In addition to days on the beach, sun and sand, the Dominican Republic offers an attractive offer of urban parks, botanical gardens and viewpoints with green spaces for rest and recreation. Especially after a day full of emotions, where relaxation is a way to close with a flourish.
And it is that this Caribbean country is home to a series of urban parks throughout the country , designed to blend and adapt with the surrounding natural environment, offering a relaxing space to retire and enjoy a bit of tranquility. In addition, these parks and gardens are open every day of the year, so they are ideal for bringing the whole family together.
In fact, urban parks are the heart of social life in the Dominican Republic, making it the perfect space where its inhabitants take a break to talk, connect with nature while having a refreshing drink, or ice cream, or simply play a game of dominoes
So, if you want to know which are the urban parks and places of green areas in the Dominican Republic, keep reading because we will tell you all the details and their location.
What are the urban parks that you cannot miss in the Dominican Republic?
The urban parks of Santo Domingo are among the richest in history and full of color that have nothing to envy to other Dominican recreation places, from Parque Colón, where colonial architecture is the main protagonist, to Parque Duarte and Independence Park.
We also want to talk to you and recommend you to take a walk through the central square of Puerto Plata, like those of Santiago and La Romana, which contain some baseball statues of the most emblematic players with which to take Instagrammable photos to share on your networks. social.
These urban parks can be visited at any time of the day, even at night, so they are a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture. Let’s see then the most outstanding sites and that, definitely, you cannot miss.
- Colon Park
Location: Isabel La Católica Street, Santo Domingo 10210.
Since the arrival of the Spanish on the island, Parque Colón has been the center of the Colonial Zone, and the center of social, cultural and political life. It is a bustling square, full of cafes and a meeting point for travelers, citizens, street vendors, tour guides, taxi drivers and more.
The square has several green areas with leafy trees, under which there are benches to sit and watch the bustle of the local people and multiple pigeons that fly over the square. And if you are lucky, you will also be able to see a traveling musical activity.
Likewise, the square is surrounded by numerous historical buildings, such as the First Cathedral of America, the Amber Museum, the Cohiba Tobacco Factory, the old City Hall Palace, and the Borgellá Palace. And, among the cafeterias, the international Hard Rocks Café.
The center of the square has as its central axis the statue of Christopher Columbus. In the Parque Colón is also the tourist office, and some of the most important pedestrian and commercial streets of the colonial zone. Without a doubt, a perfect place to connect with the locals and take refuge from the rain or the sun under its leafy trees.
- The Botanical Garden
Location : Colombia Avenue, Los Próceres Avenue corner, Los Altos de Gala sector. Santo Domingo.
One of the best places to cool off in Santo Domingo is the Botanical Garden. The temperature is always pleasant, because when you arrive you will notice the purity of the air, and completely virgin areas with vegetation. In addition, we find a wide variety of trees and plants to admire, some of which are endemic.
The Santo Domingo National Botanical Garden was inaugurated in 1976, and was created to study, preserve and conserve the flora of the Dominican Republic. Its name is in homage to Rafael María Moscoso, the first Dominican botanist.
Many travelers have described the Botanical Garden as a green paradise in the middle of the big city that is Santo Domingo. In addition, the park contains places with a different design. In fact, a trolley takes visitors throughout the park, and to a lake with a picnic area.
This beautiful natural space is not only valuable for scientific study, but also for visiting and discovering the flora of this Caribbean country, which you will not be able to find anywhere else. You will surely want to repeat your visit, since there are many things to see with family and friends.
Another of the missions of the Botanical Garden is to maintain and expand the species of the garden and that of reforestation at the national level, giving priority to native and endemic plants of the island. Likewise, here they are in charge of contributing to the awareness of the need to conserve the flora and the environment.
- The Malecon
Location: Fantino 43000, Dominican Republic.
Although it is not a botanical garden or a plaza, the Malecón is one of the most popular entertainment venues in the capital. It is located in one of the main avenues of Santo Domingo, which borders the Caribbean Sea, starting in the Colonial Zone and ending in front of the Port of Haina.
It is a very busy avenue with some traffic jams, especially at peak hours. However, at dusk, it becomes a calm place because the traffic has reduced a lot.
Thus, along the avenue, but mainly between the Colonial Zone and Máximo Gómez Avenue, we find numerous restaurants, bars, hotels, casinos, shopping centers ( Malecón Centro), and also some parks such as Plaza Juan Barón, Eugenio María de Hostos, where the inhabitants of Santo Domingo like to come for a walk with their families.
It is also a cultural place where the carnival takes place, concerts such as the Merengue festival where thousands of Dominicans come to listen to music and dance, exhibitions, and much more.
It is also a sports place where the inhabitants go jogging and enjoy the sports facilities. Therefore, more than an avenue, it is a place filled with the spirit of the Dominicans and their culture, making it an attractive tourist spot in the capital that cannot be missing from your travel plan.
