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For casino action in the town itself, head for the previously recommended Matum Hotel & Casino. Its Casino Diamante spins all night, and is very evocative of certain joints in Las Vegas. Also on-site is the Laao Club, open nightly 7pm to 2am, with live music often presented. For a more elegant casino, head out to the also-recommended Hodelpa Gran Almirante.

For the best merengue and dancing in Santiago, the place to go is Tipico Monte Bar, Avenida 27 de Febrero 18 (tel. 809/575-0300; www.tipicomontebar.com), open nightly except Tuesday from 5pm to 3am (or even later, depending on the crowd). Live music is often a feature, as some of the best singing groups in the Caribbean emerge from Santiago. The location is a RD$105 taxi ride from the center; the club is in the Las Colinas sector, with all its car-repair shops.

One of the city's most popular bars is Ali-Bar, at the corner of Calle Tolentino and Avenida Restauración (tel. 809/581-6779; www.ahi-bar.com), open nightly from 4pm to 2, 3, or even 4am. It opens onto a big courtyard. Food is served here, and outdoor jazz is often featured.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.