Dominican Republic

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Not to be confused with the Caribbean island country of Dominica. The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean country that occupies the eastern two-thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. The western one-third of Hispaniola is occupied by the country of Haiti. To the north lies the North Atlantic Ocean, while the Caribbean Sea lies to the south.

Population: 10,219,630 people
Area: 48,670 km2
Highest point: 3,175 m
Coastline: 1,288 km
Life expectancy: 77.62 years
GDP per capita: $9,800
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Cities

  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
  • Big city 50-100 hotels
  • Medium city 20-50 hotels
  • Small city 5-20 hotels
  • Village below 5 hotels

Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

About Dominican Republic

History

Explored and claimed by Columbus on his first voyage on December 5, 1492, the island of Ayití, named by Columbus as La Hispaniola, became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland.

The island was first inhabited by the Taínos and Caribes. The Caribes were an Arawakan-speaking people who had arrived around B.C. 10,000. Within a few short years following the arrival of European explorers, the population of Tainos had significantly been reduced by the Spanish conquerors. Based on Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (Tratado de las Indias) between 1492 and 1498 the Spanish conquerors killed around 100,000 Taínos.

The first European settlement founded on the American continent was located on La Isabela, founded in 1493 using a XV century style located in La Isabela, Puerto Plata (19º53'15.08" N 71º04'48.41" W). The City of Santo Domingo was founded by Bartolomé Colón, on August 5, 1496 and was later moved by Frey Nicolás de Ovando to the west side of Ozama river in 1502.

In 1606 the Royal crown of Spain ordered the depopulation of the western end of the island due to high piracy and contraband. This led to the French invasion and the establishment of Haiti.

In 1697, Spain recognized French dominion over the western third of the island, which in 1804 became Haiti. The remainder of the island, by then known as Santo Domingo, sought to gain its own independence in 1821, but was conquered and ruled by the Haitians for 22 years; it finally attained independence as the Dominican Republic in 1844.

A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative rule for much of its subsequent history was brought to an end in 1966 when Joaquín Balaguer was elected president for his second, non-consecutive term (he had first served from 1960-1962). He maintained a tight grip on power for most of the next 30 years, until international reaction to flawed elections forced him to curtail his last term, hold new elections in 1996, and give up power. Since then, regular competitive elections have been held every four years.

The Dominican economy has had one of the fastest growth rates in the hemisphere.

Climate

Tropical maritime with little seasonal temperature variation. There is a seasonal variation in rainfall. The island lies in the middle of the hurricane belt and is subject to severe storms from June to October. It experiences occasional flooding and periodic droughts.

Food

Food in the Dominican Republic is typical Caribbean fare, with lots of tropical fruits, rice, beans, and seafood. Most restaurant meals will cost an additional 16% tax plus 10% service: for very good service, it is customary to leave an additional 10%.

Drinks

  • Beer: Presidente, Brahma, Bohemia
  • Rum: Brugal, Barcelo, Bermudez, Macorix, Siboney, Punta Cana.
  • Mama Juana: a mixture of bark and herbs left to soak in rum, red wine and honey.

Additionally, other imported drinks are available for purchase—at least in the towns and cities—they might not be as readily available out in the countryside.

Do not drink tap water! Locals, even in the most rural areas, will either boil their water or purchase bottled water. Eating salads or other food that may be washed in tap water is not advisable. Ice is a bad idea as well, except in luxury hotels and restaurants (which produce ice from bottled water). If you plan on cooking or washing dishes for longer stays, it is a good idea to rinse everything with bottled or boiled water before use.

Shopping

The Dominican currency is the Dominican Peso (DOP). As of July 2013, the exchange rate was 41.95 DOP/$1 USD.

One of the best spots in the Colonial District of Santo Domingo to shop is the several blocks long outdoor mall, El Conde Street. It offers everything from street vendors (it is not recommended to eat off these) to knock-off name brand clothing for extremely inexpensive prices. There are some very pleasant outdoor restaurants that serve as perfect spots to people watch and drink Presidente (their most popular beer).

During the day, there are also several touristy shops where you can buy cheap presents for the family back home including authentic paintings and beautiful jewelry. There is also a very nice cigar shop at the end of the mall across from the cathedral. Clothes, however, are generally very economical and often of good quality. Most prices can be negotiated. US dollars are accepted in most areas.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Dominican Republic on Wikivoyage.

Cities in Dominican Republic

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Punta Cana is the name of a town and tourist region at the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic. The region, covering about 420,000 m2 (approximately 1,100 acres), is home to a coastline of sandy white beaches.

