National Historical and Archaeological Park of La Isabela
La Isabela 57000, Dominican Republic
Photo by Thomas Grau/Shutterstock.com
National Historical and Archaeological Park of La IsabelaThirty 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.