República Dominicana es el segundo país más grande del Caribe y aunque entre nosotros es sinónimo de playas, arenas blancas y aguas transparentes, sus atractivos van mucho más allá. Descubierta en 1492 por Cristóbal Colón, estas tierras cuentan con una impresionante diversidad de escenarios, donde se esconden joyas coloniales, maravillas naturales y una gran riqueza cultural que, te aseguro, vale la pena descubrir…

Ciudades con HISTORIA

*Santo Domingo: Es la capital de República Dominicana y fue la primera ciudad fundada por europeos en América. Cuenta con centenarias callejuelas y monumentos que remontan a los principales episodios de la época colonial, entre los que figuran la primera catedral y la primera fortaleza construida en el Nuevo Mundo. Hoy declarada Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la Unesco, además de ofrecer un viaje al pasado, cuenta con una atractiva vida urbana, con numerosos bares, tiendas y restaurantes.

*Santiago: Cristóbal Colón la llamó Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros, en honor a los treinta aristócratas españoles que fundaron esta ciudad en 1495. Fue el principal centro agrícola del país e incluso hoy en día sigue siendo el primer lugar que deberían visitar los aficionados a los cigarros. Es que en esta región se encuentran la mayoría de las grandes plantaciones de tabaco y fábricas de cigarros. Santiago, la segunda ciudad más grande del país, se ha desarrollado hasta convertirse en un centro cultural, industrial y de servicios moderno y cosmopolita.

*Higüey: En esta ciudad, ubicada en La Altagracia, se encuentra la Basílica Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia, la construcción religiosa más importante de República Dominicana, el lugar de peregrinación más significativo del país y uno de los santuarios más concurridos del Caribe. Esta impresionante basílica, inaugurada en 1971 según un proyecto de los años cuarenta, es una obra pionera en el denominado neoexpresionismo dominicano, con un campanario con más de 40 campanas.

Deporte

Capital del GOLF: República Dominicana es el destino de golf número uno del Caribe y Latinoamérica. Deleita a sus visitantes con sus veintiséis campos de golf de renombrados diseñadores, rodeados de impresionantes costas, con majestuosas montañas de fondo y “fairways” de un verdor exuberante. Los partidos de golf se llevan a cabo en los pintorescos alrededores de Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, Playa Grande, La Romana, Juan Dolio, Jarabacoa, Santiago, Bonao y Santo Domingo.

Aventura y naturaleza

*Jarabacoa: Para aquellos que buscan aventuras, Jarabacoa es el lugar perfecto. Cuenta con los mejores rápidos del Caribe, ideales para la práctica de balsismo, y es posible realizar diferentes actividades como ciclismo de montaña, barranquismo, parapente, rapel y recorrido de trayectos a caballo. Jarabacoa es también el punto de partida más popular para todas las excursiones al pico más alto del Caribe, el Pico Duarte.

*Dunas de Bani: Situadas en la Península de Las Calderas, corresponden a uno de los mejores lugares turísticos de República Dominicana para amantes de la naturaleza. Se trata de un magnífico escenario conformado por un inmenso desierto de arena que se extiende por unos 15 kilómetros de largo y 3 kilómetros de ancho, con enormes dunas que alcanzan los 35 metros de altura.

*La Cueva de las Maravillas: Es un parque nacional ubicado en la provincia de San Pedro de Macoris y constituye una de las mejores muestras de arte precolombino. Tiene 800 metros de extensión y se encuentra a 25 metros bajo tierra. Dentro de la cueva, se pueden apreciar en las paredes alrededor de 500 pinturas y grabados hechas por los tainos, antiguos habitantes de la isla que se extinguieron.

Salto del Limón: Está situado en un bosque tropical en la península de Samaná y para llegar a él es necesario llevar adelante un paseo de 30 a 45 minutos a caballo o a pie. La cascada está compuesta por tres salidas por las que desemboca el agua que se desliza por una pared verduzca, hasta culminar en una piscina natural formada por agua fresca y cristalina.

Productos tradicionales

Café: En las ciudades y en los campos dominicanos, la mañana comienza con aroma a café. Algunos hogares, oficinas y centros comerciales no abren sus puertas si antes no han preparado esta deliciosa bebida estimulante. En las zonas montañosas dominicanas, 50 mil familias se dedican a este cultivo. Por la ubicación geográfica, los dominicanos se han convertido en los proveedores por excelencia de las islas caribeñas.

