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Dominican Republic

New York, USA

Toronto, Canada

136 E. 57 St Suite 803 Nueva York, NY 10022, USA ( 212-588-1012/ 14 ( Toll Free: 1-888-374-6361 7 212-588-1015 8 drtourismboardny@verizon.net

26 Wellington Street East Suite 201, Toronto, Ontario M5E-1S2, Canadá ( 416-361-2126/ 27 ( Toll Free: 1-888-494-5050 7 416-361-2130 8 toronto@sectur.gov.do

Miami, USA 848 Brickell Ave. Suite 405 Miami, FL 33131, USA ( 305-358-2899 ( Toll Free: 1-888-358-9594 7 305-358-4185 8 miami@sectur.gov.do

France

Chicago, USA

Germany

561 West Diversey BuildingSuite 214 Chicago, IL 60614-1643, USA ( 773-529-1336/ 37 ( Toll Free: 1-888-303-1336 7 773-529-1338 8 chicago@sectur.gov.do

Hochstrasse 54 60313 Frankfurt, Alemania ( 49-69-9139-7878 7 49-69-283430 8 domtur@aol.com

Puerto Rico, USA 890 Ashford Ave. Local C-3 Condado, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00907 ( 787-722-0881 7 787-724-7293 8 optpr@yahoo.com

Montreal, Canada 2080 Rue Crescent Montreal PQ, Quebec H3G 2B8, Canadá ( 514-499-1918 ( Toll Free:1-800-563-1611 7 514-499-1393 8 montreal@sectur.gov.do 8 domrepoffice@rapidmail.ca

11 Rue Boudreau 75009, Paris, Francia ( 33-1-4312-9191 7 33-1-4494-0880 8 otrepdom@aol.com

England 18-21 Hand Court Londres WC1V 6JFReino Unido ( 44-20 72427778 7 44-20 74054202 8 inglaterra@sectur.gov.do 8 dominican.rep@btconnect.com

Spain Calle General Yagüe #4 Puerta 12, 28020 Madrid, España ( 34-91-417-7375 7 34-91-598-0025 8 espana@sectur.gov.do 8 info@turdom.e.telefonica.net

Belgium Ave. Louise 271 Louizalaan, Bruselas 1050, Belgica ( 32-2-646-1300 7 32-2-649-3692 8 tourism@visitdomrep.com 8 repdomtur@skynet.be


Italy

Brazil

25 Piazza Castello 20121 Milano, Italia ( 39-02-805-7781 7 39-02-865-861 8 italia@sectur.gov.do

Ave. São Luis No. 50 Conjunto 91E-9 Andar Edif. Italia / Centro Cep 01046-926 São Paulo / SP, Brasil ( 55-11-2189-2403 7 55-11-2189-2402 8 andrea@republicadominicana.tur.br 8 esmeralda@republicadominicana.tur.br

Russia C. Shpalernaya, 54, Of. A12, 191015 St. Petersburg, Rusia ( 812-333-09-52 7 812-333-09-56 8 optdom-ru@mail.ru

Colombia Oficina 513 de la Torre A Edif. Teleport Business Park, Calle 114 No. 9-01, Santa Fé de Bogotá, Colombia ( 57-1-629-1818/ 1841 7 57-1-629-1830 8 colombia@sectur.gov.do

Japan Kowa 38 Bldg. # 904, 4-12-24 Nishi-Asabu, Minaro-Ku Tokyo 106-0031 Japón ( + 81-3-3499-6020 8 secturjpn@gmail.com

Venezuela

Argentina Arenales 1101 Esq. Cerrito (C1061AAI) Buenos Aires, Argentina ( 54-114-312-2203 7 54-114-312-8361 8 turismodominicana@fibertel.com.ar 8 argentina@sectur.gov.do

Chile Augusto Leguia Sur 79, Oficina 1105, Las Condes Santiago de Chile, Chile ( 56-2-952-0540 7 56-2-952-0541 8 chile@sectur.gov.do 8 sectursantiagochile@gmail.com

Calle Villaflor con Ave. Casanova, Edif. Offimaker piso 1, Oficina 1-3 Sabana Grande, Caracas. ( 58-212-761-1956/761/0986 7 58-212-761-1761 8 oficinadeturismord@cantv.net 8 miguelinaruiz@cantv.net

ASONAHORES CPT-Promotion Tourism Counsil Av. Tiradentes, Edificio La Cumbre Piso 8, Santo Domingo ( 809-368-4676 7 809-368-5511 8 www.asonahores.com 8 www.drdate.net

Ministry of Tourism Ave. México / 30 de Marzo, Santo Domingo ( 809-221-4660 7 809-682-3806 www.godominicanrepublic.com | www.sectur.gob.do


Sumary Summary

Message by the State Secretary of Tourism..............3

La Cotica..................................................................6 General Information.................................................8 Language • The Nation: Government and Territory • Education • Couriers Directory • Religion • Climate • Water • Electricity • Medicine • Emergencies 911 • Health • Pharmacies opened 24-7 • List of National Tourism Offices • Weights and Measures • Time Zone • Sun

Our Music..............................................................55 Where to go • Night Life

Santo Domingo, the Athens of the New World.......58 Map of the Colonial Area • Royal Houses • El Alcazar, the Prince House • The Royal Dockyards (Las Reales Atarazanas) • Colon Park • The remains of Colon • El Conde Street • Map for Getting out of Town

Tour Operators Directory.......................................70

Foreign Investment.................................................20

Hotels and Beach Resorts Directory........................72

Investment Directory • Chambers of Commerce • Arrival and Stay, Documentation • What to bring from home • Directory of Diplomatic Representations Accredited Abroad • Airlines Directory • Diplomatic Representations Accredited in the Country

Map of the Dominican Republic.............................84

Stepping on Dominican Land.................................30 Immigration • Money • Customs Regulations • If ladies travel on their own • If you travel with your pet • If you travel with children • If you wish to get married • National holidays

Communication Media...........................................34 Telecommunications • Serenades: Beautiful spiritual communication media • Taxi Directory • Land Transportation • Rent-a-Car Directory • Santo Domingo Metro Route • Distance Chart • Airport Directory • Longdistance Transportation

Gastronomy...........................................................40 Typical and regional cuisine • Dominican Locrio • Siesta • Restaurants Directory

What to buy...........................................................46 Art • Shopping Malls Directory • Amber

Where to go...........................................................48 Our beaches • National parks • Botanical Garden • Zoo • Museums Directory • The Culture Park • National Theatre • Recreational activities and sports 

The Cibao Valley....................................................86 La Vega Real • Mountain Tourism • Constanza • Jarabacoa • Santiago de los Caballeros

Toward the Amber Coast........................................92  Montecristi • Puerto Plata • Map of the Northern Region • Map of Puerto Plata • Cofresi • Costambar • Long Beach • Dorada Beach • El Banco de la Plata • Sosua • Cabarete Beach • Maria Trinidad Sanchez • Nagua • Samana • El Portillo and Las Terrenas

Toward the Southern Region................................109 San Cristobal • Peravia • Azua de Compostela • Barahona • Map of the Southern Region

Toward the Land of Sunrise..................................115 La Caleta • Boca Chica • Playa Caribe • Juan Dolio, Guayacanes, and Villas del Mar • San Pedro de Macoris • Map of the Eastern Region • La Romana • Golf Courses Directory

Higüey, America’s Holy Land...............................124 • Bavaro and Punta Cana

Excursions • Adventure Tourism............................128

La Cotica, the National Tourism Guide of the Dominican Republic, founded in 1984, reviewed and authorized by the Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic, publishes an annual edition in Spanish, English, German, French, and Italian. Registered at the Ministry of the Interior and Police under No. 5692, May 21, 1985. All author rights and intellectual property registered at the Ministry of Education, Fine Arts, and Culture under No. 6792 page 3534 April 22, 1985.

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Greetings Greetings

Ministry of Tousism

Dominican Republic: A unique and endless destination throughout the world. The seductive and tropical beauty of the Dominican Republic, in addition to the inner happiness and joy of its people, make this land a truly unique destination around the world, with a wide scope of different attractions, unforgettable experiences, and renowned international quality accommodation. There are plenty of opportunities, ethnic products, flora and fauna, talented people, competitive offers, and history. Quite a sensorial feast of stunning landscapes, exotic cuisine, and diversified art and entertainment options. The rhythmic emotion of merengue, intriguing relics from past centuries, high quality tobacco, world-class baseball and a permanent tropical weather – all of this awaits you in the Dominican Republic. Ecotourism, world-class golf, extreme sports, the centenary history of the First City of America, Santo Domingo, and more… In a nutshell, a tropical paradise in the middle of the Caribbean. That’s what we are. An endless destination. Come and visit us.

Francisco Javier Garcia State Secretary of Tourism.

Dominican Republic

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2009 Editor in Chief

The native parrot, a Caribbean bird of the Psitacide family and belonging to Amazona ventralis species, is part of our daily lives, from the Taíno hut of old to the Dominican home of today.

Rita Cabrer Executive Director Reynaldo Caminero

Because of its exotic appearance and the ease with which it reproduces human speech it has been a decorative feature and a loud pet in our Dominican homes. Children are very fond of it; and adults patiently teach their “cotica” to talk.

Sales and Marketing Rosa Veras Derissé De León

The cotica makes a variety of noises. It cuddles cutely, can repeat short phrases, and even moves to the beat of some rhythmic tunes. In our native slang it is known as “the green parrot” because of its bright green plumage.

Quality Manager Cristina Rosario Layout Víctor José García Betancourt

Given such peculiar characteristics it is the most popular of our native birds. It has good eyesight, it is suspicious and so extremely observant that it often reveals traits about an owner’s personality or lifestyle, which may be unknown to others.

Mayerlin Castillo Print Franklin Communications Contributors

There are friendly parrots; some are grouchy; others are tattlers; still others are cynics, diplomatic, political partisans, and even “foulmouthed”. Not surprisingly, their unsolicited interventions at family gatherings have often spelled doom for many an amorous relationship and even old friendships.

Ángel Vargas, Tiziano de Stéfano, Thiago da Cunha A production of

The native Taínos usually offered them as gifts to the Spaniards as a symbol of their friendship and hospitality.

P. O. Box 122, Santo Domingo, R.D.  809-566-0051  809-227-3801  info@lacotica.com  www.dominicanway.com

Current legislation to protect this nearly extinct wild

(c) All rights reserved. No reproduction whatsoever is authorized without the written consent of the editor.

bird imposes severe penalties for any attempt to capture and/or sell la cotica in any form whatsoever.

“Truth Translations certifies that the translations in the National Tourist Guide “La Cotica” are faithful to the original. Truth Translations is not in any way responsible for the accuracy of said information, or for any future changes therein. www.truthtranslations.com

Our Covers: Idea: Logroño & Thompson Layout: Víctor José García Betancourt Job Site: Dominican Republic Landscapes A Free copy of this publication may be obtained at the any tourist information center nearest you, or send an e-mail to: info@lacotica.com

¡En cada artículo, en cada foto y en todo color... estás presente!


General Information In the heart of the Caribbean, washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the impetuous Caribbean Sea in the south, nestles a placid and beautiful country officially called The Dominican Republic. It is located between latitude 17o 40’ and 19o 56’ North and longitude 68o 20’ and 72o01’ west of the Greenwich meridian (GMT -4). Christopher Columbus discovered the island on December 5, 1492, during his first voyage to the New World. It occupies 18,704 sq. mi/48,442 sq. km of the 76,192 sq. km it shares with the neighboring Republic of Haiti. Its natural beauty and rich history fascinate as well excite those who get to know it. By a 1508 royal edict, King Ferdinand of Spain named it the Island of Santo Domingo. Its aboriginal name, Quisqueya, in the Taíno language means “mother of all lands.” Well before the Iberian presence, our island was inhabited by an indigenous population who called themselves the “Taínos”, a word that in their language means “the good.”

archipelago of islands in the Lesser Antilles. They were physically well-built; they had a rather tawny complexion and dark eyes. Relatively peaceful, even when they were nearly subjugated under the dominion of a chieftain, called a cacique, historical records do, however, reveal a people who valiantly defended their families, their land, and their freedom, when the Conquistadors tried to enslave them. Unfortunately, a population estimated at around 600,000 was practically exterminated in less than thirteen years. Taíno sociopolitical structure was organized under five polities or cacicazgos: Marién, governed by Guacanagarix; Maguá was dominated by the cacique Guarionex; Caonabo ruled in Maguána; in Higüey, Cayacoa; and Jaragua fell under the might of Bohechío. After Bohechío’s death, his sister, the widow of Caonabo, the cacica Anacaona, emerged as the successor. She was reputed to have been a most efficient administrator, and

The Taínos, a part of the broader Arawakan culture, may have originated from the tropical region of the South America. Through a series of migrations by canoe, they settled throughout the Cradle of the Caribbean. 8


the most beautiful and highly respected woman on the island. Nevertheless, she had to witness the merciless slaughter of her people at the sword of Nicolas de Ovando, the Spanish governor, in 1503. This first act of cruelty has gone down in historical records as the Jaragua Massacre. Imprisoned, the Queen answered with these verses:

not known precisely when the common country parlance started to be used in literary writings. Nevertheless a rustic poem written in 1635 by Tirso de Molina earned a literary award— the rustic lilt had been immortalized thanks to his sojourn between 1616 and 1618 at the Convent of Las Mercedes in the colonial zone of Santo Domingo.

“It is not honorable to kill; nor can honor propitiate the tragedy. Let us open a bridge of love, so that across it even our enemies may walk and leave for posterity their footprints.”

In spite of the Spanish influence, common terms derived from the Taíno’s melodious andsweet language remain in use, and nearly all preserve their original meaning. For example:ají (pepper), barbacoa (barbecue), batea (trough or small tub), bija (anatto fruit), bohío(hut), burén (flat griddle), canoa (canoe), carey (tortoise-shell), caribe

Language Spanish is the official language of the country. Nevertheless, in some communities of foreign origin and in the tourist hubs, English, German, French, Italian, Dutch, and various dialects are spoken. It is important to point out that the Dominican use of language is the sum total of our soul and wisdom, expressed with a rustic accent and with flavors of the hinterland. In our country, each region has its charm and accentuates its expressions in a peculiar way; from the first words uttered many speakers are identified. This unique form of expression has been a source of inspiration for renowned writers, both native and foreign. It is

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Place of the Flag, Santo Domingo.


(Caribbean),casabe (cassava), coa (sharp wood rod), conuco (a plot of land for cultivation),guanábana (soursop), guayaba (guava), hamaca (hammock), higüera (calabash tree), huracán (hurricane), iguana (iguana), lambí (conch meat), maíz (corn), tabaco(tobacco), tiburón (shark), yagua (palm), and yuca (yucca), among others. When visitors speak with us they tend to think that we either think they are deaf or that we are angry. Indeed, shouting and gesticulating, common among rural folk who overcome distances by raising their voices, have now made their way to urban areas, and have even crossed generational lines. For this reason, protest in this country differs markedly from what one might see in Switzerland or the United States. While it is their practice to walk slowly in silence at the venue of the protest as they hold a poster that expresses their feelings, we Dominicans tend to shout express ourselves with abrupt gestures and run from one place to the other in order to call attention. For this reason a demonstration that may appear imminently violent to a visitor tends to fizzle out within half an hour without any great problems. This manner of protesting, which is very much a reflection of our national character, has on occasion been misunderstood by the international media.

Dominican Republic

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The Nation: Government and Territory The Dominican Republic has a population over 8.5 million. Its territory is divided into 31 provinces and the national capital district of Santo Domingo. The country’s political structure is based on the principles of democracy. Power is exercised among the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The country elects its president, vice president and legislators every four years by universal adult suffrage. The president, by constitutional mandate, appoints the governors, who are his representatives within the provinces. The legislature comprises the Senate and the House of Representatives (one senator for each province and the national capital district, and a representative for every 50,000 inhabitants or a fraction greater than 25,000.) The national judicial council elects the members of the judiciary. The country’s capital, Santo Domingo de Guzmán, with a population of nearly 2.5 million, was founded by Don Bartolomé Colón on August 4, 1496. It is the oldest city of the New World. The Dominican Republic is an integral part of the strategic frontier in the field of hegemonic politics because of its geographical location. Throughout its

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history, the country has been coveted and invaded, at different epochs, by Spain, France, England, Colombia, Haiti and the United States. However, thanks to the unbridled patriotism of Juan Pablo Duarte, Francisco del Rosario Sánchez, and Ramón Matías Mella, the Founding Fathers, the nation won its independence and Dominican Republic, as a free and sovereign state, was established on February 27, 1844. Located on Hispaniola, it was the pearl of the Great Admiral Christopher Columbus, as he stated in his diary... Its past is studded with the names of such important historical figures, heroes of the epic adventure of the age of discovery... This land of promise, conquered and colonized by the Spaniards in 1492, has become a new world of opportunities and an unsung paradise for international tourism five centuries later. Welcome, thus, to this old American haven, the original site of the conquest and pre-Colombian civilizations. We invite you to browse in the secret drawers of this antique colonial cabinet, now five hundred years old, where relics of an era, very much the heritage of all of the Americas, still survive; it is also a source of pride for those who received


the light of the Gospel under the influence of Spanish culture.

Education In 1505 the Convent of the Friars of the Franciscan Order established the first primary schools that were later moved to the St. Francis Monastery in 1512. It was here that the cacique Guarocuya was educated and baptized into the Christian faith under the name Enriquillo. In 1510 the missionaries of the Dominican Order settled in Hispaniola under the leadership of Friar Pedro de Córdoba. The Order requested the Pope to confer the status of university upon the center of higher education that they were then directing. The Pontiff granted their request by the “In Apostulatus Culmine” papal bull and, on October 28, 1538, the

first university in the Americas was established. It was named after St. Thomas Aquinas. Today, it is the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo- a center of great intellectual activity whose reputation aptly earned for the city of Santo Domingo the nickname “Athens of the New World”. Based on that heritage of scholarship, many prominent citizens felt the need to make education accessible to all people. Consequently, the constitution provides for free, compulsory education for all children between the ages of six to twelve. Basic education is no longer a privilege; it has become a universal right in the Dominican Republic. The state’s public education policy extends to the secondary level through the provision of subsidies for private Columbus Park, Colonial Zone.

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Fantino Falco 40  809-540-4005  809-565-5174  www.eps-int.com DHL • Sarasota 26  809-534-7888  809-535-1556  www.dhl.com.do

UPS • Las Américas Km. 25  809-549-2777  809-549-9561  TOL FREE: 1-809-200-5177  www.ups.com.do

FEDEX • Av. Los Próceres  809-565-3636  TOLL FREE: 1-200-3138  www.fedex.com

MAIL B.OXES • Tiradentes 10  809-412-2330  809-412-2442  www.mbe.com.do

school education as well. The state also supports public higher education at the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo), and subsidizes higher education in schools of science and technology and several private academic centers that have been accredited by the State Department of Higher Education, Science and Technology. (Secretaría de Estado de Educación Superior Ciencia y Tecnología). Currently public education at the basic level and secondary education is provided to more than 1.8 million students nationwide.

Religion

San Francisco de Macorís, Mao, Montecristi, Baní, Puerto Plata, and San Pedro de Macorís. There are also minority adherents to such other Christian denominations as Episcopalian, Baptist, Protestant, Seventh Day Adventists and Mormonism. In places of worship, men uncover their heads as a sign of respect and reverence. Women are no longer obliged to cover their heads as they were in the past, but as a sign of respect and modesty, many of them wear long sleeves and mantillas (an elegant, hand-woven cloth that is draped over the shoulders or head) in church. It is considered offensive and inappropriate to enter a temple inebriated or in shorts.

In the Dominican Republic, freedom of religion is guaranteed and protected under the constitution. According to the latest census figures, Roman Catholicism is the predominant religious group of about 95% of the population. The Catholic Church has two Archdioceses (the one in Santo Domingo is the first one in the Americas; the other one is in Santiago de Los Caballeros) as well as nine dioceses that are located in the provinces of La Vega, Higüey, San Juan de la Maguána, Barahona,

Dominican Republic

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Climate

Electricity

The fertile Dominican soil is ideal for the cultivation of grain. According to the “W. Koppen Climate Classification System” the predominant climate is best described as humid tropical savanna, with five variations or microclimates, classified as: humid, dry steppe, tropical jungle, forest and savanna. The average annual temperature fluctuates between 18oC/65oF and 27oC/81oF. So for Dominicans there is only one season namely, summer.

We use 100-120V/60Hz NorthAmerican plugs. There are power cuts in our country, but 95% of hotels in tourist areas have their own private power supply, and restaurants have emergency generators.

The country’s pleasant climate may be understood in terms of its geographical location. The prevailing determinant of precipitation and vegetation is the northwest trade winds. Variations from the general weather and vegetational patterns are conditioned by such factors as elevation and proximity to ocean currents. In the central mountain range, the Pico Duarte soars to the highest peak in the Antilles at 3,175m (10,417ft) above sea level. Another interesting feature of the island’s relief is in the province of Barahona: the Lake Enriquillo. From the lake’s surface, at 30m below sea level, emerges Cabritos Island, where according to Dr. Sophie Jackowska “there exists the largest reserve of the American crocodile.”

Water About 80% of the urban population has access to tap water. Nevertheless, to avoid “the revenge of Caonabo”, one should drink purified and bottled water.

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Medications Most essential and generic medications are available at reasonable prices. Nevertheless, it is advisable to bring with you whatever pharmaceutical products and supplies you generally need or use. Also it is important to have antihistamines, broad-spectrum allergy medications and repellants

Medical Emergencies Corazones Unidos Fantino Falco 21

 809-567-4421

CEDIMAT Centro de Diagnóstico Medicina Avanzada y Telemedicina Ortega y Gasset  809-565-9989 Plaza de la Salud Av. San Martín

 809-565-7477

Centro de Medicina Avanzada Dr. Abel González Av. Abraham Lincoln  809-227-2235

Movimed Office............................. 809-535-1080 Emergency number........ 809-532-0000

911

24-Hour Services Hospitals • Pharmacie • Movimed • The Red Cross • Civil Defense • National Police • Fire Department


on hand to ward off bees, wasps, mosquitoes and other insects.

Pharmacies opened 24-7

Health

Carol.......................... 809-562-6767

In our country, on matters of health we refer to the Taínos, who first settled on this island - that they also called bohio because they found in it the largesse of mother nature, the absence of any hostile environmental conditions, and a mild climate that beckoned them to make this place their home.

Farmax....................... 809-333-4444

This has not changed much. In a recent report submitted by the World Health Organization’s technical commission, the benign health climate has not changed much. According to its conclusions, the average level of public health and life expectancy in the Dominican Republic is equal, if not better, than what obtains in the United States.

Los Hidalgos.............. 809-541-4848 Amada Melo.............. 809-554-2360 “In all circumstances, it is possible to enjoy a delightful climate where one rarely encounters either lung diseases, scarlet fever, or any of the dreaded diseases of the northern countries. Also there is no risk of yellow fever or malaria assuming that you know how select your location.”

