If any city in the world could be declared the perfect holiday destination, Santo Domingo would probably be a prime candidate, with its modern sophistication, old world charm and Latin charisma. Its position on the tropical southern Caribbean coast of the Dominican Republic helps too.

Santo Domingo was the first European settlement in the New World and boasts the western hemisphere's first cathedral, first hospital, first university, and first law court. This rich colonial heritage, sparked off in the 15th century by legendary Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus, has been turned into a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of the city. Known as the 'Colonial City', it is now a delightful area of cobblestone streets and 16th-century buildings, interspersed with cafes, bars, small hotels, and restaurants.

Visitors don't need to stray far to enjoy a great time in the city, but it is advisable not to ignore the modern part of Santo Domingo. The superb shopping, delicious dining, dazzling casinos, seductive parks and vibrant nightlife all beckon enticingly, and any opportunity to watch a game of the Dominican Republic's adored national sport, baseball, at Estadio Quisqueya should not be passed up.

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