Santiago is a province located in the interior of Dominican Republic. It is also known as the heart of the island. Santiago de los Trenta Caballeros is recognized as the second biggest city in Dominican Republic. The number of inhabitants in the province has already reached more than one million according to the island’s census conducted in 2002. Santiago is a very cultural, intellectual and educational region. The best makers of cigarettes, tobacco, rums and even textiles are based in this province. Aside from the said industries, there also other industries in Santiago that gives a great influence in its growing economy. It includes the manufacturing of leather goods, shoe making and furniture making industries. A cement factory also adds income to the ever increasing economy of Santiago. Although the Dominican Republic is surrounded by different bodies of water, Santiago is protected from the hurricanes by the towering mountains ringed around the province. In result, the slopes of the mountains develop lush thick topical forests which are great spots for ecotourism in Santiago.
There are many places that tourists may visit during day time at Santiago. First on the list is the Parque Duarte. It is a park located in the downtown of Santiago. This is where you could see the monument built in commemoration for the so-called Heroes of the Restoration. A leader named Trujillo had the sixty-seven meter built in his honor. However, after Trujillo’s death, people decided to rename the monument in honor of those who died during the War of Restoration. There are stairs at the monument which from the top may give you a panoramic view of the whole province. A pavilion with a Victorian-style is also located here in Parque Duarte. If are tired of walking but still want to see rest of the city then, ride the horse-drawn carriages driven by the locals of Santiago parked along the sides of the park.
Another tourist site in Santiago is the Neo-Classical Christian architecture called the Church of Santiago Apostol. It was built in the 19th century and the amazing stained glass windows are well-preserved until now. The tombs of some Restoration heroes and the tomb of Ulysses Heureaux are located inside the church.
SantiagoThe best time to visit Santiago is during the month of february where the Carnival event takes place. During this celebration, the streets of Santiago are filled with loud music, colorful parades, and locals wearing carnival masks. Some of the most beautifully created carnival masks are placed in the Tomas Morel Museum of Folkloric Art along with the rest of the mask collection. Tourists may also visit the Santiago Museum and the Tobacco Museum. Several huge companies, such as E Leon Jimenez Tobacco Company and Bermudez Rum Factory, offer tours inside their establishment so that people, especially tourists will get acquainted in their industry. The E Leon Jimenez Tobacco Company has an affiliated cultural center also located in Santiago. It has weekly performances and cultural exhibits rivaling the other local museums in the province of Santiago.