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  • Writer's pictureCindy Van Dyck

Higuey: A Must-Visit Destination for an Authentic Dominican Experience


Picture of Iglesia San Dionisio in Higüey
Picture Credits: Cindy Van Dyck

Higüey, a vibrant city located next to the most famous city in the Dominican Republic: Punta Cana, is a destination not to be missed. Whether you are interested in history, architecture or just want to relax, the city has something for everyone. In this article, we give you an inside look and let you discover why visiting Higüey is an unforgettable experience.


The city where history, spirituality and nature meet.

Visiting from Punta Cana or La Romana

If you are staying in Punta Cana or La Romana, a visit to Higüey should definitely not be missed during your Dominican adventure. It is easily accessible from both Punta Cana and La Romana, making it the perfect day trip or short getaway.


This city offers a unique cultural and historical experience that should not be missed. From Punta Cana, you can enjoy a scenic drive through the beautiful landscape of the Dominican Republic as you travel toward Higüey. La Romana is also a short distance from Higuey, making it easy to explore the city and return to your accommodation before the day comes to an end. Whether you're interested in religion, history, natural beauty or just want a taste of the local culture, it offers an unforgettable experience you definitely won't want to miss during your stay the Dominican Republic.


Historical Activities

Higüey is without a doubt soaked in a lot of history and offers an array of engaging activities to explore the city's rich history. A visit to the imposing Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia is a must, not only for its religious significance, but also for its beautiful architecture and religious artwork. The Museo y Centro Cultural de Higüey offers a fascinating insight into the city's history and culture, with exhibits ranging from the indigenous Taino civilization to the modern development of the town.


Furthermore, you can explore the surrounding sugar cane plantations to learn more about the sugar cane industry that played an important role in the region's economy. Strolling through the historic center of Higüey, you will discover charming colonial buildings and streets full of history. These historical activities in the city offer a fascinating journey through time and let you gain a deeper understanding of the rich history and cultural heritage of this enchanting place!


Fact: Higüey is named after the indigenous Taino word "Iguay" meaning "land without water," due to the region's dry climatic conditions.


Pictures of Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia in Higüey
Pictures Credits: Cindy Van Dyck

Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia

The Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia is an important religious and cultural landmark and that's we would like to tell you more about the Roman Catholic basilica: a place of pilgrimage that attracts thousands of visitors every year.


It's named after the Virgin of Altagracia, the patron saint of the Dominican Republic. The basilica, with its impressive architecture, houses a revered statue of the Virgin and is a place of pilgrimage for believers seeking spiritual peace. The annual feast of the Virgin of Altagracia attracts pilgrims from across the country, showcasing the deep devotion and spirituality of the Dominican people. This takes place on the 21st of January, The basilica is not only a religious center but also an architectural masterpiece and a symbol of national pride, offering a unique spiritual and cultural experience in Higüey!


Pictures of Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia in Higüey
Pictures Credits: Cindy Van Dyck

Iglesia San Dionisio

In addition to the basilica, Iglesia San Dionisio, known as the Church of San Dionisio, is another historic and enchanting church. With its colonial architecture and pastel yellow facade, the church is a visual gem. Inside, you will find a serene environment with religious artwork, carvings and stained glass windows that enrich the atmosphere.


The church is dedicated to San Dionisio Areopagita, the patron saint of Higüey. In addition to its religious significance, the church also plays a role in the city's cultural heritage.


Pictures of Iglesia San Dionisio in Higüey
Pictures Credits: Cindy Van Dyck

Taste authentic Dominican food

Finally, the city is also a culinary city that spoils visitors with a rich taste experience. Sample authentic Dominican cuisine with dishes such as flavorful sancocho, delicious mofongo and fresh-baked fish.


During your visit, also explore the local markets and discover an abundance of exotic fruits and sweets such as mango, pineapple, dulce de leche and majarete. Finally, be tempted by the tasty street food, such as empanadas, yaroa and chimichurri, while enjoying a refreshing coconut. Visit the cozy cafes and bakeries, where you can relax with a cup of traditional Dominican coffee and enjoy freshly baked breads and sweet treats.


Our must-visit place every time we go there? The food trucks at Sanchez in the evening, a great main lane near the Cathedral. You can eat so many local food there!


Pictures of street food in Higüey
Pictures Credits: Cindy Van Dyck

 

Immerse yourself in the warm hospitality of the locals, explore the historical sites, enjoy the local cuisine and be enchanted by the unique atmosphere of Higüey. A visit to this city will enrich you with unforgettable memories and a deeper appreciation for the wonderful diversity of the Dominican Republic.


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