San José de las Matas

What to See in San José de las Matas


What to See in San José de las Matas

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There are many different sites and places worth seeing during a wonderful trip to the Dominican Republic, which is why we want to recommend those spots that will allow you to get immersed in their culture and identity for an unforgettable trip.

San José de las Matas

The municipality of San José de las Matas is located in the Santiago province in the Dominican Republic. With a total area of approximately 1,500 square kilometres, this town has become the municipality with the largest territory in the country and in the province of Santiago, accounting for exactly 53% of the latter’s total area. In addition, it is located on the northern slope of the Cordillera Central mountain range and corresponds to the southern part of the province. Or said in a different way, it borders the municipality of Santiago de los Caballeros and the province of Valverde to the north and with the province of San Juan to the south, with the municipality of Jánico to the east and the province of Santiago Rodríguez to the west.

San José de las Matas has a total of three municipal districts, among which we find El Rubio, Las Placetas and La Cuesta.

How to get to San José de las Matas 

There are various ways to get to San José de las Matas from Punta Cana: bus, taxi or car. This town is also close to the Cibao International Airport, in Santiago de los Caballeros, however due to its proximity to Punta Cana, about 5 hours by car, there are no regular flights.

The origins of San José de las Matas

If we had to travel back in time, we would reach the year 1605, an era in which the Devastations of Osorio took place, which forced the inhabitants of Montecristi and Puerto Plata to flee, managing to form a community on the shores where the Ámina and Inoa rivers flow together, calling the place San José de las Matas. However, it wasn’t until 1810 when the town of San José de las Matas was founded, which became a municipality in the 1950s.  

People in San José de las Matas mainly make a living from coffee and yucca farming, livestock, the pine trade and, therefore, the manufacture of furniture. If you’re thinking about heading inland to the mountains, this is the ideal place to go. 

What to do in San José de las Matas 

After understanding the origins of this municipality, next we’ll tell you which places you should visit to take back an unforgettable memory. The most important thing is to know what type of weather you’ll find, since it has a monsoon climate that has two short dry seasons and two rainy seasons that last for a significant part of the year. 

As for the options that San José de las Matas offers, within its urban centre you can visit the famous Church of San José de las Matas, which will surprise you with its architectural structure as it stands out in comparison to the rest of the buildings in the municipality. 

Nearby you’ll find the Mirador El Fuerte, Sajoma. This viewpoint has become a symbol of the municipality and one of its tourist attractions. And it’s no surprise, since from here you can see all the beauty of this town surrounded by lush nature. Its name comes from the fact that this place was the military fort in which French and Spanish soldiers took refuge during French rule on the island. From this high point, you can feel the greenery, the mountain flowers and, above all, an unbelievable sense of peace and quiet, allowing you to relax and disconnect. In addition, this space is full of life since its inhabitants use it as a meeting point during their free time.

Discover San José de las Matas

Hot springs, one of its main attractions

If you’re looking to relax in good company, the Aguas Calientes Ecotourism Park located in los Montones is the perfect place to enjoy with your loved ones. Its hot springs will make you fall in love and will force you to want to come back on your next trip to the Dominican Republic. 

Although the water comes from the mountain, it reaches the pool through a tube that allows you to enjoy the water at a nice temperature in a unique setting. You can only stay there for 20 minutes at most, since the demand is very high. 

You will also have the chance to enjoy a bit of adventure inside the park, since there is a famous suspension bridge over the Bao River. This bridge was built with wood and metal mesh and has become the main attraction for adrenaline junkies. The view from up top will allow you to truly admire the mountains and all of its vegetation.

In addition to its hot springs, if you’d like to visit more places outside this municipality, you’ll find nearby tourist attractions such as the Salto del Gallo waterfall, the Armando Bermúdez National Park, La Ventana Water Park or the famous Pico Duarte mountain.

Without a doubt, San José de las Matas is a highly recommendable destination to visit during your trip to the Dominican Republic.

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