Weights and Measurements Concerning weights and measurements, the Dominican Republic uses, in conformity with national legislation, the

List of Offices of Tourism in the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo

( 809-221-4660

Luperón

( 809-571-8002

Barahona

( 809-524-3573

Mao, Valverde

( 809-585-8131

Bávaro

( 809-552-1237

Montecristi

( 809-579-2254

Boca Chica

( 809-523-5106

Nagua

( 809-584-3862

Bonao

( 829-962-4421

Neyba

( 809-527-3396

Cabarete

( 809-571-0962

Pedernales

( 809-524-0409

Cabrera

( 809-589-8136

Puerto Plata

( 809-586-3676

Constanza

( 809-539-2900

Río San Juan

( 809-589-2831

Cotuí

( 809-240-2550

Samaná

( 809-538-2332

Higüey

( 809-554-2672

San Cristóbal

( 809-528-1844

Jarabacoa

( 809-574-7287

San Jose de Ocoa

( 809-558-4166

Jimaní

( 809-885-9417

San Pedro de Macorís

( 809-529-3644

La Romana

( 809-550-6922

Santiago

( 809-582-5885

La Vega

( 809-242-3231

Sosúa

( 809-571-3433

Las Terrenas

( 809-240-6363

Zona Colonial

( 809-686-3858

Dominican Republic

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metric system. Nevertheless, the country continues to use certain units from the old Spanish system and from other systems that were formerly used in the territory.

Business Hours Banks: Lobby Hours 8:00 a.m. –4:00 p.m Mon. – Fri. 8:00 a.m. –1:00 p.m Sat.

Solids for example are measured in ounces/pounds instead of in grams/ kilograms. Gasoline and motor oil are sold by the American gallon, about 128 fluid ounces; cooking oil is measured by the pint. Fabrics are sold by the yard instead of the meter. And rum, beer and other liquids are packed in bottles of about 0.75631 liters.

Banks Express at Malls 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Mon. – Sat. 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Sun.

Government Offices 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Mon. – Fri.

Commercial Service Offices 8:00 a.m. –5:00 p.m Mon. – Fri. 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Sat.

Stores / Shopping Centers/ Malls 9:00 a.m. – 9:0 0 p.m Mon. – Sat.

Urban land areas are measured in square meters, while in the countryside they are measured by “tarea”, a unit that equals 624 sq. meters.

Supermarkets 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Mon. – Sat. 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Sun.

Bars / Nightclubs 6:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. Sun. – Thur.

Another unconventional custom in our markets, is the bargaining that takes

6:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. Fri – Sat.

place between potential buyer and seller to arrive at a mutually acceptable price. Your purchasing success will depend on your human-relations expertise. During the process you might even make a friend, and the seller might give you a ñapa (gratuity) at the end of the sale.

Sun Dermatologists advise against sunbathing between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.; instead they suggest gradual exposure and the use of such protective items as lotions, hats, and sunglasses. Daily moisturizing of the skin enhances the longevity of a tan. 

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Foreign Investment If you consider investing in the Caribbean region, the Dominican Republic offers a set of laws aimed at providing foreign investors with favorable terms and conditions in some specific areas. Taking full advantage of the benefits allowed by the new laws, firms have successfully established themselves in the field of telecommunication, transportation, tourism and the industrial free-zone industries, among many others.

Various private and public organizations can provide reliable information, objective counseling, and suggestions for succeeding in any entrepreneurial venture in The Dominican Republic.

Documents: Arrival and Stay Pursuant to Law No. 875 regarding Visa issuance, foreigners traveling to the Dominican Republic must hold among their traveling documents the adequate

For more information CEI-RD Dominican Republic Center for Exports and Investment 27 de Febrero, Plaza de la Bandera  809-530-5505  809-531-5136  webmaster@cei-rd.gov.do  www.cei-rd.gov.do Balcones del Atlántico Jacinto Mañón No. 5, Plaza El Avellano, Suite3, Ens. Paraíso.  809-732-6622  809-227-0654  info@balcones.com.do  www.balconesdelatlantico.com.do Hispaniola Real Estate North Coast, S.A Pedro Clisante No. 7, Altos Sosúa, Puerto Plata.  809-571-2727  809-571-2728  hispaniola@hispaniolarealestate.com  www.hispaniolarealestate.com

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Gestión y Servicios Empresariales Plaza Las Américas II 3 er Nivel, Local Y-1-C  809-381-1189  809-381-1191  info@gestionyservicios.com  www.gestionyservicios.com Pellerano & Herrera, Abogados John F. Kennedy #10, Santo Domingo  809-541-5200  ph@phlaw.com  www.phlaw.com Higüey (Bavaro, Punta Cana)  809-554-7720 Santiago  809-580-1725 Group Metro Real Estate Juan Dolio, República Dominicana  809-566-8645  809-526-1200  mcountryc@groupmetro.com  www.costablanca.com.do  www.groupmetro.com


Chambers of Commerce Nationals

Binationals

Chamber of Commerce and Production of Santo Domingo 809-682-2688 American 809-381-0777 British 809-616-2335 Chinese 809-547-3316 Dutch 809-227-6525 Puerto Rican 809-563-5060 Russian 809-620-1471 Spanish 809-567-2147 Chamber of Commerce and Production of Santiago 809-582-2856 Taiwanese 809-531-3555

Dominican-German 809-688-6700 Dominican-Belgian 809-985-8595 Dominican-Brazilian 809-540-9292 Dominican-Canadian 809-540-7545 Dominican-Chinese 809-687-7785 Dominican-Korean 809-985-2007 Dominican-Haitian 809-688-7100 Dominican-French 809-472-0505 Dominican-Italian 809-535-5111 Dominican-Japanese 809-565-5531 Ext. 212 Dominican-Mexican 809-541-8724 Dominican-Salvadorean 809-549-5510 Dominican-Swiss 809-689-0077

Dominican Republic

21


visa granted by Dominican embassies and councils accredited abroad. Nevertheless, and with tourism purposes only, citizens of the following countries may enter the country as visitors, asking for a tourism card in the Dominican embassies and councils accredited abroad, when buying their air tickets or upon their arrival at the country, in its international ports and airports at a cost of US$10: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda (Bermuda), Aruba, Australia (Cocos Islands, Nativity Island, Norfolk Islands), Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada,

Cyprus, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark (Feroe Islands, Greenland), Dominica, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France (French Guyana, Martinique, Guadalupe, Reunion, Wallis Islands, Futuna, Mayotte, New Caledonia, French Polynesia), Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Island, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kingdom of the Netherlands (Holland, Curacao and St. Martin), Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Macao, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Mexico, Monaco, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand (Cook, Niue, Tokelau Islands), Netherlands (comprising Holland, Curacao and St.

Colonial Zone. 22


Sundial, Colonial Zone.

Martin), Nicaragua, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway (Greenland, Mayen, Svalbard), Panama, Paraguay, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romany, Russia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Salomon Island, San Marino, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Suriname, Thailand, Taiwan, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tokelau Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain (Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Anguilla, Bermudas, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Gibraltar, Sandwich Islands, Caiman Islands, the Falklands, Montserrat), United States of America (including Guam, Hawaii, Palau I Island, American Samoa Island, Puerto Rico, St. John, St. Croix, St. Thomas), Vanuatu, Vatican City (the Holy See), and Venezuela.

This document allows visitors to stay up to 90 days. If you wish to stay longer, it is important to request an extension in the General Direction of Migrations. Citizens of the following countries may enter the country with no need of Visa or Tourism Card: Argentina, Chile, South Korea, Ecuador, Israel, Japan, Peru and Uruguay; countries with which the Dominican Republic has entered into agreements regarding Visa issuance, as well as those people carrying diplomatic, service and official passports of: Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, China

For further information: www.serex.gov.do  809-987-7002 Ext.7415 Immigration Service:  809-508-2555

Dominican Republic

23


(Taiwan), Colombia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Holy See, Switzerland, Ukraine, Uruguay and Vietnam.

What to Bring from Home First of all, bring a positive state of mind and the intention of having a good time. Regardless of what the thermometer reads while you are packing, include a bathing suit, sun screen/lotion, sun glasses and loose, comfortable clothing made of natural fibers. Do not forget your Bermuda shorts and some baggy shirts, to wear in the evenings as you relax under the palm trees are lulled the enchantment of this a tropical, moon-lit night. Men traveling to attend a conference, or for business reasons, may need to bring a jacket and a tie. Some events, depending the type, may require a tuxedo for the men and an evening

dress for the women. On certain, lessformal occasions, a white suit or a linen guayabera may be adequate. For cool evenings (from November through February), a light jacket will suffice for the women. In the mountains a light jacket is desirable. Don’t forget to bring your camera and video-recorder. The area of the colonial city that is studded with monuments offers tremendously beautiful sceneries-- flower-covered balconies and panoramic views – from which fabulous effects of high contrast may be achieved. There is also a dazzling spectacle that you may capture as an indelible memorabilia of your visit – one place that still inspires artists, painters and photographers. It is offered to us by an extraordinary miracle of nature during the spring when the red foliage of the flamboyant in bloom covers the countryside and cities. 

• Tips

The photographing of some museums and military establishments is prohibited. In addition, it is not advised to take a picture of an on-duty military official-- unless you are first given permission to do so. In general people are willing to allow you to take their picture you simply have to ask first.

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Accredited Dominican Diplomatic Representation Abroad Argentina • cdar07@yahoo.com  (5411) 4894-2080  (5411) 4312-8562

Israel • admatalon@admatalon.co.il  (972-3) 516-2020  (972-3) 516-1888

Australia • consudom@bigpond.net.au   (61-2) 9363-5891

Italy • consudomil@tiscalinet.it   (39-02) 2024-0965  (39-02) 2951-6180

Austria • consudom.viena@iip.at  (43-1) 5046437  (43-1) 5053236

Jamaica • consudom_jamaica@hotmail.com  1 (876) 946-2714  1 (876) 946-2768

Belgium • aapf@skynet.be  (323) 506-3973/3976  (323) 506-3974

Japan • consudom@gol.com  (81-33) 499-6020  (81-33) 499-2627

Belize   (501) 822-2387  (501) 822-2096

Jordan • regency@nets.com.jo  (962) 6 560 7000  (962) 6 566 0013

Bolivia • consuladorepdom@salazar-law.com.bo  (591-2) 24-7836  (591-2) 211-2407

Lebanon • domcon@terra.net.lb  (961) 4-3305896  (961) 4-723406

Brazil • consudom@terra.com.br  (55-11) 3898-1120  (55-11) 3086-3492

Lithuania • kasausk@agvila.lt  (370-2) 613-521 / 614-432   (370-2) 613-521 / 225-560

Canada • consudomtoronto@gmail.com  (416) 369-0403  (416) 369-1685 Chile • gerencia-gral@fosforo.cl  (562) 707-6255  (562) 231-5447 China   (8610) 8532-3837/2423  (8610) 8532-3544 Colombia • jlmn@hotmail.com  (571) 620-1012  (571) 213-7715 Cyprus  (011) 003572-22755171  (011) 003572-22755935 Czech Republic • consuladopraga@hotmail.com  (420) 224-87-21-32 7 (420) 224-87-21-34 Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka  • bafalul@eureka.lk  (941) 433986-9  (941) 447213 Ecuador • rickie@jcardio.com.ec  (5932) 258-2420/252-4864 Finland • kockberg@interperson.inet.fi  (358) 20 741 95 70  (358) 20 741 95 71 France • consuldompar@magic.fr  (331 55) 37.10.30.35/31   (331 55) 44.09.98.88

Mexico • consudom@hotmail.com  (525) 55 531-3754  (525) 55 545-0701  Morocco • consudom.ma@yahoo.com  (212) 61 20 98 16  (212) 22 98 12 13 Netherlands, Holland • consudomamsterdam@hotmail.com  (31-20) 647-1062  (31-20) 640-8300 Nicaragua • rene@casateran.com  (505) 228-1505  (505) 228-3088 Panama • consulrd@sinfo.net  (507) 264-8630/265-4364  (507) 269-6591 Paraguay • domiconsul@hotmail.com  (331 55) 37.10.30.35/31   (331 55) 44.09.98.88 Philippines • consudom_mm@yahoo.com  (63-2) 810-6546/6548 7 (63-2) 810-6549 Portugal • consudom@net.sapo.pt  (351-21) 3637568 7 (351-21) 3649022 Puerto Rico • consudompr@hotmail.com  (787) 725-9550  (787) 721-7820 Republic of Korea • bhjun@willbes.com  (041) 529-5773  (041) 552-5501

Geneva • isabel.cretton@ties.itu.int    (4122) 738-00185

Republic of Singapore • klh888@pacific.net.sq  (65) 298-9588  (65) 296-2137

Germany • conrdomffm@aol.com  4969/ 7438-7781  4969/ 2578-7640

Spain • consudomadrid@hotmail.com  (34-91) 435-0027  (34-91) 576-1168

Greece • roidis@yahoo.com  011 30 6976288050

Thailand • contact@dominicanconsulate.org   (662) 933-5686  (662) 933-5685

Haiti • consudom.pap.haiti@direcway.com  (509) 257-1968  (509) 257-6374

Turkey • sahipak@superonline.com   (90 212) 292-8555  (90 212) 292-8561

Honduras • consudom@sulanet.net  (504) 553-6356  (504) 553-6358

United States • cdny@consuldord-ny.org  (212) 768-2480-81  (212) 768-2677

Info.: Chancelleri of the Dominican Republic • www.serex.gov.do •  809-987-7002

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Diplomatic Missions Accredited to the Dominican Republic Antigua y Barbuda • mattress@codetel.net.do Juan Alejandro Ibarra, 124  809-544-3797  809-541-4781 Apostolic Nunciature • nuncap.rd@codetel.net.do Maximo Gomez 27  809-682-3773  809-687-0287 Argentina • embarg@codetel.net.do Maximo Gomez 10,  809-682-2977  809-221-2206 Austria • auxiliar@cdo-austria.org.do General Roman Franco Bido 11  809-947-7888  809-532-5603 Bahamas • c.actuariales@codetel.net.do Cesar Nicolas Penson 116  809-688-3797  809-682-0237 Belgium • consuladobelgica@dona-elvira.com Padre Billini 207,  809-687-2244  809-221-7369 Belize • consul.lama@bonanza.dominicana.com.do Av. John F. Kennedy 2nd floor  809-567-5023  809-567-6474

Ecuador • mecuador@yahoo.com R. Augusto Sanchez 17, Edif. Profesional Saint Michell 301  809-563-8363  809-563-8153 El Salvador • emb.salvador@codetel.net.do Haim Lopez Pena 32-B, Dom. Odontology Building, 4th Floor  809-565-4311  809-541-7503 Estonia • consulestonia@yahoo.com Unicentro Plaza 2nd floor, suite 59  809-333-3330  809-333-3331 European Union • delegation-dominican-rep@ec.euopa.eu Abraham Lincoln No.1063, Ens. Serralles  809-227-0525  809-227-0510 France • ambafrance@ambafrance-do.org Las Damas 42,  809-695-4300  809-687-5273 Germany • info@santo-domingo.diplo.de Piantini Tower, 16th and 17th floor,  809-542-8949  809-542-8955 Great Britain • sarah.hidersly@sadom.mail.fco.gov.uk 27 de Febrero 233,  809-472-7111  809-472-7574

Bolivia • mariatelovayen@hotmail.com C/ E, Edif. 8, Manz. 12, Apto. 105, Res. Jose Contreras  809-539-7469  809-530-1712

Greece • c.otorrino@codetel.net.do 27 de Febrero, corner of Franco. Henríquez y Carbajal,  809-685-3372  809-689-0071

Brazil • contacto@embajadadebrasil.org.do Eduardo Vicioso 46, Bella Vista  809-532-0342  809-532-0917

Grenada • sdqkoenig@gmail.com Juan Alejandro Ibarra 124,  809-544-3797  809-541-4781

British Guyana • consul.lama@bonanza.dominicana.com.do Av. John F. Kennedy 2nd floor  809-567-5023  809-567-6474 Canada • sdmgo@international.gc.ca Eugenio de Marchena 39,  809-685-1136  809-682-2691 Chile • embaj.chile@codetel.net.do Anacaona 11, Mirador Sur,  809-530-8441  809-530-8310 China • e.china@codetel.net.do Romulo Betancourt 1360,  809-562-5555  809-508-6335 Colombia • consulbia@codetel.net.do Fernando Escobar 8-A, Enz. Serralles  809-562-1670  809-562-3253 Costa Rica • embarica@codetel.net.do Malaquias Gil 11, Serralles  809-683-7002  809-565-6467 Cuba • embadom@codetel.net.do Francisco Pratz Ramirez 808,  809-537-2113  809-537-9820

Guatemala • embrepdominicana@minex.gob.gt 27 de Febrero 233,  809-381-0167  809-381-0278 Haiti • embajadahaiti@yahoo.com Juan Sanchez Ramírez 33,  809-686-7115  809-686-6096 Honduras • e.honduras@codetel.net.do Aristide Garcia Mella 23,  809-482-7992  809-482-7505 Hungary • Av. Lincoln, corner of Gustavo M. Ricart, Piantini Tower,  809-543-1977  809-543-1927 IDB • dominicana@iadb.org BHD Tower,  809-562-6400  809-562-2607 Island • miledah@hotmail.com Sarasota 10,  809-532-3556  809-535-2187 Israel • emb.israel@codetel.net.do Pedro Henriquez Ureña 80,  809-542-1635  809-472-1785 Italy • ambsdom.mail@esteri.it Rodriguez Objio 4,  809-682-0830  809-682-8296

Czech Republic • jrbrea@centennialrd.net Av. Bolivar 830,  809-685-6900  809-221-5607

Jamaica • embajada@embajadadejamaica-rd.com Av. Sarasota 36, Plaza Khoury, Suite 304-A  829-567-7770  809-620-2497

Denmark • dmnconsul@maersk.com Jose Amado Soler 49,  809-732-1234  809-683-3556

Japan • emb.jpn@codetel.net.do BHD Tower,  809-567-3365  809-566-8013

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Jordan Luis Eduardo Vicioso 12,  809-533-0127  809-532-1162

Romany • arturo.villanueva@azonahores.com P. Gonzalez, corner of Tiradentes, La Cumbre Building, 8th Floor,  809-368-5522  809-567-7181

Russia • camararusard@yahoo.com Korea • embcod@mosat.go.kr Anacaona 7, Mirador Sur,  809-532-4314  809-532-3807 Diamond Plaza, 2nd floor, Shop 35B, Arroyo Hondo  809-620-1471  809-473-9154 Latvia • lvconsulate@codetel.net.do Saint Lucia • mattress@codetel.net.do Gaspar Polanco 119, Bella Vista Juan Alejandro Ibarra 124  809-620-0802  809-620-0379  809-544-3787  809-541-4721 Lebanon • Sovereign Military Order of Malta • Plaza Central 1st Floor, Maja Jewelry Shop, emb.ordenmalta@codetel.net.do  809-547-3440  809-536-0323 Agustin Lara 45,  809-549-5576  809-549-5774 Liberia • consul.liberia@enel.net Spain • emb.santodomingo@mae.es Av. Enriquillo 100, Los Cacicazgos, Independencia 1205,  809-535-6500  809-535-1595  809-482-0216  809-54820216 Lithuania • svbrouwer@internet.codetel.net.do Camino del Norte 4, Arroyo Hohndo,  809-565-3333  809-544-3612

St. Kitts & Nevis • consul.lama@onanza.dominicana.com.do Av. John F. Kennedy, Bonanza Dominicana CxA Building,  809-567-5023  809-566-1087

Mexico • embamex@codetel.net.do Arz. Meriño 265  809-687-7494  809-687-7872

Switzerland • sdd.vertretung@eda.admin.ch Av. Jimenez Moya 71, B. Vista,  809-534-6944  809-532-3781

Morocco • consuladomarruecosrd@hotmail.com Av. Sarasota 6, Apartm 2,  809-286-0361 Netherlands • std@minbuza.nl Max Henríquez Ureña 50,  809-262-0320  809-565-4685 Nicaragua • embanic-rd@codetel.net.do Eric Ekman esq. Euclides Morillo, Edif. Metrópolis II  809-563-2311  809-565-7961 Norway • rfrankenberg@jfrankenberg.com Av. Rómulo Betancourt, corner of C/ D,  809-530-5400  809-530-5303 OAS • oasrepublicadominicana@oas.org Jimenez Moya , corner of Juan de Dios Ventura, Indrhi Building  809-533-1962  809-535-0905 Panama • emb.panama@codetel.net.do Benito Monción 255  809-685-3533  809-689-1273 Paraguay • claradeporcella@yahoo.com Angel Severo Cabral, corner of Virgilio Diaz Ordoñez,  809-412-5016  809-412-2829 Peru • embaperu@codetel.net.do Mayreni 31, Los Cacicazgos  809-482-3300  809-482-3334 Philippines • dadulo@codetel.net.do 4ta Terraza de Arroyo 18, Cuesta Hermosa II, Arroyo Hondo,  809-947-9501  809-222-3052 Portugal • salvadordacunha@codetel.net.do Building C, Las Praderas  809-227-8790

Thailand • a.diaz@ceprisa.com.do Calle Recodo 7,  809-620-9585  809-533-7735 Trinidad & Tobago • freyes@alnap.com.do 27 de Febrero 218,  809-688-1645  809-731-3325 Turkey • turconsd@hotmail.com Mustafa Kemal Ataturk 39, Edif. Centreone, Naco  809-381-4242  809-381-4343 Ukraine • consuladoucrania@codetel.net.do C/ 13 8, Urb. Fernandez  809-472-2908  809-732-6640 UNDP • fodom@pnud.org.do Anacaona 9, Mirador Sur,  809-537-0909  809-531-3507 UNESCO • cnu_rd@hotmail.com Luperon 105, Colonial Area  809-688-9634  809-688-9459 UNICEF • santodomingo@unicef.org Anacaona 9, Mirador Sur  809-473-7373  809-473-7272 United States of America • webmaster@usemb.gov.do Cesar Nicolas Penson  809-221-2171  809-686-7437 Uruguay • embur@codetel.net.do Luis F. Thomen 110, GAPO 401 Building  809-227-3475  809-472-4231 Venezuela • emb.venezuela@codetel.net.do Anacaona 7, Mirador Sur  809-537-8882  809-537-8780

Dominican Republic

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Upon Arrival Immigration Before entering the country at ports, airports or crossing the border, the international regulatory and form should be filled and given to immigration authorities upon arrival and departure.

Money The monetary unit of the Dominican Republic is the Dominican peso. Its symbol is RD$. The peso is divided into 100 cents. In circulation are coins of 1, 5, 10 and 25 pesos. The currency note is in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000 and 2,000 pesos.

