Salvaleón de Higüey is a city in the wide coastal lowland of the southeastern Dominican Republic. Founded in 1502 by Juan Ponce de León, Higüey has long been a pilgrimage centre known for its elaborate shrine of the Virgin, which houses a magnificent altar. The city is a commercial as well as a religious and administrative centre. The surrounding area produces cacao, corn (maize), rice, cattle, and dairy products. A paved highway leading eastward from Santo Domingo ends in Higüey; secondary highways run from the town to the northern and southern coasts. Pop. (2002) urban area, 103,502.
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