Dominican Republic

Category: Resorts » International » North America | Author: biker | Views: 6975 | 28-08-2012, 01:15
Dominican Republic

Official name: "Dominican Republic";

Other name: "Dominican" (it's more in Spanish);

Capital of the Dominican Republic: Santo Domingo;

Location: the eastern part of the island Hispaniola;

Dominican territory: 49000 sq. km.;

Climate: tropical, trade wind;

Population of the Dominican Republic: 9 million people;

Ethnic groups: 73% - mixed population, 16% - Europeans and 11% - Africans;

Official language : Spanish;

Government: Democratic Republic;

Religions: Roman Catholic;

Currency: Dominican Peso (DOP, code 214);

Internet domain: .do;

Phone code: +1829;

Local time:   -4.

 

 

Hotels of the Dominican Republic Hotels of the Dominican Republic   Tours to the Dominican Republic Tours to the Dominican Republic       Resort cities of the Dominican Republic Dominican resort cities 

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Dominican Republic

Flag of the Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Map of the Dominican Republic 

Dominican Republic

Coat of arms of the Dominican Republic
 

 

General information

Dominican Republic is the perfect holiday place. The harmonious combination of tropical forests, beautiful mountains, white sandy beaches, azure bays and enchanting waterfalls attracts millions of tourists every year from all over the world. The tourist infrastructure is relatively young, but the service is at the world level.

 

Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

 

Geography

The Dominican Republic belongs to the Greater Antilles and occupies the eastern part of the island Hispaniola (Haiti's). It shares the land border with the Republic of Haiti. In the North it is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and in the South by the Caribbean Sea. The nearest sea neighbors of the Dominican Republic are: Cuba - in the north-east, Jamaica - to the west, and Puerto Rico - to the east. The island has mostly mountainous relief. Cordillera Mountains - Cibao starts on the Caribbean coast and extending to the north-west. The highest point is Mount Duarte (3175m.). In the East of the island there is a large limestone plateau. Sugar cane is cultivated here.

 

Dominican Republic

 

Photos of Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

Climate

The climate of the Republic is tropical, trade wind. The average monthly temperature: +25 C to +27 C and humidity - 65% - 80%. The hottest month is August (31 C), and the coldest - January (22 C). The period between May and September is the period of tropical rains and typhoons. Officially, the hurricane season in Caribbean runs from June to November. The best time for traveling is the period from January to May.

 

The flora and fauna of the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic boasts rich and diverse flora. In the Dominican Republic there are more than 5,600 species of plants, of which 30% - endemic (unique). Scientists - botanists divide the territory into 20 vegetation zones, from desert to sub-tropical jungle. The island has abundance of tropical vegetation. Royal palms are dominated. You can also see the orange trees and sugar cane. In the mountains there are spruce forests and in dry southern slopes - mixed deciduous forests. Shrubs and giant cacti are spreading in the dry southern regions. In the Dominican Republic there are a huge number of plantations of vegetables and fruits: mango, banana, papaya, passion fruit, pineapple and more.
The fauna is also very colorful and diverse, especially birds. On the island there are more than 250 species of birds, among them - a lot of colorful parrots, frigates, flamingos, ibises, pelicans, herons and hummingbirds, which can be watched even in tourist areas. In the forests there are many iguanas, venomous snakes and crocodiles. You can not find many mammals in the Dominican Republic, except small rodents. The islands have not any large animals. The solenodon and the hutia are both nocturnal creatures endemic to the Dominican Republic. Solendon resembles a large rat, but has long head. Solendon is one of the few mammals whose bite is poisonous. In the National Park of Monte Cristi and Jaragua you can watch manatees. Sandy beaches of the Dominican Islands were chosen by several species of sea turtles as the perfect place of laying their eggs.

Underwater world is really rich: tuna, sharks, dolphins, rays, whales. Dominica is one of ten best places in the world for whale watching.Many humpback whales can be watched near the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Every winter (from December to March) they come there for the mating games. It is really spectacular show.


Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

 

History of the Dominican 

In ancient times, the island was inhabited by the tribes of "Taino", which had come from South America. The indigenous people called the island "Quisqueya", which translates as "mother of all lands".  The first European who came to the island was Christopher Columbus and he named the island "Hispaniola". After Columbus thousands of Spaniards streamed to the island. First, the relationship between Spaniards and locals were friendly, but gradually it was getting worse and worse and resulted the first, in world history, battle between the Indians and the "white man." In 1687, the island was divided into French (West) and Spanish (East) part. Later, all the territory was taken by France. The new ethnic group started forming during this period. It was mixture of Indians, Europeans and black slaves who had been brought to work on the sugar plantations. In 1794 the slavery was abolished on the island. In 1804 the western part of the island declared its independence and was called «The Republic of Haiti". In 1821 - "Dominican Republic" was declared, but a year later Haitians took control over the entire island. Only in 1863, as a result of heroic struggle of the local population Dominica gained its independence.

