Monumento a los Héroes de la Restauración
Monumento a los Héroes de la Restauración


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Santiago de los Caballeros–named after the 30 Spanish aristocrats who followed Columbus and settled here in 1495–was the country’s first capital before it suffered an earthquake in 1562. Today, the Dominican Republic’s second largest city–affectionately dubbed “Ciudad Corazón” or the city in the heart of the Cibao Valley–is a modern and cosmopolitan center thriving in commerce, finance, education, and services, and pulsating with culture.

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Towering over its sprawling urban streets, the Monumento a Los Héroes de la Restauración–affectionately called El Monumento–is the city’s chief landmark and social hub, where residents and visitors gather on its lawns, but also serves as a constant reminder of the men who regained the DR’s independence from Spain in 1865. Looming in the distance is the Cordillera Central mountain range, replete with hiking adventures. History, arts, and culture are never far in Santiago–Centro Cultural León offers a comprehensive display of the country’s rich heritage–and are part and parcel of this significant region as birthplace of the Mirabal Sisters, as well as several Dominican presidents. Home to universities, the area also brims with a dynamic population of millenials, amid professionals, all of whom enjoy the city’s vibrant entertainment and nightlife, boasting over 100 discos, bars, and lounges within the downtown area.

Despite the big city life, traditions run deep. Baseball passion thrives, as Santiago is home to the popular Aguilas Cibaeñas team, winners of three Caribbean Series and 22 national titles since 1952. In the city’s surrounding areas are some of the most talented artisans and painters in the DR, while Santiago Carnival ranks among the most revered in the country, with the most bejeweled handmade devil costumes after La Vega’s. To boot, nature has blessed the province with fertile soils that grow the world’s finest tobacco, home to 90 percent of the largest cigar plantations and factories and earning Santiago the nickname “Cigar Country.” Puro aficionados will also find all the premium brand factories near the city center at Tamboril, offering free daily tours and exclusive shopping opportunities.

Cultured, innovative, and fast-paced: that’s Santiago. Yet minutes outside city limits, the peaceful sight of mountains and cool air whisk you away from the hustle and bustle, plunging you into the stunning Cibao heartland.

The Cibao International Airport (STI) is conveniently located a half-hour from the city center.

Jan 15 - Mar 31

Whale Watching Season

Samana Bay
Watch the 1,500 to 2,000 whales that migrate to the waters of the Samaná Bay on a guided boat tour ...
Feb 23 - Feb 28

Master of the Ocean 2023

Master of the Ocean is considered the most significant open water competition in the region. This ra...


Attractions in Santiago 

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A modern basketball facility hosts the tournaments (usually in the spring) that pit different sections of the city against each other in an all-out battle for the city championship. Regional and national championship games are played here during the summer. The local basketball team is called the “Metros”.
Iconic Sights
A gathering spot of creatives, Casa de Arte sits in the historic center of downtown Santiago, in a renovated Victorian home. The gallery’s rotating display shows Dominican artists’ works, and the venue often hosts live music or theater performances in the evening.
Family-Friendly, Museums
This all-white Catholic cathedral, designed in Gothic and neoclassical style, dates back to the 19th century. Tour the beautiful interior–which holds the remains of former Dominican leader Ulises Heureaux, as well as other notable personalities of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Churches, Family-Friendly
A beautiful series of permanent exhibits showcase Dominican history and culture, dating back to the Taino days. You’ll also find a visual arts room, displaying the winning art pieces from the annual Eduardo León Jimenes Art Contest, as well as a cigar-focused exhibit recounting the heritage of DR’s cigar industry.
Family-Friendly, Iconic Sights, Museums
Home to the school of fine arts, this cultural center regularly hosts fine arts performances. It is also home to one of the best folklore dance groups in the country. El Sol and Antonio Guzmán streets.
Iconic Sights
Santiago is the cigar capital of the world, with the largest production of smokes at the many factories. In February every year, the ProCigar Festival is held with organized visits to cigar factories and tobacco field tours to companies operations such as General Cigar, Davidoff, Matasa, La Aurora, Corporación Cigar Export, Tabacalera La Alianza, La […]
Iconic Sights, Shopping
The Cibao Stadium is the home of the Aguilas Cibaeñas baseball club and hosts professional baseball games from mid-October through the end of January. Taking in a baseball game at the stadium is a must – the entertainment on the field is matched by the irrepressibly jubilant mood of the team’s loyal and loud fans. […]
Iconic Sights
Built in the early 19th century, this yellow-toned fortress has a beautiful, ornate exterior gate with two cannons facing the city. A key defense post during the War of Restoration, US Marines also used the fort as a base during the first US occupation of the DR (1916-1924).
Family-Friendly, Iconic Sights, Museums
Located directly across from the city’s landmark monument and surrounded by a lush garden, the Gran Teatro del Cibao boasts three levels with large marble and mahogany halls. Year round, the prestigious theater hosts numerous national and international plays, dance performances, operas and concerts.
Family-Friendly, Iconic Sights, Theaters
Founded in 1903, Santiago’s renowned La Aurora is the country’s number one producer and exporter of premium cigars. Walk around the cigar making floors, watching the intricate hand rolling process, and learn how to roll, hold, and smoke your own puro along the way.
Rum + Cigars

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