25 Feb What to See in Santiago de los Caballeros
Santiago de los Caballeros is the capital of the province of Santiago and the second most important city in the Dominican Republic, making it worth a visit on your next holiday to the Dominican Republic.
Santiago de los Caballeros is very different from any of the other towns in the country. Its architecture and streets leave no doubt that it’s the most cosmopolitan city on the island of Hispaniola.
As a modern city and an important industrial hub, many visitors rule out the option of visiting it, which is a serious mistake, since it has important museums and attractions that make it a treasure to be discovered in the Dominican Republic.
How to get to Santiago de los Caballeros
Santiago de los Caballeros is located in the northern part of the country, which means it’s farther away from the more frequented and important tourist destinations such as Punta Cana. However, despite the distance, it is definitely worth visiting this city. From Santo Domingo, you can take a bus that will drop you in the centre of Santiago de los Caballeros in about three hours.
Or from Santo Domingo you could also take a taxi or rent a car to complete the same trip but in just two hours. Once you get to the city centre, you can use public transportation to get to the main attractions.
What to do in Santiago de los Caballeros
Visiting Santiago de los Caballeros will help you to get to know the more urban lifestyle of the Dominicans. The city is very pleasant and has a lot of important infrastructure. In addition, as a place that’s less frequently visited, you can avoid the crowds that you’ll find in other destinations in the country.
The most important thing in this city to see during your visit is the monument of Santiago de los Caballeros, located in Duarte Park, the largest in the city. This monument is dedicated to the heroes of the War of Restoration and is 70 metres high. During your visit, you can go inside of it and take in some incredible views of the city from the top floors.
The Centro León
This museum allows visitors to learn about the history of the Dominican Republic in a brief but concise way, along with the most important events that have occurred in this country.
The San Luis Fort
Also worth visiting is this historical site that was recently renovated and turned into a museum, housing numerous artefacts and cultural items, as well as incredible military objects and pieces of art by Dominican artists. The fort has a permanent exhibition, along with several temporary exhibitions that take place throughout the year that further enrich the visit.
The Palacio Consistorial
This is another important site to visit on your tour of Santiago de los Caballeros. Did you know that you can find an exhibition here dedicated exclusively to Carnival and the importance of this festival in the Dominican Republic? In addition, the building itself is worthy of admiration as it is an imposing neoclassical construction that used to be the city’s town hall.
But, without a doubt, one of the museums that attracts the most attention is the one dedicated to tobacco. And why is this museum located here? Because Santiago de los Caballeros in the Dominican Republic has always played a very important role within the tobacco industry. Therefore, visiting this museum will allow you to get a more in-depth look at the history of tobacco. Here you can discover everything about the plant, how it’s harvested and the processes that are carried out until it is turned into tobacco for consumption. It’s undoubtedly one of the most interesting places in Santiago de los Caballeros where you’ll learn the most.
St. James the Apostle Cathedral
In addition to the museums, there are important buildings such as the St. James the Apostle Cathedral, one of the most important churches and cathedrals to visit in the Dominican Republic. The temple dates back to the 19th century and stands out for its imposing dome, which makes it one of the most impressive buildings in the city and largest religious temple in the area.
Gastronomy in Santiago de los Caballeros
But don’t be mistaken in thinking that there’s only museums and monuments to see, since your visit to this city will be full of different stimuli for all your senses. You’ll get to appreciate the different smells and noises that are unlike those in the rest of the country, and you’ll see ways of dressing and styles that have nothing to do with the other cities like Santo Domingo. This is precisely one of the characteristics that sets Santiago de los Caballeros apart and that makes it so unique within the Dominican Republic.
All of these special characteristics also make their way to the table, since you can find very special restaurants unlike any others you’ve ever been to, such as La Desayunería, where you can have incredible breakfasts. This spot manages to attract both visitors and locals from the city and its surrounding areas, making it a great way to feel totally immersed in the city’s rhythm and lifestyle. So don’t forget to make a stop at La Desayunería in Santiago de los Caballeros, especially in the morning, in order to get a fantastic start to the day.
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Nightlife in Santiago de los Caballeros
In addition to all of these activities for you to do, Santiago de los Caballeros also has some of the best nightlife in the Dominican Republic. As a big city, the pubs and nightclubs are prepared to have you dance the night away until the wee hours of the morning, or you can find quieter places with live music where you can enjoy a pleasant evening while reminiscing about the great memories you’ve made while discovering one of the most incredible cities in the Caribbean. So what do you think, is Santiago de los Caballeros in the Dominican Republic worth visiting?