Culture of the Dominican Republic 

Dominican culture has developed as a result of the synthesis of different traditions: Indian elements, Spanish influence, African customs and American way of life. The architecture of the Dominican Republic is represented by monuments of the colonial era. The main architectural center is Santo Domingo. Important part of people's culture is their music and dance. The Dominican Republic gave such popular dance styles as Salsa, Merengue and Bachata to the world. Merengue and bachata are two rhythms which were born in the Dominican Republic over hundred years ago. Melancholic bachata is popular in Latin American countries, and it is a song about separation and unhappy love. Merengue combines the music and dance. Musicologists claim that merengue is a mixture of sounds of Indian instrument "guiro", African drum «Tambora" and European rhythms of accordion. The melody is very cheerful.
Dominicans love holidays. The most important holiday is the carnival.
Participants prepare to it during a year - sew costumes, compose songs, rehearse theater performances. Traditional carnival begins on February, 28 and lasts for a week, and regional carnivals can continue till Easter. Final masquerade parade held in the capital, Santo Domingo. It is truly impressive and vivid show.

Where to go
  1. Santo Domingo – is the capital of the country and the oldest city in the New World (1496), built by Europeans. Many museums and historic buildings, which were built during the life of Columbus, are preserved in the historical center of the “Colonial City”. We also recommend you to visit Columbus Palace (built by the son of Christopher Columbus), the fortress Osama with tower Torre del Omenahe, Santa Maria la Menor (the oldest Church in America), the ruins of the ancient monastery of San Francisco. Lighthouse (Faro-of-Colon) is a hallmark of the city. The National Park Los Tres Ojos (three eyes) with three caves and lakes with water of completely different chemical composition and color is located not far from the capital. It should be noted that Santa Domingo is the center of shopping in the Caribbean. The most popular place for walking is Malecon, coastal avenue of shops and entertainment venues. At a distance of 22 km. from the capital there is the National Park Submarino La Caleta. The perfect place for both experienced and amateur divers.
  2. South - East Coast (Caribbean coast). The Caribbean coast is famous for its resort towns and tourist complexes. To the most popular resorts in the region belong Boca Chica, La Romana, Bayahibe and Juan Dolio. Boca Chica is known for it's pristine beaches, hotels and nightlife. The most delicious fish dishes you will find in restaurants of Juan Dolio. Also there you will find white sandy beaches and turquoise lagoons surrounded by the coral reef. La - Roman boasts its golf courses. The cultural center Altos de Chavon is located near la Romana. You will find souvenir shops, three galleries with artworks of contemporary artists, the amphitheater there, the Archaeological Museum and the Church. Bayahibe is located near the National Park Del Este. It is interesting to visit the cave in which the ancient Indians held their ceremonies. The park includes also the island of Saona, a great place for diving and snorkeling. In the coastal waters you can see several species of sea turtles, manatees, dolphins and humpback whales.
  3. Costa de Coco (Coco Beach ) - it is 40 km long resort area to the East of the country. Place, where the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet together. Coconut tree forests are spreading along the coast. There are man cozy coves between them. You can find here a lot of luxury hotels, restaurants, and night clubs. Many hotels have golf courses. The most popular tourist destinations there are Punta Cana and Playa Makao. The Eyes Ecological Park is also worth visiting. It can wonder you with 500 species of plants, 80 species of birds and 160 species of insects. Also we recommend you to visit the water park, Manatee, where you will see not only marine life, but also exotic animals and birds.  Championship in deep water fishing is held every August in Punta Cana. Not far from Punta Cana there is the scenic lagoon where you can find excellent conditions for bird watching.
  4. Samana Peninsula – is one of the best places in the world for watching humpback whales. Each year, from January to March, 80% of all ocean humpback whales swim to coastal waters for mate games. At this time, there is always a big choice of whale tours. We also recommend visiting the National Park Los Ayties. The Park has giant trees and exotic orchids. Also you can see solendon and many birds. In the park you can find the caves, the walls of which preserve cave paintings of ancient Indians.
  5. North Coast (Atlantic Ocean ). Locals call it the Costa del Ambar ("Amber Coast"). The coast got its name because of the valuable deposits of black amber. Area attracts tourist with its clear turquoise water, coral reefs, coastal lagoons and tropical vegetation. Center of the district is the city of Puerto Plata. Among its attractions we should mention San Felipe Fort, Casa-De-La Palace and Church of San Felipe. Also visit the Museum of Indians Taino and the Amber Museum. Climb the mountain Loma Isabel de Torres (or at least take funicular). At the top of the hill there is a botanical garden and a statue of Christ (copy of the one in Rio). View from the mountain is very spectacular. In the resort town of Cofresi visit the water park Ocean-World, where you can swim with dolphins, sea lions, sharks and stingrays. Also in the park there is a bird sanctuary and many exotic animals. Near Luperon there is the archaeological park of La Isabela, which is located at the place where there was the oldest European settlement in America. Here you can see the house of Christopher Columbus and the early Church. It is interesting to visit the National Park of Monte Cristo. In the park you can see 10 species of reptiles, including crocodiles and turtles and 160 species of birds. Cabarete is a great place for windsurfing, kite surfing and surfing. Not far from the resort there is the cave with rock art of Indians Taino. Take the motorboat trip on mangrove lagoon Gris-Gris.
  6. Cibao is the center for Agriculture and the tobacco industry. The main city of the region is Santiago, the second largest city of the country. Among the attractions we should mention the Cathedral, the monument to the heroes of the Republic (67 m monument), the cultural center "Centro Leon", and the Museum of carnival masks and Tobacco Museum. Nature lovers will enjoy Duarte Park. Around the city there are mountains and tobacco and coffee plantations. The cities Jarabacoa and Konsiansa are centers of hiking. They are located near national parks, beautiful waterfalls and the highest mountain peak in the country Duarte.
  7. South-West Coast (Pedernales Peninsula ). Barahona, San Rafael, Paraiso and Los Patos belong to the tourist resorts in the region. Black sandy beaches attract many tourists.  The reserve of the Sierra de Bahoruco Mountain, lagoon Rincon with turtles and pink flamingos, precious deposits of Larimar should be noted among the natural attractions of the region. On the southern part of the peninsula there is the National Park Jaragua. In the park you can see about 100 species of birds, many reptiles and bats, and in the coastal waters - manatees and dolphins. Highly recommended to visit El Pomier anthropological reserve. In the caves of the reserve you can see the largest collection of rock art 2,000 years old. On the walls of the caves, there are about 600 drawings left by the Indians Taiba, Caribbean and igneri.
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

