The city of San Pedro de Macorís is located in the Province of San Pedro de Macorís Region in the southeast of the Dominican Republic, specifically 70 km from Santo Domingo. This magnificent city was founded by immigrants of various origins, from Spanish and French, to Germans and Arabs, making it a region rich in tourist attractions.
Why visit San Pedro de Macorís?
As we will see in the following list of the best things to do in San Pedro de Macorís , this town deserves more than a short walk through its streets. And it is that, by attracting hundreds of migrant workers, the city was filled with agricultural plantations after the war of independence in 1870, reaching its peak at the beginning of the 19th century.
In addition, it was also a fishing village, so it hides various corners such as the Malecón, or the Central Park, as well as other historical places, such as the Cathedral of San Pedro de Macorís or natural monuments such as the Cueva de las Maravillas.
On the other hand, San Pedro de Macorís is one of the only places where it is possible to observe the traditional mummified dances of the Antilles, also known as “guloyas”. It is said that they have their origin in the dances of the blacks belonging to the Cocolos community who arrived in San Pedro de Macorís from the British Caribbean islands.
The participants wear masks and both the music and the dance have an African tone. However, when the dances are performed as dramas, the stories are based on Bible lessons or British legend.
So, if you are planning to spend some time in the Dominican Republic or enjoy an exciting and fun vacation in this region of the Caribbean, then you must know the best activities to do in San Pedro de Macorís to get a complete experience of this country, or if you you want to enjoy a different and more authentic vacation.
In fact, it is an excellent way to support ecological tourism, or if you are interested in carrying out tourist activities closer to its inhabitants and their culture or connecting with exuberant nature
When is the best time to travel to San Pedro de Macorís?
The best time to spend a vacation in San Pedro de Macorís is between the months of November and April. Although the weather is hot throughout the year, it is during these months when the temperature is lowest, reaching 28°C. On the other hand, it is better to avoid traveling to this area between May and September, as it is the rainy season.
Top 5: What you can not miss to do in San Pedro de Macorís
Now, without further ado, we invite you to discover the best places to see and exciting and interesting activities to do in this charming province of the Dominican Republic. Do not miss it!
- Visit the Cathedral of San Pedro Apóstol and marvel at its architecture
In addition to fulfilling the function of a religious center for the inhabitants of the city, the cathedrals are the perfect place to appreciate the architectural style of its history. In the case of the Cathedral of San Pedro Apóstol we find one of the most important temples in the country.
Its history and design are so great that this complex simply will not go unnoticed (nor should it be), if you are passing through the town. It was at the beginning of the 19th century when the construction of the church began, in honor of San Pedro Apóstol.
At that time, it was built with rudimentary materials such as palm and wood, so the consequent fires and inclement weather ended up destroying it. However, in 1910 the construction of the current building began and today it is possible to visit it on the same site.
On the other hand, this church is an icon of modernism that arrived on the island, since it was built with the first shipment of concrete that arrived in the region. As you can see for yourself when you visit it, it is a beautiful English Gothic-style building, whose yellow and white walls contrast pleasantly with the blue of the sky.
Likewise, the main façade is carved with an archivolt that also has a rose window. The rose window shows the Franciscan coat of arms, since it was the order that built the temple. In addition, the pinnacles, buttresses and cornices are decorated in the Gothic style. All this in concrete.
The interior of the building is Romanesque in style, and the central nave is vaulted with skylights and semicircular arches in stained glass, which provides the church with good lighting. In addition, it is worth noting the stained glass windows in grisaille, which make up the most important collection and with the greatest economic value in the Dominican Republic.
As we can see, this church has every reason to be in occupying an important place in the history of the Dominican Republic. Do not stop visiting it!
- Enter and explore the Cave of Wonders
Do not miss this true museum of nature located in San Pedro de Macorís, more than 800 meters long and 25 meters deep, created from the action of groundwater.
It is a 4.5 km2 cave, declared a National Park in 1997, which is a hidden gem in nature, and conditioned by man. It is considered by many as a meeting place between geology and history.
Unlike other caves in the Dominican Republic, the Cueva de las Maravillas is fully equipped to receive visitors without going through any complications. Upon entering, you will be able to admire its incredible rock formations, through numerous ramps, paths and even an elevator.
The interior of the cave has an excellent lighting system, which allows visitors to contemplate a sublime spectacle of stalactites, stalagmites and geological columns in the limestone of the reefs. In the same way, you can see the coral formations and the animals that lived there at the end of the Pleistocene, that is, thousands of years ago.
You will also be able to appreciate the thousands of petroglyphs, pictograms and engravings of the Taino Indians who lived in these caves approximately 800 years ago. On the other hand, the excavations have made it possible to find archaeological remains and human bones from 4,000 or 5,000 years ago.
