After 4 months here, we want to share with you some of our favorite places in Santiago and what we think are the top ten places to go:
1. Naturalis Te- Down the street from Bon on the guagua route, this is the best place to go if you are in the mood for fresh tea, juices, and smoothies. There is free wifi so it is a great place to go to study or do homework. They also have oriental food like delicious dumplings or fried rice.
2. Ahi Dance- Near the monument, this is our community’s favorite place to go dancing. There is great music and a fun atmosphere. It is also a popular place for Dominicans so you’ll get to practice your dancing with experts.
3. Calle del Sol- Just a short walk down España, Calle del Sol is a street where street vendors can sell their various goods. From hats to Larimer to Dominican clothes you can find anything there. It’s always fun to go for the afternoon and just walk around. While you’re there make sure to pick up a Skim Ice from a Skim Ice man!
4. Juan’s Colmado- Juan’s Colmado, down the street from ILAC, is the place to go if you want a snack anytime during the day. Helpful hints for getting the most our of Juan’s colmado:
- Don’t shy away from the baked goods on the counter.
- If you want chocolate you have to ask for it. It’s hidden!
- Salami sandwiches are a colmado specialty.
- Sodas in the glass bottles are cheaper and when you are finished you can bring them back for Juan to recycle.
- Dino cookies are only 7 pesos and the strawberry flavor is surprisingly good!
6. Calle Ocho- At Calle Ocho and Las Jardines, this hole in the wall “restaurant” serves gourmet empanadas. There are a variety of types of empanadas including some of our community’s favorites: the Gourmet, Pizza, and Chorizo. If you want a classic Latin American food, head on over to Calle Ocho.
7. Art store- Down the street from Bon is an eclectic art store owned by a feisty Dominican woman. The paintings are originals from various artists around the area. They are perfect for gifts or just for decorating your dorm room or house.
8. La Sirena- With various locations around Santiago, La Sirena covers all of your basic shopping necessities. It is very similar to Target in the sense that you can get everything you could ever need there. It will definitely be a staple in your semester.
9. Soho jazz night- In Bella Terra Mall is Soho Bar which has jazz night every Monday. It’s a good time to relax on a school night and listen to some good music. Warning: lots of gringos here.
10. Centro Leon- Centro Leon is great for two reasons: it is a museum and has a cafe perfect for doing homework. The museum is packed to the brim with interesting information on the history and culture of the Dominican Republic. The café is air-conditioned, has wifi, and offers baked goods and coffee options. It is a great place to focus when writing your final paper for EDP class.