Domestic tourism: A route to enjoy and reflect on during Holy Week

With the arrival of Semana Mayor, everyone starts to pack their bags to leave.

If you are one of those who will leave the city, take the opportunity to get to know the area where you will be, its churches, its iconic places, family entertainment, and above all, its tourist attractions.

The DR has it all, so in one destination you can do religious, historical and recreational tourism.

We leave you with different options, so that from now on, take a list of where you will tell Waze or Google Maps to take you.

A little bit of everything in one place

Puerto Plata: Known as the Bride of the Atlantic, this province offers a number of options so that during these seven days you do not stay in one place.

We begin our tour with the San Felipe Cathedral, located in the very center of the city. This church has a Victorian style building that dominates the sky over the city. The temple that exists today was built by Tancredo Aybar Castellanos, by order of Trujillo in 1956.

So, if you are one of those who want to take the opportunity to reflect on these and you are in this province, be sure to visit this cathedral.

However, if you are one of those who prefer to visit iconic places, you have to post your photo while strolling along ‘Umbrella Street’ or street of umbrellas. With around 170 colorful umbrellas hanging in the air, this space offers its passersby the opportunity not only to take pictures, but also to enjoy different recreational activities typical of the place.

So, if you are one of those who want to take the opportunity to reflect on these and you are in this province, be sure to visit this cathedral.

However, if you are one of those who prefer to visit iconic places, you have to post your photo while strolling along ‘Umbrella Street’ or umbrella street. With around 170 colorful umbrellas hanging in the air. This space offers its passers-by the opportunity not only to take pictures, but also to enjoy various recreational activities typical of the place.

To get there you just have to go to San Felipe Street, between Beller and Duarte Streets.

Another place you definitely can’t miss is the Paseo de Doña Blanca, an alley painted entirely in pink, also located in the same center on John F. Kennedy and Beller streets.

If you schedule with time, during these seven days or maybe three, several tourist and cultural places of this city, among them: La Fortaleza San Felipe, the Central Park or Independencia and the Loma Isabel de Torres.

Now, do not leave here without taking a dip, so the warm waters of Cabarete beach, the 27 pools of Damajagua or any of its attractive beaches.

Religion, camping and mountains

A tour that we recommend is a visit to the Olympic, Cultured and Carnivalesque province of La Vega.

During Lent, hundreds of parishioners gather to climb the Santo Cerro and visit the National Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de Las Mercedes.

Located to the northwest of Concepción La Vega, this church exhibits an exquisite architectural work, besides, it offers a beautiful view mixed with different shades of green and blue caressed by a fresh breeze.

In one of the municipalities of this cultural province, you can enjoy the coldest climate in the country, Constanza.

Almost two hours from La Vega, you will be greeted by cheerful people, fresh agricultural products and a welcoming climate that allows you to walk around more comfortably.

If you’ve already arrived in town, you can’t leave without going up to Valle Nuevo. A mixture of adventure and ecotourism awaits you, and whether you decide to go up by forwell, 4×4 vehicle or bicycle, the experience is undoubtedly unique.

If you are very religious you will have the opportunity to leave your offerings at the Alto de la Virgen, while taking pictures of the beautiful landscape and the giant bicycle that is in the surroundings, a station that has become an iconic point for cyclists who ride through Constanza.

Up there you will find a humid climate, and as you will go in Easter you will not need a coat, as it is one of the points that reaches the lowest temperature in the country. When you reach the Casa de Guardia point, you will see strawberry crops, as well as a small church where a few tourists come to deposit offerings. As you advance along the route, you will cross the monument to the death of Francisco Alberto Caamaño Deñó; a few kilometers later you will arrive at Las Pirámides de Constanza, a place that makes you feel out of the DR.

Here you have the opportunity to go camping and if you are brave you can take a dip in the cold waters of the river behind it.

Another municipality that offers a rich variety of eco-tourism is Jarabacoa. In less than an hour from La Vega, you will be in this paradisiacal city. With beautiful landscapes that make the journey more pleasant, Jarabacoa offers a wide variety for visitors.

An almost obligatory stop in town is the Calle de las sombrillas, a space of healthy entertainment for the whole family. Further inland, you can reach the Confluencia River and enjoy its different attractions.

Here you will find a museum, you will have the opportunity to go horseback riding or by car, there is a small amusement park for the little ones and of course, the cool and cold waters of the river that invite more than one to take a dip.

In the beautiful mountains of Jarabacoa you can paraglide and enjoy nature to the fullest. A place you can’t miss if you are in this municipality is the Salto de Jimenoa. An amazing waterfall located between the mountains full of history and freshness.

A tour of the south

Let’s start in San Cristóbal, cradle of the Dominican Constitution. Our first stop will be at the Monumento a los Constituyentes, a historical and cultural place that you deserve to know. A few minutes away you will arrive at the central park of San Cristobal Colon, and you will be captivated by the idiosyncrasy of the town and the majestic architecture of the Nuestra Señora de la Consolación church, which is a must-see.

Its construction was in charge of the architect Henry Gazón. Inspired by the Renaissance style, this work follows the symbolism of the Latin cross, in which the principles of Christianity are reflected. On display here are 26 murals by the renowned Spanish painter José Rodrigo Vela Zanetti. Each painting on the walls and the dome of the temple narrates the life of Jesus according to the gospels in the Bible.

The next stop is up to you, if what you want is adventure, in half an hour you can be observing the historical pictographs kept in the Cuevas de Borbón Anthropological Reserve or Cueva del Pomier, from there you can continue to the Valley of God, or take a salty dip in the beaches of Najayo or Palenque.

Let’s head to the deep south and get to San Juan. The first thing that greets visitors are the powerful rays of the south, which is called tas in the deep part of the country. The first stop you have to make is at the Central Caonabo Park, where you will not only take pictures at the different monuments but you will also be able to share with the natives of this province and learn a little about their customs.

Just ten minutes or less away you will reach the next attraction, this is the Sanchez Park, where the father of the country is honored and welcomes tourists and passersby with affable treatment. But we know you don’t want to leave here without perhaps passing by the house of God, that’s why one street after the park you will find the San Juan Bautista Cathedral.

This cathedral will be love at first sight for your cultural taste, no matter what religion you profess. With a mixture of architectural styles, between Romanesque, neo-Gothic, Baroque and Arabic, it gives this church and this province one of the most imposing and striking temples in the country.

Located on Duarte Street, inside the church you can contemplate many religious and cultural artistic objects. As of today, the temple has about 31 paintings, by artists native to the city.

If you want to leave wet and fresh, we recommend you to visit the spa La Rancha, fresh waters that will help you relax and rest.

Now, you can’t leave the south without visiting Lake Enriquillo in Bahoruco, or Bahía de las Águilas in Pedernales, the warm and cold waters of the San Rafael beach and river or Los Patos in Barahona, as well as taking a trip to take some memorable photos in one of the different national parks located in the south.

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