Santiago de los Caballeros is the administrative capital of the Dominican Republic. Located in the country side of the island, this is the home of Rum, Tabaco and Merengue music. It was founded in 1495 by Columbus itself in a prosper valley in between Yara and Yaque rivers. It has an incipient touristic industry, but it is the islands food provider. In fact, one of the most interesting visit in the city are the neoclassic warehouses that host the food that is send around the island every day.
Santiago has been destroyed and rebuilt many times after several strong earthquakes. To do a visit to its historical quarter hire a horses’ coach a very popular transportation in the city. The visit begins passing by 30 de Marzo and Resturantion streets to arrive to the Monumento de los Héroes de la Restauración (Restoration Hero’s Monument). This 70 meters high structure was built in 1944 by Henry Gazón Bona. It commemorates the deaths along the Restoration War. The monument has four levels and host an interesting painting collection inside. The monument is also the ideal place to stop for a bite, since it is surrounded by restaurant and bars.
The visit continues to the cathedral and the Palacio Consistorial. The Saint Jacque’s Cathedral –Santiago Apóstol in Spanish- was built in the XIX century, after the colonial cathedral was completely destroyed by and earthquake. Inside the stain glass window created a beautiful atmosphere around the altar piece made out of mahogany. There are many visit to do around the cathedral, one of the favorites one is to the Tabaco Museum. If you are interesting on the Tabaco manufacture, also can visit Anónima Tabacalera, la Tabacalera Santiaguense, Anillo de Toro y La Aurora all Tabaco fabrics open to the public. In the other hand, if you are a Rum lover there are many local distilleries open to the public, like Bodegas de J. Armando Bermúdez.
If you are planning your visit to Santiago de los Caballeros also include the Historical Archive, the Museo de Arte Folclórico, the Fortaleza de San Luis, the Torre del Reloj, the Museo Villa de Santiago, and the Mercado Modelo the ideal place to buy a souvenir to remember this wonderful trip. Also, if you are looking for a hotel to stay in the beach but close enough to any interesting place around the island, think in Be Live Grand Marien strategically located in Puerto Plata.