Located in the middle of the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is a tropical paradise that has plenty to offer the avid traveler.

palm trees

If you want to soak in the sun’s warm rays while relaxing on white sands, then head over to Bahía De Las Águilas where you’ll be greeted by crystal clear water at the beach. For the more rugged adventurer the mountains of Pico Duarte, the highest in the Caribbean, offer a variety of trails for those who want to stay active and go on hikes.

pier

On this particular trip, my journey took me to Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic’s capital. It all started at the Colonial Zone, which is recognized as the region’s first capital and for maintaining its distinctive colonial architecture since 1492.

The Active Lens played a big role in capturing Santo Domingo’s architecture, since many of the attractions reside in beautiful tall buildings. It was important to get them all in frame.

Another interesting characteristic about the Colonial Zone is the strong presence of local art, which mostly represents the Dominican Republic’s African and Taino heritage. Some streets were lined with art on canvas that was ready to be purchased, or just admired by passersby.

art

The local markets also play an important role in the heritage, and that’s where I headed next. Once there, it was difficult to ignore the intoxicating aromas, which derived from vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables.

market1A lot of different things can be bought at the popular market like corn, beans and green peas.

market2

market3

fishFresh fish is a pretty common sight at the market since the pier is close by. Dominicans however, don’t see fish as a regular meal; they are accustomed to chicken and beef.

For the next stop I decided to make good use of the Macro lenses and headed over to the Dominican Botanical Garden, Dr. Rafael María Mosoco. It was the perfect place to take a stroll and get in touch with nature. An interesting fact about this place is that it used to be a place for military training and in 1976 it was transformed into the 2 million square feet garden we now know.

botanical1

The Botanical Garden is divided into different sections that include a Japanese garden, a butterfly conservatory and some typical Dominican flowers like red and white Cayenne. It’s easy to lose track of time while exploring the garden.

Japanese garden

Sadly, there are only so many hours in one day to explore, and although I tried to cram in as much fun as I could, it was impossible to do everything I wanted. And believe me, there’s much more to experience. Keep in mind that Santo Domingo is only one of many different locations that the Dominican Republic has to offer, the rest is up to you and your olloclip to discover.