This Tour Includes:
- Roundtrip transportation from your hotel
- Knowledgeable guide
- Entrance fees for the main attractions
- Bottled water
- 9am Departure Time / 5 hour Tour
- We recommend that you wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
- Bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a camera.
- You will want to have money for food, snacks, drinks, souvenirs and gratuities for your guide and driver.
It is really an easy ride from Punta Cana to the pilgrimage city of Higuey, a historical and cultural heart of the eastern Dominican Republic. And it is nice to learn about the background of the place you are visiting. If you choose to make this pilgrimage of sorts as part of your vacation, you will still have a good amount of your day left when you return to your hotel or ship, but you will have learned so much about the people of this country, and that is what travel is really about.
The main historical attraction in Higüey is the cathedral, which displays the "Virgen de la Altagracia", a painting brought by Spanish missionaries in the 15th century. The painting was previously kept in the similarly 500-year-old church of San Dionisio, which still remains in religious use. Every year on Virgin of La Altagracia Day, which is a national holiday on January 21, tens of thousands of pilgrims visit the Cathedral. Knowing that the country, a religious one, still celebrates Our Lady of Altagracia makes this a living legacy.
There is a wonderful museum, the Altagracia Museum, which which was built to recover and exhibit the artistic heritage to all the dominicans. You can find different objects that are part of the people’s religious lives and have been properly restored for the exhibition. Standing out among them are the people’s oblations to the Virgin and an exhibition comprised of a series of oil paintings on wooden planks from the 18th century. In a different room, known as Sala del Tesoro, you can see examples of local and American goldsmithing from the 17th to the 20th century.
You will also have time to explore the Minor Basilica Cathedral of Our Lady of Altagracia, where the architecture and the folklore will amaze you. You have now seen the history that is overflowing Higuey. As you find yourself on Higuey's main street surrounded by the city's monuments and buildings that represent the real world of the locals who have brought their families up in this city, the 8th largest in this country, you will see the street vendors living an ordinary but authentic way of life. Cafeterias, shoe shiners, fruit stalls are all part of the locale decor.
You will find here the craftsmen selling jewelry and fine souvenirs. You will find things are well-priced allowing you to take back some fine Dominican rum, perhaps a piece of jewelry, and definitely some hand-rolled cigars. Each time you look at them once you are home you will remember this day.