CACAO: El cacao ha sido desde siempre un cultivo tradicional de República Dominicana, que fue incluida en el selecto grupo de 15 países del mundo reconocidos como productores de cacao gourmet. En el ranking mundial, el país ocupa el primer lugar en la producción y exportación de este producto. La distribución geográfica se encuentra concentrada en 28 municipios, principalmente, en las regiones del nordeste. Si visitan estas tierras, no olviden pedir cacao orgánico (cultivado libre de fertilizantes y agregados químicos): el país fue el primero en ofrecer el fruto con la certificación de orgánico y se mantiene como el principal exportador a escala mundial.

Te lo cuento yo: Victoria Marin 

“¿De dónde sos?” Es la pregunta que tarde o temprano todos me terminan haciendo porque tengo una tonada distinta y quizás un tanto particular. Con mucho orgullo y felicidad respondo: “Yo soy de Dominicana”, una hermosa tierra del Caribe bañada por el mar, vestida de playas que enamoran y adornada por un fascinante sol. Nací en Santo Domingo, capital de República Dominicana, y Argentina me abrió sus puertas hace 11 años cuando llegue a Córdoba. Acompáñenme en este pequeño paseo por Quisqueya, como también se lo llama a mi país.

¡República Dominicana lo tiene todo! Lo más conocido son nuestras playas, pero también tenemos montañas, lugares en los que, aunque no lo creas, hace frío. El Valle de Constanza, conocida como la Suiza del Caribe, es la ciudad más alta de la isla, donde hay grandes cultivos de fresas (frutillas), cacao y café. En invierno, la temperatura del valle puede bajar a 4 ºC y en Jarabacoa, a 7 ºC. Ambas pertenecen a la provincia de La Vega, ubicada casi en el centro de la isla y muy conocida por el Carnaval Vegano, una fiesta llena de color y música que se celebra el 27 de febrero con motivo de la Independencia Nacional.

Si recorremos la costa noreste, conoceremos Las Terrenas (mi favorita), localidad que pertenece a la provincia de Samaná, una península donde podrás disfrutar del avistamiento de ballenas jorobadas durante el primer trimestre del año. En Cosón, Playa Punta Popy, Playa de Las Ballenas y Playa Bonita encontrarás la arena más blanca y las aguas más claras que hayas visto.

Si te gustan los deportes acuáticos, no dejes de ir a Sosua, que pertenece a la provincia de Puerto Plata, ubicada en la costa norte de la isla. En Playa Encuentro y Cabarete puedes surfear o hacer kitesurf, entre otras actividades.

Santo Domingo está situada a orillas del mar Caribe y es también conocida como la ciudad primada de América por ser el primer asentamiento europeo en la época colonial. Allí se encuentran la Catedral de Santa María la Menor, primera catedral, y el primer castillo de América, ambos ubicados en la zona colonial, declarada por la Unesco como Patrimonio de la Humanidad. En mi ciudad, podrás disfrutar de otros monumentos culturales y pasear por el Malecón mientras escuchas cómo las olas del mar acarician los arrecifes.

Si te dio hambre durante el paseo, detente a probar “la bandera dominicana”, como le decimos cariñosamente a nuestro plato típico: arroz blanco, habichuelas (porotos) rojas guisadas, carne y tostones (plátanos verdes fritos). Si llueve, no te pierdas un rico sancocho, también acompañado por un arrocito blanco, y para poner el broche de oro, el aguacate (palta) será un excelente aliado con estos platos. Tenemos infinidad de frutas y mis preferidas son: mango, guayaba, tamarindo y guanábana. Nuestro café es riquísimo y si sales a tomar algo por la noche, no te olvides de probar la cerveza o el ron.

Los dominicanos somos amables, serviciales y hospitalarios. La simpatía y la alegría nos caracterizan, quizás porque la música nos corre por las venas y por eso siempre estamos dispuestos a bailar una bachata o un buen merengue “bien apambichao” (bien “bailao”) al ritmo de la tambora, maraca, güira (güiro) y acordeón de un “perico ripaio”.

¡Este es mi país y esta mi gente!

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