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National Historical and Archaeological Park of La Isabela

La Isabela 57000, Dominican Republic
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National Historical and Archaeological Park of La Isabela   Dominican Republic

National Historical and Archaeological Park of La Isabela

Thirty miles west of Puerto Plata in Luperon, you’ll find the remains of La Isabela. One of the first European settlements in the Americas, it was founded by Christopher Columbus in 1493 but abandoned just three years later after crop failures, hunger, hurricanes, conflicts with the Tainos, and disputes among the crew. The ruins were discovered in the mid-20th century and now comprise a national park, complete with the remains of Columbus’s house, a church, and a graveyard where you can see a skeleton in the ground beneath the glass. There’s also a museum that details the story of the Taino people and the Spaniards’ arrival, and features some preserved relics.