Santiago de los Caballeros (Santiago of the 30 Gentlemen )
Santiago de los Caballeros. This city is referred to as La Ciudad Corazón, (Heart City) because it is located at the heart of El Cibao Valley; it is also known as the capital of El Cibao. Tobacco, rice, coffee, and cacao are some of the many products grown in the fertile soil of this beautiful region. This city is graced by the meandering Yaque del Norte River and is home to the popular Dominican Baseball team, Las Aguilas Cibaeñas. Santiago’s history goes back to the late 15th Century, and it has always played a major role in the economic and social development of the Dominican Republic.
Often compared to Santo Domingo, the city of Santiago, the second largest metropolis, is comprised of natives that prefer a less chaotic and more purposeful lifestyle than its counterpart. Home to over 750,000 people, the heart of this laid back city proves to be the cultured downtown area. In addition, Santiago is where most of the country’s presidents were raised; giving the city well-deserved bragging rights.
A primary downtown attraction and a place were boredom is not in the vocabulary is Calle del Sol. Known as the city’s main shopping district, the street is stocked with shops, hotels, restaurants, bars and an array of vendors.
Located north of Calle del Sol is Parque Duarte. A popular area to kick up those traveling feet and get acquainted with the natives, this shady park is a great representation of Santiago’s laid back lifestyle.
An ideal spot for cigar lovers and a perfect place to relax after a day of shopping is the Museo del Tabaco. Visitors will learn about the art of cigar-making while purchasing some of the country’s top brands. Located in Santiago, it would be a sin to exit Cibao Valley without stopping by this one-of-a-kind museum.
People from around the globe visit Santiago year-round to stay at some of the finest accommodations that satisfy the needs of any traveler. In addition, the city provides a vibrant nightlife and variety of stores that are comparable to the capital city.
Most travelers know that convenience is an added bonus. Santiago provides an additional benefit by serving as an alternate airport to Puerto Plata. Also, both of the airports are of about equal distance to Monte Cristi and other destinations in the Dominican Republic’s northwest region
History of Santiago
Founded in 1495 during the first wave of European colonization of the New World, today Santiago de los Caballeros (the first “Santiago” of America) is the second largest metropolis in the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola. Also known as Santiago de los 30 Caballeros, is the capital of Santiago Province.
Attractions in Santiago
The picture on the left is a monument built to commemorate the restoration of the Republic’s Independence, it was built in the 40’s with 67 meters of altitude, in white marble, it has small museums in it’s interior, several murals and frescos decrypting the life of taino indians and other equally impressive works, it’s a symbol of the city of Santiago, once named “Monumento to the peace of Trujillo” while the Dominican Dictator was in power, . It’s a site that serves as a meeting destination for all Santiagueros, these are the residents of the City of Santiago, if you ever go there you’ll notice something very much unique to this city, the absolute absence of any tourism aimed sites, we have none there, it’s by far a tourism free city(if there ever was one).
Santiago is known as the oldest and most traditional families in the Dom. Rep. the most prestigious and well to do merchants and industrial owners and executives make it their home, many of the country leaders come from including presidents come from this region.
The city’s economy depends mainly on the production of cigarettes, rum, furniture, pharmaceuticals, soaps, leather articles, and processed foods, including cacao, milled rice, and dairy produce. Santiago is on the main highway linking Santo Domingo 85 mi 137 km southeast with Montecristi in the extreme northwest.
Santiago is the cradle of the Merengure Tipico, the most popular form and original Merengue of the island, called Pericos Ripiaos, these are candent fast paced Merengue tunes, it’s home to one of the most dynamic Free Trade Zones in the country, and where the best nightclubs, discos, and restaurants in the country are located, it is known for it’s very intense nocturnal life