When making purchases, remember that all prices are marked in pesos and that you can ALWAYS pay with local money. Knowing the official exchange rate, which is published daily in the newspapers, could make it advantageous for you to pay in American dollars. As a general rule, you obtain greater security and a more favorable exchange rate at major commercial banks, which are legally required to place the official exchange rate for the day in public view. For your convenience, there are often currency exchanges in hotels; these are also required to place for public view the daily exchange rate. Most hotels, restaurants and businesses accept major credit cards, and cardholders are charged the official exchange rate at the time of the transaction.

www.bancentral.gov.do

Customs Regulations

30

Personal luggage or other personal items generally clear customs without much difficulty. You are entitled to bring 2 liters of liquor, 200 cigarettes, your laptop, and medication under prescription. However, depending on where your flight originated, and on the “tourist


sensibility” of the customs officer, you may either be waved through the entire process or undergo a cursory inspection of your luggage, with the full authorization of Dominican law. If you are on a business trip, on vacation or traveling for health reasons, everything will undoubtedly turn out well. If, on the contrary, you are part of a group that is smuggling firearms, explosives, drugs or other illegal substances, you will probably find yourself face-to-face with an INTERPOL agent. According to Act. 50-88 on drug enforcement in the Dominican Republic: “For the purposes of the present legislation, the following are defined as narcotic drugs: • Opium in all its forms and all its by-products (alkaloids, salts, compounds, synthetic preparations or replacements). • Heroin. • Coca (Erythroxylum Coca). • Cocaine, its by-products, synthetic replacements or any other compound whose base it is used as. • All plants of the Cannabinacea Family and those by-products having narcotic or stimulating properties, such as: Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Sativa, Marijuana and other herbs which present similar properties.

Ladies Traveling Alone Women can either walk or take a taxi to museums, restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, or shopping centers. There are no newspaper listings of fashion shows, cultural activities, conferences and art exhibitions. If you wish to visit tourist hot spots, ask your hotel.

Traveling with Your Pet The Department of Animal Health requires the following documentation for any pets being brought into the country:

Cats and Dogs • Complete vaccination certificate signed by a certified vet. • A health certificate from the Office of Animal Health. • Anti-rabies vaccine, triple vaccine (distemper, lectopirosis, hepatitis) and Parvo-virus vaccine certificates showing inoculations 15 days prior to the arrival date of the animal.

Severe sanctions are applied to those people who do not comply with the above-mentioned legal provisions.

Dominican Republic

31


Pets not meeting these requirements will be quarantined for at least eight days or up to one month, depending on the country of origin. For all other types of animals, special authorization should be sought from and issued by la Dirección General de Ganadería (Department of Animal Husbandry). 809-535-9689. Prior to your departure, be sure to obtain:

Nuptial Celebration in the Dominican Republic Most hotels and resorts listed in our Directory offer special wedding and honeymoon packages conveniently personalized and customized to make the pre-nuptial and honeymoon celebrations a memorable experience for all couples.

• A health certificate from the Office of Animal Health. • Health certificate issued • Vaccination Certificate. • Any other certificate required by the country of destiny.

Traveling with Children Most hotels and resorts offer facilities and a wide array of activities to entertain visiting the children and wards of their guests; they also offer trained personnel to care for them during their parents’ absence.

Holidays January 1: New Year’s Day January 6: Day of the Magic kings January 21: Our Lady of Altagracia January 26: Duarte Day February 27: Independence Day Moveable: Good Friday May 1: International Workers Day

32

Moveable: Corpus Christi July: Merengue Festival August 16: Restoration Day September 24: Our Lady of las Mercedes October 12: Colombus Day November 6: Constitution Day December 25: Christmas Day


Viva Whyndam Resorts offer different “Wedding Packages” so that you can celebrate the wedding of your dreams at their luxurious hotels. A wedding organized by this exclusive resort chain includes exquisite details such as a décor with wild flowers, photography services, the rooms, the wedding reception, a decorated carriage for the groom and the bride, the wedding cake, the bride’s bouquet, spa services, among many other amenities. Date reservations should be made one month in advance, enough time to arrange the services with a Civil Registry Judge.

as their valid passports and those of any accompanying foreign witnesses. Please remember that such documents must be translated into Spanish upon arrival in the Dominican Republic. It is recommended that all the requisites should be confirmed at the time you make your hotel reservations. 

For a marriage to be authorized, the groom and the bride must bring a notarized statement attesting to their marital status and certified in the Dominican consulate in their country of origin. If previously married, they must bring a legalized copy of the divorce decree, as well

Dominican Republic

33


Media In Santo Domingo, there are six morning newspapers published: Diario Libre, El Caribe, El Dia, El Nuevo Diario, Hoy, and Listin Diario; one evening paper: El Nacional; and two weekly magazines: Clave and Primicias. All of them may be accessed through the digital network, as well as through www.dr1.com, an influential digital media published in English. The www.dominicanway.com portal encompasses a wide range of tourism information about the Dominican Republic, which is available in ten different languages. At a national level, there are 390 AM / FM radio stations, 44 VHF / UHF television channels, and satellite channels operating through cable TV. The Caribbean Travel Network (CTN) offers tourist information 24-7 through Channel 30 of Telecable Nacional.

Telecommunications As a result of its telecommunications quality, the Dominican Republic enjoys one of the first positions in Latin America. The country holds permanent communications with any other part of the world through the Internet and other direct circuits. The main telecommunication companies provide Rent a Phone services for mobile phones, with plans specially designed for holidays or business trips, all of which include the possibility to make both local and international calls. Moreover, from the 34

hotels, restaurants, shopping centers and main avenues in the cities, it is possible to have access to a wireless connection. AT&T is the main carrier in the country, offering services for long-distance international calls through CODETEL and TRICOM; and All American Cables & Radio is the operator of the Viva. Besides, Orange, through France Telecom Dominicana, offers the widest mobile digital network in the whole country. You can also visit www.godominicanrepublic.com and www.sectur.gob.do for further official tourism information and promotion of our country, available in ten different languages.

Serenades, a beautiful way of spiritual communication In our country, serenades are among Dominican traditions, as they have proved to be a beautiful means of spiritual communication, through which a man in love can express his feelings to the beloved woman. Although urbanism has made it more difficult for the night troubadour to sing his love song in front of the lady’s window, this tradition still prevails in the neighborhoods of the capital city and villages in the interior of the country, as well as in the rural area. Serenades are still widely thought to be the most romantic and simple way to say... “I love you”.


TAXI BAVARO • Bávaro - Punta Cana  809-552-0617 / 809-221-2741  809-552-0505  www.siutratural.com AERO TAXI • Rocco Cochía 38  809-686-1212  809-689-1212  809-221-0210  comella4@hotmail.com

TAXIS TAXI PARAISO  809-567-6826  809-683-9000 TAXI ANACAONA  809-530-4800  809-531-1212

Ground Transportation The metropolitan area of the city of Santo Domingo has an efficient, permanent, and secure public transportation service that is overseen and regulated by the Metropolitan Transit Services (OMSA). Eight regular routes are serviced by gray Mercedes Benz buses, while semi-express routes are serviced by yellow Volvo BUSCAAR buses, which take you from your embarkation point to your destination at a rate of RD$5 and RD$10 respectively. These buses are air conditioned and run every 12 minutes from 6:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Taxi cabs which offer tourist services in Santo Domingo are easily found in ports, airports, the Colonial Area, and at any hotel where you can also find a list of regular fares. Those vehicles are cream-colored and you can identify them with a code in their doors assigned by the State Department of Tourism as TOURIST TAXI. When you need transportation to and from ports and airports try to agree on the fare in advance to avoid problems and ask for the chauffeur’s identification before entering the car. Not all vehicles that serve the routes in the city and in the interior towns use meters, but the rates are fixed according to the distance, regardless of the number of passengers in the vehicle. Another less conventional method of transportation is the “moto-concho”. This form of transport is

very dangerous and insurance companies do not offer coverage for its passengers. It is therefore highly recommended that you not use this form of transportation. This year, the metropolitan area has welcomed the opening of the North-South route of the Santo Domingo Metro, which runs 15 kilometers through the city, stopping at 16 stations located at strategic points, and which also encompasses a secondary service of safe and efficient public transport, offered and regulated by the Land Transport Development Fund (FONDET). See road map. Most hotels and tour operators provide airport transportation for their customers. Additionally, all airports have car rental offices and facilities. Car rental agencies formalize rental contracts only upon the presentation of a credit card. The minimum requisite age is 25 years. A valid driver’s license from the country of origin or an international driver’s license must also be presented. Driving is on the right-hand side. Gas stations measure fuel by the American gallon. Tolls are paid on expressways. For inter-city transportation – express service or with regular stops – reputable companies have been offering for many years now secure and efficient services aboard comfortable, airconditioned buses. 

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Av. Independencia 654  809-687-7997  809-687-7263  reservaciones@nellyrac.com  www.nellyrac.com

AVIS • Abraham Lincoln  809-535-7191  809-535-1747  reservaciones@avis.com.do  www.avis.com

EUROPCAR • Independencia 354  809-688-2121  809-688-0808  europcar.sdq@codetel.net.do  www.europcar.com.do

BUDGET • J. F. Kennedy  809-566-6666  809-567-0177  reservaciones@budget.com.do  www.budget.com

HONDA • J. F. Kennedy / P. Salcedo  809-567-1015  809-541-0039  hondarentcar@codetel.net.do  www.hondarentcar.com

DOLLAR • Independencia 366  809-221-7368  809-221-7270  reservaciones@dollar.com.do  www.dollar.com.do

NATIONAL-ALAMO • Próceres 41  809-562-1444  809-227-9015  nationalcar.dr@grupoambar.com  www.nationalcar.com

Santo Domingo Metro Route Stations Above-ground Line Subway Line 1. Villa Mella (Marañón). 2. Cerros de Buena Vista II. 3. La Paz. 4. Hermanas Mirabal. 5. Parque Mirador Norte. 6. Isabela (En la antigua Cementera). 7. Av. Nicolás de Ovando con Máximo Gómez. 8. Cementerio de la avenida Máximo Gómez. 9. Café Induban. 10. Máximo Gómez con Kennedy. 11. Máximo Gómez con 27 de Febrero. 12. Teatro Nacional. 13. Secretaría de Estado de Educación. 14. Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD). 15. Dominico Americano. 16. Centro de los Héroes. 36


DISTANCE CHART


AIRPORT DIRECTORY NAME

IATA CODE

Aeropuerto Internacional de Las Américas Dr. José Fco. Peña Gómez AILA-JFPG

SDQ

ICAO CODE MDSD

LOCATION Santo Domingo

PHONE NUMBER 809-947-2225

Aérodromo El Portillo

EPS

MDPO

Samaná

809-530-1310

Aeropuerto Internacional de La Isabela Dr. Joaquín Balaguer

JBQ

MDJB

Santo Domingo

809-826-4019

Aeropuerto Internacional de La Romana

LRM

MDLR

La Romana

809-813-9000

Aeropuerto Internacional del Cibao

STI

MDST

Santiago

809-233-8000

Aeropuerto Internacional de Barahona María Montés

BRX

MDBH

Barahona

809-524-4144

Aeropuerto Internacional de Puerto Plata Gregorio Luperón

POP

MDPP

Puerto Plata

809-291-0000

Aeropuerto Internacional PUNTACANA

PUJ

MDPC

Punta Cana

809-959-2376

Aeropuerto Internacional Presidente Juan Bosh

AZS

MDCY

Samaná

809-338-5888

Aeropuerto Doméstico de Cabo Rojo

CBJ

MDCR

Pedernales

809-530-1310

Aeropuerto Doméstico 14 de Junio de Constanza

COZ

mdcz

"Constanza, La Vega"

809-530-1310

Aeropuerto Doméstico de Monte Cristi Osvaldo Vigil

MTC

MDMC

Monte Cristi

809-530-1310

Aeropuerto Doméstico de San Juan de la Maguana

SJM

MDSJ

"Sabana de la Mar, Hato Mayor"

809-530-1310

Aeropuerto Doméstico de Sabana de la Mar

SNX

MDSM

"Sabana de la Mar, Hato Mayor"

809-530-1310

MDAB

Samaná

809-248-2719

MDSI

Santo Domingo

809-688-3333

Aeropuerto Doméstico Arroyo Barril Base de la Fuerza Aérea de San Isidro

SDX

For more information: www.departamentoaeroportuario.gob.do

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Transport Interurban Caribe Tours Expresso Bávaro Metro Expreso

 809-221-4422  809-682-9670  809-227-0101

Guaguas (Bus) OMSA  Corredor 27 de Febrero. Origin: km. 13 Autopista Duarte. Destino: Hipódromo V Centenario, Autopista Las Américas.  Corredor Norte J F. Kennedy. Origin: Terminal OMSA, km. 9 1/2 Autopista Duarte. Destination: El Tamarindo, Parque Industrial Nueva Isabela.  Corredor Sur (Av. Independencia). Origin: Hipódromo V centenario. Destino: Muelle de Haina.

Metro de Santo Domingo.

 Corredor Los Ríos. Route: Los RíosNúñez de Cáceres-Independencia-W. Churchill-Los Ríos.  Corredor Los Alcarrizos. Origin: Hato Nuevo, Los Alcarrizos. Destination: Muelle de Haina.  Corredor Charles de Gaulle. Origin: Av. Hermanas Mirabal. Destino: Hipódromo V Centenario.  Corredor Naco. Origin: Terminal Omsa, Km 9.5 de la Autopista Duarte. Destination: Terminal Omsa, Km. 9.5 de la Autopista Duarte.  Corredor Central Máximo Gómez. Norte - Sur. Origin: Av. Charles de Gaulle. Destino: Centro de Los Héroes.


Gastronomy The Dominican Republic boasts many cozy and comfortable eating establishments that are headed by competent chefs whose skills and service will satisfy the most demanding palate. Each restaurant carries an international menu, in addition to its own specialty. Conceivably you can enjoy culinary delights from Germany, the Middle-East, Argentina, Spain, France, Italy, the Mediterranean, Mexico and the Oriental. Above all, however, feast on some our exotic local specialties. As a general rule, restaurants accept major international credit cards. • Tips By law, an 16% sales tax (ITBIS) and a 10% service charge are added to the bill. An additional tip may be added if service was particularly special or excellent.

Typical and Regional Cuisine The typical Dominican kitchen is very rich and varied. The most common meal known as “La bandera” (the flag) consists of white rice, beans, meat, vegetables, and fried, ripe plantains or “fritos verdes”(which are nothing other than green plantains fried in a special way). The Dominican sancocho is a gastronomic derivative of the Spanish cocido (stew), and each region of the country has its peculiar way of preparing 40

it. Do not leave without tasting a “sancocho prieto”, made of seven different local meats. It is a respectable and respected dish. If time permits, we suggest you try other regional specialties. Samaná’s pescado con coco (fish cooked in a coconut milk sauce) for example, or chivo de Azua (goat dish from Azua) and chivo liniero (goat dish from the north western region), which has an exquisite, peculiar taste because the goat eats wild oregano daily and consequently, its meat is seasoned while the animal is alive. Also the delicious “puerco en puya” (pit-smoked pork), meat pies in leaves and “chicharrones de pollo” (deep-fried pieces of chicken). All these and many more dishes, like green banana and yuca mofongos, and the famous soups that “revive death”, can be savored in D’Luis Parillada restaurant, for authentic Dominican gastronomy. Johnny Cakes and mangú, the gastronomic legacy of Windward and Leeward island immigrants, are part of our daily diet. You can order the former from the fritureras (women who sell fried food) or on beaches as “yaniqueques”. The mangú (a purée made of boiled green plantains) is a popular native breakfast, menu time in most hotels. It is


highly recommended for “tourist’s illness” (diarrhea), known locally as “Caonabo’s revenge.” The casabe (flat and round cassava bread) and catibías (cassava flour fritters stuffed with meat) are Taíno foods we maintain in the typical Dominican diet. Those who enjoy natural food should know that cassava bread has a high content of vegetable fiber and less than 0.35% fat per portion. Casabe seldom goes bad, and it may be purchased in almost all the colmados (small grocery stores) and supermarkets in the country. In the presidential palace, and in hotels and restaurants offering native foods, it is served as a substitute for bread.

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Dominican Locrio This native preparation of rice is the missing link of the Valencian paella (rice dish with meat, fish, seafood and vegetables). Apparently, the Spanish ladies who arrived here at the time of the conquest, bereft of the ingredients for a paella, adapted the recipe to the ingredients found on the island. For example, they substituted annatto for saffron; and giving free rein to their imagination, they created a basic formula from which emerged the delicious Dominican locrio. In our country, locrio is made with the most varied ingredients. For this reason it is considered the most versatile dish of the native kitchen, allowing us to create, with a little rice and whatever else is at hand, an exquisite meal for our special guests.

The Siesta Habit The native Dominican still takes a nap after lunch. If time permits, take a momentary vacation, and let yourself sway in a hammock for about ten or fifteen minutes after lunch. You will understand why it is so difficult for us to get rid of this habit. When on the contrary, you believe a walk will aid your digestion, take a tour of the colonial district and walk in the footsteps of the historical legacy of Santo Domingo conserves and exposes in its legendary monuments. At this time of the day, the oldest streets of the city of the Americas are all yours. ď ą

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Restaurant Directory The city of Santo Domingo has many comfortable and beautiful restaurants capable of satisfying the most demanding palate. Especialities 1 2 3 4

American Cuisine Latin American Mexican Steakhouses

 Reservations t Air Conditioned Facilities

5 6 7 8

Local Cuisine Spanish French / Swiss International

ADRIAN TROPICAL . . . . . . . . . . . . 809-566-8373 A. Lincoln esp. Rafael Augusto Sánchez t 5 AKA SUSHI BAR . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-338-0099 Lope de Vega 48, Naco t 12 Japonesa ANDREW JACKSON STEAK HOUSE . . .  809-540-1114 Gustavo M. Ricart 130 t 4 BELLA CRISTAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-540-2923 Roberto Pastoriza 458, Piantini t 12 BOCA MARINA . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-523-6702 Prolongación Duarte 12-A, Boca Chica 8-10 BOGA BOGA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-472-0950 Bolívar 203 t 5-8 CAFFE MILANO . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-540-3000 Av. Tiradentes 11 t 9 CASA VICENTE . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-563-7665 Carlos Sánchez y Sánchez 15, Naco t 6 CHEF PEPPER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-565-4068 Gustavo Mejía Ricart 62 t 4 CITRON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-542-1111 Al Lincoln 258 t 8 D’ LUIS PARRILLADA . . . . . . . . . .  809-689-7115 George Washington 25 t 4 EL CANTABRICO . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-687-5101 A. Independencia 54 t 6 EL CONUCO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-686-0129 Casimiro de Moya 152 5 EL PELICANO . . . . . . . . .  809-523-4611 ext.746 Duarte 1, Boca Chica 8-10 EL SITIO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-683-4848 Gustavo M. Ricart, Plaza Andalucía I t 8 FRIDAY’S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-955-8443 W. Churchill 25, Acrópolis Center t 1 HARD ROCK CAFE . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-686-7771 Calle El Conde 103, Zona Colonial t 1

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9 Italian 10 Seafood 11 Canadian 12 Oriental

13 14 15 16

Vegetarian Mediterranean Middle-Eastern New World Cuisine

HUE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-338-4440 Manuel de Jesús Troncoso 24, esq. Andrés J. Aybar t 8 IBERIA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-531-7694 Miguel Monclús 165, Mirador Norte t 6-10 IL CAPUCCINO . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-682-8006 Máximo Gómez 60, La Esperilla t 9 JARDIN DEL EMBAJADOR . . . . . . . .  809-221-6290 Hotel Embajador t 8-14 LA BRICIOLA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-688-5055 Arz. Meriño 152 A, Zona Colonial t 2 MESON DE LA CAVA . . . . . . . . . . .  809-533-2818 Mirador del Sur, Angus Beef t 4-5-6-8-9-10-16 MITRE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-472-1787 Av. Abraham Lincoln 1001 t 8 MITRE CAP CANA . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-469-7010 Marina Cap Cana t 8 NEPTUNO’S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-523-4703 Duarte 12, Boca Chica t 8-10 PEPPERONI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-508-1330 Sarasota, Plaza Universitaria t 8-9-12 RANCHO STEAK HOUSE . . . . . . . . .  809-535-4817 Autopista 30 de Mayo t 4 Angus Beef SAPORI D’ ITALIA . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-683-5691 Max Henríquez Ureña 29 t 9 SHISH KABAB . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-5562737 C/ Castillo Márquez 32, La Romana t 15 SOPHIA'S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-620-1001 Paseo de los Locutores 9, Piantini t 8 STEAK HOUSE CAFE . . . . . . . . . . .  809-549-5505 Gustavo Mejía Ricart 52 t 4 TABOO BAMBOO . . . . . . . . . . . . .  809-227-2727 Roberto Pastoriza 313, , Plaza Uris t 8-12-16 VESUVIO TIRADENTES . . . . . . . . .  809-562-6060 Tiradentes 17 t 4-5-8-9-10-14


What to buy It is possible to buy almost anything here; and at better prices than you would find elsewhere. Globalization has brought us, among many other things, the “malls”, which are also called commercial plazas In Santo Domingo, other urban centers and vacation resorts, there are numerous commercial plazas and specialty stores that carry the latest in such national and international brand name items as Benetton, Façonnable, Gap, Guess, Jacadi, Liz Clairbone, Ralph Lauren, and Versace. Dominican-spun designers who enjoy great prestige include Oscar de la Renta, Leonel Lirio and Sully Bonnelly, among others. La Casa Virginia and Jenny Polanco offer affordable, custommade, linen dresses fitted with amber buttons. There are also specialty stores that carry lingerie, intimate apparel, socks, and fine leather.

Art “To know a country’s art is to know its people, and also the emotions of the artists who have created it.” A visit to art galleries will bring you to a greater discovery and appreciation of the native art of the Dominican Republic. Far from the popular, pseudoprimitive artifacts that abound on other Caribbean islands, ours is an art form 46

that shares a quintessential kinship with the works of such renowned Dominican artists as Guillo Pérez, Ramón Oviedo, Alberto Ulloa, Cándido Bidó, Rosa Tavárez, Ada Balcácer, and many others. The Dominican School of Plastic Arts (located at the corner of El Conde Street and Isabel La Católica) maintains a permanent exhibit in small and medium formats. In addition to their affordable prices, these are guaranteed to be authentic pieces. For further information, contact the School of Plastic Arts at  809-685-6985. Do you wish to leave this country with a memento of refined craftsmanship? In both rural and urban areas, our people’s collective artistic expression is usually manifested in the production of crafts. Each region expresses its style and specialty in a variety of artifacts that are available throughout the major commercial centers of Santo Domingo, as well as in the hinterland and tourist centers. Special places of interest are: Mercado Modelo, El Conde street, Las Atarazanas, and Casa de Bastidas, where a wide choice of crafts made by local artists are sold: horn, wood, leather, snail shell, amber and larimar articles; pottery, ceramics, baskets, embroidery, and locally-manufactured cotton fabrics. No matter what you do, do not leave the country without


Shopping Centers

Bella Vista Mall Av. Sarasota 62, Bella Vista  809-255-0664  809-255-0666  bellavistamall@codetel.net.do  www.bellavistamallrd.com The place where you find everything! Acrópolis Winston Churchill esp. Julio A. Aybar  809-955-2020  www.acropolisdr.com

Mega Centro Carretera Mella / Av. San Vicente de Paul  809-236-7660 www.megacentrord.com

Americana Departamentos J. F. Kennedy  809-549-7777  info@americanadepartamentos.com  www.americana.com.do

Multicentro Churchill Av. Winston Churchill / G. Mejía Ricart  809-472-4444  www.gruporamos.com  www.tiendaslasirena.com

Diamond Mall Av. Los Próceres, Arroyo Hondo, Cuesta Hermosa  809-412-2189 Hache Plaza J. F Kennedy  809-566-1111  www.hache.com.do

a typical mahogany and guano (palm frond) rocking chair, already packed for easy shipping. For a one-stop shopping, you may check out the Casa de las Mecedoras and Muebles Von. Other valued objects are cigars, jewelry, rum, Santo Domingo coffee, bon marmalade, and CDs of the latest Latin music hits.

