Dominican Republic Travel Guide

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Dominican Republic


The Dominican Republic is located in the Caribbean Sea, with Haiti to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the north. It covers the eastern two-thirds of Hispaniola Island , with the remaining third of the island containing Haiti.


Columbus discovered the island in 1492 and was very struck by its beauty. The island was originally inhabited by Taino and Arawak Indian tribes who were annihilated by the conquerors. The French occupied the west part of the island and this part, now known as Haiti , was ceded to France in the late 16 th century. The Haitians took over the island for a number of years but it returned to its independent state as the Dominican Republic . It became a part of the Spanish Empire for a few years but then regained its independence in 1865.


Over seventy percent of the population are mulattoes with the remainder a mix of white, black and Asian. Roman Catholic is the main religion and Spanish is the dominant language.

The terrain is quite mountainous with long valleys. The largest lake is Lake Enriquillo . For nature lovers there are many nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries to explore. There are also botanical gardens with many species of orchids and a museum of natural history. Bird watchers will find a fascinating array of birds, including hummingbirds, and parrots. This is also a location where it is possible to swim with dolphins.


The Dominican Republic has miles of gorgeous beaches as well as a great climate which is a big draw for beach lovers, offering all manner of water sports and activities, including scuba diving, snorkelling, sailing, deep sea fishing, windsurfing, parasailing. There are also river activities such as river rafting. For golfers there are many great golf courses on the island.

For shoppers there are lots of interesting shops, galleries and antique shops to explore, including modern shopping malls and designer stores. Native arts and crafts, jewelry, and mahogany sculptures are popular items. Pick up some Dominican cigars, rum or coffee. There are plenty of restaurants offering dining experiences for all tastes, including trying the Dominican cuisine.


The capital and main city of the Dominican Republic is Santo Domingo which retains much of its Colonial style and old world Latin charm, but mixed in with modern styles. There is plenty of good dining and nightlife. Santo Domngo has a cathedral, medieval fortresses and palaces, theatres, museums, a zoo and botanical gardens as well as many other attractions.


Climate / Weather
The Dominican Republic ’s climate is regarded as tropical maritime. There are, however, several microclimates within the country, depending upon the area. Average temperatures in the capital city are approx. 19-28C during January and 24-32C during August.




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