Santiago Province (Dominican Republic)

province of the Dominican Republic

Santiago is a Dominican province in the north central part of the country. Its capital city is Santiago de los Caballeros, the second largest city in the country, and the province takes its name from that city.

Historic center of Santiago de los Caballeros.
Historic center of Santiago de los Caballeros.
Coat of arms of Santiago
Location of Santiago Province
Location of Santiago Province
Coordinates: 19°21′24″N 70°54′32″W / 19.35667°N 70.90889°W / 19.35667; -70.90889
Country Dominican Republic
Province since1844
CapitalSantiago de los Caballeros
 • TypeSubdivisions
 • Body10 municipalities
20 municipal districts
 • Congresspersons1 Senator
18 Deputies
 • Total2,806.29 km2 (1,083.51 sq mi)
 • Total1,503,362
 • Density540/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-4 (AST)
Area code1-809 1-829 1-849
ISO 3166-2DO-25
Postal Code51000

The province is in the eastern part of the Yaque del Norte Valley and the River Yaque del Norte runs through the province. The Yaque del Norte Valley, also named Línea Noroeste ("Northwestern Line"), is the western section of the Cibao Valley.



The province has been an important administrative territory since colonial times. Because it was an important centre, its capital city was occupied by French and Haitian armies that came from the northwest border.

It was one of the original five provinces created by the first Dominican Constitution in 1844; its territory was the northwest of the country and part of the north coast (Puerto Plata), from Monte Cristi and Dajabón to the west to Moca to the east. Moca was made part of the La Vega province in 1854.[1]

Several provinces were created with part of its original territory: Puerto Plata in 1865, Monte Cristi in 1879, Dajabón in 1938, Santiago Rodríguez in 1950 and, last, Valverde in 1959.[2]

San José de las Matas is a municipality of the province since 1844; later, other municipalities were created: Jánico in 1881, Tamboril in 1907, Bisonó in 1961, Licey al Medio in 1984, Villa González in 1991, Puñal in 2006 and Sabana Iglesia in 2007.[3]

The municipal districts of the province were created in:[3]

  • 1983 : Pedro García
  • 1993 : Baitoa
  • 1997 : La Canela
  • 1998 : Juncalito and El Rubio
  • 2001 : San Francisco de Jacagua and Palmar Arriba
  • 2002 : El Limón
  • 2003 : Hato del Yaque, Las Placetas and La Cuesta
  • 2004 : El Caimito
  • 2005 : Las Palomas
  • 2006 : Canca la Piedra, Guayabal and Canabacoa



The Santiago province is bordered to the northwest by the province of Valverde, to the north by Puerto Plata, to the east by the Espaillat and La Vega provinces, to the south by San Juan and to the west by Santiago Rodríguez.



In 2014 (last national census), there were 1,503,362 people living in the Santiago province, and 728,484 (48.5%) living in towns and cities. The population density was 535.7 persons/km².[4]

Its population represents 15.92% of the total population of the country and the province is ranked as the 3rd (out of 31 plus the National District) more populated province.

As of 2016, the total estimated propulation of the province is 1,015,397 inhabitants.[5]

The largest city of the province is Santiago de los Caballeros, its head municipality or capital, with an urban population (in 2014) of 550,753 inhabitants.[4]

The population of Santiago is composed of blacks, mixed, and whites.



The Santiago province has a total area of 2,806.3 km2 (1,083.5 sq mi).[4] It has 5.8% of the area of the Dominican Republic and it is ranked as the 3rd (out of 31 plus the National District) largest province.

The altitude of the provincial capital, Santiago de los Caballeros, is 199 m (653 ft) above sea level.[6]

The province of Santiago is divided in three regions: the Cordillera Septentrional ("Northern mountain range") in the north, the Yaque del Norte Valley in the centre, and the Cordillera Central ("Central mountain range") in the south.

The Cordillera Septentrional mountain range runs across the north of the province; the highest mountain of this range, Pico Diego de Ocampo, 1,249 m (4,098 ft) high, is in this province, on the border with the Puerto Plata province. The range is covered with rainforests because it rains a lot there; the trade winds (winds that come from the northeast, from the Atlantic Ocean) bring a lot of water that falls on the mountains.

South of the Cordillera Septentrional is the Yaque del Norte Valley; from the city of Santiago de los Caballeros to the west, this is a very dry valley because the trade winds cannot go over the Cordillera Septentrional and so it does not rain enough over the valley. But people here uses the water of the Yaque del Norte river for farming.

The Cordillera Central is in the southern half of the province. The highest mountains of the country, the island and the Caribbean are here, on the border with the San Juan province: Pico Duarte, 3,098 m (10,164 ft),[7] and others above 3,000 m (9,800 ft). This mountain range is covered with pine forests, except close to rivers where there are rainforests.

