Dominican, Republic

Dominican Republic, not to be confused with Dominica, is a country occupying the eastern portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Caribbean. Dominican Republic covers 48,442 sq km (18,704 sq mi) and is part of the Greater Antilles archipelago. It is the second largest country in the Caribbean after Cuba, and has a population of slightly over 10 million people (2011 estimate).

The Dominican Republic is a democratic republic headed by a president. Its capital and largest city is Santo Domingo. The official language here is Spanish. The country is in the Atlantic Time zone, which is four hours behind Coordinated Universal Time.

Los Tres Ojos, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Author: Swatigsood (public domain)

Traffic in the Dominican Republic is driven on the right. The phone IDD codes are +1-809, +1-829 and +1-849. The electricity is 110V/60Hz using USA plugs. The official currency of the Dominican Republic is the Dominican peso (DOP). In 2010, the Dominican Republic had a nominal GDP of $50.87 billion and a per capita nominal GDP of $5,464. Its per capita GDP at purchasing power parity is $8,648. It has the second largest economy in the Caribbean and the Central American region after

Cuba.

During pre-Columbian times, the land of the Dominican Republic has seen various tribes displacing one another throughout history. The Arawakan-speaking Taínos settled on Hispaniola around AF 650, displacing earlier peoples. Then in turn were driven out by the Caribs, who arrived there in the 15th century.

Los Haitises Park, Dominican Republic
Author: Starus (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Christopher Columbus arrived on the island of Hispaniola on 5 December, 1492, claiming it for

Spain, and naming it La Española. The city of San Domingo was founded by Christopher’s brother Bartholomew in 1496, becoming the first permanent European settlement in the New World. Christopher Columbus was buried in Santo Domingo in 1506.

While the native population on Hispaniola was decimated by diseases, abuse, suicide, starvation and other issues, the population of the European settlement of Santo Domingo held steady until the early part of the 18th century, when it increased rapidly with the arrival of white settlers and blacks, composed of freedmen and slaves.

Today the Dominican Republic is one of the major tourist destinations in the Caribbean. It has become a choice destination for golfing as well as eco-tourism. It has the tallest mountain in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte, at 3,098 m (10,164 ft), and the largest lake in the Caribbean, Lake Enriquillo.

Visiting Dominican Republic

Visitors from

Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Israel, Japan, Peru and Uruguay do not need a visa. Visitors from most other countries can purchase a tourist card at US$10 on arrival.

Las Americas International Airport (SDG) is the main airport serving Santo Domingo and the Dominican Republic. It receives direct flights from many major cities in the

United States, the Caribbean and Central America.

Major Cities in Dominican Republic

  1. Santo Domingo – capital
  2. Higüey
  3. Juan Dolio
  4. Puerto Plata
  5. Punta Cana
  6. Rio San Juan
  7. San Pedro de Macoris
  8. Santa Barbara de Samana
  9. Santiago de los Caballeros
  10. Sosua

Places of Interest in Dominican Republic

  1. Bahia de las Aguilas
  2. Bayahibe

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Dominican Republic

  1. Colonial City of Santo Domingo

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