Little Big League

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Santo Domingo Colonial Zone     Photo: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

In this nation of 9.5 million, béisbol is not the pastime we know in the States. It's a way of life. Discover as much in Santo Domingo's training grounds, where teams like Aguilas Cibaeñas play in front of crowds that make the Fenway faithful look like sushi eaters (tickets generally cost less than $20; schedule available at lidom.com). The pro season runs from October through January, but baseball never stops. Coming this winter? Head to Boca Chica, 45 minutes east of Santo Domingo, and see tomorrow's stars at the New York Mets' new 37-acre training complex. For off-field thrills, drive 2.5 hours north to the adventure ranch Rancho Baiguate, outside Jarabocoa (doubles, $145; rancho­bai­gua­te.com). The guides here are versatile. One day they'll float you eight miles down the Class II Yaque del Norte River ($50). The next, they'll start a multi-day trip up 10,417-foot Pico Duarte, the Caribbean's tallest peak ($385).

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