Dominican Republic is the second largest and most diverse Caribbean country, situated just two hours south of Miami, less than four hours from New York and eight hours from most European cities. Known for our warm and hospitable people, Dominican Republic is a destination like no other, featuring astounding nature, intriguing history and rich culture.
Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea on the south, our lush tropical island paradise boasts nearly 1,000 miles (1,609 km) of coastline, 250 miles (402 km) of the world’s top beaches, magnificent resorts and hotels, and a variety of sports, recreation and entertainment options. Here you can dance to the pulse pounding thrill of the merengue, renew in our luxurious and diverse accommodations, explore ancient relics of centuries past, delight in delicious Dominican gastronomy or enjoy ecotourism adventures in our magnificent national parks, mountain ranges, rivers and beaches.
Discovered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus, the country overflows with fascinating history, museums and exciting cultural experiences like music, art and festivals, plus uniquely Dominican specialties such as cigars, rum, chocolate, coffee, merengue, amber and larimar.
The #1 destination for golf in the Caribbean and Latin America, Dominican Republic delights visitors with 25 designer golf courses amid breathtaking coastlines with mountain backdrops and lush green fairways. With so many beautiful natural settings like romantic waterfalls, breathtaking coasts and idyllic accommodations, Dominican Republic is a top destination for weddings and romance. Many world class-resorts and hotels also cater to meetings and incentive groups who flock to Dominican Republic for excellent, friendly service and dynamic meeting venues.
Dominican Republic offers a fantastic combination of environments to capture your imagination and refresh the soul. And with eight international airports, paradise has never been easier to explore. We invite you to discover our breathtaking island sanctuary and create memories that will last a lifetime.
The Dominican Republic is situated on the eastern part of the second-largest island in the Greater Antilles, Hispaniola. It shares the island roughly at a 2:1 ratio with Haiti. The country’s area is reported variously as 48,442 km2 (18,704 sq mi) (by the embassy in the United States) and 48,730 km2 (18,815 sq mi) (by the U. S. CIA), making it the second largest country in the Antilles, after Cuba. The country’s capital and greatest metropolitan area, Santo Domingo, is located on the southern coast.
There are many small offshore islands and cays that are part of the Dominican territory. The two largest islands near shore are Saona, in the southeast, and Beata, in the southwest.
The country’s mainland has four important mountain ranges. The most northerly is the Cordillera Septentrional («Northern Mountain Range»), which extends from the northwestern coastal town ofMonte Cristi, near the Haitian border, to the Samaná Peninsula in the east, running parallel to the Atlantic coast. The highest range in the Dominican Republic — indeed, in the whole of the West Indies — is the Cordillera Central («Central Mountain Range»).
In the Cordillera Central are found the four highest peaks in the Caribbean: Pico Duarte (3,098 metres or 10,164 feet above sea level), La Pelona (3,094 metres or 10,151 feet), La Rucilla (3,049 metres or 10,003 feet) and Pico Yaque (2,760 metres or 9,055 feet).
The largest lake is Enriquillo, a salt lake at 45 metres (148 ft) below sea level, the lowest point in the Caribbean.
The Dominican Republic is a tropical, maritime nation. The annual average temperature is 25 °C (77 °F). At higher elevations, the temperature averages 18 °C (64.4 °F) while near sea level the average temperature is 28 °C (82.4 °F). Low temperatures of 0 °C (32 °F) are possible in the mountains while high temperatures of 40 °C (104 °F) are possible in protected valleys. January and February are the coolest months of the year, while August is the hottest month.
The wet season along the northern coast lasts from November through January. Elsewhere, the wet season stretches from May through November, with May being the wettest month. Average annual rainfall is 1,500 millimetres (59.1 in) countrywide, with individual locations in the Valle de Neiba seeing averages as low as 350 millimetres (13.8 in) while the Cordillera Oriental averages 2,740 millimetres (107.9 in). The driest part of the country lies in the west. Tropical cyclones strike the country every couple of years, with 65% of the impacts along the southern coast. Hurricanes are most likely between August and October. The last time a category 5 hurricane struck the country wasHurricane David in 1979.
Tourism is fueling the Dominican Republic’s economic growth. The country is the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean. With the construction of projects like Cap Cana, San Souci Port in Santo Domingo, and the Moon Palace Resort in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic expects increased tourism activity in the upcoming years. Ecotourism has also been a topic increasingly important in this nation, with towns like Jarabacoa and neighboring Constanza, and locations like the Pico Duarte, Bahia de las Aguilas and others becoming more significant in efforts to increase direct benefits from tourism. Most residents from other countries are required to get a tourist card, depending on the country they live in.
The population of the Dominican Republic in 2007 was estimated by the United Nations at 9,760,000.
The Dominican Republic’s population is 73% Mixed, 16% White, 11% Black.
The population of the Dominican Republic is entirely Spanish-speaking; its local dialect is called Dominican Spanish, it closely resembles Canarian Spanish, and has borrowed vocabularies from the Arawak language.
In resort areas speak English, German, Italian. On the border with Haiti remained French.
The culture and people of the Dominican Republic are a mixture of the cultures of the Spaniard colonists, African slaves, and Taíno natives. European, African and Taíno cultural elements are most prominent in food, family structure, religion and music. Many Arawak/Taíno names and words are used in daily conversation and for many foods native to the Dominican Republic.
