A bustling town with a population of nearly 150,000, Higüey is best known for the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia , which contains a shrine to the Virgin Mary that draws religious pilgrims from all over the country seeking forgiveness and miracles. Although Higüey doesn’t have much to offer tourists, the basilica is indeed worth a visit if you happen to be passing through.
Higüey is the hub town for the southeastern corner of the Dominican Republic . In the heart of La Altagracia province, Higüey is a nucleus for agriculture. Sugar, coffee, tobacco, cacao, rice, and corn are significant contributors to local economy, as are the cattle and pork industries.
Transportation converges here as well. If you are taking any bus within the eastern half of the country, you are likely to catch a connection in this dusty town. Buses coming from Sabana de la Mar , Bávaro , La Romana , and Santo Domingo  all join here to swap passengers.
The Taínos referred to this region as the “land where the sun was born.” And indeed the sun’s rays feel ultra-strong here—sunscreen is a must-have when visiting this town.
The Higüey bus station is located right across from the basilica, which is very convenient in order to see it in between transfers. The guagua station, on the other hand, is farther east of the basilica. This is a very inconvenient transfer if you have lots of luggage. So if you want to see the basilica, stick with a simple bus transfer.
From Santo Domingo , you can catch a 2.25-hour bus ride at the Sichoprola bus station (J. Ravelo 92, by Parque Enriquillo, tel. 809/686-0637, 6 a.m.–6 p.m. daily, US$5.10) to Higüey, making stops along the way. Once in Higüey, it makes various stops including in front of the basilica and at other bus stations where you can transfer to another bus if your final destination is not Higüey. Buses from Sabana de la Mar , Miches , Punta Cana/Bávaro , La Romana , and Santo Domingo all connect here. Tell the bus driver where you need to go and you’ll be taken to the right spot. When boarding and purchasing your ticket, ask where the bus is going; some have signs displaying their destinations, but not always. The connecting buses have frequent departures during the day, but after sunset it is very limited. Start out early if traveling by bus.
Guaguas bound for Punta Cana, Bávaro (RD$100), and Miches can be found at the guagua terminal located on Calle Luperón and Avenida Libertad.
The Mella Highway connects Santo Domingo and Higüey. Once in Higüey, eastbound Avenida La Libertad becomes Highway 105, which leads to a connection to Bávaro and the rest of the Costa del Coco. Southbound Avenida Hermanos Trejo becomes Highway 4, which leads you to Boca de Yuma  and the La Romana turnoff. Alternatively, west-running Avenida La Altagracia becomes Highway 4 outside of town and will take you to El Seibo and Hato Mayor.