Happy Summer! I’m a couple days late welcoming the official start of summer, but that’s okay. I have lots of plans for this summer, but we’ll have to see if those plans come to fruition. In the meantime, continuing in the Dominican Republic…
Faro a Colón, located in Santo Domingo Este, Dominican Republic
Faro a Colón is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9am to 5pm. Admission is 100 RD, which is roughly 2-4USD depending on exchange rate. Faro a Colón is located outside of the Zona Colonial, so the best way to get there is via taxi. (Try JC Taxi, I used them while in the Dominican Republic, and they were quite reliable and affordable.) It’s also possible to walk, but the area is not as safe as the Zona Colonial, so use caution if you do decide to. (The security guards around the Faro a Colón actually came up to me and warned me to keep my camera in my bag, which made me worry. Hence, I have no other pictures of the outside of the building, I was scared to walk around outside, thinking I might get mugged.) Faro a Colón is located within the Parque Mirador del Este, and on the opposite end of Los Tres Ojos, so visitors can see both attractions on the same day.
Faro a Colón, also known as Columbus Lighthouse, is a museum/mausoleum that is shaped like a cross and is multiple stories tall, however only the first floor is accessible to visitors. Although the building is called a lighthouse, it is not an actual lighthouse that is used as a beacon. But the Columbus lighthouse does have a lighting system that when lit can be seen as far as Puerto Rico (however, it’s been noted that the building hasn’t been lit for a while; google search for some night images of the Faro a Colón, it’s quite pretty). In the middle of the building is a chapel that is said to contain the bones of Columbus (the Cathedral of Seville also claims to have the remains, so the mystery remains, where is Columbus’s final resting place). The museum contains a few smaller exhibits containing religious paintings, pictures and other items related to religion. In addition, there are a few exhibits that consists of some model ships, maps and books.
The museum’s main exhibit is a collection of artifacts from various countries around the world. I’m estimating that at least 40 countries are represented (not exactly sure of the number as I didn’t count); there is a display for every country in the Americas, and various European and Asian countries. All the descriptions were in Spanish (so not really helpful for me), however there is flag of the country by each display, so even if you can’t read anything, you can still figure out the country if you know its flag.
My travel buddy and I spent approximately 45 minutes at Faro a Colón. As is always the case, other visitors may take more or less time depending on their interest levels. Faro a Colón would probably benefit from having an audio guide as there is a lot to see and not too many descriptions, thus the audio guide will allow visitors to have a better idea of what they are viewing. Faro a Colón’s architecture is quite interesting, so anyone interested in architecture may want to take a look, as would anyone interested in history and Columbus. Take a visit to Faro a Colón and determine if it’s actually Columbus’s final resting place and learn about the countries of the world all in one place.