: this is a city / WALKING tour. If you have bad knees, hips or cannot do stairs or being on your feet for a long time, this is not the tour for you.

  6. Finley (verified purchase)

    Our Santo Domingo excursion was excellent!!! The tour instructor was very professional and highly knowledgeable in the history and the contemporary issues of the island. I highly recommend this excursion for those visiting Punta Cana.

  7. Guy (verified purchase)

    A day that lasted over 13 hours. Spent too much time in souvenir shops. Too describe the rest of your was good. Our guide and driver very informative . we had a good buffet lunch . The pricing was fair.

  8. Sarah (verified purchase)

    The excursion to Santo Domingo was excellent! The tour guide was very knowledge of the history and was very nice! At the end of the tour, he bought all of us some yuca bread and local cheese to try, local rum for the adults (coke for the kids), and some sweet coconut dessert to try. The trip was a very long trip since it was from Punta Cana but everything was on time. During some parts of it, it was raining heavy, but there were umbrellas prepared for everyone. The buffet lunch was very good too!
    We had kids from 5-11 years of age on this excursion and they all enjoyed it. It may be a long day for them! Overall definitely a good excursion to learn about the history of Dominican Republic.

  9. Carolyn (verified purchase)

    11 hour round trip to Santo Domingo was conducted in a professional manner. Picked us up from hotel on time as scheduled. Transportation was on a small van which helped to navigate easy in Santo Domingo traffic. Guide was knowledgeable with the history; though at times it’s bit difficult to follow the language. We were able to visit all major attractions of the capital city of Dominican Republic. Good value for money.

  10. Nate (verified purchase)

    The Santo Domingo trip was excellent. Long day, but fun the only draw back was the tour guide he spoke spanish, english then italian which was good but he spoke so quickly I caught roughly half of each sentence.

  11. Sawyer (verified purchase)

    Totally as good as it gets when it comes to service! Was in Punta Cana on a convention for work last weekend and we used this service from the airport to our hotel. The bus was spacious, clean, and and the driver was very informative. We were treated like kings and queens! I can’t say enough good things about Punta Cana Tour Operators. I would absolutely recommend this company to anyone traveling to the Punta Cana area with a group. Thanks guys!!!

  12. Jenny (verified purchase)

    Excellent experience on the tour to Santo Domingo! The driver, the tour guide, and everybody/everything in between were fantastic! We had a wonderful time, and will definitely use Punta Cana Tours again, and recommend them to everyone we know.

  13. Bryce (verified purchase)

    Pros: -Excellent way to see the sites of Santo Domingo & learn about the history -Knowledgeable guide (Gregory) -Easy access to sites (already paid & arranged by tour group) -Tres Ojos cave excellent add-on -Clean bus Cons: -Long day of travel (3 hours round trip) -Too much time allotted for shopping -Somewhat of a “fish-bowl” experience (very touristy, but clearly we expected this) Comments: -There’s a lot of walking on this tour so be prepared -At the Cathedral, they give you a wrap if you have worn shorts (no need to wear pants) -You stop once each way where you can use the restroom/buy snacks

  14. Bob (verified purchase)

    The scenery along the drive from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo alone was almost worth trip. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and provided narratives in both Spanish and English. He provided a running commentary on the sites and features of the countryside during the drive, as well as detailed histories of the specific sites visited in Santo Domingo. The van we rode in was comfortable, and the driver safe. Be prepared to spend a little money along the way at the tourist shops.

  15. Janet (verified purchase)

    We did the Santo Domingo and our guide was Sandro. He was brilliant, very knowledgeable and professional. We saw so much and got to taste a slice of Dominican Republic life in the capital. The journey was long but felt very short due to the info and the tasting of delicious foods. I highly recommend this tour.

  16. Oscar (verified purchase)

    We had an excellent and very knowledgeable tour guide. On the way back he treated us to tastes of rum, bread, cheese, and a coconut/chocolate sweet. Be prepared because it is a long day. The tour was well organized. They dispatched smaller buses to pick up and drop off people in three areas to that you were not stuck forever going around to the hotels of Punta Cana. They did have several stops for shopping and I am a shopaholic. They also stopped for lunch at a restaurant that was a lot of fun. I am giving the tour only four stars because we were in the bus too long. We drove by the monument to Columbus, the Presidential Palace and other places where I would have loved the opportunity for pictures. I also would have liked to have driven through one middle class or poor neighborhood to get an idea how regular people live there.

  17. Karla (verified purchase)

    Very Good Tour! I enjoyed the tour. Sandro was an excellent tour guide, and the driver did a very good job. The only downside, I would have liked to go into the Columbus Lighthouse instead of just stopping for photos. But other than that, a very good tour.

  18. Kobe (verified purchase)

    The tour of Santo Domingo was well beyond expectation! We were picked up at our hotels on a timely basis at the pre-determined time. And off we went for a memorable day! To learn of the history and experience the culture was great, and the tour guide was entertaining while sharing his knowledge. AND, the value for how we were exposed to the history and culture was what was really incredible. We went down into the Cave of the 4 Lakes. So beautiful and admission paid! The buffet lunch (included) of typical and delicious Dominican foods included a dance show that was totally spectacular! All the entry fees to the various palaces and cathedrals were also included in the tour price. Not to mention the price included 4 tolls each way between Punta Cana and Santo Domingo. Lastly, the tour guide had pre-arranged for special Dominican cheese and bread, as well as a dessert, that he picked up for us to enjoy on the bus on the way back to our various hotels. The full tour took approximately 10-11 hours. Definitely set aside one day to take this tour!

  19. Haisley (verified purchase)

    I was more than happy with the places we visited and the sights we saw. It certainly took the hassle out of having to drive myself and gain entry to the attractions. Lunch was tasty and plentiful. The tour guide had a difficult task because he had a group that included both English and Spanish speakers. Everything had to be repeated in both languages. I think the guide did the best he could in the circumstances, however, it was exhausting. If you want to see the sights then you won’t be disappointed.

  20. River (verified purchase)

    The tour was wounderful from start to finish. The tour guide knew several languages and that made it easier for several people in the bus that spoke french, german,english and spanish. The cave,columbus mansion,Dominican style lunch buffet and impressive cultural dance and walking around calle las damas was wonderful..We also taste rum Barcelo,cocunut,casabe with cheese. negative or suggestion:I wish we would have time to see or go inside the columbus monument instead of driving by. Cutting the time at shopping.

  21. Bob (verified purchase)

    The scenery along the drive from Punta Cana to Santo Domingo alone was almost worth trip. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and provided narratives in both Spanish and English. He provided a running commentary on the sites and features of the countryside during the drive, as well as detailed histories of the specific sites visited in Santo Domingo. The van we rode in was comfortable, and the driver safe. Be prepared to spend a little money along the way at the tourist shops.

  22. Byron (verified purchase)

    Very informative – FUN – memories galore – diversifyied – GREAT guide Should be mandatory for ALL tourists to DR – opportunity to get to know the country you are visiting!!

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