It’s finally, finally, happening. Santo Domingo’s Malecón–the city’s iconic seafront boulevard–is getting a complete makeover and upgrade. I’ve always loved it, even with its rundown look in the past, but always thought that if it were ever renovated, it would completely transform this side of the city.

And it already is. This first upgraded section runs from the new Santo Domingo Convention Center–formally called “Centro de Convenciones del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores,” at Avenida G. Washington and corner of Calle Roberto Schomburg–down to Guibia Park, just past Av. Maximo Gomez.

And it is looking fabulous. Check out the short video below.

There are new multi-level esplanades facing the sea, a clearly marked bike/rollerblading lane, and another for runners or walkers. There’s a recreational space with food and wine trucks–sometimes they also put up a giant screen to watch a relevant game. And there’s more casual seating in the form of a long sea-facing bench and sand at your toes. New plants along the sidewalk. And lots of tourist police presence, which will hopefully be a daily affair.

I can’t wait to see the entire Malecón completed–particularly the stretch outside the edges of the Colonial City.

So far, so great. Be sure to go and take your selfie at the Malecon SD sign!

Bike rentals at RD$300/hour.


Lebawit Lily Girma

A former corporate attorney, Lebawit Lily Girma is an award-winning travel writer, photographer, and author of several Caribbean guidebooks for US-publisher Moon Travel Guides, including Moon Belize and Moon Dominican Republic. Originally from Ethiopia, Lily calls herself a “culture-holic”–fluent in four languages, she has lived in eight countries besides the U.S., including Belize, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. Her articles and photography focusing on culture, adventure, and sustainable travel in the Caribbean region have been published in AFAR Magazine, CNN, BBC, Delta Sky, The Guardian, and others. She is the recipient of the 2016 Marcia Vickery Wallace Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism from the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

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