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February 26, 2013
  • Spanish galleon docks in Santo Domingo
  • Time to visit the Museum of Modern Art
  • Best time for surfing in Barahona
  • More US tourists in January
Spanish galleon docks in Santo Domingo
Go on board La Pepa, the replica of a 17th century Spanish galleon and trading ship, docked in Santo Domingo as part of the events marking the Bicentennial of the 1812 Spanish Constitution. The ship is at Sans Souci port, western side, from Sunday, 24 February to Sunday, 3 March.
The tall ship is on the first stop of its Ibero-American Tour. It will also visit San Juan, Puerto Rico, Cartagena, Colombia, Veracruz, Mexico, Miami and San Agustin, Florida.
This kind of ship was part of the Indies fleet that sailed from Seville to the Americas. Fitted with all modern technologies, it has three masts and seven sails. The ship was built between 2008 and 2010 and is 55 meters in length with 320 meters of surface and capacity for 250 people.
Time to visit the Museum of Modern Art
An out-of-the-ordinary art exhibition is on at the Museum of Modern Art in Santo Domingo.
Radhames Mejia's exhibition "Bodies and the Geometry of Shade" is a tribute to Taino culture, which the artist says is a major source of inspiration for his work, whether in the form of renderings on canvas or on the skin of models. The exhibition features Mejia's rendering on models photographed by Roberto Edwards in Santiago de Chile.
Regarded as one of the greats of contemporary Dominican art, Mejia won first prize in the 15th Biennial of Visual Arts, and first award for drawing in an E. Leon Jimenes art contest. The Museum of Modern Art is located on Av. Pedro Henriquez Urena, Plaza de la Cultura, and is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm.
Best time for surfing in Barahona
Experienced surfers should consider traveling to Barahona and Pedernales in the southwest for some great waves from February to October. There are many small hotels and eco-lodges to stay at. The area is well spread out so it is best to rent a car to get around. The top beaches for surfing are Bahoruco, San Rafael, Los Patos, Paraiso and Enriquillo. Before setting off, it is advisable to contact the Dominican Surfing Federation to arrange to go with a local surfer who will know the ins and outs of these beaches.
See http://fedosurf.org
More US tourists in January
The Central Bank Statistics Department reports that travel to the DR from the United States was up in January 2013, with 110,409 US tourists, 9,141 more than in January 2012. Other countries registering increases included Russia with 5,863 more tourists and Sweden with 3,195 more in January 2013.
Overall, the statistics show a 1.9% decline in foreigners traveling to the Dominican Republic in January 2013 compared to January 2012. This is attributed mainly to the lull in travel from Europe and snowstorms. During the same period, non-resident Dominicans traveling to the DR was up by 2.06%.
During the first month of 2013, incoming tourists totaled 472,102 travelers, 7,942 fewer than in January 2012.
Of all tourists, 56% came from the United States, Canada and Mexico, 30% from Europe and 11% from South America.
Punta Cana International Airport continues to be the main port of entry for arrivals with 247,907 foreign visitors, or 64.67% of all passengers, followed by Las Americas (Santo Domingo) with 61,881 passengers, for 16% of the overall total.

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