The Slave Route

Tour/Activity in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

About this activity

Learn about the background and context of the history of slavery in the Dominican Republic

Your Travel Experience with Tierra Maya Tours

Barrio Santa Barbara and Rum Museum

On this excursion you will learn about the background and context of the history of slavery in the Dominican Republic. People who were brought to the island of Hispaniola as slaves from Africa from 1503/1505, especially for work in the sugar factories, play an important role in the history of the country. After breakfast you will be picked up at your hotel (09:00) and start your tour in the Barrio Santa Barbara. This was the site of the slave market, the historic transfer point for people from Africa who were brought to the island for slave labour. Today, the street scene is dominated by murals that refer to the historical and cultural aspects of slavery, such as religious syncretism. After a subsequent visit to the Rum Museum, where you will learn about the tools the slaves used to do their work in the sugar factories, the tour takes you to the historic pillory La Picota, where rebellious slaves were publicly whipped. After the historic city tour, you will leave Santo Domingo heading west. On the way, you will pass historic sites such as La Puerta de Lemba, one of the city gates where the head of Sebastian Lemba, a rebellious slave leader now revered as a national hero, was once displayed after being beheaded by the Spanish colonial masters.

Sugar factory

After leaving Santo Domingo, you will visit the ruins of the Ingenio Boca de Nigua sugar factory. The well-preserved structures of the factory give you an impression of the historical sugar and rum production solely by the power of slaves and oxen. You will also learn how the tools you learned about earlier in the rum museum were used. The site is also of particular historical interest, as the first slave uprising in the New World took place here in 1521. Afterwards, you will drive to the ruins of the first water-powered sugar factory, Ingenio Diego Caballero.

Ingenio de Engombe

On the way back, you will stop at a restaurant best known for its speciality pastel en hoja, dough filled with meat and steamed in a banana leaf, but also offering other Dominican delicacies. After lunch on the way back to Santo Domingo, stop at a third historic sugar factory, Ingenio de Engombe, notable for the well-preserved remains of the factory owner's mansion. Then return to your hotel.

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