Sosua, Dominican Republic

Sosua is located in the Dominican Republic, and is known for being both a historically rich and exciting destination. The area was established in the 1940s when the Dominican Government offered to accept Jewish immigrants from Europe, specifically from Germany and Austria. These Jewish refugees established the town of Sousa, and began a cheese and milk factory called Productos Sosua, which is still running and available for tours to this day. Today, the area is home to many expatriates from Germanic countries, as well as Canadians, British, and Americans.

The city of Sousa is divided into three sections: El Batey, Sousa Abajo, and Los Charamicos. The latter two districts are home to local Dominicans, most of which work in the tourism industry and travel daily to the El Batey district. Los Charamicos is also known to be a nightlife capital, although most of the patrons are locals rather than expatriates or travelers. The El Batey district is home to most international residents and tourists, and was the initial settlement of European Jews in the 1940s. Most of the town’s tourism industry is based here, and nearly every hotel and hostel can be found in El Batey.

Tourism in Sousa as well as Holidays to Dominican Republic really began to take off in the 1980s, thanks in large part to it’s waterfront location and tropical climate. Visitors come to Sousa in order to enjoy the beautiful beaches and diving, as well as partake in a big industry for the town–the nightlife. There are many beachside bars, and the area of Pedro Clisante is known for it’s thriving expat community at night. Rum based drinks are of course the most popular, but locals beers are cheapest and just as delicious as their imported European counterparts.

The main beach is called Playa Sousa, and is over a kilometer long. Countless shacks run alongside the shore, each with a vendor selling items to tourists like drinks, snacks, or souvenirs. Beach supplies can also be rented, like lounge chairs, umbrellas, or snorkeling equipment. Snorkeling is a popular activity on Playa Sousa, thanks to a coral reef just beyond the shoreline. For a quieter and more tranquil beach-going experience, you can visit the Playa Alicia, another beach nearby. Fewer vendors means less local flavor, but it can be calmer and more relaxing if you need to decompress after a night of barhopping.

Sousa is a beautiful and vibrant town, and one that attracts many tourists annually. With a combination of Dominican heritage, early 20th century European history, stunning beaches, and an exciting nightlife, Sousa is the ideal destination for any traveler.


Santiago, Dominican Republic

Santiago, Dominican Republic, is a delightful city to visit. With some of the region’s highest mountains surrounding this second largest Dominican Republic city, that allows for tropical forests as well as protection from hurricanes. Santiago is the capital of the Santiago Province and is a major center for industry including rum, cigars and cigarettes, textiles, leather goods, shoes, cement, furniture, and telecommunications. There are four Free Zone centers for the frugal visitors. The Clinica Union Medica, one of the country’s largest medical centers that serves all of the thirteen wealthy El Cibao provinces, is also located here.

Santiago was founded in 1495 when the Europeans began to colonize the New World and were attracted by the fertile lands.

The neoclassical Cathedral de Santiago was built in 1895 by a local architect and has beautiful stained glass windows. It houses tombs of the tyrant Ulises Heureux as well as heroes of the Restoration. Admission is free to this religious site.

The Monument to the Heros of the Restoration is a gorgeous marble monument high on a hill in the middle of Santiago. Then dictator Rafael Trujillo ordered construction of this in the 1940s as “Trujillo’s Monument to Peace.” However, after his assassination in 1961, it was renamed to honor heroes of the Independence Restoration War of 1863 that regained independence from Spain. Along with a magnificent view of the city from an observation deck located 151 steps up, this monument also houses a collection of works by the Spanish muralist Vela Zannetti.

The Kaskada Water (Aqua) Park is the perfect place to cool off and have some fun. As well as two swimming pools, there are six water slides, three that require extra-cost tubes and three that do not. The highest slide is about three stories tall and has a tubeless steep drop. There is a large water playground for young children with small water slides, shallow water, cute characters, and things to climb on. A “get wet” area allows children or older people to climb around and get sprayed with cool water. Food in the park includes a buffet or a large pizza or a hot dog. There are six bars scattered throughout the park, and one of them is located right in a pool so you don’t have to get out of the water! Another bar has pool tables. Music is played in three different areas, and there is a stage area and bandstand.