The city of pristine beaches and stickball in the streets.
A humid yet somehow still dusty capital, Santo Domingo most likely will make the first impression a traveler to the Dominican Republic gets. The largest international airport in the country, Las Américas International Airport, is located here. Flying in, the planes look as if they could miss the runway and end up splashing into the shimmering blue Caribbean. The city is located along the southern coast of the Dominican Republic; between Santo Domingo and the surrounding villages are many gorgeous beaches to explore. Santo Domingo has a unique colonial past, and the architecture can be surprising. The city offers hidden buildings that date back to medieval times. The Catedral Santa María La Menor was the first cathedral built in the New World by European settlers. The remains of Christopher Colombus were originally uncovered at this site before being sent to their final resting place back in Spain. The streets are lined day and night with youngsters playing baseball hoping to build up their talent and catch the same stroke of success as David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. The nightlife in Santo Domingo is thriving -- merengue and salsa keep everyone out until the wee hours of the morning. Locals are always out right alongside tourists, so it is easy to get a taste of true Dominican culture.