Amber This national gem, known as the “gem of the centuries”, is the quintessential encapsulation of nature’s myriad attributes: the entrapment of millennia-old fossils of the tertiary age. Amber contains electrical energy that is manifested by the attraction it produces when it is rubbed against light objects. Cognisant of its physical attributes, the ancient Taínos considered it a potent panacea to counteract negative energy and often wore it as an amulet. According to tradition, however, the

Plaza Central 27 de Febrero esq. Winston Churchill  809-872-0352  publimercadeoplazacentral@gmail.com Plaza Naco Tiradentes/Fantino Falco  809-683-2820

gem’s magical attributes remain dormant unless it is received as a gift. Make the most of your stay and bring home to your love ones a jewel as a souvenir of your visit. There aren’t many places in the world where you can buy amber and larimar, the Dominican turquoise. One of the biggest deposits worldwide is located in the Amber Coast and only in our country can you find mines of blue, red and black amber, which are classified among the more desirable varieties. The exhibition and sale of the finest amber and larimar jewels are in Santo Domingo, in the Museum of Ambar and Larimar, located in an old house in Zona Colonial. The Christi House from London auctioned and sold a piece of amber from the Dominican Republic, with a pre-historic lizard captured and preserved, intact, in its interior. It sold for US$130,000. The export of rough amber is restricted. 

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Where to go Our Beaches Perhaps there is no better of providing our readers with a more objective appraisal of our beaches than to borrow the experts below a from United Nations report on our beaches and coasts: “Of all the tourist beaches in the world, few are blessed with such beautiful grains of sand or crystal-clear waters. The beaches are strewn with granules of sand that are so white that they seem nearly magical, fantastic. Without question, they must rank among the best in the world.” The choice is yours! You may bask in the magic of our unspoiled, virgin Atlantic shores to the north. Or you may lull yourself to wonderland with the white sands of our southern shores, alternately kissed and teased by the crystalline waters of the Caribbean Sea.

National Parks Designated and managed as the national parks system are: urban parks and recreational areas, natural habitats, and zoological/botanical reserves where the country’s flora and fauna are protected. The Dirección Nacional de Parques (National Parks Office) is the institution in charge of the development, administration, organization, and

48

maintenance of all natural and recreational areas. Its principal objective is to conserve our natural resources as well as preserve our ecological patrimony for the perennial enjoyment of present and future generations. The natural areas and scientific reserves are composed of, among others: The J. Armando Bermúdez National Parks, José del Carmen Ariza, Nacional del Este, Los Haitises, Isla Cabritos, Sierra de Bahoruco, Montecristi and lastly, Jaragua, which is the largest in the country, and the Scientific Reserve Ébano Verde, located in the province of La Vega, which is representative of a very wet sub-tropical forest ecosystem, with an average annual temperature of 12oC/23 oC. There, the visitor can see many species of flora and fauna endemic to our island; the source of Camú and Jatubey rivers; taking a refreshing swim in El Arroyazo, one of the most important affluent of the river Jimenoa; touring by mountain bike around the surrounding mountains; camping in the forest or having a relaxing trekk through the El Sendero Baño de Nube.

National Botanical Gardens All known species of the island’s flora have been collected, classified and exhibited at the Museo de Historia Natural (Museum of Natural History) as well as at the Jardín Botánico Nacional


(National Botanical Garden). The latter resembles a huge emerald island amidst the surrounding urban development. It also bears the name of the prominent Dominican botanist, Dr. Rafael M. Moscoso, founder of the Botanical Institute of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo.

a beautiful, lilac-colored variety that adorns most of our coastal areas. The National Botanical Garden issues the “notin-danger-of-extinction” certificate that is necessary to export these.  809-385-2611.  www.jbn-sdq.org

More than any other native flora, the orchid has been the most studied specimen. Indeed, the term “orchid” is a broad botanical designation covering some 67 major species throughout the island, and 300 classified miniature, rare species. The latter come in fascinating shapes of all kinds, a feature that makes this jewel of nature particularly attractive to collectors. Among them are: oncidium henekenii, shaped like a small tarantula; polyradicium lindeníi, shaped like a toad; oncidium variegatum shaped like a little angel; leonchilus labiatus shaped like a little nun; and, broughtonia domingensii,

The Dominican Republic, as a territory in the Caribbean, is endowed with a varied yet peculiar range of animal life. A taxonomy of the island’s fauna shows a predominance of the lower species, a rich bird population, and few native mammals.

National Zoo

Among the most interesting native species are the rock-climbing iguanas, of the cyclura type; the hutias, rodents of the solenodon and plagidontia types; the American crocodile, cocodryluys americanus acatus, and our “cigua palmera,” all examples of groups and species exclusive of our Antillean region.

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In terms of native terrestrial mammals, there are only two species of the aforementioned hutias— both are an endangered species of great biological value. Other species of our bird population are: the guaraguao (red-tailed hawk), the zumbador (hummingbird), the barrancolí, the flautero, and the parrots of the Amazona ventralis type, that have been a part of our daily lives well before the Iberian advent, and finally

the cigua palmera Dulus Dominicus, the national bird. Of the island’s foreign species, the manatee and the whale, both amphibious mammals, are the most exceptional. The humpback whale in particular migrates each winter from the frigid Arctic waters to give birth to its young along the Banco de la Plata (Silver Bank)— approximately 35 miles northeast of the community of Cabrera, in Dominican territorial waters.

Museums Directory

Name Panteón Nacional Convento de los Dominicos Hard Rock Café Museo Dominicano Larimar Alcázar de Diego Colón Museo Mundo del Ámbar Museo Bellapart

Address

Phone

Cover

Calle Las Damas

809-682-0185

No cover

C/ El conde 103

809-686-7771

No cover

Isabel la Católica 54 Esq. P. Billini

809-689-6605

No cover

Zona Colonial, Plaza España

809-682-4750

Cover

A. Meriño 452 Esq. Restauración

809-686-5700

Cover

Jonh F. Kennedy Esq. Luis Lembert, 5 piso

809-541-7721

No cover

No cover

C/ Hostos Esq. Paseo padre Billini

Dr. Pedro Henríquez Ureña

809-221-9111

No cover

Galería de Arte Moderno

Pedro H. Ureña, Plaza de la Cultura

80-685-2154

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Museo de Historia Natural

Pedro H. Ureña, Plaza de la Cultura

809-689-0106

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Zona Colonial

809-682-4750

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Museo de Historia y Geografía

Pedro H. Ureña, Plaza de la Cultura

809-686-6668

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Museo del Hombre Dominicano

Pedro H. Ureña, Plaza de la Cultura

809-687-3622

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A. Meriño, Esq. Padre Billini

809-689-5000

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Isabel la Católica Esq. Emiliano Tejera

80-687-4722

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Museo Numismático y Filatélico

Altar de la Patria

Casa de Tostado Museo Casa del Cordón Museo de Duarte Museo Infantil Trampolín Museo del Dibujo Contemporáneo

Isabel la Católica 308

809-687-1436

Las Damas, Ciudad Colonial

809-685-5551

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Rafel A. Sánchez 53, Piantini, 3er piso

809-563-7860

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Las Damas Esq. Mercedes

809-682-4202

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Museo de la Porcelana

José Reyes 6, Ciudad Colonial

809-688-4759

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Centro Cultural E. León Jiménez

27 de Febrero 146, Santiago

809-582-2315

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A. Meriño, Plaza Colón

809-682-6593

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Extremo oeste Malecón, Puerto Plata

809-330-8876

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Boulevard del Faro, Villa Duarte, Sto. Dgo.

809-591-1492

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Museo de las Casas Reales

Catedral Primada de América Museo Fortaleza de San Felipe Faro a Colón

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Most species of the Dominican fauna are on exhibit at the Museo de Historia Natural (Museum of Natural History), the Acuario Nacional (National Aquarium), and the Parque Zoológico Nacional (National Zoological Park). In parks where the animals are allowed some freedom to roam about, park rangers escort and supervise visitors.  809-562-3149.  www.zoodom.gov.do For an opportunity to observe the animals and plants in their natural habitat, an excursion may be arranged by calling the Sub-Secretaría de Estado de Áreas Protegidas y Biodiversidad (Protected Areas and Biodiversity).  809-472-4204.

Cultural Plaza The Plaza de la Cultura (Cultural Plaza), just as its name suggests, is a cultural center located in the heart of Santo Domingo. Its design and layout make its facilities easily accessible from three of the city’s major arteries: Ave. Máximo Gómez, Pedro Henríquez Ureña and César Nicolás Penson. The modern buildings complex houses the Biblioteca Nacional (National Library), the Cinemateca Nacional (National Film Library), the Galería de Arte Moderno (Gallery of Modern Art), the Museo de Historia Natural (Museum of Natural History), Museo de Historia y Geografía (Museum of History and Geography), Museo del Hombre Dominicano (Museum

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of Dominican History), and the Teatro Nacional (National Theater). A visit to the Cultural Plaza is more than just a pleasant stroll; it is a walk through Dominican culture and history. M/D 9:00 a.m. a 6:00 p.m  809-686-2472

National Theater The Teatro Nacional (National Theater) is a modern building located in the very heart of the Cultural Plaza. The main auditorium can hold 1,700 patrons in comfortably designed seats that allows for optimal viewing from any seat. Its state-of-the-art modulated acoustics system can authentically transmit a whisper from stage to audience. Should your stay coincide with the theater season, it would be worthwhile attending a performance.  809-687-3191. Other places that present ballets, plays, international festivals, exhibitions and experimental theater are: Palacio de Bellas Artes Máximo Gómez / Independencia  809-682-1325.  www.bellasartes.gov.do Casa de Teatro Arz. Meriño 110,  809-689-3430.  www.casadeteatro.com

Sports and Recreation The Dominican Republic is a unique tourist destination in the Caribbean. Its benign climate allows you to watch 52

or participate in a variety of sports and recreational activities year-round. Throughout the country’s vacation and tourist hubs, different excursions to various sports activities and tournaments are regularly organized. Professional and amateur baseball is the number one sporting activity in the Dominican Republic. Our hearts fill with imperishable pride each time we reminisce about the epic achievements of a Juan Marichal, US baseball hall-offame inductee, and those of such major league baseball superstars as Sammy Sosa and Pedro Martínez. Season: From October to January  www.lidom.com. The annual international calendar of sporting events that are celebrated in the country is very extensive. In Santo Domingo there are many good sporting facilities for practicing basketball, boxing, fencing, judo, karate, tennis, billiards and bowling, which are practiced in the Olympic Center, Coliseo Carlos Teo Cruz, Sebelén Bowling Center. The Cartodromo (karting racetrack), the Autodromo (car racetrack) and the 5th Centenary Hipodromo (horse racetrack) are located in front of the Caribbean Sea. The two latter, 16 km from Las Americas Expressway. For golf lovers the country offers a great amount of 18-hole golf courses designed by the most renowned golf players and designers in the world such as Pete Dye, in Casa de Campo, Robert Trent Jones, in Playa Dorada, and Jack Nicklaus, in Cap Cana. They are among the best in the world according to Golf Magazine.


In the Nacional District you can play golf at the Santo Domingo Country Club -a private club where only people invited by members are admitted- Isabel Villas and Las Lagunas. In the Eastern region –in Juan Dolio, to be more precise– we can find the Guavaberry Resort & Country Club, Los Marlins Metro Country Club, and Costa Blanca designed by Greg Norman. In La Romana and within the famous Casa de Campo, visitors can enjoy La Romana Country Club –a private club with exclusive entrance by member invitation–, Los Links, and Dientes de Perro; Dye Fore in Altos de Chavon, in addition to the new nine holes offered by this heavenly place. Moving ahead to Bavaro, we can find (by order of appearance along the road) the Catalonia Golf Club, the Bavaro Golf Course of Barcelo Hotels, Cocotal Golf Club, White Sands, and Punta Blanca. Heading for Punta Cana, we can

discover the Punta Cana Golf Club, in Punta Cana, and Punta Espada, in Cap Cana. Moreover, in –his area, we should point out Roco Ki –opening soon–, La Estancia and another design by Tom Fazio called Los Corales. In the region of Cibao, Las Aromas Golf Club –18 holes–, in Santiago; Bonao Golf Club, in Bonao; and reaching the mountain area, Jarabacoa Golf Club, in Jarabacoa, these two latter with 9 holes each. In the Northern area we find Costambar –9 holes–, Playa Dorada in Puerto Plata and Playa Grande Golf Club in the Rio San Juan area, this latter one has, maybe, the most spectacular view you can ever imagine. If you would like information regarding tournaments, call the Federación

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Dominicana de Golf (Dominican Golf Federation). 809-383-1007.  www.golfdominicano.com If you a habitual jogger or a walker, there are places in the capital city where you can exercise safely, both at dawn and at dusk: the Centro Olímpico, the Malecón, the Paseo de los Indios or Mirador Sur, Boulevar 27 de Febrero and Boulevar Winston Churchill And The Núñez de Cáceres Enviromental Park. The Cockfighting Club in Santo Domingo located in Luperon Avenue.  809-565-3844,  www.coliseogallistico.org, the season goes from November to July, and cockfights are held on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Polo: Facilities and good coaches are available at Sierra Prieta and Casa de Campo, in La Romana. Information:  809-523-8951. For those intrepid adventurers and for the less daring ones, Rancho Baiguate organizes outings to suit all tastes. The choice of options including kayaking, whitewater rafting, dirt-bike and fourwheel riding, and tubing down the Jimenoa River. It may also include a visit to a coffee factory or an ascent of Pico Duarte. Paragliding— generally beginning from a hill 200 meters above sea level— is an intense, exhilarating experience that allows for the contemplation of nature’s splendor: flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables for your eyes and mind to feast upon throughout the fertile Jarabacoa Valley.

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The impressive countryside that offers locals and visitors the crystalline waters that surround our island, make it a paradise for those who enjoy aquatic sports. Beaches with tranquil waters or with a strong surf, seduce the aficionados and professionals of windsurfing, jetskiing, sailing, sport fishing, deep-sea fishing and diving. Annually, the Marlin Azul (blue marlin) classic, as well as the Dorado and the Marlin Blanco (White marlin) tournament, are held in Cabeza de Toro. Info: Club Náutico de Santo Domingo, in Andrés, Boca Chica.  809-523-4226. For deep-sea fishing and diving, almost all hotels along the littoral offer excursions to the coral reefs, fish sanctuaries, and treasure-laden sunken vessels from the age of high sea piracy. On the Atlantic coast are sites of remarkable beauty that span five provinces, from Montecristi to Samaná. Along the Caribbean coast are La Caleta, Bayahibe, Punta Cana, Bávaro, and the Saona and Catalina islands. Convert sport diving into an unforgettable experience and enjoy the underwater world’s fauna and flora, coral reefs, fish sanctuaries and the treasures of the galleons which sailed our coasts. Specialized companies such as Scubacaribe, present in more than 50 of the most prestigious hotels and resorts in 6 different countries, also offer waterside excursions. 


Our Music Of all the rhythms that have enriched our cultural heritage, the merengue is, par excellence, the collective expression of our people’s very soul. As a popular musical form, it is very dynamic and varies from one generation to the next. Generally sung in our vernacular, we love to move to the thump and beat of this music which, according to the lyrics of a carnival song, pulsates in our every being the urge to: “...dance in the street by day, dance in the street by night.” Merengue is the sum total of the harmonious interplay of güira, the tambora (small drum), and the accordion. Just as in the 19th century, Lanner and Strauss took the waltz from local taverns to the great dance halls and the imperial Austrian theaters, the Dominican merengue has been interpreted by national and foreigndance bands and symphonic orchestras, thanks to the works of important Dominican composers of yesterday and today: Julio Alberto Hernández, Juan Francisco García, José Dolores Cerón, Luis Alberti, Rafael Solano y Bienvenido Bustamante, among others, who have also cultivated the traditional musical forms. Others are: Enrique de Marchena, Luis Mena, Francisco Ignacio, Ramón Díaz, Manuel Simó, Juan Luis Guerra, Michael Camilo y José Antonio Molina.

Interested in listening to CDs of these Creole masters? Contact Fundación Sinfonía (the Symphony Foundation)  809-535-8587 Dominicans love to dance. Father Labat, a French monk who arrived in the capital city in 1795 when Spain ceded the island to France by the Treaty of Basle, made the following profound observation: “Dance is, in Santo Domingo, the favorite passion, and I don’t believe that there is anywhere in the world where a people are more drawn to musical vibrations.” Labat’s observation is very apt. Singing is probably the only phenomenon which can rival dancing as food for the Dominican’s soul. To this day, it is customary to sing lullabies to infants before they fall asleep. The child grows up amidst singing games, and the practice of singing before work continues well past this age. The adolescent country person sings tunes and cantos de hacha (axe songs) in the conuco (plot of land for cultivation). He chants his prayers and expresses his love in cadenced rhythms no wonder serenading is so popular! And when a child dies in the rural areas, mourners sing dirges that are called the baquiní.

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• Tip• The güira is a typical Dominican instrument that consists of a grater made of latten brass in the shape of a hollow cylinder that, when scratched with a scraper, emits a buzzing rhythmic sound. Our indigenous Indian population used it in the areíto, (Indian ceremonial song and dance). They made it from the attractive fruit of the

Where to go

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Alta Copa . . . . . . 809-532-6405 Atarazana 9 . . . . 809-688-0969 Aura . . . . . . . . . . 809-526-2319 Bistró de París . . . . 809-683-4473 Caffé Milano . . . . . 809-540-3000 Café Teatro . . . . . . 809-688-8173 Café Thesauros . . . 809-508-1114 Cinnamon Café . . . 809-732-8048 Ferro Café . . . . . . 809-540-5718 Friday's . . . . . . . . 809-368-0026 Guácara Taína . . . 809-533-1051 Hard Rock Cafe . . . 809-686-7771 Hue . . . . . . . . . . . 809-338-4440 Jet Set . . . . . . . . . 809-535-4145 La Lupe . . . . . . . . . 809-549-5791 Las Palmas . . . . . . 809-221-3030 Mesón de Bari . . . . 809-687-4091 Mitre . . . . . . . . . . 809-472-1787 Mitre Cap Cana . . 809-469-7010 Montecristo Café . . 809-542-5000 Pepperoni . . . . . . . 809-508-1330 Praia . . . . . . . . . . 809-732-0230 Punto y Corcho . . . 809-683-0533 Red Bar . . . . . . . . 809-476-0782 Retro Café . . . . . . 809-540-3927 Segafredo . . . . . . . 809-685-9569 Steak House Café . 809-566-1039 Taboo Bamboo . . . 809-227-2727 Vesuvio Tiradentes . 809-562-6060 Vetro's Sushi Bar . . . 809-563-4424 Zences . . . . . . . . . 809-542-1111 Zin Lounge . . . . . . 809-473-4200

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gourd, from which they extracted the pulp and then scraped it, to later rhythmically rasp it with a forked stick. There still are pericos ripiaos that use this type of güira. The perico ripiao, a minstrel trio, interprets various popular musical forms in the rural environment. The Dominican tambora (small drum) owes its peculiar sound to having on one side, the hide of an old male goat, tempered with native rum and, on the other, that of a young female goat that has not given birth.

Night Life The pleasant climate, the congeniality of our people, and the overall level of security make for an enviable social life throughout our country. We are a happy and friendly people, and here the night starts with happy hours after work. Discos and nightclubs are usually open from 6 PM. There are nice restaurants, discos, pubs, bohemian bars, and you may choose from different environments and shows according to your preferences and possibilities.


For moviegoers, there is good news. Santo Domingo has modern and comfortable movie theaters such as Acropolis, Broadway Cinemas, Coral Mall, Hollywood Diamond Cinemas, Hollywood Island, Malencon Center, Mega Plex and Palacio del Cine. Most theaters show current box-office attractions. We are generally familiar with big screen, box-office hits. We also know most award-winning movies and actors through the Oscar ceremony that is telecast to us via satellite.

Boulevard of 27 de Febrero, located on the narrow downtown intersection of Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill Avenues. The walk along this miniature cultural enclave will take you to monuments, fashion shows, classical or popular music concerts or to nearby stores. 

However, there is an even more enchanting spectacle that can be enjoyed at no expense to you: a stroll along the Malecón of Santo Domingo. During the carnival celebrations, on New Year’s Day, and every weekend, this ocean-view boulevard is converted into the world’s largest nightclub. Better yet, you may stroll along the attractive

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Santo Domingo The Athens of the New World Santo Domingo de Guzmán, modern and cosmopolitan, was the cradle of civilization in the Americas between the 15th and 16th centuries. Founded by the Admiral Don Bartolomé Colón in August 1496, it is the oldest city in the New World. Its colonial district, the sanctuary of some three hundred monuments, was declared “A World Heritage Site” by UNESCO in 1990. From this colonial core, bordered by the Ozama River along the Port Avenue and the beautiful Malecón (seafront) overlooking the waters of Caribbean Sea, the city extends eastward and westward, and radiates into modern avenues surroundings that are ideal for relaxation and contemplation. We begin our tour of the colonial district through the Calle Las Damas, the oldest street in the first city of the Americas. In our mind’s eye, we chance upon a procession of Doña María de Toledo and her retinue of courtiers. Within walking-distance is the Paseo de Los Nichos (The Walk of Los Nichos), a charming pedestrian walkway named after an illustrious citizen, Dr. Arturo Pellerano Alfáu, founder of Listín Diario, the newspaper. Opposite is a military complex where the Torre del Homenaje (Tower of Homage) stands watch, a solid medieval tower, constructed between 1503 and 1507 by mandate of Nicolás de Ovando.

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It is the oldest fortification in the Americas. Over it have flown, from 1503 to 1925, the flags of seven nations that have militarily occupied the Dominican Republic at various eras. The lyrics of a popular ballad by Padre Vásquez, aptly encapsulates the melancholy and bewilderment of this state of affairs of yesteryear: “Yesterday a Spaniard was I born At dawn’s light I was French by dusk an Ethiopian had I become Today I wear the tag of a British subject Whither am I bound?...”

