Hotspot Of The Week Dominican Republic

November 30, 2008|By Carla Correa

The Orioles' season is long over, but in fall and winter, baseball aficionados can savor the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd in the Dominican Republic, one of the Caribbean's "it" destinations. Most people know that several top sluggers hail from the country, but did you know Christopher Columbus is also one of the country's claims to fame? The explorer discovered the island of Hispaniola, which the Dominican Republic shares with Haiti, on his maiden voyage to the New World. Not a sports or history buff? Lounge on the island's pristine beaches.

1

Discover Columbus : Start your trip in the capital of Santo Domingo, where you'll find the giant, cross-shaped Columbus Lighthouse, constructed in 1992 for the 500th anniversary of Columbus' arrival. A tomb at the lighthouse is said to house his remains.

2

Take me out to the ballgame : Baseball is to the Dominican Republic what soccer is to Brazil. The country's pro ball season runs October through February, according to the Ministry of Tourism, and the winning team moves on to the Caribbean Series. Diamonds crisscross the island, so there's a good chance you can catch a game.

3

Soak up the sun : The Dominican Republic is a hot spot, literally: The nation has more than 1,000 miles of beaches, tourism officials say. Venture to Punta Cana on the east coast for all-inclusive resorts. Head to Cabarete on the north coast for top kite-boarding and windsurfing sites.

4

Roll on over to a cigar factory : In a nation known for its cigars, a close look at the making of the product is in order. For tours, visit Grupo Leon Jimenes Tobacco Co. or go to the Museo del Tabaco, both in Santiago. The latter is a museum that exhibits authentic tools and old photographs connected to the industry.

5

Party hearty : If you're a night owl, eat, drink and dance your cares away until the wee hours of the morning. Vibrant restaurants and nightclubs speckle the island.

More information: godominicanrepublic.com

Carla Correa

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