Thursday, May 26

Santiago de los Caballeros invites you to meet her


The Dominican Republic does not need a larger cover letter. Favorite of romantics, sought after by those who want to learn to dance merengue and bachata, a must for rum tasters, popular with tobacco smokers and, of course, paradise for sun and beach lovers.

However, there is a city that is not generally found on the radar of the millions of tourists who visit the Caribbean country annually, and that due to its history, architecture and proximity to Puerto Plata, is trying to change that reality: Santiago de los Caballeros. .

“We are working and organizing ourselves because we want to attract more tourists to this area of ​​the country that has been a bit ignored for a long time, because we know we have the potential and the necessary resources to do so,” said Jakaira Cid, director of sales for the travel agency. travel and tourism Manureva Tours, which works to publicize what they call “the other Dominican Republic.”

The city preserves many colonial buildings./Shutterstock

“Apart from sun and beach, which is our strength being in the Caribbean, we are culture, gastronomy, sustainable tourism, adventure, we are much more,” emphasizes Cid.

Also called “City Heart”, which has almost a million inhabitants and an international airport, where a 10 million dollar expansion project is currently being developed, its main architectural attraction is the Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration. Erected to commemorate the 100th anniversary of that country’s independence and inaugurated in 1953, the structure has a 74-meter-high tower, partially covered in marble, commemorative murals inside and a staircase with 365 steps that leads to the top. , from where you can enjoy a 365-degree panoramic view.

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In its surroundings, city dwellers and visitors gather to enjoy the good weather, the landscape and the typical merengue that some of the local artists interpret for the enjoyment of all. Carriages or horse-drawn carriages, which offer a ride around the area, is another of the attractions of the place.

Following the tour of Santiago, in the center of the city and near its squares, there are many colonial houses that help to remember the rich history of the country, where the Spanish colonizers first arrived.

The municipal council also designed a Cultural Route for Santiago residents and visitors alike to appreciate the offer of murals and graffiti that the city has in its public spaces. Some 27 artistic works take the tourist on a tour in which both historical images and modern creations can be seen.

And for those who enjoy tobacco, Santiago is a must stop.

“We are the Dominican capital of tobacco. Here you can taste the best and see how the artisans make them by hand, one by one”, says Cid, who highlighted the tour of the Aurora factory, open since 1903 and recognized for the quality of its export products.

Its traditional festivals and the joy of its people is another of its main attractions./Shutterstock

The hotel offer is also varied, from simple accommodation to large hotels that receive tourists and businessmen.

“We serve a fantastic and different city, and we want people to have the opportunity to discover it,” said Edmundo Aja, president of the Hodelpa Hotels chain.

The Centro León Art Museum, the Santiago Apóstol Cathedral, the Recreo Center, the San Luís Fortress and the Mercado Modelo are other options that the city offers to visitors eager to learn about the culture and history of the people of Santiago.

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Sky Cana flies direct

In an effort to increase the number of visitors to Santiago, on December 15 the new Dominican airline launched the New York-Santiago route, with two weekly flights from John F. Kennedy International Airport to El Cibao International Airport.

“We did not come to the market to compete on a price level, but our difference will be in the service and treatment of customers,” said Frank Diaz, president of Sky Cana.

For more information about the airline’s flights and services, you can visit the page: www.skycana.com


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