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.


Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo is capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic. Santo Domingo has an estimated population of over 2.2 million people. Located on the Caribbean Sea at the mouth of the Ozama River, the city is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas. Bartholomew Columbus, the younger brother of Christopher Columbus, founded Santo Domingo in 1496.

Throughout the years, Santo Domingo has been the home of exploration and conquest by the New World. Francis Drake captured the city of Santo Domingo and held it for ransom in 1586. His invasion and pillaging of the country made Santo Domingo the only inhabited city for 50 years. The rest was taken over and controlled by pirates until Drake finally gave up his plans and abandoned Santo Domingo. Over the years, Santo Domingo has been controlled by multiple different nations. France had power in the early 1800′s, but lost control to Spain a few years later. The Dominican Republic would ultimately gain independence, and establish Santo Domingo as the capital again in the mid 20th century.

Santo Domingo features a tropical monsoon climate, which keeps the average temperatures very steady throughout the year. Tropical trade winds constantly move the heat and humidity across the city to maintain the stable temperatures. While this makes for ideal weather, it also makes Santo Domingo very susceptible to hurricanes. The temperatures very rarely get below 70 degrees at any time during the year. Winter will see average temperature in the low 80′s, with the summer seeing temperatures in the mid 90′s. Annual rainfall is usually around 57 inches, with the summer and fall months seeing the majority of the rain. These months will see 7 inches of rain each, but only 2 or 3 inches will fall in the winter and spring.

The weather and beautiful locations make Santo Domingo a very popular Holidays to the Caribbean destination. A vast majority of Santo Domingo is highly developed, but there are a few areas with very poor conditions and slums. Most of the poverty stricken areas are located on the outskirts of the city, with the development occurring in downtown locations. Santo Domingo is the home to 10 separate museums that are dedicated to the history of the Dominican Republic. The city is also home to several beautiful parks, zoos and malls. The Dr. Moscoso National Botanical Garden would have to be the most popular destination, and is home to many plants only found in the Dominican Republic.