In addition, three species of bats inhabit this natural space, constituting the predominant fauna of the cave. Inside the caves it is also possible to find snakes, diplodocus, centipedes, toads, mutant arachnids, spiders, amphisbaenas (legless lizards) and other animals. But don’t worry, safety is guaranteed!
- Travel back in time through the Museum of the History of San Pedro de Macorís
Like the Cathedral of San Pedro Apóstol, the San Pedro de Macorís History Museum is a really interesting place that shows the recent history of the city. Plus, it’s right next to the church, so you won’t have to go far to get a full experience of this historic space.
Although the Museum of History of San Pedro de Macorís is next to the Cathedral, it is not usually well known, even to the inhabitants of the town. However, it is very interesting for visitors who want to see the typical objects and pieces of the area.
So, if you are passionate about the historical and cultural legacies left by the ancestors, you will be able to see all this grouped within the large wooden complex, located in the entire center of the city. Also, it does not go unnoticed by travelers!
Inside the Museum, you will find almost 800 historical pieces from the region, such as photographs of famous people born in this place.
Also other vintage objects from some of the most important economic activities in the area, such as a cash register, an iron or many old parts that were part of the evolution of the telephone until today. If you like old things and want to take some pictures of them, this is your chance!
As you surely imagine, San Pedro de Macorís has been a region very busy with scientists and anthropologists, who are always looking for vestiges of pre-Columbian history.
In fact, this museum was created especially for the students of the Universidad Central del Este, exhibiting different collections inside, which have been the findings of numerous investigations since 1983. We are sure that you will love to learn more about the Taíno civilization in this amazing museum.
- Go scuba diving on Catalina Island and delight yourself with its wonderful reefs
Another of the must-see places in San Pedro de Macorís is the amazing Catalina Island. In this place, you will not only be able to enjoy its magnificent white and soft sand beaches, but it is also a place of passage to the underwater museum, yes, you read that right! The Captain Kidd Shipwreck Underwater Museum.
Catalina Island is also a landing stage for cruise ships and its passengers often take advantage of this part of the climb to get to know this famous island, which is home to many years of Caribbean history, and an amazing underwater world.
And it is that Catalina Island is famous for its beautiful and colorful coral reefs, making it an aquatic treasure for lovers of diving.
If this is your case, you will experience exciting underwater diving sessions, observing its incomparable underwater fauna, and the remains of Captain Kidd’s sunken ship, found only two or three meters deep around the island.
Apart from the ship stranded at the bottom of the sea, the reefs form an extraordinary coral wall that has caused countless shipwrecks in the area and is today one of the best-known destinations for divers visiting the Dominican Republic.
When visiting the island and in addition to spending a day at the beach Caribbean-style, people come to enjoy a buffet meal in one of the restaurants of the Casa de Campo complex, to shop in its small shops and even to watch the typical dances organized by the locals.
In addition, it is a perfect place for fishing, where specimens of guatapaná, saureles, carites and other types of warm-water fish have always been caught to create delicious dishes.
Likewise, it is possible that you are already interested in touring the island, so you should know that the many excursions are organized from different places in the La Romana region, for example, they depart from Casa de Campo, Playa Bayahibe or Playa Dominicus, among others. others. Currently, they are quite well known and popular among national and international tourists.
- Take advantage of your visit and come to Juan Dolio to complete your experience
Although it is not actually located in San Pedro de Macorís, Juan Dolio is only 16 km from this town, so if you want to take your vacation to a new level, you can take advantage of your visit to enjoy a day at the beach choosing between the multiple places where you can taste delicious local cuisine, or stroll through the shops where you can buy artisan pieces.
Due to the great tourist development of this region, during the 80’s numerous stores and businesses were opened, so we can find a wide range of all-inclusive hotels and resorts.
In addition, many artisans took the opportunity to open their businesses to offer their services and products made by hand and with raw materials from the country, to all travelers who came to its tropical beaches.
Likewise, Juan Dolio has a privileged location, which is why it maintains excellent communication with other surrounding towns, such as San Pedro de Macorís. It also connects with other places of strong tourist interest such as San Pedro, La Romana or Higüey, passing through the beaches that are on the route.
Although San Pedro de Macorís had a golden age due to sugar exports and rising prices, this region of the Dominican Republic hides wonderful secrets and a very relevant historical past for the country, so it is not surprising that each day manage to attract more and more travelers interested in discovering them.
Do not forget to visit it if you have a little extra time in your travel plan, or if you definitely want to acquire the complete package of fun, adventure and excitement that San Pedro de Macorís and many other provinces of the Dominican Republic offer us.