In the Dominican Republic lives very happy cheerful people, full flavor is displayed in numerous vibrant national holidays. Every year there are various festivals, celebrations and carnivals.
5% of the population — Catholics. Also professed Protestantism and voodoo.
The national currency of the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Peso (1 peso includes 100 centavos). The appeal go banknotes of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 2000 pesos. In the capital and major tourist areas to accept cash in dollars and euros, as well as credit cards VISA, EUROCARD, MASTERCARD and other card payment systems worldwide. Foreign currency can be exchanged at the airport, in a hotel or in commercial banks (banks are open from 8: 00-8: 30 to 15: 00-18: 00 Monday to Friday).
Dominican cuisine is predominantly Spanish, Taíno, and African. The typical cuisine is quite similar to what can be found in other Latin American countries, but many of the names of dishes are different. One breakfast dish consists of eggs and mangú (mashed, boiled plantain). For heartier versions, mangú is accompanied by deep-fried meat (Dominican salami, typically) and/or cheese. Similarly to Spain, lunch is generally the largest and most important meal of the day.
Lunch usually consists of rice, meat (such as chicken, beef, pork, or fish), beans, and a side portion of salad. «La Bandera» (literally «The Flag») is the most popular lunch dish; it consists of meat and red beans on white rice. Sancocho is a stew often made with seven varieties of meat.
Meals tend to favor meats and starches over dairy products and vegetables. Many dishes are made with sofrito, which is a mix of local herbs used as a wet rub for meats and sautéed to bring out all of a dish’s flavors. Throughout the south-central coast, bulgur, or whole wheat, is a main ingredient in quipes or tipili (bulgur salad).
Other favorite Dominican foods are chicharrón, yuca, casabe, pastelitos (empanadas), batata, yam, pasteles en hoja, chimichurris, tostones. Some treats Dominicans enjoy are arroz con leche (or arroz con dulce), bizcocho dominicano (lit. Dominican cake), habichuelas con dulce, flan, frío frío (snow cones), dulce de leche, and caña (sugarcane). The beverages Dominicans enjoy include Morir Soñando, rum, beer, Mama Juana, batida (smoothie), jugos naturales (freshly squeezed fruit juices), mabí, coffee, and chaca (also calledmaiz caqueao/casqueado, maiz con dulce and maiz con leche), the last item being only found in the southern provinces of the country such as San Juan.
Dominican Republic forms part of the island of Hispaniola. Before the Europeans arrived a people called the Arawaks lived there. However on 6 December 1492 Christopher Columbus landed at on the north-west and called the island Espanola, which was later anglicized as Hispaniola.
Spanish settlers founded San Domingo in 1596. However a hundred years after Columbus discovered Hispaniola European diseases and war had almost exterminated the Arawaks.
Meanwhile the Spanish claimed ownership of the whole island but they settled mainly in the east, in what is now Dominican Republic. During the 16th century vast numbers of African slaves were imported into the island and they were forced to work on sugar plantations.
The west of the island was left largely empty and in the 17th century the French settled there. Finally in 1697 the Spanish and French signed the Treaty of Ryswick. France was given the western third of the island of Hispaniola. The rest remained in Spanish hands.
Haiti became independent in 1804 but in 1821 the Haitians occupied what is now the Dominican Republic. However Dominican Republic became independent in 1844. Its first president was Pedro Santana but he made himself effectively a dictator. Dominican Republic also suffered a number of invasions from Haiti. In 1861 Santana made Dominican Republic a province of Spain. The Spanish deposed him in 1862 and in 1863 the people rose in revolt. A guerilla war began called the War of Restoration and the Spanish withdrew in 1867. Unfortunately there then followed a period of political instability and internal disorder in the Dominican Republic.
In 1916 the USA afraid that Germany might intervene in the Dominican Republic occupied the country. The American occupation lasted until 1924. Elections were then held and Horacio Vasquez became president of the Dominican Republic.
However in 1930 Rafael Trujillo staged a coup and became a dictator. Trujillo ruled Dominican Republic for 31 years till he was assassinated in 1961. In 1962 elections were held and Juan Bosch led a new government. However in 1963 the army staged a coup. In 1965 the people rebelled but the USA intervened. President Johnson sent US Marines to the Dominican Republic. A provisional government ruled for one year until 1966 when Joaquin Balaguer was elected president. Balaguer was president until 1978 and under him some economic development took place. He was replaced by Antonio Guzman. He committed suicide in 1982. Jorge Blanco was president of Dominican Republic until 1986 when Balaguer replaced him. He was re-elected in 1990. In 1994 Balaguer was elected again but the election was rigged. However to avoid violence an agreement was made with the opposition. Balaguer agreed to step down after 2 years. In 1996 Leonel Fernandez became president of the Dominican Republic. Fernandez lost power in 2000 but was re-elected in 2004.
Today the Dominican Republic still exports sugar and coffee but tourism is a rapidly growing industry. Although Dominican Republic is still poor the economy is growing strongly.
The most popular resorts of the Dominican Republic: Punta Cana, La Romana, Samana, Puerto Plata, Boca Chica, Santo Domingo, Juan Dolio.
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