The Santo Domingo Esplanade, in Spanish called Malecón de Santo Domingo, goes by the Caribbean shore from the George Washington avenue to the El Puerto avenue. It is one of the most beautiful areas of the city. On the weekends, the Esplanade, gets full of food trucks and people dancing and enjoying the beach.
Along the Esplanade take places remarkable building and monuments of the city. Beginning from the northwestern area the first important building is the Alcazar de Colón or Columbus Alcazar. This palace was built between 1511 and 1514 by the discoverer’s son. It is built in gothic mudejar –a gothic style developed in Spain that contains Arabic elements-, but also have several renascence details incorporated in a later refurnish.
Just in from of the Alcazar, in the other shore of the river, is the Columbus Lighthouse. This huge structure was constructed in 1992 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Discovery of America. Is contains a mausoleum – with what is believe to be the remains of Columbus and a museum.
The next stop in the route is the Ozama Fortress, one of the UNESCO World Heritage building in the Esplanade together with the Alcazar and the Museo de las Casas Reales, located nearby. The Santo Domingo port is only few steps away. In the area there are the famous Montesinos beach, named in honor to Fray Antonio de Montesinos, the father of the International Humanitarian Law. There is a statue of Fray Montesinos on the square nearby the beach.
At the end of the Esplanade is located the Macho Obelisk. This monument was built under the Trujillo reign. The Obelisk is not really pretty, but its meaning is a bit paradoxical. It was built to show the power of a dictator, but at the end become a symbol of its cruelty. In 1197 after Trujillo was overthrow the Obelisk was decorated by a local artist to honor the last three murder victims of Trujillo, the Mirabal de Salcedo sisters.
Even though the Esplanade is full of hotels, we recommended you to stay in Be Live Hamaca Beach. The hotel is just a few miles away, but in a calmer zone, out of the noisy city.
Once the Esplanade end take the avenue Plaza de la Cultura. This area is the cultural core of the city. Around it you can visit the National Theater, the Natural History Museum, the Modern Art Gallery, the National History and Geography Museum, the Dominican Man Museum and the National Library.