Leave your beach chair behind for a while and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, history, and flavors of Santo Domingo, the largest city in the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic’s captivating capital. This is your chance to experience the best Santo Domingo has to offer, alongside a local guide who can take you where the guidebooks can’t. You’ll start in Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone, the oldest European settlement in the New World and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Have your cameras ready — there’s history everywhere here and architecture that will leave you speechless. In Billini’s Park, in front of Casa del Tostado, you’ll hear one of the most romantic stories of colonial times. We’ll see the Caribbean side of the old city, admiring the many historic monuments, parks, and colonial fortresses as we walk, eventually getting to the old city walls that once protected the city from pirates. The walls will lead us to Independence Park, an important landmark commemorating the Dominican Republic’s struggle for independence. As you walk, you’ll learn about the rich history of Santo Domingo, such as how Spanish and Arab immigrants brought their influence to the island, and how a rich commercial exchange has been established between the Dominican Republic and neighboring Haiti. Take a walk through Little Haiti and explore the small, picturesque businesses selling Haitian products. Along the way, you’ll also have the chance to explore local markets. Get ready for sensory overload — the local markets are filled with fruits, vegetables, grains, and spices, and are an explosion of vibrant colors and flavors. Learn about and taste the most varied fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as the spices used in Dominican cuisine. At the famous Mercado Modelo, the city’s largest market, browse paintings with colorful Caribbean motifs, as well as leatherwork, jewelry made form local stones such as amber and larimar, traditional musical instruments, and many other locally made handicrafts. If you’re getting hungry, our walk takes us to one of the most traditional local cafeterias and bakeries in the city, where you can try many delicious and locally loved Dominican sweets. Next, we get to one of the most colorful and dynamic areas of the city, the Chinatown of Santo Domingo, a community made up of the children and grandchildren of Chinese citizens who came to the Dominican Republic during the 19th and 20th centuries. Here, we’ll visit a local Chinese store and try some delicious Chinese refreshments that locals love. We’ll then follow the local pulse of merengue and bachata music to reach Calle El Conde, a bustling pedestrian-only street filled with colorful storefronts and small restaurants where we’ll stop for one final break, in the form of a cold Dominican beer. We end the day at Columbus Park, where you can feel free to further explore the sights, or we can give you tips on which restaurants to visit and even more secret local spots to check out.