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Museum buffs will find a bevy of opportunities around the Dominican Republic. Santo Domingo’s Colonial City—the first European settlement in the New World—houses excellent museums providing insight into the Spanish colonial days—from the Alcázar de Colón palace to the Museo de las Casas Reales, where the royal court was housed. The city also boasts a museum complex at Plaza de la Cultura, showcasing history and modern art. The city’s offering also includes learning all about amber, larimar, porcelain and Dominican chocolate.

In Punta Cana, you can learn about the Taíno culture, the Virgin of La Altagracia and about chocolate. In Puerto Plata you can learn about national heroes, the colonial days, the history of the Jewish community and more about amber. La Romana’s Altos de Chavón is home to the most comprehensive display on the Taíno at the Regional Museum of Archeology. Samaná offers an insightful small museum on its humpback whales. Santiago’s Centro León features permanent exhibits that showcase Dominican history and culture. In La Vega you can learn all about the carnival and Barahona has a fascinating larimar museum.

Whether covering history, geography, precious stones, chocolate, baseball, rum, family life in the DR, or architecture, among other topics, there’s a museum to fit all ages and interests.

From Columbus’ 16th century palace to modern art, and independence heroes, museums offer a comprehensive window into Dominican history.