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San Francisco de Macoris is the third largest city of the Dominican Republic. It rests in an area known for its cocoa and coffee, the slopes to the southeast of the city rich with the scent of ripening beans. It is also known locally as the walk way to the clouds. Climbing into the clouds will bring you to Loma Quita Espuela, the largest virgin forest reserve on the island.
Located in the north east part of the island in the Cibao region, San Francisco de Macoris is the capital of the Duarte Province. It is famed as one of, if not the most politically active city in the shaping of the island's history. Today it is home to local author Hilma Contreras and birth place of world class playboy Porfirio Rubirosa.
During the colonial times a religious order from Italy, the order or St Francis settled here. The combination of St Francis and the territory's original name, Macorix, formed the unusual modern name and today, just as you would associate St Francis with the beautiful Italian town of Assisi, St Francisco de Macoris offers some of the most stunning views of the island. Due to its altitude, the area remains pretty much unaffected by the flood and hurricane seasons or the constant hot weather that swelters the rest of the island. It is as such an almost isolated beauty offering spectacular views of the River Jaya.
Locally there is a great sporting tradition, with basketball being fairly prominent. There is also a passion for baseball, boxing and the martial arts and, since the 1970s, motocross. There are now eight official dirt tracks for indulgence of motocross around the city, so it comes as little surprise that San Francisco de Macorix has turned out many motocross champions who compete at international level throughout the Latin American countries.
The architecture of the city's main buildings gives a flavour of its colonial past. Both the town hall and Santa Ana Cathedral speak of their particular histories, the latter with its clear gothic and modern touches and attracting many tourists from around the globe is the religious centre, Montecito de Oracion, considered a meditative centre of spirituality.
For visitors to the city there are lots to do. A selection of restaurants, bars, clubs and parks offer a range of activities for both night and day. In the centre of the city is Duarte Park, a popular area opposite the town hall where an annual commemoration parade takes place with thousands of people attending to re-enact Duarte Day. Next to Les Martires Park you will find the more familiar western sight of a Burger King if you are feeling a little homesick. There is also a movie theatre here for those that prefer a quieter nightlife to the popular bar and club scene. During the day, when you have had your fill of sightseeing and walking, you are welcome to take part in the sporting activities range at the Mayorista Club, from swimming to volleyball.