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History and Culture in the Dominican Republic

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One of the first European settlements in the Americas, La Isabela is among the Dominican Republic’s most fascinating attractions. Look beyond the island’s colonial-era cities, however, and you’ll also find caves full of Taino pictographs, a replica of a 16th-century Tuscan village, a museum devoted to Dominican culture, and more.
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La Isabela 57000, Dominican Republic
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...
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Santiago De Los Caballeros, Dominican Republic
One of the Dominican Republic’s finest museums can be found in its second-largest city, Santiago de los Caballeros. Centro León, a philanthropic project run by the Grupo León Jimenes tobacco company, focuses on Dominican...
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On the Dominican Republic’s southeastern coast, near Bayahibe, this 300-square-mile UNESCO World Heritage site spans both land and sea. As you snorkel or row a glass-bottom boat out to one of the three islands in the reserve—Saona (a...
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La Romana 22000, Dominican Republic
On the Dominican Republic’s southeastern coast, high above the Chavón River gorge in La Romana, sits Altos de Chavón, a replica of a 16th-century Tuscan village handcrafted by local artisans. Completed in 1976, the site now...
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La Romana 22000, Dominican Republic
Seven miles from La Romana, this enchanting national park comprises a 2,600-foot-long cave system with stalactites and stalagmites, plus almost 500 pictographs and petroglyphs created by the Tainos who inhabited the island at the time the...
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Santo Domingo 10212, Dominican Republic
Don’t miss this Gothic Renaissance palace in the Zona Colonial, built between 1510 and 1514 for Christopher Columbus’s eldest son, Diego Colón (governor of the colony and viceroy of the Indies), and his wife, María de...
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Calle Las Damas, Santo Domingo 10210, Dominican Republic
At the top of Calle Las Damas—where María de Toledo (the niece of King Ferdinand of Spain) and her ladies in waiting strolled in fine dresses every afternoon—you’ll find the former Spanish Governor’s Royal Court,...
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Calle Hostos, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Built between 1503 and 1508, this Gothic Renaissance relic with Moorish arches was the first hospital in the New World. Named for the patron saint of cures, it was designed in the shape of a Latin cross—the center nave was used for worship...