Culture Corner

City Overview
Points of Interest
Cultural Highlights
Money Matters

<small>View Santiago in a larger map</small>

The above map highlights the ISA Santiago Office, the Pontifical Catholic University "Madre y Maestra" (PUCMM), as well as other locations useful to ISA students.

Scenic view of the lush, green landscape surrounding Santiago from atop a hill.

What's Santiago Like?

The Dominican Republic is in the tropics. Its national territory covers roughly two-thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, which it shares with Haiti. Most of the country is green, and filled with palm trees, tropical plants and flowers. The houses are painted with bright colors, such as pink, turquoise, yellow, blue and purple. In addition to the gorgeous coastlines, there are also mountainous areas where you can go rafting, horseback riding or swim in the waterfalls.

The Dominican people are very friendly and love to talk. They are outgoing and enjoy spending time with family and friends. While you're there, you can enjoy the tropical rhythms of merengue or bachata, two distinct types of music often heard in the Caribbean. There are cafes, night clubs, museums, monuments, artisan shops and many other cultural activities in Santiago. One of the city's most famous cultural activities is celebrating the famous Carnival during the month of February. Students can experience true Dominican culture with the locals during this colorful, lively tradition.

Region and Population

With a population of 750,000 Santiago has much to offer culturally, academically and historically. It was founded in the late 15th century by members of Christopher Columbus' expedition, making it one of the oldest cities in the New World.

Time Zones:
From the first Sunday in April until the last Sunday in October, it is the same time in the Dominican Republic as it is on the east coast of the United States (Eastern Standard Time). In fall and winter, the Dominican Republic is one hour ahead of EST.


The weather in the Dominican Republic is fabulous. Hispaniola (the island that contains the DR and Haiti) is in the tropics, and the parts that are at sea level experience warm temperatures and humidity. The average temperature in Santiago is around 75-85ยบ F and the rainiest month is usually May. Of course, if you travel in the mountains, expect cooler temperatures and less humidity, but generally there is really only one season in the Dominican Republic, summer.

**Average monthly highs and lows (degrees Fahrenheit) and rainfall (inches) in Santiago**

Avg. Rainfall21.


Check out all ISA's Santiago, DR program has to offer!

Helpful Links

  • Visit the Dominican Republic
  • UNESCO World Heritage Center