Culture, Traditions and Salt Mines in Montecristi

The city of Montecristi, founded in 1506, was crucial in the economic, cultural and social development of the Dominican Republic during the nineteenth century. The city, situated in the country’s extreme northwest region, once lived a vibrant economic boom.

A reflection of the economic health of this coastal city are still evident. Its post-colonial Caribbean architecture can still be appreciated in many homes and buildings.

The remains of what once was an important salt-mine industry are still visible.

Today, this once vibrant community holds many architectural, historic and environmental treasures that are easy to see and visit.

Founded by the Spanish conquistador Nicolas de Ovando, in 1506, the settlement was completely destroyed by in 1606.

Rebuilt again in 1756, Montecristi became the north coast’s most important port city in the 1880s. The port’s importance grew until it became the largest in the Caribbean.

Ships from all over the world were imported and exported from the Montecristi port.

It was during this important economic period that the local authorities imported from France, specifically in 1895, the impressive watchtower that today stands in the town’s main square.

Beautiful Victorian homes, from this same period, surround the square.

The homes are a true representation of Caribbean architecture.
The remains of Montecristi’s once thriving salt mines also remain and can be easily reached by the visiting tourist.

Today, the salt mines are still in operation, much as they were centuries ago, but currently operating at very small scales.

One of the most beautiful species that visit the salt mines are the region’s pink flamingos.

They are a special attraction for wildlife photographers that visit the region. .

Hotel El Morro, Monte Cristi. For hotel reservations and information, please write to, or call 809-850-3355.

Adolfo López
Environmental Consultant

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