The wide Malecón avenue, also known as Avenida George Washington, runs along the oceanfront for almost half the length of Santo Domingo. Locals come here to exercise and socialize, while tourists come to take photos of the sea views. Take the pulse of the city at this promenade, where the glamorous combination of sun, sea and skyscrapers is reminiscent of Miami’s South Beach.
Start walking along the promenade at the east end of the thoroughfare, which begins inside the Zona Colonial at the mouth of the Ozama River. This portion of the Malecón is home to a 328-foot (100-meter) section of the old city walls, which once enclosed the old colonial town. Look out for the imposing San José Fort. Dating back to the 17th century, it is just one of several defensive structures that guarded the old colonial city. A giant statue of Antonio de Montesinos, a 16th-century friar who spoke out against the genocide of the Taíno natives by the Spanish colonizers, also stands here. Notice the flames depicted in his hair, which are said to symbolize his rage against the atrocities.
Pass by the Parque Eugenio María de Hosto, where tree-lined walkways surround a central fountain. Check out the prominent El Obelisco, located west of the park. This towering monument was erected in 1936 after the brutal dictator Rafael Trujillo came to power and renamed the capital Ciudad Trujillo. The monument is now a symbol of resistance. Look at the mural covering it. This artwork pays homage to the Mirabal sisters, who were assassinated for their involvement in an anti-Trujillo movement.
As you stroll along, pass by buzzing bars, sophisticated restaurants and swanky hotels, stopping for a drink as you please. Try to find a terrace from which to take in views of the sea as the sun sets. Return at night to witness Malecón at its liveliest, when the bars and clubs fill with revelers.
Malecón is 8.7 miles (14 kilometers) long. Although vehicles can pass along this thoroughfare, aim to see the area on foot. That way, you’re free to explore at your leisure, pausing to appreciate the views.
Accommodation in Malecon
Pre-booking a nice place to stay goes a long way towards great vacations. You can check out some of the finest hotels in Malecon via Expedia's up-to-date Malecon lodging page.
Featuring in Malecon's more desirable upscale category are the Hotel Doña Elvira, 207 Padre Billini, and the Crowne Plaza Santo Domingo, Ave. George Washington 218. If those don't match your requirements, check out the Sheraton Santo Domingo Hotel, at 365 George Washington Avenue, and the Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino, at Avenida George Washington 367, two more budget-friendly options.