Churches

A majority of the population is Roman Catholic, as well as other Christian denominations. As a result, Dominican churches play an important role in the culture and history of the country, dating back to the days of the Spanish colonialists. Tour the most significant church in the Colonial City: the Catedral Primada de América, the oldest in the Americas, where official national celebrations take place. The Colonial City is filled with many more breathtaking, important religious sites you can reach on foot, such as Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Las Mercedes, one of two representations of the country’s patron saint. Dominicans make a pilgrimage to Higüey every January 21, to the Basílica Catedral Nuestra Señora de La Altagracia, the country’s most important shrine dedicated to the DR’s patron saint, the Virgin Mary, and often included on tours from Punta Cana. Off the beaten track, a visit of the Holy Hill of Santo Cerro and adjoining church is worthwhile to see the third holiest site in the DR, just outside of La Vega, where Dominicans make a pilgrimage on September 24, Day of the Señora de Las Mercedes.

To ensure entry, dress appropriately when visiting any of these symbolic churches.

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CHURCHES IN
Dominican Republic

Churches are a symbol of Dominicans’ solid faith, revealing centuries of history and architecture.

 
 
Located in nearby Higüey, this cathedral ranks among the top most important religious sites in the DR. Honoring the Virgin of La Altagracia, patron saint of Dominicans, it’s a standout for its 69-meter (225 feet) high arch, with a bronze and gold entrance.
Higüey, Punta Cana
Originally built in the 16th century by the Dávila family, the 500-year old Gothic chapel was intended as a private religious shrine, where prominent Spanish families would congregate for prayers.
Santo Domingo
This modern Roman Catholic Church took 15 years to build, and was completed in 1992. The cathedral is one of the few in the world where the statue of Christ is portrayed as already having resurrected and not dying on the cross.
Constanza, Jarabacoa, La Vega
Built between 1510 and 1540, the first cathedral of the Americas continues to stand tall in all of its glory over the heart of the Colonial City. The remains of Christopher Columbus were found here in the 19th century.
Santo Domingo
This all-white Catholic cathedral, designed in Gothic and neoclassical style, dates back to the 19th century. Tour the beautiful interior–which holds the remains of former Dominican leader Ulises Heureaux, as well as other notable personalities of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Santiago
The striking coral and white stone baroque façade—with ceramic designs—was built in the 16th century. It was home to 15 friars sent here from Spain, who also established the adjacent first university in the Americas.
Santo Domingo
Once occupied by nuns, this imposing, former 16th century convent hosts numerous weddings. Renowned Dominican poet Salomé Ureña later turned it into an educational institute for women, before it went back to being a convent.
Santo Domingo
One of Santo Domingo’s most historic churches was built by the Spanish to spread Catholicism in the New World. Despite earthquakes and pirate invasions led by Sir Francis Drake, the building has preserved its original design.
Santo Domingo
Emulating Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, this historic Catholic church stands on one end of the town square, attracting visitors with its 19th century neoclassical-gothic design, striking stained glass windows, and a belfry surrounding an ornate mahogany altar.
Montecristi
The oldest building in Santa Bárbara de Samaná and a cultural heritage site, this 18th century wooden church was built by freed African-Americans. To this day, La Churcha practices the African Methodist Episcopal faith, and its attendees are descendants of African Americans.
Samaná

#romanceDR

The deep southwest of the Dominican Republic, dubb The deep southwest of the Dominican Republic, dubbed “El Sur Profundo,” is geographically removed from the country’s primary tourist destinations – but its remoteness has its perks: The most biodiverse reserve and parks in the country, fresh water cascades turned natural recreational swimming parks and plantations producing some of the country’s finest coffee. Are you ready to explore? 📸: @theclumsytraveler
Pro tip: Take the leap! This natural diving board Pro tip: Take the leap! This natural diving board can be found on a river hike in Barahona, nestled among dense rainforests and beautiful blue ocean. Many adventure travelers and ecotourists can find beautiful hidden treasures like this one within these one-of-a-kind tropical landscapes. 📸: @georgeswims
Rise and shine, it’s time to explore the tides o Rise and shine, it’s time to explore the tides of Samaná! Wherever you end up on our Atlantic shoreline or in the Caribbean Sea, you’ll enjoy our year-round Dominican winds and waves.📸: @braianpadilla2 @terezamunnigh
Adventure, relaxation, amazing food and so much mo Adventure, relaxation, amazing food and so much more – if you’re looking for the ultimate vacation destination look no further than Las Terrenas. Use the link in our bio to check out @si_swimsuit’s overview on this incredible charming fishing village from their time with us capturing content for the #SISwim2020 issue which launched last month! 📸: @katepowerslovesyou with @camillekostek & @mj_day
Did you hear the news? @forbes recently named Cayo Did you hear the news? @forbes recently named Cayo Arena one of the best Caribbean beaches for 2020! It’s easy to see why, with its endless white sand beaches and deep blue waters, there is beauty everywhere. There is also bountiful marine life and coral reefs that can be explored while snorkeling and scuba diving. Do you have Cayo Arena on your travel bucket list? 📸: @aquamanrd
“From the country’s rich history to the wonder “From the country’s rich history to the wonderfully diverse cultural mix, to the truly amazing beaches, there will always be a special place in my heart for the island,” says Luciele Tranzer Hugo in British Vogue. Dominican Republic is a destination like no other, and @britishvogue agrees.
 
