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Often compared to Santo Domingo, the city of Santiago, the second largest metropolis, is comprised of natives that prefer a less chaotic and more purposeful lifestyle than its counterpart. Home to over 750,000 people, the heart of this laid back city proves to be the cultured downtown area. In addition, Santiago is where most of the country's presidents were raised; giving the city well-deserved bragging rights.

A primary downtown attraction and a place were boredom is not in the vocabulary is Calle del Sol. Known as the city's main shopping district, the street is stocked with shops, hotels, restaurants, bars and an array of vendors.

Located north of Calle del Sol is Parque Duarte. A popular area to kick up those traveling feet and get acquainted with the natives, this shady park is a great representation of Santiago's laid back lifestyle.

An ideal spot for cigar lovers and a perfect place to relax after a day of shopping is the Museo del Tabaco. Visitors will learn about the art of cigar-making while purchasing some of the country's top brands. Located in Santiago, it would be a sin to exit Cibao Valley without stopping by this one-of-a-kind museum.

People from around the globe visit Santiago year-round to stay at some of the finest accommodations that satisfy the needs of any traveler. In addition, the city provides a vibrant nightlife and variety of stores that are comparable to the capital city.

Most travelers know that convenience is an added bonus. Santiago provides an additional benefit by serving as an alternate airport to Puerto Plata. Also, both of the airports are of about equal distance to Monte Cristi and other destinations in the Dominican Republic's northwest region.