The fort’s history is full of interesting events. On July 9, 1509, in a ceremony full of pomp and pageantry, Don Diego Colón made his triumphant advent through its portals laden with the titles of Viceroy of the New World, Admiral of the Ocean Sea, First Duke of Veragua, First Marquis of Jamaica and governor of Hispaniola accompanied by his wife, viceregent Maria de Toledo, his uncles Bartolomé and Diego Colón, his brother Fernando, son of Admiral Christopher Columbus, and an entourage of noblemen with their wives and mistresses. In the esplanade is a gigantic statue of Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo, Chronicler of the Indies, who around 1533 wrote within the fort’s ancient walls the “General and Natural History of the Indies.” The Casa de Bastidas is part of the military complex. Indeed, in 1512, Rodrigo de Bastidas was the honorary mayor of Santo


Domingo; and his casona (manor) now serves as offices for cultural institutions and a craft shop. Opposite stands one of the first fifteen structures that were built upon the orders of Ovando in 1504.It is currently the offices of the Sociedad Dominicana de Bibliófilos (Dominican Bibliophilist Society) whose main objective is to rescue, restore and reprint extant primary documents and scholarly works on Dominican history for distribution and dissemination among its members. Westward along sidewalk, after crossing El Conde street, stands what used to be

the home of Hernán Cortés, another of the fifteen houses that were ordered built by Ovando. It is believed that it was here that Cortes, then Santo Domingo’s city clerk, planned his strategy for his punitive expedition against Mexico’s Moctezuma. Next is the Plazoleta María de Toledo, the site of a Sunday flea market. Exuding a rather stern façade, this building was erected between 1714 and 1745 to serve as a temple for the Jesuit Order. It was restored in 1958 and converted into the Panteón Nacional (National Pantheon). The central nave and the lateral chapels are in the shape of a crucifix. At their point

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of intersection is a dome from which a grandiose bronze chandelier is suspended a donation from Spain’s General Francisco Franco as a symbolic contribution of his country to the monument’s restoration.

chapel of the Casa de los Dávila (a prominent family of the colonial settlement) where, at the sound of the Angelus, all the city’s inhabitants gathered to pray in honor of the Incarnation.

Next to the Panteón Nacional is the Casa de los Jesuitas (Abbey of the Jesuits) one of the city’s oldest structures. Commander Nicolás de Ovando ordered its construction in the early 16th century. Formerly the seat of the Universidad de Gorjón (Gorjón University), in 1711 it became the Casa de los Jesuitas (Abbey of the Jesuits).

Close by the chapel stands the sundial, erected in 1753 at the request of Francisco de Rubio y Peñaranda. It continues to mark time accurately even to this day.

The building complex occupies an area of 788 sq. meters. It is joined to the Casa de Villoria and the Casa de las Gárgolas through interior courtyards. Today, it houses branches of the Museo de Las Casas Reales (Museum of the Royal Estates) and the offices of the Fundación Dominicana para el Desarrollo (Dominican Foundation for Development), the institution that financed its restoration. According to Popular lore, strange noises, strange noises said to be those of now departed “good” Jesuits, can be heard. Opposite, are the Casa de los Dávila and the Casa del Comendador de Lares, Nicolás de Ovando, distinguished by the beautiful Gothic-Elizabethan portal, the only one of its kinds in the New World and judged by some art historians as an architectural gem of universal interest. To the side stands the Capilla de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios (Our Lady of Mercies Chapel) a charming building constructed almost entirely of bricks, a place for solitary meditation. It was there, at the private 60

From this Plaza there is a view over the surroundings of the impressive cylinders, a monumental work of modern art in the neighborhood of Villa Duarte made by master Carlos Cruz-Diez who intended to recapture, through the magic of colors, the old silos of Dominican Mills, today known as Molinos del Ozama.

Las Casas Reales, The Royal Estates On the opposite side of the street, the magnificent architectural complex is part of what in colonial times was called the Casas Reales (Royal Estates). There, the Real Audiencia (Royal Audience Chamber) a superior court with jurisdiction in all the New World was established on April 5, 1511 by an edict of King Ferdinand. It later housed the Palacio de los Gobernadores y de la Capitanía General (Mansion of the Governors and the Captains-General). The Real Audiencia circumscribed the limits of authority granted to Viceroy Don Diego Colón. Following the 1795 Spanish cession of eastern Hispaniola to France as part of the treaty of Basle, the Real Audiencia was transferred to Cuba on November 12, 1799.


From the southern facade of the Casas Reales, facing Las Mercedes Street, one can admire the only known coat of arms in the world of Queen Juana de la Castilla, who aptly earned the appelation “Juana la Loca”, wife of Felipe el Hermoso. This artifact is currently on public display at the Museo de las Casas Reales, more than three centuries after Spain’s twilight in Hispaniola. Downhill on Calle Las Damas, to the right, is the Puerta de San Diego. This portal, constructed between 1540 and 1555, allowed to the walled city from the harbor. To the left is the Plaza de la Contratación (The Trading Post) and, continuing to Calle Isabel la Católica, La Casa del Cordón dating to the early 16th century. It is the first residential property to be built in Santo Domingo. Its first owner, Francisco de Garay, arrived with Christopher Columbus on his first voyage. According to the historical records, Garay was also the notary public in Hispaniola; he is also known to have amassed an immense

fortune in real estate. When King Ferdinand appointed Francisco Tapia mayor of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, he also asked Don Diego Colón to vacate his residence at the Torre del Homenaje. Colon then temporarily occupied the Casa del Cordón with his wife and entourage. It was here that his daughters Felipa and María were born in 1510 and 1511respectively. Nowadays, it serves as the offices of the Banco Popular Dominicano, the entity that financed its restoration. It may be visited at no charge.

El Alcázar, The Prince’s Palace A few meters away stands the Alcázar de Colón, grandiose and majestic abode that Don Diego Colón ordered to be constructed as his residence. Construction work on the Alcázar’s began in 1510, with some 1,500 native Taínos laboring under the watchful eye of Spanish architects who were brought to the island for that purpose. Work was accomplished with very rudimentary tools: saws, chisels, and hammers. This magnificent palace, a mix of Gothic-Mudejar and Spanish and Italian

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Renaissance styles, was completed without the use of a single nail in any of its 22 rooms or on any of the 72 doors and windows that, even today, pivot open and shut with the help of huge mahogany crossbars embedded in the thick walls.

The original walls of Alcazar have braved the storms of time and still stand to this day, silent witnesses to the many intrigues, triumphs and agonies that the descendants of Admiral Don Christopher Columbus endured for nearly seven decades.

There, in 1512 and 1513, respectively, Juana and Isabel, the other two daughters of the couple, were born. The adjoining chapel, whose original structure has been preserved, witnessed the marriage of Enriquillo and Mencía were married in 1517.

The Alcázar was the seat of the first Spanish court of the New World and of the tribunal of the viceroyalty. From here, the New World was administered, military strategies were hatched, and expeditions were launched. Ultimately, this nerve-center of power and authority facilitated the colonization of Guatemala, Cuba, Peru, Mexico, Florida, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Jamaica.

Probably an unknown to most people, Enriquillo is to most Dominicans the very incarnation of rebellion against injustice. His personal history is very inspiring. Thanks to one of our greatest novelists, Manuel de Jesús Galván, the epic of his life history, which bears his name, is available as a book. There is certainly much to say about him. However, any introduction would have to begin with the fact that in 1533 one Captain Francisco de Barrionuevo arrived in Hispaniola aboard an imperial manof-war. Under his command were 200 soldiers, and in his hand was a treaty signed by Charles V, that was to become very first diplomatic document between a European power and a New World polity. The document, addressed to Enriquillo, called for the abolition of slavery. This hitherto humble Taíno, who had now become indomitable and proud, and whose strength was inspired by his people’s just claim to respect and dignity, signed the document and placed it on his head as a sign of approval, and immediately ordered his followers to go down the Bahoruco Sierra (mountain) to comply with the treaty. 62

The Palace was restored in 1955 under the direction of the Spanish architect, Javier Barroso.

Las Reales Atarazanas, The Royal Shipyards The brilliance of 15th and 16th-century architectural expression is reflected in the colossal, antiquated buildings of the Atarazanas (shipyards). The narrow streets that barely separate them from the Alcázar de Colón, the admiralty, offer visitors a unique opportunity of recalling an era whose very history is the cornerstone of the heritage of all Americans.


Through its jealously guarded rustic windows, an apparition of a damsel slowly forms albeit an imaginary being. She is clad in the fashion of the age, part of her face is covered with blush as she receives, fan in hand, the illustrious citizens who first established the first Spanish court in the Americas. Opposite the wall, reconstructed in the 20th century, is the magnificent 16th-century monument. It is built entirely of bricks and used to house the Casa de Contrataci贸n (The Trading Post) and the first customs and excise outpost of the New World. The Reales Atarazanas (Royal Shipyards) constitute a grandiose complex, unmatched in its kind in the Americas. Their only nemesis is the

Atarazanas Reales de Barcelona, considered an architectural jewel of the Catalan port. The individual buildings of the Atarazanas are connected through interior courtyards, now home to art galleries, gift shops, restaurants and the offices of the cultural heritage association. The museum of the viceroyalty is also located here; and visitors can see displays of primary documents of historical importance bearing the signatures of Catholic kings Ferdinand and Isabella Past the tower is a beautiful walkway contiguous to where Christopher Columbus moored his caravel on his second voyage to the New World. From here one can see the Faro a Colon (Columbus Lighthouse), a mausoleum that

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holds his mortal remains. Unquestionably, it is the most fitting tribute to his memory.

this very chapel that Juan Pablo Duarte, the country’s founding father, was baptized.

On the east bank of the Ozama River stands the Capilla del Rosario, the city’s oldest church dating back to 1496, when the city, then called New Isabella, was on the other side of the river. There is proof that here, in 1544, Friar Bartolomé de las Casas celebrated mass to bless the expeditionary force that set sail from here to colonize Guatemala.

From its gardens one can view the colonial city from a different perspective. Walking along Arzobispo Meriño Street leads eventually to the Casa de la Moneda y el Monasterio de San Francisco. At the corner of Delmonte y Tejada stand the ruins of the Monasterio de San Francisco (Franciscan monastery), constructed in 1512. It was here that the Taíno named Guarocuya was baptized into the Christian faith and educated. He has gone down in Dominican history under the now famous, cryptic sobriquet “Enriquillo”.

Ascending the slope where the craft shops are located, one comes to Isabel la Católica Street (formerly Calle del Comercio). A right turn at the end of the street leads to a colonial church and a fortress complex, the only one of its kind in the city. The church and Fort Santa Bárbara (as the complex is called) were built around 1574 on a former stone-quarry that supplied the material for most of the colonial city’s monuments. It was also in

Farther along Arzobispo Meriño Street, a right turn on Luperón Street leads to the first hospital in the New World, San Nicolás de Bari. Within its walls stand the first chapel dedicated to the Virgen de la Altagracia (The Virgin of the Most High), patroness of Hispaniola. Constructed in 1503, it has maintained its majestic architectural form through the centuries.

Parque Colón, Columbus Park A leisurely stroll from Arzobispo Meriño to El Conde Street leads to a marketplace of local and foreign products, and to the general and jewelry shops of the colonial district. As we share with our guests the fascinating pages of our country’s history, it is equally important for us to divulge that Hispaniola

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is, after all, the old casona (big house) of the Americas whose secret treasure-trove will continue to enthrall all generations. According to historical census records, the colonial district encompasses some three hundred monuments, churches, street and residences. It would therefore be wise to spread your visit over a couple of trips. However, add to the repertoire of things to see the Cathedral of Santa María of the Incarnation, the first in the Americas and a source of imperishable pride for Dominicans. At a time when renascent classical forms were undergoing a reappraisal in Spain, the architect Alonso de Rodríguez received on May 25, 1510 a royal edict to start construction on a cathedral in Santo Domingo de Guzmán. He sailed for Hispaniola on June 13th of that same year with eleven constructors and two stonemasons. Soon afterward, Don Diego Colón laid the foundation stone and work commenced. Nevertheless, the excitement generated by the prospect of booty on conquistador expeditions drained the project of its skilled labor. Many workers, attracted by tales of wealth on the outskirts of the Spanish empire, abandoned the project. A dejected yet resourceful Alonso de Rodríguez embarked for Mexico, armed with the construction plans, where he built the Catedral de Ciudad México (Cathedral of Mexico City). In 1519, Bishop Alejandro Geraldini arrived on the island and bitterly complained about the stark disparity between the opulent lifestyles of

Dominican Republic

65


the congregation and the “bohio-like “ (hut-like) structure that passed for a cathedral. He tried to resurrect the project by symbolically laying another foundation stone on March 25, 1521. The effort to jump-start the project took two years. For 17 years, time crept in its very petty pace while barely any progress was made. Eventually the project was completed. However, the unfinished belfry, that stands to this day, is a reminder of the trials and tribulations of this house of worship.

treaties recognized diplomatic immunities, extradition agreements, or asylum or refugee status, it was the perpetual beacon of hope for the renegade. Given the turmoil of our world today, we could probably use many such portals of clemency.

The cathedral combines late Gothic and Renaissance elements, and even though is predominant features belong to the classical features predominate.

The Columbus Mausoleum

In l546, Pope Paul III elevated it to the status of Catedral Metropolitana y Primada de las Indias (First Metropolitan Cathedral of the Indies), thereby according it an ecclesiastically superior rank over other churches in the New World, and transforming it into the hemisphere’s Christian heart. Its floor plan has, in addition to the main altar, fourteen chapels where urns containing the ashes of many renowned individuals are kept forever alive in the collective memory. Three doors lead into the interior: the north door faces Columbus Park; the one to the south faces Plazoleta de los Curas (Small Plaza of the Priests), also known as the Puerta del Perdón (Portal of Clemency). For many political dissidents, reaching the threshold of this portal meant being in a safe haven. Well before international

66

The plateresque-style main door leads to an atrium that, in the 19th century, was converted into a market during the Haitian military occupation.

Christopher Columbus died in Valladolid on May 20, 1506. King Ferdinand ordered that an epitaph be placed over his grave with the inscription: “To Castilla and León, Colon gave a New World.” Columbus’ mortal remains were laid to rest in Seville until Doña María de Toledo brought them, together with those of her own husband, Don Diego Colón, to the place where they had asked to be buried. The mortal remains were buried in a crypt in the cathedral’s main altar. In 1586, England’s notorious pirate, Sir Francis Drake, plundered Santo Domingo. Given the record of havoc and destruction that had always been left in the wake of his


activities, the bishop of the diocese ordered the obliteration of all inscriptions to reduce the probability of desecration by Drake and his henchmen. When Spain ceded eastern Hispaniola to France in 1795, in compliance with the terms of the treaty of Basle, Cuba (which was then still under Spanish rule) staked a claim to urn containing the remains of Columbus because “[the urn] deserved to be in Spanish territory.” Charged with the express duty of retrieving the remains of Columbus, a group arrived in Santo Domingo, headed for the crypt under the cathedral’s main altar, and promptly left with the first urn they found—

they were convinced it contained the remains of the admiral. However, in 1877, when restoration work on the Cathedral was begun, it was with utter amazement that Father Francisco Xavier Billini found, September 10th of the same year, a lead urn with the inscription “Illustrious Man Don Christopher Columbus, First Admiral of the Americas”; the engraving had been done in Valladolid when the remains were ordered moved for public viewing to the chapel Santa María de las Cuevas, in Seville. Don Emiliano Tejada, the eminent Dominican historian recorded in his book Los Restos de Colón (Columbus’ Remains),

Dominican Republic

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the events of September 1877 in Santo Domingo. According to this historical record, the country’s office holders, members of the diplomatic corps, ecclesiastical and military authorities were all summoned to the Cathedral on that fateful day and, before their very eyes, the artifact was examined, declared to be genuine and true and this was attested to by the notary publics who signed the document. The Reverend Canónigo Francisco Xavier Billini opened the urn and showed the remains to the public; indeed the fine rock crystal on it was carved. The priest read aloud the inscription which confirmed, without shadow of a doubt, that the remains were certainly those of the Illustrious Genoese, Great Admiral, Don Christopher Columbus, Discoverer of America.” Immediately, a twenty-one gun salute was fired by the Plaza’s artillery unit, bells tolled from church belfries, and the first notes of martial music blared from military bands. People were thrilled beyond words. In 1992, the urn and the mausoleum were moved to the Faro a Colón (Columbus Lighthouse), the most outstanding monument built in this century to honor the memory of the Discoverer of Americas, Christopher Columbus. There lie, in peace, the mortal remains of the great admiral.Each country in the Americas has held an exhibition to honor his name.

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El Conde Street El Conde street, the Colonial district’s commercial center is a paved street that encompasses from Parque Colón (Columbus Park) to Parque Independencia (Independence Park). The only pedestrian street in the city, it was named in honor of the Conde de Peñalva, Governor of Hispaniola, who in 1655 helped defend the city against the English. Upon arriving at Parque Independencia, you can visit the mausoleum, where the remains of the Founding Fathers (Duarte, Sánchez and Mella) lie. Under the frontispiece of the Puerta del Conde there is a votive lamp that burns in their honor, as a sign of the Dominican people’s respect and veneration for their heroic deed. To the north you can see the remains of the wall that protected the colonial city and the Fuerte de la Concepción (Conception Fort), a 17th-century military watchtower.


To the south, on Palo Hincado street, stands the Puerta de la Misericordia (Door of Mercy), the place where Ramón Matías Mella fired the shot that proclaimed the national independence on February 27, 1844. If you rent a car, review the map that guides you from the city to Autopista Duarte. In addition, modern, comfortable buses run on fixed schedules from the terminals located in the cities covered by their routes. This highway, considered an ecological highway, offers a magnificent panoramic view of the Dominican countryside. Maximum speed allowed, and controlled by radar, is 80 kph. You are now heading north through the Cibao valley, meaning “many peaks or mountains” in the Taíno language.

Christopher Columbus named it Vega Real and for Dominicans it is “la tierra de María Santísima” (the land of the Most Holy Mary). In this region, the fertile land is good for cultivating any grain, and this exceptional condition is explains its obviously high population density. The roadside is a great market of seasonal fruits that cooperatives and country-folk sell. 

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It is the recommendation of the Organization of Receptive Tour Operators of the Dominican Republic that the tour operators who organize vacation programs to the country work with their affiliate members, to ensure the guaranteed quality of service to their customers.

Avisa Tour & Travel Thamara Simó de Godina  809-541-2583  809-542-5488  tsimo@codetel.net.do  www.avisatravel.com Caribbean Nexus Tours, S. A. República Dominicana & México Michele Rosset  809-320-1555, Puerto Plata  809-552-0943, Punta Cana  mrosset@nexustours.com  www.nexustours.com D.S Voyages Denise Reyes Estrella  809-472-6589  809-541-8095  d.s@codetel.net.do  www.ds-voyages.fr Dominican Sunland Sr. Patrick Lassis  809-523-6868, Boca Chica  809-552-1515, Punta Cana  809-523-6969  www.domsunland.com Domitur Sr. Roberto Salcedo  809-338-7313  809 -565 5353  incoming@domitur.com  www.domitur.com HOTELBEDS Accommodation & Destination Services Sr. Juan Mota  809-688-3282, Punta Cana  809-685-8101, Santo Domingo  809-586-2223, Puerto Plata  www.hotelbeds.com

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Prieto Tours Ramón Prieto  809-685-0102  809-685-0457  incoming@prieto-tours.com  www.prieto-tours.com Tropical Tours, S. A. Sra. Josefina Brito  809-523-2028/2029  809-556-3636  directorageneral@tropicaltoursromana.com.do  www.tropicaltoursromana.com.do Tanya Tours Fidelina Pimentel / 809-548-6763  tanyagonzalezp@gmail.com Travel Service Rusia, S. A. Olga Lyzhina  829-452-2141  809-552-6817  olga@travelservice.com.do  www.travelservice.com.do turenlaces del caribe, s. a. Elizabeth Tovar  809-565-3500  809-565-1221  gerencia@turenlaces.com  www.turenlaces.com Viajes Bohio Boni Canto  809-686-2992  809-687-1912  ventas@viajesbohio.com  www.viajesbohio.com Zeppelin Tours Beatriz Cassá de Amelang  809-682-4310  809-687-2300  zeppelin@codetel.net.do


Hotel and Beach Resort Directory

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Legend Hotel or Resort Name (rooms), Addresses and Locations of Hotels. Reservation Contact. Area Code (809) Tel.  Fax.  URL  e-mail  Rates on Request. EP/AP/FAP/All inclusive plan

Air-Conditioned

Tennis

Entertainment

CoffeShop

Golf

Conference Room

Restaurant

Beach Resort

Casino

Room Service

Secretarial Services

Child Care

Night Club – Disco

Telephone

Free Parking

Cable TV

Sauna – Jacuzzi

Pool

Regions Santo Domingo

Hotels in the tourist hubs, identified in special

Santiago

colors, are grouped in clusters of available rooms.

Constanza

Accommodation rates quoted in this edition may be subject to change without prior notification.

Playa Dorada Sosúa

The directories of lodging and eating establishments were compiled through the collaboration of the

Cabarete

National Association of Hoteliers and Restauranteurs

Río San Juan

and the Council for the Promotion of Tourism.

The South Samaná The East

Dominican Republic

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Santo Domingo DOMINICAN FIESTA & CASINO HOTEL (310) Av. Anacaona 101, Los Cacicazgos Erick Santana  809-562-8222  809-482-8938  www.fiestahotelgroup.com Rates on Request. EP/AP/FAP. The Greats Events Hotel!

RENAISSANCE JARAGUA HOTEL & CASINO (300) G. Washington 367 Felicia Carbonell  809-221-1481  809-221-8271  www.marriott.com/sdqgw Rates on Request. EP/AP/FAP.

OCCIDENTAL EL EMBAJADOR (286) Av. Sarasota 65 Reservation Center  809-487-5719  809-487-5814  www.occidentalhotels.com Rates on Request.

INTERCONTINENTAL V CENTENARIO SANTO DOMINGO (196) G. Washington 218 Amy Innés  809-221-1569  809-682-8276  www.intercontinental.com/santodomingo Rates on Request. EP/AP/FAP. Do you live an InterContinental Life?

COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT SANTO DOMINGO (145) Máximo Gómez 50-A Carolina Ramírez  809-730-3070  809-687-1007  www.marriott.com/sdqcy Rates on Request. EP/AP. “Our rooms were made for you”.

HOTEL SANTO DOMINGO (215) Av. Independencia / Abraham Lincoln Apolinar Calderón  809-221-3672  809-534-5584  www.hotelsantodomingo.com.do Rates on Request. AP. Un Hotel con las Características de un Resort en el Centro de la Ciudad!

MELIA SANTO DOMINGO HOTEL & CASINO (245) George Washington 365 Sonia Vargas  809-730-6641  809-687-4274  www.solmelia.com Rates on Request. EP. “Todo es posible”

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HODELPA CARIBE COLONIAL (54) Isabel la Católica 159 Edward Muñóz  809-688-7799  809-685-8128  www.hodelpa.com Rates on Request. EP/AP. “Somos Gente de Detalles”.

Torre del Homenaje, Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo

Constanza ALTOCERRO-VILLAS, HOTEL & CAMPING (65) Constanza Marian Matías  809-530-6192  809-530-6193  www.altocerro.com Rates on Request. Bienvenidos a la stanza.

