Old La Vega
Destroyed by a long-ago earthquake, remnants of the origins of Latin America.
The ruins of one of the first Spanish settlements.
A couple of hours from both Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata is La Vega, the city that grew up around one of the first Spanish forts, Fuerte de la Concepción, built by Christopher Columbus' forces in 1494 to defend against the Taíno who lived in the area. The original Spanish settlement was destroyed in a 1562 earthquake, and you can visit the ruins of the fortress, cathedral, and several houses. It provides a fascinating peek back into the origins of Latin America.