Posted by: Anni Orekh | October 12, 2010

Dominican Republic’s Destinations

SANTO DOMINGO: The city boasts one of the largest historical centres in Latin America; part of the legacy left by the many different cultures that together have created the city’s great and ancient heritage seen today in its numerous well-preserved monuments and museums.

The cathedral, the Alcázar palace and the Archivo de las Indias have been declared Unesco world heritage sites. Located in the heart of santo Domingo, these three buildings form a remarkable monumental complex. The cathedral and the Alcázar are exceptional examples of Christian and Spanish architecture.

Santo Domingo’s cathedral, with its five naves, is the first and largest Gothic building in the Caribbean and along with Faro Colon   is also famous for originally housing the tomb of Christopher Columbus. After Columbus’s discovery of America in 1492, valuable documents detailing voyages and exploration from this time can be seen today in the Archivo de las Indias.

SANTIAGO

It is said that Santiago is a treat that needs to be savoured slowly, strolling leisurely through the city’s streets and marvelling at its elegant buildings, soaking up the atmosphere of its fountain-studded gardens and investigating the centuries of history housed in its museums. Santiago is the where Merengue music is born.

The province of Santiago is second important city of the Dominican Republic and enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine a year and has an average temperature of 22ºC, both of which explain why this is one of DR’s most popular tourist destinations.

Santiago is famous for the quality of his tabacco and his rum, you can extend your visit to best tabacco factory “Jimenez” and distilleries “Brugal” or “Bermudez.”

In Santiago are concentrated in industries that manufacture the best cigars in the Dominican Republic and the World is proud to offer customers, with the same symbolism as its natives aboriginal smoked the peace pipe. Dominican Republic produces two-thirds of premium cigars, handmade and sold on the world market.

Without doubt this is a region blessed by nature that supplies food to all parts of the country and has large deposits of gold, iron, nickel and other minerals

Besides the monuments steeped in history, the beautiful beaches, the delicious freshly fried fish and the bustling shopping areas, Santiago is also famous for being the cradle and inspiration of artists such as Urena Rib and actors like Antonio Banderas, who share the honour of being the city’s most famous sons.

La Nuit and La Bachata are clubs that are located in hotels Matum and Grand Admiral. Champion Disco Palace is a spectacular nightclub with capacity for 2,000 people.

PUERTO PLATA

Puerto Plata  and the nearby Playa Dorada comprise first and original place of mass tourism to the Caribbean. Puerto Plata is a vibrant Dominican town of 200,000 that’s well worth exploring for its historic architecture and nightlife. Its core, the Old City, borders the port to the east, a narrow grid of streets that was once the swankiest neighbourhood in the country. Around the original town sprawls a patchwork maze of industrial zones and concrete barrios known as the New City, formed over the past century with the growth of the town’s industry. Most visitors, though, are here for package tours to the Playa Dorada complex – located a kilometre east of the city limits – a walled-off vacation factory that pulls in over a half-million tourists each year.

JEWISH ENCLAVE:

The first known Jews to reach the island of Hispaniola were Spanish Jews. They arrived in 1492, when the island was discovered by Christopher Columbus.   Sephardic Jews are the Jews of Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Middle East and their descendants.  When the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, many of them were absorbed into existing Mizrachi communities in Northern Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.

For Sephardic Jews the situation, worsenned dramatically when the Ostrogothic kings of Spain embraced the Catholic faith in the late 6th century. Since then the Jews were put under permanent persecution for practicing their religion and had to face several times the dilemma of either converting to Christianity, or leaving Spain.

Historically, Sephardic Jews have been more integrated into the local non-Jewish culture than Ashkenazic Jews.
Although some individual Sephardic Jews are less observant than others, and some individuals do not agree with all of the beliefs of traditional Judaism, there is no formal, organized differentiation into movements as there is in Ashkenazic Judaism.

The current population of known Jews in the Dominican Republic is approximately 300, the majority live in Santo Domingo, the capital.  A very high percentage of the nation’s Jews have intermarried although some spouses have fomalized their Judaism through conversions and participate in Jewish communal life.

There are three synagogues and one Sephardic Jewish Educational Center. One is the Centro Israelita de República Dominicana in Santo Domingo, another is a Chabad outreach center also in Santo Domingo, and another is in the country’s first established community in Sosua.  Santo Domingo synagogue

The  Dominican Jewish Quarter in Puerto Plata is situated very close  in a beautiful nearby town named Sosua most of them ashkenazi Jewish background (those of Eastern European descent). The town a labyrinth of winding, narrow streets, flower-filled courtyards and picturesque squares. In early May, homeowners proudly festoon their patios with flowers to compete for the city’s “most beautiful courtyard” contest.

