The small beach town of Sosua, 90 mi/145 km northwest of Santo Domingo, was founded by German Jewish refugees who were fleeing Nazi persecution in the late 1930s. (Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo oversaw their settlement, hoping to gain favor with the U.S.)
Sosua's Jewish Museum chronicles the experience of the 700 refugees, who established a dairy and a sausage-manufacturing facility. Parts of the original settlement are interesting, especially the businesses run by the descendants of the Jewish immigrants.
The town has become popular with Dominicans and Europeans because of its beaches and dive sites, which are located adjacent to downtown Sosua and the neighborhood of El Batey to the north. These are somehwat crowded and commercialized. Sosua has lost much of its charm because of its popularity for sex tourism. The wild scene from a decade ago has been partially tamed, but at night the bar-lined main drag is notoriously salacious. It's also falling prey to random development and a flood of tourist shops.
Cabarete, a premier spot for windsurfing, is a 10-minute drive east of Sosua.
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