This is a city with history founded by Bartolomé, Columbus’s brother in 1495. The city was populated at the beginning by thirty noble gentlemen of the Saint Patron Order of Spain, Santiago el Mayor, the Spanish King Ferdinand granted the urban jurisdiction in 1508. The city has a fast development thanks to the nearby and productive gold mines. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1562, built on the other side of Yaque River and was completely destroyed again by a fire in 1863 and rebuilt again.

GETTING AROUND THE CITY: The most amusing way of getting acquainted with a city is enjoying a drive on a horse-drawn carriage. It worths the effort to see Santiago Apóstol Cathedral at Duarte Park, the Cigar Institute, Villa de Santiago Museum and the old Council Palace. The ideal place to go shopping is the street named Calle del Sol which extends from Duarte Park heading east to the Monument of the National Heroes of the nation.

Santiago and Its Cigar As Santiago is famous for the quality of its cigar and rum, you can extend your visit to Jiménez Cigar Factory and to Brugal or Bermúdez distilleries. The city of Santiago de los Caballeros has a long tradition linked to cigar cultivation, harvesting, elaboration and trading. The varieties there produced include Virginia cigar, Burley, rolling cigar and dark cigar.

Merengue, Carnaval and Masks Santiago is regarded as the birthplace of merengue, the traditional Dominican dance, this is a rhythm that cannot be missed in any good party in the country. Dominicans are traditional people, famous by their Carnival. The main character of these Carnivals held in February are the ""Lechones" (Pigs) that represent the naughty devils in two main groups, traditionally opposed as "Pepines" and those of "Joya". They wear mask with horns, being the typical mask representing the Carnival folklore.