The most important river is Yaque del Norte which crosses the province from south to north, first, and then it turns to the northwest. All the other rivers in the province are tributaries of the Yaque del Norte except the Licey river that comes from the Cordillera Septentrional and flows to the east; Licey is a tributary of the Yuna river.



The climate of the province is a tropical climate, hot most of the year, but it is cooler in the mountains.



There are 9 municipalities and 16 municipal districts (M.D.) in the province.[3]

Municipalities of Santiago Province
Municipalities of the Santiago province
Municipal Districts (code) Population
Density Altitude
Santiago de los Caballeros (250101) 591,985 165.0 3,587.8 199
Pedro García (250102) 4,006 52.6 76.2 454
Baitoa (250103) 11,778 42.9 274.5 248
La Canela (250104) 17,067 93.4 182.7 175
San Francisco de Jacagua (250105) 36,902 82.3 448.4 217
Hato del Yaque (250106) 29,524 38.0 776.9 176
Santiago (250100) 691,262 474.1 1,458.1
Bisonó (250201) 42,092 92.6 454.6 129
Bisonó (250200) 42,092 92.6 454.6
Santo Tomás de Jánico (250301) 7,672 125.7 61.0 417
Juncalito (250302) 4,215 178.1 23.7 895
El Caimito (250303) 5,106 99.4 51.4 370
Jánico (250300) 16,993 403.2 42.1
Licey al Medio (250401) 13,147 14.7 894.4 199
Las Palomas (250402) 12,392 12.3 1,007.5 188
Licey al Medio (250400) 25,539 27.0 945.9
San José de las Matas (250501) 23,850 675.1 35.3 541
El Rubio (250502) 7,201 584.6 12.3 503
La Cuesta (250503) 3,622 111.7 32.4 433
Las Placetas (250504) 3,955 147.5 26.8 832
San José de las Matas (250500) 38,628 1,518.8 25.4
Tamboril (250601) 39,700 45.0 882.2 266
Canca La Piedra (250602) 11,995 25.6 468.6 270
Tamboril (250600) 51,695 70.6 732.2
Villa González (250701) 27,304 56.0 487.6 164
Palmar Arriba (250702) 6,365 12.5 509.2 203
El Limón (250703) 3,680 32.3 113.9 399
Villa González (250700) 37,349 100.8 370.5
Puñal (250801) 23,856 23.9 998.2 167
Guayabal (250802) 11,509 29.0 396.9 197
Canabacoa (250803) 11,151 7.8 1,429.6 191
Puñal (250800) 46,516 60.8 765.1
Sabana Iglesia (250901) 13,348 58.3 229.0 252
Sabana Iglesia (250900) 13,348 58.3 229.0
Santiago (250000) 1,503,362 2,806.2 535.7



The economy of the province is based on farming and industry; because there is not a coast, tourism is not so important as in other parts of the country.

It is the second economic centre of the country, after the Greater Santo Domingo (Distrito Nacional and the Santo Domingo Province). It has a significant commerce and many industries, especially textiles, food and cement. Most of these industries are in Santiago de los Caballeros and Tamboril; the tobacco industry is also important in Villa Bisonó.

Farming is very important in the province. Poultry and pigs are raised in Licey al Medio. Cattle are raised in the south central and western parts of the province.

Coffee is grown in the mountains, plantain and cassava in Licey al Medio and rice, fruits and vegetables in the western part of the province. Tobacco is grown in all the lowlands of the province but the best types are grown around the cities of Bisonó and Villa González.


  1. Tolentino Rojas, Vicente (1944). Historia de la División Territorial Dominicana, 1494-1943 (in Spanish). Ciudad Trujillo, República Dominicana: Colección Trujillo.
  2. Féliz, Werner D. (2004). División Político-Territorial Dominicana, 1944-2004 (in Spanish and Italian). Santo Domingo: CONAU. ISBN 999349391-0.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "División Territorial 2015" (in Spanish). Oficina Nacional de Estadística (ONE). October 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 November 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Consejo Nacional de Población y Familia. "Estamaciones y Proyecciones de la Población Dominicana por Regiones, Provincias, Municipios y Distritos Municipales, 2014" (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved 2014-02-02.
  5. "REPÚBLICA DOMINICANA: Población por año calendario, según sexo y grupos quinquenales de edad, 2015-2020" (in Spanish). Oficina Nacional de Estadística (ONE). Archived from the original (XLS) on 24 June 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  6. "Santiago de los Caballeros". Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  7. Orvis, K.H. (2003). "The Highest Mountain in the Caribbean: Controversy and Resolution via GPS" (PDF). Caribbean Journal of Science. 39 (3). Mayagüez, Puerto Rico: University of Puerto Rico: 378–380. Retrieved 2007-12-20.