Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic is the country’s second largest city. It is centered in center-north of the country, about two hours north of the capital Santo Domingo, and an hour south of Puerto Plata. Santiago has gotten a bit of a bad rap as being boring. While it is true that some of the other cities in the Dominican Republic have more to offer in the way of activities and excursions, passing a night or two in Santiago could be a welcomed part of any Dominican vacation.
Everyone who has visited Santiago can immediately identify the city’s primary attraction. The Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration is immediately identifiable, resting near the city center. The monument was constructed at the commission of Rafael Trujillo, a former president of the Dominican Republic. After his 1961 assassination, the monument was renamed after the Independence Restoration War of 1863, in which the Dominican Republic regained its independence from Spain.
During the day locals and tourists visit the monument and its grounds to relax and exercise. In the center of the city can be found many local shops where visitors can buy clothes, shoes, souvenirs, and local produce. Malls in the city also provide shopping opportunities, including Colinas Mall, and Plaza Internacional. Santiago boasts a number of fast food chains including Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC. Most places in Santiago are only a short, 150 peso, taxi ride away.
At night, restaurants and bars in the area provide many options to go out and eat, have a drink, and dance. Particularly popular locations are Ahi Bar, and Puerta Del Sol, which are located near the monument.
Another popular attraction in the Santiago area is Camp David. The hotel is located in the hills surrounding the city, providing an unparalleled view of the city itself. Camp David is a full service hotel, boasting 35 rooms, a restaurant, and a wine bar. Many people make the trip to Santiago for no other reason than to stay at Camp David Hotel.