Higüey Vacation Packages
The tourist-oriented resorts of Punta Cana are only 40 minutes away and many of Higüey's residents make a living in the hotels and golf courses on the eastern coast. Their home city is far less geared towards the island's visitors, with only the famous basilica featuring prominently in any guide books. Divert from the well-trodden path along the coast to explore this undiscovered city.
Reflect and pray in the architectural marvel that is Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia (La Altagracia Cathedral). Built in 1956 to house a religious icon reputedly left in Higüey by a miraculously appearing apostle, this is said to be the site of many incidents of healing by the Virgin Mary. Admire the parabolic curve of its distinctive spire before heading inside to see the ancient art kept within. Witness the setting sun in the late afternoon as it casts a colorful light through the stained-glass windows that line the far wall.
Learn more about the church in the Museo de la Altagracia, situated behind the basilica, which illuminates the religious history of the nation and features a collection of religious art and jewelry. After your visit to the cathedral, discover more of the city's religious history in Iglesia San Dionisio, a quieter destination for religious observers.
Wander through the multicolored markets of Higuey's bustling streets and take in the sights and smells; tables topple with fruit, vegetables and shimmering fish. Get lost in the hustle of everyday life of a real Dominican city and see how farmers live in the acres of sugar cane plantations that surround it.
Higüey functions as a good base to reach other parts of the island. Take a trip to the golden sands of Punta Cana, where everything is geared towards tourists. For a wilder experience, visit Parque Nacional Este (East National Park) or Isla Saona, both south of the city and offering diverse wildlife.
Coach and bus services run to Higüey from major nearby destinations. Many tour operators will schedule in a stop at the basilica, but make sure to explore the rest of the city while you are there.