Santiago de los Caballeros HODELPA GRAN ALMIRANTE (155) Av. Estrella Sadhalá Johanna Cruz  809-825-1993  809-241-2954  www.hodelpa.com Rates on Request. EP/AP. “Somos Gente de Detalles”.

HODELPA CENTRO PLAZA (85) Calle Mella 54 / El Sol Grimilda Valdez  809-581-7000  809-582-4566  www.hodelpa.com Rates on Request. EP/AP. “Somos Gente de Detalles”.

www.dominicanway.com

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Playa Dorada / Costa Dorada OCCIDENTAL ALLEGRO PLAYA DORADA (491) Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata Reservation Center  809-320-6009  809-320-4448  www.occidentalhotels.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan.

GRAND PARADISE PLAYA DORADA (425) Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata Reservation Center  809-320-3663  809-320-4864  www.amhsamarina.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan. Diversión Total... al estilo Amhsa Marina!

PUERTO PLATA VILLAGE (386) Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata Jenny Cedano  809-200-6323  809-320-5113  www.puertoplatavillage.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan. “Un lugar ideal para la familia”.

OCCIDENTAL CARIBBEAN VILLAGE PLAYA DORADA (336) Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata Reservation Center  809-320-1111  809-320-1135  www.occidentalhotels.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan.

BLUEBAY VILLAS DORADAS (244) Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata Reservation Center  809-320-3000  809-320-4790  www.bluebayresorts.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan.

VIVA WYNDHAM PLAYA DORADA (204) Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata Rosa Ricardo  809-291-0001  809-291-2122  www.vivaresorts.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan. Diversión, Relajación, Playa y Servicio Excelente!

GRAND OASIS MARIEN (584) Costa Dorada Mariluz Santana  809-320-1515  809-320-1414  www.oasishotels.com All Inclusive Plan. Sueña menos, vive más!

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Sosúa • Cabarete • Río San Juan LIFESTYLE TROPICAL BEACH RESORT & SPA (282) Playa Cofresí, Puerto Plata Yohani Casilla  809-970-7777  809-970-7100  www.lifestylehaciendaresort.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan. An Unique Holiday Destination!

CASA MARINA BEACH & REEF (678) El Batey, Sosúa María Isabel Pita  809-571-3690  809-571-3110  www.amhsamarina.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan. Diversión Total... al estilo Amhsa Marina!

VIVA WYNDHAM TANGERINE (223) Carretera Sosúa Cabarete Rosa Ricardo  809-571-0402  809-571-9522  www.vivaresorts.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan. Diversión, Relajación, Playa y Servicio Excelente!

KITE BEACH HOTEL CORAL COMFORT (41) Carretera Sosúa Cabarete Carmen Sánchez  809-571-0878  809-571-0278  reservations@coralhospitalitycorp.com Rates on Request. AP.

Playa Cabarete, Puerto Plata.

www.dominicanway.com

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Samaná • Las Terrenas GRAND PARADISE SAMANA (418) Las Galeras, Samaná Noris Silverio  809-538-0020  809-530-0040  www.amhsamarina.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan. Diversión Total... al estilo Amhsa Marina!

BAHIA ESTELA BY VIVA (80) Las Terrenas, Samaná Rosa Ricardo  809-291-0001  809-291-2122  www.vivaresorts.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan. Diversión, Relajación, Playa y Servicio Excelente!

Cayo Levantado, Samaná. 78


The South CASA BONITA TROPICAL LODGE (12) Carretera de la Costa, Km 16, Barahona Elizabeth Rosario  809-540-5908  809-565-7310  www.casabonitadr.com Rates on Request. AP.

The East OASIS HAMACA (617) Boca Chica Indiana Jiménez  809-732-1000  809-412-5037  www.oasishotels.com All Inclusive Plan. Sueña menos, vive más!

HOTEL HOTETUR DOMINICAN BAY (437) C/Juan Bautista Vicini, Boca Chica Reservation Center  809-412-2001  809-412-0687  www.hotetur.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan.

CORAL COSTA CARIBE (425) Juan Dolio Miguel Velázquez  809-686-2244  809-526-3141  www.coralhotels.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan.

EMBASSY SUITES BY HILTON LOS MARLINS HOTEL & GOLF RESORT (125) Juan Dolio David Guerrero  809-688-9999  809-526-1130  www.losmarlins.embassysuites.com Rates on Request. AP. Una estadía especial en Juan Dolio.

CASA DE CAMPO (300) La Romana Marino Guerrero  809-523-8698  809-523-8394  www.casadecampo.com.do Rates on Request - All inclusive Plan/EP/AP/FAP. “The Caribbean’s Most Complete Resort”

www.dominicanway.com

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OASIS CANOA (532) Bayahibe, La Romana Jennifer Sánchez  809-682-2662  809-833-0799  www.oasishotels.com All Inclusive Plan. Sueña menos, vive más!

VIVA WYNDHAM DOMINICUS BEACH (530) Bayahibe, La Romana Josué García  809-686-5658  809-687-8583  www.vivaresorts.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan. Diversión, Relajación, Playa y Servicio Excelente!

Altos de Chavón, La Romana. 80


VIVA WYNDHAM DOMINICUS PALACE (330) Bayahibe, La Romana Josué García  809-686-5658  809-687-8583  www.vivaresorts.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan.

OCCIDENTAL GRAND FLAMENCO PUNTA CANA (865) Bávaro, Higüey Reservation Center  809-221-8787  809-221-8790  www.occidentalhotels.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan.

NATURA PARK BEACH ECO RESORT & SPA (510) Cabeza de Toro, Higüey Reservation Center  809-221-2626  809-221-6060  www.blau-hotels.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan. Live the Blau Experience!

GRAND OASIS PUNTA CANA (532) Cabeza de Toro, Higüey Inés Brito  809-686-9898  809-686-9699  www.oasishotels.com All Inclusive Plan. Sueña menos, vive más!

GRAND OASIS BAVARO (175) Cabeza de Toro, Higüey Inés Brito  809-686-9898  809-686-9699  www.oasishotels.com All Inclusive Plan. Sueña menos, vive más!

MELIA CARIBE TROPICAL (1,104) Playa Bávaro, Higüey Huascar Hernández  809-221-1290  809-730-6772  www.meliacaribetropical.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan.

IFA VILLAS BAVARO BEACH RESORT & SPA (652) Playa Bávaro David Valenzuela  809-221-8555  809-552-6274  www.ifahotels.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan. “Let us delight you”

www.dominicanway.com

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OCEAN BLUE & SAND BY H10 HOTELS (708) Playa Bávaro, Higüey Virgilio Acosta  809-476-2326  809-947-0884  www.oceanhotels.net Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan. Vacation Beyond Expectations!

GRAND PALLADIUM BAVARO RESORT & SPA (636) Playa Bávaro, Higüey Alberto Jiménez  809-221-8149  809-221-3530  www.fiestahotelgroup.com Rates on request. All Inclusive Plan. Nuestros Integrantes son la Escencia del Servicio!

GRAND PALLADIUM PALACE RESORT, CASINO & SPA (364) Playa Bávaro, Higüey Alberto Jiménez  809-221-8149  809-221-0284  www.fiestahotelgroup.com Rates on request. All Inclusive Plan. Nuestros Integrantes son la Escencia del Servicio!

GRAND PARADISE BAVARO BEACH RESORT CASINO & SPA (1,105) Bávaro, Arena Gorda Whanda Núñez  809-221-2121  809-221-2181  www.amhsamarina.com Rates on Request. All Inclusive Plan. Diversión total... al Estilo Ahmsa Marina!

GRAND PALLADIUM PUNTA CANA BEACH & RESORT (327) El Cortecito, Higüey Alberto Jiménez  809-221-8149  809-221-0284 www.fiestahotelgroup.com Rates on request. All Inclusive Plan. Nuestros Integrantes son la Escencia del Servicio!

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THE ROYAL SUITES TURQUESA BY PALLADIUM (362) El Cortecito, Higüey Alberto Jiménez  809-221-8149  809-221-0284 www.fiestahotelgroup.com Rates on request. All Inclusive Plan. Nuestros Integrantes son la Escencia del Servicio!

EDENH REAL ARENA (221) El Cortecito, Playas Bávaro Adrian Valencia  809-221-4646  809-552-6851  www.edenhrealarena.com Rates on request. All Inclusive Plann. A new five stars resort concept!

STANZA MARE CORAL COMFORT (108) Los Corales del Cortecito, Punta Cana Miguel Velázquez  809-686-2244  809-526-3141  www.coralstanzamare.com Rates on Request. AP.

THE PUNTACANA HOTEL (186) Punta Cana, Higüey Claudio Tejeda  809-959-2262  809-959-3951  www.puntacana.com Rates on request. AP. “Live The Dream!

TORTUGA BAY (30) Punta Cana Claudio Tejeda  809-959-2262  809-959-3591  www.puntacana.com Rates on request. FAP. “Live The Dream!

SIVORY PUNTA CANA (55) Uvero Alto, Punta Cana Magdalena López  809-333-0500  809-334-0500  www.sivorypuntacana.com Rates on request. EP.

• • • • •

Líneas de asistencia y servicio al turista Point-to-Point line to the tourism police Direktleitung zur touristenschutzpolizei Téléphone de la police du tourisme Servizio telefonico d’assistenza al turista

 809-686-8639 Toll Free Nacional1-809-200-3500 Codeflotas 1-809-754-3000 www.dominicanway.com

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ATLANTIC OCEAN

CARIBBEAN SEA


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

• Santo Domingo: 809-541-8487 • Aeropuerto Las Américas JFPG: 809-549-0362 • La Romana: 809-556-3835 • Casa de Campo: 809-523-3333 • Santiago: 809-575-7900 • Aeropuerto La Unión: 809-586-0233 • Aeropuerto Internacional Cibao: 809-233-8179 hondarentcar@codetel.net.do • www.hondarentcar.com


Cibao Valley Observe the fascinating view offered by popular architecture and the intense colors of the dwellings of the rural folk. In the traditional bohío (a hut thatched with palm fronds) but also in the more contemporary homes, you can appreciate the creativity of the Dominican countryside. While qualified professionals labor hard to sculpt comfortable spaces to satisfy the various needs of the urban environment, the inhabitants of the Dominican hinterland simply study their surroundings and build houses that straddle the fence, between their practical daily needs and their vital importance of space. Adding a protective coating to protect it against inclement weather and insects, the rural homebuilder or homeowner ultimately infuses his persona into his home: the combination of various tones and hues mirrors the variegated tapestry of the struggles and joys that are an integral of the human experience.

Espaillat, La Vega Real, Monseñor Nouel, Salcedo, Sánchez Ramírez and Santiago de los Caballeros occupy the center of the Hispaniola island and in them also are found great deposits of iron, gold, nickel, and other minerals. The Duarte province has San Francisco de Macorís as its capital, a progressive city of friendly people and great commercial activity. Moca, the capital of the Espaillat province, is a small, enchanting and clean town, with very hospitable, kind and friendly people, celebrated also for the courage of its people.

La Vega Real and El Santo Cerro

Since you are now touring the central mountain range (Cordillera Central Massif), let us tell you that our mountaínous regions constitute a splendid natural resource for ecological and adventure tourism.

The origin of La Vega Real goes back to 1495 when Christopher Columbus arrived at Guaricano, dominion of the cacique Gaurionex. Armed with a royal edict to establish the third fort on American ground, Columbus oversaw the building of Fort La Conception (The Conception). However, its modest extension, Villa La Concepción, gained so much importance for its gold foundry, that it became a center of much activity. It may have been here, it is believed, that sugarcane was produced for the first time in the New Indies.

This exceptional region is the most fertile and productive in the country, our breadbasket. The provinces Duarte,

Five kilometers past La Vega, atop the Santo Cerro, is the first convent of the Order of Mercy a historical relic

86


dedicated to Nuestra Señora de Las Mercedes (Our Lady of Mercies). Here, for the first time the cross (symbol of Christianity in the Americas) was erected. Legend has it that in the midst of a bloody battle fought between the native Taínos and the Spaniards, the Viregen de las Mercedes appeared when cacique Guarionex tried unsuccessfully to burn the cross. It was also here, in 1492, that Christopher Columbus planted the cross that had been given to him by Queen Isabel la Católica when he left Puerto de Palos de Moguer. Visitors can view a piece of the cross, preserved as a silent witness to the ignominious tragedy that was visited upon the indigenous people of the Americas. They can also contemplate the beauty of the Valle de la Vega Real from the very spot where Admiral Don Christopher Columbus exclaimed before its magnificence: “This is the most beautiful land that human eyes have ever beheld.”

• Where to Go

• How to Get There

• For more information

Take Duarte Highway (#1), about 130 km from Santo Domingo.

Ruins of La Vega Vieja o Ruins of the Franciscan Monastery o Santo Cerro (Holy Hill) o La Plaza de La Catedral (Cathedral Plaza) o Balnearios of Bayacanes and Acapulco o During carnival season the beautiful countryside of La Vega is ideal for enjoying rural tourism.

• Where to Stay There are simple accommodations for travelers, but on a day-trip a stay in Jarabacoa is recommended.

• Where to Eat El Zaguán.

Tourism Office  809-242-3231

Mountain Tourism Visitors who associate mountains with winter sports should be informed that these mountains offer a year-round very mild, cool temperatures; its monotonous tranquility is broken only occasionally by the chant of a nightingale, the mesmerizing notes of crystalline creek cascading down some falls, or a gentle breeze that gently caresses the pine trees.

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• Where to Go Companies offer excursions on all-terrain vehicles, monster trucks and safari jeeps. You can tour forests and botanical gardens and go to Las Pirámides located in the National Park and Scientific Reserve of Valle Nuevo. You can even plan to go on a nocturnal hare hunt. According to experts, this may be the geographical center of the island; and the alpine vegetation that surrounds the area,

Constanza “The Divine is omnipresent, but Constanza is the abode of the Divine.”

The valley of Constanza, at 1,200 meters above sea level, has the highest elevation in the country. Not surprisingly, in the Valle Nuevo temperatures dropped to 0º in the winter of 1999. In other areas of the region, however, temperatures fluctuate all year round in San José de las Matas, Constanza and Jarabacoa, between 5ºC - 12ºC. The climate here lends itself to the cultivation of any temperate-zone crop. The region is an important producer of garlic, potatoes, strawberries, apples, vegetables and flowers. • How to Get There If driving, take the paved highway from Casabito. Rent a strong vehicle to climb the hill and make the day trip, as on occasions the fog affects visibility. On Duarte Highway, reduce the speed some 100 km after Bonoa. At Cruce del Abanico, there is a sign to the right indicating Exit 12, the way to Constanza. The route consists of about 50 kms of hairpin curves that snake their way under the watchful eye of a blue sky, and walls of mountains

among the coldest in the country, has been the subject of comparative studies with Europe’s Alps. It is worth enjoying this spectacle that the Salto de Aguas Blancas offers at 1,680 meters above sea level. Indeed, with yearround temperatures between 10ºC to 12ºC, the Arroyazo and the Balneario Las Palmas have become a favorite vacation spot for Dominicans during la Semana Santa (Holy Week).

• Where to Stay There are only a few hotels in Constanza and its surrounding areas; however, it is possible to find comfortable accommodations.

• For further information: Consult the Hotel Directory in page 72

• Where to Eat Los Niveles

• Entertainment Neblinas Café, Evaldra Disco and Evaldra Café

• For more information Tourism Office  809-539-2900  www.constanza.net

Jarabacoa “ land of eternal spring “

clad in greenery and wild flowers. If you are traveling by bus, you can take a taxi, motoconcho, or horse to get there.

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According to legend, “Jarabacoa”, which in the melodious Taíno tongue means “place


where the water flees, owes its names to the love story between a beautiful Taíno damsel and a handsome Spanish gentleman. The geography of the Jarabacoa Valley, perched atop the Cordillera Central at more than 500 meters above sea level, explains the year-round mild and even cool climate. With an average annual temperature of 22ºC, this part of the country is the home of eternal spring. Here, the trill of the nightingale, and the whispers of the soft zephyr among the pines are a call respite, reflection, contemplation, and prayer. • How to Get There • Metro Tours offers transportation from its bus station in Santo Domingo. If driving, take Autopista Duarte from the north, past La Vega Real, the industrial free-zone facilities, and the ornamental plants put together by the Salesiano School of Agriculture. You are now Jarabacoa-bound. After some 24 kms on the Federico Basilis Highway, the journey is over. Transportation options in Jarabacoa are: taxi, moto-concho, or horseback.

• Where to Go The area is ideal for eco-tourism as well as adventure tourism. Rancho Baiguate has routes designed with different options that allow you to whitewater raft along the rivers. An excursion for the most adventurous is canyoning, a rappel down the Jimenoa Canyon, a drive to the water falls in fourwheel, off-road vehicles (Quad Runners), tubing along the Jimenoa River, a visit to a coffee factory, an ascent of Pico Duarte or paragliding with a pilot instructor (from a hill 200 meters above sea level) to experience nature’s peace and masterpieces: the fragrance-filled air, and the sight of fruits and vegetables that adorn the fertile Jarabacoa Valley.  809-686-2923.

• Where to Stay In Jarabacoa you can find accommodations in the hotels Pinar Dorado, Gran Jimenoa and Rancho Baiguate, as well as comfortable cabins in the Dominican Alps, and the River Resort offer beautiful, well-equipped cabins.

• Where to Eat El Rancho • Del Parque Galeria

• For more information: Tourism Office of Jarabacoa  809-574-7287

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the same way as our Taíno ancestors offered them as symbols of peace to their friends and guests. Our country produces two-thirds of the premium, hand-rolled cigars sold on the international market. • How to Get There Metro Tours offers transportation from its bus station in Santo Domingo. If driving, take Autopista Duarte (#1) from the south to the north to the Monument of the Heroes of Restoration, an impressive white marble structure that welcomes you to the city. Within

Santiago de los Caballeros Nestled within the Cibao valley, the fertile land suitable for the cultivation of nearly everything is the province of Santiago de los Caballeros, the industrial center of the country. Its capital, of the same name, is the second most important city in the nation and is recognized internationally for its tobacco industry: large plantations, a long-standing tradition of cultivation, harvesting, processing, marketing, and a relatively affluent populace whose wealth derives from this industry. Tobacco production includes varieties of blond, burley, wrapper and black. Santiago is the pride of the Dominican Republic’s tobacco industry. Its cigars are offered to the international market in much Monument of the Heroes of Restoration. 90


the premises, the exceptional murals of the

Montezuma • Camp David Ranch •Rancho

Spanish painter Vela Zanetti are exhibited.

Steak House • Zatarra Café Bar & Grill

• Where to Go •

• What to Buy

Take a tour of the Tobacco Museum and visit

What not to buy! Santiago is a shopper’s

the first cigar factory, La Aurora, established in

paradise. Here you can find it all. Art, crafts,

the country since 1903. • Museum of the City

embroideries and hand-made items, jewelry…

of Santiago, located in a magnificent Victorian

and the best cigars. Simply take a stroll along

palace • Tomás Morel Folk Art Museum •

El Sol Street and la Zona Rosa.

Museum of Yoryi Morel, teacher and costume designer • The Monument and Cultural Center • Visit the rum distilleries and the waterfall park, great for the whole family.

• Where to Stay • • Hodelpa Centro Plaza • Hodelpa Gran

• Entertainment • Café Dalí • Cucaramacara • Francis Fol Café • Discoteca Boomerang

• For more information: Tourism Office  809-582-5885 

Almirante Hotel and Casino •Great and affordable hotel and motel accommodations. Consult the Hotel Directory in page 72.

• Where to Eat •

www.centroleon.org.do

• Capresso Café & Bistri • El Pez Dorado • Papparazo• Il Pasticcio • Maroma •

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Towards the Amber Coast The northern coast of the Dominican Republic, bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, is made up of the provinces of Monte Cristi, Puerto Plata, Espaillat, María Trinidad Sánchez and Samaná which have an immense potential for tourism with all the natural conditions appropriate for the practice of water sports.

Montecristi

• Where to Go Máximo Gómez and José Martí Museum, located in the house where the document that planned the ideological program for achieving independence from Cuba, know as the Manifiesto de Monte Cristi (Monte Cristi Manifesto). The delta of the Yaque del Norte River, the biggest in the world. The Monte Cristi National Park where you

Monte Cristi, is the coastal province of the country’s northern zone that adjoins Haiti. In its arid land grows wild oregano and buckthorn, whose wood is still used by the country folks to make vegetable charcoal used for cooking.

can observe the sleeping dromedary, the

San Fernando de Monte Cristi, the province’s capital, the cradle of educators, is a town planned with wide streets that had their great economic boom throughout the last century when the important Grenada Fruit Company established itself there, with high quality banana and plantain plantations geared towards exportation.

Popa • Playa del Morro, with steep bank,

• How to Get There

The splendid Manzanillo Bay, a beautiful

Metro Tours offers transportation from its bus stations in Santo Domingo, Santiago and Dajabon. If you are driving, take Autopista Duarte (#1) from the south going north until the point where the route practically ends. From there, in the town’s central park, you will find the Town Clock, an orginal French relic from the XIX Century, whose clapper still makes the bell ring every quarter of an hour, to welcome visitors.

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natural rock sculpture that lies in the sea, known as El Morro, and walk among the mangroves that conserve diverse species of the Dominican birds among which the alcatraz and the pelicans stand out. Playas Costa Verde • La Granja • Playa strong tide and deep waters. Cayos Los Siete Hermanos (The Seven Brother Keys), seven virgin islands that encircle a coral area of more than 30 kms, with a splendid marine fauna, perfect for scuba diving. For avid bird-watchers, the keys offer an impressive spectacle each May, when the bubíes come from Florida to mate. corner of the world and guardian of one nature’s best treasures, appears to have been created for rest and contemplation. It is located far westward of the northwestern coast. With crystalline waters that run over a mantle of incredibly white sand, Manzanillo awaits a bold and daring investment than can transform it into the ultimate vacation spot without disturbing its spiritual and ecological balance.


• Where to Stay Consult the Hotel Directory in page 72.

• Where and What to Eat In any small restaurant or affordable cafeteria in or around town, one can enjoy the delicious regional dish Chivo Liniero, (goat dish) which has an exquisite, peculiar taste because the goat eats wild oregano daily and consequently, its meat is seasoned and even marinated while it is still alive.

• For more information: Tourism Office  809-579-2254

Puerto Plata Between the sea and the mountains, 235 km from Santo Domingo, the “Bride of the Atlantic” awaits you. Don Christopher Columbus arrived on its shores on January 11, 1493 and, admiring the shining sea, named it Puerto Plata (Silver Port). Surrounded by the beauty of a landscape somewhat indolently carved out of nature’s whim, emerges the

majestic Loma Isabel de Torres at whose foot Don Bartolomé Colón founded the city in 1496. To the north are the waters of the Atlantic, its waves lapping over the beautiful beach of golden sand with a soothing murmur. To the west lies a small peninsula where the Castillo de San Felipe has stood since 1540; and to the east is Long Beach, a beautiful beach with a great extension of golden sand. A pine fossil resin from the miocene age, endowed the region with amber mines, the national gem that entraps millenary fossils. Since within the province lies one of the world’s largest amber deposits, this coast is known as the Costa de Ambar (Amber Coast). Puerto Plata’s historical importance derives from its primacy as the venue of the principal events that took place in the first decade following the discovery of the Americas.

