Higuey is an inland city located in the southeast portion of the Dominican Republic. Higuey is most known as a pilgrimage center with visitors going to the “Shrine of the Virgin” also called “Basilica de Nuestra Senora”. The impact this shrine has had on Dominican culture can be seen by the fact that a picture of it is prominently display on the back of the 50-peso bill.

While there are several nice Hotels in Higuey many of which are reasonably priced. It is not as likely to be a place where you will spend an extended vacation, although it might be a good stopover for those interested in viewing religious architecture or as a religious destination if you are on a pilgrimage. La Basilica is a fairly new monument only built in 1971. It is of French design and was built to replace a sanctuary built in 1572 at the same location.

We found there to be a higher than normal number of people on the streets begging for money or trying to sell small trinkets and wares, so if you plan to visit either come with a lot of change or be prepared to be constantly turning down open hands. The streets are often crowded and there are many that are on the watch for tourists. It is probably best not to go alone, however it seems safe in groups.

Higuey is about 45 minutes to an hour from Punta Cana making it an easy excursion. In our case we had a friend who was planning on flying out of Punta Cana and used Higuey as a stopover the night before the flight. Often flights out of Punta Cana are cheaper than out of Santiago or Santo Domingo. Our decision to stop at Higuey allowed us to checkout one more Dominican city on the fight out, as well as take advantage of the lower cost rooms available once you get out of the strictly tourist areas.