Use the link in our bio to check out their top 10 reasons of why Dominican Republic should be on your must-visit list. What other reasons come to mind for why YOU love Dominican Republic? Share in the comments below or tag @GoDomRep in your own photo so we can share! 🇩🇴❤️💙 Stay safe and be well, we look forward to welcoming you back when the time is right. 📸: @robertmichaelpoole
Whether you’re a pro on a surfboard or have neve Whether you’re a pro on a surfboard or have never stepped foot on one, you need to check out Playa Macao. With prime swells and lessons available all year round, @macaosurfcamp Playa Macao near Punta Cana is the place to be! 🏄‍♀️ 📸: @iamelliott
We can’t get over this stunning photo from @blon We can’t get over this stunning photo from @blonde.travel✨ Would you brave the heights for this pic, or are you a fan of keeping your feet on the ground?
On the lookout for your next family adventure? Set On the lookout for your next family adventure? Set your sights on Puerto Plata! History, white-sand beaches, pulse-pumping adventures and much more, it’s perfect for all travelers alike. 📸:@theadrenalinetraveler
Looking to disconnect and unwind? Set your sights Looking to disconnect and unwind? Set your sights on Jarabacoa. This scenic mountain resort town is a favorite escape of Santiago and Santo Domingo city dwellers. 📸: @alejateconale
Walking through the streets of Ciudad Colonial on Walking through the streets of Ciudad Colonial on a summer day is just one of our favorite things about Dominican Republic. What are some of your favorite things to do in this beautiful area of Santo Domingo? 📸: @alexandermorilloo
Can you imagine a more beautiful spot for a picnic Can you imagine a more beautiful spot for a picnic?🍽 📸: @apolo_ph
Crystal-clear waters, a nearby Marine Mammal Sanct Crystal-clear waters, a nearby Marine Mammal Sanctuary offering manatee sightings and deep blue skies are just three of the reasons why Punta Rucia should be on your bucket list. The fishing village and nearby island, Cayo Arena, offers an abundance of fresh fish, snorkeling and scuba diving for every level and excursions on both land and sea. We hope to see you soon in Punta Rucia! #DRdaydreaming 📸: @moises.arias06
Can we talk about this view?😍Amazing capture, @ Can we talk about this view?😍Amazing capture, @joel_at! Do you have the Samaná Peninsula on your travel bucket list?
Enjoying the shade of a palm tree on the coast of Enjoying the shade of a palm tree on the coast of Punta Cana is exactly where we want to be right now.🌴🌴 📸: @hannakgys
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To experience some of the world’s most beautiful To experience some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, head to Las Galeras! Home to Playa Rincón, Playa Madama and Playa Frontón, these white-sand beaches and pristine clear waters are so breathtaking you should definitely add it to your travel list. #DRdaydreaming 📸: @timphilippus
Do you enjoy pop music? Then you’re going to lov Do you enjoy pop music? Then you’re going to love our LIVE virtual concert with Dominican pop artist, @coviquintana, this Friday, July 24 at 7 p.m. EST. No need to leave your house, just use the link in our bio to visit our new platform DR Virtual Country for a night to remember! 🇩🇴 🎤
The Malecón at sunset is absolutely stunning.🧡 The Malecón at sunset is absolutely stunning.🧡💛 What’s your favorite way to enjoy sundown in the Colonial City? 📸: @robertvasquez
Today is the day, the launch of the 2020 Sports Il Today is the day, the launch of the 2020 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition! Guess which destination is on full display? Samaná, Dominican Republic! For more head to @si_swimsuit’s social channels and be sure to grab your own #SISwim2020 copy to see all the beautiful destinations featured in this year’s issue. Online ordering available here: https://bit.ly/39cTXBo

📸: @si_swimsuit @katepowerslovesyou with @kelseymerrit & @mj_day

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