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La Isabela was the seat of the first European government in the Americas. It was here that the first court of law adjudicated disputes and where, according to historical records, Father Bernardo Boil celebrated the first mass in the New World on January 6, 1494.

Its placid coasts of exuberant vegetation welcomed on December 5, l492, the maiden landing of the Santa Maria, the ship that was carrying the brilliant navigator and his companions on December 5, 1492. It was also from here that a fort called “Christmas” was built. Finding Fort Christmas destroyed during his second voyage, Columbus explored the area to the west of the original construction site and chose an open inlet where the founded the first city in the New World to be baptized with the name of La Isabela, in honor of Spain’s Queen, Isabel la Católica.

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Puerto Plata has also made immense contributions to the literary and political cultures of the Dominican Republic. Among the city’s illustrious sons are: Gregorio Luperón, “standard-bearer of the Restoration,” and Emilio Prud’Homme, poet, educator, and composer of the Dominican national anthem and other tunes. El Porvenir, a newspaper that was first edited in Puerto Plata in 1873, is the pioneer of the national print and publishing industry. Puerto Plata produces and exports coffee, cocoa and tobacco and is among the ten provinces in the country with the largest cattle ranches.


It produces liquor, dairy and pasta products, leathers and furs. A portion of its population is drawn into the fishing industry. Sugarcane, first brought to these parts by Columbus in 1493, is cultivated and remained one of the regions most important crops until 1990. Today, Puerto Plata lives for tourism and from tourism. Its tourist zone includes a stretch of golden sand beaches estimated at around 300,000 sq. meters. Eleven kilometers of beach, reaching from

CofresĂ­ to SosĂşa are being developed into a tourist complex that can satisfy the needs of the most demanding traveler. Ships and cruise liners arrive weekly at the tourist port in the bay of Puerto Plata. By air, there are scheduled direct flights from overseas, and you can get a connecting flight to Puerto Plata from most major cities in the world. The major cities are service by reputable international carriers. Consult the Airline Directory on page 27.

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• How to Get There Metro Tours offers transportation from its bus station. If you are driving, take the Autopista Duarte (#1) from the south northward to Villa Bisonó, take Exit #5 to the right—You are on your way to Puerto Plata. Route #5 is the ocean-view route between Puerto Plata and Samaná. See a map of getting around, on page 67.

• Where to Go La Isabela National Park: the first European settlement in the New World, location of Christopher Columbus’ ashes, venue of the first mass ever celebrated in the New World,

by coconut groves. Hotels offering very good service operate in this beautiful place. See the Hotel Directory in page 72.

Costámbar Located to the west of the city, Costámbar is an open beach protected by coral reefs and an exuberant vegetation of almond trees that shields it from the sun. Hotels offering very good service operate here. Consult the Hotel Directory on page 72.

and a cemetery. The Park also houses a Taíno museum, regional crafts and gift shop, and the temple of the Americas, inaugurated on January 6, 1994, to commemorate the fivehundredth anniversary of the first mass o Paso de los Hidalgos, milepost of the first land route used by the conquistadors. Take the urban route that forms part of the historic zone, where diverse architectural styles can be appreciated, among which the romantic Victorian style prevails; Fort of San Felipe and the Fort Museum (along the Malecon) are of historical importance and testify to the areas colonial past.

• Where to Stay Consult the Hotel Directory in page 72.

• Where to Eat Café Tropical • Hemingway’s Café • Porto Fino

• For more information: Tourism Office  809-586-3676

Cofresí Cofresí is a small inlet of crystalline waters offering a splendid panoramic view of almost the entire zone, with a beach of less than one kilometer covered 96

Long Beach Puerto Plata’s urban beach also is sheltered by almond trees and coconut groves; it is accessible to all patrons of the city’s hotels and guest houses. 


Playa Dorada Playa Dorada, with its extensive sunny

eco-tourism, guided adventure tourism

beach of fine, golden sand, has at

like River Rafting, Jeep Safari, Monster

present more than 4600 rooms designed

Truck, Parapente, Out Back Safari, such

for the absolute enjoyment of the traveler.

as guided routes at the Siete Chorreras, Salto del Limón, scuba-diving, deep-sea

It offers meeting and convention facilities,

fishing, to a fishing town for eating fish

a commercial plaza, casinos, and a

daily, to see the humpback whales that

selection of bars, cafeterias, clubs,

come in the winter to give birth on the

and small, comfortable and cozy

Banco de la Plata, or simply to ride,

restaurants capable of satisfying the most

walk, or run.

demanding palate. Other beautiful beaches located along The benign climate of the region allows

the Amber Coast are: Cabarete, Boca

year-round sporting activities. Playa

de Cangrejos, Caño Grande, Bergantín,

Dorada has excellent tennis courts,

Playa de Copello, and Playa Mariposa.

a professional, 18-hole golf course, designed by the English architect, Robert

Before leaving Puerto Plata it is

Trent Jones; it has all areas for practicing

advisable to take a tour of La Isabela

almost all aquatic sports and activities,

Archaeological Park, the first European

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settlement in the New World. You can get there by taking the Imbert-Luperón highway. Taking a tour through the urban area that forms the historical zone of Puerto Plata, you can admire the zone’s combination of diverse architectural styles, where the romantic Victorian style prevails. The Fort of San Felipe, along with the Fort Museum, are other points of historic interest that testify to the colonial past they are located along the Malecón. The Amber Coast has not only beautiful, sunny beaches but also treasured precious jewels from the tertiary age. It has natural deposits of the best Dominican amber, which can be purchased, made into jewelry of different shapes and forms, and carved by Puerto Plata-based foreign and native artisans. Don’t miss a visit to the Amber Museum. If you like heights, a cable car takes you to the summit of Loma Isabel de Torres, some 800 meters/2620 feet above sea level to enjoy the panoramic view. Take advantage of your visit to eat shellfish and the fabulous crab claws, cooked native-style, served in most hotels and restaurants. Italian ice creams and ginger cookies are also a delight to the palate.

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obtained from these archeological explorations. • Where to stay: Consult the hotel directory in page 72. • For more information: Tourism Office in Puerto Plata  809-586-3676

Sosúa Sosúa is a beautiful area, located some 16 km from Puerto Plata, where natives live in harmony with a sizeable colony of European immigrants who came to these shores as a consequence of the massive exodus generated by the turmoil of World War II. The immigrant group, made up mostly of German and Austrian Jews, settled in Sosúa as a result of the commitment made by the Dominican Republic at the World Conference for European Refugees, held in France in 1938, to contribute to alleviating the distressing consequences

The Silver Bank Porfirio Rubirosa, renowned Dominican playboy of the international jet set who died in a car accident in Paris, once hired French divers to recover the sunken treasures of the shipwrecked Spanish galleons in the Banco de la Plata (Silver Bank); but the galleons were not found, and Rubirosa failed in this adventure. Other expeditions have had better luck, and some museums display pieces

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of the Holocaust that Adolph Hitler had unleashed against all Jews. Under the auspices of the United Jewish Appeal, the Dominican Republic Settlement Association (DORSA) was established to initiate an experimental agricultural community project. Unlike other immigrants who came to Puerto Plata at the turn of the century as marine workers, this refugee group was made up of professionals, skilled


craftsmen, and corporate executives.

view that is lost over the mantle of

Because of the level of their intellectual

golden sand from which emerges a

acumen, they have exerted a positive

lush vegetation of almond and coconut

influence on the region’s socio-economic

groves.

development. The majority were single men who very soon becoming permanent residents and settlers in Dominican homes. Medical doctors, engineers, industrial chemists, artists, decorators and agronomists, among others, dedicated themselves to agroindustrial ventures and animal husbandry. They later founded industrial dairy and cattle production cooperatives, with an initial contribution of RD$10 from each member. Today, this cooperative is a powerful enterprise that makes the famous Sosúa sausages,

• Where to Stay: Consult the Hotel Directory page 72. • For more information: Tourism Office  809-571-3433

Cabarete Beach Playa Cabarete is a favorite summer resort for locals as well as tourists, especially the younger visitors who come to enjoy its strong surf, the beautiful range of blue tones reflected in its clear waters, and the informal tourist

cheeses and butter.

characteristics it offers.

The demand for service has gradually

Given its special features, winds from

created a harmonious infrastructure that is not often found in small communities. What was once a small village of refugees in the 1940s, is now a thriving, self-sufficient, hospitable community that has opened its arms to international tourism. In Sosúa you can enjoy modern comforts within the calm and peace of a fishing village. Discover the rich Jewish heritage; visit the museum and the first synagogue established in the country.

15 to 25 knots coming from the Atlantic and the safety that the wind direction represents for the competitors (blowing as they do, from inside-out) Cabarete is considered one of the world’s best for windsurfing. Every year time ago during Cabarete race week, the city of Cabarete hosts the world cup for professional windsurfing and, starting ago, the world cup for professional kiteboarding. This activity has generated a lot of tourist services. For more information about these

Sosúa beach, nestled in an open bay,

competitions, please contact:

offers swimmers a splendid panoramic

 809-571-0882.

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You can enjoy good food in small restaurants scattered around town, and there are hotels which offer very good service. • Where to Stay Consult the Hotel Directory in page 72. • For more information: Tourism Office  809-571-0962

Maria Trinidad Sánchez

A few kilometers farther are the municipality

When you get to Rio San Juan, a town

of Cabrera, Laguna Grande beach, and

in the Maria Trinidad Sanchez province,

Diamante beach.

you may take a refreshing break and stay overnight at excellent hotels. Nearby is a charming spot you should not miss: Laguna Gri-Gri, where a yolero (owner of medium-sized rowing boat) will guide you between mangroves, through a canal of crystalline mineral water to find coral banks, la Playita, la Cueva de las Golondrinas, El Caletón, and Puerto Escondido beach (Hidden Port), an enchanted haven along our shoreline almost paradise! Along the same coastal road that borders the Bahía Escosesa (Scottish Bay) are located Punta Preciosa, and farther on, Cabo Francés Viejo. In this coast marine terraces of great height emerge where the ocean floor practically disappears, you have also reached the highest point from which you can contemplate the Atlantic Ocean and meditate on the crimson glow of a beautiful sunset.

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• Where to Stay Consult the Hotel Directory in page 72. • For more information: Tourism Office  809-589-2831

Nagua The next stop is the town of Nagua, located over a low-lying coastal strip that gives it a distinctive appearance-- the receding ocean tide has left an ample stretch reminiscent of an urban beach. Here the traveler can rest and feel the warmth of townsfolk. Nagua is the capital of the province of María Trinidad Sánchez. • Where to Stay Consult the Hotel Directory in page 72. • For more information: Tourism Office  809-584-3862


Here in this port city, you can enjoy fresh seafood; the bay is a famous breeding ground for fish and shellfish. Take advantage of the opportunity to eat freshly caught shrimp and the small fish at Manita’s fried-food stand. This is the fork in the road, the moment to decide which way to go. Whether to go north, passing through the mountain

Samaná

range along a panoramic road leading to Las Terrenas and El Portillo; to follow

Samaná province, with the peninsula

Highway No. 5, which leads to Santa

and bay bearing its name, its many

Barbara de Samana; or to take a boat

lakes and seascapes, constitute, without

circuit to visit the charms offered by the

taking anything away from the other

bay and the peninsula from the amazing

regions, our country’s most extraordinary

transatlantic port operating in its coasts.

geographical coastal relief, and the most exotic asset of the Dominican tourist

If, on the other hand, you decide to

industry.

follow the road to Samaná there is no to worry. The road is level and, shortly after

A tour along this ecological corridor,

passing the new port of Sánchez, you

carefully designed with care by the

will come to Airport Arroyo Barril, which

Supreme Creator, is truly a spiritual

serves private planes and domestic

journey. Guided boat tours are available

flights. Those who do not wish to lose

from the ports of Sánchez, Sabana

much time and enjoy air travel should

de la Mar, Samaná, Miches, Laguna

know that the flight to Samaná from Las

Redonda, Laguna del Limón.

Américas, La Romana or Punta Cana is

The first point of contact with the

between 30 to 45 minutes.

peninsula of Samaná, as one enters it from the west, is the vibrant city of Sánchez, along the railroad network whose construction was overseen by Mr, Baird, a Scotsman. Indeed, for years, rail service had linked the cities of La Vega and San Francisco de Macorís with the bay area of Samaná. Hunchback Whale.

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Continuing on the coastal highway (#5) that winds between millions of coconut trees, one arrives at Santa Bárbara de Samaná (located 245 km northeast of Santo Domingo) the province’s capital. A beautiful community that has served the tourist industry remarkably, it preserves from its past only its name and “La Churcha,” an old building brought from England to house the freed North American congregation who became the nucleus of the Wesleyan Methodist Church; today it is the Dominican Evangelical Church, and its the romantic Victorian architecture has lured many a photographer to its portals. The old fishing village, sprinkled with salt and sun, located on the shore of the bay bearing the same name, became an attractive tourist city of beautiful avenues, functional buildings, comfortable hotels and restaurants where it is possible to taste international cuisine, the famous gingerbread, yaniqueques (Johnny cakes) and the fabulous pescado con coco (fish in coconut sauce) made from the English grandmother’s old recipe. The shallow marine floor of Samaná (the greatest depth of the bay is barely 45 meters) represents a danger for oceangoing vessels with a deep draft; but, on the other hand, conditions are favorable for a large-scale fishing industry. The soil of the area belongs to the cretaceous period and most of the

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the governor of the island, Francisco Rubio Peñaranda. Samaná celebrates its patronal feast on December 4th. For more than half a century Doña Vetilia Peña has initiated the festivities in her home, with the bambulá, a ritualdance that can only be seen and danced in the Samaná peninsula is layered with white, pink,

peninsula during its patronal festivities

green and gray marble, quarried to

and on October 24th, the feast day of

supply the industries that process it in

San Rafael.

Santo Domingo. In addition, coconut, fish and shellfish abound.

The Chivo Florete, a dance of

During the pre-Hispanic period, the

considered inappropriate by some, is

territory belonged to the chieftainship

a dance typical of Samaná, as well as

of Maguá under the domain of the

the olí-olí, it forms a part of the carnival’s

Ciguayo, Guarionex. From excavations

comparsas (costumed groups dressed

carried out, interesting archeological

alike at carnival time) in which only men

pieces have been preserved as pointers

participate.

to the history of that period.

suggestive, erotic movements that are

In the city you will find different business

Christopher Columbus arrived in Samana

centers and hotels designed for tourists

on January 12, 1493. The following

which offer comfortable accomodation.

day the first battle in the New World

See Hotel Directory, page 72.

took place between the Taínos of Ciguayo and the Spaniards. According to a journal entry in the admiral’s own handwriting, “[he had] never seen so many arrows fly over a ship.” Before leaving for Castilla on January 16th of the same year, he dubbed the bay the Golfo de las Flechas (Gulf of Arrows). Santa Bárbara de Samaná was founded in 1756 by the Spanish brigadier and

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For those hungry for an exotic treat, Samaná is famous for its fabulous typical regional cuisine. A preferred dish is


Pescado con Coco (fish in coconut sauce), a culinary delight. • Where to Stay Casa Marina Bay Beach Winner of the NECKERMANN REISEN 2003 Award • For more information: Tourism Office  809-538-2332

El Portillo and Las Terrenas If time permits, it is worthwhile to visit El Portillo and Las Terrenas. From Samaná you can make the trip along the road to El Limón, which you enter approximately 2 km after exiting Samaná. This road is completely paved this road is gentler that the one that crosses the sierra and to those who enjoy ecological tourism, it offers an observation area from where one can view El Salto del Limón, a beautiful waterfall of more than 30 meters of free fall that lies at the mouth of the Limón River. In this spot along the

beautiful beach that bears its name,

road you will find practical guides that

and within an environment favored by

will take you on horseback and offer all

its tropical palm trees and an amazing

the amenities.

turquoise sea, El Portillo Beach Club

When you arrive at the northern part of the peninsula by air, land, or sea, you are welcomed by the pioneers of the

& Spa undoubtedly turns out to be an excellent investment for quietness and health.

area, currently representing El Portillo

Continuing westward you will encounter

Beach Club & Spa, a residential and

Las Terrenas, an extensive and beautiful

very exclusive Real Estate project, thought

beach, of soft bank, crystalline waters

for high level tourists who enjoy comfort

and golden sand, where gradually

and well-being. Located in front of the

the natives and the foreign community

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who, knowing this coast has some of the country’s best beaches spend their leisure hours in the lucid contemplation of the most beautiful, divine-crafted scenery road conditions notwithstanding. • How to get there: that discovered the place, continue to develop a tourist industry that today counts 3000 rooms in very good hotels, modest inns, and owner-managed restaurants that serve exquisite plates from the French cuisine and fresh seafood. This beautiful area exploited by tourism over the last few years is characterized by a Real Estate development boom,

By land, from Santo Domingo, you may take the Duarte Highway, and drive for approximately four hours along a delighting landscape and passing through the urban centers of Piedra Blanca, Cotui, Pimentel, Castillo, Villa Rivas, Nagua, and Cruce de Rincon de Molinillos. If you wish to arrive faster, you may take the Santo Domingo–Cruce Rincon de Molinillos Highway, and get there in

aimed at providing visitors with health

less than two hours.

and security, and respecting its magical

This new highway –designed for fast

environment. That is why entrepreneurs

and safe traveling– offers a journey

have been so successful there, currently

where nature prevails, disclosing all

developing one of the most ambitious

its splendor, and tolls must be paid at

luxury and beauty projects, Balcones del

three stations.

Atlantico, which is also an excellent Real Estate investment. Leaving Las Terrenas heading still westbound you reach the beautiful beach El Cozón, located opposite Cayo Ballena (Whale Key). At first sight this area looks deserted, but gradually you discover the summer homes of natives and overseas visitors

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By air, you can choose Presidente Juan Bosh International Airport, or the domestic airports, El Portillo and Arroyo Barril. For more information, check the airport directory, on page 38. Where to Stay Consult pages 72. • For more Information: Tourism Office  809-240-6363 


Towards the Southern Region Should time permit, a visit to the south would be worthwhile. Although it is possible to make the trip from Santo Domingo (200Km. #2) in three hours, it will be much more enjoyable to take at least four days, especially if you are driving. The panoramic view from the coastal highway is breath-taking. The following are short descriptions on the four provinces that welcome you on your journey through the region where the first quest for freedom was uttered under American skies. See page 69, Getting Around in the City.

San Cristóbal Located 28 km west of Santo Domingo, it is one of the region’s most visited cities by those who wish to learn more about the events related to the dictatorship of Trujillo who ruled the country with an iron hand from August 16, 1930 to May 30, 1961. It is believed that the city’s name was taken from the nearby San Cristóbal Fortress that Admiral Don Christopher (Cristóbal) Columbus had built on the Haina river’s bank. In 1934 it was raised to the status of a province, and in 1939 by Act. 93, it was given the title of “Ciudad Benemérita,” (Meritorious City, a title that disappeared when the regime was overthrown) taking into consideration

that the first legal constitution of the Dominican Republic had been signed there and that it was the birthplace of the “benefactor of the country,” father of the new country, Generalissimo Doctor Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina. The title of the civil guard city disappeared with the assassination of the tyrant. We suggest an itinerary that include a visit to the Church of San Cristóbal, the Palacio del Cerro, La Casa de Caoba, the Cuevas de El Pomier or de Borbón, a national treasure where there are hundreds of cave paintings created by the Indians that populated the island, el Balneario La Toma and the Cuevas de Santa María (Santa Maria Caves), where patronal festivals are celebrated with baile de palo and atabales (drum festivals), pointers to the African influence in Dominican folklore. Also, its coasts have the beautiful beaches of Najayo, Nigua, and Palenque, with their crystalline waters that are ideal for the enjoyment of underwater fishing, and Loma de Resolí, where the climate is pleasantly cool year-round. The carabiné, typical dance of the Southern region, variant of the Canary iza, reigns over San Cristóbal’s patronal festivities, celebrated from June 6-10, dedicated to the Holy Spirit.

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• Where to Stay Consult the Hotel Directory in page 72.

• For more information: Tourism Office  809-528-1844

Peravia The capital of the province, Baní, city of poets, was named in honor of the cacique Baní, a subordinate of Caonabo, said to have a clear intelligence. In Juan de Castellanos’ words, “...Bani was a wise man... Captain General of Caonabo’s land.” In Taíno, Baní means “abundance of water.” This hardworking community that under the chieftainship of Maguána is located 66 km from Santo Domingo on route #2. See map of Getting Around in the City on page 69. Born here on November 18, 1836, was Generalissimo Máximo Gómez, liberator of Cuba, and the most admired and venerated Dominican in the land of José Martí, because he made Cuban independence his cause.

You can visit the place where Generalissimo Máximo Gómez lived, the municipal museum, the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Regla, Los Almendros, an inviting white sand beach with a residential complex designed to offer tourist services and, Palmar de Ocoa, a beautiful summer resort, located in the bay of the same name, where each year fishing tournaments are held. In Puerto Hermoso (Beautiful Port) are the salt deposits that according to experts have the capacity to “fill the Caribbean region with salt.” The Bahía de Calderas, located before crossing the province’s limits, is home to the Dominican Navy’s most important naval base. Its strategic geographical position and the surrounding sand dunes offer natural protection. Don’t leave Peravia without trying, among other things, the delicious goat

Las Dunas, Baní. 110


• Where to Stay Consult the Hotel Directory in page 72.

• For more information: Tourism Office ( 809-380-2094

Azua de Compostela Azua, a land burned by the strong rays of our blazing tropical sun but also washed by the outpouring of its melodious crystalline waters of the Caribbean, is located 121 km west of Santo Domingo. See page 69, Leaving the City. Azua de Compostela was founded in 1504 by Diego Velázquez, Conquistador of Cuba. On December 7, 1508, King Ferdinand of Spain granted Azua his coat of arms, and in 1845 it was raised to the status of a province. Salinas, Baní.

milk candy produced in the Húngaro factory in the municipality of Paya, the only one of its kind in the country; the famous quails that are served in the rural dining room located on the side of the highway and the famous mango banilejo (mango from Baní), a variety of the Rosa mango that when harvested in the Peravia Valley, acquires a peculiar, exquisite taste worth trying.

It was razed to the ground on three occasions by invading armies: Juan Jacobo Dessalines, who declared Haiti independence on January 1, 1804, ordered his men to set it ablaze when he invaded Dominican territory in 1805. In 1844, after the Haitian leader Charles Herald was defeated at the Battle of 19 de Marzo, he set the city aflame as he passed through Azua. Yet again in 1849, the Haitian president, Faustino Soulouque, left the city smoldering as he retreated from his defeats at the battles of El Número and Las Carreras.

Its patronal festivities are from June 15 to 24, festivities in honor of San Juan, and November 21, the feast of Nuestra Señora de Regla.

