The Dominican Republic is not just about sea and beaches. This is particularly true if you head towards Higuey, the typical Dominican city, the place where you can really breathe a classic Caribbean atmosphere. The main traits are the colourful roads, the noisy squares and the friendly people who always crowd up streets, markets and shores alike.
Higuey is the capital of the Altagracia province in the Dominican Republic. This beautiful city is crossed through by the river Yuma, which conveys the landscape a unique and unmissable character. And it also is the place where the most famous sanctuary of the whole Caribe is located. This city leaves the choice to you: a classic experience of the tropical sea or a more adventurous and cultural holiday?
Whether you have already travelled across the Caribbean sea and seen the main islands or this is your first encounter ever with this stunningly beautiful area of the world, Higuey in the Dominican Republic is the perfect destination.
Attractions to see in Higuey
Parque Nacional del Este (Eastern National Park)
Surrounded by very important tourist resorts, this is the most visited National Park of the area, thanks to just to its position but also to its wonderful attractions. The flora is the amazing typical one of the tropical Caribbean such as in Bahía de las Calderas, a kind of lagoon surrounded by mangroves and dwarf mangroves with significant biodiversity, and the fauna is varied (dolphins, sea-turtles, rhino iguanas, pelicans, manatees, seagulls). This park also contains many caves with rock drawings from the Taina culture.
Basilica of Our Lady of Altagracia
The most visited church of South-America, the Basilica was built in the city centre to replace the ancient sanctuary where Christians believe the Virgin Mary appeared in 1572. It houses a most precious altar and a golden icon of the Virgin embroidered with pearls and emeralds. The door to the temple is also golden with silver and bronze engravings.
La Otra Banda
A very small town nearby made up of painted houses and carved railings, a real gem of the Caribbean with a special Dominican touch.
The Sanctuary of Higüey
This really beautiful temple was built in the 16th century and has survived tornadoes and hurricanes. It has in store wonderful and precious relics from the 1500s and is rich in gold, silver and precious stones decorations.
Districts of Higuey
Bávaro used to be just a dormitory for the resort workers of Punt a Cana, but its location on the easternmost point of La Altagracia province and the rising of all kinds of hotels and services on the coast turned it into a must-see district, an area packed with restaurants, bars, shops and clubs.
Higuey travel tips
Enjoy the Caribe
The public beaches of Bayahibe Beach and Dominicus Beach are just a couple of miles away from the city centre, and they’re not just worth a visit, they’re one of the main reasons why go to the Dominican Republic.
Take a boat tour to Saona, an almost desert island which hosts white sandy beaches, coconut palms, crystal clear turquoise waters, located in a national park and as such protected from the risk of massive edification.
You will find scuba diving shops scattered around the main beaches: many of these shops take scuba divers to one of the 20 official dive sites around the area.
You won’t really need to stay locked up in your hotel or resort to have fun in Higuey: you can move to El Cortecito in the Bavaro and try one of the fabulous beach bars (Bamboo, Soles and Umi) or head into a restaurant (Capitan Cook for example) or just wait for the night to really start in a club of your choice. You won’t certainly be disappointed.
Harrisons is a jewellery where you can find for very small prices nice pieces (bracelets, necklaces etc) with larimar, a typical turquoise-coloured stone, which makes a nice souvenir of the island as well as a lovely accessory.
You will find several markets selling different types of meat and typical grocery stores displaying delicious food. Most importantly you will be able to purchase ron y cerveza (rum and beer), classical treats of the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean in general.
Fun and facts about Higuey
The name Higuey is of uncertain origin: it’s likely to come from the Taino language e to mean land of the first rays of sun but there are many people who don’t agree with this explanation.
One of the most used means of transportation in Higuey is represented by the motoconchos (motorbike taxis) which are very cheap and take you practically everywhere.
Find your ideal Hotel in Higuey and enjoy your stay!