Interesting places:

  • Iberostar Golf Course
  • The Lakes Barcelo Bavaro Golf Course
  • White Sands Golf Course
  • Macao Beach
  • Palma Real Shopping Village
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Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic and the oldest European city in the Americas. The old city is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Interesting places:

  • Trampolin Children\'s Museum
  • National Pantheon (Pantheon Nacional)
  • Museum of the Royal Houses
  • House of Bastidas (Casa de Bastidas)
  • Santa Maria la Menor Cathedral
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Las Terrenas is a city in Samaná Province on the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic.

Interesting places:

  • El Salto del Limon
  • The Whales (Cayos Las Ballenas)
  • Playa Bonita
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Cabarete is a city in Dominican Republic. It is the city of kitesurfing and windsurfing and considered one of the best places to practice this sports in the Caribbean. Also has a great beach and this has a lot of great bars and restaurants.

Interesting places:

  • Encuentro Beach
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Puerto Plata or San Felipe de Puerto Plata is a city in the Dominican Republic with a population of about 130,000. It is capital of the province of Puerto Plata.

Interesting places:

  • Museum of Taino Art
  • Pico Isabel de Torres
  • Fort San Felipe
  • Playa Dorada
  • Playa Dorada Golf Club
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Sosua is located in the Puerto Plata province of the Dominican Republic. German Jews settled this little pueblo in the early 1940s. Many streets are named for Ashkenazic Jews. Sosua is now famous for being a top destination for the single male. The many nightclubs crammed into this small area is ideal for ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • Playa Sosua
  • Mundo King Art Museum
  • Sosua Bay Grand Casino
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Interesting places:

  • Nautical Club of Santo Domingo
  • La Caleta Park
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Juan Dolio / Villas del Mar is a city in San Pedro de Macoris, in the Dominican Republic. Located at the south coast of the Dominican Republic and in a distance of 60km from the capital Santo Domingo and 30km from the International Airport of "Las Americas" (SDQ). Juan Dolio and the new part of Juan Dolio, ... (read more)

Interesting places:

  • Guayacanes Beach
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Santiago de los Caballeros is a city in the Dominican Republic. The buildings are old and classic Caribbean Spanish style.

Interesting places:

  • Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration
  • Restoration Heroes Museum
  • Catedral de Santiago
  • Historic San Luis Fort Museum
  • Hermanos Patino Bridge
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La Romana is a city at the southeast end of the Dominican Republic. The area along the coast is mostly taken up with various resorts, most notably Casa De Campo Resort. Cruise ships also port here.

Interesting places:

  • Altos de Chavon Village
  • Altos de Chavon Amphitheater
  • Dye Fore Golf Club
  • Catalina Island National Park
  • El Obelisco
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Jarabacoa is in the Dominican Republic.

Interesting places:

  • Jarabacoa Golf Club
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Santa Barbara De Samana is a city in the Samana Peninsula, Dominican Republic.

Interesting places:

  • Cayo Levantado Beach
  • Marine Life Experience Cayo Levantado
  • Rincon Beach
  • Playa Las Flechas
  • Samana Zipline
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Las Galeras is a small village at the far end of the Samaná Peninsula in the Dominican Republic. It's famous for its world class lonely beaches, e.g. Playa Fronton or Playa Rincon.

Interesting places:

  • Boca el Diablo
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Rio San Juan is a city in the Dominican Republic.

Interesting places:

  • Playa Grande
  • Playa Grande Golf Course
  • Gri Gri Lagoon
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Interesting places:

  • Playa Diamante
  • Rancho Paraiso
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Barahona is a province of the Dominican Republic.

Interesting places:

  • San Rafael Beach
  • Oviedo Lagoon
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panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

Points of Interest in Dominican Republic

There is just one UNESCO World Heritage Site; the old town of Santo Domingo which is the oldest European city in the Americas. In addition to that there are many national parks and beaches in the country.

Trampolin Children\'s Museum - Santo Domingo

Altos de Chavon Village - La Romana

Dominicus Beach - Bayahibe

Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration - Santiago

Playa Sosua - Sosua

La Altagracia Cathedral - Higuey

Cayo Levantado Beach - Samana

Museum of Taino Art - Puerto Plata

Iberostar Golf Course - Punta Cana

El Salto del Limon - Las Terrenas

Paradise Island - Punta Rucia

Playa Grande - Rio San Juan

Moron Beach - El Limon

Nautical Club of Santo Domingo - Boca Chica

Guayacanes Beach - Juan Dolio

Los Marlins Golf Course - San Pedro de Macoris

National Pantheon (Pantheon Nacional) - Santo Domingo

Museum of the Royal Houses - Santo Domingo

House of Bastidas (Casa de Bastidas) - Santo Domingo

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners
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