If you are going to continue the trip, you must make a stop to stretch your legs and to drink “una fría” (the country’s famous Presidente beer frosted at its best). You

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can visit the Archeological Museum, an interesting display of cave art and then refresh yourself in the beautiful Playa Blanca. Azua natives are deservedly well-known for being courageous noblemen and having contributed many writers to Dominican literature. In Pueblo Viejo, near Azua, are found the ruins of the colonial city. Another attraction for native and foreign visitors enjoying adventure tourism is El Número, the place where the battle bearing the same name took place. It is exciting to travel the winding stretch of highway where at every turn of the road dangerous cliffs await. However, the fabulous panoramic view from here of Corbanito’s tourist area on the east coast of the beautiful and placid Ocoa Bay, compensates for the road, and serves as a spiritual sedative during the journey. Corbanito is an area that comprises around 9 km of extraordinarily beautiful beaches due to the topographical characteristics of the surroundings, created by rock formations of the southern massif emerging from the calm sea. Corbanito is an open cove of some three kilometers of gray sand and turquoise-blue waters, with shallow areas for swimming and protecting reefs. Here we find Palmar de Ocoa, an open beach of gray sand and deep waters, with an exotic panorama and rich marine fauna making it an excellent spot for sportfishing.

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Playa Chiquita, as its name indicates, is an open cove barely 1500 meters long with gray sand and crystalline waters, a medium-depth swimming area that is absent of waves, that make it a secluded, beautiful spot preferred by swimmers. Next we come to Monte Río, the beautiful beach where Hernán Cortés, who practiced in Azua as a clerk, usually spent his leisure hours; and he left from here, together with Diego Velázquez, to the land of the Eagle and the Serpent to ascend to the throne and wear the imperial crown of Moctezuma. Azua’s patronal feast is on September 8th in honor of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios. • Where to Stay Consult the Hotel Directory in page 72.

• For more information: Browse directory of Offices of Tourism, page 17.

Barahona Leaving Azua, we notice a marked contrast as we enter Barahona’s humid land whose neutral-type coasts are tied together like a string of pearls by beautiful beaches that the waves kiss and abandon in the massif of the Sierra de Bahoruco. Barahona, where the cacica Anacaona ruled and where the living legend of the untamable Enriquillo survives as a symbol of Indian rebellion against white man’s injustice, is located 204 km west of Santo Domingo. See p.69, Leaving the City.


This was founded in 1802 by the French General Toussaint Louverture and set up as province in 1907. The Barahona peninsula, which belonged to the chieftainship of Jaragua, has emersion and immersion coasts where the marine terrace stretches with the shallow waters that result in wonderful breeding places for fish and crustaceans. The beaches of Barahona, La Saladilla, San Rafael, Los Patos, Paraíso and other very beautiful sunny beaches surrounding the peninsula are characterized by a peaceful solitude, making Barahona an exclusive, unique place for the communion of the human spirit with the Supreme Being. Here you observe and are captivated by the presence of God’s hand. This paradisiacal coast was the location chosen by the Dominican designer Oscar de la Renta for the tropical-setting photographs

that travel the world in the most famous international fashion magazines. This coast also served as the setting for the adventures of the past century’s bold pirate, Cofresí, a legendary figure amongst the dwellers of the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. Local lore has it that south of the port, in Punta Iglesia, there are earthen jugs buried with Cofresi’s treasures. Also, on beaches adjacent to the town of Juán Esteban, a chest full of precious stones, jewels and other objects of great value was found. The legend recounts that Cofresi’s treasures have not been recovered because it was the pirate’s custom to also bury, together with the treasure, whoever helped in the task. Thus the belief that in order to unearth the treasures, a companion must be left where the treasure was found. On more than one occasion groups

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of adventurers have formed to unearth a treasure that “Cofresí has revealed to someone in a dream.” These groups dissolve as soon as they draw lots to see who will be buried in place of the treasure. Another tourist attraction in Barahona is the Hoya del Lago Enriquillo (Basin of Lake Enriquillo) from whose waters (around 30m below sea level) emerges Cabritos Island, the national park where the world’s greatest reserve of the American crocodile lives in a wild state alongside important populations of flamingoes and two species of iguanas. Another place of national historical interest is the archeological zone of Las Caritas, a reserve of the pre-Hispanic art which shows cave paintings created by the Indians that populated the island, among which is found evidence that our wide smile has existed for more than 500 years. This park is endowed with an eco-tourism infrastructure. In Barahona there are deposits of rock salt and gypsum located in the northern side of the Sierra del Bahoruco; while in the

southern side there are deep layers of red soil, rich in aluminum, from where bauxite is extracted. Travertine marble and onyx are also produced here. The first Antillean cargo and passenger transportation company was established in Barahona on July 2, 1927, to offer services between St. Croix, St. Thomas, San Juan, Santo Domingo, Port-au-Prince and Santiago, Cuba. Barahona’s patronal festivities are celebrated during the first week of October, dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary. The carabiné, typical dance of the southern region, is carried out in Barahona with the accordion, balsié, güira, (a metal percussion instrument), and pandero (large tambourine). Natives of Barahona are the immortal artists: María Montés, the first Dominican actress in Hollywood films, among which is “A thousand and One Nights”; and the folklorist Casandra Damirón, ambassador-at-large of our vernacular music, who with her art placed the Dominican Republic’s name on top, many times making those who had the opportunity of applauding her interpretations rise from their seats. • Where to Stay Consult Hotel Directory in page 72.

• For more information: Browse directory of Offices of Tourism, page 17. 

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Towards the Land of The Sunrise Situated in the vast Hicayagua plain, ruled by the cacique Cayacoa, is divided into five provinces that form the eastern region: San Pedro de Macorís, Hato Mayor, El Seibo, La Romana and La Altagracia. Its inhabitants work mainly in the sugar-cane industry, cattle trade, industrial park zones, and tourism. Leaving Santo Domingo and going towards the Land of the Sunrise, there are marked routes that will prevent confusion: a) Along John F. Kennedy Avenue, take the Centenario V express, make a left on Yolanda Guzmán, which runs towards the south and you will find the exit to Puente Duarte that you will take to Avenue of the Americas; b) The route 27 de Febrero will take you directly to Avenue of the Americas; c) Taking El Malecón towards the Avenida del Puerto that carries you to the provisional bridge, or to Puente Mella, upon leaving the bridge, turn to the right. The Sugar Cane Monument indicates that you should take la Avenida España on the premises of Parque Mirador del Este. Here you can visit the National Aquarium and El Faro a Colón, the most outstanding monument built in this century to honor the memory of the Discoverer of America, Christopher Columbus. There lie the mortal remains of the Great Admiral and there is a permanent exhibition from nearly all of the American countries.

Twenty-one avenues, one for every American nation, set out from the Faro a Colón and converge in the Autopista de Las Américas, a scenic highway facing the Caribbean that leads you to the Las Américas International Airport of JFPG and connects with the eastern highway that ends in La Romana. Upon taking the Avenue of the Americas, you can visit Los Tres Ojos, an enormous open-air cave and lagoons with transparent water located about 50 feet down. Here you have the opportunity to take a boat ride and refresh yourself in the humid, tropical climate. The eastern plain presents calcareous phenomena in its relief pattern that give rise to the formation of caverns, some of which have been conditioned, constituting an attraction for natives and visitors. Perhaps the best known by tourists are: the Mesón de la Cava and the Guácara Taína, located in Santo Domingo’s Mirador del Sur park in Santo Domingo, filled with exotic restaurants and night clubs, the Caves of Santa Ana, Los Tres Ojos y, the Fun-Fun Cavern. Here you can experience an adventure that surpasses all limits, descending with a rope along a drop of more than 20 meters. To consult and reserve an excursion consult page 128.

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La Caleta Entering from the Las Américas International Airport JFPG , making a right turn, you find La Caleta Park and Museum that exhibit an indigenous cemetery in its original location, and a sample of pre-Hispanic ceramic figures. There is no admission charge. The most beautiful sunsets can be seen from this small fishermen’s port. Many artists set up their easels here trying to capture on their canvas the rich colors offered by the crepuscular skies. From here to Punta Cana and Bávaro, located on the eastern tip of the island, you find the most beautiful white sand and crystalline water beaches. According to a study of this region carried out by UNESCO experts, these beaches “should be included among the best in the world.” The natural resources, the agreable climate, the few rainy days, and the Dominican’s innate hospitality have sustained tourist growth that make the eastern region a privileged destination for vacationers in the Caribbean. At present there are more than 13,200 hotel rooms designed to operate under the EP, MAP, FAP or the all-inclusive regimen, in the interest of offering an unbeatable quality-price ratio. There are three international airports located in the region: Las Américas JFPG in Santo Domingo, Punta Aguila in La

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Romana, and Punta Cana in Higüey, all with daily scheduled direct flights from the world’s major cities.

Boca Chica Your next stop is Boca Chica, only five minutes from the Las Américas International Airport JFPG, and the ideal place for resting, sunbathing, swimming, and walking along one of the east coast’s most beautiful beaches. Shallow waters and incredibly fine white sand make it a favorite spot of capital city’s residents. Near the town, that is gradually organizing itself to receive tourism, you can find magnificent hotel rooms in the vacation complex Oasis Hamaca Beach Hotel and Casino, and other smaller ones such as Villas Sans Soucy, which offer very good service. There are also good restaurants with specialties in German, Canadian, French, Italian, Creole, and international cuisine, offering you the personal attention of their owners, most of whom are foreigners who have made this area their home. In small, popular establishments owned by Dominican locals, you can buy: chicharrón(fried pork skin), fried fish, and yaniqueques (Johnny cakes), products of Dominican freiduría (frying establishments) that for many have a peculiarly exquisite taste. • Where to Stay Consult the Hotel Directory in page 72.


• Where to eat: Bocamarina,El Pelícano, Neptuno’s Club

• For more information: Tourism Office  809-523-5106

Dolio, Guayacanes and Villas del Mar These are the other very beautiful, small beaches found on the route. Playa Caribe is a cove with an abrupt bank and violent surf, sheltered by coconut groves; it is a favorite spot for young people. Juan Dolio, Guayacanes and Villas del Mar are a delight for those searching for smooth surf and quiet waters. In the environment of these beaches, surrounded by coconut groves and a lush tropical landscape are fabulous vacation resorts, designed so that the visitor can enjoy to the utmost an all-inclusive vacation. There are also small hotels and very good restaurants. The weather is almost excellent all year round. It is a preferred destination for Canadians and Europeans. This tourist area is 30 minutes from the international airport of the Americas, and some 45 minutes from Santo Domingo’s monuments district. • Where to Stay Consult Hotel Directory in page 72.

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San Pedro de Macorís The city was founded in the early 19th century by German, Arab, Spanish, French and Italian immigrants as well as the community’s native settlers, and raised to the status of province on June 23, 1882. When several decades ago our sugar was sold at the incredible price of twenty-two cents a pound in the US preferential market, this produced in the “sultanate of the east” (as the city was then known) an economic boom known as the “dance of the millions”, which converted San Pedro de Macorís into a prosperous and stately city, filled with palatial homes and princely mansions denoting the cultural refinement of its first immigrants and of the townspeople. Together, they created a beautiful city of neoclassic and Victorian style, with a mixture of local-style architecture done by the hands of qualified laborers that

arrived from the neighboring British isles, attracted by the bonanza produced by the sugar mills. These humble workers from the Windward and Leeward Islands, known as cocolos, not only brought easily identifiable architectonic styles (recognizable when touring the city); but, also brought their Bible, perhaps as their only baggage, and the rudimentary instruments with which they produce the magnetic sounds of the cainanés. Also theirs is the momise dance, known by the townspeople as the guloya, a name extended to the

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dancers. It derives from the English drama “Mummers,” which is preserved with slight modifications and three differentiated music themes: the wild dance, with which they roam through the streets; the dance of Father Winter, representing the battle of the Giant with St. George, and the dance of El Codril, formed by a group of dancers divided into two lines, dancing arm in arm.

drums all composure is lost. The crowd surrounds them and moves, marking with their feet and whole body each tone of the dominant rhythm’s beat.

Just like their African ancestors who worshipped their gods in ritual ceremonies at dusk, the guloyas, after a hard day’s work, surrender with passion to the impulse of their erotic and sensual dances.

As they pass, everyone rushes to the street to enjoy the spectacle. A shower of coins rain into the street and a bottle or so of liquor passes from hand to hand until its contents are emptied. This is how the guloyas and the people of Macorís celebrate their festivities and their patronal feast. Don’t miss it if your visit coincides with the 29th of June, the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul. Undoubtedly, the people of San Pedro de Macorís will offer you the most hearty welcome.

During their patronal festivities and carnivals, the guloyas parade with their costumes and ornaments full of all kinds of beads. At the rolling of their rustic

In San Pedro de Macorís is the Universidad Central del Este (UCE) (Central University of the East). Since its foundation, UCE has transformed the city’s lifestyle. From the

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La Romana activity it generates, drives the demand for services that the private sector supplies with the innate hospitality of the Macorisanos. Baseball season sends the city buzzing with activity from October to February, when the lights of the Tetelo Vargas Stadium are turned on. Its home team is the Estrellas Orientales. Opposite the Macorís or Higuamo River stands the neoclassic-style Church of St. Paul the Apostle, whose tower (the city symbol in photographs and post cards) is visible from any part of the city and serves as a guide for visitors. Several bus terminals operate here with fixed, scheduled routes to Santo Domingo, La Romana and other eastern provinces.

Located in a beautiful zone settled by Juan de Esquivel in 1502, La Romana became a province on January 1, 1945. It is a clearly flourishing region, and home of the Central Romana, a privatelyowned sugar-cane mill. Crossing the Dulce River you find Casa de Campo, the Caribbean’s most complete tourist complex and regarded as one of the world’s ten best. It has its own airport and those who wish to vacation at this resort can fly directly by private planes or by the different commercial airlines.You can also arrive at Santo Domingo’s Las Americas international airport via the routes served by major European and US airlines.

• Where to Stay Consult the Hotel Directory in page 72

• For more information: Tourism Office  809-579-2254

A few minutes from Casa de Campo is Altos de Chavón, an artists’ village dedicated to cultural exchange and enrichment. In the heart of Altos de Chavón you can visit: a school of design affiliated with Parsons School in New York; St. Stanislaus Church; the Regional Archeological Museum with its ample collection of pre-Hispanic art; and small, old-style shops offering locally-made jewels, ceramics, and crafts. The village also contains an amphitheater, with capacity for and audience of 5,000 in the natural

Altos de Chavón Amphitheatre. 120


Another regional attraction is Los Haitises National Park, a forest reserve of impressive beauty, located in a zone where the capricious hills and valleys lose their continuity as they plunge into Samaná Bay. If you wish to take a tour or coordinate an excursion to Los Haitises, call the Office of Protected Areas and Biodiversity, St. Estanislao Church.

 809-472-4204. • How to Get There

landform offered by the terrain’s

Take the east-bound expressway

depression. It is the town’s performing

from Las Américas and follow it to la

center, and the international stage for

Avenida de Circunvalación, and to

superstars of the caliber of Frank Sinatra

the industrial free-zone where you will

and Julio Iglesias.

find the Cumayasa highway that goes to La Romana, located 35 km from

Towards the eastern area there is a beach called Bayahibe, where you can find the Oasis Canoa, a resort with 532 rooms. Along the same road, on one of the most beautiful beaches in the region is Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach, offering a secluded spot for spiritual rest, far from city noises, with informal cabins, constructed with primitive-style thatched roofs of natural fibers resembling Taíno bohío. A little farther along, for those who like observing wild life, is the boundary of the East National Park, which includes the Saona and Catalina islands, an area reserved as a sanctuary for Dominican flora and fauna in the interest of protecting endangered species.

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San Pedro de Macorís. • Where to Stay Consult Hotel Directory in page 72. • For more information: Tourism Office  809-550-6922 


Golf Course Directory

Catalonia Golf and Beach Resorts  809-412-0000  809-412-0001  www.hoteles-catalonia.com  differtentwill@hotmail.com

La Estancia Golf Resort  809-689-7027  809-556-5411  www.legr.com  info@legr.com / er@legr.com

Golf course

Location

Holes

Las Aromas Santiago Golf Club

Santiago

18

Punta Cana

18

Santo Domingo

9

Barceló Golf de Bávaro Campo de Golf Bella Vista Bonao Catalonia Cabeza de Toro Golf Club

Bávaro

9

Catalonia Caribe Golf Club

Beavaro

18

La Romana

18

Bávaro

18

Juan Dolio

18

Dye Fore El Cocotal Golf y Country Club Guavaberry Golf y Country Club Isabel Villas Golf Club

Santo Domingo

9

Jarabacoa Golf Club

Santiago

18

La Cana Golf Course

Punta Cana

18

La Estancia Golf Resort

La Romana

18

La Romana Country Club

La Romana

18

Metro Country Club Los Marlin Golf Course

Juan Dolio

18

Santo Domingo

18

Playa Dorada Golf Club

Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata

18

Playa Grande

Playa Grande, Río San juan

18

Punta Blanca Golf Club

Bávaro

18

Punta Espada Golf Club

Punta Cana

18

Santo Domingo Country Club-Campo Senior

Santo Domingo

18

Santo Domingo Country Club-Campo Los Robles

Santo Domingo

9

Teeth of the Dog

La Romana

18

The Links Course

La Romana

18

Bávaro

18

National Golf Course Las Lagunas

White Sandds Golf Course


Higüey, Holy Land of America Higüey, America’s Holy Land. It was

From Boca de Yuma Bay, Juan Ponce

founded in 1494 by Jamaica’ s

de León sailed, in 1508, for the

conqueror, Juan de Esquivel and settled

conquest of Puerto Rico, and in 1513,

from 1502 to 1508 by the Captain of the

for that of Florida.

Conquest, Juan Ponce de León. Higüey is the Mecca of the largest pilgrimages

The National Eastern Park, located

of Our Lady of Altagracia’s followers

along the road from Bayahibe to

where, every year on the 21st of January,

Boca de Yuma, is a natural and

thousands of pilgrims arrive at the Basilica

scientific reserve, a forest of protected

de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia

ecosystems, mangrove swamps and

seeking health or spiritual wellbeing.

beautiful beaches where important species of marine fauna survive,

Twenty-four kilometers from Higüey is San

such as dolphins and manatees. This

Rafael del Yuma where you may visit the

sanctuary park harbors several species

castle that was built from 1505 to 1506,

of migratory and native endemic birds,

by the man in quest of the fountain of

among which the White-crowned

youth.

pigeon prevails and nests there.

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Toward the southern coast, we can find our largest adjacent island, La Saona, with a surface of 110 square kilometers. It is currently inhabited by approximately 450 people, who live in the town of Mano Juan and the community of Punta Cautano. They mainly make their livings out of fishing and hunting pigeons and wild boars. Between the areas of firm land and its emersion and submersion coasts, there are lowlands that turned out to be wonderful breeding areas for fish and shrimps. It is important to point out that La Saona enjoys the lowest mortality gross rate in the Dominican Republic. Some other unique places located in the province of Higüey are the beautiful beaches of Macao, Bavaro, Punta Cana and Cap Cana, acknowledged to be among the best in the world, according to a report issued by the UNESCO: “Out of all the tourist beaches throughout the world, there are few that enjoy such crystalline water and thin sand. It is so white that it is hard to believe it’s real. It can certainly be said that this area must be included among the best ones in the world”. Within the healthy environment favored by nature in this part of the island, visitors will find all the comforts granted by exclusive services, designed to make tourists enjoy these beautiful beaches with white sand and clear turquoise waters, sheltered by exotic palm trees and coconut palm trees.

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Basilica Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia.

In the area between La Romana and

ironmonger’s, supermarkets, shopping

Punta Cana we can find the country’s

malls, department stores, and thematic

best hotels and holiday complexes,

parks like the Animal Adventure Park,

almost all of them acknowledged as

where visitors can enjoy a collection

world-class destinations. Those that stand

of lions, parrots, monkeys, squirrels,

out are Casa de Campo, Punta Cana

iguanas, sharks, rays, and Bengal tigers

Beach Resort, Tortuga Bay, EdenH,

trained by a team of expert vets and

Pueblo Bavaro, and Cap Cana. There

biologists. For more information, go to:

are different transportation options to

www.animalpark.com.do.

reach this area, either by air, by land or by sea, as it has two international

For the delight of shoppers, you can

airports currently working, in addition to

visit the distinguished Palma Real

national roads and a cruise port.

Shopping Village, the main shopping destination in the Dominican Republic’s

The area of Bavaro-Punta Cana has

eastern coast. There, you can find a

more than 26,000 hotel rooms, golf

diversified offer of renowned prestigious

courses of international firms such as

brands and designers who set the

Jack Nicklaus and Pete B. Dye, world-

standards of international fashion, as

class marinas, and high quality alternate

well as beverages, cigars, and Lariman

services like laundry, restaurants,

and Ambar jewelry of refined national

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metal work. To read the stores directory,

that many internationally prestigious

go to: www.palmarealshoppingvillage.

stores and jewelry shops are located

com

there, namely Conchita Llach, Sculpture, Morphy and Nye, Paló, Arcadio Diaz,

The Marina of Punta Cana Resort &

Sun & Wood, Habitanea, and Sea

Club is located at the resort’s southern

Whisper. And when it comes to eating

end, and it includes two docks with 43

a delicious meal, you can choose

mooring sites for boats up to 70 feet

these internationally famous restaurants:

long, and an eight feet deep protection

Acquamare, Marrana, Vaporreto,

channel sheltered by a breakwater. Its

Armacord, and Mitre Cap Cana.

GPS is: N-18-30-059 W-68-22-031. Over these last few years, PUNTA CANA RESORT & CLUB has sponsored ESPN’s Billfishing Xtreme Tournament. In its surroundings, the Marina Residential Area is being developed, where residences and condos are currently being built. Cap Cana’s Marina is another delight for distinguished shoppers, considering

• Where to sleep: Check the hotels directory, on page 72. • Where to eat: In the town of Cortecito, you can eat at El Pulpo Cojo and El Patio de Tiara. • For more information: Tourism Office  809-554-2672

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The #1 adventure tour

• Walks on horseback • Walks through tropical rainforests • Rappelling down 20 metres into the interior • 1.5 Km., Stalactites, stalagmites and underground rivers  809-553-2812  www.cuevafunfun.com

Excursions Next, some routes through some interesting places in the eastern region; they are selected for the convenience of the tourist. • Tour of the Eastern Region • La Cueva de Las Maravillas • Cuevas Fun Fun • Boating along the Chavón river • Catalina Island day trip • Catalina Island Millenium Cruise • Saona Island • Altos de Chavón and Saona Island by the Chavón River • Santo Domingo • Caribeña Party • Sea Dream • Manatí Park

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Casa de Campo  809-523-3333  809-523-8000  www.casadecampo.cc Grupo Desde el Medio  809-472-4422  www.desdeelmedio.com.do Cueva Fun Fun  809-553-2812  809-553-2953  cuevafunfun@hotmail.com  www.cuevafunfun.com


Dominican Republic