- South Lookout Park
Location: Av. Mirador del Sur.
It is the first ecological space created in the capital. And, in addition, it not only works as a recreation area, but also as a space for nature lovers. Upon entering, we will see a green path lined with trees that climbs over a huge limestone ridge riddled with very large caves.
In fact, one of these caves was turned into a restaurant. Joggers, many of whom live in middle-class neighborhoods and upscale residential areas in the north, run along the park’s sidewalks.
In addition to being the green lung of the city, it contributes to the conservation of the native flora of this region of the Dominican Republic. Likewise, it has already witnessed the first indigenous settlements in the Cuevas de Farallón.
Currently, you can enjoy this beautiful park that has an extension of 6 km², inaugurated in 1970 and located next to Avenida Mirador Sur, from where you can contemplate splendid views of the Caribbean Sea.
The inhabitants of the area call it Avenida de la Salud, since it is very frequented by many athletes who come there to practice their training. Finally, we find a small square with some ice cream parlors and an entertainment area for children, as well as a bicycle rental service. Free Zumba lessons are also offered.
- Central Square of Puerto Plata
Location: Calle Beller, Puerto Plata 57000.
No starting point is better than the Central Plaza of Puerto Plata when touring the streets of this area and the surrounding tourist wonders. It is a square with a pleasant atmosphere, surrounded by Victorian-style houses next to the city’s Cathedral.
The Central Plaza is the fundamental center, as it is a meeting point par excellence. In addition, it has a beautiful green and white octagonal viewpoint with two-level galleries, which is an exact replica of the original from 1880, when the municipal orchestras played for the public every Sunday.
You will also see the traditional shoe shiners, lottery ticket sellers, motoconchos, drink and fruit vendors, chulamia (cassava fritters, a local specialty) and much more. Without a doubt, a great option to immerse yourself in the local culture and take a break with a cold drink.
- Duarte park
Location: At the intersection of Padre Billini street and Duarte street.
Be sure to visit the charming Parque Duarte, which is located right in the center of the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo, right in front of the Iglesia de los Dominicos. The park is surrounded by thick hundred-year-old trees that shade the many benches where you can sit down to take a well-deserved rest.
This place was chosen in the 19th century by the Trinidadians to meet and organize a plan against the Haitian occupation from 1822 to 1844, so it is also of great historical importance.
In fact, as a curious fact, the main structure remains as it was in the mid-19th century, despite various modifications to the square. In 1930, the statue of the Father of the Nation Juan Pablo Duarte was erected there, which is still in the center of this square.
- Duarte Park in Santiago de los Caballeros
Location: Calle del Sol 131, Santiago de los Caballeros.
We should not confuse the previous Duarte Park with the Duarte Park in Santiago de los Caballeros, which is also worth a visit. This is the largest park in the city of Santiago de los Caballeros in the north of the Dominican Republic and one of the most important in the Dominican Republic.
This space was originally built as a place of weapons during the colonial era, however, it was later transformed into a leisure park in 1884, right in front of the temple dedicated to Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes.
In this way, the park was able to satisfy the need for a leisure space for public service, and where to carry out entertainment and cultural activities. As a curious fact, this park is protected by a galvanized iron fence that is over 100 years old and has managed to survive the remodeling processes.
On the other hand, the interior gardens are covered by trees, benches and lanterns, which make this place a perfect place to take a walk, enjoy with friends, family or with your partner on a relaxing afternoon.
- Spain Square
We end this list of urban parks in the Dominican Republic with the Plaza de España. It is located at the end of Calle Las Damas, covering a huge open space, most of the streets of the Colonial Zone: Plaza España or Hispana.
In the center, we find the statue of Nicolás Ovando with a stage for concerts and other public events. On the southwest side (in the area adjacent to the Museum of the Royal Houses) stands a memorial to the proclamation of the Colonial Zone as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The north side of the square is formed by the buildings that were shops and old taverns, connected to each other of course. Now it is full of bars and terraces, and has one of the liveliest nightlife areas in the city.
We also find in the surroundings the famous Ham Museum. From the On the other side of the Viceregal Palace of Diego Colón, headquarters of the Museo Colón de Medios Alcázares.
Behind him is the Puerta de San Diego, which gives access to the city from the port, in this huge square, there are also other important buildings. The Museum of the Royal Shipyards (next to the Fuerza and Puerta del Astillero de Trujillo), the Palace of Communications, and the Banco de la Reserva.
The Dominican Republic is characterized by having very happy locals and a very dynamic culture, with many tourist sites and cultural attractions, such as its beautiful squares and gardens.
So if you want to complement and enrich your experience and knowledge of this magical country during your stay, be sure to take an afternoon off to have a delicious drink and immerse yourself in local activities full of life and color, very Dominican-style.