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Take the 40 minute train ride for a tour of the entire park or walk the winding trails and roadways at your own pace. Visitors can roam freely and enjoy the riches of the Dominican Republic's tropical flora. The park attracts many joggers because of these trails. It also attracts a wide variety of birds that call the park their home. The Hispaniola Ornithological Society has a bird watching walk the first Sunday of every month meeting at the front gate at 7AM. More information contact or 809 753-1388

The garden includes 67 types and 300 species of orchids found on this part of the island of Hispaniola along with a number of gardens that specialize in their cultivation. The most popular flowers here are Oncidium henekenii, Polyradicium lindenii and Leonchilus labiatus. The Botanical Garden holds an annual orchid show. 

The park claims to have over 1,500 native, exotic and endemic trees. There also are wide varieties of palms, some of which grow only on our island of  Hispaniola. There are many fruit trees and if you are lucky enough to visit when the fruits are ready and ripe you are welcome to pick some for yourself.

Some of the favorites in the park include -
*The 48 different ponds situated through tout the property with a large variety of aquatic plants.
*The Jardín Japonés/ Japanese Gardens with its Gateway to  Heaven called a Torii, its wooded areas and the bamboo forest. There is also exhibitions of bonsai trees at different times throughout the year.
*The Reloj Floral/ Floral Clock
*El Herbario y el Museo Ecológico/  The Herbarium and Ecological Museum.
*Herbolario/ Herb Garden with over 90,000 samples of medicinal and aromatic plants.
*The Reserva Natural/  Nature Reserve
*Plantas Endémicas/ Endemic Plants,  Fern Exhibit
*Gran Cañada/ Great Glen with all its pools and plants
*La Plaza Central/ Central Plaza is also located on the properties of the gardens.
*There is also a large library on site.

Open daily from 9AM to 5PM
Contact: 809 385-2611, 12 and 13   El jardín Botánico Nacional web site
Directions: Av. República de Colombia on the corner of Av. de los Próceres (to see their map), Santo Domingo
Daily 9AM to 5PM

entrance to jardins botanico with the Reloj Floral
the treain in the botanical gardens
 Jardín Japonés - Japanese Gardens pond in the dominican republic botanical gardens
El Jardín Botánico Nacional Dr. Rafael M. Moscoso/ The National Botanical Garden

The Jardin Botanico gardens were founded in 1976 and the park was named in honor of Dr. Rafael M. Moscoso. He was a Dominican botanist who catalogued the flora in the island of Hispaniola in 1943. The park was designed by architect Benjamin Paiewonsky in 1976. The gardens diverse landscape covers more than 500 acres/ 2kms of land with much of the different flora and fauna of our island. The colors of the gardens change throughout the year depending on which trees and plants are in bloom.
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The entrance to the gardens with the Reloj Floral
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Some relaxing transportation. The Trensito del Jardin.
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A pond in the Jardín Japonés/ Japanese Gardens

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Faro a Colón/ Columbus Lighthouse is a massive building shaped like a cross. It was built to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in Las Americas in 1492. This monuments design was chosen out of many applicants from the world over.The jury chose the design of Joseph Lea Gleave from England. His design was described as "an enormous cross-shaped structure designed to last for all times". The jury described his design in this way, "THE DESIGN, MAKING WONDERFUL USE OF LIGHT, TAKES REFUGE IN A DIRECTNESS, SIMPLICITY AND FORCE WORTHY OF THE MONUMENTS OF THE AGES. THE DESIGN IS SYMBOLIC, BUT NOT TO THE EXTENT WHERE SYMBOLISM INTERFERES WITH THE SIMPLE BEAUTY OF THE WORK AS ARCHITECTURE. SEEN FROM THE AIR, OR FROM ITS SURROUNDINGS, THE SIMPLE MASS BECOMES A NOBLE ELEMENTAL FEATURE OF THE GROUND AND OF A CHARACTER WORTHY OF THE STEADFAST COURAGE AND FAITH OF THE GREAT DISCOVERER IT COMMEMORATES".
faro de colon - columbus lighthouse in Santo Domingo
At the commemoration ceremony the remains of Columbus were carried from the First Cathedral of the Americas through the streets, across the river and to their new resting place inside this enormous monument. The ceremony was even attended by Pope John Paul II. There is a museum and chapel inside and it also is a repository for numerous documents and artefacts associated with the early Spanish colonial times

The Faro a Colón is 693ft (211m) long East to West and 195 long feet North to South. This massive monument is 45  feet high. It was built in the shape of a cross at a 45-degree angle. It has 4 bronze lions and the feminine figurine that represents the Dominican Republic on the outside. The building, in my opinion, is quite ugly from the outside. It is huge grey shape can be seen from a great distance even high in the air. The most impressive part of the structure is when they have the 157 beams of light on that  illuminates the night sky with it's brilliant cross. Now it is only turned on on special occasions because of the cost and problems with the electricity is the country. The light, it is said, can be seen in Puerto Rico on a clear night. It is very beautiful and quite impressive to see this cross shaped beam of light in the night sky.

There is still much debate on whether the remains are really Christopher Columbus. Spain claims to have his remains also. to read more on this check out there 2 web sites.CBS News and Indiana Edu

The lighthouse has just been remodeled (August 2008) and is again open to the public. The grounds around the Lighthouse are being cleaned as of 2011.
Telephone: 809-591-1492; Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 5pm (there is a small admission fee)
Directions: Av. España in the Mirador del Este Park

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Front of the Faro de Colon
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National Park Zoo/ Parque Zoologico Nacional Manuel Valverde Podestá (ZOODOM)
National Zoological Park
Loacted on Avenida de la Vega Real, Arroyo Hondo. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Contact: 809-378-2149
(Take the virtual tour /tour virtual on the web site)
Hours: 9 to 5 (closed Mondays except for special holidays)
Entrance Fee: as of 3/10 it is Residents: RD$100 (RD$60 for children) Visitors: US$10 (US$6 for children) All prices are listed here:
This includes the train to take people around the park that usually leaves every twenty minutes.
*Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and drink plenty of water. Take your time as many of the enclosures are large and it may take a bit of time to catch a glimpse of some of the animals in their habitats.

The Zoo was officially inaugurated on July, 5 1975. They substitute the traditional behind bars, cages type of zoo with a vast environment of semi freedom and great beauty. Here the animals are able to live in areas that closely resemble their natural habitats.This spacious park has 1,250,000 square meters of land and 8 kilometers of roads. It is a refuge for a variety of animals including native and migratory animals of the country. There is an Educational Area, a Great Plain area, Serpent Area (which has been newly remodeled (6/10)), Event Area, Pony Ride Area (where children eight years and under can take a ride), Large Birdhouse, and other areas as well. There is also a picnic area for families to enjoy.This ecological reserve's main objectives include the conservation of animal wildlife, research, and education.

There are about 200 different species of animals in the zoo. Some of the animals at the park include: Anaconda/ anaconda,  Albino Python from India/ el pitón indio albino, Boa/ la boa de la Hispaniola and the Green Snake both from Dominican Republic, Antelopes/ los antílopes, Asian Water Buffalo/ los búfalos de agua o asiáticos, Zebras/ las cebras, Parrots/ cotorras, Rhinos/ rinocerontes, American black bears/ osos negros americanos and much more amazing living creatures to behold. ..

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