Dominican Republic


There's no place quite like the Dominican Republic. That’s because its history is the result of an unlikely mixture of influences; nowhere else will you find a blending of European, African, and native Taíno Indian cultures. Dominican Republic offers many beautiful beaches and a range of hotels from the budget mind traveller to the most demanding one. The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two-thirds the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with the Republic of Haiti. The country is the second-largest island in the Caribbean, with a surface area of 48,198 square kilometers. Located in the heart of the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and to the south by the Caribbean Sea.


The Taino - indigenous inhabitants of Hispaniola prior to the arrival of the Europeans - divided the island into five chiefdoms and territories. Christopher Colombus explored and claimed the island on his first voyage in 1492; it became a springboard for Spanish conquest of the Caribbean and the American mainland. 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. In 1861, the Dominicans voluntarily returned to the Spanish Empire, but two years later they launched a war that restored independence in 1865.


These distinct cultures still drive the social identity of the people today. Every aspect of their food, music, art, sports and religion provides a unique insight into the development of their country. In a single day you can experience both ancient and modern cultures from around the globe.


Dominican Republic Map

To See

Travellers can indulge in a variety of activities; adventurers might seek out canyoning and windsurfing opportunities.  Hikers can scale Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s highest mountain at 10,000 feet, while 1,000 miles of sublime coastline offer relaxation.  For cultural immersion, visit the centuries-old capital Santo Domingo, the New World’s oldest city.  The tropical wildlife is astounding.  Within 19 national parks, 6 scientific reserves, 32 natural monuments, 15 natural reserves, 2 marine sanctuaries and 9 protected parcels of islands, there exist 5,600 plant species, 303 bird species and a rich underwater world.  Many resorts are all-inclusive including those along the picturesque coastline in the Punta Cana/Bávaro area, where a sizeable coral reef draws scuba divers.  

Useful information

Airports: Las Americas International Airport Dr. Jose Francisco Pena Gomez, located 25 minutes east of Santo Domingo.  Puerto Plata International Gregorio Luperon Airport, located 15 minutes from Puerto Plata.  Punta Cana International Airport serves the east.  Barahona Maria Montez International Airport, in the southwest coast, which opened in 2006.  The smaller International Airports in La Romana and Santiago (Cibao Airport), La Isabela Airport and Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo, Arroyo Barril International Airport, Portillo Airport (domestic airport), Catey International Airport, in Samana, Catey is the newest.

Area: 48,670 sq km.

Business: Most businesses open their doors at 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on business days and until 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Banks are normally open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Capital: Santo Domingo.

Climate: Tropical maritime; little seasonal temperature variation; seasonal variation in rainfall.

Clothing: The Dominican people like to dress elegantly, and they love to wear en vogue pieces. Depending on the occasion, they tend to dress either casually or formally. Around hotels and resorts, it is suitable to wear light clothing such as shirts, t-shirts, shorts, swimwear or dresses.

Currency: Dominican Peso (RD$).

Customs: Up to 200 cigarettes, 1,00 liters of alcohol, and gifts not exceeding $100(USD) can be brought into the country duty-free.

Economy: The Dominican Republic has long been viewed primarily as an exporter of sugar, coffee, and tobacco, but in recent years the service sector has overtaken agriculture as the economy's largest employer, due to growth in telecommunications, tourism, and free trade zones.

Electricity: 110 volts, 60 cycles.

Entry & Departure requirements: Please refer to the official tourist office website link below or contact us. Citizens and residents of the majority of European countries can enter the country with a 30 day tourist card, which can be bought when you enter the country for US $10 approximately.

Health: At the tourist centers and in all cities there are health centers with modern medical services and most hotels have medical dispensaries with qualified personnel.

Holidays: New Year’s Day (01JAN), Three Kings’ Day (JAN), Our Lady of Altagracia’s Day (21JAN), Juan Pablo Duarte’s Day (JAN), Independence Day (27FEB), Good Friday, and Easter Monday (MAR-APR), Labour day (MAY), Whit Monday (MAY-JUN), Restauration Day (AUG), Las Mercedes Day (24SEP), Constitution Day (06NOV), Christmas (25DEC).

Language: Spanish is the official language.  English is widely spoken.

Political status: The Dominican Republic's political structure is based on democratic principles.

Population: 9,956,648.

Religion: Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%.

Security: Foreign tourists are often considered attractive targets for criminal activity and you should maintain a low profile to avoid becoming a victim of violence or crime. In dealing with local police, you should be aware that the standard of professionalism might vary.

Shopping: Large shopping centers in the cities usually close at 9:00 p.m. and open on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. In smaller towns and many tourist destinations, shops close at 6:00 p.m.

Taxes & Service charges: Restaurant bills already include a 10 %t tip.  It is customary to give an additional ten % for good service.

Telecommunications: The international dialling code for Dominican Republic is + 1-809.

Time: Standard Time Zone: GMT – 4 hrs. Dominican Republic Island Time does not operate Daylight-Saving Time.

Transportation: There's a large network of roads connecting towns and tourist destinations around the country. It is not difficult to travel between different regions of the country. There are several private transportation companies that can take you in comfortable modern busses.



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