The wave of Askenazi Jews was a dwindling group of European Jews rescued from Nazism in the 1940s by the country’s ruthless dictator, Gen. Rafael Trujillo.

Sosua’s newly inaugurated Jewish Museum.

The Museo Judio, located next to the Casa Marina Hotel and down the street from the local Verizon phone company office, was inaugurated Feb. 3, 2003, in the presence of many dignitaries including Israel’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic.  At its entrance is the text of the 1940 agreement between the Trujillo dictatorship and the Dominican Republic Settlement Association (Dorsa), the New York-based organization that intended to rescue thousands of Jews from impending doom in Austria, Germany, Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

LA ROMANA

La Romana is the third-largest city in the Dominican Republic. La Romana has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country because of the beautiful beaches and the tourism infrastructure that has been put in place.

This beautifil dominican city is comprised of La Romana city, Casa de Campo, Dominicus and Bayahibe is an excellent choice for R & R vacations, honeymoons, family holidays, family reunions, teenagers, active travelers, scuba divers and golfers. If friends have raved to you about the Saona Island excursion, La Romana is the nearest point from which to embark on a trip to the islands of Saona and Catalina.

With incredible diving sites, championship golf courses and outstanding cultural features, La Romana has become one of the most cosmopolitan municipalities in the country in spite of being one of youngest of the country.

PUNTA CANA

Punta Cana is part of the newly created Punta Cana-Bavaro-Veron-Macao municipal district in La Altagracia, the easternmost province of the Dominican Republic. The area is best known for its beaches, which face both the Caribbean and Atlantic, and it has been a popular tourist destination since the 1970s.

Punta Cana is a first-class destination showcasing spectacular all-inclusive resorts which enchant North Americans and Europeans alike.

Located at the eastern tip of the island, the Punta Cana region is a beach lovers’ paradise and our most popular destination in the Dominican Republic. Here you will find pearl white, palmfringed beaches, the most famous of which is Playa Bavaro. Punta Cana is a great destination for couples and families interested in water sports, sun and relaxation. Nightlife is a little quieter here, so singles may prefer a destination that’s a little more lively.

Besides rest and relaxation, Punta Cana calls out to honeymooners, families, active travelers, snorkel enthusiast and golfers. Also many ecotourism is gaining popularity with many national reserves and the coral reef. Gamblers will rejoice with the many casinos.

SAMANA

Samana is the real Caribbean, described by Christopher Columbus as “the fairest land on the face of the earth,” the Samana Peninsula is considered by Dominicans and visitors alike as the prettiest part of the island of Hispaniola. It is the jewel in the crown of Republica Dominicana.

Samana Bay and Escocesa Bay are two of the most beautiful and attractive natural sites in the world. The famous humpback whales come to breed in these waters and can be seen between December and March. They perform a beautiful courtship ritual that brings together over 3,000 whales and constitutes a stunning spectacle.

 Samana has always attracted visitors, not only because of its beautiful white sandy beaches, but also because of its tranquility and strategic location in the Caribbean. Historically, it was the site of the first encounter between Indians and Spanish colonizers in the Americas.

People still dance the African “Bamboula” and the traditional “Bachata”, whilst the Anglo-Caribbean culinary heritage can be enjoyed in the form of a rice and fish dish with coconut called “don plin”, as well as “Johnny cakes”. Dominican Creole dishes such as “moro”, “asopao” and “sancocho” are also available.

The Samana peninsula is located in the extreme northeastern tip of the Dominican Republic. Its diversity and cultural heritage are curious and fascinating. Vestiges of the original inhabitants, in the form of petroglyphs and pictograms on cave walls, can still be seen. Protestant, Methodist and Catholic churches abound, showing the religious plurality of its inhabitants.

Playa Rincon, which was recently chosen as the world’s second best beach; and Las Galeras, an old fishing village that today has magnificent white sandy beaches nestling behind coral reefs.

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  1. […] Programme Content & DIY  Destinations Our Prices & Discounts Easy Planning Health & Safety  […]

  2. […] Learning Spanish for Dominican Republic Travel Learning Spanish for Dominican Republic  Travel – If you enjoy traveling to Latin American and mostly the Caribbean, and would like to learn how to better communicate with the native residents, it might make sense to learn Spanish. You might be able to speak “traveler’s Spanish” from a book of Spanish phrases, but if you travel there often, or are moving there, learning the language will definitely help you in your everyday activities. As you become more familiar with the language, you’ll be encouraged to make friends and perhaps participate in local community and social activities… ( Dominican Places) […]


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