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Top 5 Reasons To Visit This Emerging Dominican Republic Cultural Destination

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Most travelers are familiar with resort hotspots like Punta Cana and Puerto Plata, but few have heard of Santiago, one of the Dominican Republic’s hidden gems. In 2023, the city is set to become more popular than ever, thanks to new tourism investments.

Massive monument to the heroes of the restoration in Santiago

Nestled between lush mountains, this bustling metropolis is a hub for culture, history, and mouthwatering gastronomy. 

In a recent press conference, the Dominican minister for tourism stated that officials would invest more than $7 million to spruce up the nearly 800 attractions situated in the province.

Lush scenery near Santiago in the Dominican Republic

As the city explodes in popularity with new visitor amenities and improved connectivity, here are 5 reasons you should consider visiting Santiago.

A Taste Of Dominican Culture

Walking in Santiago De Los Caballeros is an experience for the senses. From the hustle and bustle of its busy streets to its quaint restaurants, Santiago is a surprisingly versatile destination.

When you’re not exploring the city’s centuries-old facets, head to the Museo Centro León, a top-rated museum showcasing the country’s beautiful history, diverse ecology, and stunning artwork.

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For a more adventurous experience, book a tobacco plantation tour at the Aurora Cigar factory. The Santiago region is home to the most fertile soil in the country, making this the ideal destination to learn more about this traditional product. 

Unique City Attractions 

What makes a city so interesting is being able to explore its history, culture, and story. And all of those qualities are explored through the countless monuments and sculptures that exist throughout Santiago.

The city’s most impressive historical attraction is undoubtedly the 70-meter-tall Momumento de los Héroes de la Restauración. This towering monument is visible from many corners of the city and is a must-see, especially thanks to the rewarding views from the top.

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Other noteworthy city sights include Duarte Park, a massive urban park featuring colonial-style architecture and lush gardens in downtown Santiago.

Booming Hotel Scene

What Santiago lacks in massive beachfront all-inclusive resorts, it makes up for with its affordable city accommodations. Not only is the city dotted with high-quality hotels, but many of them are located in the heart of the city’s vibrant downtown district. 

Resort pool with crystal clear water and lounge chairs

Despite not having the all-inclusive charm of Punta Cana’s resorts, travelers can still find excellent amenities. The 4-star Hodelpa Gran Almirante Hotel & Casino boasts an outdoor pool and casino. And with Airbnb-style bookings skyrocketing, consider booking a downtown stay to live like a local.

Excellent Day Trip Destination

A growing number of travelers are opting to leave the comfort of their all-inclusive resort to explore the Dominican Republic’s cultural and historical treasures.

Many flock to Santo Domingo, the country’s vibrant capital, but a growing number are choosing to head to Santiago for an off-the-beaten-path experience.

A verdant park in Santiago with a path

Situated just an hour south of Puerto Plata and around four hours from Punta Cana, Santiago is a great choice for a day trip (or an overnight stay).

Growing Eco-Tourist Hub

Despite being a landlocked city, Santiago offers plenty of natural scenery to explore, including botanical gardens, parks, and of course, the stunning mountain ranges that surround it.

For an easily-accessible and family-friendly activity, head to the Professor Eugenio de Jesús Marcano Botanical Garden. Spend an afternoon spotting exotic plant and animal wildlife as well as admiring the verdant nature not far from the heart of the city.

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More adventurous travelers can hike to the nearby Pico Diego de Ocampo mountain peak, located just half an hour from the city. The 1,249-metre mountain range offers some of the most breathtaking views in the region, and although it’s inaccessible by public transport, travelers can take a quick taxi ride to begin exploring this natural wonder.

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