 

What to do in the Dominican Republic

  • Beach Holidays:
    The Dominican Republic has about 400 km of coastline, washed by waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Punta Cana or Coco Beach, La Romana, Juan Dolio and Samana belong to the most famous resorts. In each of them you can always enjoy white sand, clear water and beautiful nature. One of the main advantages - local waters are very clean, for example, in 2010, eleven beaches of the Dominican Republic received the international quality label "Blue Flag". It should be noted that the Caribbean waters calmer and warmer than coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Black sandy beaches of the southwest coast are very popular with the tourists.
  • Diving:
    Diving in the Dominican Republic considered one of the best in the world. All resort centers offer many diving centers and instructors who speak different languages. Underwater world of the Dominican will impress you with its diversity: colorful fish, colorful corals, shrimp, octopus, turtles, rays and reef sharks. The luckiest can meet the king of the ocean - humpback whale. Hum from his "songs" scatters across the ocean. Diving in the Dominican Republic will be interesting not only for the usual tourists but also for oceanography and historians. Coastal waters hide many mysteries of shipwrecks and underwater caves.
  • Whale watching:
    The waters of the Dominican Republic are one of the best places in the world for humpback whales watching. Each year, from January to March, 80% of all ocean humpback whales swim to the coastal waters for mate games. Do not miss this unique experience! Most tours organized from Samana Peninsula, also in Santo Domingo, Boca Chica, Juan Dolio, La Romana, Bayahibe, Bavaro and Punta Cana.
  • Eco-tourism :
    The Dominican Republic is known for its beautiful nature. About 25% of its area is covered by national parks. National parks are varied and include different types of relief from mountains pine forests to pristine beaches and uninhabited islands. In the parks you can see a lot of exotic plants and birds, beautiful waterfalls and explore caves with rock paintings by Indians, and in the marine park you can admire the diversity of the underwater world. The most popular activities are whale, manatees and turtles watching. There are camping and eco-hotels near each reserve. The prices for camping house is about $ 10 a night, and in eco-hotel from $ 40. Take the motorboat trip on mangrove lagoon Gris-Gris.
  • Fishing:
    Coastal waters of the Dominican Republic are rich on white and blue marlin, barracuda, tuna, mackerel, dorado, mackerel, sea bream and sharks. The best places for fishing are Boca Chica and Punta Cana. Every year in April international competitions in fishing is organized by the local club of Punta Cana.
  • Treasure hunting:
    Local residents believe the legend that Captain Morgan had buried his treasure on the island. Also, many pirates had their hiding places in the caves of the island. In any souvenir shop you can buy a map with approximate places of pirate treasure. Good luck!

Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

 

Cuisine of the Dominican Republic


 

Dominican culinary tradition based on European, African and Caribbean recipes. The main ingredients are rice, beans and bananas. List of the most popular dishes: "La Bandera" (rice, meat, beans, vegetables, and fried bananas), "Mangu" (mashed green bananas), "Pastelon de Platanos" (banana cake with meat), "Puerko-Assad" (stew vegetables and meat), "Pescado Con Coco" (fish cooked in coconut milk). "Kasaba" and "Tostones" (fried bananas) are usually served to all dishes. For dessert you will be offered jam or coconut milk porridge with tropical fruits. Coffee, fresh juices and exotic cocktails belong to the poplar drinks. We recommend you to take cocktails "Banana-mama" and "Coco Loco", as they are considered the Dominican invention.

 

Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

 

What to buy: - Dominican rum. Three brands of Dominican rum "Brugal", "Bermudez" and "Barcelo" are the best known and popular not only in the country but all over the world.
- Mamahuana (Mama Juana) – it is rum, infused with herbs, honey and spices. Locals use it for fun or for treatment.
- Dominican coffee.
- Dominican cigar - Dominican cigars have the same quality as the cubanian ones. Popular brands: "Arturo Fuente", "Carbonell", "Juan Clemente", "La Aurora", "Len Jimnez", "Thiriet Mercedes", also they produce licensed brand "Romeo y Joliet" and "Montecristo".

- Jewels of Larimar, pektolita and amber.
- Amulets, masks, pendants made of shells, handbags, figurines idols, ornaments made of coral. --Dominican national souvenir – a doll without face - Doll "Lima".

Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic

 

Useful information

Visa:Russian and Ukrainian tourists can get a visa on arrival at the airport. Traveling to the Dominican Republic keep all safety measures which are typical for all hot climate countries: wear sunglasses, use sunscreen, do not forget the hat.

 

VERY IMPORTANT: Always wash your hands before eating, do not buy food in  streets and do not eat in street cafes, do not drink tap water, use only battled water for drinking. Clean teeth and wash vegetables with boiled water. Peel fruit before eating. Outlets have 110 volts, so take a special adapter, because they are not sold there.


Price:
Costs of food (1 day):
- Low: 5 - $ 8;
- Medium: 8 - $ 35;
- High: $ 35.
Living costs (1 day):
- Low: 20 - $ 70;
- Medium: 70 - $ 300;
- High: 300 $.

 

 

ИInteresting Facts

  • The Dominican Republic is the second largest country in the Caribbean.
  • National sport of the Dominican Republic is baseball. It gave the best baseball players to the world.
  • The Dominican Republic has become famous all over the world with the invention of the new style of music - "Merengue".
  • The Dominican Republic is the only country in the world which has Bible on the national flag!
  • The Dominican Republic takes the first place in the world in exporting of tobacco and the second, after, Cuba in its producing.
  • In the Caribbean, there are two states with very similar names - Dominica and the Dominican Republic. But the origin and meaning of these names are very different. Dominic received the name from the Italian word "Sunday", because it was discovered by Christopher Columbus' on that day. But the Dominican Republic - from the name of its capital city of Santo Domingo,  in honor of St. Dominic, founder of the Dominican Order.
  • In the Dominican Republic it is normal to take leftovers from restaurants with.  It's just a normal respect to food.
  • Sugar, tobacco, cocoa and coffee are 4 main export crops in the Dominican Republic.
  • The Dominican Republic is one of the ten best places in the world for whale watching.

 

Conclusions

The Dominican Republic is a paradise for any tourist. Beautiful sea with colorful marine life, beaches, sunshine, diverse flora and fauna, colorful festivals, friendly people and delicious cuisine – everything for your dream vacations.  The country will be interesting both for passive beach holiday and exciting holiday tour. The architecture lovers should visit Santo Domingo, where they will see many Catholic churches and buildings of colonial style. Also visit such cities as Santo Diego, La Vega and Santiago. If you love nature, then go to the National Park - Los Geytizes and watch waterfalls:  El Salto- Gimeno and Balnerio de la Guasaras. Extremists can climb to the highest point of the country - Pico Duarte (3087 m.) Dominica is one of the ten best places in the world for whale watching. They are most likely to see in the Bay of Samana from January to March. Many humpback whales can be watched near the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Every winter (from December to March) they come there for mating games. It is really a spectacular show!
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic



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