Altos de Chavón — a replica 16th century Mediterranean village set in the heart of the Dominican countryside — is a place like no other.
A must-see for residents, tourists, and working artists from all over the world, the area is home to many active studios for artists of every medium. Pottery, weaving, silk screening, and everything in between line the cobblestone streets alongside shops and boutiques showcasing their unique creations.
Other special sites of interest include an archaeological museum — offering a glimpse into the fascinating history of the area — the St. Stanislaus Church, the 5,000-seat amphitheater, and sweeping views of the Chavón River and the Caribbean Sea.
Here’s how to spend a day exploring Altos de Chavón’s many sights and things to do.
Kick-start the morning.
Start your day with a hot cup of joe and a sweet treat from Le Boulanger.
From there, head over to enjoy the incredible sights of St. Stanislaus Church — a charming stone building in the center of the village. Consecrated in 1979, Pope John Paul II sent the ashes of Poland’s patron saint, St. Stanislaus, and a hand-carved statue from Krakow to commemorate the church’s inauguration. Today, the church is the site for weekly Catholic masses as well as a treasured destination for weddings.
After sightseeing at the magnificent church, be sure to make a pitstop to meet the village’s longest enduring occupant: Margarito, the donkey! Margarito first arrived at Altos de Chavón in 1987 as an attraction much loved by children and visitors at the popular Mexican restaurant El Sombrero.
Before lunch, spend some time browsing the many shops and galleries at Altos de Chavón for unique treasures you won’t find anywhere else.
Peruse fine jewels, fashions, cigars, and handcrafted and embroidered linens. Find the perfect souvenir to help remember your vacation at Casa de Campo Resort and Villas, or browse for gifts for your friends and family back home.
Local artists and students from the acclaimed Altos de Chavón School of Design have plenty of wares on display — and you just never know, today’s purchase might be an early work from tomorrow’s next rising art world star!
Break for lunch.
Feeling hungry? Don’t miss lunch at one of the fantastic restaurants in Altos de Chavón, like the delicious Café Marietta — a gastropub specializing in Italian cuisine.
Explore in the afternoon.
Spend a beautiful afternoon exploring some of the landmarks, including the Amphitheater — a stunning 5,000-seat Grecian-style amphitheater — or the Archaeological Regional Museum, featuring an extraordinary collection of indigenous objects that help tell the story of the early history of the Dominican Republic.
From there, meander through the The Gallery at the Altos de Chavón School of Design, where you’ll find exhibitions featuring art of all types, including photography, paintings, drawings, furniture, sculptures, and so much more.
Draw the afternoon to a close by perusing the market on the Plaza Chavón, where local crafters gather to sell beautiful handmade hats, bags, ornaments, and much more.
Before dinner, pay a visit to the delicious chocolate museum, ChocoMuseo, for a sweet treat. Here you’ll enjoy products made with organic Dominican cacao, including delectable white, milk, and dark chocolates. Don’t miss the chocolate derived products, including cacao tea, jam, and cosmetics!
Unwind over dinner.
Close out an exciting day of adventure and exploration with a meal in one of the delectable restaurants in Altos de Chavón. Enjoy breathtaking views overlooking Altos de Chavón at La Piazzetta, serving up handmade pastas, antipasto, and other authentic Italian dishes that are perfect for sharing with friends or with that special someone.
Learn more about Altos de Chavón.