DR Tourism

 
Santiago

Located in the Cibao Valley, Santiago is the country's second largest city and is the central region's metropolis. With almost one million inhabitants, Santiago is a very active and productive city with vibrant restaurants, culture, shops and nightlife.

 

The city's origins date back to 1495, when Admiral Christopher Columbus built a fort on the banks of the Yaque del Norte River. The city was named "Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros" (caballeros means gentlemen) for the 30 Spanish aristocrats who founded it and formed the original community.

 

Santiago is often called the "heart city," because it's located in the center of the large island of Hispaniola. This fertile area is the cradle of Dominican tobacco, coffee, cocoa and also rum, a distinction it shares with Puerto Plata. Don't miss walking down its main street, Calle El Sol, which is filled with businesses, hotels, restaurants, bars and a wide variety of stores. Parque Duarte [Duarte Park], located at the north end of the street, is very popular among the locals and a great example of Santiago's relaxed lifestyle.

 

The Museo del Tabaco [Cigar Museum] is the perfect place for cigar lovers to learn about the art of making cigars and buy some of the country's most famous brands. If you are a cigar connoisseur, it would be a shame to leave the Cibao Valley without stopping at this one-of-a-kind museum.

 

The Cibao International airport serves the entire northern part of the country, including Santiago.

 

León Cultural Center 

This much-acclaimed cultural center is arguably the best museum in the country, and is one of the most active in the Caribbean.
 

Carnival of Santiago

On Sundays in February, Dominican carnivals puts on a parade of"masked devils," carnival parade-goers, floats and other brightly costumed characters down the Avenida Las Carreras that ends at the Monument.
 

Cigars

Santiago makes the best cigars in the world from the best locally grown tobacco in the world. Don't skip visiting one of the many cigar factories.
 

Cuisine

Although the city of Santiago has excellent restaurants in the metropolitan gardens area, you should also make sure to try one of its local "lechoneras," or roadside restaurants.

 

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León Cultural Center

This acclaimed cultural center is, perhaps, the country's best museum and one of the best and most active of its kind in the Caribbean.

 
Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration

A 225 foot high tower that is a great meeting location.