For first-time travelers to Santo Domingo there is no better sight than the Zona Colonial. Not only is this historic city a safe place for travelers to visit, but you are transported in time to the early-1500's when Spain was building its New World empire.
While the city of Santo Domingo has grown in 500 years to a teeming metropolis of 3 million people, the Zona Colonial (Colonial Zone) is a UNESCO World Heritage sight that feels closer to a stroll through a European city than a burgeoning Caribbean capital.
Even for all of its history, however, the ills of modernity can still be seen in the darker corners of the city. Here, a lone homeless man drinks a bottle of beer on the steps of a colonial structure, the scene itself being somewhat of a microcosm for the ruinous era of colonialism.