Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo

5 good reasons to NOT live in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo (April 2021 Update)

5 reasons to live/leave this city, Dominican Republic, English

Reason 5 to NOT live in the Colonial Zone: It’s not easy to get out of the Colonial City

Although the Colonial Zone has from a geographical perspective a pretty good location within Santo Domingo, there isn’t good access to it. If you made it into the Colonial Zone: Very good for you. But how easy, fast, and cheap can you make it out of the Colonial Zone again?

Let’s state the following: Most of all times, I had to order an Uber to be able to leave the Colonial Zone to other neighborhoods. If these other neighborhoods were not in close walking distance, that was a costly thing to do regularly. But there aren’t good and transparent alternatives to make it out of the Colonial Zone.

Driving in the Dominican Republic
A lot of traffic accidents happen in the Colonial Zone on a daily basis

If you are looking for means of public transport, you’ll be rather disappointed. Do NOT expect anything as you are used to it from your mother country. Let’s call the Dominican Republic a very informative and chaotically organized country. Regarding public transport, you won’t find anything you need for a safe and reliable ride.

Forget space, seatbelts, transparent routes, timetables, tickets, and everything else you would love to expect when thinking about public transport. You better be prepared for non-roadworthy and overloaded cars or buses with too many people inside. It’s a real disaster and unfortunately not a good alternative to your private chauffeur from passenger services.

There are two metro lines in Santo Domingo, which were deeply needed to relieve the traffic pressure from Santo Domingo as a whole. Unfortunately, both of the lines do not have stops in the Colonial Zone. The closest one is more than one mile away and would take a lot of time for you to reach your desired destination with the subway.

So, this map above is from 2009 when the second Metro Line was opened. Since then, there were always some rumors, announcements and promises to construct at least three more metro lines. The Colonial Zone would be here on the bottom right next to the Caribbean Sea and Rio Ozama. If these construction plans would be realized one day, it would be a big advancement, because the Colonial Zone would be connected as well.

But again, these information are from 2009. That’s now much more than a decade ago and these plans haven’t been realized yet. These plans should be realized ‘in the near future’. And we all know, what that means in the Caribbean and how near the Domincian sense of time for future really is.

A growing city and the subsequent problems is a general concern of all Latin American cities, especially in capital cities. One of the major challenges is how to deal with the traffic situation for the future. Santo Domingo is from all the capital cities I’ve seen so far in Latin America by far the worst organized and most chaotic one. It doesn’t seem to be prepared for more growth in the following decades and the Colonial Zone suffers very much from it.

As an expat living in the Colonial Zone, I was quite disappointed about what the municipality has (or has not) organized to simplify or relieve the traffic situation in Santo Domingo. Without UBER and all the other driving services, it would barely be possible for a foreigner to go to different urban locations. But by using the services of UBER, I was contributing to the chaos.

I hope, that I could give you support for your decision to live in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo. By giving several pros and cons from the insider’s perspective, you should now have a better imagination about the oldest part of the town.

Maybe you are more interested in another of my insider living guides that analyzes Santo Domingo on a bit broader level? Please click on the article below to gather some additional information about the biggest city in the whole Caribbean from the perspective as an expat.

5 good reasons to live in Santo Domingo (04/2021 Update)

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5 good reasons to NOT live in Santo Domingo (April 2021 UPDATE)

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