The Cibao region has a city that is characterized by being the second most important of the country, but also for its cultural and historical attractions. This is Santiago de Los Caballeros, City of Thirty Knights and the first Santiago of America, that besides being the economic and cultural center of the region, has a great history that you can discover if you decide to visit it.
It is the economic and cultural center of the island: in Santiago are concentrated the majority of manufacture’s industries that make rum, tobacco and the best cigars that the Dominican Republic is proud to offer to the world.
After a brief introduction of the city, we would like to recommend you a list of “WHAT TO DO” when you will be in Santiago…So be ready and start to discover the city of Santiago with Bite my Vibes!
- Start the tour with the “Monumento a Los Heroes de la Restauracion”
Originally called “Monument of the peace of Trujillo” it’s situated at the entrance of the city right on a green hill and it was erected by orders of the tyrant Trujillo in his honor. The Monument is a tower about 70 meters high, partly covered in white marble. Inside you can admire some murals commemorating the famous Spanish painter Vela Zanetti, and a staircase with 365 steps that will make you reach the top of the hill.
This monument has the unique character of glorifying the great restorative past act and the heroes who fought for it.
- Discover the Dominican culture in the “Centro Leon”
Centro Leon is an important museum of Santiago, with permanent exhibitions of Dominican anthropology, visual arts and history of Dominican and Caribbean culture. Take one or two hours to visit this beautiful building and to experience the fascinating art pieces in a delightful atmosphere. You can learn more about Dominican culture in general and the state of the arts. The exhibits are always interesting and you can catch both Dominican and international artists, depending on the current shows. Make sure to ask for the month’s Program, as there are always activities going on, mostly on weekend, and a lot of them (like live music, bazaars, movies/shows projections) for free.
- Admire the “Catedral de Santiago Apostol”
It’s one of the symbols of the city and of the permanence of Santiago. It was built in 1868, it’s a Catholic church baptized in honor of James the Greater, disciple of Jesus, son of Sebedeo and Salome. This church is at the heart of Santiago and basically it is an old building very well kept in an eclectic, Roman and Latin style. Well worth a visit to this cathedral to see the internal paintings and an architecture symbol of the Dominican Republic!
- Take a walk in Duarte Park
Take a relaxing walk in one of the oldest parks in the city of Santiago! The gardens inside are made by centenary trees, lanterns and benches that make it an ideal place to walk, enjoy free time with your family or friends and relax.
- Watch a Baseball game in the “Estadio Cibao”
In Dominican Republic, baseball is not only a sport but a way of life. It’s used for host the home games Águilas Cibaeñas when the Santiago people go to El Estadio Cibao to support the hometown team. Don’t loose the great experience to watch an exciting match!
- Explore Calle del Sol
Any afternoon shopping? You should definitely go to the colorful Calle del Sol (Street of a sun). Here you will find the Mercado Modelo that is full of many artisan shops where you can buy some Dominican handcrafts and souvenirs!
- Celebrate Carnaval
February is the month of Carnaval celebration in the Dominican Republic, as we already told you in the last post. It represents a real mix of African and Catholic traditions and rituals. Don’t miss the Santiago’s Carnaval and check out the masks and costumes to learn about the event! http://bitemyvibes.com/carnival-dominican-republic/
8. Try a Dominican Puro in the “Aurora Cigar Factory”
Aurora is one of the most famous word wide brands of tobacco, with a production of enormous diversity. The province of Santiago de los Caballeros is recognized internationally for its tobacco plantations and a long tradition linked to the sowing, harvesting, processing and marketing of this important item in the luxury consumer goods market. La Aurora has created a great tour experience for an outsider wanting to look into the world of cigars. Enjoy smoking the unique taste of Dominican puro! http://bitemyvibes.com/puro-dominicano/
- Sustainable tourism in “Monumento natural Pico Diego de Ocampo”
Diego de Ocampo is a mountainous elevation within the Dominican Republic and the highest point of the Northern Cordillera. The mountain is located in the province and city of Santiago and it has a height of 1.249 meters above sea level. We highly recommend taking time to go to this beautiful green protected area of El Cibao to appreciate the lush natural environment!
- Watch the sunset in the Camp David Ranch
Set on a mountaintop 2,000ft above sea level with a breathtaking view of the Cibao Valley and the city of Santiago. Without any doubt, this is a “MUST” if you haven’t been yet. Exciting view, good quality and a variety of food. Perfect location for catch a romantic sunset or the city view at night while having dinner or sipping a glass of wine in a good company of friends or relatives!
- Have a drink in Dao al Pecao
Dao al Pecao is one of the best places for end your full day and has a couple of drinks with some chillout music and for meet new nice people from Santiago. It’s a good meeting point from which to explore the cultural and artistic entertainment options of Santiago de los Caballeros. In a bohemian atmosphere of the old building of this street segment, you will just love a real Dominican night in one of the best spots of the city!
We hope you could get some bites of Santiago and so now it’s only the time to get ready and start to discover one of the most beautiful cities of the Dominican Republic and El Cibao area! For any information or any tip, don’t hesitate to contact Bite my Vibes!