Having a temple in the Caribbean is still fairly new, as the Santo Domingo temple is the first and only temple in the West Indies. It was the 99th temple dedicated in the fall of 2000. Conversions on the island didn't start until about 1978 when missionaries arrived along with some Dominicans from America that were returning to their home land. Now, there's more than 126,000 members. The temple is a contemporary style featuring a single spire with views of the Caribbean Sea.
Because Santo Domingo is the oldest European settlement existing in the new world, the city is brimming with history. The Alcazar De Colon, Zona Colonial and the Catedral Primada de America all have historical significance. The Alcazar De Colon is the oldest residence in the America's. The Catedral Primada de America is one of the oldest cathedrals in the America's. Both are located in the Zona Colonial area, which is (which you've probably guessed by now) is the oldest permanent European settlement of the new world. If you've had your fill of history and want to see some of the beauty of the Caribbean, take a Day Trip to Saona Island on a catamaran and enjoy basking on a mostly undeveloped beach or tour the small town of Mano Juan. Los Tres Ojos (3 Eyes National Park) are limestone caves that you can explore.
If you can't get enough of the uniqueness of limestone caves, consider dining in one at El Meson De La Cava. An upscale meal with a view of the Alcazar De Colon is available at Pat'e Palo European Brasserie. If you want the Dominican experience with decor, dancing and music along with the chance to try some of the local cuisine, stop by El Conuco. If you really had your heart set on visiting Italy, don't despair, you can still find authentic Napoli pizza at Pizzeria Bella Italia, even in the Dominican Republic. For a casual island sandwich or fresh juice shakes, served from an old garage, or a late-night bite, Barra Payan is the place to be.
Enjoy the palm trees, the sunny weather, the ocean breeze and the friendliness of the Caribbean Saints on this historic island.